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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Dani Stover: It's Her Coming Out of the Speakers

Updated: May 31, 2023


The last time we had Dani Stover on the show, she was between opportunities and wondering what her relationship with radio should be shaped like. It turns out that she has answered that question and the answer is a new role in the evenings on 640 Toronto. Over the last while she has been producing alongside daytime host Kelly Cutrara and now Dani takes control of 7-10pm in the region on 640 Toronto, 900 CHML Hamilton and 980 CFPL in London.


In this episode, Dani and I dive into what we expect to hear in the evenings in Toronto, why this position is the best one for her right now and what we can expect when she launches the new 640 Toronto Podcast in the coming weeks or months. We also dug into the silliness of social media and what constitutes the right amount of usage for her needs.


In addition, Dani is also launching her own podcast! On February 22, 2023, she'll start bringing you updates on the biggest stories in Toronto from her show, Today In TO. It's a great way to stay caught up amid the hustle and bustle of Canada's biggest city. Check out the trailer below:

 

When Life Gives You Parkinsons

Shoutout to Larry Gifford who is the lead of News/Talk content at Corus. His When Life gives You Parkinsons Podcast deserve your attention and I would like to personally thank him for inspiring me to do the Sound Off Podcast. His Radio Stuff podcast came before this one and encouraged me to start this. ~Matt



 

Transcript:

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:01

We had Dani Stover on the show 18 months ago in an episode called Sunshine and Shade. Dani was in between gigs at the time, and the episode we did was super refreshing and revealing. She was candid about her views about radio and the relationship she has with it. Yes, I know it sounds very silly when you put radio in those terms, but Betty Davis once told Larry King that it was not possible for him to stay married with a mistress like broadcasting always getting in the middle. For the record, Larry King was married eight times to seven women. Anyhow, Dani's back to refresh us all once again. She spent the last little while working at Corus-owned 640 in Toronto as a producer, and is now back on the air as the evening host. The show also airs at Corus stations in Hamilton and London. Dani Stover returns to the Sound Off podcast from her home studio in Toronto. Do you remember what we spoke about last time?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:00:57

I do. I've actually listened to that episode a couple of times. I think when it comes up, when you post it, I'll usually give it a little listen, and it's an episode that I quite like. And I can't say that about every episode that I've been on of someone else's podcast.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:10

I like it because there was a lot of honesty in it, and a lot of people do not want to come on this show when they are in between jobs because they don't have anything to currently talk about. They're only talking about the past, and sometimes they don't really know exactly where they're going next. So they don't want to jeopardize that, because some prospective employer could be listening and saying, well, that's not exactly what we want to do. So thank you for your bravery coming on at that point.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:01:33

Yeah, I think at that point, I honestly didn't care anymore. I was just like, you know what? This is me. I can't pretend that this isn't me, and this is how I'm showing up. So at that time, I had just- I think I was, like, in early stages of maybe getting a contract position at 640 Toronto. So that was very behind the scenes. But jumping into that role was interesting, and I learned so much. And I say that I filled out my producer bingo card, because I think I actually produced for almost everybody- or was asked to produce for almost anybody- on the Corus network for a while, and it was really fun. And then just recently, I found myself from behind the scenes to behind the microphone hosting my own show.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:11

I love that. And without really knowing, I saw the press release for you getting the new show, and I thought, oh, I just assumed she'd been out of radio all that time. And I didn't really sort of know as much about the fact that you were producing all these shows. And I have this down as a question. So what does producing a show for talk radio today entail?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:02:30

It depends on the host. But I was working a lot with Kelly Catrera and she's wonderful, she's a pro. Showing up and working for her every day was kind of like watching a master class, because she puts on this live show for 3 hours every day, and she's got a good variety of guests and a good variety of topics she likes to cover. So basically we'd get together and determine kind of the day's stories. I'd look through news, I'd send her like, hey, how about this guy? Or how about this gal? Or how about this person on this story? And so we're just kind of piecing together how the day will look. Trying to book guests. It's a lot of emailing, it's a lot of back and forth, it's a lot of, send me your number. Do you want to do Zoom? What time can you do? And fitting things together. It's a lot of schedule math, and then once you're done, you got to do it all again the next day. So it's kind of that loop. However, there are parts of the day that are very tantalizing when you get like a, yep, sure, can do it. And when that happens, it can feel very triumphant, maybe is the word I'm looking for. But it was fun. I loved it. It felt like I was really sinking my teeth into something. And I could also hide behind the host a little bit, so I felt very protected.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:32

Tell me a little bit about who's at home and who's not at home, because I've completely lost track about who's working from a home studio and who's actually working at the main studio.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:03:41

