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Sean Ross: When It Comes To Smartphone Usage: Two Countries
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RAIN-by Brad Hill
Over the years, a picture has emerged of Country P1s who are more loyal to Country radio and less inclined to broadcast radio’s emerging digital competition. Perhaps they were more satisfied by their favorite radio station than fans of other formats. Perhaps they were not as tech savvy. Either way, broadcasters were inclined to view it as good news if it kept listeners close to home.

But when Edison Research surveyed smartphone users for its Country Radio Seminar 2017 presentation, unveiled Feb. 23 in Nashville, an interesting dichotomy emerged.

Among smartphone owners, fans of Country music, those who say they “frequently” listen to Country, actually index higher than smartphone owners overall for many digital behaviors, including many types of streaming audio. It is Country Radio Listeners who are sometimes (but not always) less digitally inclined.

When asked how often they listen to audio from Internet Radio or online streaming services:

51% of all smartphone owners listen daily or several times per day, compared to:
68% of those smartphone owners who are Country music listeners;
46% of those smartphone owners who are Country radio listeners

When asked if they have ever streamed online audio in their car, Country music listeners are more likely than the average smartphone owner to have done so (70% to 63%). But Country radio listeners slightly exceed the average as well (64%).

Country music listeners are more likely to have listened to an online streaming service’s curated playlist, such as Spotify’s Discovery Weekly, 55% to 53%. Only 44% of Country radio listeners have done so.

Country music listeners are more likely than average to say they use Pandora on their smartphone (51% to 44%). They are more likely to use iHeart Radio (27% to 24%) with its mix of broadcast stations and other offerings, but they are also more likely to use Amazon Music (27% to 25%) and YouTube Music (27% to 26%). Only Spotify currently indexes low (25% to 28%–although that’s still a quarter of all Country radio listeners).

Country music listeners, asked about navigation apps, indexed higher for all the top three usages—getting directions, finding nearby businesses or landmarks, and, significantly for broadcast radio, avoiding traffic. The gap in usage of navigation apps between Country Music Listeners (94%) and Country Radio Listeners (90%) is slight.

Ownership of a smartphone implies a certain greater level of implied tech savvy, but inside that community, Country music fans are more digitally engaged than others. (Country was #5 among types of music listened to frequently by smartphone owners, and practically tied with the #3 and #4 styles.)

And now, as Country broadcasters ponder the tapering off of the hot streak that most agree has taken place over the last 12-18 months, we must factor in a significant number of Country music fans who are not getting that music from Country radio. 78% of Country music fans who are also smartphone owners say they listen to AM/FM radio daily. But that means 22% do not.

In the past, there has been a tendency to dismiss Country fans living outside radio’s gates as those with a taste for music too old or esoteric for our hit-driven, mainstream stations to acknowledge. But 22% is an awfully big number to include only those in search of exotica.

And for that reason, the tapering off of this Country radio explosion may be different than those in the past. Even as younger listeners flowed in to the format 3-4 years ago, Country PDs were girding up for the day they became fickle. But less usage of Country radio by younger listeners, who always index higher for digital behaviors, no longer necessarily means their interest in Country music has faded away.

Country radio typically responds to a doldrums by slowing down the development of new songs (without ever addressing the separate but confounding issue of the rotating door at #1). That might not be the move this time. We didn’t ask if that 22% of Country fans who aren’t listening to AM/FM radio are more active users of new music, but we do know that YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify have become significant sources of music discovery for all listeners. Further slowing the charts is only likely to drive more of a wedge between broadcast listeners and those that radio needs to repatriate.

Listener behaviors outside country radio’s walls are easier than ever to track, but broadcasters aren’t always inclined to do so. In his CRS presentation, Jeff Green’s Stone Door Media Lab found that radio’s top three reasons for adding a single were artist stature, gut, and playlist fit. Streaming data and airplay at Sirius XM were near or at the bottom. Broadcasters have often persisted in trying to position satellite radio as an irrelevant other; able to play anything it wants without the accountability of ratings. But songs streamed are songs actively chosen by listeners. If the industry is in any way sincere about not wanting to spend 40 weeks developing a passive record, streaming could be immensely useful.

