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  • Writer's pictureAidan G

Andrew "Hustler" Paterson: Winnipeg Sports Talk FTW

Updated: Jan 3

Andrew "Hustler" Paterson is the owner of Winnipeg Sports Talk. TSN 1290 abandoned the Sports Radio format back in February 2021, and since then, he and his producer Michael Remis have filled the gap, putting out high-quality daily sports content for the people of Winnipeg to enjoy.



Hustler started in radio with a Saturday sports show on CFEQ 107.1 the Freak, and proceeded to build his brand through stints at the Winnipeg Free Press and CJOB. This means he was around for the return of the Winnipeg Jets to the NHL in 2011, and we talk about everything that meant for the Winnipeg sports community. We also the rise and demise of TSN 1290, the former major sports radio broadcast in Winnipeg. However, the note-taking begins when you hear what Hustler did AFTER the station went off the air.


We also talk about how he chooses his subject matter, and how much he can talk about- between NHL, MLB, NFL, CFL and everything else Winnipeg sports fans are interested in, the content well is never truly dry.




 

TRANSCRIPTION

Tara Sands (Voiceover)  00:02

The Sound Off Podcast. The show about podcast and broadcast starts now.

 

Matt Cundill  00:13

Back in November, I went to check out my local NHL team. The Jets were successful that night, with a win over the Coyotes by a score of five to two. Now it's been nearly three years since all sports radio, TSN 1290 in Winnipeg, was switched out and later shut down. And I wonder: how do people follow the Winnipeg Jets locally? Is there a place where you can, you know, break down the third line situation or discuss the powerplay at great lengths? Now I don't want to pretend that Jim Toast's one hour show, Jets at Noon, doesn't exist on CJOB. It pulls in over 16,000 listeners on a news talk station. Not bad. But what if you want to talk Jets right now? So I turned to ask the person behind me. Sean Murray was that person. I get very brave after the third beer, by the way. He told me he listens to Andrew Paterson's podcast while at work, but says he misses the immediacy of radio. Andrew Paterson, known as Hustler, started on Winnipeg radio in 2006 and started his own business shortly after TSN 1290 concluded. Today, Winnipeg Sports Talk is a part of a healthy sports media diet for those in the 'Peg. Andrew Paterson joins me from the studios of Winnipeg Sports Talk.

 

Andrew Paterson  01:32

The first time I was on the radio was on a station called Freak 107. And a guy Jared Hanna reached out to me. I was doing a just a fun football show on Shaw TV with a couple of guys, that- you know, we'd make football picks and we talk about the games and they sort of used it to promote the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Was just before the Turin Olympics in '06 that Jared called me and said, Hey, love what you're doing on the show. Would you be interested in doing some radio stuff? And I- I said yeah, I mean, I'd never really thought about it. It hadn't been something that I was looking to do. But I said it would be fun. And I started off, I'd run in there in the morning before going to work. And I'd record a two minute, sort of an Olympic update. This is what's happened, this is what's happening today. And I guess they would run it, and they got it sponsored or something like that. And they'd run it on the station. So I did that for the two weeks. And they really liked having me in. So they said, why don't you keep coming in, and you can jump in with the morning show for a segment? And I said that sounds pretty fun. Yeah, sure, I'll do that. And then at the time he offered, he said, you know, if you would like to do a sports show, we could give you the time, like we don't have a budget for it. But if you could make it worth your while, get a sponsor or two, we'd love to have you. So at that point, Gary Lawless, who was with the Freak, was a buddy of mine, and he hadn't been here for very long. And he told me over a beer just on Corden one night that hey, if you're gonna do something, let me know. Like the good sports talk and sports radio was really the stuff that you'd have over a couple pints, you know, at the- at the bar. So we started a show. It was just- it was like 90 minutes on Saturday mornings from like, 10:30 to noon on Freak. And that went really well for us. And then- well in the meantime, actually, I got a chance to do the- heh, it's kind of funny. We went from just doing that, to filling in for- the program director and his sidekick did the afternoon show. And David Lewis had just moved here. And I'd met him in the building. He was going to be filling in and said, Hey, would you want to do it? So we did two weeks together. They loved it. And they literally came back that weekend and asked us if we would do the morning show starting Monday. So I did about a year where I was doing a morning show from six to nine. And then I was putting on the World Women's Hockey Championship for Hockey Canada at the time. So it was sort of crazy. Not a lot of sleep. But I mean, I loved the opportunity to do it. I said yes to everything. But that was sort of side. The main thing, for me at least was the sports show. And then we went to- Vic Grant brought us over to CJOB, I want to say in '07 or- maybe late '07 or something like that? And then we turned into a five day a week show in 2009. When the Moose were in the Calder cup, they sort of revamped the old primetime sports slot and gave it to us from six to eight, and that was when Hustler and Lawless was sort of born.

 

Matt Cundill  04:32

So a couple of things to unpack there, including Freak 107, which was the renegade rock station at the end of the dial with no budget for anything. You mentioned the name Jared Hannah. Actually, I got to spend a year with him. I think both of our kids played on the same hockey team at one point. So, it's so Winnipeg that you would- the first name out of your mouth is like, yeah, I know that guy.

 

Andrew Paterson  04:53

Totally.

 

Matt Cundill  04:54

And then, you know, Freak 107 was this hard rock radio station that was in the face of Power 97 most of the time, and you mentioned some names. I think Gord Fry was in there. So many- David Lewis, you mentioned. That was somebody that I wound up hiring in the years later at Power 97. And then you came to work at Corus, and we worked in the same building on and off for about the same time. And I guess there was a demise of Freak 107, and that sort of maybe left you a free agent? Or did you just come straight over from there into into CJOB?

 