We're trying to bring people back. So- We. Like I have no control. They are trying to bring people back to the office. So for me personally, I am in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday to start. I do have a great home studio. For someone like Kelly, she would be encouraged to come in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday as well. But she had been working from home the whole time. So were many of the hosts, as far as I know. I've seen the back of John Oakley at the studio, so he's there. But I think there's kind of a hybrid expectation right now and that seems to be working for people. I can't see people coming back full time. It's just it's too nice not having to go to the office. It's weird.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:20

So I had lunch with somebody in Winnipeg yesterday who is working as well, at Corus, and saying I think we're going to be moving to some form of hybrid. But I'm trying to think, what's the upside for the show? What's the upside for the host? What's the upside/downside for the producer? It's weird because we've all gotten so used to it. And how long does it really take to get used to something? It takes about 1000 days. And here we are. We are 1000 days past the start of the pandemic. So we've all gotten really, really entrenched with home studios and working from home. And I wonder what that relationship is like, traveling all the way into work. And when you get there, I'm thinking, what else can we do to utilize that space?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:05:01

Yeah. So Corus Key, where 640 Toronto lives, is a beautiful facility. Like, ho-lee.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:10

It has a slide.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:05:11

It has the slide, it has the living wall. It has the beautiful view of Sugar Beach. It's embarrassingly lovely. It does feel a little sterile, and right now it's kind of empty. However, because I've been developing this new show and I've been working collaboratively with other folks who are showing up at the office every day, it does kind of feel nice. Like, it feels like, oh, this allows us to work together. It allows us to be like, yo, how about this? What do you think of this idea? And not have that be in an email. There's a lot of things that- because I did both, I worked remotely. Even prior to the pandemic, I was doing the BlogTO podcast fully from home. So I had my home studio set up and then I got this job, was onboarded remotely. Didn't meet Kelly Catrera, worked with her for a year and a half. Only met her for the first time like two weeks ago. So, like, I was fully remote and I loved it. I felt my work life balance was nice. Didn't mean that I was not sitting at my computer like an ogre at 06:00 P.m.. Like, please email me back. That still happened. But going into the office, I think I felt very exposed. I felt very like, how do I show up here? Do I look the same? Like, I just- all, a bunch of weird things went through my head. So I do think there's a benefit to working in the office. There's that collaborative energy, I think, for the show that we're making right now, which is, Let's Talk with Dani Stover, my first plug. It is very collaborative. There is that kind of creativity. And we do benefit from being in the same space so that we can bounce things off of each other. I love working at home. I love my cozy house. I love that my dog has me home all day. And having said that, I think it's beneficial for me to have the option to do both. And I live 15 minutes away from Corus Key. Life is good.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:50

I love that. And how long into the conversation with Kelly did you get before you both realized it was the first time you'd met each other?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:06:59

Well, we knew. We were like, I think we're going to meet this week, over text. And then we saw each other. We did the classic, oh, my God, I love your pants. Oh my God, you're so tiny. You're just the woo girls.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:12

You're not like your profile picture.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:07:14

Which is all business, or hands on face. The classic like, you can trust me, the fists under the chin look.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:21

And here you go. I get the press release, and off you go with a brand new evening show goes from seven to ten. And I don't want to call it a best of, but it does deal with a lot of the content from earlier in the day. Somebody referenced it as a best of, and I feel that's not appropriate and it kind of cheapens what it is, because your news content is constantly evolving, so you're just dealing with that evolved content at that time.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:07:43

I'm not mad about a best of. It's funny, I kind of set it up similar way of, like, it's a clip show, but don't call it a clip show. We're pumping out content all day long. It's actually amazing. I know radio gets a bad rap. I know talk radio, whatever. I even felt weird about talk radio at the beginning of my career, and then I've naturally kind of found my way into this space and I love it. I had a friend say to me, like, oh, you're working in talk radio. That must be so boring. And I'm like, My brother, I've never been bored a day in my life here. And it's true. So this show allows me to listen to content from throughout the day. I have- my magic power is being able to add context, is being able to sit with it, think about it, turn it over in my brain. And then somehow they've trusted me to attach my opinion or attach my thoughts or just lay it out for people. And I've had to really lean into the trust that I have for myself. It's maybe a slightly more conservative station than I am. So there are challenges, but also, like I said, we're pumping out content, we're talking to amazing guests, there are opinions, there are conversations, there are discussions happening every minute of the day. And so it is a best of show. This is some of the best stuff that we've put out during the day, and we think you should hear it again, because it's still in the cycle or there's a new way to approach it. And so that tickles my little producer brain too, because it allows me to ask the question, okay, well, if this is true, then what else is true? Or, okay, well, you said that, and you said that. Well, let's lay out both of those conversations side by side and give you kind of a cross section of what this topic is really about. And so I love doing that stuff.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:18

