My favourite podcasts

welcome podcast

I’ve written about podcast before on this site. Multiple times in fact. However, I feel the need to write another one for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, there are a few new podcasts I’m listening to that I want to tell you about. Secondly, everyone on my team at work doesn’t listen to podcasts! The horror!

Ready? Here we go!

Birds All Day. This is the most recent reincarnation of the old Drunk Jays Fans podcast. Starring Andrew Stoeten and Drew Fairservice, Birds All Day is a weekly podcast about Blue Jays baseball. I also happen to support this podcast through Patreon which enables content creators to monetize their work.

Birds All Day

 

WTF. WTF stands for What The Fuck. Hosted by comedian Marc Maron, WTF was recently voted the best podcast by Slate magazine. specifically his conversation with Louis C.K. WTF is filled with longer length conversations between Marc and guests from the world of music, comedy, and soon to be politics (as of this writing Marc is has just posted his interview with U.S. President Barak Obama).

wtf

Canadaland with Jesse Brown. Canadaland is another podcast that I support through Patreon. Jesse Brown’s podcast and accompanying website is dedicated to shining an uncomfortable spotlight on Canada’s media industry. If you haven’t heard of Canadaland you’ve most likely heard of one of the biggest stories that broke in recent Canadian media history: The Jian Ghomeshi story. Yup. It is because of Jesse Brown’s investigative journalism that we now know of many issues that Canada’s mainstream media refuse to cover or even acknowledge.

canadaland show with jesse brown

Toronto Mike’d. Hosted by Mike Boon of the Toronto Mike website, Toronto Mike’d started as one man’s look at Toronto from the west side of the city. Today, this podcast is a must listen to show for everyone and anyone interested in Toronto sports and Toronto radio. Here’s a list of some of the more recent guests: Roger Ashby, Matt Galloway, Steve Anthony, Roz Weston, and James Mirtle.

toornto mike'd | karim kanji

Here are some of my other favourite (current and past) podcasts.

Oh yeah! I also have my own podcast. It’s called Welcome! You can find it here. And soon it will be up on Girth Radio.

Welcome! Girth Radio | Karim Kanji

Diversity in Toronto

Diversity in Toronto | karim kanji

Last week Amber Gero was the guest on the Toronto Mike’d podcast. In my opinion, Toronto Mike (real name Mike Boon – or is it?!) has the top amateur podcast in Toronto. And I use the term amateur to only state that Mike records his podcast from his home and not from a studio. And I’ve also yet to hear a sponsor being mentioned on the show.

Traditionally, one can hear Toronto-centric celebrities on Mike’s show: Mike Hebscher, Humble and Fred, Damain Cox, Elliotte Friedman, and David Marsden to name a few. The conversations are mostly around Toronto Radio and Sports history. It’s like a walk down memory lane from Gen X-ers. I always look forward to Mike’s show and have rarely walked away disappointed. Of the 100+ shows he’s recorded I can only remember Cox and Barb DiGiulio as guests who seemed too guarded.

The Amber Gero show, in my opinion, took Mike’s podcast to a whole new level. If you’re unaware, Amber Gero was fired last year from CFRB in Toronto. She self identifies as a black woman. She also had a few things to get off her chest:

 

Here are a few reasons why the Amber Gero show is important:

  1. Mike has always been a gracious host. He understands that his guests trust him when they come to his home to be interviewed in the basement studio. Can you imagine if Mike dug up “dirt” on all his guests and asked unfair or even fair but inappropriate questions? Nobody would come back. I remember Mike’s interview with Mike Wilner. Mike was totally respectful of his guest even though he knew that many people dislike Mike Wilner’s personality on the Jays Talk show. Mike’s desire to have entertaining conversations is commendable. Having Amber Gero on the show put not just Amber in the crosshairs of potential employers in radio but it also put Mike’s show in the radar of radio executives (and others) across Toronto. This is the first time I can remember Mike publishing a show that could potentially decrease the amount of talent available for his show. I hope I’m wrong.
  2. Although the large majority of Mike’s guests are entertaining, they are mostly men. White men. And Mike actually acknowledged this fact. It was both honest and eye opening. It was honest of Mike to question if he is also part of the problem that Amber talked about. Or if his guests are simply a reflection of the current state of Toronto radio. It’s a conversation I hope executives are having and will do something positive about.
  3. It is possible for independent content producers like Mike (and so many others) to not just produce content but to make a difference.

I hope we are challenging the status quo in Toronto. Toronto (and Canada) is home to immigrants. Everywhere we live, work and play there are people of different ethnic backgrounds, people from different parts of the world and people of different faiths and sexual orientations. We need to embrace this beautiful fact. We need to force the institutions that serve us (government, media, public companies and others) to not just provide products and services we desire but to be a reflection of the society in which they all operate.

Congrats Mike on an awesome show. I am a proud listener and supporter.