Broadcast’s fastest growing competitor, Spotify, has expanded its utility from music-on-demand to discovery—especially its “Discover Weekly” playlists, thirty songs you might like waiting for you every Monday. While online radio’s earliest unique selling point—the skip button–has been hard for radio to replicate, finding and recommending songs is radio’s area of expertise. Playlisting and music recommendation is an area where all broadcasters could and should engage immediately. And with Country music fans still indexing a little lower for Spotify usage, there’s a little more of an opportunity.

At the very least, Country music listeners’ enthusiasm for most digital behaviors should encourage broadcasters, especially the ones who sell Country radio. There is no area of qualitative data in which broadcasters have ever wanted Country fans to underperform except, for reasons of self-interest, this one. But indexing high for digital behaviors is a success story for Country music, and, if broadcasters engage, could be one for radio as well.

Radioplayer Fulfills Its Promise To Launch In Canada
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RAIN – by Brad Hill
Radioplayer Canada is in the market as of today, after a September promise to bring national station aggregation to that country.

“RADIOPLAYER CANADA APP LAUNCHES CANADIAN RADIO INTO THE FUTURE” — that’s the headline in Canadian publication My Northbay Now, reflecting optimism that stream listening nationwide will be easier and more aligned with digital lifestyles.

The Radioplayer app is available in the Google and Apple mobile systems, and offers 400 station streams. There is an intelligence layer in the app, which furnishes station recommendations based on past listening, location of the listener, and crowdsourced trending.

The original Radioplayer is a U.K. app, run by Managing Director Michael Hill, a repeat speaker at RAIN Summit Europe.

A CKMS-FM “New Frequency Party!
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Doors Open to the Public !!!

A fun evening of entertainment, Nightlife and Live performances!
A door prize ticket and chance at a Great door prize to come with everyone’s entry!!
All while supporting local talent, DJ’s and community radio of Waterloo Region, CKMS-FM Radio Waterloo!

Come celebrate a night of fun, live music, drinks and beverage at the KW Boathouse as we celebrate the switch from 100.3 to our NEW FM frequency 102.7 FM!!!

Live Music provided by CKMS-DJ’s!!
Opening Mix: 8:30 – 9:00 PM
Ati of “LA ROCA” (Latin Mix) :
9:00 – 10:00 PM
DJ Carmelo of “STREET HOP” Radio (Old school Funk) : 10:00 – 11:00 PM
Live hip-hop performance by “Crispy” and “Lakes”! : 11:00 – 11:25 PM
Door prize Draws!! : 11:30 – 11:40 PM
A Special Announcement from CKMS Radio Waterloo! : 11:40 – 11:55 PM
DJ Denim of “DENIM ENTERTAINMENT RADIO!” (Bass and Electronic Dance Music) : 12:00 – 2:00 AM

Door prize draws included with your entry fee!! Sponsors from Street Hop, Denim Entertainment, the KW Titan professional basketball team, New Damage Records and many more to come! Keep posted for more exciting door prize updates and Full details on prizes to come withn the event page!

19+ Event
Cover only $4 for CKMS members, $7 for non-members and $20 that includes a 2017 CKMS-FM membership!

Celebrate a community radio station that has served Waterloo Region for 40 YEARS and still Is continuing to grow strong thanks to its great community and surrounding cities!!

Come support CKMS-FM on Friday, FEBRUARY 17TH !!!

Click here to volunteer at this event.

Edmonton radio host Rob Christie gets in the hot seat for charity
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A record player and a tape recorder sat beside each other in Rob Christie’s basement in a farmhouse near Montreal.

It was in the mid-1960s when Rob, then a teenager, played records and talked about them.

“It was my own radio station,” Rob said. “I knew back then I wanted to get into radio.”

He paused. And then softly laughed.

“People might find this funny, but I was really shy when I was young.”

Luckily, Rob’s mother Charlotte was an influence, suggesting he call the nearest radio station to see if he could lend a hand, and, more importantly, learn.

Rob did just that. He started running errands, learning about the business, which kick started his successful radio career in 1968.

Starting in Montreal he then moving west, to Calgary, where, at the age of 23, he became one of the youngest morning men in Canada.

Rob’s personality — and great sense of humour — has made impacts in the Edmonton radio market: first with 630 CHED and then with Power 92, when his morning show earned a gold medal at the International Radio Festival in New York.

Rob left Edmonton in 1994 and made stops in Toronto and Vancouver before returning to this city in 2005 to help launch Magic 99.3.

Since 2008 he has navigated the Capital 96.3 FM morning show and still answers his weekly 3:20 a.m. alarm.

