C100 CHUM Radio
In a competitive radio market where on-air radio personalities seem to change more frequently than Paris Hilton’s BFF, C-100’s Breakfast Club is a welcome calm in the chaos.
Moya Farrell and Peter Harrison, two of the affable co-hosts of the popular Halifax morning show, have together logged more than 40 years behind the microphone at C-100. That’s a testament to the quality of the working environment and the amiable chemistry of the hosts on air, says Farrell.
“Who else can say they come to work and laugh all morning?” asks Farrell, a Corner Brook, NL native who has made Halifax her home since 1988. “I’ve had the privilege of helping wake up Halifax for 19 years.”
With its Adult Contemporary (AC) format targeting the 25-54 year old female market, C-100’s Breakfast Club is an easy blend of contemporary music and light informative chat to help ease into the day.
The friendly personalities of Farrell, Harrison and Brad Dryden, an award-winning radio host from Ottawa who joined the show two years ago, make a winning combination.
“We’re like a comfy pair of slippers,” says Farrell. “People know what they’re going to get with us on the air.”
Mix in regular features including C100 C-Tones, Stupid News Tuesday, Make Us Say Wow Wednesday, and One Minute Inside A Woman's Head, and the lively show keeps its listeners engaged. It’s a no-miss format that has allowed the Breakfast Club to stay on top of the ratings.
“I hope we’re a little ray of sunshine in some people’s lives,” says Farrell.
Halifax is the major radio market east of Montreal, making it an ideal gig for an ambitious broadcaster. It’s large enough to be a serious player in the national scene, attracting top concert tours and events to Nova Scotia. But it’s also still a community-driven city that appreciates familiarity.
Though co-hosting is a long-established format in radio, Farrell says the Breakfast Club is the first show locally to have a three-person team. She brings a strong female perspective to the chat, delivering weather and entertainment news and always in the thick of the conversation.
“I guess I keep the other guys on the straight and narrow,” she says.
When the Breakfast Club first signed on in the mid-’80s with host John Biggs, the show existed in a much different radio landscape. There was a country FM station, a rock station, powerhouse CJCH and a few smaller AM stations playing oldies rock or light pop and the public broadcaster CBC.
These days the dial is much more crowded, forcing stations to clearly carve out a market share. In the ever-fragmenting world of media, C-100 has staked its place as “safe” radio, says Farrell. “We don’t want to be too prudish, but we’re certainly family friendly.”
Like a functioning family, C-100 offers its listeners continuity and familiarity — the voices of Brad, Peter and Moya ease into the morning like the welcome sound of a percolating coffee pot.
Farrell says the employees’ long-term commitment to C-100 shows the appeal of both the station and of living and working in Nova Scotia.
“Peter has been on the air for 21 years at C-100, (program manager) Earl Mader was on the air for 20 years and Matt Northrop has been on the air for 20 years and is still on the air every afternoon.”
Farrell joined the station right out of the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology broadcasting school, “taking every entry-level job you could imagine.” She cut tape, voiced commercials and filled on-air shifts when the opportunity arose.
Then when radio giant CHUM opened a radio station in St. John’s in the mid-‘80s, Farrell grabbed a chance to return to Newfoundland. That’s where she met her first husband Kurt Stoodley, who soon after was offered a job with the start-up ASN Breakfast Television back in Halifax. Farrell returned to Nova Scotia and has been here ever since.
“That marriage only lasted eight years,” chuckles Farrell, while her relationship with C-100 remains as strong as ever.
The show has afforded her the opportunity to travel for her work — she’s been to Walt Disney World several times for live broadcasts. The Breakfast Club has also uprooted from its Agricola Street home for live shows from Jamaica, Bermuda, Barbados and even Iceland. Nice gig, considering she’d never been on a plane before she started working at C-100.
Though she loves the travelling, Farrell is always happy to return home.
“Halifax is a great place to live. It’s not too big but it’s very multicultural…. and I love the ocean. ”