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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Roz Weston: It Almost Never Happened

Updated: May 27

I reached out to Roz Weston when he was releasing his book, A Little Bit Broken in September of 2022. So that is not completely true - I sent an email to the publisher requesting an interview and you know how that can go. Publisher prefers TV over a podcast so on and so forth. It was another show in our company The Women of Ill Repute that had a really great interview about the Roz and the book... one that I didn't think I would be able to best. So I left it be.

Now comes a new podcast from the Frequency Podcast Network called The History of Roz & Mocha. It is six episodes on how they came together, why the show works and how it has lasted 14 years when most armchair PD's gave it 14 months.


 

The new docu-series is apart of Rogers owned Frequency Podcast Network.


The History of Roz & Mocha is a six-part docuseries that takes fans on an uncensored and unhinged ride through all the laughs, tears and controversies. From boycotts and battles, to offers to leave and that one time they got a letter from Jay Z’s people telling them to shut it down. Told by the people who built the show, the ones who tried to cancel the show, their families, staff, haters and celeb fans. New episodes of The History of Roz & Mocha drops every Wednesday at midnight.







 


TRANSCRIPTION:


Tara Sands (Voiceover)  00:02

The sound off podcast. The show about podcast and broadcast - starts now!


Matt Cundill  00:13

Roz Weston is one half of the Roz and Mocha Show. The duo came together in 2010. And they've just released a six part Docu series podcast chronicling their time together. And by the way, some of the audio from this podcast does appear in that Docu series. Many Canadians may know Roz from his time and Entertainment Tonight, Canada. And last year he released a book called a little bit broken, which he took several years to write. Today, we're gonna find out the backstory to how he became a national broadcast success, despite the critics counting him out, and what he needed to personally overcome to get there. And now Roz Weston joins me from Toronto.


Roz Weston  00:51

I think like the beginning of it was more like high school, I think there wasn't a lot I went to I grew up in a really small town. And there wasn't a lot to do. And I guess like my senior year, me and another guy were 90210 was a big show on television during my last years of high school, and they had this like radio station, like in the school. And you know, that was like the coolest thing. And so we convinced the principal and the vice principal to let us bring a sound mixer in and we had mixed tapes. And we would do bits and contests. And I would just play over the speakers in the, in the school while kids were coming in every day. We did the announcements. And and that's really like sort of how it started was. I didn't particularly think that it was going to ever be anything. But it was it was something to do senior year in a small town where, you know, young men spend most of their time fighting boredom, right? Because you know, what happens when that sets in. And so you know, that it was really what it was, was a way for us to, you know, have a bit of fun, get on the teachers good sides and fight off boredom.


Matt Cundill  02:03

And so after high school, do you go to a radio school? I


Roz Weston  02:07

did. Yeah. I didn't have great marks. But I sort of had I sort of had that and and I knew somebody who they were friends with with a few people who at Cubano seven at the time, and I went in for a little while and just sort of like poked around and ended on Saturdays and helped out with pulling CDs and everything else. And so my high school grades were not great at you know, coming out, and I'd never really taken school all that seriously. And I started applying to colleges. And you know, I was like, Well, what do I have? Like, what do I even do, there was nothing academic available, but we had done this radio thing in high school and I had gone in, you know, for a little while at Cubana seven on weekends when nobody even knew I existed there because you never really met anybody. And then I applied to a few schools for radio and Humber College was the only school that I got into. So I had one option and one option only. And then I went to Humber and I lived on campus. And I did that whole life, which was not the healthiest for me at the time. And I left after the first year. So I did I did one year of Humber College.


Matt Cundill  03:15

Who were you pulling CDs for q1 oh seven. Oh, just to


Roz Weston  03:18

whoever was whoever was in at the time. I didn't have like a set shift. I know, Rory O'Shea was weekends for a little while, where he was doing he was doing a show and I still I still message him every now and then. Which is really crazy. He's, he's a really he was always really great to, to me when I was when I was younger. It was cool. But it was not really what I would call like a great radio experience. And just in the sense that what the hours that you were there, there was no way to meet anybody because you were coming in on Saturdays, right? So like anybody who had who would ever even be in a position to see you or talk to you or be like, hey, that guy's you know, kind of cool or talented. I never met anybody like him at the station. And so it like it was it was an experience because it was cool. And it was a station I grew up listening to. But you know, did it like did it really help? I don't know if it did it. It got me inside of a room and it caught me behind a board. And you know, I'd play reel to reel tapes when I was in the building alone, right? That kind of thing. But no, it was it was cool. But I would go from ACT into to Toronto, where I grew up on the on the bus every Saturday. So I sort of gave up my Saturdays and my last year high school to to go and do that. And then Humber College after that. Do you intern with Howard Stern? I did. Yeah. Yeah. So that's sort of what happened was, I didn't like school. I didn't like college at all, because it wasn't fun. And what I mean, it wasn't fun is that I had the expectation that at least a portion of radio was supposed to be fun, and I just didn't find it fun. When I went to when I went to school. I wasn't learning what I wanted to learn. I wanted to, you know, I wanted I thought that I was going to be learning, you know, comedy, and I thought that I was going to be learning how to have these great conversations. I thought it was gonna be learning how to do you know, a show and and you sit in sales meetings like you sit, you sit in sales classes and commercial writing classes and they sort of give you the 360 radio, which is great. But I was never going to go into any of those. And none of those things interested me at all. And so at some point in my first year, I wrote a letter to the Howard Stern Show, I found out who the intern coordinator was. And then they were like, well, we've never had a Canadian intern before, why don't you come down for an interview, and I had never left the country before. So I hopped on a Greyhound and went to New York, and I interviewed with them, and she hired me on the spot, well hired me, she asked me if I wanted to be an intern on the on the spot and, and basically, what I wound up doing was spending all the money that I had for year two of college, to live in New York for that period that that I was there. So it was a decision that I made, like what was going to be better for me in the long run, which was, you know, doing an internship with with Howard Stern, or, you know, going to second year, Humber and I chose to do the internship. Okay, I


