Clayton Kroeker: Local & Social on the Prairies
Updated: May 31
Clayon Kroeker came out of Don Scott's Western Academy of Broadcast back in 2010 with eyes on becoming a sports commentator. Don suggested that he try FM Music to start as there are more opportunities avaiable. He landed the very coveted overnight position at GX94 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan which still believes in the power of overnight radio. Clayton then went on to work at Golden West Broadcasting in oil rich Estevan before landing in Saskatoon with Harvard owned Cruz 96.3.
In this episode, you will meet Clayton's dog Kipper and learn his back story. You will also hear about his search for the best chicken fingers. Much the same way Dave Portnoy at Barstool Sports rates Pizza, Clayton is a chicken finger aficionado. I did not ask him about his affinity for playing goalie, but we did discuss his relationship with the Saskatoon Blades where he is the intermission house announcer. He was actually re-acquired by the team.
We spoke about Clayton's quest to find the best Chicken fingers. He is making the quest social.
Here is the criteria:
“The Picky Eater Test”
“The Kipper Test”
“The Moe Test”
And His "Tendee Tips"
“The true Chicken Finger Aficionados know it’s all about the plum sauce.”
“You know it’s going to be good if it’s all tendees on the top and you can’t see any fries.”
“You know it’s good when the plum sauce is gone and you’re dipping the fries in there.”
“If it’s in a strip mall, it’s probably good food.”
“Don’t sleep on bowling alley or curling club food.”
“Make sure you put your plate at the end of the table. Lets your server know you’re done.”
“If a place has plastic cups, it’s going to be pretty good.”
“Don’t cross-sauce plum sauce and honey dill.”
“Do cross-sauce BBQ sauce and honey dill.”
“Veteran move: cut open your tendees, safety first. Don’t burn your mouth.”
“The fries, you know they’re going to be good when they have the potato skins on both ends still.”
And we found out that he is also the youngest in his family which means that he had to ride the piano bench for many large family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:01
Lochlin Cross. Should I have Clayton Kroeker on my podcast?
Lochlin Cross (Participant) 00:00:01
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:01
Clayton 963 CRUZ in Saskatoon. He does the mornings. He gets up earlier than you to do mornings. He does his prep for the show. Who does that? That's insane. Like, I do everything before I go to bed.
Lochlin Cross (Participant) 00:00:28
Like, I just finished my prep and.Just sent it to the boys. Yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:32
Yeah, I'll investigate. That's weird. That's not weird. Eggs for dinner is weird.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:00:41
The the Sound Off podcast podcast about broadcast with Mad Kuno starts now.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:50
This week I reached out to Clayton Kroeker from 96.3 Cruz FM in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is the province that was really created using a pencil and a ruler. Think I'm wrong? We'll just look at the map. Clayton, along with his co host Stacey Cooper, hosts the morning show, and they do a really good job. The attributes are all there local, social, and fun. I got a great idea about what's going on in Saskatoon, and I live a time zone away half the year, so I worked in a daylight savings time joke there. Clayton Croaker joins me from his home in Saskatoon.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:50
Tell me a little bit about the dog, because the dog has made some appearances on social media. Hashtag blind dog.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:01:32
Oh, yeah. Super blind dog. We got her just from a farm, and my brother had a chocolate lab, and they're just the best dog. So we got one from a farm from a Kajiji ad. And when she was like one, we just noticed he was winking in her eyes. She was always scratching at him. Her tear ducts just stopped working, so we had to basically just put her in, like, 25 drops, 30 drops a day, which was just a nightmare. Like, some drops are just painful and meant to try to re trigger the tear ducts and stuff. But one eye went, and the other one kind of got better. Then it got worse and just took both out, and she's way better now. She was, like, depressed, and she was sad when she had eyes, and now she's just kind of thriving as a blind dog. So that's good.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:11
What's your name?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:02:12
Kipper. We're big Flames fans, so named her after the most underrated Calgary flame of all time.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:17
What do I need to know about taking Kipper for a walk?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:02:21