Andrew Paterson  05:24

No, I mean, we were there. And I mean, man, the Freak days, I mean, Gary and I, when we're talking about it, we always refer to it as the shower curtain days, because the- the studio was like, just this room. And there was some other stuff, but they have what was essentially a glorified shower curtain if you wanted to pull it around for privacy while the show was going on. But yeah, I mean, I didn't know a lot about it. I didn't mind the music on it. I mean, it was hilarious, because they actually had a Christian programming license. So the hoops they had to go through to justify all the stuff that they were putting on, which really, from my perspective, was just trying to be a rock station, like a Power or whatever. Another option for people. Was pretty funny. But it was unbelievable for me, because it's someone that didn't have any experience, and was just going in almost more as a guest, to be sort of just authentic, be myself, talk sports. It was, I mean, incredible experience. I mean, I sort of feel like I got a crash course in how everything works as a raw rookie, very quickly. And you know, it was a smaller station. So if you screw up, or make a mistake, it wasn't really the end of the world. But yeah, no, we loved it. We were continuing doing the show, right until we got the opportunity to go to OB, and we went to OB and Freak was still around for another year or two after that. But obviously, I mean, talking sports in Winnipeg pre sports radio, CJOB was the station, it was always a monster as well. So to be able to take our little Saturday morning show from a station where people really had to go to find it, to a place where people were there anyways, was a huge opportunity. And it really took off, like, right off the bat. And Vic was super supportive. He loved the show, he liked us, he wanted more of that on, and after, I think, we did enough time and were polished enough- I'm not sure we ever really got polished, myself and Gary- but we got the chance to go make it five days a week. And that, for me personally, was a huge change from something that was just sort of a neat opportunity to do something fun, to something that maybe could turn into something more. That was a bit of a crossroads, having worked at TrueNorth and the Moose and Hockey Canada for a long time. And I sort of knew at the end of that term position, putting on that World Women's Hockey Championship, there'd be a number of opportunities I could do and I had to figure out what I wanted to, and the more we did it together, the more fun we had, the more I thought that this might be something I could do long term.  Tell me about the Winnipeg sports scene before 2011, and then after May of 2011.  Well you know, as someone that was hustling tickets for, you know, the Jets as a young university student, and then had the team leave and was like the third employee at the Moose. I mean, the late 90s, post-Jets leaving, was a really dark time. I mean, I can tell you that myself and tons of friends didn't even want to watch the National Hockey League. Did not care, did not want to know, you couldn't have been more turned off as to having something, you know, like losing a team, I mean, affects you. I mean, sports fans are so passionate, and to have that ripped out was- like, listen, it took a long time for people to sort of get back to, okay, we're sports fans, let's get in, it was a real tough sell at the start to- for people to give the Moose a chance. But I would say that over the course of that period of time, those 15 years, Winnipeg slowly got back to, you know, themselves as being you know, a real sports town. But to be honest, Matt, I- I could never really honestly imagine that the Jets would come back, I mean, everything to fall into place. Being in that office for so long, and seeing the struggle just to build up a minor league team that, you know, would be supported. It didn't- I don't know, it was the economics of the league too. It just didn't seem realistic. But that period of time when we were on OB leading into moving to TSN, and the Jets coming back, was a period I think of some real excitement. You know, the Bombers were better. They went to the Grey Cup, obviously, in '07 and lost. I think people were sorta back, and were back in on hockey and watching it more regularly. Post 2011, bringing the Jets back, I mean, like anyone that's been here- it was a sea change that we'll never see again in our lifetime, on a positive sense. The only thing that you could probably compare it to is 1996 in losing the team. And I think that, in a lot of ways, spawned a new generation of sports fans. Certainly the passion that everyone showed for the Jets right off the bat that did not let up for a long time, you know, the rising tide helped other teams. Certainly the Bombers had pressure on to actually do something. And we know how that team has turned around. But I mean, it also opened up- it lead to things like the Moose coming back. Now, the basketball team, the Ice when they were here. I think we got the reputation that we were a great sports market. And it went from being very, very light, to frankly, being one of the busiest sports towns, when you think about the population and all the things happening in the entire country.

 

Matt Cundill  09:55

And as well, the building for rock concerts, so the building was there. I think at one point, it was like, you know, Kevin Donnelly, who does all the bookings for music, at least in there, I think told me that it was the number three venue in North America at one point with all the traffic coming through, and Winnipeg is not close to much. So you have to be a little bit creative with the routing when you want to bring someone through town.

 

Andrew Paterson  10:41

There's no doubt about it. I mean, K.D's- He's a guy that has so much incredible experience doing everything that he'd done in the concert industry beforehand. He was literally the perfect guy, I think, to come in and be the non hockey side of that building. And you're right, and listen, you know, obviously, there's a lot that's changed since 2011. The pandemic, in particular, and what that did to live events and live music. But yeah, the first few years of that venue, I mean, if it wasn't a hockey game, there were concerts going on, they were bidding on everything. And it was- I was- listen, it was fun to be around, it was just great for the city. And even if you weren't a sports fan, music fan, comedy fan, I mean, all of a sudden, you had someone like Donnelly programming the- the building, and pretty good track record of filling it for a lot more than just sporting events.

 

Matt Cundill  11:52

So I was a part of the Corus management team that was aiming to get the Jets broadcast rights for radio. You wound up going to work for the rights holder at TSN. Why did they get the rights and not Corus? From what you know?

 

Andrew Paterson  12:08

I would say that it probably has a lot to do with the television deal. Basically TSN came in and stepped up with a big offer to be the television partner, from my understanding. And again, I wasn't in any of those meetings. I mean, I'm pretty sure they said these are tied together. If you want us to be your TV partner, we're doing the whole thing. So I think that- really when it came down to it, I mean, I'm sure money was a big part of it. I don't know exactly what the numbers were, what anyone was offering or how that would work. But it was pretty clear that that was a package that the radio rights were tied in with the television broadcast rights. And if Bell Media was going to be buying it, they were going to be doing the whole thing and not giving off another piece to a competitor.

 

Matt Cundill  12:56

Yeah, I actually think I asked a question I knew the answer to, but I wanted to make sure that I knew the answer, which is why I asked it. So I got the feeling that, you know, Corus could have kept getting higher and higher and higher. But in the end, it really needed to all be bundled together and to go to one place.

 

Andrew Paterson  13:12

Yeah, I mean, for me at that time, it was crazy for us, because, you know, we got the offer to come over to TSN to be the flagship show on this new sports radio station. You know, while we were still doing shows at OB, and, you know, our agreement with OB- and it's kind of funny, because it was such a big station. And you know, but- I mean, I never got a check once from OB the entire time I was there. We kind of had our own company, we had a deal where they put us on, we had the opportunity to get some sponsors for our show and deliver it within the within the show. I had a good sales background, Gary hustled as well. So it made a lot of sense for us to do it. But I mean, we had no contract or anything like that. That was sort of the way, so when we got this opportunity- I mean, I've always been a guy that's totally believed in the medium of sports radio, even when I was doing all my other stuff before I even talked into a microphone once. My entire life, I've been a sports radio nerd, if you will, listening to shows in other stations if I could, anything that was here in Winnipeg. So I really believed that there was a demand, and the- like, and this could work. But again, this was before like, even- even at that time, like in early 2011. It didn't really seem real that NHL was gonna come here.

 

Matt Cundill  14:31

No, it was a big secret. And even up until early May. We hear rumblings. But you can't report on rumblings. And it was quiet.

 

Andrew Paterson  14:43

And as someone that had been with the team when the team left, and had been there all the time, I had maybe programmed myself to not get my hopes up. Like I didn't want to be- I didn't want to go back to where I was in '97, being in that that state of depression, to be frank, you know, thinking that it's going to happen and not. So it was sort of outside. So when we made the move there, it was completely outside of the fact that maybe the Jets would be coming back or that if we went there, they would be doing, you know, that they might get the shows or get the broadcast.

 

Matt Cundill  15:19

So you jumped before it was announced.