Matt Cundill  06:00

think this is a pretty important part of your story that I don't know, that has necessarily been told. But tell me what you learned from Howard Stern, because Howard is somebody who had the most unique radio show in all of North America, at least that was being done terrestrially, there was a lot of knock offs, and nobody could could really sort of compare. And I think that, you know, you've got a fairly unique show and carved out a little something. But what did you learn from Howard, about how he carved out his piece of pie and the type of show he did and what went into the show? So


Roz Weston  06:32

I was there at a crazy time. So when I was there, it was the first book had come out the movie hadn't come out yet. And he was running for governor that summer. So


Matt Cundill  06:43

97 is what I want to say in the book was Bill 9094.


Roz Weston  06:46

Oh, 9094 it was the it was the summer the OJ Chase. Oh, that was a summer because the Knicks were in the playoffs. The Rangers were in the playoffs. World Cup was there that summer, it was it was a massive summer in the in the city.


Matt Cundill  07:02

And by the way, anybody who does get the 30 for 30, June 16 1994 is the name of that. Just to get a whole idea of those three things that you talked about?


Roz Weston  07:11

Yeah. And it was it was crazy there. Right? What did I learn everything. I mean, I learned everything that I learned, I learned because I didn't know anything going in there. But as far as how to do you know, as far as a show and a large show, I think that one of the most incredible things that you sort of see when you were when I was there anyway, which was that the show didn't happen outside of the studio, right. So when you walked into those offices, it was not a chaotic frat boy kind of mess. Right? It was very much an office. And you know, people were laughing, and everybody was crazy. But the show didn't happen outside of the studio. And what I never really understood was the listening to the show. And as as I was a fan of the show is I never, I never understood the role of at the time it was Jackie and Fred, and how much they wrote for the show, because that was new Howard called the writers. But I never knew how that worked on a live show, right. And it was actually quite incredible to see because as the show was going on, Jackie had a he had a table in front of them. And he had a camera that pointed down at the table. And he would write a joke or a line as the conversations were going on, on a piece of paper, and he would slide it underneath the camera. And then Howard had a monitor beside him that showed what was on that camera. And so if he used the line that he used the line if he didn't. And so at the end of the show, the floor was covered in pieces of paper with just Sharpie scribbles on it. And I learned that that is how you can use writers during a live show, because I've never seen that sort of thing done before how a broadcaster can have a writer live in the moment while you're actually having a conversation with them. And so that was pretty eye opening for me. And I think just the sort of grandness and maybe it gave me a false sense of what radio was. But when he was at K rock at the time, like they had a giant boardroom for all the sort of radio executives and everything else. And that giant boardroom became his office, right like they took over the radio station, like that entire radio station was just based around based around that show. And so it's just the grandness of it that something could be this big, right? And I think that what it wound up doing at the time was it sort of set the bar for anybody who ever experienced that show in the building it set it higher for you and you realize like just how you how far things can go in this business. And it was if nothing else, it was just inspiring, really, you know, everybody there that this giant machine was able to put chaos on the air every day but in a very organized way off the radio was was really inspiring.


Matt Cundill  09:57

Did you take the Greyhound back to Toronto


Roz Weston  09:59

I left early because I wasn't in I wasn't in a really good place. It was not the right time for me to be there. And I wasn't healthy, and I wasn't mentally healthy. And my mum may have flown me home when I when I left, because I know when I, when I decided to leave, I needed to leave right then, because it was not going to be a good place for me if I stayed.


Matt Cundill  10:21

So I can imagine financially, it would be really tough, because I remember I had friends who had apartments in New York in 1994. It is not like the TV show Friends, to say the least, incredibly expensive, I seem to recall, the rent was, you know, the 1000s and 1000s of dollars, and then you still have some roommates. And as well, I guess the chaos that you would be working in your work in a very, you know, high stress environment. Yeah, I can, I can totally understand how that how you would feel I need to go home. Yeah,