She has two leashes. She has her good girl leash. So, like, that one doesn't extend. It's just your typical leash you get at any store, and then she knows, okay, I can't really go too far. But then we have one of those, like, 20 foot extended leashes, so if you, like, put it in front of her nose, she'd be like, okay, this is my fun time leash. And she can run around the field. And we got a big park by our house. And there's. Like. Bunnies and squirrels. And we just run for. Like. An hour and an hour after the show. And then an hour before bed. We just sniff her bunnies and she never catches any. Which is kind of sad. But she loves it at the same time when we have her her fun time leash and her good girl. You should call it. But you don't want to go with her because she'll run you. You'll lose weight running her after a week.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:00
So labs are known to be retrievers. Did you have any sort of hunting ambitions when you paired up with Kipper?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:03:06
None. No. Just cute. Cute dog. Not one of those little white yappy dogs. That's the dog we don't want. And she's perfect, even though she did lose her eyes. She's just a great dog. So my brother had a chocolate lab, and again, he got it for the same reason. They're pretty adorable. We're not really outdoorsmen, so no, we just got it for the cute factor.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:26
And if you pet them once and you're petting them at least for the next hour, right.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:03:30
You give one cheeto, half your bag is gone. We had Thanksgiving yesterday and she just posts up, just does her rounds around the table, just nice little sit, shake the paw. She puked on the carpets. I think yesterday after, I think the second Thanksgiving, she puked on the shoes there. So that was nice.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:46
Tell me about the time before you went to WABC and really committed to broadcasting. Did you know you were going to get into broadcasting?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:03:53
I kind of knew when I was ten. I do the play by play for my brothers, like mini sit games in the basement and for road hockey and stuff like that. I really wanted to get into sports at the start. I kind of wanted to be the next Darwinian. He was from Saskatchewan. I wanted to be like him. But then when I went to WABC and realized how much fun it was just kind of right now, I absolutely love that. So I kind of fell in love with the more typical radio station jock side of it and the sports side of it. I also saw that sports jobs are few and far between and it's rare to land a good sports gig. So I kind of played the odds and took the overnight gig in York, didn't I was going to go to WBC to pursue sports. At the end of the day, Don't Scott convinced me that it's a force to be on air as a DJ.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:32
That's interesting that that came up. I'm really thinking to myself here, I mean, Darren Petition had a career in Edmonton at ITV, and then it was a big deal when he went to TSN in Toronto and lo and behold, there is he's back again at it.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:04:45
I know. I was pumped when he came out saying that he's battling cancer. I think everyone in the sports world knows Darren nutrition, right? Bang. I mean, how do you not know Dutchie? And then when he was back, it was like old times. Him and Jennifer hedger on the desk. They were so good together. Just the chemistry back and forth, the silliness with the professionalism. At the same time, I really like them on the desk together.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:04
And your love for sports obviously hasn't waned at all as you managed to work some sports into what you do. But when you finish WABC, where did.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:05:11
You go first gig York did in Saskatchewan during the midnight to 06:00 a.m. Shift. I think it still exists. I think they're one of the few stations that still goes 24 hours. If not, they have an evening show host the Saturday night get together GX 94. Some legendary broadcasters have started there, just cranking out the poketoons for the farmers in that area is such a cool station. A lot of people have started there. Some of those old school stations with tons of stuff on the wall, a lot of history. Best place to start if you ever had a chance to start in New York. And the community loves that radio station. It's just cool to be a part of. Plus, I won the NFL pics one time, so I'm enshrined forever on the plaque up there, so that's a nice little feature. But it's a shame you don't really see those overnight gigs. There was no commercials. It was just me and the music and the 03:00 news egg report, which you could not get off time. You had to be within 15 seconds time and out there, or else the farmers would get mad. But great gig overnight gigs, man. You don't see them anymore, and it's a shame.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:07
Yeah, I can only think of two off the top of my head, but why is there an all night gig in Yorkton?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:06:13