I hear the words talk radio, and the only thing I think in my head are old white men banging the table, talking about something way too conservative, yelling and saying, we'll come back after the commercials with more of this. And I don't think that's where it is today. The bulk of the core audience or the targeted audience sort of sits in the millennial zone, and they want stories. It feels closer to stories than it does to talk radio.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:09:43

The thing about talk radio- I've always loved talk radio. I love the way a voice sounds over a phone on the radio. There's just something about that that I can't really explain, but it's like brown noise for my brain.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:57

Connectivity. You love the connectivity.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:09:58

Yes, I've always loved it and once I got into working for Kelly, for example, I was like, wow, this is fast. I went from complaining about doing the BlogTO podcast and having to book one guest a day. And mind you, I didn't have as much support to booking, like, eleven guests a day. It all happening live. There's no editing, there's no you screw up a word, you screw up a word, and that might carry on through. It's very raw. It's very real. It's out there. It made me very uncomfortable, and I spoke that aloud. I said, you know what, I can't do what Kelly's doing. I can't do what Alex Pearson is doing. I'm not there. So it's fast paced. There are stories being told all the time. We told an incredible story where a listener of Kelly's- actually, it's sad, he died over the summer. It was medically induced assisted death. He included her in his will and left her $640. And this is just somebody that called the station periodically that was a fan of her show, that felt connected by her voice over the radio, and felt that connection so much that he included her in his will. It's an incredible story. And those are the kinds of stories that are being told. Those are the kinds of connections being made right now with talk radio. And talk radio just kind of gets that, like, oh, it's conservative men banging on a desk. And it is. But it's so much more. And I think it happens so fast that we forget to slow down. We forget to say, hey, Ruth, radio, you're done. As soon as the microphone is off, you're done. You might never revisit that amazing break again. You might never speak to that cool guest again. And we have the opportunity here with Let's Talk to bring some of that back, to slow it down, to really dig in, and to explore some of those stories in a bit of a different way.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:37

Tell me about being a producer where you have to track people down. You mentioned, oh, I only have to get one or two people. Now I got to get ten or eleven people. People don't answer their phones. They likely will respond on text. If you leave a voicemail that goes nowhere. Like, how do you reach people? Facebook?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:11:54

I can find anyone. Sometimes Facebook, I mean, yes, I've gotten a few guests over Facebook, for sure. This is what I love about it, though. It feels like I'm a private investigator, and I'm like, all right, who do you want? Okay, Nick Nurse. Well, that's a big one. All right. Do I have any contacts? Do I know people? That's a big example- by the way, I got him- but you can find pretty much anyone on the Internet. I know not everyone wants to hear that, but there's clues. You're always looking for clues. So if there's a great story in the Globe and Mail or CBC, and this is how we kind of operate. There are people, sources that journalists use in their papers. Those people, once they're quoted, kind of have an idea that the radio stations will start calling them or the TV stations will start calling them, and then they're pretty responsive. I was surprised when I first got this job. I was like, Are you kidding me? I have to wake up at six, email someone by seven to ask them to come on a show for nine? I would say no all day. And I was like, well, here we go. The worst they can say is no. I'm just going to try. I'm gobsmacked by the amount of people who said yes, the amount of people who are open and available and flexible. People will say yes. People- you can find anybody. And if they want to share their story, they will say yes, and they'll show up and bless them for it.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:12

After years of being in a radio station scenario, asking people to come into the station or to appear on the radio station, very easy. And then I got into the podcast world, and I saw there was a service called Interview Connections at Podcast Movement, and I asked her, who can't get a guest? And she said, you'd be surprised. It's not radio. It's different. I mean, appearing on a podcast is like, well, what's your podcast? Where is it? How many downloads? Is it even relevant? But everybody knows the radio station, and everybody knows the impact of an appearance on said radio station, and that has not changed.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:13:46

I got to do some freelance work for Arlene Bynan, who is Chef's Kiss. I love Arlene Bynan, and I've been listening to her for years. And then I got to actually, I'm telling you, my bingo card, I've produced for everybody in the past year and a half. So I did some work for her with Sirius. SiriusXM, I mean, 640 Toronto. People say yes. It's lovely. We've got a great kind of ecosystem of people we pull from. And people, like I said, want to be on the radio in Toronto. Sirius is North American. So it was interesting to dip my toe into that world for a few weeks, and it was like, I've never had the press office for The New York Times and The Washington Post get back to me so quickly, and it was just like, ooh, dopamine! Yay!