Roz Weston  10:50

and, you know, to be honest, like it was that that part of it was great. My mom found me housing at NYU, and we had Oh, it was a one bedroom. So there's a living room and a bedroom, there was four of us. So there's two of us in the bedroom, and the two guys sleeping in the living room. And it was sort of very New York, and I didn't mind I didn't mind that at all. But the stress of being there for for me was I went down there not in a very good place. And I was sort of running from whatever problems that I was dealing with. At the time I was I wasn't healthy, I was self harming a lot, I was going through some really terrible things. And I thought that running from that and hiding there would fix sort of everything. And it didn't it just made everything worse. It just came out because the one thing that I hadn't dealt with up to that point was loneliness. And, and I, you know, had been so close to my brother who I grew up with, and he'd lived with my whole life. And this was my first real time away from from him. And so I was lonely for the for the first time. And I realized that I just I wasn't built for that, or I wasn't yet built for that. Would you do when you got home? I moved on my brother moved to Toronto. When I when I was in New York, he moved to Toronto, and as soon as I moved back, I moved in with him. And we've lived together since What about broadcasts wise, I met Paul Cook from six ad. And he was like really great and taught me a lot. There was he had what he was working on a couple of different shows. And, and I was sort of just doing Chase producing for him, which is just calling around the world and just trying to convince people to come on, you know, come on shows. And that was really good. Because Paul was like this, this sort of first person, you know, in the business who looked at me and saw any sort of potential, which was really great. And we're still great friends, Paul, and I like we are incredible friends. But yeah, no. So he's he was really the one that kind of turned me around because I was going to leave radio for sure. I just I didn't I wasn't enjoying it. I didn't know if I wanted that life. And it was very difficult to get a job and I wasn't a smart guy at the time. And and so he was the one that sort of gave me gave me my first shot. And, and I have you know, I thank Him every day when I see him in the halls still that, you know, he is the the reason that I sort of do everything that I do now. And


Matt Cundill  13:12

so that's the Rogers property, a very busy radio station, because it's news round the clock and a wheel and you gotta get people on and off and production. Did you stay in that Rogers building for long?


Roz Weston  13:23

It's hard to even tell because I've been at Rogers three times. I left and I went to produce television, right I was I was a writer in news and public affairs, and producer on on TV. And then 911 happened, right. And after 911 happened, you started to tell the same story every single day. And it was devastating to work at news at that time, just because everything you did hurt. Everything you did was depressing. Everything you did was a story that was hard to tell and hard to write and hard to chase. And, and then at the time right out right around after that time my my father got sick and my dad was dying. And I realized that I just needed fun in my life. Like if I was going to still work in television I needed I needed fun. And then this station Toronto one started up and they were producing a late night show and I went into interview to be the executive producer of the late night shows this show called Last call. And I didn't get the job and they called me and said hey, you know we're gonna go with somebody else's the EP but do you want to? Do you want to interview come in and audition to be one of the hosts for the show. And at this point, I had never done any on air stuff. And I wasn't interested in doing on air stuff. But I knew that I needed to have a little bit of fun and I needed to get out of the the sort of news wheel. And so I went in and I interviewed I auditioned to be a host on this show. They were hiring for people to be this host. It was a late night show that took place in a bar and it was a working bar. So there was like custom Emerson, everybody else, you know, in there, and then I wound up getting that job. And that was my first on air job. And I was almost, I was a month away from being 30. So as far as the On Air stuff goes, I was kind of late in the game like a late bloomer. When it comes to people. I wasn't the, you know, one of these guys that had a, you know, where I was doing on air shifts at radio stations, you know, in my early 20s, like, I didn't take my first on air job until I was 30.


Matt Cundill  15:27

Yeah, and it was a lot of television, too. Yeah, yeah. So you did you did some stuff in the bar. And then you were with Toronto, one for a while. And then I think what comes next is global. Yeah. ET Canada. Now. It's National. Now I know who you are.


Roz Weston  15:42

Yeah. And it was ET Canada was really crazy, because we had this thing at Toronto one, so they canceled the bar show. And then they built an entertainment news magazine show, sort of like ET whatever right, was called the a list and that sort of that show, that station was such a disaster, and that station was destined to fail. But when you look at the people who came out of that sort of pocket of people, so it's myself, very first on our job, Deena Pugliese, it was her first on our job, Tracy more, ERISA Cox, who's the host of Big Brother, Canada, Andrea bein. And then over on the on the new side, it was who was there, there was somebody else that was there. But it was like this, it was a stacked lineup. And everybody who worked at that tiny little station went on to do these really, really great things. And it was, so for that part at Toronto one, you know, we all knew it was going to end because there was no way that it couldn't. But when you were there, you realize that you were working with some incredibly talented people. And it was and it was really great. So that station was failing. And then our one of our producers went over to global. And then one of our senior producers went over to global and they were building this new entertainment show, nobody knew that it was Entertainment Tonight, Canada, because the deal with Paramount hadn't been done yet. And I was the only one who had a contract at Toronto, one that would allow them to jump from one to the other. Everybody else had some sort of non compete, and my lawyer at the time wound up making sure I didn't have any of that, which was great. And so they were looking for people and I was the first person hired for ET Canada. So it was the executive producer, the director guy named Frank Sampson. And then I think they hired a jib guy, because they were they were friends. And then and then me. And so I was hired before Cheryl was hired, and I wound up sitting in Cheryl's audition, they made Cheryl audition for the for the show. And so we built the show. But when I was hired at BT, Canada, it was called Global entertainment. It wasn't even called at Canada until they could announce the the deal with Paramount and then sort of ET Canada just took off. And I was there for 17 years, and


Matt Cundill  17:58

a great piece of Canadian content that could count as news. And great relief, by the way for anybody who's looking to get away from the depressing stuff out there. Which is why by the way, I always thought Entertainment Tonight worked because it followed the news back in the day. It


Roz Weston  18:11

did and you know, the the crazy thing about ET Canada is like I never loved it right? There was never really my thing. You just sort of get good at it. And that's what I that's what I relied on. I saw an episode of We launched ET Canada in 2005. And for the first couple months, I would watch them when I could you I would tape it on VHS at the time when I when I got home. But I think I the last episode of that show that I saw was 2007. And I never watched the show after that. I never knew what it looked like I never knew when we changed our graphics. I never knew when we change the music I just didn't I just would just go in because I liked interviewing people like that's what I like doing. It's not that I love being on that show. I just love doing interviews. And so that's what I would go and do and and I would put all my sort of time and effort into doing interviews and then when we started doing the live show, but I was never really interested in everything else they did you know they did on the show, but man that I love working with those people. They were an incredible group of people to work for. And that was the hard part of leaving that show was was leaving the people that you just laughed with every day,


Matt Cundill  19:25

having spent some time with Natasha Gargiulo on this show, and working with her in the past. And you know, she and I talk quite often she's still you know, refers to it as families even though you know, it's not continuing you we're all family. Yeah.


