Sunday, July 31, 2011

Post Corus, Alan Cross is very much
Alive and Kicking

After a quarter of a century as arguably one of the best on-air personalities this country has ever seen, Alan Cross and Corus Radio have parted ways.

A restructuring and reorganization of the company’s online radio division is the basis for the Senior Program Director’s departure, best known for his Ongoing History of New Music program, and in recent years, the head honcho for Exploremusic.

What exactly does this mean for the guru of all things new music? Other than Corus no longer being his platform, not a heck of a lot. Since the apparent amicable separation, Cross has pretty much hit the ground running ever since. Not only are his Twitter and Facebook feeds constantly abuzz with current trending topics and facts, he also has a regular Friday column in the Metro News along with many contributions in publications nationwide just to name a few. He has also set up shop at the newly launched providing the usual music fix of everything you'd ever want or came to expect of the man is there.

There have been mutterings that Cross may work with Corus in the future on a freelance basis only, but will not longer be in the building. What that entails is anyone’s guess, but if presumptions are in order, the freelance involvement would be for Cross to remain submitting new episodes of the forever and wildly popular Ongoing History of New Music to air in its regular rotation. But like I said, this is just an educated guess.

On the flipside, what does this mean for Corus? That would all depend on who you ask of course. Speaking as a child of the 70s and 80s, the Spirit of the Edge began airing out of a tiny little house in Brampton all those years ago. It was second to none and unlike anything else heard across the airwaves . It was the only stop along the dial where it wasn’t uncommon to hear bands like The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Stone Roses, The Cure, etc. It was the station that identified with everyone from the geeks to the jocks and anyone in-between who wanted something innovative and different and outside of the typical top 40.

It wasn’t until the mid-90s and into the early 00s that we began to see CFNY’s music format slowly sway from the beloved Spirit of the Edge foundation making room for the new “New Rock” based content slowing leaving the station’s glory years to a fading memory. Along with the departure of many cherished on-air talent (leaving or being shown the door) making way for on-air personnel that correlate with today’s kids, the link connecting the Spirit generation to what the station had become gradually broke down. Other than Dave Bookman as the lone graybeard left from yesteryear who still broadcasts evenings on the station, and the dearly departed Martin Streek, Alan Cross was the last remaining thread that tied myself and whatever Spirit generation there was left to the station. But hey, that’s life. Time moves forward and the torch inevitably always gets passed, but for this listener who favored the earlier format to that of the later, the identity is just no longer there. It was a good 22 year run.

Cross personally told me in a conversation years ago that he enjoyed doing the Ongoing History of New Music so much so that he’ll do it until the day he dies. With the gift of being able to tell such captivating stories, holding the listener to every word, we’re going to hold him to his word. Hell, the man could read the dictionary and make it compelling.

As a true inspiration to thousands and a legend to most, only time will tell what the future holds and exactly where Alan Cross will turn up. But whatever and wherever that may be, as long as Alan Cross still breathes and has a pulse, a music world without his spellbinding wisdom and encyclopedia of a brain, is practically and unquestionably unfathomable.

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