Credit Fucked? Radio Awaits!
CFRA, the voice of Ottawa’s angry shut-in community, has long done charitable work as a repository for right-of-centre unemployables.
The free market, after all, can be an unforgiving bitch goddess to even her most fervent worshippers, and the safety net can be found at 580 on your AM dial.
The sad-sack likes of Jim Durrell, Pierre Dourque, and even Brian Lilley, have all relied on the kindness of Radio Free Lunch at one time or another.
The alpha hog in the CFRA pen is, of course, the inimitable Lowell Green, whose daily eructations on liberals, environmentalists, welfare moms and vegetarians provide listeners with a timely daily reminder to take their meds.
But the legendary windbag can’t blow forever (Lowell admits to being 77, but is closer to 80), and pretenders to his flatus-infused throne are tirelessly sucking programming supremo Steve Winograd over succession.
The prize? Lowell’s prime, two-hour-hate time slot of 10-12, salary in the range of an Ottawa Petfinder intern, plus assorted contra meals, vacations and other goodies from grateful advertisers.
The pasty ‘RA rainbow runs the entire spectrum, from vanilla to tapioca
The contenders? Step forward Rob Snow, current host of ‘RA’s Afternoon Emission, and weekend bore Nick “At Night” Vandergragt.
Their qualifications: White? Check. The pasty ‘RA rainbow runs the entire spectrum, from vanilla to tapioca to Madley.
Male? You betcha. The station’s diversity hour is from 5-6AM, when On Target Ottawa hostette Shelley McLean interrupts the ads until sunrise.
Bankrupt? A resounding yes! Both candidates demonstrate mastery of the neo-con rant on government profligacy — and the commensurate inability to manage their own finances.
Snow is a more recent entry into CFRA’s league of extraordinary deadbeats
Nick and his wife, Alison, filed his-and-hers bankruptcies on August 25, 2000, each claiming $166,525 in liabilities on $118,800 in assets. At the time, Nick was honing his fiscal conservative talk radio schtick on CHCR, the community radio station in Killaloe, Arsehole of the Madawaska ValleyTM, where he lives to this day.
Rob’s a more recent entry into CFRA’s league of extraordinary deadbeats, pulling the trigger on his own flameout on July 20, 2009, while already employed at the station. Snow declared debts of $54,251 and assets of, er, $3.
Yep, in his bankruptcy filings, Robert Lowell (bonus point!) Snow claimed his personal effects, the household furniture in his apartment at 118 Wurtemburg St., and equity in his leased 2007 GMC Canyon were worth exactly a buck each.
Despite a monthly income of $3,994, Rob was unable to meet his obligations to the Bank of Nova Scotia ($8,200 in loans and $35,250 on a line of credit), CIBC $6,000), McGrath Collection Agency ($1,500), MoneyMart ($1,300) and Wells Fargo ($2,000).
He blamed over-extension of credit and “illness” for his predicament, but didn’t seem to miss a day’s work at ‘RA throughout the debacle, which ended with his June 11, 2010 discharge.
Coupla pikers compared to Lowell Green.
Our Lowell, whose daily colostomy never fails to include a grand mal fit of apoplexy over big, damn gubmint’s latest crime against fiscal prudence, never gets around to mentioning his own epic flameout.
Catastrophic investments in travel agencies and ice cream franchises forced Green into bankruptcy in May 1991, leaving creditors sucking the pipe for $1.6 million. And that’s how the pros do it, boys.
Green’s business empire showed its first signs of impending collapse in the late eighties, as his company, L.E. Greens, faded into receivership.
The noted capitalist finally pulled the bankruptcy chute when it was obvious that one of his many ill-conceived ventures, Peterson’s Ice Cream Emporiums, wasn’t going to make it.
The ice cream meltdown forced Green to liquidate shares in two other businesses: Lowell Green Travel and Let’s Take the Kids Travel.
His mother-in-law, Helen Dean, was also obliged to sell her farm near Ashton, which Green had bought in 1985 and transferred to her in June 1989, prior to L.E. Greens’ receivership. The $210,000 farm went under power of sale, but failed to raise enough cash to cover its multiple mortgages.
Also among the dominoes was Lowell’s common-law wife and business partner, Debbie Dean, who was forced to declare bankruptcy, too. A Westboro triplex in Debbie’s name went on the block under power of sale.
“I have no assets, and no realistic hope of ever being able to retire”
Fifteen days before he filed for bankruptcy, Lowell sold his boat, a 1987 Doral inboard, to Hurst Marina for $12,000. When the receiver tried to nail him for the deal, Green shrugged that he’d already spent the money.
Creditors were also unable to get their hooks into Lowell’s other businesses, Ottawa Travel and the Little Farm pet shops, or his two properties in the Bahamas. All those had gone to his first wife, Kitty, who’d kissed him off in ’82.
Victims of Green’s bankruptcy included Com/Mit Leasing ($300,000), Grand Sons Energy ($225,000) and Les Promenades de l’Outaouais ($125,000) among many others.
In his affidavit, Lowell boo-hooed: “I am 57 years old, and possessed of only a high school education. I have no assets, and no realistic hope of ever being able to retire.”
Indeed, for a couple of years after the crash-and-burn, Lowell was reduced to flogging sofas at Red Bird Refurnishing and Upholstery and hustling ads for the Hill Times.
Fortunately, ‘RA came to the rescue in ’94 and Green exhumed his old talk show. He squats there to this day, waiting for the worthy stiff artiste who can knock him from his pedestal as ‘RA’s champion bankrupt.