We crushed the 95.9 Virgin Radio studio for a day and here’s what it looks like behind the scenes

Whether you’re pouring your morning coffee or coming home after a long day, you can always listen to the radio. Sometimes you even feel like the hosts are right next to you, at your desk, in your car, or while you’re working on a project.

But who are these mysterious people who help you get through the day? Recently, Narcity pitched the 95.9 Virgin Radio studio to give you a behind-the-scenes look at this favorite Montreal radio station.

These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.

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A few steps from the Papineau metro station, 95.9 Virgin Radio is located inside the Bell Media building. The studio itself is a comfortable space with a C-shaped desk in the middle, equipped with monitors and mixers. A beam of microphones hangs from the ceiling and high stools welcome hosts and guests.

Vinny and Shannon, hosts of Virgin Mornings with Vinny and Shannon, the kick-off is given at 5:30 every morning of the week. On her desk, Shannon’s two extra-large double doubles keep her fueled, while Vinny does the show caffeine-free — an impressive feat considering the alarm (or her kids) wakes him up at 4 a.m.

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Many people would consider such an early start a deal breaker, but for these hosts, it’s definitely worth it.

“We know how lucky we are to have a microphone,” Vinny said. “People in your own town are listening to you. I mean, I don’t know if it gets any better than that.

“You can cheer people up, play songs, sit down and have fun and make people laugh.”

The couple first met when Shannon moved to Montreal in 2019. Three years later, their behind-the-scenes friendship is as solid as it looks on-air.

“We’re very lucky to really enjoy spending time together,” Shannon said.

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When asked if they had any pre-show rituals, both hosts had to stop and think before Shannon answered.

“Not even saying it’s a ritual, maybe just making sure we’re okay,” she said, adding that code words come in handy if one of them doesn’t feel right. well (old codewords include “pineapple” and, literally, “codeword”).

“So we know when we have to pick ourselves up,” added Vinny. “I think we’re pretty good at that.”

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After the show ends at 10 a.m., Vinny and Shannon debrief how it went, prepare for the next morning, and reunite with their co-workers. Then, their working day is over, leaving the studio to Lee in the afternoon host, Lee Haberkorn.

On the air from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Lee uses the time leading up to his show to get himself in the right frame of mind, which usually involves annoying his co-workers (his words).

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“It’s so important to me to get there early and talk nonsense with other people,” he said.

“I’m alone in a room for five hours doing the show. But when you’re listening, I don’t want you to feel like I’m talking to you. I want you to feel like we’re talking together.”

Lee’s personality is undeniably fun, tall, and infectious, but he’s also sincere and earnest — a side of him that doesn’t often get aired.

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“I grew up listening to the radio,” he said during a song break. “So I remember the attachment to hearing the personalities on the air, to driving while sitting in traffic.

“When I really sit down and think, ‘People choose to put me on their ride every day,’ I’m like, that’s so cool. Like, that’s awesome.”

While you might think song breaks give Lee a chance to unwind, that time is spent answering the phone, editing clips together, and producing upcoming segments on the fly.

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Off-air, Lee enjoys bolstering his reputation as a top prank artist. The key, he says, is intention.

“It can’t be petty,” he said. “There can’t be a single ounce of negativity in it.”

When asked to recall one of his best pranks, Lee smiled. Once, he explains, he was asked to help promote the Salon des Reptiles de Montréal. He pitched a mediocre idea, then sent another email to everyone – keeping his boss in the dark.

“And I said, ‘Guys, disregard that last email. Here is the idea that we are going to do. And I put a live alligator in his office.”

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Shannon also remembers being at the end of a Lee prank. She once put a note on her lunch so she wouldn’t touch it, then it disappeared from the fridge before appearing on Lee’s Instagram, photographed in all sorts of unexpected places.

“He’s sneaky. Although he’s six-foot-eight,” she said.

While Vinny, Shannon, and Lee are pros at keeping it light and fun between bangers, helping listeners have a good day is something they all take seriously.

Whether it’s the breakfast crew getting you ready or the afternoon entertainer driving you home, the personalities that come through your radio have that special power to keep you company. all day.

For more from 95.9 Virgin Radio, tune into 95.9 FM, listen on the website or follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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