Well, it's such a big farming community, and there's so many farmers calving or harvesting overnight, and they need that crop report. They need the weather report, they need to be entertained. They need some people to talk about movember and their mustaches. They need some people to talk about the terriers versus the millionaire's SG h o rivalry. Right. They need someone there. Plus, there's a big mining community, too, with potash here in Saskatchewan, and there's a lot of people working those night shifts, working the shift work. Where the overnight announcer again? It's their friend. And there was no commercials at the time. When I was there, it was every two songs crack the mic and hope for the best kind of thing. This is a 20 year old redheaded kid just slinging tunes on the radio. Looking back, it was the best job I've ever had to this day. Yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:55
Thinking back a couple of weeks ago, I was in green bay, Wisconsin, where they do have the all night shift on wixx 101 in the market. I think it's just fantastic that there are radio stations that say, you know what? The weather's important, and three in the morning is just as important as seven in the morning.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:07:11
I mean, I get syndicated shows, right? They sound great. There's a reason they're syndicated, because they're talented people. But at the same time, I kind of miss a college intern out there struggling through the weather. Right? That's how you learn. That's how you figure it out. And those are the wacky radio bits that you kind of don't hear anymore from these young jocks. Just learning. And that's where you learn, is the overnight shift. And it just seems like now it's the cheaper option to outsource it and get it from somewhere else.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:36
Actually, I don't think it is. I would argue that it's better to make those mistakes in Yorkton at three in the morning than it is to make it in Calgary at three in the afternoon. But speaking of which, what mistakes did you make overnight?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:07:47
It was the second week I brought a water into the studio, and again, this I'll never bring water near the board or anything. I spilt it on the phone lines and if it wasn't harvest season, it wouldn't be a big deal. But harvest season is supper in the field. So you call in the morning at 07:00, and if you get through or your call or whatever, you get this big huge supper taken out to your field. It's a really big deal. And the phone lines weren't working because I completely roasted them at three in the morning. So I had to call our tech engineer guy at three. He lived on a farm about 20 minutes outside the station. He had to come in and fix it, do all the soldering work. Again, I'm the new guy. I just started two weeks in and I almost ruined like the biggest promotion, supper in the field. That was a big mistake. And you don't mess with the farm stuff there. You can mess with anything else at an Am station in Saskatchewan, but once you start messing with the egg stuff and messing with the farmers, that's when you're going to get the nasty emails.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:40
As we record this, we're just coming off Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. It's October. I guess this would be the busiest time of the year for you then, at that station.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:08:49
Oh, yeah. If you're a GX 94, you're working pretty hard during harvest season. There's probably one supper in the field every week for two months. And they go out there and it's a time and a half, like they put out a bunch of tables for you. They got a bunch of beers like GX 94. They have a station RV. That's how kind of cool it is. So all the staff members piling this RV and it's all decked out and everything, and they were all to one of these farms, and they got GX 94 flags. They can throw in their tractors and everything, and it really is a hoot. And then they got junior a hockey too. There's three teams that they broadcast shout out Betty Walchuck, he's like the busiest sports guy in the country. As play by play for three teams, they have this hockey season ramping up. You got all these egg promotions and live on locations. It was such a cool first radio station to work for because it just, it kind of reminds you of back in the day of how radio kind of ran the old school ways. There was just so much hustle and bustle.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:42
What was your next gig after Yorkshire?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:09:44
Esteban, Saskatchewan. In the height of the oil boom, like 2011, 2012. I was making a grand a paycheck, but my rent was like twelve hundred dollars a month. It was the same. I had to be the cart boy at the golf course during ladies night just to make ends meet, like just to afford groceries and stuff like that. There's not a lot of going to the bar because you couldn't afford beers. Just pick up a case of Lucky and go to someone's house and play some shell. That was basically it. But it was also just focused on the radio, like, hey, let's kind of get out of here. Again. I loved Esteban. And I loved Lyle McGilvery. And I loved Barry Weiss, who just won that awesome award as WAB. And it was great, right? But Esteban is a tough town, and it was an expensive town, a transient town where people just want to get in and out. It was kind of like last Chance you the Netflix show about junior college football. It was kind of like, okay, you get in and you get your experience. You work for a great station, you get out. But I got to launch a radio station there, rock 106. I got to be the first voice there. And looking back on that, it was just tough work. You did all the logs, you did all the producing, you did everything for Golden West station. It just made me a way better broadcaster, but it was just tough living in the nest of ancient sketchwood and making pennies.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:55
