Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winnipeg Radio... sucks

I'm picky... maybe too picky. I would have (at one time) simply thought that my somewhat eclectic musical tastes were... too eclectic for radio, at least in it's commercial sense. I would have also thought (at one time) that my strong thoughts, and need for cerebral stimulation had grown since Peter Warren, to a point where traditional talk radio left me feeling "hungry", or perhaps "starved".
Thank goodness I found out that my thinking was flawed and wrong.
While driving through (of all places) Salt Lake City, I discovered a station called "The End". These guys played music that kept me listening as long as the signal held out as I headed to the Grand Canyon (with my daughter in the co-pilot seat and a large silver camper in tow for the trip of a lifetime (at that point in our lives), and had me looking for the signal again after passing through Donner Pass and the Great Salt Flats upon my return drive.
Alas, I had "The End" on my live streaming radio stations when I was back home, but unfortunately, about 6 months ago, they went country or something. I guess that maybe the Mormon crowd wanted to line dance. Whatever. They can have Billy Ray Virus and whatever other country music they want to listen to. The point is, I listened... I had no other station I wanted to tune to. I had found my music Valhalla.
Talk radio in Winnipeg... what a state. Aside from CJOB, is there one? We had CFRW back a long long time ago. I listened to Fast and Collison. I didn't agree with a lot of their ideas, or their delivery... I found it a little over the top, but I may not have fully realized at the time that it was likely a part of "the act". (maybe) That said, those two were ripe for a Fast Collision after setting their sights on (then) Mayor Glen Murray, and focus on his sexual orientation. I told a friend, "These guys are getting yanked soon". As predicted, the entire talk format was replaced with "easy listening", meaning it was no longer worthy of using up one of the pre set buttons on my radio.
Peter Warren. I had grown up listening to him, and recognized even as a young adult, that he had the respect of his guests, and he in turn respected them. He also let his own biases show, and didn't try to completely "remove" himself from his interviews. While Warren isn't the be-all and  end-all in talk radio or call in shows, he does have a place setting the bar, and I think he set it fairly high.
CJOB never did fill his spot. Sure, they fill the time slot, but not the spot. More and more we see national shows, with Adler filling the afternoons. I can't be bothered. I can't make it through the constant advertising, including the "Pizza hotline newsroom", his incessant talking about himself in a "I've got a bigger cerebral cortex" than anyone else on the planet, and the total waste of time his weekly rants with (in a reverb filled boxing announcer voice) "David the Menzoid Menzies".  Sorry... uninterested.
Cloutier tries, but I think he's on a short leash... or he's chosen to dumb his show down to the lowest common denominator (which is indicative of the callers and their uninformed opines).  The only breath of fresh air is "The Night Hawk", but unfortunately, I can't stay up that late. I almost feel for Geoff Currier, having to fill the night air waves. I think that out of all the CJOB radio "personalities", he's absolutely my choice for the top dog. He HAS an opinion, and if YOU call and are STUPID he'll say so. Atta boy Geoff.
The "Drive home show" stinks to high heaven. Stupid questions on the part of the host are not endearing to anyone under 75 who's not suffering from dementia. The guy filling in for Karen Black must have just graduated from High School. He can't read e-mails live, and has trouble with words. Today was "infamous", which he did twice, and the second time was pronounced in-famous. Buddy... the root word is infamy, and if you're a reporter, or radio announce, I can forgive you for being unable to pronounce the latest leader of Kazakastahn's name, but "infamous"? Were you educated here in Manitoba? (Honours student, right?)
Enter the non profit radio market.
Yes, I find myself listening to the oldies station somewhere on the 107 area of the FM band. At least I don't expect polished radio announcers, but I'm not quote old enough to appreciate too much of the play list. 92.9 at the RRCC Kick-FM station used to get some air play on my receivers, but they are also no longer tuned to. The clowns who are under 20, offering up advice on how to run a rapid transit system, including the suggestion of heating the roads to provide better traction for buses in the BRT lanes, and suggestions to make a network of black diamond lanes that can later be turned into BRT lanes is too inane for me to stomach. In a mental wrestling match, the displaced host Marty Gold, could have taken all three or four of these kids on with a beer in one hand, and the other arm tied behind his back and not spilled any of the beer.
Marty's show was kicking the ass off a number of commercial stations, and likely taking advertising $$$ from them too. For this very reason, on has to wonder about the wisdom of having commercial radio station representation on the board of the RRCC's radio station.
If you can't live up to expectations, lower the bar.
I'm getting to the point where satellite radio is looking like an option. And who suffers?
I don't subscribe to either paper, since I can get the basic content on line, and test the reporting on line at the same time. I skip from station to station like someone suffering from ADHD, and finally go to one of the CD's my wife left in the vehicle, so there is NO local advertising reaching me... until I get home, where I can watch HDTV, but not from Winnipeg. Apparently, we don't rate, so we watch the other feeds where people who do rate live.
Advertising dollars are being tossed around, but I'm not sure where it's landing.


  1. I don;'t drink beer but thanks for the image make-over LOL.

  2. Agreed. The radio landscape is seriously lacking. I like the new format at 100.7, and I like a few shows on CBC, but outside of that....nothin'. Good call on the nighthalk, though.

  3. It's funny, since Marty left the airwaves for no apparent reason, i am doing the same with blogs.

    But i tuned it to yours for a sec and you got my attention, just for a sec...thanks.