Roz Weston  19:37

And Natasha, Natasha is a great one because she sort of came in on on wave two when we started hiring new people. And, you know, we welcomed her in and she crushed everything that you know, they asked her to do and she was, you know, she was really great. It was hard when when Natasha and we had another reporter in Vancouver at the time named Aaron sebelah. It was hard when they when they left or when they were asked to leave they didn't leave, they were asked to leave. It was hard because you really you know, you love those women and love what they brought to the show. And, and you don't want to you don't want to see somebody hurt, you know when they when they put so much into something and, and the sacrifice for a show like that is time because, you know, they traveled a lot in the first years of the show, I traveled a lot, I had a brand new baby at home. And I was I was in Los Angeles, three weekends a month. And I would finish you know, when I started doing the radio show, I would finish the radio show at 9am. At the time, I would have my bag with me at the station, I would get in the car, I would go to Pearson, I would be on an 11 o'clock to Los Angeles, I'd land in LA, I would work that night, I would do interviews all day Saturday, and then Sunday morning, and then I would get back on a plane to come back to Toronto and I would land at 11:30pm on Sunday night, get home at about 1230 and then wake up and do the radio show again. And I would do that for three weeks in a row. Right like there was without without break kind of thing. And so it's an exhausting thing. And so you really feel like you're putting a lot into it. And so so when when somebody, you know gets gets let go, it hurts more because of the the amount of themselves that they gave to it.


Matt Cundill  21:14

When did kiss 92 Five,


Roz Weston  21:16

come calling 2009 I was in Los Angeles, because Michael Jackson had died. And I was covering that for at Canada. And kiss was coming back. And I had worked at kiss in the early 2000s. I was mad dog and Bailey's producer. And I'd left there and kiss was coming back. And Julie Adam was sort of, you know, bringing kiss back. And I'd worked with Julie earlier and she gave me an incredible opportunity. When I needed an opportunity. And people were blowing up my phone being like, Oh my God, you got to do this, you got to do this. You got to call her you got to call her. And then I wound up writing Julie a letter while I was in Los Angeles to tell her why she needed to take a chance on me to do the morning show. And you know, I'd never hosted a radio show before. I never introduced a song on the radio before. I've still never introduced a song on the radio before. I've never run a contest. I've never done any of that stuff. And and then I convinced Julie because my fallback was, hey, listen, let me just do this. Because what do you got to lose? Right? The other thing is, is that if I'm horrible at it, just fire me because I already have a great job wherever I work at ET Canada, like you're not going to hurt my feelings and my family's not going to starve or anything else. If this does not work out, just tell me to not come back in. And by the time I was flying home from Los Angeles. After covering the Michael Jackson funeral, Julie had offered me the job. And so I signed on very early on tentatively, but then it became how do I do the radio show and ET Canada at the same time, because I only wanted to do both. And that sort of where, you know, the two companies which didn't have a great history of playing nice together, let alone sharing people. And one great lawyer who was my lawyers sort of, you know, brought everybody together at the time and everybody worked it out. And they figured it out that I could, you know, wake up at 330 in the morning and do a five hour radio show. And then leave there and go and do ET Canada until you know six o'clock every night is when we finish taping basically, and then drive home and then still travel on the weekends. Right. So it was an incredible schedule. I was doing, you know, 16 hours a day, every day. But they worked it out. And I was able to do both. And I did both for a very long time. That the birth of rasa mocha. Yeah, because I signed on to do the show. And mocha had already with Mocha was hired as well. But mocha was hired to do afternoon drive. And when I got hired, Julie started giving me Julie Adams started giving me all these tapes of of people who when it came out that I was doing this show who wanted to do the show with me. And it was extremely flattering because there were some great broadcasters in there and some some people who were employed at the time at at other stations in the city. And the more I listened to these tapes, the more I realized that I was going to fail with every single one of them. Even just on a demo alone, I knew I would have no connection to any of them. And in all of those tapes was mochas tape. And she just had it because she asked for it when she hired him to do afternoons and I listened to bogus tape, and I was like, this is the guy like this is the only guy you know, I realized what I was looking for. And I was looking for everything. And mocha was everything. And she said, Well, shit, that's great because he's already hired. So we'll just slide him over from afternoon drive to the morning show. And then she went to Moca and she was like, Hey, listen, Roz really loves your tape and wants you to come and do the do the morning show with him and build a show. And he said no, he didn't want to do it. He had been doing mornings in Kitchener and he didn't want to do it. And he's like, No, I'm fine. I'm gonna do afternoons and then I was like, well oh my god, I'm dead right like the whole thing is dead. And then it took him, you know, a little while and he came around. And that's sort of more his story, as far as you know, his realizations and his own feelings towards it. But he did come around. And then we were able to kind of build this show that, you know, at the time, will probably be the last time, another show gets this opportunity. And we and we talk about this all the time, which is now when you have shows starting, and they're bringing two people together who have never worked together, or even two people that have worked together, you know, stations are very careful. And you do test shows, you know, they'll put you in a studio, you'll do a couple of test shows, you'll run some bits, stuff that will never see the light of day. And then you go and you sit with a boss, and you work out the kinks kind of thing, where when mocha and I started this show, we met once before we started this show, and it was and we hadn't really even met before this. And we met once it was at a bar. And there was a third person there with us, who was our assistant music director at the time. And we had taught me we talked about the show and what we wanted for the show for about 20 minutes. And then we had a couple of drinks and dinner and we left and then the next time we saw each other was that day when the show started. And so you know, you will never again have somebody hire two people to do a morning show, in a city like Toronto on a station like kiss, which is a brand new station at the time, where it's like, okay, you're hired, and you're hired. And then you just show up one day and do a show, like without really planning anything. And we hadn't planned anything more and more and more. So we didn't want to do anything. And so we fought like hell. Because we were like, I don't want to do traffic. I don't want to do weather, I don't want to have somebody come in and do news. We don't want to do any of that stuff. So we took out all of that stuff out of the show, just so we could do comedy and sort of go on rolls with things right. I wanted to be able to take lots of calls, and I didn't want to be interrupted. And so that's how we built the show. That was the sort of foundation of the show was, you know, there was no structure as opposed to I mean, right now, like we have way more structure now than we did then like there was no net and no structure when we started the show.


