Dean Molberg: Barn Burner
Updated: May 31
This week's guest is Manitoba local, Flames Nation legend, and recent podcast convert Dean "Boomer" Molberg.
Dean hosts the Barn Burner podcast, a show dedicated to everything Calgary Flames-related, along with his long-time cohost/friend Ryan Pindler and former Flames player Rhett Warrener. Check out their most recent episode below! But much like many of our guests, Dean has a long and storied history in radio. He's been in the industry for decades at this point, but you're most likely to know him from his tenure on the morning show at FAN 960 in Calgary.
Dean and I talk about fan interactions, interviewing pros before they went pro, why his team felt the switch to podcasting was a necessary one, and most importantly, hockey. Dean's full of stories you won't want to miss, from both junior hockey teams like the legendary Wheat Kings and NHL teams like the Flames. Dean also spoke at length about his team at CKX in Brandon, Manitoba. If you want to see what they looked like working together, check out the video below for a flashback to the early 90's!
If you're a Flames fan, or just a hockey fan in general, check out the Barn Burner podcast on Amazon or Apple Podcasts. You can also follow Dean at all the usual places: Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Tara Sands (VO) 00:00:01
The Sound Off Podcast. The podcast about broadcast with Matt Cundill starts now.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:10
Dean Molberg is the host of the Barn Burner Podcast on the Flames Nation network. Before that, he was on the radio, predominantly sports radio and TV. He was part of the morning show at FAN 960 in Calgary before he made made the jump from broadcast to podcast. It hasn't quite been a year, but I think it's a good idea that we check in on him and see how it's going for him and the other members of the show. We're doing this episode because maybe you're thinking of doing the same. Dean Molberg joins me from his home in Calgary. I hear you're a terrible beer hockey player.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:00:45
Not great. We had this pond hockey tournament. I literally had to go into my garage and find all my stuff because my kids haven't been playing hockey for a number of years. And then COVID hit. And you know what? I'm good in the room, though. I bring beer. I make people laugh. That's often as important as what you can do on the ice. But you're not wrong. That's good scouting by you.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:08
Can anybody really fail at beer league hockey?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:01:11
The guys that have the roller bags that come in and they have their bags on wheels, they can't throw it over their shoulder. That's a bit of a fail. If you're one of those, like a shinny dink or a Harvey tryhard. If you just try a little bit too hard, you're failing. Probably you don't know you're failing if you're a Harvey tryhard. But the best part is, now that I'm not doing morning radio and getting up at three, I might actually be able to play Beer League again. These 10:45 p.m. start times, you can actually wedge that into your schedule now. So maybe I will get better at it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:42
It's tough to come down from those games, though, right? Because it's like 03:00 A.m. and you're, like, still up and still wired from the game.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:01:48
Brutal. Yeah. And some of these guys, they don't shower before they leave. They just go home. They go right to bed. It's disgusting. Dude, what are you doing? I could never pull it off. So Beer League was out of my life for about 15 years.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:00
You from Roblin, Manitoba?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:02:02
I am. There's no way you know without looking. There's no way you know anything about Roblin Manitoba.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:08
I know nothing about Roblin Manitoba.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:02:11
Good. Nor should you. Good digging, though. Good on you. Look at you.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:15
I mean, like, you go to Brandon and then where do you go from there to get to Roblin?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:02:20
You go north and west. It's kind of right on the Saskatchewan border. We're about 2 hours, 45 minutes. This is the thing I always get when you leave. Oh, so winnipeg. Hey, you're from where? You never lived in Winnipeg? I'm about 5 hours from Winnipeg, about two and a half from Regina. So it was always one of those things I had to correct people, but all very small town, and our closest city was Yorkton, Saskatchewan, where CJGX for the purposes of this, a lot of people know GX 94. If we were going to Yorkton, it was a big trip in grade twelve, I think it was, we would have a spare in period four. So you had four before lunch and four after, you had that period four spare. So you'd wheel into Yorkton to grab some Big Macs and Nuggets and then get back for the end of your lunch hour. Are you guys going to Mcdudes today? Are you guys are you making the McDonald's front? Get me some nuggets. Get me some nuggets. Okay, well, give me money. I don't have any money. That was the excitement growing up in Roblin.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:17
GX 94, by the way, still has an all night announcer.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:03:20
It's a legendary place. I know we'll get into it. But that was where the whole thing for me started, with radio. My dad always had the radio on. If he was in the shop, in the kitchen, in the car, it was always the radio. And you didn't have a lot of options there. And as long as I could remember, my whole thought process was this guy, these guys sit in a room and listen to all the new music and tell jokes and laugh and get paid to do it. This is the greatest job in the world. Like, I have to do this. And it was GX 94. That was my dream. I figured if I could ever get a job in Yorkton doing GX 94, just that's- you can put me away, I'm done. But never did. Tried. Tried to get a job there. But it never did pan out for me.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:03
Oddly enough, most of the people that I know who live west of Winnipeg all work in a form of hockey, like in the hockey industry in some capacity.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:04:13
I think Chris Cuthbert was in Yorkton. Darren Dreger, Darren Millard. And I won't put myself in Mallard or Dreger's class, but there's a few of us that were in Manitoba, in Brandon, maybe Yorkton, in that area that ended up on the sports side of things. There were quite a few.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:29
Darryl Wolfski comes to mind.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:04:31
Beef. My buddy Beef. How do you know Beef?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:35
Beef did some promotion, I think, at one time or another, and needed some cooperation from the local radio station in Winnipeg. And we might have had a few meetings.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:04:43
He was one of the first guys I worked with. I met him when I started in Brandon and he was doing afternoons on KX 96. I was on 1150 Kicks, the hot, the country. Hot, new country. And we would order Domino's Pizza every Saturday afternoon to try and kill that six hour shift. It's long days, Matty. Long days.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:00
Quite often his social media is riddled with bad CanCon tracks that he'll mention that he heard on the radio and can't understand why people are still playing things like the Partland Brothers and some other disasters.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:05:12
He has no tolerance. Unless it's Godsmack or something, he has very little tolerance for stuff like that. It's very tough being beef.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:20
What was your first radio station you worked at? If it was a radio station.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:05:24
I went to college in Thunder Bay. After high school, again, I knew what I wanted to do the whole way through and took radio and TV. It was four semesters over two years. First semester, you split between the two. And I knew I wanted to do radio. I just thought, all the cool people are in radio. All the stuffed shirt reporters, they want to be on TV. They're the losers. They're in TV. So, yeah, it was fun. Went to Thunder Bay for two years, took my, whatever you call a practical placement in Brandon at- it was 1150 CKX. They had flipped formats to Hot New Country and it was a tight kind of a Top 40 rotation. Didn't work. I think they found that out eventually. But two months, I think I was doing my placement before I had got there. They had actually fired a guy. So there was a hole in the evenings. And there again, it's like, man, if I could ever get this... Right place, right time, I didn't screw up too badly. So my first was junior swing. Is that what we used to call it? Junior swing at 1150 CK A.M. in Brandon in 1994.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:25
So junior swing versus senior swing. The difference between the two is somebody's got to work the bad shift on the weekend. What's the difference?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:06:36
I don't know. It was junior swing. It maybe just would have been more shifts. I think I did Saturday, Sunday afternoons and then a couple of weeknights. Whereas that other lucky devil, whoever he was, would have gotten three weeknights and two weekend shifts. But, crazy. It was so much fun. Where was it for you? Everyone remembers that first job and everybody they worked with and how fun it was. I'm guessing you're the same.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:59
I guess I did junior swing at 100.3 The Bear, which was- it wasn't my first full time position. My first full time position was actually afternoon drive in Kentville, Nova Scotia.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:07:10
Holy cow. The Bear. And afternoons. Look at you, Matty.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:14
Yeah. First full time position was Kentville, Nova Scotia. It was $22,000 a year, I think, to do afternoons. I did that for about six months, graduated university, and then it was a lot of part time until I went to Edmonton for the junior swing position.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:07:33
You must have thought you had hit the big time, right? Going from out east to Edmonton?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:38
I actually had three years at CHOM in Montreal. That was something. And by the way, in an era- and I'm very nostalgic right now because I found all my tickets to all the 92, 93 and 94 Montreal Expos in Montreal, canadians games, and I'm just sort of sifting through them right now and I go, what a time to be alive in that era in Montreal. And on the radio, and with a Stanley Cup, Kirk Mueller walking up and down Green Avenue right outside the radio station. Late nights with Lyle Odaline, all sorts of disasters that were happening.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:08:10