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:27

You mentioned about Kelly's show being I got the impression it was noisy, busy, a little bit loud. But you get to do seven to ten, a little bit quieter. You can take a deeper breath of fresh air, repurpose. It feels a little bit quieter, and you can add a little more perspective in that time slot than you could earlier in the day.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:14:47

And just the nature of the show. I'm glad you say that, because that's how I want it to come across. It is an evening show. I got to assume people are busy. I got to assume people aren't listening to the whole show unless you're my mom. So it is, it is a bit of a slower pace. It is a bit more of a, let's sit with this, kind of energy. I'm also kind of a silly person. I don't take myself too seriously, and I don't say that as in other people do, and I'm better because I don't. It's just, that's the kind of energy we're bringing to the show. Sometimes I'll be like, I don't know what I think of this. Or sometimes I'll tell a joke. And honestly, it feels like I'm writing a tight five every night. So there is kind of that comedy element, quote unquote, gentle comedy. However, I am in the office most of the time, ten to six, and by about 04:00, I'm internally freaking out. I'm just like, all right, we're up against the clock. We've got to essentially package eleven or twelve original breaks using other stuff. I'm listening to audio all day. I'm thinking, okay, does this fit with this? Is this the best representation of this topic I want to talk about? There's a point in my day where I have to stop looking and I have to start working. And so there is a bit of a mad dash, and so I'm glad the energy comes through, that it's a little bit softer, it's a little bit slower, it's a little bit quieter as an energy. But there are times during the day where I'm like, there's no time.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:08

I always found that the complicated thing about doing any show in the evening is that you're waiting around all day to go to work. So you're living with this content in your head for the bulk of the day, and it's probably the most exhausting shift from that perspective.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:16:22

It's the worst. Of course I did. I produced for On Point, and Glenn Bergonier, who's my producer now, who's amazing, he was producing in that slot. We actually applied for the same job. I think that's the job I had applied for the last time we spoke on this podcast, was this evening producer job. I filled in, I thank Gord every day. I didn't get it. I wouldn't be here if I got that job. I think I'd be lying on the floor in the kitchen, because it is. You're waiting all day. If you don't take a break, you won't get a break. And I think that's the thing about working from home and doing that particular shift, too. You are waiting all day or you're doing stuff in the afternoon to try and make your evening easier, and then you're still on the hook for the evening. So it's a ten to ten shift.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:05

I would need a 15 minute nap at some point.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:17:08

And I said, this is a lesson for me personally, and who was ever listening out there, because I've had to work on this: Boundaries. You're not putting up a wall. You're not saying, don't ever come here. You're just saying, listen, here's the door. My door, for a lot of people, the past year and a half was, I'm enough. I'm doing enough. I know my worth and what I bring to the table, but here's what I'm not going to do. And so the conversation came up, would you be interested in doing an evening show? Are you interested in hosting live? All of these things came up because I will say- braggy brag- I was good at what I did, and that showed up. People noticed. And one of those people who noticed was Amanda Cupido, who's the new director of Talk at 640 Toronto. She really wanted me to stay. She really wanted to find a place for me. And so she threw a bunch of stuff at the wall, you know, bless her heart. She was like, how about this? How about this? How about this? And I was like, I don't want to work evenings and weekends. I don't want to be on air in that capacity. I don't want to be a news anchor. I don't want to be a fill-in producer. It sounds like I'm saying no a lot, but these were all exercises in me setting a boundary, because I knew. I knew myself, I knew how I work. I know I'm a great employee, but there's things that I'm not going to do because I also love myself and I love my balance and I love my little life. And there's just things I've been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, and the T-shirt sucks. So I did settle many boundaries, and I think it led me to this nice place where I feel like I can work my ten to six shift and put on an evening show. And I feel good about that. I feel like I've said no to the right things, which means saying yes to the right things.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:49

So we've had Amanda on this show before. She is a breath of fresh air for the entire, I guess, what was the radio industry, but it's now, I think, more sort of a lot of audio, especially when you do as many podcasts as you do. But what's Amanda like? How awesome is she?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:19:04

She's cool. The first time we ever met, I was like, who is this. Who's Amanda Cupido? She's podcasting space? I hadn't heard of her. We had our first Zoom, kind of get-to-know-ya. And throughout that conversation, it was hilarious to me how many things kept coming up of like, oh, me too, me too. You worked with them? Me too. Oh, you do this? I do as well. Where do you live? Oh, my God. Just blocks. Not going to lie. We both were like, had our Chihuahuas sitting on our laps in this meeting and both at one point held our Chihuahuas up to the screen and we're like, we are essentially the same person. That was our first meeting. I've never had a boss- and I've had amazing bosses. I've had shitty bosses. I've never had a boss that I see myself reflected in, and it's, dare I say, a game changer. You felt like this, Matt, before. You got a boss that you probably were like, yeah, I can see that trajectory for me. Not to say I want to be Director of Talk at all, but it was just nice. I was like, oh, okay. We're similar speeds, we're similar energies, similar values, similar trajectories to get here. And here we are, we found ourselves in the same room. How can we work together?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:20:14