I always ask this question to people who worked at a Golden West radio station and that's tell me about what you learned from the digital side of the business and that it's more than just the transmitter and the microphone.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:11:07
You learn that they're pretty early on like, okay, you got to do a blog a day, you got to update this, you got to update that. And they really kind of incorporated it well. It's just also with that small town kind of vibe as well, right? They want it to be uber local, super local. And I think it might have been I might have been there right at the time that they were just starting to integrate all the digital stuff. I think I left around 2013 ish, but it's hard work, man. Working at a Golden West station. You do a lot of roles. You're doing some double duties and stuff like that. But the people are great. There's always just young, ambitious people working at Golden West stations.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:39
Why do prices for rent and food and labor get out of control in oil towns? It has to start somewhere. And I know this seems like it's kind of a silly question that I should know the answer to, but you obviously work with people who are getting a lower salary than people who are pulling oil out of the ground. So where does that start?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:11:59
I don't know. That's above my pay grades. Math. I couldn't tell you that one. But when you make more money, when everyone in town is making a lot of money, it seems like you can charge more because everyone's making oil rigor money. Everyone's making six figures. And it's like, no, man. Like, a lot of people in town or who do you think is working at the AEW? Who do you think is working at this place? Right. Again, great, hardworking people. I've never seen generosity at a silent auction like I have an Estevan, Saskatchewan. These companies, then they throw around big dollars for great causes like the hospital they have there, and being a part of some of the Radio thorns and teletons there. They have big hearts and rules to sketch out in towns like that. They don't need a ton of money. It's tough to work radio there because radio, you're not making a bunch of money, and it costs a lot of money to work in towns like that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:12:45
What came next for you?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:12:46
Again, because of money, my visa was maxed out. It was winter, so my cart boy job was gone. I made great tips doing that job, by the way. That was a good gig. But I ran out of money, and I thought I didn't want to quit Radio. I just thought, like, man, I can't continue living here. I've been there for a year and a half. I had interviewed the Goat twice, and I just didn't get them, and it was devastating. I always wanted to work at the Goat so bad. So many people I looked up to work there, the launching station. Everyone kind of knows the Goat in western Canada. And I got rejected twice. And I was just like, Dang it, right? It just kind of came at the end. I was like, you know what? I'm going to take a break. I'm going to move home. My dad wasn't doing so well. He was kind of bedridden with some back problems. This timing was right to go home. And then it just kind of worked out that Andrew Beckler left his job in Saskatoon. I grew up two blocks away from Andrew Beckler. He works at X 92 in Calgary and sent me a message one day. He's like, man, you want my job? All gal put in a good word. So after that I've been in Saskatoon ever since. So I kind of owe everything to that guy.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:45
Tell me, what is it like getting up at three in the morning in Saskatoon in the winter?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:13:50
Sucks. Sucks. I can't even lie. There was one day I couldn't even make it into work because it was like four foot snowdrifts. Like it was insane. This winter storm we got last year and it's definitely tough because you get there at three like 315 and the sun is not coming up till late and you are just you're in the dark in our building. It's like 100 year old building downtown Saskatoon and you hear the wind just coming through the cracks and there are some warnings you just don't want to do it. It is cold, your car won't start, whatever. It's brutal. But also though, it's like when 1030 rolls around, you're good to go and you can finish all your errands with no lines no nasty winter traffic. Like, that's the thing. You're driving in the middle of the day with no hectic city traffic in the winter. It's the roads that's the worst part. Like the icy roads, the collisions, the fender benders. It's not a fun town in the winter, but let me tell you, in the summer, let's place parties.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:42
