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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Dean Blundell Version 2.0

Updated: May 31, 2023


Dean Blundell was the host of the morning show on 102.1 the Edge in Toronto starting in 2001. As the internet age progressed, and social media took hold, the very things that elevated the Dean Blundell show to great heights became a part of its downfall. Add in some self-admitted flaws and it all came to an end in 2014. In the ensuing years, Dean worked mornings at 590 The Fan, but didn't appear to love the work. The last year and change has seen Dean take a look inward and clean up the mess from within and embrace change.

This Dean 2.0, and he is very excited for what lies ahead. Check out Dean's website, Dean's podcast, and Daren Millard's Podcast called the Chirp. If you are a content creator - his company is doing things including looking for collaborations.

(Special mention to our producer Evan Surminski who made this show suggestion about a year ago.... yes I work that slowly)

 

During the show, Dean talked about a few of the other writers contributing to the website. You can check out their contributions here:

 

Finally, at the beginning, middle and end of the show, Dean made reference to the sofa in the studio. Although we were recording in different cities, I made the mistake of turning my webcam on. As promised, a look at the unfortunate sofa that is now schedule to be burned.


 

Transcript:


Amanda Logan (VO) 00:00:01

This is the podcast for broadcast. The Sound Off podcast with Matt Cundill.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:01

This week I speak with Dean Blundell. If you've listened to Toronto radio for the first 14 years of the new Millennium, you probably have your minds made up about him. Since he was let go from 102.1 The Edge in 2014, he's done a stint at 590 The Fan and made an appearance or two at Newstalk 1010 and on The Rock in Oshawa. All through that time, though, he's had Deanblundell.com and it's more than just a website, as you're about to hear now. The podcast this week starts, as you would expect, with me immediately regretting turning on the camera in the studio.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:00:38

That's when you start doing stuff like podcasting at your kitchen table or in what looks to be a beautifully appointed basement with a well covered couch. I don't even know why that couch is covered. Do I want to ask?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:50

It actually came with the house and I haven't touched it yet.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:00:52

Good. Don't. That thing just looks like a fart sponge right behind you, doesn't it? It looks like, if that hasn't aided in insemination, it might if someone lays on it without clothing on. And that might be you. I don't know if you're a nudie. Do you walk around naked at home?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:10

No.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:01:12

You should.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:13

I do. With the lights off.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:01:14

Oh, you don't want to see that either.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:16

I think I'll be visiting Ikea shortly for some new furniture. So here we go. Apologies in advance for me not asking the burning question you might have wanted answered. Dean Blundell joins me from the kitchen studios of Deanblundell.com, where his better half is getting ready to leave for work. Your dad worked at Chum, right?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:01:35

Yes, he did.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:36

Jim Blundell, yes. What was it like growing up with Jim Blundell as your dad and Chum in your household?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:01:43

It was weird. Sorry. Hang on, one second. There you go. Got to say goodbye to my girlfriend. Yeah. Camera, camera. So we're good? We're still rolling, right? You got to keep us in there.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:54

It's in there.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:01:56

Just for proof. Yeah. He was in radio. I grew up in radio. My dad moved to Canada from England when I was, I think, one or two. So we immigrated to Canada and he came over. His story is funny because he came over and he couldn't speak, like, without a British accent. He was Cockney so no one could understand a fucking word he said. So he was looking at the paper and the newspaper says, hey, we got a job at a radio station. He was packing boxes and filling paint cans where he was from in England. So a job at a radio station sounded pretty cool to him. So we went in and he asked this guy, Ernie Mushtuck at YR Radio in Edson, Alberta. He said, do you have a job? And he goes, yeah, I do. But not for a guy that talks weird. Like you. So he said, you go home, come back, and I'll give you a sales job. And he goes, yeah, perfect. So we went home, and he watched Donahue all day or whatever was on television. I think The Price Is Right. And he just literally sat there all day practicing how to speak without a British accent, went into the next day at work, blew everybody away, and got a job at radio. And a few years later, he bought a little radio station in Saskatchewan and then a couple more in Alberta. And then interest rates killed him, and he was left with one little radio station in Rosetown, Saskatchewan. So I was fortunate enough to get to go out there in the summer and do radio when I was like, 17, 18, stay with my uncle Wax, who's still one of my best friends. I know it's a weird thing, but he used to spin records, so he called himself Wax. That's old school. It'd be like you calling yourself cart or digital cart. I'm going to go with reel to reel, by the way. Anyway, so I was always around it. I did everything from sweeping the driveway to going to the Eston Gopher Derby and calling gopher races and pig races at the Calgary Stampede. And the summer, I was sort of always around it. And so my dad had a radio station in Brooks, Alberta, that he was taking care of, and a friend of his said, hey, do you want to go on the radio? Because one of the guys hadn't shown up. He was on- literally on some four day coke trip. And he said, you want to try? And I was like, 17, 16, I said sure. So I did it for a couple of summers and then just never did it again until I was 24 and a chance to get back on the radio again. And I listened to a ton of Jerry Forbes. I don't know if someone was to say to me, do you have, like, a guy that you would attribute your love of radio to? It would be Jerry Forbes. It was like everything he did when I went to University in Calgary was just fun. He had the ability to make shitty things sound really fun. And I thought that was a cool gift that he had. Yeah, I fell in love with radio, and then I started doing radio for McMurray, and now I'm in my kitchen.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:38

