During the late 80’s, Michael Bell had an idea. Since he’d just won Toronto’s Q107 Homegrown Music Contest with his band “Eye Eye”, he thought he’d pitch the same idea to his hometown radio station in Peterborough Ontario, CKPT. Thinking it was a great idea and with Michael’s help the station produced an LP with the cream of the local talent on it. After it’s release Mb found it difficult to get the word out about the talent and the record. While organizing the LP showcase, he produced a small program with band bios, pictures and sponsor’s ads, a booklet that was well received and actually made him a couple of dollars. But he was frustrated by the inability to keep the project in front of the local media. By the decade’s end, he had the first hardcopy issue of The Wire in his hands, featuring local guitarist Peter Cragg on the cover. Peter was one of the artists featured on the CD and a great help when networking the LP in the community. The Wire would feature a number of those performers over the next year.
The Early Days
As The Wire’s popularity grew so did the attention from larger promoters and publicists. record companies recognized the unique opportunity to feature their artists in the market within the pages of the area’s only entertainment tabloid. The business grew to 5 regional offices, with headquarters in Michael’s hometown of Peterborough. With representatives as far away as Kingston, The Wire saw it’s distribution and readership grow to cover Central and Eastern Ontario, allowing us to once again attract larger advertisers and artist attention. Exclusive interviews included the likes of Gene Simmons (KISS), Sarah McLachlan, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and others. The tabloid also gained a reputation of covering social and environmental issues and were granted interviews with Maude Barlow, John Kenneth Galbraith, Ralph Nader and many other notables.
to be continued…..