I had a similar opportunity to do that in Edmonton and the lack of sunlight was a concern for me. Getting up at that hour of the day to go in to do a morning show. I was going to be in the dark a lot and I knew that wasn't good for me. So what do you do to keep your mental health fit?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:14:58
Well, I'm a ginger, so the sun is basically poisoned to me anyway, so I'm a vampire in that way. So I don't care. I don't really care about the lack of sunshine. That's actually a perk for me. Believe it or not, it just gets a little sad sometimes you've got to treat yourself like that parts of that episode, right? Treat yourself whether it be just a fancy coffee in the morning or buying the namebrand granola bars instead of the cheap ones as a snack in the morning something like that. Because I find if you're just going to rid yourself of all the joys like there's no joy 350 in the morning -45 with the windshield you know your whole show is just going to be canceled bus reports and people calling in about wanting people to put their lights on like it's going to be a nightmare day. So just treat yourself with something nice so a beverage, a snack something because man sometimes it can get to you.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:46
In just a moment we're going to talk to Clayton about show prep those inhouse appearances with the Saskatoon Blades. And what's with the chicken fingers. Clayton loves them and he's kickstarted a campaign to find the very best. You can see more of that local and social content on our website now, as well as help yourself to a transcript of this firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Burke (VO) 00:16:08
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Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:16:08
The Sound Off podcast
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:08
for anybody. That you meet for the first time. Tell them about 96 three Cruise FM.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:16:27
I'd say that we're an old school station and I hope that they appreciate that. We're just playing stuff from all over the place. Like we're playing we're playing a lot of 90 stuff lately, which is what I really, really like. We're mixing in a lot of like audio slave and we're mixing in Space Hog and E Six and just some sneaky banger kind of tunes at the same time, playing all the classic rock staples. But I like that. Like our afternoon guy Dave Music Morgan, legendary voice in town. He's been working here since like the so we got the landmark voice, the silly morning show. That's not going to be just your typical, like, oh, it's National Lefthanded Raccoon Day. Tell us about your favorite left handed raccoons. Like, no, we're going to be really, really local, but we're not going to be all here's, our views. We're just going to be silly. That's the thing. There's not a lot of just silly shows anymore. We're just going to be really silly. And we kind of embrace being the silly stepchild station in town. That's kind of our thing.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:19
It's been a bit of a Harvard broadcasting thing and that's to stay away from the cliche. Notice that in Edmonton as well at X 92 nine. And I think Christian Hall had a lot to do with creating smarter broadcasting rather than what's your favorite flavor of chips? And it's National Lefthanded Raccoon Day, and let's see what we can do to just make the phone swing. So walk me through a little bit of your show prep routine.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:17:43
Well, I think the big thing is with Harvard, like, they trust all their own air staff. They're always just like, man, you got an idea, do it. You don't even run it by us, just do it. They trust all their own air announcers because they go into it hiring, knowing that they're talented people. We just hire solid quality people. And that's the thing across the board. You look at Harvard's line up the stations like the Play brand in Regina and Edmonton. I love their playlist. I love their own air staff. In Regina. It's the talk of the town. There ex in Red Deer. And Calgary obviously do great. And Cruz and Edmondson, man, their morning show is great. And I just like what Harvard does because they trust their own air staff to just be weird, be your wacky self. No one sound the same. Everyone sound different across the board. And that's what I loved about Christian Hall. He hated that fill in the blank kind of stuff. Just dig deep, get creative, get a little weird. You're going to miss every bit. Is not going to be a home run, but man, the odd one is going to be and those are the things that people remember. So that's what I really like about Harvard, is that they trust you just to come up with some wacky show prep. And I'll just I'll send an email to Stacy with eight or nine things. She'll send an email to me, eight or nine things. We cipher out the weird garbage stuff that might just be trash. And then we just come up with the show. And sometimes we call an audible at the line like, hey, and Matting. Sometimes we sometimes are struggling. Sometimes there's too much prep. It's just weird prep and radio show, man. Again. Some days you're just going to have the bus cancellation show, and then what can you do? But other days, you're just so excited to do a show because the prep is so good.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:09
