On April 1, I wrote a blog for April Fool’s Day stating that Freeway Frank (Franco Depalo) and Natasha Gargiulo would be moving to the home driving show venue on Virgin Radio Montreal to make way for Vinny Barrucco, who recently left Rhythm 92.5 FM.
With Vinny slated to join Virgin this month, we can tell you that Freeway and Natasha have been removed from the website completely. This only fuels speculation that they are no longer at the station and Vinny will take the morning’s place. The Beat, previously with Vinny, Nikki and Sam and now with Andy, Nikki and Sam, was solidly ahead of Virgin in ratings.
Radio can be bad business. Too many good broadcasters have lost their jobs and with Bell Media controlling most of the mainstream stations, where do these people go? Mark Bergman and Virgin split a few months ago. He was a program director and home host for 24 years. He rebounded well as a part-time worker on The Beat and a podcast host and producer. Vinny left The Beat last winter, but under a non-compete clause he had to take some time off before joining Virgin. If it takes mornings, the drive home show slot that was initially reserved for it remains to be won. Is Virgin going to poach someone else from The Beat? Hopefully Lee Haberkorn stays up in the morning or gets the afternoon concert.
If Freeway and Natasha are really looking for work, I would love to see Global or City TV find a role for them. They are just too talented and loved by their fans to be sidelined.