Scratch at knowledge and invariably a mystery lurks just beneath the surface. It’s his indefatigable and passionate pursuit of these mysteries, his insatiable curiosity of the world around him and his unique and finely tuned story telling abilities that have earned Richard Syrett the moniker, Canada’s Art Bell. And on Friday April 24th, 2009, Richard guest-hosted Coast to Coast filling in for George Noory.
First, foremost, and always a broadcaster. Richard’s writing, story-telling, and interviewing skills, infectious enthusiasm and the ability to stare down chaos and confusion with a smile make Richard a rare and valuable media commodity. He has been producing fresh, compelling and provocative talk radio in Toronto, North America’s fourth largest market, for nearly 20 years.
After graduating top of his class from Centennial College’s Radio and Television Program in 1992 he began working almost immediately at one of North America’s blowtorch stations, the legendary CFRB AM 1010. He received his “doctorate” in broadcasting working as the producer for such talk show legends as Larry Solway, Ed Needham, the late Brian Linehan, Andy Barrie, John Oakley, Michael Coren, Jim Richards and Spider Jones.
In 1999 he took over the microphone for the first time with his own talk show and by 2000, his arcane Sunday night program examining political intrigue, the dark side of geo-politics, cover-ups, corruption, alternative energy, alternative health and unexplained phenomenon, had become an appointment tune. In 2003, his special brand of talk was chronicled on the front page of The Globe and Mail’s Review section (Canada’s national newspaper) and that spring his show earned a 13 share in Toronto’s very competitive market.
Later in 2003, Richard left CFRB for cross-town rival, AM 640 to build and produce an edgy, funny new morning show and continue his own unique show on Friday nights. The show continued to be a ratings grabber, drawing a larger audience than the stations’ hockey broadcasts of the city’s beloved Maple Leafs.
Richard was lured back to CFRB in early 2007 to host five nights a week. Over its two year The Mighty Aphroditerun, it garnered a dedicated, even zealous, following. He consistently beat his rival in the market, the behemoth Coast to Coast by as much as 2 share points.
When Richard’s show was suddenly and unexpectedly cut from CFRB’s line-up as part of a ‘corporate reorganizing’ Richard’s devoted listeners organized and staged a rally outside the radio station in minus 30 degree weather! Despite being off the air, his past, archived RB shows continue to be downloaded from his website. One of his last shows in December of 2008 has been downloaded in excess of 31,000 times.
Richard has obviously struck a chord with a huge market and has become the new voice of alternative talk radio. Richard is not, however, a one-note wonder. As a whimsical impressionist, he had created followings for his fictitious characters during his morning show producing stint and he is recognized for his political acuity.
Richard resides in Unionville, Ontario with his Mighty Aphrodite and their twin boys.
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