Fun times. Remember radio used to be a fun thing. If I listen to you and Blundell, it's no fun anymore. It's terrible. I, like you, I am nostalgic. I remember the great days of radio, but those, sadly, were a long time ago.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:28
And for somebody who wanted to do radio over television, you did do some TV.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:08:35
Did do some TV, and you know what? You would know this in those smaller markets, you had to- if you could do it, you were going to do it. So there was the two FM stations and the TV station. So if Ron Thompson, the weather guy, is sick at 02:00 P.m., he can't make it. Hey, who could wing it? Do you think you could do the weather? I'll give it a shot. Next thing you know, you're wearing a suit that isn't yours and doesn't fit, and you're in front of the green screen and now there's a trough line with a high pressure or something coming in. So you're doing the weather. And then if they're short a guy on the weekend on the other station, you're not Dean Molberg, you're Bob Bobson on KX. It was just one of those things. You did it all, and because you had that flexibility and the availability, and I liked sports, and it was just fun. So, yeah, it went from the radio to TV. It kind of went back and forth, depending on if you could get a full time job at one or the other. It was a part time job. You'd leave it, you'd go to the full time. Then there was maybe a little more money at this one, so you'd swing back and forth. But that was where the first kind of sports on a regular basis started, was on the TV side.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:40
Tell me about Brandon and specifically the Wheat Kings and what that franchise means to that town. I know it's the only game in town, but it looks rock solid. And the reason why I ask is because I looked at sending my third son Daniel to Brandon, and I looked at it and said, well, the only thing here is really the Wheat Kings, but they are there and it is the game in town.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:10:05
Yeah, it was crazy because they were owned- Bob Cornell, who was they called him Plumber. He owned a plumbing company. He was the owner. And then this was a long time ago, but Kelly McCrimmon, who is now the general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, he bought in as part owner. He was the GM then took over sole ownership. And he would dip in and out of being the coach after he fired somebody else, and then he would take over. But yeah, Kelly, he ran that thing like it was an NHL team. This was not a side gig for him. This was his passion, this was his business. And he treated it like it was the biggest show going. And I think that's why. And he would find a way. He made big trades. He always managed to go to the scheduling meetings and get those Friday and Saturday night games, and they'd be on the road for those less desirable Tuesday and Wednesday night games. But it was great. It was always funny, though, being a farming community. Round one of the playoffs. That was always kind of during seeding. This wouldn't always be sold out for round one. You couldn't get off the land to get to the games. Round two, you probably had your crop in by then, and then it would start to pick up. And when I got there, it was one year after Wade Redden had just gotten there, Marty Murray was the captain and he had won- He was captain of the World Junior Team and they won gold and he was Player of the Year. And they went to the Memorial Cup twice when I was in Brandon. So, yeah, he, of course, sold that team. But it's kind of that junior hockey thing. The thing about Brandon is you were so far away. There's the team in Winnipeg now, but Regina was the closest to you. So if you were going to Brandon, you had to pack a lunch because it was a long way to get there and it was going to be a long way to leave. And those were tough teams. And a lot of times there'd be some sore kids getting on that bus thinking, we don't see a hotel for 12, 15, 18 hours or see home for 18, 20 hours. So they made it tough on teams. And they did just sell to a local group, the Jacobsons there. And they're as passionate as Kelly was. They built a new practice rink, I believe it is. So it's a great town. I loved my time in Brandon. It was fun covering those Wheat King teams. They were awesome when I was there.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:12:11
Give me the name of a few players that you interviewed postgame that are recognizable in the NHL now.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:12:17
It's funny, they don't play anymore because that's how old I am. But in terms of junior hockey, it was kind of a who's who. Carey Price was playing with Tri City. I remember talking to him when he came through. Chris Dingman was the big guy in Brandon, and then was the captain. Marty Murray was there. Peter Schaefer played on the World Junior team. He was in and out with Vancouver, I think played with Ottawa. Marty Murray and then from there. I went to Red Deer and I was fortunate when I got there. They had very good teams. They had won the Memorial Cup a couple of years earlier. They had just lost jarrett stole and the Kootenay ice. But it was year two of Dion Fanuff and Cam Ward was there. He, of course, went on to win a Con Smyth in a Stanley Cup with Carolina. But, yeah, it's sad. Matt, a lot of those kids, they're now grown men with kids of their own and they've retired. But those are two very cool markets to have worked in.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:09
The Centrium in Red Deer. Did I get that right? Red Deer Rebels?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:13:13
Green seats. Yeah. And that was another one, that team. And Brent Sutter owns it and Coach and all of that. He always said, and he said right from day one, he said, it's Red Deer. But this is central Alberta. And it really was. Whether you were in Ennisvale or Stetler, Caroline or wherever, you were coming to the Rebels games. And that area loves that team. And I haven't been back for a while, but I'm sure it's no different. They love that team. It's a great rank. Going from Brandon, it was a tight little kind of keystone center to you had an upper deck for junior hockey. I thought I had gone to this was the big time. But, yeah, that's a great rank, great town, and that team means a lot to that area.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:52
I've played a few games in that arena, albeit it was with the Edmonton Musicians Beer League hockey team. And we would play the Calgary Musicians. And I'm not a musician, but I was on the team.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:14:04
Are you a hockey player?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:06
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:14:07
There you go. You're a ringer.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:09
And also I've officiated a few games. I would go down for tournaments from Edmonton at the time and get paid mileage and referee a bunch of games. Great arena. I loved it.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:14:19
Great arena, great town. Moving from Manitoba to there. It sounds silly, but to be that close to Calgary and Edmonton, two NHL teams, two CFL teams, I thought it was amazing. I could go to the 711 or the Max and get a Calgary Sun and an Edmonton son. You got both. It was unbelievable for me when I first got there. And still, yes, it was great to be that close. You could go and whether it's an airport or a sporting event, you always had something to go and see.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:46
Or do I ask this all the time of anybody who goes through Red Deer? And that's to explain how you manage the Flames versus Oilers at the local Boston Pizza.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:14:56
There was a bar and everyone remembers, and it was called Jim and Jairs. And sadly, it's not there anymore. Jim and Jair were twins and they were big burly dudes. Beards. They loved the Riders, and I don't know if they were split on the Oils, but it was the 1 bar where they had the tape down the middle during a battle of Alberta back in the 80s. When you'd have the Flames on the one side and the oiler fans on the other, I think it was during those days, the Oilers weren't very good, but they had been good, so good. Obviously, during the guys that are our age, it was easy to cheer for the Oilers back then. And I still think that's the case. I find here in Calgary that Flames fans like the Flames, but oiler fans love the Oilers. They grew up with those five cups and those teams and they were so easy to cheer for. So I still think that you go much north, you start getting past Olds and towards red Deer. You're getting into oil country still for sure.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:51
Were you doing TV or radio in Red Deer?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:15:54
I did both. You like this story again because I know you're a radio guy and I was thinking about this interview and just seeing radio in the state that it's in. But, man, I was in Brandon and I was working radio and they had switched the format from country, which I liked, to hot CHR, I think. But it was literally when the music stopped and you started talking to do your break, you had the music bed underneath and you're playing destiny's child and Ja rule and all of this stuff. And I had been there for eight years and I was not digging this. I went, I'm going to get fired. And I would have gotten fired. My attitude was no good and I probably deserve to be shown the door knew I had to leave. And there were two job opportunities. There was one in red Deer to be basically sports director pregame post game for the red Deer rebels and all of this. And this is it. The other was sports director in peace river. And I'm thinking, is peace river. Okay? So you start looking boy, it's kind of up there. Anyway, I knew the news director in peace river. I used to work with her in Brandon at Ckx. So I'm thinking, I got an in. I'm good enough for peace river. I'd really like the red Deer. So worst case, I'll go to peace river. But, man, I'd like the red Deer job. I talked to the girl in peace river. Oh, yeah. Hey, that's good. Yeah, that'd be great. Yeah. So I sent the tape. I never heard from her again. I got absolutely ghosted. I got shut out in peace river. Thank God I got the call. Yeah, well, we'd love to have you at red Deer. I went from having my ego and my self esteem completely blown out of the water to landing a job that even when I look back, I don't know what would have happened because I had kind of lost I'd been in branded too long. It was eight years. I had done everything there was to do there. And not to say I was beyond that, talent wise, but I just needed a change. And if I hadn't got that Red Deer job, I don't know what it would have happened. But it was so great. It was the Patterson Group. Paul Mason was the general manager and just the best people in the world. I love the city. I love that station. The first time that I got there, went for lunch with Cam Moon, who at the time was the play by play guy, the longtime play by play guy of the Rebels. And I knew of Cam, but I never had met him. And it was instant. We sat down for lunch and there were two guys from the radio station and one other guy from the Rebels were there. So we were all sitting at a table and it was maybe four minutes before Cam and I were doing all the talking. We were just playing off each other. Well, remember this guy? You know this guy? This guy? Oh, I know that guy. We were just back and forth. Basically, they just got up like, okay, you guys are going to work fine. And we did. I was there for four years. I did the last year in TV. But working with Cam, working those Rebels games were so much fun. We still laugh about some of the stuff that we would do. They had, as you would know, in the entry and they kind of have the bar at the back of the building and he'd be up in the press box and you'd always do something to get the other guy's attention. It was everything I could do to try and break him up during the call of a game. And he'd drop in the little Easter eggs during his play by play call, which would get me going. So much fun. Just love doing those doing those games with Cam and Red Deer.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:06
