The Q fires Tasso and Suzanne, keeps Aaron Rand
By Brian Daly, ctvmontreal.ca
Published Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:03PM EDT
Aaron and Tasso, the longtime radio tag team and two of the highest-profile media personalities in Montreal, ended their 25-year on-air run Wednesday.
Tasso Patsikakis, whose real name is Paul Zakaib, was laid off by Corus Entertainment along with Suzanne Desautels, the third member of the morning-show team.
Rand made the announcement on The Q on Thursday morning, calling the decision "a very sad day for the morning show here."
"It's just me today," Rand told listeners.
"There's no Tasso, there's no Suzanne. It's a tough day here at the station but we've got to carry on. So let's do it."
The Q, formerly known as Q92, will scale back its morning talk format to focus on an expanded slate of music, Program Director Brian DePoe told ctvmontreal.ca on Thursday.
He said the decision was based on an analysis of audience data, not finances.
"Aaron and Tasso are 25 years together," said DePoe.
"It's like when Johnny Carson had his run on the Tonight Show. Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end."
Started on AM Radio
Aaron and Tasso first teamed up in 1984. In 1989 the duo moved on to The Q, then known as CFQR-FM, where Rand's sophomoric antics and Tasso's vast array of impersonations endeared them to generations of audiences.
Desautels, a former CTV Montreal weather reporter, has been with Aaron and Tasso since 1999.
DePoe said research showed that today's audiences want to hear more music and less talk but he added there were no plans to let Aaron Rand go.
"We have a host who is one of the legendary figures in Montreal radio and had been for a long time and was still very credible in the ear of the audience."