Matt Cundill  27:04

So from what I'm hearing, Julie Adam got out of the way, for the first few months. Yeah,


Roz Weston  27:11

what what Julie did was, Julie is the biggest fan and as the best eye for talent of anyone that I've ever seen in my life, Julie's incredible. And Julie knew me because we had worked together before Julie knew Mocha, because they had worked together before. And Julie saw something in me and she saw something in Mocha, and already knew that there was no chance being taken on talent. It was just building a show and chemistry and figuring each other out. So she knew that that was the hurdle. It wasn't figuring out whether we were good enough, she just let us figure out the sort of dynamic of us. And what Julie did was she sort of let us be us in those first couple of months. And then what she was doing on the other side was guarding the gate from the bosses and the consultants and the everything who were telling her what in the hell are you doing? And what she would say is just give it time it's going to work. And that was sort of that's what she did is that she was the sort of defender of us in those first couple of months. Yeah,


Matt Cundill  28:16

good program director when building a new show has to be the most excellent of shields.


Roz Weston  28:23

Oh, she was incredible. She's still incredible. I could say Julie doesn't even work with us anymore. And I could call Julie and be like, Oh my God, this guy's really got my ass I need your help. And Julie would help like without without question.


Tara Sands (Voiceover)  28:34

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Mary Anne Ivison (Voiceover)  28:53

This podcast supports podcasting 2.0. So feel free to send us a boost. If you're listening on a new podcast app, find your new app now at podcasting, two point org slash apps. That's podcasting. Two point org slash apps. So


Matt Cundill  29:07

how far into rosin Mocha, before you are comfortable, that this is totally working. And we're gonna ride this.


Roz Weston  29:16

I didn't have a lot of expectations because I didn't know what to expect. Like I didn't, I didn't know what it felt like to build, you know, something that was going to be successful. And to be honest with you, I didn't know whether the show was great. I mean, it made me laugh, right. And that that's sort of all you have when you're in a room at six o'clock in the morning with one other person made me laugh. I was having a good time and then you just hope that other people do. But I think that the one thing that we did early on with that show is something that is different from the way that they tell other people you know, most people when you get into this business, especially if you're new and you're doing a show, they will tell you to figure out what the audience is talking about what they're interested in and talk about have that sort of like, reflect the audience we're making, I have never done that. I've never once talked about something on the show that I'm not interested in, we only ever talked about the things that we were interested in. Because if we're interested in it, chances are, we can make it interesting enough that the audience would be interested in it. And so that's sort of how we built the show. And then when you sort of keep going over time, the audience then feels like they are a part of this friendship that you have, where you know, you're too, you know, funny people who are making each other laugh and ripping on each other, but also doing some stuff that'll make you cry, and also doing some stuff that is extremely helpful for people that needed at the time. And that's how we did it. Because it net we never want sounded like we were talking about something that we didn't believe in 100%. And I think that that's kind of where we started in a different place than most shows,


Matt Cundill  30:53

how close are the two of you after hours, we don't


Roz Weston  30:57

hang out, we barely talk. But I think that that is not because of anything like I love him. You know, he's he's one of the greatest people I've ever met in my life. And one of the most important key people that I've met in my life, but we've just never hung out. And it's like a thing that freaks the audience out. Like, we don't, we don't hang out, like we'll text memes to each other during the day. But you know, we don't sit on the phone or fire emails back and forth and do a lineup of stuff that we're going to talk about on the show the next day, like, we just don't do that. And we never have, you know, the the, the whole thing with our show is, you know, you gotta be ready to laugh, you gotta be ready to lose, and you can't let the other person down. And that's just it, you know, come in, work hard and be ready. And it's like everybody else that we have on the show. Now with the other cast members that are on the show, it's like, if you're called upon be ready, that's the only rule, you know, just be ready. And when you tell somebody that it sort of, you know, puts them in a position to work on themselves and their own performance, you know, I don't want to work on somebody else's performance, I just need them to know that the only thing I need you to do today is to figure out a way to be better tomorrow without relying on the things that made you great today. And that's the only thing I need is just get better every single day just get better.