So did you work at CKRD?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:19:08
Yeah, it was Rd TV.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:09
And they had just actually, that was it, RDTV. Yeah, I used to get that in Edmonton.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:19:15
Yeah, it was a global thing. But yeah, it was RDTV. And you talk about a station that meant a lot to people. That was even for Manitoba. I knew of RDTV. I didn't get it on my cable pack or anything, but it was one of those stations that you knew about. And I was there for about a year. I still remember sitting at my kitchen table after I had taken that job and I look back, I don't know why I did. The appeal of being on TV and all of that was really kind of lost on me. But I got offered the job. And maybe it was because it was hey, yeah, it was kind of a nice boost to your ego or whatever. So I took this job and it was doing the 06:00 Sports and then they had like an 1130. And I remember leaving the radio station. It was my last day, and they all said, Same building. We were going from one floor to downstairs. And I remember sitting at my desk at the radio station upstairs on my last day, I was done, my shift was over and I was, I guess I need to pack up my stuff and leave. I said, what am I doing? Why am I leaving? I don't want to leave here. My first day that following Monday, went and did the 06:00. I came back home. We had just had a kid. It was our first child, and he was just a baby. And I was thinking, I have to leave for work again in about 2 hours at 08:00. I need to go back to what am I doing? It's a Monday night at 08:00 p.m.. I don't want to be going back to work. So I regretted that one fairly quickly. I had some fun. There were some good people there. Al Riddell, who was a longtime radio guy, still is. He was doing TV there as the news director. We had a great time, but I knew I wasn't long for that one. And then it was off to CHED. Everyone knows CHED very well. And I got that one. It was the year after their run, the Oilers run to the Cup Final against Carolina, 2006. Yeah, six. And then I started in September of that year. And it was tough because they lost pronger, but they had signed ROLLISON, and the thought was, came so close. Went to game seven. You're just going to have it again. And they didn't have it. That team just wasn't the same again. And that was a tough year, I think, for everyone on the team and everyone around. It was a tough one for me because I really wanted it was no different than a player. You would know this, you're going to the show. I've been doing this for whatever, 1015 years. I don't even know how long I'd been in by that point, but this was my NHL job. I'm going to get paid to go watch NHL hockey again, much like Yorkton or anything I'm done. If nothing else happens, I'll live here for the rest of my life. And it was not a good fit for me. And I look back and I don't know if that I wasn't ready. I think I just wasn't prepared to be on a rights holder station where I would just go on like we do now. You go on, you have fun, and you can this guy was no good tonight, or that guy was no good. But the relationship between Chad and the Oilers, that rights holder thing, it was a pretty serious thing. And they had a tough year because the expectations were so high. So it was not a good spot. I was getting called in. Sid Smith was the program director. And Sid is one of the best guys, and I don't know if I've worked for a better PD or a smarter guy. In his own way, he's such a good guy. Maybe you should try this and just think it. He's trying to gently direct me in the right place. The rights holder is like a comfortable chair. You're there to support the team and basically not be too critical. And I didn't think I was being too critical, but there was one road trip, and they were well out of it, mathematically, the Oilers that year, and they were going on a road trip, and they had to basically sweep this road trip. They needed so many things to go right for them to get back in or to be a legit threat at a playoff spot in game one in Boston. And they got their doors blown off. And I was doing the call in, shoot overtime open line, and somebody had called in, and Zach Storetini had just kind of started with the Oilers, and he was tough, and he was running around and didn't play in Boston. And some guy called in. He said, Why would they take Storetini out, especially in Boston? Tough teams, you got to go into Boston. I said, yeah, you know what? I don't know what they're thinking. I thought he brought energy. I like the way he's played. I don't think he's hurting you out there. And, yeah, he gives you a little bit of toughness. I don't know why they would take him out. That was my last overtime open line. I had questioned, I had called into question the coach and his decisions, and there was more leading up to it. That was the one they needed, I guess, but that was it for doing that. And I would still kind of contribute to the pre game show, and I would go to the rink and do some reporting, which was basically just gathering tape. And I knew that I was not long for there. And I do wish that it would have gone better, but it was for the best because I came to Calgary less than a year later, and it was a perfect fit.
Tara Sands (VO) 00:24:02
The Sound Off podcast with Matt Cundill.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:05
So you mentioned about four things that I think are very, very curious. One is 2006, Cam Ward. He was shining in that Stanley Cup Final, and you've already worked with him.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:24:16
Do you know this story?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:17
No, I don't.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:24:19
So here's me starting at CHED. NHL. Who do I know? I know Dion Phaneuf and I know Colin Fraser. And I know Cam Ward. The three guys that I know, I'm going to impress everybody. New guy is going to get the Con Smyth Trophy winner on his evening radio show. Get Cam on the show. It was before the season had even started. I hadn't been there maybe two weeks. He's from Sherwood Park. Local guy talking to him. About how was the summer and what was it like and the emotions and all of this. It's during this interview, I see the private line flashing.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:55
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:24:57
Yeah, the hotline. And I'm looking at my producer through the glass, and she kind of she's very concerned. And then I get it in my ear. You need to throw it a break. You need to throw it a break. Okay, Cam. Thanks for this. It cut it short. And someone from the team essentially called and said, get this guy off my show. Off my radio. Why is this guy on my radio show? Kind of thing. So someone with the Oilers and I know who it was, it's not important, but they it started right there. I just couldn't believe it. I thought I was hitting a grand slam home run, bringing in the Con Smyth Trophy winner, and I fouled it right off my face. So it started poorly, and it went downhill from there. And that was the year they traded Ryan Smith, which, oddly, is funny, because that kind of weaves in later, and it was the worst because he shouldn't have got traded. He didn't want to go they didn't want to trade him. It was over a few hundred thousand dollars, and the fans were upset. I remember they were doing the press conference for it, and they have all the kind of pipe and draping set up. It came crashing down before the press conference started, and somebody had said, well, isn't that appropriate? Like, everything is falling apart here this year. So it was a wild time there for sure. But, yeah, I never got in so much trouble for having a Stanley Cup champion on a radio show as I did that day.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:26:18
That story is really weird. And by the way, the next three questions I have are all about Oiler's dysfunction. Get ready here, because I got a few yeah, no, it's fine.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:26:26
It's fine. And maybe you don't do it. The nerves were very raw. It was a very sensitive time. And while he's talking about how great it is to have won and what it meant to win, if you're an oiler fan, you probably don't want to hear it. Maybe if you're a diehard, you don't want to hear about the guy who you were one game away. You went to game seven. This guy, in a way, cost you the cup. You could have won. And maybe if you're an oiler fan, it's like, why am I hearing this guy? And I think about that now. I probably still talk about it after. If you're one of the brass, you don't call up and say, get this guy the f off of my radio. And I don't know that it's the same. I don't think it is the same. But they love that team. A lot of the media that are there and were there, they've been there through the whole thing, and they ride that roller coaster. The winds feel great, and the losses hurt like hell. And I think some people who were maybe with the team, it still felt like it was the middle of the this was a big, big deal. There was a few things. I don't know if it's dysfunctional. It's just there's so much passion. And maybe if you go to Dallas, it's the same. If you're working the Cowboys beat or I'm trying to think if you go to Boston and you're working the Red Sox beat, maybe it's the same way. But Euler's hockey really, really mattered and does matter to those people, and they protect it with their life.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:46
