T.O. radio sorry for Stones 'mistake'

JASON MacNEIL - Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 3:53 AM ET

TORONTO - Classic rock radio station Q107 apologized to its listeners yesterday for its handling of Wednesday evening's broadcast concerning the Rolling Stones.

As reported yesterday in the Sun, the station received 30 to 40 complaints via e-mail for airing a bootleg recording of the band's 2002 show from Palais Royale at the exact same time the Stones were performing live at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Many listeners believed they were hearing a simulcast of the Phoenix show, not a bootleg of the three-year-old Palais Royale gig. Program director Blair Bartrem was deemed "Tool Of The Day" on yesterday's John Derringer morning program, but many listeners are still perturbed at Q107, as they believe the station deliberately duped them, according to posters on Rolling Stones fan websites who claim to have heard the broadcast.

Corus Radio Toronto general manager J.J. Johnstone is also Q107's station manager and Bartrem's boss. He told the Sun yesterday he did not hear Wednesday evening's broadcast. But he said the station made a mistake.

"We put it on and it could be seen, or be inferred, that it was the broadcast from the other night -- but that's not what it was," he said. "We could have been clearer in letting people know that it was the Palais Royale show but, unfortunately, we weren't."

As for suggestions by angry fans on various Stones-related message boards that crowd noise was added to the broadcast to make between-song voiceovers by host DJ John Scholes seem more "live," Johnstone says that didn't happen, that what listeners heard was actual background noise from the bootleg recording.

"We were trying to give a service to our audience who could not make the show that night. And that's it."

As for airing the bootleg, Johnstone says it was a one-time thing. But he also says the station has received positive feedback for airing the concert.

"We knew we were running a bootleg," he said. "I think for us it's providing a service for our audience, and the service that night was to be able to give them the absolute best Rolling Stones live feel."

Johnstone said Scholes will not face any disciplinary action.

As the Sun reported yesterday, Stones management was not angry that Q107 illegally aired an unauthorized bootleg recording of the Palais Royale show, but would be "very angry" if the station intentionally duped listeners into believing the recording was a live simulcast of Wednesday's show.


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