Matt Cundill  32:12

Has there ever been a point where you thought the show could cease?


Roz Weston  32:15

Never, not once, not even when we had terrible ratings all those years ago, when I went every day, I should have thought about that. Every day, I should have thought about that the show is gonna get canceled. But I never I never did. And that wasn't because of arrogance, it was I think it was just because we were just so focused on the show that I was never interested in anything outside of the show. And also, you know, the thing that makes mocha Chai a little bit different is I don't care if we win. Right Moca cares if we win, you know, I care about other things on the show, I care about the flow of things and the content, and whether what we're saying is helpful, what we're saying is truthful, what we're saying is funny, like I care about all that stuff. Mocha does too. But you know, we just our main focuses or other are sort of other things, right? Like he cares, he cares very much. If we win where, you know, if somebody sends me ratings, then I get them. And it's like, cool, great. That's awesome. You know, and then milk and I will text will be like, congratulations. That's that's great. But I'm certainly not ratings focused on I never have been,


Matt Cundill  33:17

what's the best thing a program director can offer you? I


Roz Weston  33:21

would say that, and I've worked with some great program directors, we've been really lucky in that world. When it comes to working with performers, I think that the first thing they need to do is concentrate less on the performance and more on the person. Because once you start understanding the person first and that the performance stuff kind of comes into place. You understand why they make decisions? That's the first thing but I think the most important thing is to figure out what motivates the person you're talking to. Because everybody's motivated by different things. Some it's praise, some it's creative freedom, summit space. But when it comes to kind of coaching and guiding and offering advice, I think you really need to figure out you can't do a one size fits all. When it comes to you know, coaching or advice or or being being a PD, somebody like me, right? So Paul Kay, who is our I don't even know what he is now, I think a VP but he was our program director for a while. He figured me out real quick. And somebody like me, if you want me to go in a different direction, okay, it is never a good idea to tell me to not do something, what you should do is tell me to do more of something, right? So if there's part of my performance that you sort of feel maybe isn't the best or you want to, you know, kind of, you know, switch gears or not, you know, go in a specific direction. Don't tell me to not do that because I will only do more of that. Right. So I'm the kind of person where I'm like, don't tell me to not do something. Tell me to do more of some thing. So find the thing that you think works. And just tell me to do more of that. And then this problem will sort of


Matt Cundill  35:05

fix itself. Tell me about going from local to national. And that's not to say that this show isn't local. But you know, you have to make a jump. And you know, Howard Stern, does it now it's your turn to add some extra radio stations to the roster? And did you have to change much? Or did you just continue to do the same show,


Roz Weston  35:24

we never sort of felt that we had to insert local into the, into the show, we always felt that, you know, whatever we were just interested in is what we were talking about. So we never felt the need to do local things. If local happened, then local happens. But we never we were never guided by guided by that the sort of live local thing was never interested me. Did we have to change things? Yes. And I wish we hadn't. Because we, when you are in Canada, you know, we just don't have the amount of radio stations that you do in America, like if you look at New York State, and then Massachusetts, and then you know, Pennsylvania, and you sort of go down all the way the East Coast, there's 150 stations that a show like ours could be on. But when you look at Canada, the way we have a time zones, and the amount of stations we have, there's not a lot of stations. And so when our show went to Winnipeg, we give them a version of the show, it's not really our show. It's not, it's not, it's not our show that starts at you know, 6am in Toronto, and then we just replay the whole show in Winnipeg. And I wish we did. Because I feel that it would be a better show, they get a version of our show, which is, you know, extra breaks that we have, and then we'll take the news breaks. And we'll sort of fill them in as you know, talk breaks. And we don't do certain things on the show that we'd like none of our games, we don't play our games there. Because, you know, I guess people can't win. But I still think that they're fun to listen to. And anyway, it's it's a version of our show, I wish it was our show. The the the Ontario stations, the Ontario North stations are our show. And they crushed like, like we're like they we crushed in northern Ontario, which is really wild. And the people have just been so engaged with the show. And we hear from the people in Timmins and North Bay and Sioux Sainte Marie, like constantly, like they've just become incredible fans. So they're wonderful. And then the other versions of the show is our The show is evening version. So in Ottawa and Edmonton and somebody somewhere else, I'm not sure it's an evening show. So it's a two hour version of our show cut to an evening show. And those do and those do really well the responses great to that. So, you know, there's a lot of different versions of the show that are on the radio. And in order to be able to pull that off, right, you need to a higher people. And you need to build a machine that can handle the workload, because now we have five pts. And we have five sets of expectations. And we have, you know, five different contests and we have all of this stuff that we have to now run. And you know, the one thing that it is now that I will reality is, from the time that we walk in every day, there is not a second, that we're not working for the show, like I asked to go pee like I'm in grade five, you know, like, I'll look at milk and I'm like, do I have time to pee? And he will either say yes or no. And that is literally the only break that you have, from the entire time because we're not doing stuff for Toronto, we're doing stuff for all the other stations,


Matt Cundill  38:19

you touched on loneliness earlier on. So I have to ask, tell me about your personal experience going through the pandemic. And at the same time as a whole, we're all going through it. And a people are relying on you and your show for company. The one