Do you think the music on Cruise is a lot easier to program than it was maybe five or six years ago where there's less of a playbook and a little more creativity that is infused now?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:19:19
Definitely. Because before, you're just kind of pigeonholed, right? You can talk to your blue in the face about Karen Cone rules and how it should be lowered or whatever, right? But I mean, there are some songs where it's a battle. You're like, people get it, man. You're working for the weekend. We get it. You've heard it over and over again. You're sunda struck. But now that we have the freedom to just be just open up the playbook a bit more. Just play those deep cuts like we always have, like these deep dive tracks where we just go to the B side or something and play it randomly. Those are the songs that people remember. People text us being like, I haven't heard this song on the radio since 82, right? And then no one texts in saying, oh, man, black Betty again. Awesome. I love hearing that, right? No one texts in saying that. People text in saying, oh, man, Spacehog. Haven't heard that in a long time. That's awesome. Made my day. So that's what we try to do, just more deep cuts, because I think people appreciate that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:20:09
What's the trick to getting on with a co host like Stacey every morning? Because we mentioned 03:00 A.m., we mentioned the amount of show prep that goes in. But what's the key to getting on and making a successful show with a co host?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:20:22
You just got to get lucky and have a gym. She's an absolute gym. She's an awesome mom. She's an awesome friend. She's a really good person. We balance each other out really well. Like, kind of back to our prep. My prep is weird. My prep is out there. I have what you call Inside Joker I have jot note prep, so that will be like no link from a website in there, just something from my brain, just something random and observation that that's just a jot note, right? And then she'll cover more of the topical day to day. Okay, this is a link. This is something interesting I found. Let's talk about this and the way that we kind of go back and forth through that in the show. It just complements each other really well, right? So it's kind of the typical morning show, right? I'm the typical kind of silly goofball that loves sports, but she's also got the goofball personality as well. It's a silly radio show where we can both kind of just chirp each other. Like, we just started to chirp each other a lot, but in a fun way. And think that's when you know you got a good co host, a good show going back and forth, when you could just start giving each other the gears about stuff, that's your best content.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:21
You haven't given up sports really all that much. You don't get to call the game, but you're the in house host for the Saskatoon Blades. That's a lot of games. That's a lot of time. That's a lot of evenings. I can see you getting home around 1011 o'clock at night, and then you've got to get up early.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:21:36
And it's worth it, though. Go Blades, go. I'm from Saskatoon. I do radio in my hometown. So I was going to the Blades games when I was like six or seven years old, watching Darcy Horticuk just beat the crap out of people, watching devon said, a gucci, just light the lamp. It was awesome. And I get to work the games. I've been doing it for like six or seven years now. I really like it. Just chucking shirts in the crowd, like, don't want to brag or anything. I have the best arm in the dub. Any other incident announcers come at me, whatever, but it's really fun. I encourage any young broadcaster out there. If you have a junior A hockey team or junior B, whatever, get involved with them, because that's how you get those community relationships through the sports teams. Everyone in those small towns that have radio stations, they all love the sports team. They all love the local sports. The people who are in the know, in the community, they all love that hockey team. So somehow get on board with them because that could be a good stepping stone in your career.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:27
Tell me about compensation, though. Should they do it for free at first?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:22:31
No, never. Oh, no. Even though well, you know what? I bet you have places like Flynn fan. I would do it for free at Flynn Faun. If I got to be the instant announcer at the zoo for a game, count me Ed Men. That's the bucket list place to watch a hockey game. But there's a time. And a place, I think, to do free stuff. Right. And the time and the place is very rare, both of them, but it's something that could be considered if it's going to be big for your career. But at the same time, doing a four hour hockey game for free? Absolutely not. Probably when you're working a wonky shift and you're overworked at the station as it is, don't be shelling out your talent for free, doing the instant stuff, that's a big game. You're adding a lot to the game, and you deserve to be compensated for it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:12