So you had early 90s, CJ92 is what you listened to in Calgary?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:04:41

Yeah, big time.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:42

What did you study at University?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:04:45

Volleyball. That was my way. I took any class. I didn't have a major. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a fighter pilot. As most people in radio do when they set out to do something that's not radio, they realize radio isn't work when you start doing it. So all the work dreams you put aside because you fall in love with the job, right.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:05

And how did you get to Windsor?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:05:06

I sent a tape to my dad and I wanted to get out of Rosetown. So I was in Fort McMurray. I left Fort McMurray. Actually got fired. Fired in Fort McMurray.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:17

What for?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:05:18

I was late for a shift. 05:00 in the morning. They took their 05:00- we give you coffee and Donuts at 05:00. It was called Five Alive. It was like, when I got there, it was like 5:11 alive, as they do in small markets. They're like, that is fucking terrible. 5:11 alive. You're fired. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I went and worked back at that little radio station I worked at when I was a kid, and then sent a tape to a guy named Murray Brookshaw. I don't know if you know who Murray is. Good guy through my dad. And they offered me weekends and evenings and I was in winter for a year and a half and they gave me mornings, I think about six months in and it was awesome. It was great because it was Detroit, right? You got to experience this market you only watched on TV as a kid. You got to experience American radio. I was around a couple of drive-by shootings at the State Theater, which was pretty cool. Got mugged once on Cast Corridor. So I got the full effect. It was a lot of fun.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:21

And 89X, pretty cool radio station. I sent some demo tapes there to Marie.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:06:26

Oh, did you?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:26

Oh, yeah.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:06:27

How did it go?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:28

Not good.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:06:32

Yeah, it was great. You know what? It was cool because it was back when Beck was massive. Like I remember he sent me a list of his big spinners, he called them. I'm like, oh my God, this is big time. He called them spinners. No Doubt. Don't Speak. Fuel was huge back then. You remember Fuel? Papa Roach. It was like- It was cool. It was like Nine Inch Nails that just came up with their second huge album and Incubus- It was cool. It was a fun time to be an alternative music and to do a morning show. It's sort of in the States. It was fun.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:00

From the bands you mentioned in the songs that I can sort of picture in my head, it sounds like you spent about 1995-6 all the way through to about 2000 in Windsor.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:07:10

No, it was '97 to 2001. '97, I got a phone call from a head Hunter asked if I was under contract or if I could speak to somebody. And I said no and yes quickly, even though I was under contract and then talked to some guy. And then he said, you're going to get a phone call from another guy. It was a guy named Dave Farrell who asked me to come work at The Edge. And I didn't know anything about The Edge because I'm a fairly insular person and I didn't listen to a ton of radio and I still don't. So I said, yeah, for sure, I'd love to. So I got a chance coming after Humble and Fred, who I didn't know at the time, had the heritage that they had. And yeah, so it was cool. It was actually pretty interesting because I probably shouldn't have been working there. I probably- like 28 years old, Someone gives you a morning show in Toronto and you really still don't know what you're doing, right? Like you're emotionally just kind of charged up and you're ignorant to the fact that you could fail. We just did shit, and we did a lot of shit, and it worked and we did really well. For sure we did a lot of stuff young, immature JV radio guys do, but we also did a ton of really good stuff and I was really proud of a lot of the stuff we did.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:21

What was the initial first few months like for you at Edge? Because all I seem to get, and many of these interviews actually go this way where I have to sort of qualify, I only know what I read or what the perception was at the time. And there's Humble and Fred, they're going to Mojo and they're starting something new on 640 and Dean Blundell comes in. And I had never heard of Dean Blundell, and I sort of worked in the radio business to the point where I think I know who my top five people are that I can hire, but I had never heard of you before. So how did you fly under my radar?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:08:55

That's just how I am, despite you obviously know who I am now for a variety of reasons, but despite that stuff, I've always been that guy. I think one of the things that I think is very important to me and it has become much more important over time and maybe almost to a fault is- for lack of saying I don't get out much. Over time I've become more insulated. But I've always been wired, like, I go in to do the job because I love to win, I love to create content, I love to stir the pot. I loved creating a community. We had a chance to do that in Windsor a little bit and someone I was really fortunate enough that our stuff I think was good enough and I worked with people that made me look much better than it was for sure. So when I got there, I kind of didn't know any different and I wasn't aware. I had no idea that Howard and Fred were as big as they were for as long as they were so blissfully ignorant and I just wanted to do shit and I remember looking out my window and this is how I'm wired and I lost it for a couple of years, but I'm back and I remember looking out the window and I thought to myself. I am going to be the best at this job in my capacity that anybody has ever been. And that was my goal. My goal wasn't to do Radio, and it still isn't with Deanblundelle.com and the podcast that we have. My goal isn't to do podcasts. My goal is to create a media hub, a really cool media hub, and for other people to recognize that it's important to consume information from places that don't sell you cable or don't charge you an extra $5 on your phone. But it's just how I feel, and I'm always felt like that. And I think we live in this fucking unbelievable time now where technology. You and I can sit here and do this, and we can develop a podcast that sounds like a morning show. We can deliver content, we can deliver an ecosystem, which is what Dean Blendell really is. We want to keep bringing people back into it. And Radio hasn't done that. So I guess it's my way of saying I'm more excited now than I was in those first few months. And I sort of feel like that now almost blissfully ignorant. Maybe it's because I don't really know what I'm doing for one day to the next, but I'm happy because I'm doing something that I actually love and I'm not doing it for somebody else.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:08