 

Andrew Paterson  15:21

We jumped before it was announced, before the station was even announced. They had started- when we went there, we were on Sports Radio 1290. And it was an opportunity for us to go in, do our show every day, at a drive time. I mean, Gary was a big part of the move as well, because he had a young family. His daughter at the time was like one or something like that. So to do the show, to work all day, and then to do six to eight, and we were always at the casino during the program, the live programming there. He was getting home at 8:30 and his baby was just in bed. And so for family reasons, he really wanted to be in that drive slot, which for sports radio was the best slot you can be in. But listen, we knew that wasn't happening at OB. I mean, they're not changing the entire format of the show. They're not moving out their drive and news to have these two knuckleheads talk about, you know, whatever happened last night in the NFL.

 

Matt Cundill  16:24

Were you listening in on our meetings?

 

Andrew Paterson  16:26

No, but I can imagine what they were like.

 

Matt Cundill  16:28

That's probably how it would have gone.

 

Andrew Paterson  16:29

Yeah, that just wasn't a realistic possibility.

 

Matt Cundill  16:33

Yeah.

 

Andrew Paterson  16:34

So like, the time slot was also a big opportunity. Listen, it was a big- it was a big risk. I mean, our numbers- our numbers in our share in that time slot when we were at OB after a year or so were massive. But I think that kind of gave us confidence that we did have a following. We knew that there was a commitment from the people at Bell to make the station work. And, you know, we went in with relatively low goal, like they had a three year plan. Oh, we want to get to a five share in the demo by the third year. We had like 11 in the first book, but a lot of things happened between them, like we went in, and we were waiting to start on a particular day. And Steven Brunt's report that the Winnipeg Jets are coming back broke. And I'll never forget, I was sitting at Confusion Corner having a couple beers and a burger with friends. And I got a call from Chris Brooke, my boss. He said this is happening, get down here. And that was actually our first broadcast. 1290, at the time, was doing a live show about the return of the Jets. People knew us, we hadn't been on for a little bit because we were waiting to to start things up. From then on, once we had done that show, they said you know what, let's speed up the plan. We're live. And we were there right away from four till six. But I always tell people- in that- so we started in May. In the period from us going there in May, without any guarantees that there was even going to be a team, nevermind any arrangement between our new station and the Jets. We had the Jets officially come back, the sports radio 1290 changed to TSN 1290, which immediately had a much bigger cache for people that didn't really know what sports radio 1290 was, to getting the Jets rights. So I mean, you fast forward five or six, we basically had like five or 10 years of growth and development in six months. And for guys that started late, it was- it was perfect for us. And listen, by the time we got going in the fall of 2011, when the team came back, we were running numbers as if we'd been a mainstay in that time on that station for a long time. And listen, it was great to know. And it put us in a much better- it put us in a much better negotiating position with the folks there, because they had brought us over in a similar way that OB did, saying, hey, we don't have a big budget for you. But we'd already been- we'd worked on a book of business, we had loyal sponsors. We kind of liked doing it ourselves, and it being our show. So as things changed quickly in the next couple of years, they sorta had to come back to us and say, Yeah, we need to change this deal a little bit, because we're way beyond where we thought we'd be, and we can't have you guys having 60% of the inventory of our drive time. So it was- it was advantageous for us. And I mean, no one could have imagined how quickly that station would have established with us. But it was very, very cool being there on day one right there until the final day.

 

Matt Cundill  19:37

And I think as I went through the years, I did pay attention to the ratings a lot, because I was programming the rock station over on FM, and where do males go when they don't want to listen to music? Their next choice is to move over, likely, to AM for some sports talk. I think that's a habit that- that obviously happened for- for a long, long time. So remember, just some numbers off the top of my head. I opened the book during game time. So let's say eight o'clock on a Tuesday, why the Jets like playing Tuesday night is beyond me. But a lot of teams do like that Tuesday night slot. And you know, Oh look, there's a 28 share of, you know, men 18 to 54. And so you know, listening to the game on the radios just seems to be the thing to do. And there's like 10 other stations just playing records, and the AM band, alive and well, CJOB was there, 1290 was there as well. So lots of reason for- for people to go and check it out. And then you had the morning show, which again, you know, waking up and people doing, you know, talking sports in the morning. I mean, we can have a debate all day about what content should go on on a sports radio Morning Show. Middays was a little bit- I think there was some satellite involved, wasn't there? I don't know that there was necessarily a live body in there all the time for middays.

 

Andrew Paterson  20:55

Well originally, when we started, it was just us. And they had the Jim Rome show beforehand, Matt Libel and Joel Marku were working there from day one, and they would go in and do the updates and stuff. But other than that, they would just have program and that it really changed once we- we started H and L there daily. And then they got a morning show in to coincide with September and the start of it. But very quickly, the entire day was full, because as part of the radio broadcast rights, Rick Ralph joined us, and Rick was doing the pre and post game. But he also did the midday show, which was called the Roundtable and he would have different guys come in, but he was an experienced broadcaster, he'd do a lot of this stuff himself, he'd have like Edmonds, or- nah, I guess Edmonds wasn't yet on the road, but like Shane Nidey, who at that time was doing the- the Jets broadcast before taking off with- with his star, so they got it to a six to six, live programming. And again, this is like 2011-2012. As we've seen with so many stations, that eventually sort of got eroded away, but they would do- Yeah, it was- Rick would do 11 to 1, and they would replay the Roundtable from 1 to 3, and then we would go in. And then when we kind of redid the contract and Gary and I both joined the company as employees, if you will, and essentially sold them the show, I got my own hour from two to three which was called the Warm Up and I got to talk about more like sports betting stuff, and pop culture, and it was sort of a fun- it was a wacky show. Like I was really able to really have fun, and then Gary would roll in and we'd go from three to six with H and L and a little bit more serious tone, like it wasn't as goofy as the two to three. So yeah, I mean they had- for most of the time, they had pretty much live programming throughout the day. But then later on you saw, oh, we're gonna do a replay hour here, we're gonna bring this in there, and I- you know, it just started off as they started to whack people, chalk them off as we've seen at so many stations. The station and the programming got wil- whittled away a little bit. But for us in our slot, we were consistent there, on the drive every day from the start till the end of 1290.

 

Matt Cundill  23:24

So some shout outs, I guess to Rick Ralph. Greenwood, Nova Scotia in the house.

 

Andrew Paterson  23:28

You know it, you know it.

 

Matt Cundill  23:30

And Matt Libel, who taught my kids Hebrew.

 

Andrew Paterson  23:33

Hey, listen, the sports Rabbi. Still have him on the show now when he's kind enough to grace 'em with- with this presence. Oh, man, like thinking back to that station- I mean, the characters that were in there. I mean, when you think of the morning show with- I mean, Libel, I think probably was the best host. He's such a brilliant guy. He was so good. And he was so different than Westie, and Rewicky, and Toth when he was there, like, just Matt's- I can't say enough about him. All those other guys bring a lot to the table. But Matt was so unique of getting the best out of people, making them feel comfortable enough, even when he was making fun of them or whatever, doing that sort of thing. He was great. And then Joe Marku behind the scenes, and obviously our bosses, Chris Brooke ran the station, Matt Carney. He's been around in this business for a long time, he was there. So it was- it was a lot of fun. And I mean that- I think back to those first three, four years at 1290 is maybe the most fun I've ever had doing anything. And I've been lucky enough to have some really great jobs and fun environments and businesses. Really, maybe up until what I'm doing now with Michael Remus post TSN.