Whenever you say Flintline, I can't get past. I think Reggie Leech.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:23:15
I think Bobby Hall. I think I think moose legs on the ice, first of all. Well, that's what comes to mind first. That's what they do in the playoffs when they win, they chuck a moose leg on the ice. If you've never heard of the Whitney Forum, you got to look it up. It's the most legendary bar in Canada.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:29
Tell me about Steve Hogle. How's he doing?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:23:31
He's a gem, man. I'm a big fan of him. We miss him at the Blades, at Emmett. Now I think he's with the River Hawks, the baseball team. They're doing just great work. Just a stand up guy, nice guy. You do a lot of community events, a lot of charity stuff with this job, and you see him at every single one. He'd always want to be a part of it. The Saskatoon Blades, they have some good characters, some good people in the community, and he was one of them. And, yeah, when he left, he was sad for everybody. He missed that guy.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:55
Steve Hogle used to work as the news director at CFRN in Edmonton, spent many years in Saskatoon working with the Blades, and has now gone back to Edmonton. So good to hear he's doing well and that you got to know him because he's a great guy.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:24:07
I know he was always so nice to the radio guys, and I never understood why. And then I realized he was a past journalist, media guy. So it's like, okay. He used to love just chatting up about the gossip of what's going on in town with radio and stuff like that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:20
So, yeah, he would walk across the hall and talk to Marty Forbes and Cub Carson and myself, and we had a great rapport with the people from CFRN Television back in the day. We were not owned by the same people, but we would often share the same cafeteria and lunch together. So became good friends.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:24:36
Great set of hair, too. All naturally, he doesn't do that himself. That's just natural curls there.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:41
Tell me about your infatuation with chicken fingers.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:24:44
I have dug myself into this whole mat like I'm a super picky eater. Groku is a very, very picky eater. So I just ate chicken fingers everywhere we went out to eat. And who doesn't love chicken fingers, right? Like chicken fingers, fries, they're all going to be good. It's like pizza. Even when it's bad, chicken fingers are still pretty good. So we were just thinking of promotions we could do myself, my cohost, Stacey, and our program director, assistant program director. We went out and we're just thinking of ideas. Well, these pizza reviews online always do well with this port and my guy. Why don't we just do something along that, like just review of food or something like that? We don't want to steal ideas. It's been done. But like, we'll put our own spin on it. I don't know. Let's just do it super serious with chicken fingers. Went to the strip mall pub, which, again, strip mall pubs are the best pubs. Never sleep on those. But the one that I just grew up across the street from, like, it's called Mr. Ribs. And it's just this dive bar I grew up across the street from went in there eight chicken fingers. Filmed myself doing it, gave them an eight six. And it has like 2600 views on TikTok now. And everyone was like, oh, go here next, go here next. Our sales team got a hold of it. They're sending out to restaurants, making appointments. Has like a million views now. And I'm just pigeonholed as the chicken finger guy. I've been working here in town for ten years. I got recognized like, twice. And that was being for like, oh, you Hendrick Sadine. Are you Daniel Sadine? No, never mind. And now in the past two weeks, I've been Chicken Finger Guy, like 25 times. I'm filling up with gas. You're that chicken finger guy, aren't you? That's my legacy. That's how I'm going to get a street named after me here. I'm going to just be Chicken Finger Guy because I've gone to 15 places now and I got like ten more lined up. It's insane. I have like 20 messages a day in my Instagram. People tell me where to go. It's awesome. I mean, I'm getting chicken fingers three, four times a week and I'm living the dream. But it's one of those things that just proves the silly, stupid ideas, they can go a long way if you just put a little effort into it. And it's turned into a monster. Man, people are critiquing me and ripping my reviews, saying I don't know what I'm talking about and saying I'm an idiot. And I'm like, man, it's just chicken fingers. Like, relax.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:26:46
Why is it that picky eaters always default to chicken fingers and pizza? Like, no picky eater ever says, man, I don't like chicken fingers and pizza. But every picky eater says, I just like chicken fingers and pizza because they're delicious.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:26:59