What's your relationship like with Radio right now? Do you have one?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:11:13

Yeah, I love it. I do. I've done some stuff for Bell. I haven't wanted to do it for a long time. When I left the Fan, we had talked about me leaving, and it was sort of a kind of a pre arranged. I didn't want to be there anymore. I hadn't wanted to be there for a long time. They knew that they didn't want to be there anymore. And it felt like for the first time ever that I was done. I thought, I don't want to do this anymore. I don't like it. I don't like what it does to me. I don't like the pedestal it puts people on. I don't like the anger. I don't like the frustration. I don't like the inability to have an opinion that doesn't require 58 fucking thousand people telling you that you're racist or telling you that you're an idiot. And I became one of those Twitter watchers towards the end of my time at the Edge, too, where it was like, oh, my God, was that any good? I better go check. Oh, my God. And it seemed like I didn't feel like it was anymore. Like it was when I loved it. And I was, quite frankly, not in the head space to do it. I was drinking too much right after I left the Fan, and I had to get my shit together if I was going to give myself an opportunity at the age of 46, and I didn't know if I wanted one, right. I had no idea if I wanted to be in radio anymore. I really didn't. But as health does, when you get your head straight and you stop being selfish about the way you're dealing with your life, you realize that you have way more to offer. And then you get excited again too, like I am now. It's where I am. And I look at radio like it's a viable opportunity, but I don't think other people do. I think people look at radio that own radio and go, Fuck, what do we do with this crap? Because it doesn't make as much money as the three other four other verticals that they own. So I think what you're going to see is like, Stingrays come in and other people come in and invest from different avenues and say, hey, listen, you don't want it, but we do. We'll use it to prop up our creative. We'll use it to deliver content in other ways. So maybe that's why I'm ignorantly happy, because it's absolutely impossible and I live a pipe dream. But I really do believe that radio is going to change in very short order here.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:26

So when Mike Bendixon comes to you and says, Take a couple of slots on 1010 in Toronto, how jazzed are you? Where's your energy level?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:13:26

Zero.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:26

Really?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:13:36

Yeah. No, I filled with fraud. That's not me, right? Yeah. I've always been- a pirate, I guess? I didn't get up at four in the morning to lose. I fucking hate losing. And if I couldn't be myself, and if I had to deliver something that belonged to someone else, I knew that it wouldn't sound great. Hang on. So I said no the first several times. I think he asked me for about a year. You'd have to ask him, because I wanted to do radio and I didn't want to fill in. I don't know if I use that as an excuse to not have to fucking do it, but it was kind of the last piece of the puzzle, right? Like, I was physically and mentally healthy enough and in a really good place where I thought I could exercise my radio muscle a little bit and see if I wanted to maybe do it on a full time or part time basis now. And I do. I love it. The first couple of shifts were a disaster, but that was just because you go into a news talk station, they go here's 2 hours, have fun. What's your format? How do you do the call letters? It was literally like that, but they were really cool. They didn't say anything shitty to me. They loved it. I think the sponsor is really good, and I don't know if I want to do news talk again. And I don't know if I want to do it full time. And I don't know if I want to work for somebody. And that's not me saying I don't think I'm capable of working for somebody. I just don't want to work for someone like everybody is now working for somebody. I think that there are partnerships with content producers like yourself or like myself or other people that just want to produce content that radio is going to have to partner with if they want to survive. But yeah, it was fun. It was a fucking big mountain to climb mentally, and I'm over it. So I'm good.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:26

Do you think it's a trust issue between you and anybody who would want to employ you? Because I know for me there are trust issues.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:15:33

What do you mean? You don't think people want you to work for them?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:37

No, people do want. But it's just you get in there and you're not going to have a ton of control and you could be disposed of at any moment. So are there trust issues?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:15:49