 

Matt Cundill  24:49

So I would also watch the ratings. And if the Jets had a playoff run, there were some, like, 12 plus numbers of- like a five share, close to a six share at one point. People knew it was there. I knew it was there, to the point where if I left the house- and by the way, I didn't love the station as much. I have my reasons, it might have to do with my relationship with hockey, and maybe I'm not- it's because I'm not a Winnipeg Jets fan. But you know, when you listen to it, or when I listened to it, it was a lot of digging deep on who's going to be the second line center? What are we doing with the third line? How's the fourth line performing? And I kept saying to myself, this isn't how deep I want to get with my hockey team. However, this is Winnipeg and this is the team and I totally get it. Listen, I go to Buffalo WGR55. I mean, the station is therapy for me. I mean, I think you've got a Chiefs shirt on right now. I think it's- is it KCFX 101? I might have to call letters wrong.

 

Andrew Paterson  25:50

Yeah, the Fox does the- does the games on the FM dial, and they've got two sports radio stations, 810 and 610 AM, that sort of go head to head. Ironically, neither of them with the rights to the Chiefs.

 

Matt Cundill  26:03

And sometimes that's a good thing, too, because you didn't have the rights to the Bombers. So I've had this conversation before. When you have the rights and when you don't have the rights, you can have different conversations.

 

Andrew Paterson  26:14

Yeah, yeah. You know, I mean, I was- I have to say, I was lucky. And I don't know whether it was my boss, Chris. It was the way that we started, essentially. Okay, we'll come in, and we'll bring our show to you. We already had it, they came to us, we negotiated a deal that had us still basically being independent. But I can tell you that I never once, in that entire time, had anybody tell me, hey, you need to- like, don't go there. And I appreciated that. I don't think you could say the same for everybody else at the station. And maybe that was more our style of show, what we were talking about, like, we were never trying to do outrageous things to shock people, or to create controversy. Listen, Gary and I had enough going head to head with each other. We didn't need to manufacture anything. But I was- I was fortunate that- but you are right. I mean, I think at the end of the day, like if all of a sudden, you've got it out for the coach or the GM, and it can be as authentic as you want, and all of a sudden, that's what you're hammering each and every day. Like put it this way, you couldn't do that on OB right now. I don't think that would fly. For the most part, I think people are professionals, they understand the relationships and try and do their best to give people the best programming and the most authentic takes. But yeah, I think in some situations, people have had to bite their tongue or maybe go a different way. Although I can say I'm lucky that I never really faced that.

 

Matt Cundill  27:42

I used to think, oh, maybe I'll just turn them on to see if they're talking about the third line center again. And then- and then of course, when the station eventually is not there, I'm like, I kind of miss this. You know? I guess Gary left at the- around the time of the creation of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Is that right?

 

Andrew Paterson  28:01

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, we ran together from- on that station from its inception in early 2011, and Gary left, I want to say in the summer, or later on in 2016. Vegas had the team, they were building the team, and he made a pitch, you know, obviously he had good connections. And when we talk about the Manitoba mafia there, knowing Crim, Kelly McCrimmon. And some of the other guys were important. And you know, I think in a lot of ways, Gary was always a bit of a step of the game. He got out of newspapers before a lot of other people, and allowed himself, with the success that we'd had on our show, to transition to be doing kind of insider work and commentary on TSN, which helped him big time. And I think he saw where things were going, and in some ways, almost created a job for himself. Like he's- I think he's the only national hockey league team that has a- an insider, like his card says Vegas Golden Knights Insider. Well, he does a million different things. He's involved in communications. He's involved in events. He's involved on the broadcast, as content has- has grown, he does tons of things like that. But he sort of did create that, so- and his job has changed as well since the beginning of the Golden Knights in 2017, to where they are right now. Still can't believe they're Stanley Cup champs, but that is the world we live in right now. And he's done phenomenal for himself. And he's a big part of a lot of cool things that that organization has done. And it was tough to lose them. But I mean, in some ways, for me, it was a real opportunity to, even more so, take the reins of the show. I'd grown a lot as a broadcaster and someone that started off with literally no experience back in the Freak days, to someone that could hold it down. And it was awesome working with Rick because I mean, Rick had a very different background than me. I mean, as much as Gary and I were sort of Ying and Yang, in some ways, it was the same thing in a different way with Rick. And the show was very different. It maybe didn't have quite the same sort of mano a mano throwdowns that Gary and I had, and were known for, but it was still great. It's still an awesome way to work. And, you know, he- he killed it. He's killing it in Vegas right now, but certainly had a big impact here when he was with the station.

 

Matt Cundill  30:20

Did you have to fill the void of him leaving? What changes were made? Or because you were working for Bell, what changes might have been made for you?

 

Andrew Paterson  30:29

Well, I mean, yeah, I mean, listen, like they were great. Like, they said, Hey, would you be comfortable with this guy, with this guy? I mean, you know, I did the show myself for a while and had some different guys coming in. And it just made sense. I mean, for Rick, he was doing middays and was doing the evenings, which was a crazy shift. I mean, you go in and do 11 to 1. And then you got to be at BP at 5:30, and you're done taking calls at 11:30. Like, that's- that's a real grind. So I know he wanted to sort of move up, if you will, get a better time slot, be on the top show on the station. And I knew him well enough, not from really working with each other, but just being around the station, listening, you know who the guys are. He was sort of a good straight man in a lot of ways. As much as he has a bizarre sense of humor and like a very Rick Ralphian- he says some unique things. And it was just a little different. But I welcomed it. I mean, I far rather wanted to work, post-Gary, with someone that I kind of knew what I was getting into with and- and Rick was that guy. And I mean, we kind of picked up where we left off. And I mean, I know the shows were different. But at the same time, when you look at, you know, what we're measured on, and that was the numbers. Y'know as much as people say, ahh, we miss Gary, and stuff like that, they were still listening. And we really didn't miss a beat for where we were and what we were measured on and compensated on.

 

Tara Sands (Voiceover)  31:55

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Matt Cundill  32:24

February 2021, I believe, is when they pulled the plug on the radio station. Did you see it coming?

