The popular morning team of McCully & Mariane has aired its final broadcast on 97.7 The Beach. (Photo from 97.7 The Beach Facebook)
Mornings are sounding a little bit different at 97.7 The Beach.
Mornings are sounding a little bit different at 97.7 The Beach. Long time morning show co-host and News Director Mariane McLeod is no longer with the station.
McLeod arrived back from an overseas vacation on Monday May 28th, returned to her regular morning show time slot on Tuesday May 29th, and hasn’t been heard on the station since.
McLeod is a seasoned veteran of the radio business, having spent time at Q107 and 680 News in Toronto before making the move to help launch 97.7 The Beach. The station was licenced by the CRTC in 2006.
Mariane played a key role in building the station’s programming and creating the early success it enjoyed. Her main focus was to build the news gathering service with an emphasis on local content.
McLeod created and hosted the former Georgian Bay Today news magazine program that aired weekday mornings at 9:00 a.m. and featured interviews with local people from all walks of life touching a vast array of local topics.
Arriving at 97.7 The Beach was a homecoming of sorts for McLeod as she joined a station licenced to service Wasaga Beach and Clearview Township. Mcleod has deep roots in Clearview Township having attended Elementary School in Creemore and High School at Collingwood Collegiate Institute. She brought her extensive knowledge of the region to the morning show on a daily basis.
McLeod’s departure represents another loss in the local news media, following the closing of the newsroom at Corus Entertainment in Barrie (FRESH Radio, BIG FM, The PEAK FM), the elimination of the sports department and local sportscasts at CTV News Barrie, the elimination of local news on Rogers Television followed by the eventual closure of Rogers Collingwood’s local studios, and the closing of the Enterprise Bulletin newspaper.
Mariane McLeod’s on air talents represented everything that can be good about radio, and her sudden departure represents everything that is bad about radio these days.
Live local content is disappearing from radio and television stations and newspaper outlets all over the province and throughout the country.
By comparison, there was another media personality departure last week.
Breakfast Television Host Kevin Frankish made his final appearance on Friday June 1st on a program he played a key role in turning into the leading breakfast television show in Canada. Local viewers may remember Kevin from his earlier CKVR-TV Barrie days.
In Kevin’s case, a well planned, touching tribute was presented throughout his final show in honour of his outstanding, long time contribution to the station.
When long-time 95.1 PEAK-FM morning show host John Nichols retired, Corus Entertainment showed respect and celebrated his contribution to the radio station and community with a proper tribute.
Too bad the management of Bayshore Broadcasting’s 97.7 The Beach didn’t feel obligated to give Mariane McLeod the sendoff she so very much deserved.
The Wise Guys Program Cancelled
In another move, 97.7 The Beach has cancelled the popular Wise Guys program that aired every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and featured Economist and Public Policy Advisor Trent Gow and former Collingwood Mayor Chris Carrier.
Carrier replaced former co-host Jeffery Shearer this past year. Mr. Shearer assumed a new role of Manager of Classical FM 102.9 in Collingwood following the merger of the radio station with On The Bay Magazine.
The program was broadcast live and provided lively discussion on current local community and political issues of interest to listeners in Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and the south Georgian Bay region.
The final Wise Guys program went to air on Sunday June 3rd.
The closing comments informed the listeners of the cancellation of the show and offered thanks to those who have created and participated in the program over the years.
Program co-host Trent Gow confirmed that prior to the final broadcast he had been instructed to omit any reference to long-time Wise Guys co-host Jeffery Shearer and Mariane McLeod from his closing remarks.
“It’s ironical – even hypocritical that Bayshore was happy for me to take shots at other people and organizations in the public policy domain but they would not tolerate even benign references to people formerly associated with Bayshore who contributed to the show’s local success.”
Program co-host Chris Carrier joined the Wise Guys program this year.
“Mariane asked me a few months ago if I would like to be a regular commentator on Wise Guys. I said yes and I have enjoyed it immensely. The demise of local reporting with newspapers closing, television news that seems more canned and less local is now affecting our local radio stations.”
Carrier says when he thinks of 97.7 the Beach, he thinks of Marian McLeod.
“I think of Mariane as the person who grew the programming part of the Station that mattered most to me and many others. I wish her well and I feel it necessary to say that good talent and strong leaders should be treated with much more respect and courtesy by corporate consultants than I believe Mariane has been.”
CollingwoodLiving.com has reached out to Bayshore Broadcasting for a comment but has not received a response.
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— Paul Richards is a retired broadcaster/media specialist and the author of this web site