I think that was a culture that started in the 80s where you could call the radio station and fix that. You're winning cups, a lot of cups. You've got a lot of star power on that team. There's an awful lot of personality. And sometime in the middle of the 90s, we would shoot our mouth off on the Bear in Edmonton. And one day I picked up the phone and Glenn Sather is yelling at me, and he said, get your guy to shut the fuck up. Who the fuck do you think you are? You guys are just a bunch of fucking assholes. Like, he's yelling at me, and so I went hey, get a load of this.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:17
And then I went right to the air and I said, guess who called me today and was swearing? And I threw it right back at Glenn Sager. And it was the beauty of not being a rights holder. And Marty Forbes at the time, I went and told Marty, Glen Sather yelled at me. And he goes, Whatever. Just have fun with it. But from that came a sports station that is not a rights holder, that is making money and has always made money because it is not a rights holder, and basically can call the Oilers out on all their BS. And people kind of dig that radio station at 1260 for many, many years. We had Bryn Griffiths on the show who spoke about it, and my buddy Jake Daniels, who we rode together on the air in Edmonton, he went to go do that. And that is why that station is still on the air today. And we're going to talk a little bit about the disappearance of sports radio, but that one is still there because of that experience that you had at 630 CHED, where the Oilers office can call in and make these crazy changes at any particular time.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:29:17
I mean it was a long time ago, but not that long ago, 2006 or whatever it was.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:29:21
But the culture is still there. It can be today, too.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:29:24
Yeah, it is. And I can tell you, when I was at CHED, I knew I'd have been a better fit at 1260. They're doing what I want to do and what I'm a better fit for, which is just having fun, not taking it too serious, because it was it was being taken very serious. I come to Calgary, and now I'm working for the rights holder again, and I'm hoping I'm not getting back into the same type of a scenario. And it was really night and day. It was not taken as serious. The people around the team, it was just easier to get along with. And it was Ken King. One time he called me, I want to talk to you after your show. And I'm thinking, oh, here we go. And he says, I was going to give you shit, but you said something. I think it was about J Bowmeister. He says, you run Jay, and I was going to give it to you, but then you kind of explained why you thought he didn't play well, or whatever it was. He says, I just want you to know I don't mind you ripping guys if they deserve to be ripped or if you can back it up, but if this guy sucks, he stinks, and there's nothing else of substance there, that's when he had a problem. And I think nine to ten times out of ten, if we ripped the team or had something critical to say, we could back it up. We may not have been right, but at least your opinion made sense, which I think is that's all you can ask for. If a guy has a bad game and you say he has a bad game, and then the general manager president starts firing F bombs, that's not much of a partnership.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:55
We were actually banging on Jeff Norton at the time for the Oilers, and we were saying he sucked, but that's what the common man would do. And we're not a rights holder, but that's who we were.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:31:05
And even the Media Group there was tough when I was there. And it's the way it used to be, right? If you worked for the Journal, you didn't like the sun, and if you worked for TSN, you didn't like sportsnet, or whatever the case was. And I remember one day again, I'm so deep into it now. It's a long, cold winter in Edmonton, and it's cold and it's dark, and the team's no good, and it's another one of these scrums after practice, and you're asking Why? Well, what happened in this loss? Or what happened here? And Christy Charlie was working for I think it was a channel, maybe, and her camera guy, Chris was there, but she hadn't got there. She was running behind. So Chris has got the camera on the shoulder, and it's the tripod, and he's holding this, and he's trying to hold the microphone out and do it. So I just said, I'm holding a microphone. I'll take the mic. So I was holding mine and hers, and one of the other reporters kind of looked at me as Craig Mctavish, who was the coach. He's talking, and she's kind of what do you? I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It feels like everything I could do, I'm doing wrong. Scrum ends. I hand the mic back to Chris and I was like, what happened? Why would you do that? Why would you hold her mic? I was just helping Chris. If she's not here, she doesn't get the clip. Why would you do that? That never crossed my mind. And that's how competitive even the media was against one another. Truly, it was. I was waiting, what's the next domino to fall? It felt like it was almost a self fulfilling prophecy and it was tough, man. I left Edmonton and I came to Calgary and I held a grudge for a long time. I didn't like the Oilers and I didn't like Edmonton and it was not great, but time helps. I was better off. I wasn't a good fit for them. They weren't a good fit for me. And Calgary was awesome and has been ever since.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:50
And Edmonton had a bunch of drama. I was going to ask you earlier about Chris Pronger and his difficulties that he had dealing with the media, but it bled into online and you mentioned Christy Chorley and there was all sorts of stuff that went on online that was a separate shitstorm. When I look back at it, it's just so strange to think that that happened. It was one of those things that could only happen in Edmonton with the dynamics of the orders, organization, the way the media and the team interacted and with the fans. So you've got three separate things all going at once, and then you throw in the online part. And thank goodness that I was working in Edmonton when there was no online because I would have no career and I'd probably be in jail. But that was a very, very weird time.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:33:38
I was at the press conference that the Ducks held because obviously he got traded to Anaheim and the return back to Edmonton. They had the press conference at the Ducks hotel the day before the game. It was weird. In some weird ballroom, they trotted Chris out. He was just going to say what he wanted to say. And he's an interesting guy. Like, he's so confident and egotistical, and it's what made him great. It's what made him who he was. He was even when he was playing, he would come and stand in front of his locker, I'm ready now. Would answer questions. And if you weren't there, you didn't get Chris Pronger that day. He wasn't going to hang around, he wasn't coming back a second time. But, yeah, it all just kind of added to it. I kind of forgot about that until you brought that up. Very weird, very unfair to her. And it'd be worse today, right? I'd be trying to think of your Twitters and all of that. I don't even know. I don't think Twitter was even around then. And I found out too. The Internet, they can pile on. And it's kind of a gang mentality a lot of times. And it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong or if it's true or false. If you fall into a certain category, for a lot of people, you just pile on and you don't care. You just go with it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:47
There was no social media. It was message boards.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:34:50
Yeah, brutal time, for sure.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:53
We've talked about Oiler's dysfunction. Tell me about the Flames dysfunction when it comes to getting that new arena. Honestly, what is the problem? This is Alberta. There's oil money, there are deep pockets. And in 90, 97, I went to the Saddle Dome. It was not attractive and I thought there'd be a new arena and there what's going on?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:35:15
And remember, there's been a flood that happened. The Saddle Dome was underwater for like ten rows. The old dome is hanging in there, but barely. You have the Conservative government, which then went NDP. Then it was back to Conservatives. We've had a mayoral change. The last mayor wasn't a big fan of the thought of paying for a rink. I don't think the new mayor is either. You then have the Calgary Stampede, which is a major player in all of it. They have a lot to say about what goes on. So you just have a lot of people with varying opinions, with very real interests in what happens. And it's just crazy. When I moved here, this city was so vibrant and you felt like you could build whatever you wanted. It was all coming. And now you laugh. Vagina and Winnipeg and Hamilton, everybody has a better football stadium. Everybody has a better rink. We don't have a baseball like in Winnipeg. The gold dies. That beautiful ballpark. Okotoks? That's little town to our south, they have a ballpark. Calgary doesn't have a ballpark. I don't get it. And the thing of it is, three years from the time you put a shovel into the ground, you're maybe completed, I don't know how it's going here. They keep coming back. They booted everybody out and they brought new people in and they've got people working in the middle to try and bring these two together. It's really sad. Ken King had the idea of putting it all under one facility and putting it at the west side of the town and everybody's, oh, I couldn't work. That couldn't work. Too much money. It probably would have been a bargain by the time this new one gets built. Whenever it does, it's really kind of silly to see how long it's taken, because there are really no further ahead. It's white noise now. Oh, there's an update on the rink. Let me know when they're digging holes.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:37:00
So you escaped to Calgary effectively, and congratulations.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:37:04