But … what would have happened if Rob’s mother wasn’t there to give him the boost — camouflaged as a challenge — to follow his dream?

That’s the main reason he said yes to the Rotary Roast of Rob Christie March 8 at the Marriott River Cree. The event is organized by the Rotary Club of Edmonton with funds going to Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area.

“There are families with young children in Edmonton that only have on parent,” Rob said. “The work Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club do in providing an adult figure for support and provide good morals …”

Rob has formed friendships in the Edmonton media which started decades ago and are still going strong.

Several of those friends — Sun columnists Marty Forbes and Graham Hicks, Bruce Bowie and Bryan Hall of 630 CHED, Susan Reade and Sean Burke of 840 CFCW — will be roasting Rob.

“I think the key for any roast is to have people who actually know the person they’re roasting,” said Rob.

“So, if I was worried — not that I’m am, though — of the three of my roasters it would be Marty and Bruce, because I’ve known them the longest, and you never know what stories they have.

“And Bryan. Because nobody will know what Bryan will say next.”

It will be a fun night.

But it will also celebrate friendship and humour, and how the both are so important.

Tickets are $125 each, or a table for eight for $900.

For more information visit

Lethbridge: Radio-a-thon raises over $234K
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By Martin, Tijana on February 17, 2017.

Tijana Martin

Lethbridge Herald

It’s not every day that you see all the local radio stations working together but when they do, it’s a beautiful thing.

Since the inaugural event eight years ago, the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million through the Care from the Heart Day Radio-a-thon.

“That’s a huge amount of money and all of that stays right here for the benefit of our hospital,” said Jason VandenHoek, executive director of the CRH Foundation.

On Thursday, 98.1 The Bridge, 94.1 CJOC, 106.7 Rock, Kiss 107.7 and Country 95.5 broadcast live from the hospital’s atrium from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“It’s a very unique initiative really to this city,” said VandenHoek. “The fact that we can get all six local radio stations working together to kind of help one cause – that being the hospital – that’s pretty exciting and it’s kind of unheard of in other markets, so we’re really proud of that.”

In the past year, the foundation has disbursed more than $1.3 million towards state-of-the-art health-care equipment and the goal for this year’s event was to raise $230,000.

Renovations are underway to help improve the mental health area and VandenHoek noted funds from this year’s event will be used to help with the renovation costs.

“We just think it’s a really important piece of our hospital right now that needs some attention, so we’re happy to be able to do that.”

By Thursday night, more than $234,000 had been raised for the CRH Foundation.

“We’re so lucky to have such a generous community and business community. Each year we’re surprised and really humbled by the folks that step up and help us,” said VandenHoek. “We wouldn’t do this every year if we didn’t think our community wanted to support the hospital and we just thank everybody for giving.”

Donations for the CRH Foundation are accepted all year at Donations for Care from the Heart will be accepted online for the next few days or by calling the office at 403-388-6001.

Follow @TMartinHerald on Twitte

Stuart McLean, CBC Radio host and award-winning humorist, dead at 68
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Stuart McLean, the host of CBC Radio’s The Vinyl Café and an award-winning humorist, has died at age 68 after a battle with melanoma.

McLean’s trademark blend of storytelling — part nostalgia, part pithy observations about everyday life — and folksy, familiar delivery made him a hit with audiences for more than 20 years. But he always maintained that success came as a surprise to him.

A message to the Vinyl Café community

He laughingly recalled how his mother, accosted by a fan after one of his live performances of The Vinyl Café, said she never expected McLean to become famous.

“I didn’t really expect myself to amount to very much either,” he told CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in 2012. “I was intimidated by the brains and the athletes all around me and just didn’t think I measured up.”

Read on,

Charles Adler Tonight – World Radio Day – Ryan Jespersen
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Radio provides accessible, real-time medium to bridge divides,’ UNESCO says on World Day
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Source: UNESCO

13 February 2017 – Radio has never been so dynamic, engaging and important in the midst of deep change in ways to share and access information, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said today, World Radio Day.

“At a time of turbulence, radio provides an enduring platform to bring communities together,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her message on the Day.

“On the way to work, in our homes, offices and fields, in times of peace, conflict and emergencies, radio remains a crucial source of information and knowledge, spanning generations and cultures, inspiring us with the wealth of humanity’s diversity, and connecting us with the world,” she said.