Roz Weston  38:37

thing we never did on the radio show was we never missed a day. And when I say never missed a day, we never missed a day in the studio. We never did the show from home, not one single day, they shut the building down for two years. And there were days where like me and Mike and a couple guys in the newsroom were the only people in that building. And it was dark, they saved money by not even turning the lights on. And we went in, we figured out a way to do the show in the building because it still needed to feel like the show. And also, I didn't want to have to talk about the pandemic all the time. And that's one thing that being in the studio, normalize that experience for us. And so we didn't really spend a lot of time talking about COVID. And I think that when everybody else went because a lot of people use it as a gimmick working from home, you know, because oh my god, look at us. We're, we're flattening the curve, and we're working from home. But when you work at home, and you know you make that decision, and then when you go back to work two weeks later and you realize okay, so it was a bit right. But we never did that. And what it allowed us to do was to make the decision to just not go heavy on COVID. In the show, we would we would talk about you know, like the important things that people needed to know and like what legislation was happening with the mayor was doing all that said stuff. We did that, but we felt it was extremely important to just do our show. Go. And so we went in everyday during COVID, and just did the show we would have done


Matt Cundill  40:04

had it not been COVID was a therapeutic.


Roz Weston  40:07

It was in the sense that you didn't feel trapped, right? Like, I never felt trapped, I still had a place to get up and go to every day where, you know, most people did not. And you know, I felt terrible for those people, especially if you can see people slipping, and a lot of people slipped during that time during COVID. And it was just not an option for us. And we were never going to do the show from home, like we were never going to do the show from I got I did the show from home twice. And when I got COVID twice. And I never missed a show, I had a kit that I had at home. And we made sure it sounded great. And I got COVID. And I think the first time I didn't tell people that I had COVID, we just did the show, because they didn't want to dwell on COVID. Because I knew that that was not the right way to go.


Matt Cundill  40:54

When did you decide to write a book years


Roz Weston  40:57

ago is when I decided to write the book, I got approached to write the book years ago, but they they wanted a celebrity sort of thing. Here's all the behind the scenes of all the famous people I've interviewed, and I wasn't interested in that. And the book came around because I just I knew I had a story to tell. And it's just a matter of being brave enough to sort of put it all down on paper. And then I met an agent. And that's your sort of first step in wondering if if you even have a book, if your idea is even a book as you sit down with an agent, the agent was like, Yeah, let's let's sort of work on this. And, and then I took, you know, six months with with him. And we worked on the proposal for it, which is reading chapters and you know, sample chapters, and you have to it's a lot to even get it to a publisher. And then when we when we sold it, I spent I think the whole the whole time was about a year and a half, maybe even to writing it. And it was an emotional, you know, experience writing the book. And I knew what the book was. And I knew that it was sort of unusual. Listen, I was like I was I was a late 40s You know, man writing a book about feelings. And it wasn't an easy thing to do. And I cried everyday. Well, while I wrote it, I laughed everyday while I wrote it. But it was incredibly emotional. And I sort of knew that going into that process of talking about, you know, the things that I talked about whether it be you know, grief, or you know, mental health issues, or whatever it was, I knew that what I was doing was going to help, it was going to be helpful. And if it was only one person that found it helpful to me, that was enough to sort of get me through all the hard parts that were extremely difficult to sort of relive and retell,


Matt Cundill  42:37

we all do feel a little bit broken inside, what is the best way to not feel so broken? I


Roz Weston  42:44

don't think it's about not feeling broken. I think that it's about figuring out how to rebuild. And I think that that's one of the big problems, especially with young men, is, you know, the thing that terrifies us the most about, you know, even admitting that there might be something wrong is rebuilding. And that's a tough place to be is, you know, we can tear ourselves apart. But the reason we don't is because how do you then put it all back together again, so you're out, you know, you're, you're a whole person. And that's why people don't ask for help, you know, in a lot of situations is because they're terrified to be taken apart. Because, you know, how do you put it all back together again. And so when I, when I had come up with the idea of a little bit broken, it was you know, you're not ruined, you're not used, you're not spoiled. And you're certainly not beyond repair, but you just got to learn how to rebuild. And that's where you know that that was what I went through. And I sort of go into great detail of that sort of rebuilding process that that I went through, and it's and it's not perfect, and I'm still far from perfect. And there's a lot of stuff that still, you know, sort of eats away at me and bothers me, but I don't hide it anymore. I had Tourette's on television for 17 years when I was on TV. And I don't know why is I didn't really I didn't have to but I just didn't, I always had this great fear of being somebody's problem. And I never wanted to put any of my stuff on anybody else that where they felt responsible for, for anything that I was that I was going through. And so So I hit it, I hit everything that I was going through. But then I realized that, you know, kind of coming out of the other side and I met a great woman who's my wife now Katherine, and we had a kid and I slowly started to rebuild, you know, over the over the years, the radio show helped a lot with a lot with that. And I came to terms with a lot of things I you know, finally dealt with the the loss of my dad and and just you sort of just start to rebuild. And it's a long process, right? It's a really, really long process. And it was at that point where I realized that maybe this story would be helpful.


Matt Cundill  44:42

What I love about podcast right now is all the stories that are coming out involving radio and rosin. milker story 14 years, and you got a docu series that's on the way Why Is now the time to do this.


