Montreal radio will have a new morning man and he’s a familiar voice. Sixteen years after his last broadcast on CHOM-FM, former West Island resident Rob Wreford will resurface on Mountain City Rock 1091.FM on Monday, Feb. 27.
Mountain City Rock, a rock, hard rock, heavy metal station with a very polished sound, is the brainchild of St. Lazare resident and radio veteran Michael Dean and his business partner Mike Chute. This is Internet radio, with some clever marketing. The station has been on the air for some time now, but with no announcers. “It’s funny,” Dean was telling me. “People have actually been looking for us on their radio dial, not realizing that 1091.FM is a web address. The fact is the FM dial does not go past 108.9”
The Wreford show will air weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. “We may be an Internet radio station, but our content will be Montreal-centric all the way,” said Dean, noting that a number of local contributors will be part of the team. “At home and at work, people have WiFi, so I know they will listen. In fact, I can tell you they already are. We are coming into this at exactly the right time. Just look at Bell Media and their iHeart Radio app. They are doing everything they can to convince listeners to tune in to their stations online. On our website, we have free apps for both Android and Apple devices and there is also a web player for people to tune in.”
Wreford, who has enjoyed a successful career as a voice over artist, says he is ecstatic to return to Montreal radio. “Internet radio is the present and the future,” he told me. “Within the next five years, it is just going to become easier to listen. Technologically, it will be available in vehicles. I hope people will log on to Mountain City Rock when they wake up and keep us on when they get to work.”
Dean notes that in the past, anyone who wanted to start their own radio station had to go through the Canadian-radio Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and spend millions of dollars in the process. “I have sunk a fair amount of money into this venture,” he said. “But I am not a millionaire. I am excited about this venture. For the first time, Montrealers have an alternative to CHOM. Let’s see how this thing grows. We started this station quite simply because we feel there’s a segment of the market not being served by the big guys in town.
“We play the best rock from yesterday, so yes there’s stuff you’ll hear us playing that can be heard on the competition but we have more of an edge to our sound. We are also playing the hottest new rock bands we feel meet our standards. I guess you could best describe us as a hard rock station, but having grown up with rock in my veins this is what I think a ‘rock’ station should be playing.”
Dean, who will be part of the morning show, has a long and varied background in media, beginning with a recording studio in the 90’s, then transitioning into mainstream broadcasting. He started at the bottom of the ladder as a swing-shift traffic reporter and worked his way up to hosting his own talk show on Montreal’s AM 940 Montreal. He is the founder, co-owner, program director, brand manager, sales manager, writer, producer and technical director of Mountain City Rock.