 

Andrew Paterson  32:32

You know, I think big picture, I would have been naive if I didn't think that there was potential of that happening. Like I can tell you at that time- I mean, for years- like once Gary left, as much as I still had fun doing the show, that was at the time where all the cuts that were happening year after year sort of started to affect a lot of the things on the show. And I think probably because I was inexperienced enough in this business, and I'd never been fired, and because I was there day one and I knew how important I was to the station, like I never for a second was worried about getting whacked, which I think in retrospect is nuts. Considering how many talented people find themselves holding a pink slip at one point. But I was never really thinking like that. But I saw that it was- I don't want to call it a sinking ship. But in a lot of ways, a lot of radio was that. I wasn't expecting anything imminent or anything like that. But once it happened, and especially on the scale that it happened, with- with Winnipeg and Vancouver being, I'm pretty sure, their top two rated stations. Like that's where they were going to do it, then I mean, whatever. In retrospect, I'm glad it happened when it did, because it gave us a bigger head start to create and take advantage of the opportunity, frankly, Matt, that was pres- presented by it. But the other thing for me is that it was a really crazy time in my life. In September of 2020, I had an incident with my back where I got a rare condition, which is essentially like a heart attack or a stroke of the nervous system. I had to leave the show in the midst of a show on air because I was losing feeling below my waist. I somehow got back home, started Googling, like this is- these are the symptoms, and realized like, you need to go to the hospital right now. I went to the hospital that afternoon, had emergency surgery that night, and spent the better part of the next two, three months in the rehab hospital learning how to walk again, and was off air, and that was the first time I'd ever really been away. And of course this is during the pandemic. So I get out, I finally am able to get out, and I got out right into code red. I had to be moved into a new building that didn't have the stairs that my old place had while I was back, so it was a whole new world, and I mean I really could have been on disability, like, for a long time if I wanted, but I actually- because of what was going on, I was begging for them to let me get back into the studio. Because that was the only place you could go, like I needed some human interaction. And I mean, let's face it, the job is sitting on your ass talking about sports. I mean, we're not digging ditches. So I had to go through a whole bunch of things, like lawyers signing, doctors signing stuff off, just to allow me to end the disability and get back to the station. And six weeks later, they canceled the whole thing. So I'm happy I was able to get back and be there at the end. But everything in my life was so crazy at the time, it was just another- it just felt like another heater to the chin from fate. But in the end, it's actually turned out to be- that was a formative time. But it's led to some pretty great things.

 

Matt Cundill  35:52

And then came the opportunity. So how long after February 9th, and maybe you'd been thinking about the opportunity beforehand. But how long after the February 9th announcement that the station was going to be closing, did you start to put the wheels into motion for a new media venture?

 

Andrew Paterson  36:12

About 12 hours. About 12 hours, like the shock- and I had never thought about it before, just because- listen, whatever, I was the guy on the station, I was treated well, I had a really good deal, like until they didn't want me. Like as disillusioned as I got a little bit with the direction of everything, I was still pumped to be talking sports every day in my hometown. I mean, it really was a dream job. And the other thing is, if I wanted to go that route, and I'd never really thought about it more than just very casually, the bottom line is it's way different, leaving an entity that still exists, and going and starting your own thing to ostensibly compete with that, or being there from start to finish turning the lights off, like without any notice, and going through the withdrawal that so many of our regular listeners had as to where this is going on. So I knew right away that there was a big opportunity. Like we were shell shocked. And as they said, we went through that day talking to everybody, talking to the HR lady, finding out okay, this is how this all works. I got to- like, it was that same day where I figured okay, like, what- what am I going to do? I got a call the next day from Kelly Kirche in- with Sportsnet in Calgary to come out to- you know, if I'd be interested in going out there. And I said to him, I said, listen, I really appreciate the call. And I'm flattered that, you know, when this happened, you thought of me and he'd said he'd been- he'd actually apparently got my number like a month earlier, because they don't really have- it didn't have other people to kind of get into the mix. And he was looking at future moves and like PD's do, you would know about that, kind of tried to identify people. And I said, listen, I don't even know if I'm able to work right now, we got to find out how this deal works, like everything, just give me a little bit of time. And I hung up the phone that day, and about 10 minutes later, like I was saying, listen, there's two players in Canadian sports radio, there's TSN and Sportsnet. You just got whacked by TSN. Sportsnet called you. You would think that in most cases 99% of your brain would be like, Oh my God, what a great opportunity. How do I make this happen? It was the exact opposite. 1% of me was thinking, Oh, I guess that's a pretty good option to have. But I just knew that there was too much value in (a) what I had been in a huge part of building here in Winnipeg, with a big following here in Winnipeg, that would not be the same if I showed up in Calgary, or another Canadian market right off the bat. And the fact that- that told me all I needed to know, the fact that I wasn't all in on this. Oh my god, how do I make this work? That I needed to start something myself with Winnipeg Sports Talk and basically right then and there, we started doing it. And funny story. So Kelly actually followed up with me like a couple weeks later, as I'm working on all this stuff and says, so, uh, hey, where are you at? How are things going? And I said, Well, good. You know, I'm working on some stuff. And he goes, You know what, I wouldn't mind just getting you in to do some shows with Pat Steinberg, who's sort of the- is everything there. He does the Flames broadcast. Does the drive show where I did. And I said Well, hey, sure that sounds great. And I said just so you know, like, I'm- I'm starting this Winnipeg Sports Talk thing. But I'm open for anything else, like, listen, I mean, I got a lot of hours in the day, if there's- if we can work around it, for sure. And like I kind of thought at the start, when they said that, it'd be like, okay, no problem. Yeah, do your podcast but get in there. So I did a couple of shows. They loved it. They wanted to get me on more, but in the meantime, we launched Winnipeg Sports Talk, and our launch was massive. I mean, we had I think a lot of people that were pulling for me, like all the TSN insiders and Biz Nasty and Bob McKenzie. I mean, they were all promoting it. And we had such a huge start right off the bat. And again, that's something that doesn't happen if the station doesn't end the way that it did, and me pivoting, and doing it very quickly. So by the time I actually got on the Sportsnet station and had this going, they were already paying attention to the show. They knew what I was doing. And it was wild. I mean, for a while there, I was doing 1 to 3 Winnipeg time on my show, Remus would get the podcast up afterwards, I'd rip over to Daily Burger and grab a burger and then crank out 4 to 7 in Calgary remotely with Pat. So I think I had me on twice a week, guys would go on holidays, I'd do a full week here and there. So I was really busy right afterward. But I knew that the minute I got this started and we got it going, there was no way I was moving out to Calgary and doing it full time there. Frankly, I didn't trust another big company. I figure I could have gone there and then be in the same position I was just in six months ago, and miss the chance to, you know, take advantage of what TSN gave up and kind of reclaim what we built for 10 years.

 

Matt Cundill  41:18

And post pandemic, and post the demise of Sports Radio, I'm wondering if you're not thinking to yourself, moving? That is so 2019. We don't move anymore. We can do this from home.