First of all, I think the chicken fingers is because it's so safe, right? It's dry, it's not saucy. The food's not touching each other. You can separate it. It's a safe bet. You can dip it if you want. To and pizza's. Pizza, right. I mean, pizza food. Power ranking is the undisputed number one there forever. So after this, I might do a pepperoni pizza one, too because that's my second favorite food. So after I eat 40 more plates of chicken fingers, maybe we'll go back and do that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:24
Is it okay to dip your chicken finger into a dill sauce?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:27:29
I'm not a big dill guy. Like, I hate pickles. If I eat pickles, I'll throw up. I'm not a big pickle guy. The mystery brine juice that sits there, how long has it been sitting there? You don't know. So I'm not a big pickle guy. So, like here in Saskatchewan, honey dill, manitoba and Saskatchewan honey dill sauce is like the go to for chicken fingers. I'm a plum sauce guy. I love plum sauce, but Honeydale is growing on me. The thing is bad. Honey dill is real bad, but real good. Honey dill is real good. That in between stuff is just kind of like in between plum sauce still pretty good. Plum sauce in between honey dill sauce. No. This is the kind of stuff you learn after eating 15 plates of chicken fingers in 17 days, trying to think.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:10
About what the next most Canadian food could be in that part of the world where you live. And I'm not going to say watermelon because that's what Rough Rider fans put on their heads. But I'm thinking about the small town Chinese restaurant because you mentioned plum sauce.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:28:25
I'd say pierogis are the next kind of more Canadian food here in this neck of the woods. I'd say a pierogi eating contest, something like that. You're seeing them all the time. My wife had them for lunch. Everyone here has a bag of frozen Perugis in their freezer. It's just kind of what you do. But, man, those small town Saskatchewan Chinese restaurants, every single small town Saskatchewan town has one. And you might think, wow, this is probably the worst food in the world. Nene it is the best food. You will have the ginger beef at any small town Saskatchewan Chinese restaurant. It's going to be amazing. The soups, everything. I'm telling you, amanda's egg rolls. Like, something about small town Chinese restaurants, man, they're just different. But you got to know what to order.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:29:06
You do a lot of TikTok. You do a lot of social media. You spend a lot of time contributing to that. But what still excites you about radio?
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:29:15
Every day I hate doing a cliche. Every day is a different answer. It truly is. Every day is just like one day you're talking about this random place you went for chicken fingers and how the tippy point of the triangle wasn't as crunchy as the other place. Right? You're just being silly. And the next day you might be talking about something that's actually affecting the city, like this new garbage pickup system they have in Saskatoon. They want you to pick a size a bin. Now, before was just one size a bin, and now they're introducing three. You can save money by getting a smaller one, but will you actually save money? And then you can talk about an actual grown up conversation that people are passionate about, that people are going to call in that people really care about. And you realize, like, man, I've gotten 30 texts about this topic. People actually care about what's being said on the radio. That's what kind of fires me up every day. There's always those people who are like, who listens to the radio. No one does that. Well, people do. And like, we have evidence from the text messages and people that like our show and like the topics that we talk about, whether they be something that relates to their everyday lives or whether it be just a stupid bit if we're ripping off a hinterland who's who or something like that. I love the fact you can be silly. You can kind of be serious. There are so many avenues to be creative in this industry, and there's so many avenues to do so many different things, like sports, on air news. There's just seems like so many possibilities. You can do so much in this kind of line of work that it's kind of exciting every day.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:35
Well, keep up the good work. You and Stacey do a great job every morning. And congratulations on keeping daylight savings away from Saskatchewan.
Clayton Kroeker (Guest) 00:30:43
Hey, we do what we can here. Pawdash week to daylight savings start. And that's what Saskatchewan does. All right, man.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:48
That's awesome. Thanks a lot for doing this.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:30:50
The the sound off podcast written and hosted by Matt Cundill, produced by Evan Surminski. Social Media by Courtney Krebsbach Another great creation from the the soundoff media company. There's always email@example.com