Radio is a force for human rights and dignity and a powerful enabler of solutions to the challenges all societies face, she said, calling for nurturing the power of radio to foster the conversations and the listening needed for cooperation to tackle the challenges all humanity faces.

Radio plays an important role in taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, advancing fundamental freedoms and bolstering good governance and the rule of law. It can help tackle new challenges, such as climate change and discrimination, by providing an accessible and real-time medium to bridge divides and strengthen dialogue.

This requires a new commitment by all, including broadcasters, regulators and audiences, she said, noting that radio can provide “a beacon” for innovative solutions to local problems, and continue to advance human rights, gender equality, dialogue and peace.

In January 2013, the UN General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day, 13 February, the day UN Radio was established in 1946.

Ten things you may not know about UN Radio

‘Radio is the theater of the mind’ – 100 quotes on World Radio Day
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By Madanmohan Rao

Each medium has reinvented itself with the advent of successive new media waves – with perhaps a few exceptions, such as the near-extinct cassette tape! Radio transmission and broadcasting have come a long way since developments such as the founding of the Marconi Corporation 120 years ago, in 1897.

Radio transformed print media, news, sports, politics, music, home entertainment, education and even the driving experience, and would in turn have to reinvent itself with the advent of TV, satellite, internet and mobile phones. I have had the good fortune of being an RJ in India and in the US, on FM radio (WMUA), satellite radio (Worldspace) and internet (Radiowalla), each with differing strengths in immediacy of user feedback, national reach, breadth of customisable choices, and monetisation.

UNESCO has designated February 13 as World Radio Day, to celebrate its strengths in fields like socio-economic development; recent annual themes have been women empowerment and youth mobilisation. “Broadcasters, regulators and audiences alike should nurture and make the most of its power,” according to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

Asia has added its own flavour to the world of radio, with Kotmale radio-internet surfing (Sri Lanka), CGNet Swara (community radio via mobiles among tribal communities in India) and even the award-winning ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ (on-demand entertainment via mobile radio in Bihar). See also YourStory’s coverage of community radio and startups in India such as Anchor, Audiomatic, Radio Raja, One Beep, and SamaritanPhone.

“Perhaps no invention of modern times has delivered so much while initially promising so little,” observes Guy Gugliotta. In this compilation of over 100 quotes, we capture the promise, potential and pitfalls of radio over the decades, as it continues to morph and evolve. Happy reading – or, happy listening!

Canadian Radio News Updates Via AC Twitter
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Radio Communautaire F.M. de la Haute-Gatineau has applied to increase the power at CHGA 97.3 in Maniwaki, Quebec from 2,877 to 11,900 watts (2,877 to 16,900 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height will be lowered from 214 to 205 metres (EHAAT). The radiation pattern will change from non-directional to directional.


Shawn Axelrod is reporting that a new South Asian station has commenced operations in Winnipeg at 88.7 FM. Call letters are CKYN with 50 watts. The owner is listed as Gill Broadcasting who also operates South Asian station CKYZ 92.9 “Radio Awaz” in Winnipeg. It is not clear at this point if Mr. Gill has moved Radio Awaz to 88,7 or if the new station will have separate programming from that of 92.9..


WHEN CANADA HAD ONLY 20 COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS…/when-canada-had-20-or-so-co…/


The CBC received approval today to establish a new Ici Premiere rebroadcaster in Sarnia, Ontario. The new station will operate on 101.5 with 1,886 watts (average & maximum ERP). Antenna height will be 104.7 metres (EHAAT). Call letters will be CBEF-3 with programming originating from CBEF 1550 in Windsor.



Clear Sky Radio has dumped the Alternative Rock format on CKBD 98.1 THE BRIDGE in Lethbridge, Alberta replacing it with Modern AC.

PRESS RELEASE:…/the-all-new-98-1-the-bridge-mod…/



The CBC is proposing to install a new elliptical directional antenna with a higher center of radiation above ground level on Its existing tower in Peterborough. All 3 existing CBC facilities in Peterborough will be affected by the change.

Radio One CBCP 98.7 will decrease power from 10,170 to 5,442 watts (19,150 to 12,438 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height will be raised from 244.7 to 272.2 metres (EHAAT).

Radio Two CBBP 103.9 will decrease power from 17,300 to 5,831 watts (26,000 to 12,438 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height will be raised from 200.6 to 272.2 metres (EHAAT).