 

Andrew Paterson  41:31

Well, exactly. I mean, the perfect example is- I mean, I literally did two- almost two years of shows in Calgary with guys that- I didn't even meet Pat until the draft a couple years ago, we went out for beers. It's like, dude, I've talked to you for probably a couple hundred hours in total on the air. But we've never actually been in person together. And that was just another wild thing that kind of came out of the pandemic, industry wise. But yeah, you're right, like, we really don't need to do- and the other thing is the ability. You know, for me as an independent entrepreneur, if you want to call it, I mean, someone that's doing it ourselves is taking it back. Like when I get opportunities with a sponsor to go to- Well, I went to the World Cup in Qatar last year, for instance. I do a lot of work with CoolBet they had something going and they said, Would you do your show from Doha next year? And I had literally when they asked me, I had to, like, put in Google, where is Doha? I had no idea. I'm like Qatar, and then it dawned upon me, the World Cup. I'm like, you've got to be kidding. Yeah. 100%. But I mean, like, I've done this show from big curling events, from the draft, from the World Cup in Qatar. Because really, I mean, once you have the equipment and you make sure you got a good connection, you're gold.

 

Matt Cundill  42:49

How did you get the bulk of your audience to go from radio to the internet, to listen to your show? And I ask that because I went to a Jets game couple weeks ago, heard some guys speaking in the same sort of verbiage that you would on 1290. Talking about, you know, the second line power play, what are we gonna do with the fourth line, who's going to be on penalty kill, and I turned around and I asked them, I said, what do you guys listen to during the day when you want to talk Jets? Because the radio station's gone. And they said, well, we listen to to Andrew Paterson. That's our show. That's where we go to. Sean Murray was the person that I was speaking to. He did say some- and I will guess that he's in his late 30s, early 40s. But one of the things that struck me was, he said, I wish it was still on the radio, only the medium so that he could access it. I think that was the only thing that he mentioned that he missed. But other than that, people have no trouble finding something that they want to listen to, regardless of if it's on the radio or not. What's the difference, or the ratio, between those who will consume it on video either live or on demand, against those who will consume it on audio?

 

Andrew Paterson  43:57

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I mean, for the first part of the question, how did we get everybody? I mean, I give my partner Michael Remus, we were basically a two man operation, we're partners in this. I do- I mean, I'm the host of the show. I kind of do with my background a lot of the sponsorship side of things. He went to the University of YouTube and figured out how the hell to make this thing work, get it on the- on the air. The original was just to do it on a podcast, and he was the one that said, well listen, if we're doing it anyways, at this time, we may as well put it on YouTube. And I'm like, oh, yeah, whatever. Sure. Like maybe like 5 or 10 real keeners will be wanting to join us as we record this thing. I couldn't have been more wrong. But when we launched, like I did a two minute video after three weeks or whatever, we- like we needed to be ready to go and know when we were actually going to be able to start and have it legit. Like we couldn't have it come out of the gate, be amateur hour. But I put out a video and it got, I don't know, like 150,000 views or something like that. That was the thing that was being boosted by so many other people, saying that hey, we may have had the lights shut off at the station. But this is a Sports City, we're starting Winnipeg Sports Talk. And when we did that, we were already locked and loaded with our Instagram page, Twitter, whatever, TikTok, like every play. The YouTube channel was there, and essentially mean- the first thing you could do, you want to know where to find us? Subscribe to the podcast here and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Join us on the show from there. And I think we got such a good boost, but we were prepared for it. I mean, anybody that we got, there was no way they couldn't find a place to listen to us. And then I put that out on the Wednesday of the week prior to the week we started, February 9th, the station went down, our first ever show, episode one of WST was March 8th. So we got a massive bump right off the bat when we announced the thing. And like, by the time- think I put that thing out on Wednesday, join us Monday for the show. I want to say we were probably over 2000 YouTube subscribers, and more than that on the podcast before we even started up the- the first episode. You know what, it's funny, and I find myself focusing way more on the YouTube side of things. Because I mean, that's what you're looking at while you're doing it live. I mean, the YouTube side has created this incredible community, the chat. That's a big reason why we can have events and get people out and, you know, do Jets games with 60-70 people and gold eyes and all those things. So we've focused a lot, and I can tell this was a big show, the views are up, oh, we're at 3000, we're at 3500. But I sometimes lose sight of the fact that more people listen to us on the podcast than actually watch the YouTube show. So it's still- I'd say we're probably 60/40 podcast. But again, the YouTube- I think I find that the YouTube grows more, like it's catching up a little bit. Because as you get to 10,000 subscribers, and you know, you have big shows, like the discoverability of YouTube, like the people that don't know about us, that don't know me or whatever, but they're looking for Jets stuff. There's millions of people that use YouTube, and they will inevitably find us if they're looking for Winnipeg or Winnipeg Jets stuff. Whereas the podcast, in a lot of ways, we need to utilize social media and clips and stuff to try to get that out to people that might not know about us. But the podcast listenership has always been bigger. And it's always been super loyal. And we know all the people from the YouTube chat, but every single game I go to, I'll have people that come up, hey, love what you're doing, you know, I don't get in the chat. I'm always at work, whatever. But I listen every day on my way home, or in the evening, or the next day on the way to work, catch up. The podcast is still a big, big part of it. Even though it's easy to kinda get sucked into just what's happening on YouTube live every day.

 

Matt Cundill  45:21

Yeah. And it's- you know, shame on me for trying to compare the both because they count differently. So a viewer on YouTube, I can just come in and press play or join you live, that's a one. For a download on a podcast, I've got to download at least a minute of it before that counts as a one. So that's not really, you know, equitable if we're going to be be comparing. And the other one is, you know, listening, people like to listen, they can do something else. YouTube is moving in the direction of being able to do that. If you're doing your show live, I can carry you around in my pocket. And, you know, listen to it, perhaps on YouTube, as you know, now the app is becoming a little bit more easier to consume live content with.

 

Andrew Paterson  48:52

Well, absolutely. And we do find people- like we've- there's been some fun things that we've sort of started, and probably the most popular one is we do a marble race at the end of every show on Friday. So Remus has figured out a way to put some command in, and if you're with us on YouTube, you put in exclamation mark marbles. We leave it open for 10 minutes, I'll finish up with Hacksaw or whatever we're doing. And then we have this marble race. So anyone on YouTube that put in exclamation mark marbles, gets a marble. So like for instance, Friday's show, we had like 275 marbles, and there's a program called Marbles on Stream that, you know, essentially everyone's got their name, it's got the name above it. We kind of do some fun commentary. And whoever wins, we give them a Winnipeg Sports Talk hoodie. But it has gotten so popular, and people like, plan their Fridays around it. That we'll have people checking in on the marble race on holidays in Mexico, and we've got guys- you'd like- I'll never forget. A dude had his wife text in, she goes, I can't believe this is happening. They're having a nice romantic dinner in Paris. With the time difference, it's like 10 o'clock there. And it's a picture of him watching the marble race from the table in their spots. So there's so many things we can do with YouTube, the portability of it is great. And I guess I'm not too familiar with the YouTube Premium, where I think you can- if you want to just listen to what's going on, you can do that. And I think some people do that. But I mean, we're still learning stuff all the time about, you know, what is possible, whether it be through podcasting, or through the YouTube channel, as we continue to grow. And I don't think that's going to change anytime soon because, as you know, probably better than anyone, Matt, being- doing this as long as you have, things do change, new things are available to people. And if you jump in on that, there can be some big, big benefits.