Do you look at the show as a bit of a regional show too? Because you're on in Hamilton in London as well. I mean, you're looking at a pretty wide area. Not just Toronto.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:20:21

Yeah, that's been a bit of a- not a struggle, but just something that I've had to think about. And going back to the Sirius producing, that was another kind of like, shifting my mindset of like, we're not just talking to the GTA, we're talking to North America. So what is North America talking about? So this show is, yeah, also London and Hamilton. I do work with producers there as well, and it's been great. It's a lovely kind of collaborative effort where I look at their rundowns in the morning, I see what they're talking about, I'll say, okay, I want this and this and this. And then they'll send me audio. And I'll use audio from Hamilton. I'll use audio from London as well. They have their own roster of amazing hosts. And I am- when I'm looking for stories, I'll have that in mind of like, okay, does this transfer to Hamilton and London? We did a story yesterday, for example, about violence in schools, a very Toronto story. It involved Mayor John Tory. It involved the Toronto School Board. It was on the Alex Pearson show. So that's a very Toronto centric show. But I figured violence in school is certainly something that exists everywhere. So that is something where with a little bit of context, with a little bit of juj-ing, we call it the treatment. What's the treatment I'm going to put on it, that's that magic power of context and being able to bring people from hamilton and London into a story that might be Toronto centric, but definitely has moving parts that would apply to them as well.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:34

In just a second, we're going to dig into the social media side of things, and maybe we'll take a glance at the comments section. Oh, yeah, the comment section. Pro tip, never read the comment section. She's also going to tell us what led her to doing the very show she wants to do right now. And 640 Toronto has a new podcast on the way that's in the planning stages. Dani is going to be hosting it and cutting us in on what's in store. There's more. There's always more. Including a transcript of all the words we said, which you can find right now at soundoffpodcast.com.


Mary Anne Ivison (VO) 00:22:10

Transcription for the Sound Off Podcast is powered by Poddin. Your podcast is an SEO goldmine. We help you to dig out. Start your free trial now at Poddin.io.


Tara Sands (VO) 00:22:10

The Sound Off podcast.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:24

The 640 Toronto Podcast. Is that out yet? That's coming, isn't it?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:22:28

It's in here in my brain.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:31

You and Amanda have to be talking about this.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:22:33

Oh, yes, it's being talked about.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:36

I mean, this is why Amanda was hired here, for these sort of things to come up with podcast ideas that were going to be very radio related. And for somebody here who comes from radio and has worked in the podcast area now for seven years, I look for the intersection of the two, and I don't think they intersect as much as we think. Other than microphones and headphones, that's all it is. Because one is on-demand and the other is live and often local.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:23:00

Yes.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:01

Tip your hand and let me know what you've come up with so far.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:23:04

So the podcast will be Toronto centric. We're still nailing down things like how long, how often, what's the name going to be, those fun details. But that stuff happens. I've been through this process before. I've produced, hosted, and sent off into the world two pretty big podcasts. The BlogTO podcast, and Only In Toronto. And I say pretty big. I mean, depends who you ask. They were big to me, and I'm sure they were big to the people who showed up every day to listen. Now, we do know that with podcasting, we're not just taking stuff from the radio, ripping it, and being like, here's a podcast, because that's not what we're trying to do. This will be intentional. This will be its own thing, and this will be for a different demographic. It's interesting because as the show launched, obviously I have people that are like, I listen to you, I listen to you, because they know, they've got that reflex, that muscle, that knows talk radio. We're not going for those people. We're going to try and meet people who listen to podcasts where they're at, and we're going to try and fill a need that is Toronto News with me. And again, we will be taking stuff probably from the station, but we'll be giving it a different treatment that feels more podcast. And I will say, you've listened to the show, but I would encourage people listening, you know, dip in to Let's Talk on 640 Toronto. It doesn't sound, in my opinion, and I've heard this from others too, it doesn't sound like your typical "Hey, we're back" radio station. It does sound, for lack of a better phrase, a podcast for radio. And that's kind of how I'm approaching it. And that's just how I am. I think that is how I deliver things. I think that is kind of how I communicate, and I think it fits really well for radio, and I think it will fit really well for this podcast. I will say the whole process element of it has been interesting because, like I've said, I've done this before. And that's not to sound braggy. It's just to sound like, listen, I've done this before and it nearly killed me. So I'm going into this process with space for that. I've started a lot of jobs. It's interesting you mentioned having done this for seven years and doing the same thing. I don't feel like I've had that luxury in this career to kind of sit and get comfortable. I've had to constantly reinvent myself. And not to say that you're like, sitting and comfortable, but I'm just saying in my personal career, I've had to constantly be like, what's next? I say the most comfortable, quote, unquote, I felt was at the Wolf. And that was like some of the most uncomfortable years of my life. So coming into this, I'm like, listen, Dani, you've done this before. You know you're going to suck out the gate. You know there's going to be icky feelings and uncomfortable, bleh, feelings. That's okay. You're going to feel that and you're going to push through. And at the end of the day, you will come through to the speakers because you've done this work. And I explain, you know, putting the show together, especially in the earlier days, and we're only three weeks in, so we're still figuring it out. We're trying to solve an equation, and we don't quite know the value for X. And I feel like that's kind of where we're at with the podcast, too. We know what we want it to sound like. We know who we want it to serve and what kind of approach we want to take. It's just nailing down the process because I don't want to put stuff out for the sake of putting stuff out. I know a podcast exists a little bit longer. It's more permanent than something on the radio. I want it to sound good. I want it to sound polished. I want it to sound fresh and exciting. It also needs to fit into my day. So I'm also putting on the show. That's a lot of heavy lifting. I've got to work out that process where it fits in and it feels good, and it doesn't feel like I'm squeezing out, okay, here's something. Is this it? I don't want that feeling. So I'm trying to be a little intentional with how the process works. Again, I've done this where I don't want it to be like, oh, Monday. We're like, up against the clock every Monday, and I hate Mondays. I want it to feel good. In order for it to sound good, I'll say, I've got to feel good delivering it. That's where I want to be with this.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:26:48