Yeah. You know what? I'm about as honest as it gets. And I had a conversation with Julie Adam just before Christmas. She called me when I was on my way home from CFRB. It's funny how that stuff happens, right? I was at 1010 and I had a fun time. And anyway, Julie, who's the VP of radio at Rogers, and we've talked back and forth several times. There have been pseudo offers and nothing that worked for either one of us. And she said something really funny, and it was kind of the first time I had heard it. But she said because of some issues that they're going through in Winnipeg, she's absolutely terrified to hire anybody that is going to produce any content that she might think is out of that box or might get them in trouble. Right. She was very honest. She said, hey, I love because I've got a proposal in front of a proposal, but a model in front of them, among other people that everybody loves about branding radio with different people and using people to brand radio and doing the kind of content that we're doing and allowing people to be themselves, because that's how you're going to drive audience. That's what everybody has to do is they got to partner with people that really want to drive audience, but they're going to have to at some point in time recognize that they're not going to compete with the Internet. They're not going to compete with this and the immediacy of it. There is no song anybody's going to remember where they go. My guy, remember when Power 98 played that Limp Biscuit tune back and nobody remembers any of that stuff. People remember how you deliver information and how you are as a citizen. And I think that's the trust factor when you talk to somebody like Julie or anybody else, no one really brings up the fact that they can't trust me, but they bring up the fact that they are still stuck in that place where they're like, you know what, we know radio is going to change and we're going to have to bring change agents to it. But people like me scare the shit out of people, right? They really do. They don't understand that. Guys like you and I could have a brain for the entrepreneurial side of content and producing great content as well. But that will change over time as long as you keep doing what you're doing.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:06

I ask Julie Adam. They're someone I trust. Julie was a top download from 2018. Really good episode. Very authentic, all about content creation and working with the team at Rogers. I've got a link to it in the show notes. You should check it out in just a second. It's not quite an episode of hey, what happened? But we will ask Dean about what happened in a few things. And by the way, please don't fast forward through the spots. I need to buy a new couch.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:18:35

The Sound Off podcast is powered by Coreimagestudio Your Brand Sound. Get it in the nowcoreimagestudio.com.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:45

I didn't get a chance to listen to a ton of your show, even though we had the Internet in Winnipeg, contrary to many beliefs.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:18:51

But seriously, did you have a dial up?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:54

Pretty much. We just got the 56K. We just got rid of that last week.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:19:04

Did you think you'd get that? Did you think you'd get that in this podcast and you going, no, you didn't.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:13

Have you had any CBSC complaints at your new company?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:19:20

What a shit show that is there here's. The funny part of that is some of the last complaints that we got, some of the last decisions that went against us. No one even complained. They were just proactively listening and boning us at the end. That was the funny part to me. No CBSC complaints, no CRTC complaints. I largely believe the CRTC is just this enormous self funded joke. Sorry. I do. Yeah. It's not going to go over well with a lot of people in radio. I would adhere to it under every circumstances if I was on traditional radio, but I'm not. But I think you should be allowed to say shit on the radio. I think you should be allowed to say fuck. I think you should be allowed to talk about really important heart issues. I think you should be allowed to crack jokes about people who are truly assholes. I think you should. But it amazes me. It's a government that not only allows people to smoke weed, we're physically encouraging people to sending it to their fucking houses. But you can't say shit on the radio. That's the most amazing part to me. And the government is still so over involved. The broadcasters take it so seriously. And it's going to happen, I think, at one point. And I hope it doesn't. I hope radio does this before smarter people like you or me do it. You not me, but someone's going to start a radio station online, 24 hours radio station with people in 100 different areas. And it is going to be better than every other radio station you're going to get a chance to listen to. And they're going to put that on a traditional radio station, and they're going to edit it a little bit, and they're going to send people to a traditional website or an app, and everybody's going to jump on. And those licenses that people protect are going to be worthless. And that's why you see people selling them and buying them. Can you imagine 20 years ago selling a radio station in Toronto for $10 million? No, but it's going to happen. If not, it probably already has.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:22

Well, there hasn't been a review of radio since the late nineties, which basically tells me that the CRTC is fine and radio seems fine and everybody just seems fine. But I think Google is going to buy radio stations at some point because someone is going to start that radio station, and it's just going to be an extension of pushing out that Internet radio station that you were talking about or that content or any of that stuff.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:21:48

Yeah. And you know what the biggest problem? It was a great article I read in Forbes by a guy named Jean Eli, and he interviewed this fellow who owns a media marketing company out of New York, and he was bang on and he said, what's the biggest problem facing? And I don't have an axe to grind. Like, I think when I say stuff like this, people think, oh, he's just a sour push because of the CBSC, and he's a sour push because he's on the radio. I'm not at all. I completely, absolutely developed a reputation over doing stupid juvenile shit over time. And it caught up with me. Whether I think it's right or wrong doesn't fucking matter anymore, because I learned from it. And I get it. That's the arena you need to play in. But there is an end to radio as we see it. When you look at profit loss and you look at profit gain, double digit profit gains in the digital world when it comes to content, 10%, 20, 30%, depending on your distribution and how you advertise in your digital plan. There are double digit losses in traditional radio, and that's only offset by national games in big centers. So the writing is on the wall, as it was for newspapers, where they started to shut down newspapers and look at it like it was an online venture and grabbing great content producers, which is what Dean Blendell does. Our goal. We hired Darren Millard. We hired Matthew Barnaby. We just hired a professor of cannabis. We want to start a cannabis vertical for the cannabis business who's just dying to get their message out that it's healthier than alcohol. It's an amazing time to be a content producer if you understand that you can make unlimited revenue streams from those things. And radio just doesn't really care about that. Yet. They're still trying to protect it. And Radio is still the best medium free medium to own right now. And I just don't think people understand how to reinvent how Radio is done as opposed to how they've done it in the past where they've got a program director and they tell you, you've got two minutes to say shit between these two songs. And it better be fucking good because there's like a million people outside that are lined up to do this job for less than you. And people have to start treating people on Radio fucking better. That's just the way it is.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:54