Ici Premiere CJBC-5 106.3 will decrease power from 9,500 to 5858 watts (13,000 to 12,438 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height will be raised from 221.9 to 272,2 metres (EHAAT).


Rogers Media CKXC COUNTRY 93.5 in Kingston, Ontario was launched in 2008 originally branded as KIX 93.5. The station dropped the KIX branding in 2013 becoming COUNTRY 93.5 as part of Rogers rebranding of its country formatted stations to a unified brand


(thanks to Ian for the sticker)

Dean Blundell Axed In 590 The FAN Morning Show Reboot
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Hamilton Spectator
By Morgan Campbell and Raju Mudhar

Toronto sports radio is undergoing a line change.

Dean Blundell’s show has been cancelled. Again.

On Wednesday, Rogers Sportsnet announced a morning show makeover at its flagship radio station, Sportsnet 590 The FAN, with the controversial Blundell replaced by The Brady & Price Show — featuring hosts Greg Brady, Elliott Price and Hugh Burrill — in the 5:30 to 9 a.m. time slot starting Feb. 27. Blundell is gone immediately, though. There will be fill-in hosts until the new team takes the air.

Sportsnet executives are framing the shakeup as a return to the station’s roots.

“When you look across our station, we are sports experts wall-to-wall and the morning show had a different approach. It was more of a laid-back show when it came to sports talk,” the station’s program director, Dave Cadeau, said in an interview. “Dean has an engaging personality and was an excellent broadcaster who has a passion for sports, but his level of sports expertise wasn’t up to the same level as the rest of our cast.”

For years, Blundell was a morning radio stalwart at 102.1 The Edge, an alternative rock station. Often labelled a shock jock, Blundell survived several controversies which he chalked up to poor attempts at humour. One in particular — involving a sex assault case where one of his producers was on the jury — resulted in him losing that job in January, 2014. After a year of cooling his heels and trying his hand at podcasting, he was hired by Sportsnet Radio.

He told the Star at the time that doing sports radio was a dream come true.

“One of the things that I wasn’t allowed to do in the old format was sports. Apparently the fastest thing you can do to turn off an alternative rock format is to talk sports, and I love sports,” said Blundell.

Toronto Star

A Random Q&A With A Radio Personality
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Every so often, a Facebook link with a title like “10 Things To NEVER Ask A Radio Personality” will float through my timeline and it irks me a little bit. As someone in that industry, I’d rather be asked about my job than, say, my preferred deodorant scent or most traumatic Leafs-related collapse.

With that in mind, I thought I’d tackle a few questions I get asked from time to time.

Q: What kind of music do you play?

A: Classic rock. Other stuff, too, but maybe you have an important meeting to get to. I don’t want to keep you here on this chilly side street all afternoon.

Q: Like Led Zeppelin and that sort of thing?

A: Actually, stuff like Pearl Jam and The Tragically Hip is in there these days, too. I know! In a stunning turn of events, it ends up we’re not 21 anymore! Please consult your birth certificate for confirmation!

Q: Do you pick what songs get played?

A: I don’t and that’s probably for the best. If I had the ability to broadcast whatever tune I wanted at a given moment to thousands of people, you’d be hearing 12-minute live versions of Nautical Disaster, the Bob Clute Pontiac jingle, Hulk Hogan’s entrance music and my daughter’s Magic School Bus theme song request.

Q: Must be cool to just talk for a living, eh?

A: Is that all you think I do? Did it ever occur to you that I also adjust my volume levels, Roll Up The Rim, and chuckle at Matthew McConaughey Internet memes — sometimes all within the same day?!

Q: How did you get this job?

A: I went to school for it as a “mature” student. Yep, while some of my classmates were arriving in the maternity ward, I was “mature” enough to be seeing my first Tragically Hip show.

Q: School for radio? Seriously? Uhhh “¦ what did they teach you?

A: You’re picturing classes titled “Non-Stop Rock Blocks Of The 20th Century” and Johnny Fever from WKRP doing a PowerPoint presentation about how the letter E is five syllables, aren’t you? Let’s just go with that, actually.

Q: Can I go now? I’m really starting to get cold.

A: Wait! WAIT! We need to Instagram this or something!