I'm looking at this equation here where you are busy all day. You've got your content creation here, you've got your performance here, you've got some stuff to produce here. And then we're going to add a podcast. And I'm thinking the only hours left to do this are the ones where you would be sleeping.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:27:03

Yeah, and I'm not doing that.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:06

Well creatively, you wouldn't be there. So I do see the challenge that you have in front of you. That creation part of your day is going to have to be doled out a little more effectively because podcasts, it's hard. It is hard to come up with content that is going to last more than a few days.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:27:22

And we're not reinventing the wheel. We're really not. So I'm trying to get to a point where I don't have to give up too much of that content creative stuff. I'm trying to get to a point where we- bleh, I hate that I'm saying this- work smarter, not harder. And I liken it to this. It's interesting because I'm finding myself in an interesting position I haven't been in before. Like, I have a team, and I think, like, oh, we're all 20, right? We're all 20 year olds here. We're not. I'm older. I think I'm the same age as everybody. I'm not. So I'm coming across as a little bit more of a small-M mentor. No one's called me that. But I do feel a little bit like, oh, I have this kind of over a decade of experience, specifically in this space too, of like, making a podcast and throwing shit up against the wall and seeing what sticks, and having no team or having a very bare bones team. So the way I kind of explain it is like, we're not reinventing the wheel. The podcast is already there. I would love to be able to work ahead so that we're not on our heels every week. That's a big thing for me. So let's look for clues. Again, I'm like a private investigator. Radio is a big mystery, but it helps me. Let's look for clues. So, for example, last week I was like, Glenn, okay, the podcast is already done. Essentially, we just need to reverse engineer it. The topic we want to talk about is already out there. It might change, but, like, let's this week, Thursday, Friday, let's in our peripheral, look for clues. So the next day, he's like, hey, did you see this story? It's about Metrolinx. And the story is like, Metrolinx is building the Ontario line. It's provincially funded. However, they're not talking to the city. The city is not talking to them. The province is like, whatever. And in the mix of all of this, there are businesses that have been behind scaffolding for ten years. It's a huge story. So I was like, ah, these are the clues we're looking for. This is a great story that we don't have time to dig in today. This isn't going in tonight's seven to ten show. But looking ahead, we've got the time, we've got the resources, and these are the clues we're looking for. Then on Monday, a 39 year old cold case was exposed, and we were talking about genealogy, and the story changed. That would have been the podcast this week if we were making it, I would say, breaking open a cold case in Toronto, like, that murder true crime vibes is a great topic for a podcast, especially right out of the gate. So that would have changed. However, I'm just saying, that's kind of my process. That's how I think it through, and that is how we recognized, hey, here's a story that might make for a great podcast topic. What would we need to make that happen? And even if we're not creating that exact podcast, we're training our brain to think in different ways so that we're looking for those clues. And that's kind of my warm up process, because it is creative. I feel like my creative- I am a creative person. It's tiring. Like, I do feel like by the end of the day, I'm like, I've been thinking all day, and I'm tired. But it's fun.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:11

From the social media side of things. Have you cut back on your Twitter? Are you waiting for it to die? What social media are you hitting on these days?