Radio is the way it is because they're just gaming metrics. You're gaming a Ppm meter. You're just playing a game. It's just a game where you're just trying to capture audience and those people with those funny looking pagers on them.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:24:08

Yeah, but you know what? That's fine. If that's what you do, then how do you create users? How do you say to those people will play that Ppm game with you? But how do we bring those people into our ecosystem? That's part of Radio's miss. That's why it blogs in sites that produce original content, spoken word, video, written word stuff that big companies don't want you to see because they're uncomfortable with this content or litigiously. It may be a problem for them down the road. Real content is coming up underneath these people, and it is eating them alive. It is, and everybody knows it. And then what's going to happen is someone's going to say, oh, listen to sound off with Matt Dean today. I was talking to all these guys are all down on Radio. No, I love Radio. I think Radio is one of the great investment meetings you can get into. Now, if you're really smart and you have a massive brand that produces content and you've got some fairly deep pockets, you could change the way the world works when it comes to content distribution and having people on the Radio, bringing those people into your ecosystem, it's the easiest thing in the world. But for some people, it's just a really hard paradigm to shift because they have the money. And that issue is myopic leadership. There are really great people out there, really grayed people that are not concerned about pink eared ones. They're not concerned about. They're concerned about keeping their jobs instead of doing a job that turns Radio into what it should be, which is an addendum to the Internet, which enables you to bring people in that Ppm world into your universe's. Users and through all kinds of content and a bunch of different verticals.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:45

I hope that anybody who listens to this right now just can hit the rewind button and write down pretty much what you just said, because that is a template for going forward. So I like that.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:25:56

Thanks, buddy. Do you want me to send it to you?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:58

No, I've got it. On tape. You can just hit rewind.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:26:00

You know what? I'll send you the presentation.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:26:03

There's a slide show.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:26:04

Yeah, dude. So part of- at deanblundell.com we partner with Envision Digital Media, so they're a part owner in our company. And so what we did is I came up with and we sourced and did a forensic sort of study on how many different revenue streams you could drive with a radio signal to an online ecosystem, provided you had the right content providers. And we found 40 different revenue streams that don't exist now. And that's a problem solving thing for radio, right? Instead of scaring the shit out of people and saying, okay, if you don't need budget, how about you say, okay, let's go get some users and see what happens. Let's put as much of our content in our universe on their phone and see what happens. And then have other people say, okay, we want to be involved in that because you had 80,000 people look at a fucking tweet, or you had 130,000 people check out one post at deanblundell.com or while you're at 50,000 subscribers for your podcast. So it's a matter of educating people, but it's also a matter of parting with radio because radio needs help. They need new thinkers, and they need people to say, okay, enough of who's next. Why don't we find out who's doing a really fucking great job and bring them in house and find ways that we can monetize with them for them? Because what they don't understand, too, is that you, Matt Cundill and myself and other people that do this job that still really love this job. What they don't understand is that the bigger you are, the bigger they are when they partner with you. The more entrepreneurial irons you have in the fire, the more they have in the fire. And so it's almost like putting revenue streams and different revenue streams into an old, mature business. But you have to think of it differently, contracting people that are really good at delivering that content to be able to do that for you on air and online.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:56

The same as a morning show. Right? Like, if you have a great morning show, you're going to have a great radio station. And all the radio stations that I programmed, we struggled with the morning show. And if we struggled with the morning show, the rest of it was not very good. It was tough. You've always been very good about building a community. You did that at your early days at the Edge. Who are some of the people inside that community that really made the engine go?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:28:23

Like guys I worked with?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:24

Yeah.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:28:25

You know what? I was really lucky. I got to work with people that made me look good. It should be the key to everybody's successes is find people that are better than you at your job. So I worked with Jay for I don't know how many years I worked with him for so funny. He was just still is. I haven't heard him or listened to him, but they let him go for budget reasons as they do. And I haven't talked to him since. But for my money, maybe one of the funniest radio guys, pure wit, dry humor, funniest radio guys in the world. I think he was just burnt out and wasn't having a lot of fun. And that really reflected in relationships and relationships in the building change. So I worked with Todd for a long time, 13 years, and we actually just reconnected on an email and who knows where that goes. But I haven't talked to him in several years since then. But again, he was fearless. That was one of those guys that was just a weapon. And you had just unloaded when you wanted content where you'd say go to the auto show and try and drive out of there in a BMW or go to the fair and play bingo and really fuck things up for all those crazy people in there with their daughters and yell bingo three times or go beat someone on television in front of like a weather camera down to. He was fearless. And you know what? Those I've never met anybody like him and it's one of the things I respected about them as well. But business gets in the way and there's a falling out over literally $750 and it was nothing to do with me. But he decided he didn't want to come back. And then the edge, as they did to everybody at the end, just wanted reasons to let people go. So that was the end of Todd in that capacity. But still easily one of the funniest people I've ever worked with. And I was really lucky because if it weren't for those two guys, we don't get the start and I don't have anything that I have today. So I'm appreciative of both of those relationships for sure.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:28

