Alumni Profile: Matt Cundill '87 (Pre-U '88)

Podcast Producer


Like many children of the ’80s, Matt Cundill ’87 (Pre-U ’88) spent the first hour of his day listening to the radio. Montreal stations like CHOM-FM and CKGM kept him company as he set off early for tutoring before the school day began at LCC. “I discovered early on that I wasn’t very good at math, but I learned to appreciate algebra over black coffee,” he remembers. He looks
back with gratitude at the teachers who arrived at their desks by 6:30 am to offer extra support to students like him. “My teachers really cared about where I would end up,” reflects Matt.

Matt experienced similar frustrations in English classes until writing analyses of Shakespearean works gave way to crafting creative personal stories. “Once they let me write what I wanted, the whole world opened up to me,” he says. “The English department taught me how to write and, in media, writing is everything.”

Matt studied government and political science at Acadia University in Nova Scotia after graduating from LCC, but he spent every spare hour at the campus radio station. “Once I got on air, I couldn’t get enough of it,” he says. He landed his first summer job at a station in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. A decent portion of his initial airtime focused on dispensing lottery numbers, farm reports, and bingo nights, but he was hooked.

Over the next 20 years, Matt honed his performing and programming expertise at rock, adult contemporary, and talk radio stations across the country, from Montreal’s CHOM 97.7 rock station to Edmonton’s 100.3 The Bear. He eventually landed in Winnipeg, where he agreed to brave frigid winters for the opportunity to direct programming for three popular radio stations. In 2014, his career in radio jolted to an unexpected halt when he was laid off in a restructuring process. “Honestly, I didn’t know what I was going to do next,” he admits. “All I knew was that I missed being
behind the microphone, so I built a studio in my basement.”

From that basement studio, Matt launched The Sound Off Media Company, an audio solutions group that provides voice-overs, develops radio programming strategies, and hosts and manages podcasts for businesses, entrepreneurs and performers. After navigating the well-defined, fiercely competitive world of radio, he found a refreshing change of scenery in the creative, collaborative podcasting landscape.

Despite the proliferation of more than two million podcasts worldwide, the Canadian podcasting space was surprisingly ripe for opportunity, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, Matt and three employees have played a role in launching close to 25 new podcasts, including The Sustainable Burrito, a podcast produced by members of the LCC Green Team. “These students’ heightened social awareness is striking,” Matt marvels. “They know what they want to say, and they say it.”

As business booms during the pandemic, Matt will continue to provide support to those who aspire to follow in his footsteps. “My industry is all about giving back, sharing, and teaching,” he affirms. “We really don’t know where the podcast space is heading, but it’s an exciting place to be.”

Spring 2021