Roz Weston  44:55

So God one because you build This podcast network and this podcast feed and you have It's a monster that you've got to feed. Right? You got it, you got to do this. But also the fans have really supported us. And and I don't know how usual it is for radio shows, to have the kind of fans that that we have, I'll give you I'll give you an example. Right. So when I released when I released the book, we did a, we did a book signing at Indigo in in Toronto, and I didn't know what to expect at the book signing and indigo didn't know what to expect. And my agent didn't know what to expect. And the publisher didn't know what to expect. And so we showed up and we brought the whole radio crew and you know, our DJ DJ climax was spinning live in the bottom of indigo and, and all this stuff. And 550 people showed up. And it was the second biggest book signing that Indigo had ever done. And I was like, Well, who was number one, and they were like Bruce Springsteen. And I was like, God, damn these fans, right. And then anytime we do something, the fans rally. And fan service is what I love, I love when I'm a fan of something. And then the artist or the the property, the IP, whatever it is, they do these things specifically for fans, right? I'm a big fan of fan service. And when we started the podcast was 2016. And then sort of the podcast starts in 2016, and continues on for today. But from 2009 to 2016, there was a story, it's sort of like our origin story of how the show started and all that craziness that we did in those early days. And so there's a lot of fans of ours who don't know what that story actually is. And so we put together this six part, it's a 661 hour episodes. And it's we have this incredible archive because the one thing that Mike and I did do when we started this show, was we kept everything, even at a time when people didn't keep stuff. We kept everything. We have everything from our very first break on that morning in 2009. Until what we did today on hard drives, every single thing we've kept, that's incredible.


Matt Cundill  47:02

And I think this is a lesson for any talent. If you don't save it, nobody else is going to save it. They will not Yeah, and I saved a whole bunch of stuff. And I put it all on reel to reel tape. And then I left it at the station that I was at figuring it would be there and then eventually they threw them out one day and then you don't have anything, nobody will do it for you as the lesson.


Roz Weston  47:22

They won't and it's completely up to you. But like so in this Docu series like our like all the clips of like that first show that we did. It's all in the Docu series, right all that stuff from early on those first couple years when I came into work the next day after my kid was born. And I you know, I did the show, because I just had this incredible story that I needed to tell. But my kid just being born. And I have we have all of that, like we have all those breaks. That's all sort of like the stuff that's in the Docu series. But really the Docu series is it's about a radio show. And it's I think I think personally, it's one of the most in depth looks at building a radio show and the mechanics behind it. And we go in deeply we talk about our contracts, we talk about job offers that we've had. We talk about all that stuff in the in the Docu series. But I think that at its core, it's it's you know, it's a really a story about a friendship. And it was two people from two completely different worlds. I grew up one way and Moca grew up a very, very different way. We came together he said no eventually said yes, we don't talk or hang out outside of the show. The beautiful thing about this story is imagine if you had a best friend, where every single conversation you got you had with your best friend, the history of your friendship, every conversation you had, when you realize that you guys were best friends was all on tape, because that's what we have. Right? You know, every conversation that mark and I've ever had together is in the archives, you know, we don't really talk outside of the show. And so our story of friendship is everything that is the show, right? It's it's what the show is built on. And so that's sort of what we put on display. And that's the sort of overall story, you know, that we that we tell with this and that and then that's what the fans love, right? And that's sort of what they grabbed on to


Matt Cundill  49:03

it with morning shows, and really any form of entertainment. It takes three years to build an audience we talk about that often. Whether it's podcasts, radio stations, or morning shows. Around seven, eight years, you've got something, but now you've done the seven, eight years, I think twice. So now you sort of captured two generations of listeners and built that audience and people come people go,


Roz Weston  49:25

yeah, they do. And you know, you don't realize how long you've been doing the show until you start getting calls. And I would say for anybody in this business if you if you set a goal for yourself of what you consider to be longevity, or what you consider to be success because success is completely subjective. And everybody has their own version of success. Some people's success may be the advertisements that we have for the show there on billboards and buses, right. That's success for some people, some people it's ratings, some people it's money. But what we realized was when we started getting calls from people But where they would say, hey, you know, I listened to you in you know, my last two years of high school and you're like, okay, cool and they're like, you know, now I'm, you know, a doctor, and I got two kids. And you're like, that's a lot of life. Right? That's a lot of life. And you know, a few of our fans that grew up listening to the show went on to become famous, right, which is another real trippy thing to do like, you know, CW from you know, Marvel who was Shang chi and he was on Kim's convenience like he his pay he listened to show every single day going to the GO station, you know, in the car with his with his mom and dad Alessia Cara, same thing. Like, we're like we were a part of their world. Not that we mattered in the sense that what they became, but I think the great thing is, is that there was a part of their life where they were really on to doing great things, and crushing their goals. Were we sort of rode together, right? It's really incredible to hear. But when you when you when you start talking like what you said, I've just, you know, sort of multigenerational stuff. It's really wild.


Matt Cundill  51:04

How much fun are you having every day as much as you did from day one? Yeah,


Roz Weston  51:08

we you know, I always say the worst my day is, is I laugh, right? That's sort of really it. And now it's much easier. You know, you've been on the air almost 15 years, and it's a machine and you sort of know what to do every day and it just keeps getting bigger. Right? I think that that's the sort of motivating thing now is that the show is not getting smaller, it's only getting bigger, whether it's through the podcast, or through, you know, adding it to more stations or just through ratings or the creative freedom that we still managed to get. It's just growing and so yeah, it's fun. Like it's the time of my life every day sound.


Tara Sands (Voiceover)  51:41

Our podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Sieminski, edited by Chloe amo lane, social media by Aiden glassy, another great creation from the sound off media company, there's always more at sound off podcast.com

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