 

Matt Cundill  50:51

What do you use to stream?

 

Andrew Paterson  50:53

We use OBS Ninja.

 

Matt Cundill  50:55

It goes out to Twitter, too, right?

 

Andrew Paterson  50:57

No, no, we don't- we don't put it on Twitter. We kind of try to drive people to the YouTube channel. Like I don't really think that like- we obviously have a big Twitter presence. But I don't think- well, I'll put it this way. I don't know. It's never really seemed like there's a huge benefit to have it there. Like I'm not sure how that's measured, how it would count.

 

Matt Cundill  51:16

I mean, if YouTube's paying you money, let YouTube pay you money. Right?

 

Andrew Paterson  51:20

Exactly. At the end of the day, I mean, that's a good way to- to put it. But yeah, we use OBS Ninja. And that is from like Remus, before- like towards the end of the TSN days, he was getting involved in- in some streaming. So he was kind of learning that- learning the OBS program, playing like NHL Hockey at night, you know, you'd have 20, 25 people in watching him play, getting people in at his own little community there. So he knew that. So when he had to basically learn everything, I think he was looking for something that was similar to it. But the Ninja program is wild because I think it's a guy that just basically took OBS, tweaked it and built this. And every time over the last three years we've had an issue with some glitch or something like that, like he literally sends a message to the guy that built the thing. And 10 minutes later, he's got the thing back and done it. So God bless whoever it was that made that program. But it's great for us. I mean, there's all sorts of different streaming options. But this one, we started off with it. It's worked great for us. And now, you know, you've got someone, not me, but Remus behind the scenes that has worked with it for so long that knows it so well. I mean the ability to produce content even as- just as a two-man operation, continues to get better.

 

Matt Cundill  52:43

So as we are doing this, there's a video component to this. You've got your Chiefs shirt on, I've got my Bills hat on. Chiefs Bills every year all the time. They never play at Orchard Park, they'll probably play again this year. If they go- both go to the playoffs, they'll play again in Arrowhead. I believe next year, they'll probably move the game to Buffalo, I think, is what's due up next on the schedule. But for Winnipeg sports fans, I mean, your audience, whether it is on the radio, or it's as it is now online, what is the pecking order for what they like to listen to? So you're going to talk Jets, Jets would be one. That intersects often with NFL, when can you talk about that? The Bombers are obviously important for you know, some of the warmer months, that's going to be an easy one because there's not a lot of other sports going on. But how do you weave in stuff outside of the Jets, whether it's in season or out of the season?

 

Andrew Paterson  53:37

You know what, to me, it's not a lot different than I ever did, you know, back on 1290. I mean, you know, we- you know when you're coming to our station or our show, you know, the Jets stuff- I mean, that is the biggest driver. I mean, when the team's quiet, or in August when there's nothing going on, that's the slowest time of the year. Training camp comes up- even right now the team's on a four game heater. You see the numbers go up everyday, people are all fired up. Team gets waxed one night, and everyone's depressed and doesn't want to hear about how shitty they played the night before? Slower show. So I mean, there's no doubt that the Jets are the number one driver for us, and the Bombers are absolutely as well. And listen, the success that they've had, how they've grown their fan base, new people getting involved, and how great CFL players are to deal with and get on the show, has always been big. And that would be a solid number two. We still do try to mix in other local stuff. I mean, people aren't living and dying with the Goldeyes each and every day. But there's great characters. It's fun to have those guys on. We had a lot of fun with the Sea Bears last year when we have time. So I mean that will always be our priority. But again, like we've got two, two and a half hours of content every day. I mean like you said before, we can only talk about who the sixth defenseman is in the upcoming game, then the options for the coach, for so long. I mean, in a lot of ways, we'll give them that information. If people in the chat want to debate each other for an hour, have at 'er. But I kind of try to move away from the exact same thing about the exact same game. And listen, these people are sports fans, like just this week- I mean, obviously, we came in, everyone wanted to talk about the Otani Jays fiasco. And the media component of all of that. We've touched on that for the last couple days, and listen, the NFL- whether some people are CFL purists and don't want anything to do with it, and some people shit on the CFL. And ahh, I just like the NFL. I mean, at the end of the day, I'm a football fan. I love it all. So I want to talk about it. Like, for the most part, and I- and maybe this is part of the reason why I've been successful, but why it never really feels that much like work, is that a lot of the programming of what we're doing is pretty much an authentic reflection of what I'd be talking about with you if we were posted up at the wood at the Wind City, or BP or wherever. And I think that comes out. Like in the summer, we're going to talk the Jays quite a bit, especially when exciting things are happening. The NFL, we'll start with the Winnipeg stuff and make sure we cover it as well, and hopefully better than anybody else does. There's always time for the other big sports stories that that we've always been talking about.

 

Matt Cundill  56:33

Yeah, and with the apple and Spotify data, you can see where people fast forward through. So yeah, excellent. I don't think there'd be any competition of other media trying to say, oh, you can't have that guest, you're not a rights holder, blah, blah, blah, because there's really no other radio competition going on right now. So I don't think anybody would- I remember in the- Listen, we used to do that to you at Freak 107, we would block artists and guests from going over to your radio station. But for the most part, I don't think that exists anymore, right? Not

 

Andrew Paterson  57:02

Not really, like y'know, CJOB obviously is a big station and the rights holder. So at the start, I think they were maybe a little skeptical about like, okay, what- how is this going to affect us? Basically, I mean, that's kind of a question you always have to ask. I mean, the last few years, they've ended up having me on the pregame shows as- as you know- and I mean, you know, it's one of those things where, like, always like, hey, you come and do this for us. We're not gonna cut you a check. But I mean, it's great exposure. And I mean, Kelly Moore has always been very, very gracious with putting us over and letting people know where they can get it. And I mean, it's a great- because I do often get- like for people that have somehow missed that we started this up and what we're doing, I do occasionally get people going, hey, I heard you on the on the pregame show. That's awesome. Like, what is this thing that you're doing right now? And even when you have your biggest shows, there's still more people that don't know about it. So the more you can connect with people, and let them know how they can subscribe, how they can- they can check out the Daily Show, the better. So, but yeah, to your question. No. I mean- and I mean, listen, the Jets know that- and again, like, there's some people that will be- I'm Johnny talk show host. And I'm, you know, Mr. Neutrality. I've always been this way. I'm not a big J journo. I'm a Winnipeg guy that loves talking sports, that does it well. And I'll wear my heart on my sleeve. And when the Jets have a great game, I'll come in and I'm fired up like the people that I'm talking to are, and when they play like garbage, or Kyle Connor gets hurt, I'll be in with the same worries that everybody else has. And that to me, Matt, just comes down to trying to be authentic. Because I think in this sort of thing, if you're trying to be something that you aren't, people find out pretty quickly. And I don't know about you, but when I'm talking to someone, or they're talking to me, if I think I'm getting snowed or B.S.'d, I'm not that interested anymore.