A lot of my good friends are from Edmonton. A lot of my friends are oiler fans. And that's water well under the bridge. And I'm glad that I was able to kind of leave that, but yeah, it hung with me for a while, but it was my first day and I had been to Flames games when I was living in Red Deer. This also tells you coming in, can I get a media pass in Edmonton? It was well, what are you doing? Do you have a story idea? What is the premise of your visit in Calgary? Hey, Peter Hanlon. Sean Kelso. I'm with Red Deer. Wanted to maybe come down to a game. Sure, just come by yourself or you bring in a camera guy or anybody. Sure. Pressbox it'll. Be waiting for you at the back gate. Everything was always easier and got to the rank and everything was different. You had the sports that guys like the TSN guys and the paper guys and girls all they all got along. You'd have beers after the game together, you'd go out for lunch after morning skates and stuff like that. It was a complete departure. It was a huge sigh of relief for me. And then this radio station was because I had listened to it when I was in Red Deer and I was always a fan of the fan so I just knew that that was going to be a much better fit and it was a great fit. So I was just so relieved to finally be in a spot where I square peg, square hole, perfect.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:38:19
960 on the dial. I'm all right.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:38:22
960 on the dial and started there doing afternoon co hosting and it was a tough one. Joe Sports was his name. He was on CJ and he I think he also did some, some TV sports, but he was, he was a Calgary like, he was a big celebrity in Calgary. He had fell ill and had passed away. And I remember I was in Edmonton at CHED and I was trying to get 960 on the radio through the static on the day that they had the Joe Sports tribute show. And it was an emotional one and I had listened to Joe and was a fan and they were finally at the spot now where they were going to replace them. Bruce Dobigan, Sports writer, had kind of been filling in. He didn't want to do it full time and to come in in that spot, it was a weird one in a weird way. I kind of wanted to do him justice and not suck. I just wanted to be good. I wanted this to go much better than the Edmonton experience went. And it was the first day I was staying with my buddy and his wife when I first got here and I was on from one to Five, got in my car, I was driving home and I was listening to Rob Kerr who was on doing the five to Six. And Perry Barrazanne, the former flame, was his guest on Flames at five that day. And I was listening to the thing and Perry said, hey, who's who's the new guy that you got in the afternoon? And I'm thinking, oh boy, where is this going to go? And he says, oh, it's Dean Malberg. He came in from Edmonton. He said, oh man, it was really good. You guys are good together. It sounded awesome today. I got emotional even thinking about it now with everything that went wrong for the previous year. Listen to me, I'm choked up about it. I was like, just thank you. Thank you for giving me a chance, because I needed that at that time. You can hear it in my voice. The Edmonton thing was really hard. You second guess everything. You thought you were taking your dream job, and it was eleven dark months to finally get a little bit of validation for the first time in a long time. Felt pretty good.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:40:21
I left my dream job and went to Edmonton and I got summoned to the general manager's office. And I'm like, nervous. What did I do? What did I do? You wanted to see me?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:40:31
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:40:31
When you make your football picks for the pool, don't use a highlighter because we photocopy them and I can't really read your picks.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:40:37
So great. Oh man, it was like you're back in school again. In Brandon. It was Stu Craig. He owned it. They called it the Crystal Palace because it was the front office that actually had windows to the street. It was the Crystal Palace. Oh man. Did you get called to the Crystal Palace? We're adults. Like, we're working in the business. There was nothing better than having that fit. And Kelly Kirsch was the program director, and Kelly was good to work for because he didn't pretend to know more about sports than you did. He knew that you probably knew more about sports than he did. He was the radio guy, and he just let you create and do what you wanted to do. And we had fun in the afternoon show and we did all kinds of things. And then the morning show thing happened and he just kind of trusted that what we were doing was right. And I don't think a lot of PDS would have done it and it would have it wouldn't have worked because Mike Richards was the morning guy. When I got to Calgary and the stuff Mike was doing on the air mike is a, he's a genius. He's an artist. The bits that he would come up with on the fly during the show, something would happen and he would scurry off to his office and call the control room. Okay, just roll tape. So it'd be like, what are you doing? So he'd have his cadence and the pauses, so he wouldn't even have to edit it. So he'd come back and he'd sit down when we come back. And break. Just play it. So be. Yes. Hello. Who is this. So he'd know in the cadence, he'd have it all written out in his head. And these bits were unbelievable. Now in 2023 offside, for sure, a lot of them, and I think even at the time, because if he was in Toronto with the fan, he'd never be able to get away with it. And they were probably right. It was Alberta. It was the wild west out here. You could get away with a little bit more than you could then, but that was just another thing. I was in awe watching this guy work. And then he left to go to TSN in Toronto, and that happened really quickly and can you get up in the morning and do the morning show? And I just didn't think I was morning show material. I didn't think I was at that level. I don't think I was. But Kelly put me with Andrew Walker, who was, oddly enough, a guy that I worked with in Red Deer. So I knew him. We had a little bit, we had some chemistry, so that really helped. And I said to Andrew, we can't do Mike's show. We can't be that funny. Mike's brilliant. If we try and be Mike, we will pale in comparison. Let's do a sports show, at least to start. Let's just do a sports show and see where it takes us. And that's what we did. And I think there were some people mike's Strength probably wasn't doing legitimate sports. I was going to say hard hitting, but it wasn't even that. But if Kippersov sucked the night before, if Kippersov was great, well, he'd pretend he's calling Mika Kippersov and it would be hilarious, but you wouldn't really get the sports part of it. So we did a sports show for a bit, and over time we loosened up a little bit. I try to remember what year it was. I still talk to him about it, and he remembers better than I am. Rhett Warner used to play for the Flames. He was still on the team when I got there as afternoon guy. We were doing the intermissions on sportsnet television of a Flames game. Roger Millions is hosting Rhett, the former player. I'm the media guy. We're doing the intermission panel for people that don't know Rhett. He was kind of the common man. He'd have a beer with everybody, everybody related to Rhett. Tough guy, western Canadian, that whole thing. So Pete Flames fans loved Rhett. And Roger says, okay, so what do you want to do here, Dean? What do you want to talk about? Rhett. What do you want to talk about? And, well, can I talk about the time Kipper was drunk and fell into my Christmas tree? And Roger says, no, no, you can't say that. No, I'd rather you didn't. And I said, Come on, my morning show, I'd love to hear about it. And he kind of his ears kind of perked up and then we did the intermission thing, and afterwards I said, you know, I'm serious. If you want to come in, I'd be awesome. He's like, can you talk about stuff like that? Sure, why not? And that brought Warner Wednesdays. So Rhett. Came in every Wednesday after the first one because he came in and he kind of ripped Deon funof because he was a young the young punk and came in. He was uncoachable when he and Robin Raghir were the veterans. And this was awesome radio. I knew it was awesome. You would know what that's like, right? When you're sitting there and you can see it. This is good. I would want to listen to this. And he came back in a week, and he was good again, and then he did it the next week, and it was good again. And then Wednesdays became Mondays and Fridays, and then it was three days a week, and then before long, we just started doing it together, and Andrew left to go to Toronto, and they brought Ryan Pinder in, and it was fun, and it worked. And it was another one of those things where Kelly Kersh just said, if you think it'll work, then do it. I think it sounds good. You guys go ahead, and Rhett. Got more comfortable. He got to appreciate what people wanted to hear. I think at first he said, People don't want to hear that stupid stuff. I said no. People do. People want to hear about what happened on the plane, what happened on the bus, what happened in the locker room. We're dying to hear that. We don't get that anywhere. And he was really good at being a storyteller, and he didn't mind sharing, and God, that guy had all kinds of stories, whether they were getting hammered at Tootsies in Nashville or doing nude summer salts on the charter after a big win in Arizona. He just had all these stories and would tell them, and the show got big in a hurry, and we kind of never looked back. It was great. It was hard for him to get up in the morning. It was hard for all of us. But certainly for a guy, when you're an athlete, you don't have to do a lot of things you don't want to do. Getting up at four or 05:00 A.m. Is certainly one of them, so that kind of ground on them. But we had some fun doing that show.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:14
I think it's all about stories and relationships. So as you tell that story, I think back to the people that I met in Edmonton. So Anson Carter, who's a huge Godsmack fan from Boston. And Godsmack's from Boston, right?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:28
So that's that's a natural right there. So he was a fan of the show. And Yanni Nimena, who we had a song called Menamana, which was by a band called Skin. I'll just fire it up right here and we can play it, but it was one of those things we play every Friday and I don't know, Yanni Nimena, we worked him into the show, and even somebody who's very stoic, Doug Waitt, we could bring his personality out on the radio. And I look at today, and I think the hockey players have changed. The players aren't like they once were and willing to open up. And who can blame them with social media the way it was? We've already covered that earlier on, what happened in 2006 with Chris Pronger. But to that end, man, good on you for getting Red on the show.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:47:13