But you and Todd just recently spoke or sent an email and reconnected because the departure was auspicious. No one was really talking. And you guys didn't talk to each other for a long time.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:30:39

Yeah, no, we didn't. And he was mad, rightfully so. Effectively, we have these two TV shows in production. If that sounds like a radio station that's getting ready to fire their morning show, I don't know what it is. We have two TV shows in production and they were doing it on Spectator thought I was getting paid for it and I wasn't. He demanded money and I lost my fucking mind yelling at him and told him this wasn't about him. It was about the group. And we said some fucking awful shit to each other. And I'd never gotten around to apologize for my part. And I think that's part of being healthy for me is going back and saying, okay, you need to go and amend certain relationships just so that you can amend the relationship just so you can get some freedom. It's super important in people's lives. Not a lot of people do. It is when there's a falling out and radio is one of those businesses. When things go sideways, you fucking never talk to people and they're always assholes until they have a job for you or until you run into an industry event. And then you're like, hey, man, how's it going? So I don't do industry events either, because I can't fake that stuff.


Amanda Logan (VO) 00:31:47

Really?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:31:48

Yeah, I'm terrible at it. Anyway, we got to fight and he refused to come back to work and we literally didn't talk until I'm going to say. And then they came to me at course, and they said, Listen, if you want them gone, we'll get rid of them because his contract is up and that means we won't have to pay. It classy group, right? There's a classy group back then. I can't speak to the group now. It's all changed over. But that was literally what happened. So, yeah, that was the end of Todd. And then we hired Billy, and a few months later, there I was in La getting fired. So it was a lot of fun.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:28

Did you have a favorite program director?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:32:31

Yeah, I did. Ross Winners was for sure my favorite program director. Without question, Ross did what he said he was going to do. He always had your back. You always felt like he had your back. He always communicated properly with you. You know what your expectations were with him? He was, without question, the best program director I've ever worked with.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:52

Ross hired me for Winnipeg, so I will agree with you. And I've asked Ross to come on the show and he will at some point.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:32:57

I do believe he's big time now. He's going to big time. You. This is the first one of these things I've ever done, by the way. Ever.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:33:03

You've been on podcast before?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:33:05

No, just my own. Really?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:33:07

You've never been on another podcast before?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:33:08

No. This guy, some guy named Toronto Mike here in the city, begged me for like three years to be on his podcast and all he does is slander people. So I just refused to do it. And outside of that, I've just never done other podcasts. Yeah.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:33:23

He thinks you're having a war with him.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:33:25

No, there's no war. I don't even know who the guy is. He begged me to be on his podcast and then when I came out and said, hey, listen, I drank too much. And here's a cautionary tale of people in their 40s not dealing with mental depression or mental instability and medicating with alcohol. And I lived my life very honestly. So what he did and it was a really classy move. He took an old podcast and chopped it up like I was attacking him and he was just looking for attention. That's what people do, right? I sort of respected it. Because it'd be like I would have done something like that. I'm like, Fuck, I should have thought of that, but I don't feel terribly enough about myself to do it.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:05

You're just pissed off he stole your bet.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:34:08

Hey, that's something I would have done. Great bet.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:13

Hang in there's more. Deanblundell 2.0. And what exactly is going on@teambundell.com? As I found out a lot, how hard is it to quit drinking?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:34:25

It's tough. Yeah, it was really tough. How do you play this one? Honestly, I guess it was a problem for me because I could draw a direct line. I got to the point where I'm like, oh, I can draw a direct line from every negative part of my life to alcohol. I think it was £80 more than I am now. It's probably not good, actually.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:54

I remember meeting you in Toronto about seven, eight, nine years ago.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:34:59

Was that nice?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:35:00

Yeah. You were definitely fatter.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:35:04

Yeah, way fatter.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:35:05

And you look way healthier now. And your hair is better kept.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:35:09

I showered. Good job I did this. I showered for you. Normally I wouldn't.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:35:14

It's insane. This isn't even a video podcast.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:35:17

Yes, it is, is it not? I can see you. Well, this is audio, but we'll have the video.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:35:21

Yeah, we'll have the videos here. I'm not even recording the video.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:35:24

