Ted Bird and Jewel 106.7 happily settled in Saint Lazare

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Ted Bird and Tom Whelan were broadcasting live Thursday morning from the Saint Lazare location that has been home to Jewel 106.7 since March, 2015. (Photo by Kristina Edson)
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Bird and Andrew Dumas, a Hudson firefighter who created the Hudson Fire Department Shave 2 Save Fundraiser last weekend after Bird had shaved his head. (Photo by Kristina Edson)

Easy listening station fast becoming regional favourite

Take a ride through downtown Saint Lazare and you might be surprised to learn you’d driven past a radio station that’s not only become a popular dial stop for many in the region, but one offering what most Montreal stations don’t.

Jewel 106.7 (FM) has been operating out of a renovated portion of the building situated at 1510 Ste-Angélique St. since March, 2015. Though there’s no sign indicating that The Jewel is on the air and open for business – other than a poster taped to the door – broadcasting things are nevertheless happening inside. Jewel 106.7 plays nostalgia, easy listening music from the ’60s and ’70s, and times before and after. It’s the kind of music that brings you back to what seemed like easier days. For many, the station’s format fills a void in a radio market devoted to newer music, techno, rock, rap and the like. Ted Bird, host of the Ted Bird Morning Show, on the air weekdays from 5:30 a.m.-10 a.m., has settled in nicely to the Saint Lazare location. Prior to that, the station had been broadcasting from a station in Hawkesbury, Ont. Jewel 106.7, part of the Evanov Radio Group, first went on the air in December, 2014. Now serving the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, Bird, and his morning show newsman and co-host, Tom Whelan, are building a loyal following “one listener at a time,” according to Bird. “We’re here to connect with the community,” he said Thursday while behind the mic during his show. “My job is to put a smile on your face. People want and need that. Most people don’t wake up in a good mood so it’s our job to get you there,” he noted. The venerable radio host and longtime former CHOM morning man – he’s been on the air for close to five decades – is known for his calm delivery and dry, off-beat sense of humour. “I’m all of the S-words,” Bird said. “Subtle, sarcastic, silly.” Whelan, a 25-year Hudson resident who admits he’s still the “new kid” in a town that classifies its locals by the number of generations they’ve inhabited Hudson space, says his role is to let Bird shine. “I follow his lead,” Whelan said. He also prepares and reads the news and traffic reports. And while Whelan felt their “on air chemistry was almost immediate” after the two began working together, Bird’s rejoinder to the comment was classic Ted: “I didn’t feel that at all.”

Part of the community

The radio men make it a point to connect with the community. They attend as many local events as possible, including a Shave to Save fundraiser held last weekend at the Hudson Fire Station. Both announcers shaved their heads for the cause. Bird had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year. He was recently told the tumour was gone. They’re also “big supporters” of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence Foundation, and help spread the word about as many upcoming events as possible. They’re willing to do the same for others. “If you’re having a bake sale, a book sale, anything, send us the details and we’ll let people know,” Whelan said. And given that they begin broadcasting at 5:30 a.m. (Whelan arrives at 4:30 a.m.) both admit they’ll happily accept any and all gifts of food, donuts and coffee in the morning. Jewel 106.7 broadcasts the syndicated John Tesh Show weekdays following Bird’s show, while longtime radio host Tasso hosts the Tasso & Friends drive home each afternoon. Various shows and hosts fill evening and weekend slots. To contact The Jewel with community announcements send an email to twhelan@jewel1067.com, via Twitter (@jewel106.7) or on its Facebook page.

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