And I find myself sometimes, and I try and be conscious of it, how hypocritical the media is. These guys don't say anything, it's boring they're stuffed shirts- say something, then if they ever say something that might be a little bit offside or whatever, then we just bury them. Well, where's the incentive? Why would you ever do it, right? If you're an athlete, you only stand to lose if you have some fun or maybe say something that you might actually be feeling. So I don't blame the athletes. Not good game, bring your A game, we'll be better next game. That doesn't get you in trouble. So it's a lot of hypocrisy for sure, when it comes to stuff like that. That's why when you hear spitting chiclets, those guys are loose. There's kind of a trust with those guys. And that's why the podcast is so big, because you're getting something now more than ever. You don't hear anywhere, you're not hearing anything fun, anything real in the mainstream media, which is that's the goal of all of us now in this digital space is to try and provide something that you're not getting terrestrially or in mainstream.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:48:16
So you did eleven years of getting up in the morning to go on the radio, and I think one of the successful parts of your show was not breaking down the power play. Line one and two, let's talk about the third line center. That stuff makes me crazy when I hear that on sports radio. I think nobody actually really wants to get that deep into it. Maybe there's a time for it after a loss, after a game, maybe. But the next day we've moved on. Did you get up for eleven years at 03:00 A.m.? You look good.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:48:44
Well, I've been sleeping in for a few months now. I was talking about this, I think it was yesterday, we had lunch with a potential client who I've known for a long time. Do you miss getting up? And it's like, no, because when you were doing it oh, do you like getting up? Do you like mornings? No, I hate it. It's the worst part of the job. I always used to say, I start the clock when my alarm goes off. I'm getting paid at 31323, I'm not on the air, I'm getting paid. That's part of that salary is to. Get up, because I was done doing mornings in June of last year, and I don't think I've had a cold or a sniffle or I haven't been sick. And Pinder was like, yeah, that's right. You were sick all the time. You just felt like you were always dealing. You're taking some Dristan, nasal something, and your throat's all sore. No good for your health. So, yeah, I guess it was eleven years Mike left, and then I never stopped doing mornings until last June.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:49:38
Did you see the incoming?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:49:40
You know, I did for multiple reasons. First and foremost, it was the sleep and getting older, right? I like to think I'm not an old dude, but over those ten years, you look back and my wife and I couldn't go out on Fridays, because by then you've lost so much sleep, you feel like it's kind of that accumulation thing that by Friday you've lost 3 hours. Monday, 3 hours, you're out a night and a half of sleep. At least by the time Friday, I can't sit up through a movie, tired of dinner, I can't stay up. So we wouldn't do things Friday. Weekends were tough. Sunday, by the end of the second football game, by like five or six, I'm grumpy. I'm in a pissy mood again because I got to get up in the morning. One of the things that was kind of the the real indicator to me, it was a Saturday morning, and I was in the kitchen making breakfast, and my daughter walks in, and I was whistling or whatever, and she walked in, she said, Jeez, Daddy, how come you're in such a good mood? And I didn't think I was in a particularly good mood. I was just whistling in the kitchen. And I got to know she left, and I was sitting there making eggs. It's like, is that really that's where we're at? Dad's in a good mood? If he's whistling, what am I like, if I'm in a bad mood, that's tough. And there were some other times where somebody said, oh, vacation boomer is fun. Went on a trip to Miami to watch the flames. And I wasn't doing the morning show, so I was getting normal sleep. So, yeah, I'm out at night and having drinks, and we're having a good time. All vacation boomer is fun. We just thought you were kind of a quiet, introverted guy, like, no, that's not me. It's so I knew I had to do it, and I had wanted to do it for so long. And I think you would know what this is like. You go on vacation, maybe you're in a rut, and you get energized and you get charged and you start thinking, maybe I can do this with the show, I can do that. My radio show when we get back. And that holiday, it gives you that false sense that it'll be different now, and within a few days you'd get back and you're nuts. If you keep doing this shift, it's never going to change. So I didn't hate what I was doing. I just knew that I couldn't do mornings anymore. I had already done afternoons. And then there was the other side of just seeing where everything was going. Cutbacks, firings, downsizing. You talk about it a lot on this podcast. And honestly, I've listened to this podcast for years and have seen where it's going. You'd have to be blind not to see where it's going. And I didn't quit to do a podcast. I quit because I was just done. I kind of thought in the back of my head, if something doesn't work out, maybe I can do a podcast or I'll figure it out. But yeah, it was a long time coming and it was hard. I got choked up with you a moment ago. That last show, I think I cried from start to finish, but it was all I ever wanted to do. I love radio. As a kid, I loved it. I would drive around in my car and hit the post to songs on my cassette deck. I was so proud when people say, oh, so what do you do? I do a radio show. I host it. Oh. Instantly, there's that kind of element of cool. It's an ice breaker. I just loved it. And to walk away, man, it did. It took me years. And even when it was done, I remember just walking out of the building that day, almost like in Red Deer. Are you doing the right thing? What are you doing? But it was time. I was just done.
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Matt Cundill (Host) 00:53:26
Now you tell people you're a podcaster and they think that you're alone in a basement with porn mags.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:53:31
Do you get over it? Does it ever get better? Because you've been doing it for a long time now.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:53:37
No, it doesn't. But I tell people that I manage podcasts now, and they think that's a little bit cool.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:53:43
But you know what? It's different now because I think people are becoming aware of what it is because more people are listening to it than ever. And I know for me, you talk about being hypocritical. It was at least two years that I was still doing the radio show. I never listened to the radio. I'd get in my truck, I'd drive home and listen to a podcast. I'm listening to you. I'm listening to Dan Lebotard. I'm listening to Pat McAfee. I wasn't listening to the radio I didn't have the appetite, desire, or the I wasn't going to sit through commercials. I wasn't going to sit through content. I didn't want to listen to. I only had so much time. I got a 20 minutes drive home. I'm going to listen to exactly what I want to listen to at this exact moment. And it's becoming more and more a thing people ask. I haven't listened to the station since I left. I haven't really listened. I just want to rear view mirror it. I don't want to feel emotional about it or anything like that. It was awesome. I love my time. I'm still very fond of radio and all of that, but now I'm focused on doing this, and I believe in it, and I think it can work. It is. It's the future. There's no doubt about it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:54:51
I know times have changed because I say, I do a podcast, and people now say, oh, what's it about? And can I listen? Can I find it? And years ago, it used to be strange, but now it's like, oh, I want to follow you, or I want to subscribe to your show.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:55:05
I think what it is, is, oh, you can do that for a living, because I think it's still in some people's heads that, oh, you're doing a podcast. What is it about? Is it about music? Is it about movies? Is it about your hobby? That sort of thing. Whereas now it's what we're doing. We're trying to sell it, and we're doing it daily, and we're treating it like a job, which I know is kind of one of those things. If you've listened to the Sound Off podcast, a lot of the guests will tell you you have to do it with frequency and regularity, and you have to treat it like a job, because if you don't and people can't rely on it, you're going to lose them. I don't treat it any differently than I did the radio show. It's not like it's Lucy Goosey. Whatever. I watch every game. I take notes during the game. I get up in the morning. I print off all the stuff. I am as prepared, maybe more, because I have more time in the morning now than I did to do the morning show. I'm as prepared or more to do this podcast now every day than I was before.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:56:02
Tell me, you've got three kids, and I'm not sure if they're out the door or they're still in the house, but you're thinking about making this transition from radio to can I do this and make a living? That's an incredibly difficult decision. And jump. And how did you process it to the moment when you said, okay, I'm going to jump and we're going to do this?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:56:22
My wife's amazing. She was telling me to do it. I mean, she had to live with me. She had been telling me to do it for a while.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:56:29
Well, she has a vested interest because she doesn't want cranky. Dean exactly.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:56:33
So if my daughter's telling me, why am I in a good mood? You can imagine my wife, but she does well. She's a pharmacist. And she said, look, we'll find a way. It's not like you're not employable. You're going to find a job. People like you, you can do things. And to this point, it's still one of those things that I do struggle with, to be honest, because I wasn't making great money. But by the time you're in radio for a while, you're doing Mornings, you're doing okay, and then you just walk away. And now you're starting from scratch. You do you wonder, have I done the right thing? I know I've done the right thing. You just hope financially that you still get to go on a vacation here and there the Christmas, there's still stuff for the kids that they like under the tree. But it's all her. She says, we will find a way. You will find a way. Do not. If the only reason you're staying is because of money, then quit right now. And it took me a long time to do it. And unfortunately, I think for a lot of people, they may not have that support that I have with her. Because I don't think if I didn't have her, I would still be getting up at 03:00 A.m. And miserable and tired and grumpy and all of that. So you need a good partner, and I've got one.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:57:41