So, yeah, my hair looks great. Was it hard to quit drinking? Yes, it was very hard because it was my friend and it kind of helped me out. It was like a lot of different people get to a point in their lives where they self medicate with something, whether it's Coke or never done Coke. Never done drugs. Really big proponent of cannabis. I don't consider that a drug, but alcohol just stopped working for me. It was there for me on weekends when I had to be at home and face the reality of my life that I hated marriage, that I couldn't fucking stand. It was there for me when I had a bad day at work. I just need a drink. And I used to say all the time when I was doing mornings, if I didn't have a job where I had to get up at, like, 230. 03:00 in the morning, I would be dead. I would have just directed myself right into oblivion. Because it really was and still is the greatest solution for people that haven't actually dealt with the issues that they have. Right? And when someone gives you as much as I was given and you take as much as I took and you're selfish, like I was selfish, you never, ever really learn how to deal with real hard stuff. So it was really important to me to be able to get as healthy and get the perspective that I needed to be able to get so that I could offer what I knew I had to offer people and so that I could live a better life. And so it's come with a ton of changes too, right? Like when you're clear in your head is clear and you're not medicating and you're not full of anxiety and you're stressed out and you've got all kinds of shit on your mind. All the what ifs of life. When you're not like that, you can work and your gifts kind of come out again and you have a different perspective because you've been so low that you had to go get help. You never want to throw a log in someone's journey that's really struggling anymore. And I think that's the difference between drinking Dean and non drinking Dean is their perspective. That okay. Listen, A, you're not fucking Superman. You're never going to avoid the pitfalls of life, and you're never, ever going to be able to ever deal with anything difficult if you don't deal with it from a realistic head space that isn't affected by alcohol. So was I under a bridge? No. I mean, I was that guy that had like a few drinks tonight and on the weekends, guaranteed Friday and Saturday. I made sure that I could fall asleep because I needed that, right? So I got a lot of therapy, went to AA and did a ton of meetings and got some perspective that I desperately needed. And I'm not ashamed of any of it because people said the right things that helped me at the time. So I think there are different variations of people that deal with addiction and medication. And mine was alcohol and I don't need it. I've never had less and I've never been happier, I've never been more hopeful, and I've fucking never been more driven. That's the other thing. What you don't realize, it's a slow crawl to being clear again. But what you don't realize is when you're actually you're like, oh my God, I got to do more shit. I can't sit here. I got to do more stuff. And you're eternally positive because you lived in that hope to get you out of that imprisonment of whatever it was you were dealing with. So it's a different life. I feel very differently today. And as hard as it was for the first three to six months, I feel like I won the lottery.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:38:40

Do you feel you have to outrun some of the perceptions that were left behind at Edge at all? So people say Dean Blondell, he's that homophobic guy, or he's the guy who caused the mistrial with Derek, and here's the guy who all these things happen on the radio. The perceptions are there. So what do you do and how do you handle it when you come across those perceptions?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:39:03

Tell the truth, there's nothing I can do for anybody else other than control what I can control, right? So I control my effort when it comes to what I do, because I know I live a different way and feel very differently. That's just going to come out and if it changes someone's mind, good. If it doesn't, I really don't give a fuck anymore. And I don't give a fuck because I think if you listen to our show and I think if you heard that I got fired for being homophobic, you would go, that's fucking not true, dude stood up for LGBTQ rights forever, ever, and always have. The details of that story are actually hilarious. And I've never really told them in public. But long story short, the guy that we got in trouble for- and it's amazing how the news can drive a different narrative other than this guy sexually assaulted four other people. But anyway, this guy sexually assaulted some people, four guys in a bathhouse. Our producer was a jury foreman on the trial. He came back, we cleared it with the powers that be to talk about the details that we are going to talk about. And so we talked about the trial. We talked about it from a perspective of the idea that you can go to that there are places that exist where multiple people have sex. Grossed me out. I didn't say anything about them being men or women. Didn't even give a shit. I just thought, that doesn't sound clean. And then three months go by after we do that whole break. And it was insensitive for sure. Three months go by. The lawyer who lost the trial, Katherine Wells phones her friend at the Toronto Star and said, I'm trying to get this case overturned. This is great. Can you help me with this, and write a piece on them being homophobic? They passed it off to David Brewer and Jesse McClane. They then chased around Derek. They then started to drive the narrative that what we had said was homophobic in its origins and that he was homophobic. So in the end was the jury foreman. So the case needed to be overturned. In there, everybody has completely missed that we were making fun of a guy who effectively raped four other men. And I happened to believe in Street Justice. And so where we got in trouble was I said, you sentenced a man to five of the greatest years of his life because he was going to jail. And it was amazing how it went from a rapist is going to jail for raping people. Oh, my God. Dean is hoping this guy, because he's gay, gets raped. If it's a straight guy, if it's 100 straight guys, if it's 15 women, if it's anybody that- And I've stood up for the abused and victims of abuse for so many years, and it was interesting how that narrative started. And then I just turtled, like, I thought, I don't even want to talk to people because when you're labeled homophobic, it's like the worst thing in the world. It is the worst. And it still is to this day, the one thing that follows me around that I fucking hate, hate, hate, hate. And so I never go out of my way to endear myself to the idea that I'm not homophobic, ever, because it's disingenuous. But I will write stories and I will post and I will talk about standing up for LGBTQ rights as I always have. I've just never had a chance to actually talk about what happened. But we were dicks. I think that's the other part of that thing is, we treated every community- we bullied a lot of different communities that didn't deserve it. We thought because we stood up for LGBTQ rights, and this is a totally separate issue, we could have fun with it, too. We could make fun. We thought equal opportunity offenders, that means everybody gets it. And we've developed a reputation that allows us to do it. And I remember reading an article about Howard Stern not long ago when he stopped saying the N word. None of you, he just stopped saying the N word, like ten years ago on the radio. So everything had sort of changed and was continuing, and we were held up as the example. So we definitely deserved it. We were mean and we bullied a lot of different people in every community, including the LGBTQ community, because we thought we could. And you know what? I think that that's the hugest learning experience that I've taken out of this, is that people who can't change who they are, who are born any way that is not you. Any way that you don't identify with, already have a journey to take. And who are we to throw logs in their way? Who are we to joke about lifestyle? Quite honestly, and a lot of people will say this, you don't know unless you've been there. Being as low as I was a year and a half ago, and as seriously as I took the insults when I started this website, I knew then I thought, you know what? I know how this makes me feel. Whether I'm joking or not doesn't matter, because it's not a joke to those people who I've offended. So there's no upside to being a dick and bullying any specific group. And it's just how I feel. I think you can do a lot more by having fun with people than making fun of people, especially the people that don't deserve it. Having said that, if you deserve it, I'm all for it. All for it.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:44:34