 

Matt Cundill  59:04

Has anybody tried to buy you?

 

Andrew Paterson  59:06

Yeah.

 

Matt Cundill  59:06

And why did you say no to (edit)?

 

Andrew Paterson  59:07

Because I didn't really trust that everything would be maybe as it was being presented. I've seen too many things working. And I mean, listen, I basically went through this before, I just told you, I mean, like we went through a couple years where all of a sudden Bell came back to us and said, listen, we needed- we need to change this deal. You know, the terms were pretty good. But there was a bunch of things that we had started ourselves. We got a sponsor, and we went to the Super Bowl every year. Well, great. If you guys are gonna buy us and we're gonna go in. We're not taking a step back there. We're going to do our Jets trip every year. We're going to do the Super Bowl. We're going to do these things that we had established ourself. Yep, no problem, that's all in the deal. Well, you know what happened to that after a year or two. And I felt terrible. I mean, I know it wasn't my boss that was trying to BS us or lie or anything like that. But people above them didn't care, really. And what are we going to do, get into litigation like with them? I mean, it's just- it's a terrible position to be as an employee. So to be able to have come back to kind of where we started and own it ourself, have the success that we're having, there would have needed to be a really, really big upside to turn it over to somebody else. And the other thing that I did not have the confidence with, like, I think a lot of the sponsors that are with us, that have been with us from day one, or have come on before, like, they're obviously wanting to be a part of the show and get the word out. But it's also sort of an investment in me. They know that I will deliver their message, because I care. It's not like in radio where it goes through five different people, and sometimes the person reading the liner couldn't give a damn. Like, I'm personally invested in it, I want it to work for them, I want them to continue working with us, and that's been the key, why we've had so many people stay on with us, our approaching three years, I did not have the confidence that if all of a sudden, okay, fine, I'll just be doing the show. This is the deal. And you know, Johnny Salesman in Calgary is contacting people, like, I didn't have the confidence that that would probably work. And I also didn't think that maybe a lot of the people that I had been dealing with before, would maybe be in for the long haul, if that was a way. So we've got great relationships, we've been successful beyond what we could have expected, we continue to grow it- like unless there's a really good reason to turn it over to somebody else, I- you know, and this wasn't really a long discussion with myself and Remus, and, you know, they came back to us at the draft again last year, you know, after we'd grown more and wanted to it, but and I've got no ill will, I mean, it was flattering that they wanted to do it. But like with anything, I think that if you are going to create something yourself that you are so passionate about, and turn it over to someone else, you gotta be pretty damn sure that it's going to be better, it will help it forward. And I just didn't think that that was the case. Like I don't rule it out at some point down the road. But I mean, we just figured we still have so much more to grow. Why would we do it now? And things are going great. And we want to just continue on the- on the path that we've been taking.

 

Matt Cundill  1:00:13

So 2024, you got this company, and how many employees you have? Just the one with Michael?

 

Andrew Paterson  1:02:30

Just the one with Michael, we do have someone that we connected with as an intern through a program, Connor Rabchak, very talented young guy that I think is a lot of ways sort of the future of what we're doing. And sort of we worked it out that you know, kind of he'll do his thing, all the stuff that you need to do for school up until 2023. And we will definitely have a spot for him in 2024, potentially working with us on the Daily Show. He's putting out a Jets This Week right now that he does on Sunday night, that's ready for people to listen to in the morning. But really the next step for us is adding some additional programming around the flagship show, the Winnipeg Sports Talk daily that I'm hosting. So I mean, we're gonna have a couple of weekly things with a couple people that will- you know, again, won't be on every day, like my show is. But people will like, it'll be very connected, you know, and we'll have it on the channel there. And, you know, I'm really tight with Dustin Nielsen, I do the Lock Shop with him every day. The Edmonton guys just went through this last summer. And they know they've sort of kind of used our model to start Edmonton Sports Talk there. And a little bit- I mean, (a) he had two years to see us do this and kind of see what we were doing. It also happened at a time where they have a really talented producer, his partner, Tom Ghazola. So they're doing more progr- they start it off in the morning, at six to nine, they do the Nielsen show. And that would sort of be like their version of my show. That's their big show, but it's a morning show. Then they do the Hangout, then Dusty and I connect on the Lock Shop. And I think what will probably be- we will take that from being just on Edmonton Sports Talk to being on both of our channels. That leads into Winnipeg Sports Talk, and then adding some more programming around it. Because I mean, I think we've got a blueprint, we've got a continually growing audience, a very, very loyal bunch of listeners and viewers. I think we're finding out that there's definitely an appetite to be connected with good quality, local content for local businesses. So there's a nice potential to kind of grow both the involvement we have financially with partners and new partners, as well as get a few more people involved, even if it's not every single day.

 

Matt Cundill  1:04:52

And one of the things you're really good at is relationships. I don't think you can do anything in Winnipeg without relationships. At least when I first moved here within my first week Garth Bushko, who is the general manager at CJOB, told me that. That the city is built on relationships. And you pointed out that, you know, if your company went elsewhere, those relationships would be at risk. And you know, you're a couple of years in here. So year three is always a big one for any company. And I see- isn't it exciting, though, to be talking about growth instead of cuts?

 

Andrew Paterson  1:05:24

You know what, it's- Again, we don't really have anything to cut. We- we've been running a pretty short bench since we started. To use the analogy. But it is for sure. Like to go from, like, the last few years where it was just sort of like, you- you see these terrible indications, you see good, talented people getting shown the door, you see a company that really didn't seem to give a bleep about what we were doing. It's a hell of a lot different to be able to kind of create something, see it grow, and know that, I mean, it's not for somebody else, it's ours. And, you know, in that way as being so tied into this market, it's another reason why it didn't make sense to have people outside doing it. No one is going to be able to sell this better than me, no one is going to be able to, you know, create that connection with the people that are advertising with us, than the guy that's delivering it. You know, you make that relationship, you connect it, you deliver on what you're doing. You got a pretty good recipe for a long term- a long term success on a single relationship level. And if you do that, I mean, you know, you can think about growing into more programming, because you've got your other bases covered first.

 

Matt Cundill  1:06:44

Hustler, thank you so much for doing this.

 

Andrew Paterson  1:06:46

Hey, Matt, this was a lot of fun. I appreciate you.

 

Matt Cundill  1:06:48

Go Bills.

 

Andrew Paterson  1:06:49

Booooo.

 

Tara Sands (Voiceover)  1:06:50

The Sound Off Podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski. Edited by Chloe Emond-Lane. Social media by Aidan Glassey. Another great creation from the Sound Off Media Company. There's always more at soundoffpodcast.com.

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