Tell me about the release schedule for the podcast as it pertains to the hockey games. I think that when you have a sports podcast, the quicker you can get the episode out, the better you're going to do, because people are really hungry for that postgame analysis. And when you do a show, how far are you looking ahead to when it would expire, say, like milk in your fridge, that okay, this episode is really going to be good for the week or till the next game. What's your thought process when you guys are doing the show?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 00:58:09
When we started, and even to this point, essentially we're doing the show on the Internet as a podcast right now. And because it's daily, I don't think we worry too much about however green it is. I'm kind of conscious because I'm kind of out of all the three of us, I've got the radio sensibilities and I've been invested in how podcasts work and that sort of stuff, listening to guys like you and all of that. We don't need breaking news. We're not doing it right now. So you have to get that radio out of you. You got to get into that new way of thinking about things. And it's taken a while. I look to guys like you because I do wonder, how is that going to change? How do you change with it as the people become more and more familiar with the show. Are there things that they know that they're going to get but are there things they know that they're just not going to get? And how do you kind of mold it and and shape it? But we do Barn Burner every day from roughly ten. We start at about 1030. And that's going to change because we're getting a little bit more in terms of flexible within our network. I don't want to bore you with it, but we started kind of from coast to coast. It starts in Toronto with the Leaf Station and then Ottawa comes in and then Frank Seravelli does his daily stuff. So we kind of don't get to start because our producer is tied up till about 1030 mountain time. So it kind of takes away from that flexibility of doing the podcast. We can start whenever, but that is going to change. We're going to have our production in house, which is going to be great. It'll give us flexibility as far as start time, run time and all of that. But we've now started doing the post game show, which is after Burner, and it's been bigger than we thought. And I knew that it was going to be. And I listened to you talk with Adam Seaborne, who's with Playmaker, our parent company. And you need to just superserve give more stuff, more content, more content. And it's fresh for the morning commute. Get it out post game. Do it. You've got to do it 910 o'clock at night, but it's there for people in the morning. Your show from yesterday, the Barn Burner, it's dated now, but you've provided some new stuff for the morning drive in. And we were kind of canning it. We weren't doing it live, even though we don't edit ever. We're so used to doing live broadcasts. But we were recording it and then putting it up on YouTube. And the other night we did it live for the first time. I said, I just don't know why are we bothering? It's extra work for producers to do afterwards. If it's up on YouTube, it's up on YouTube. Let's just go. And it was one of the biggest ones we had. We just watched the chat. Boom, boom. They all just started flying through in the numbers. You could see, well, who's watching? The numbers went up at 100, 200, 304. It just started going up and up and up. So we're learning. We've been doing this for four months. It feels like four years because there's so much to do. Because we're kind of doing it all. We joined the nation network and they're kind of doing the back end stuff, which is great social media and some of the production and that. They're helping us with sales and all the other stuff. But there's so much to learn and there's so much to do and I don't know if we're doing it right. We're learning a lot. You won't like this because I know you give Blendell a hard time about video. I'm shocked at how many people watch the way they consume the podcast is to watch it on YouTube. They don't download it on their they don't listen to it. They watch it. I was talking to a guy who drives two, 3 hours a day. I put it on YouTube, I put it on my dashboard. Don't tell the police. I put it on my dashboard. I watch. That's how I take it in, by the way.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:01:44
He's a weirdo.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:01:46
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:01:46
And so is the person who attempts to cut what's left of my hair. I said, well, what do you listen to? He goes, so I listen to DAX Shepard and I said, well, how do you do it on YouTube? I said, well, why don't you just get it on Spotify? Like, who is driving around watching a podcast and people are doing it and a lot of people say and listen, I'm not a fan of the video. This will not be on video, but this will be on YouTube with just a card, just a little placeholder. Because YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. And this is how people find you. And people will type in Calgary Flames because they want information about their team and you're going to pop up. So that's a good thing. One of the biggest podcast episodes we've ever done is with Corey Carter. Corey Carter is the program director of a radio station called Wixx, which means absolutely nothing until I tell you that it's located in Green Bay and this is a radio station that carries the packers, but they, you know, do it through a Milwaukee radio station. So but people are just googling and looking for this stuff all the time. And to that end, and now you've met the person who is actually physically watching YouTube while driving. So I didn't think it was possible because I actually stand up and do presentations and I say people are not consuming content this way. Well, it turns out they are.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:03:01
They are. And we're fortunate because we did invest in having a video component. So we got decent cameras and lights. We wanted it to look good. Again, I thought we're just supporting the audio. So when you go to Twitter or Facebook, whatever, there's a video clip of Rhett warner saying the markstrom stinks. You're more apt maybe to click on it if there's video than if there isn't. So that was all we were doing video for, was to support the audio. I think we're 60 40, 60% download, 40% stream on YouTube, which had no idea. And again, that radio sensibility comes in for me. Okay, well, how do we got to lean into that? What more visual components can we bring? Are we going to do segments only with visual stuff? Do we need more video? Do we bring in crazy hats? I don't know. We're kind of doing a TV show at the same time as we're doing a podcast. It makes you rethink things a bit.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:03:56
Well, this is why radio is failing. And it's because if I ask you, Dean, do you care how I consume you? No, but radio, they do. They said, well, we're only really selling thirty s and sixty s. And I don't really know the online thing. That's just digital dimes. And that's why they're having such a hard time with the digital aspect of.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:04:16
It, what we're learning. And it's not a shot against radio, but as we as consumers, we kind of want it differently. We want it our way. So too do the people that spend their money. We've only done it a short time, but in the conversations we've had with clients, they're tired of being handed a sheet of paper. Here's what it costs for thirty s, and here's what it is for sixty s. And this is the package. Would you like it? Where we can sit down and say, what do you want? When you think of your company, is it something that's kind of light hearted? Is it something that's more serious? We have a segment that's about this. Do you want to own that segment or do you just want to come up generically? Hey, I went to this bar, we had a hell of a time. They had this special on Wings on Thursdays. What do you want? That's what they want. They too are tired of not being able to have the media the way they want it. And it's been great. Whether it's testimonials or having some fun. Again, it's the video component that you can add to it. We brought on it's. The hearing loss clinic. Guy in town, great, great guy, sports fan, sponsors the Flames 30 Years of Radio. My ears are not good. I said to him, I said, I should come in and see you because my hearing is shot. Well, now all of a sudden we can do that. We go in with the camera. Well, here's boomer going through the hearing loss process. So it's content for what we're doing. You have some fun, you make it entertaining, and it's great for him. You can't do that with radio. You just can't do it. So I love radio, I still do, but I do worry about it for sure.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:05:49
What's in your ears right now?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:05:51
It's not an ifb, it's little sure earphone things. They're noise canceling. So I don't need to have it quite as loud as the cans that I used to wear the cans because.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:06:02
We were talking about video and a lot of people asked me, do I have to wear these headphones because I look silly when I'm on the video? And I'm like, it doesn't matter. But I mean, you've done TV, so, you know, and I'm going to put a link to buy those for anybody who does want to make a purchase of that audio.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:06:17
Yeah, it's the sure two forty five S, I think they are. They aren't that expensive, but the foam that you have in there, it compresses, so you kind of give it a squeeze and it goes and then it expands. And I don't hear myself because it's so quiet, but it's nowhere near as loud and it's way easier. And I think because we're doing video, maybe it's less distracting, I don't know. But I find for me, it's better than having the big ones where I had to crank them all the time. So I could have used these 2030 years ago.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:06:49
I don't advise using noise canceling headphones when you're doing a podcast because you want to be able to hear what the output is. But a lot of people are going to love those. The other thing is, I know it talks a little bit about YouTube and getting into video. I just want to preface to listeners that if you're looking at your podcast and think, I get this many YouTube views and I get this many downloads, therefore I'm just going to go to YouTube. Just be careful how you count because it's going to be a minute of listening. That's going to be a download on the podcast. And YouTube, it can be 1 second, where somebody just hits Play. So the numbers aren't the same. So be very careful if somebody is making a decision to say, well, I'm just going to go to YouTube because I get a lot more traction there. But you may not be, so be careful.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:07:30