Fantastic disclaimer at the end. I love it. Who's in your community now at deanblundell.com?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:44:42

Well, we're lucky. We've got 13 bloggers, and we've just started to bring on some significant folks, content providers. So Darren Millard, who was 2022 years at Sportsnet he was a day one-er, his podcast, The Chirp, has been absolutely lights out. I don't know if you've got a chance to listen to it, but everyone from Ryan Whitney to Doug McClane to general managers, to current players, and he's got a chance to spread his wings, too. Right? Like you do a sports show for as long as you do a hockey show, he's got a chance to do a bunch of other shit, and he's had a blast doing it. So we just hired Matthew Barnaby as well. So we're starting his podcast, which we can't talk about the name of it because he's being all secretive and weird. Brother, don't tell anybody the name. I'm like, Dude, no one's going to take that name. It's so weird. He's like, Brother, don't take the name. So we have him. We've got James Walker, who is a terrific car writer. We've got Shane McSween, who is another terrific sports writer. And we just brought on another young lady named Amy Riemann, and she runs a company called My Hip Life. What a story she is. She's a survivor of abuse. She is full on into the cannabis community and the holistic approach the cannabis community provides. And it's one of those verticals that we wanted to create, it was really important that we bring someone on board that was able to not just do a podcast, but talk about it professionally and it was connected to the community. So, yeah, we've got a full deck. It's busy. We've got tons of content providers and always looking for more.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:17

How many of those 40 verticals have you filled out?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:46:22

Hahaha. You want some of that? You want some of these verticals? Is that what you want, man? You want a vertical? I'll give you vertical.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:27

There must be one in there for someone. So who are you looking for? Is there anything you want to fill?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:46:32

You know what? We're at the point now because we're just in the process of doing a deal with another company, and I can't talk about it because we're in the process of growing, which is great. So what our goal is now is we want to have someone in Vancouver. We want to have someone in Calgary. We want to have someone in the Prairies NHL cities effectively. And then we want some people on the East Coast, too. But we don't want writers. We want people to get it. We want people that love weird shit. We want people that think that the world is there to have fun with, not to be taken so seriously, but still deliver really great news and great content. So, yeah, we're looking for people that are like minded and think like we do. So if you go to the site and you want to write and none of that stuff pisses you off, go ahead and email us. Info@deanblundell.com. And let me know what you're doing with that couch. I keep looking at that thing.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:47:34

It's fucking awful, eh?


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:47:35

You can't see, people, there's a couch in the background. It looks like that's where Obi Wan Disintegrated.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:47:45

I'm going to put a picture of the couch up on the website so everybody can see exactly what you're talking about.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:47:51

Yeah. Or there may have been several internal exams on that couch that we're not aware of so I would burn it if I were you.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:48:02

Dean, this has been fantastic. I think I touched all the bases here with you and it's great to speak with you for the second time ever because the first time thank you. Ten years ago was I drunk? I think we might have both had re wasted. No, I don't think it was like that bad but it definitely was a work event. What do we need at what was it some sort of gathering of the programming minds all getting together and I think it wasn't me. Well, you weren't going to sit in a room with ten other program directors.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:48:33

I'm saying that's out of my pay grade. I'm no good at that. I mean sure I run a nice little website and lots of other people a programming convention. What's worse a programming convention or having that STD test with the Swizzle stick down your Phole?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:48:52

Oh no, I'll take down the P hole any day.


Dean Blundell (Guest) 00:48:58

All it is a bunch of guys going yeah, we finished number four in our demo. Really? What's your demo? I can't talk about it right now. We're still trying to find those numbers but we're big time. I think I'm going to get the call up to the soup.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:49:15

Really.


Amanda Logan (VO) 00:49:16

Thanks for listening to the Sound of podcast find us online it's and connect with us with our great social Media's house. The show is imaged using the sounds from Core Image Studios written and hosted by Matt Cundill a production of the sound off media company.



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