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:30:19

Yeah, good question, because I do social media for the Period Purse. So the Period Purse is a charity. I've been doing that for quite a few years, and I'm a volunteer. I get paid a little honorarium, but it's like, that's how I spend, like, a chunk of my month, chunk of my weeks, days even. I'm on. I'm on. I'm on Twitter, I'm on Instagram, sometimes I'm on TikTok, but that's through the Period Purse. And that, again, I kind of feel safe where I can hide behind something that I'm passionate about. It's not me. So I kind of feel like there's a buffer. In the last couple of years, I've felt really different about how I show up online. And you even said it, you're like, I haven't even known what you've been up to the last year and a half. It's because I felt weird throughout the pandemic, honestly, sharing stuff, it got really complicated for me. And not in, like, a weird or bad way, just in a- I don't know how to show up here. I don't even know that I really want to show up here. And I think I need to create some space because social media for me, and I think I was one of the early adopters in radio. In Peterborough, no one was on Twitter, no one had social media. People pushed back and thought I was, like, insane. Even with the show that shall not be named. Nah. I'll name it. The Blundell Show. I got them on Twitter and Facebook. You're welcome.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:31:32

And by the way, he's there every day, pretty much live now.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:31:36

He still uses the handle that I made for. Anyway, my point is just that social media for me was always so tied into my work. And then when I was working more precariously, I was like, I don't know how to share my personal stuff, and I don't really know that I want to share my personal stuff. Who is it for? So I'm still struggling with that. And people scare me on Twitter. Like, I'm not going to lie. People I know and respect terrify me.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:08

I know that when somebody says something, I know they would never tell that to my face. And that really worries me. The only other parallel I can draw is when I refereed a lot of high school hockey, a lot of high level, some junior hockey, and to see these people banging on the glass, wishing for my death, followed by- then I would meet them in the parking lot and they'd be, oh, what are you doing here? And I said, I refereed the hockey game. Their face would change. They had no idea that I was just out officiating that match. But I remember what you said when you were banging on the glass. And remember, there's a glass, right? And it's the same thing. It's the glass at the arena. It's the same thing. That's what Twitter provides, is that glass. You can bang on the glass.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:32:49

It's interesting because I kind of almost the reverse of that, where I'm like, I think I was getting caught up in a lot of generalizations. So white women are like this, or radio people are like this, or whatever as examples. And I think I really personified that stuff. And I really took on that. But then I had to stop and I had to say, okay, well, really, would my friends say this about me? Would my family members say this about me? Would some of my colleagues say this about me? No, they wouldn't. That's not me. So I really had to do that exercise of like- and I suggest everyone do this. Like, who am I? How am I trying to show up? Who is this for? And those are the kind of three questions I go through. And sometimes I share stuff and I'm like, this is for me, so I can look back on it, and I think that's kind of the- that's probably the corner I'm turning right now, is that I think I want social media to be for me. I want to promote my work because I put a lot of effort into my work, and I'm proud of it, and I want it to do well. I want to share photos of my family because I love them. I want to show pictures of my trip because I want to look back on that, and I want to have memories and all of that. So I think that's kind of how I'm trying to show up, but it takes a backseat. It's not my first and foremost, where social media very much was like, you need to be on this, and this is the only way. I think there is talk in this current role that I'm in to kind of take over some social media stuff for the station. But again, I'm a little nervous. To your point about reffing, those people show up in the comment section of almost every video posted on 640 Toronto's Instagram, and I want them to shut up. And I'll never get into a fight in the comment section. I'll never respond. That's just something where I'm like, hardline. No, you don't have that kind of control over my time. But I'm just like, I'm very sensitive, and I don't know that I could handle people coming for me in such an aggressive way, and I question the decisions they've made in their lives to get them to that point.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:48

I have a little angel that sits on my shoulder when I read a comment, and it asked me, do you care about that comment? And 100% of the time, I'll respond with, I do not. And then I move on.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:34:59