Yeah. And I think it's got to be Scatter shot. You do it all. Oh, I'm not on Facebook. Put it on Facebook. People are on Facebook. My kids, I just last week finally downgraded my cable. I still want to have because I need to see the Flames games. I need sportsnet. No one watches TV in my house anymore. They watch YouTube. They watch TikTok. That's what they're taking in. And I'm done paying for. They were laughing this morning. I told them we got rid of the cable. They're like, oh, I can't see Nickelodeon anymore. It was a comedy bit in my house that they weren't going to be able to watch Disney Channel anymore. It's all YouTube and that. So I got to get on the TikTok, right? I got to go to the Safeway and get my groceries. You got to put it everywhere because people are everywhere. But sadly, I don't know that they're in their car listening to the radio much anymore.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:08:19
What's your relationship with Playmaker? How do you get paid? And I know that's a very, very nosy question, because when I advise people on where they should put their podcast and you and I did have some discussions about what to do, I said, well, you can own your IP and do it yourself, or you could sign on with someone. And I don't know what a deal like that entails. So what's the structure? If you want to share that.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:08:42
No, not nosy at all. We were approached because we all ended up quitting. So how it worked, we were all doing the morning show at 960, and he had walked away once, and then when COVID hit, he was allowed to do the show from wherever he wanted to do it. You didn't have to be in studio anymore. That sounded great to him. So he ended up he was in in the States. His wife was from the US. So they were in Fort Lauderdale. They were all over the place during COVID He was very happy to be down in Florida. They didn't care about COVID this much down there. And he leaned into that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:09:19
Well, Texas and Florida didn't have COVID.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:09:22
Yeah, there was none who knew. So, yeah, so then he came back in, but even after that one year, it was still early mornings. He was just he was done, and it's just not fun to do it. It's morning. I was I was done, and Ryan Pinder, my other co host, his wife had gotten cancer, and all of a sudden, everything takes a backseat in life. And doing that show was a distant 20th, 30th, 40th, most important thing, and it was all kind of hit at the same time. And here I thought I was kind of letting everybody down. I didn't tell the guys right away that I was I was emotionally done. I had to leave. They were all ready to leave, too. So the summer hits, and I'm in Phoenix, sitting in a pool, and they're off doing their own thing. And Frank? Sarah valley. He's with the nation. Net. He's with daily Face Off was on TSN and sportsnet. He was our hockey guy, I think still is on 960. He calls and so what are you doing? Said, I'm just sitting in the pool. What are you doing? What's your plan? Like, I see you quit and that's great, but what are you doing? I honestly don't know. I don't know. You should talk to my guy Jay. Jay downton in Edmonton. He's with Oilers Nation. They have flames, nation. They got bought by this company called Playmaker. They are looking to expand Flames Nation. They want to start doing more down there. I said these guys were doing the morning show. I don't know if they're going to do it again or what they're doing. I'm like, okay. The one thing I had said is have every conversation, even if you don't think it's a thing, talk to everybody, take in everything. So I thought in the back of my mind, maybe I'll write for the website or I'll blog or I'll do something with Frank sat down and would you get the band back together? I said, do you have to talk to those two? Because when we were done, we were all very happy to be done but because of the flexibility that you have with this, you're not getting up. You can do it from home, you can do it on vacation. Under those circumstances, maybe it is something that would work. And it took a little while, but we talked about it and they did everything that we couldn't do. And for me, it was going to be a struggle. I told the guys, I said, if we're going to do this on our own, which we hadn't even thought about, I don't want to be cutting video and audio and social media and prepping for a show and being a husband, I'll be worse off than I was in the first place. The Nation Network says, we'll do your social media. We'll give you a producer. We'll put together a studio because we were thinking of doing it anyway for the guys that are already there. And we got a guy that does sales. He'll help you out. We'll work together, we'll work on a profit share. We'll work that out and see where we're at. We just said, yeah, okay, let's give it a shot. At that point, it was basically September into October. What the hell else are we going to do? Let's give it a shot. And it's funny, the sales guy that they were going to have us help out from Edmonton, he lives in Calgary now because he came here and kind of saw the appetite. We were very lucky. The show was very popular on the radio. It continues to be very popular. There's a lot of opportunity here. So he has moved to Calgary to kind of handle everything that's going on. We've hired extra producers. We've got more shows coming. We have a studio in Marta Loop, which is kind of a cool little neighborhood. And like I say, it's been four months. I can't believe how far it's gone in four months. So, yeah, they do the back end stuff. We do some of the content, we help out on sales, we work on kind of a revenue share and we go from there. And as it sits right now, I'm not retiring next year, but it's better than I really thought it was going to be. And it continues to get stronger and it's been fun, it's been freeing. You know what it is? It's everything that you said it was. It's yours, you own it. It's your stuff. You don't have sales coming in and saying, we can't be saying that because we can't do this, or you don't have promotions coming in and saying, we need you to do this. I laughed with a guy we were talking to yesterday. He says, well, what if I've got kind of two parts of the company? What if I want this week to be this, and this week we're going to talk about the other one? I said, Text me, just send me a text. Whereas before you contact your sales guy and the. Sales guy. He'll pass it by the sales manager, and the sales manager will talk to the programmer, who then will maybe go to promotions. Then you've ought to go to Copywriting, and then you need to get the text me next week. We'll talk about the other half of your company. And I think that that's the other part. Like I said, I think for the clients, they're kind of taken back. It's just it can be that easy. And it works so far. Knock on wood.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:14:01
So you're saying that you're not going to give away any oil changes on your show?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:14:07
Oh, man. Fred Jacobs I listen to those and I hear the passion that's still there for radio and how do you fix it? And then in the same interview, he talks about, none of my kids listen anymore. I feel for them. I'm not at that Dean Blundell level where it's like strip it, burn it down. They're man shutting at the clouds.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:14:27
But you mean driving away from the bridge he burned?
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:14:31
Yeah, he did pretty well, as I recall. But no, I feel for them because I don't have the answers. I know how I've been taking in my entertainment and my content, and it's not through cable TV and it's not through terrestrial radio. The hypocrisy of working on the radio and never consuming it, that ended last year.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:14:52
Your media ecosystem is on your phone. I don't know that if you're able to draw the line back to your dream job at CHED, but you look at something like Euler's Nation, nation Network, which is an Edmonton product that I believe is built and constructed in Rose because of the dysfunction at CHED. And the Oilers that we spoke about earlier gave rise to a property like that. And now look, you're on it.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:15:19
And to bring it, you talk about bringing it all back around. That whole thing with Jay Downton and the guys in Edmonton, it started with a website that they built, Bring Smitty Home. When they traded Ryan Smith, the fans got together and they were upset that Smith was gone. It was either keep smitty forever or keep smitty home. I was there when it all started and that was 2007. And they started writing blogs and doing fan pages and boards and all of that. And yeah, in Edmonton, it started faster. Just the disapproval that people have for I guess, mainstream media, people want to want honest. They want people to talk to them honestly. You don't want to feel like you're being given stilted information or what the man wants you to hear. And I'm not. It's not to that level, but it's just honest. That's where we're at. We're very fortunate that this space exists where you can download a podcast or go somewhere where you trust that person and what they're going to give you is the truth as they see it. And that's what we do. And I'll tell you Rhett's been great the last little bit because the Flames have been struggling here and he's been shooting from the hip more than I even thought he was going to. He loves Darryl. Sutter played for him, took him to the Game Seven in 2004. But he'll criticize Darryl right to the end. The team he loves, the team played for the Flames for a long time. If he doesn't agree with the way they're doing it, it's not shot jockery. It's the way he feels and people know it and that's why they listen. To have that genuine realness to it is something that we've never had through traditional media. I know I couldn't do it. I did a little bit of it and it nearly got me thrown out the door, so it's a breath of fresh air.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:17:02
Dean, thanks so much for being on the podcast. I appreciate it and continued success.
Dean Molberg (Guest) 01:17:07
Matt, you are doing awesome work and I know that you hear the testimonials. If you're thinking about doing a podcast, hey, do it. Even if you still got your job, just do it. Start recording, get online, get a microphone, get the gear. Matty will tell you what to buy. Just start doing it, and listen to what he's saying because it's not going away. And I owe you a lot because I listened- honestly, to come on the Sound Off podcast is awesome to me because I did I was in my vehicle listening to this show for so long. I've learned so much from you just by listening to you. Thanks. You know what you're doing. Keep it up.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:17:43
Thanks! I appreciate that.
Tara Sands (VO) 01:17:44
The Sound Off 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 soundoffpodcast.com.