Robert O. Goes To CFMI


April 3, 1983 –Robert O. Smith has been granted his Canadian work permit. Come April 18th, he’ll be introduced to Vancouver area listeners on CFMI 101.1 New Westminster BC. Tim Burge, CFMI program director, says Robert O. will bring a fresh, new feel to the area. Burge said trying to find a wacky kind of jock in Canada was hard to do. It’s a closed environment. “We interviewed a couple of people, from across the street, so to speak, Burge said, “but to fit our needs we just had to go outside.” To import an air personality, Burge had to tell the Division of Manpower that no Canadian resident could do what Robert O. does. For folks who followed Robert O. from KJR to KOL to KTAC to KVI to KIXI, that’s a given! KIXI FM at least was able to limit Robert O. to 32 of his 100 voices. CFMI is a progressive adult station. Burge said that translates to something between KIXI-Lite and KUBE with a Canadian twist. Burge said over-regulation by the Canadian Radio-Television Commission has perpetuated the survival of accountants, calculators, and folks who do radio by the numbers. Personalities are hard to come by. Vancouver and Seattle are the same size cities, Burge explained. But in Vancouver there are only two FM rock stations, one jazz, one elevator music, one French language. He said FM stations in Canada are required, among other things, to accomplish a higher level of culture. There are eight commercials an hour. Stations cannot play a given record more than 18 times a week. At the same time the CRTC placed limitations on FM radio, its cable TV systems began to import US radio stations.
KIXI folk gave Robert O. a goodbye party. Everyone from station owner Wally Nelskog, to receptionist Kelly Ann Smith, (no relation), offered jokes about trading “out and about” for “oot and aboot” in his new location. Dean Smith, (no relation), KIXI AM/FM General Manager, used the festive occasion to share Robert O’s employment application.
—Reason for leaving KJR: I was a bad boy. Letters were read from files of organizations and minorities who Robert O. had managed to offend in his 3 years as KIXI-Lite morning man. Robert O. says “In Vancouver radio everyone is so professional,” and then lapsing into one of the acceptable 32 voices, “I’m sort of a klutz. I make mistakes.” Were Robert O. to confess to his new employer that on the drive up for a job interview he caused $80 damage to a car wash, they might even change his name to Robert 0h 0h. Nevertheless, he’s ready to tackle Vancouver radio. He expects to continue freelance commercial work in Seattle, and to try to break into same in the Vancouver area. “I think I’ll audition for the Alan Thicke show,” he said, pursing his lips for visual effect. His stand-up appearances will continue he said.
ALSO IN CANADA, B.R. Bradbury, at CFUN, Vancouver. CFUN is a KJR-like AM station: popular music and personality. Bradbury will do afternoon news as he did at KJR. His departure from KJR, technically a reduction in force, creates a vacuum in “Police Blotter, Gary Lockwood’s 6-minute giggle session at 5:45 am and 7:15 am weekdays. After leaving the staff, Bradbury continued “Police Blotter” on a freelance basis. Sergeant Lock Jock needs a new partner.
Enter FRED. The Only Name he has right now, because in the real world, FRED is an architect, and architects are pretty serious folk. Fred has been on an architect’s vacation in Florida. Will Fred be ready for Monday’s Police Blotter? Or will we get a final week of Best of Police Blotter?

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Victor Stredicke

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times.

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