It's hard work, though. You know what? I watched Stutz last night. The new Jonah Hill documentary on Netflix. And I'm very into my therapy, and I feel like throughout the pandemic, I've really learned how to show up for myself. And I've just learned that I have, you know, my 2 feet on the ground. I have the tools in my body right now to deal with anything. And so with social media, I think, like, yeah, there's that voice of like, do you care? Whatever. But I'm like, well, that person is probably going through something, and good luck to them. I know myself. I know how I want to be, and I'm going to keep moving forward no matter what. I think I've lost my point here with the whole Stutz thing, but he talks about, okay, there's these three kinds of things. So your body, how you show up for your body, and how you sit with your body, how you show up for other people, and then how you show up for yourself. And so that idea of, like, I don't care, I struggle with because I do care. I do care so much. To the point where it paralyzes me. So it doesn't even matter at the end of the day because I'm like, oh, my God, I care. So I can't do this thing because someone might not like it. And I think my New Year's resolution, and I came to this last night while watching Stutz, is that I'm going to work on that piece and reframe it. So it's not like I don't care. It's that I do care. I care a lot about me and about my inner self, and about my values, and about my time. And that might sound a little bit selfish, but I think it'll help me in the long run to kind of be able to- water off a duck's back, be able to brush things off a little bit better and to be empathetic in that, but also be strong in that, again, setting a boundary that's just like I'm not going to be everything you want me to be. And isn't that insane? If I was. I'm not. And I never will be. And so you can show up and listen to me with all my faults. You can think what I said is dumb. You can think, oh, she doesn't know what she's talking about. Think all that, all you want. And you know what? Sometimes you're going to be right. And sometimes trust. I believe that about myself, too. But in the long run, I'm just trying to put on a show. I'm just trying to share information, share myself and show up and do a job. And so, long story short, that thing of like, I don't care, for me is difficult, and it's something that I grapple with a lot, and I think it is because I do care. And it's more like, I want you to like me so bad, but it's impossible. It's really, like, people are incapable of liking someone all the time. I'm incapable of liking myself all the time, so how could I expect you to?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:37:25

It's funny, you mentioned Jonah Hill because he was in Moneyball, and there was that scene where they were trying to decipher what they really cared about, and they really only cared about on base percentage, and he played the role of the metrics person. Do we care? You do not care. "He gets on base. So he walks a lot. He gets on base a lot, Rocco. Do I care if it's a walk or a hit? Pete? You do not. I do not." So it's funny you mentioned Jonah Hill.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:37:55

You know what, I started watching it and I was like, all right. It's kind of slow but fantastic.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:38:00

You know, you're good for radio. That's what I like about you. You're good for radio.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:38:04

I feel like I have it in my bones. Like, I really do feel- I might have even said this the last time I was on the podcast. I was going to school for, like, professional writing, and I was, like, diagramming sentences, and I was really into the grammar and that kind of thing. No clue what kind of job that would lead to. And I was like, I had something very traumatic happen to my family at that time, and I was kind of in a position to reevaluate some things. And in that traumatic event, like, ho-lee. Completely allowed me to look at a terrible event, and pivot from it, and look for the opportunity and grow. And I was like, well, I don't want to be proofreading manuals. I don't think this is the right place for me. And when I went to Seneca, and it was just like one of those orientation days of, like, we have this journalism program, radio, TV program. And I'm like, I think that's what I want to do. I think, you know, I've always loved radio, always loved storytelling. I've always been passionate about these things, and maybe I'll give it a whirl. And I went into this auditorium. It's filled with people who no longer work in the industry at all. However, they had that same feeling as me as, like, maybe I'll be the next this, or maybe I'll do something or whatever, and I felt home. And I think I even said it to my mom that day of, like, I feel like I'm in the right place for me, and I've never lost that feeling. And so that's kind of how I feel about radio. At the end of the day, people are like, why not, you know, get into TV? There's more money or whatever. Even with podcasting, it's like, yeah, I love podcasting, but.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:39:27

I can assure you, there's not more money in podcasting.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:39:30

I know that's right. But I will say this. Larry Gifford, who's like, the big boss at chorus for Talk Radio, he's based out west. He's got a Parkinson's podcast, actually, that does quite well.


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:39:30

When life gives you Parkinson's, yeah.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:39:42

When life gives you Parkinson's. I will say, another little Stutz recommendation. He also has Parkinson's. But going back to Larry, he was like, we had our big week of development meetings and all that, and he was like, if I could work on any show in radio right now, it would be this one. And I was like, oh, my God. I'm energized. That one sentence completely- you're right. This is the show that if you were to ask me what you want to be doing in radio right now, it would be this. There's that feeling again of, I'm home. I'm where I'm supposed to be. So that really excited me. I was like, oh, my God. Cool. That's really cool. And so, yeah, I do feel like I'm great for radio because I love it so much. I think there's something romantic about it. Even the white man banging on the desk. I like that. And I don't care who knows it. I might not agree with them, but there's something about it that. I'm just like- there's just something so raw in this medium, and you're not going to get it every time. You'll turn on the radio and you won't get that again. Isn't that exciting?


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:40:42

Dani, thanks so much for doing this again. I appreciate it.


Dani Stover (Guest) 00:40:46

Well, thank you for having me. I love talking about this stuff and with you.


Tara Sands (VO) 00:40:46

The Soundoff podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski. Social Media by Courtney Krebsbach. Another great creation from the Soundoff Media Company. There's always more at soundoffpodcast.com.


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