Ben McLean is a husband, a father, and hopes you’ll remind him about Valentine’s Day if you see him on the street. Thanks. He can be heard evenings and weekends on 96.3 Big FM and reached at

The Kingston Whig-Standard 2017 ©

KiSS RADiO – NON-STOP HITS Kevin and Sonia Vancouver
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Airchecker predicted the duo would be the new morning show in 2017.


Kevin and Sonia met as classmates in 2002 with the hopes of doing a radio show together. They went on to host the #1 morning show in Kelowna, before returning back home to Vancouver. Now into their 6th year as a morning show team, the dynamic duo have received several awards including Broadcast Performers of the Year by the BC Association of Broadcasters and Favourite Radio/TV personalities by Okanagan Life Magazine readers. Also voted one of the Top 3 Morning Shows in Vancouver by readers of The Georgia Straight.

Born and raised in Port Coquitlam, Kevin’s dreams of being a radio host began when he “played radio” with his toy microphone. Outside the studio, he keeps busy emcee’ing live events and volunteering for charities like the Children’s Wish Foundation. Kevin has also lent his voice to hundreds of commercials and is the official “park voice” for the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) fair.

Sonia is the social butterfly from Delta. She donates her time to causes including the Breast Cancer Foundation, A Better Life Foundation, and big supporter of Movember.

BIG NEWS! Kevin & Sonia will be joining the KiSS RADiO family!

Here’s your chance to get to know the dynamic duo a bit better before they join you for breakfast February 14th:


Welcome Kevin & Sonia to KiSS RADiO!

Originally Aired: February 6, 2017
00:00 | 02:39

Kevin and Sonia met as classmates in 2002 with the hopes of doing a radio show together. They went on to host the #1 morning show in Kelowna, before returning back home to Vancouver. Now into their 6th year as a morning show team, the dynamic duo have received several awards including Broadcast Performers of the Year by the BC Association of Broadcasters and Favourite Radio/TV personalities by Okanagan Life Magazine readers. Also voted one of the Top 3 Morning Shows in Vancouver by readers of The Georgia Straight.

Born and raised in Port Coquitlam, Kevin’s dreams of being a radio host began when he “played radio” with his toy microphone. Outside the studio, he keeps busy emcee’ing live events and volunteering for charities like the Children’s Wish Foundation. Kevin has also lent his voice to hundreds of commercials and is the official “park voice” for the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) fair.
Sonia is the social butterfly from Delta. She donates her time to causes including the Breast Cancer Foundation, A Better Life Foundation, and big supporter of Movember.

Catch Kevin & Sonia on KiSS RADiO weekdays from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. starting February 14th, 2017!

Grandpa, What’s A ‘Radio Station’?
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When will traditional radio stop ignoring the internet? And, everyone under the age of 25?

It’s a question whose answer is obvious. Why are people tuning out of ‘traditional’ broadcast radio? Usually the answer involves one or more of the following:

(a) long commercials

(b) lots of repeated songs

(c) long deejay breaks

(d) Spotify

(e) podcasts

(f) mobile phones in general

(g) lameness

(h) Nickelback

Maybe you could add ‘no EDM’ to that list, though somehow DJs went pop enough to get airplay.

But there is one good thing going for old-school radio: it’s easy and cheap. And, it’s ready to go in the car. Flick it on, and it’s there, all for free. But that’s slowly starting to change, especially with mobile-ready radio apps, streaming apps, and podcasts invading the dashboard.

Sure, a lot of people still tune in to local radio and deejays, but there’s never been more competition during drive time. And fewer younger people are tuning in.

Now, there’s a station wanting to add a little internet into the stodgy old radio station. And, add even more competition alongside Pandora, Spotify, podcasts, and Sirius XM. Enter GoViralRadio, an app-based radio concept that wants to bring younger listeners back into the fold.
What this is.

Here’s what these guys are up to. Basically, GoViralRadio is an app, for Android or iOS. And all it does is offer a blend of bigger hits and emerging, viral hits. So, it’s hits you like, plus stuff that’s blowing up on YouTube (and other places like SoundCloud).

Mix it all together, and these guys think they have something more exciting and appealing than anything out there.

GoViralRadio is actually targeted at a younger demo, which makes sense. Think 12-24 age demographic. Basically, the people who (a) care about pop hits and (b) care about viral hits. And, the people that would rather Bluetooth-connect their devices than lean back and listen to 98.7. “Concerts are selling out, interaction is extreme, kids and parents know the brands, yet radio is not playing,” the founders explained.

In terms of genres, there’s zero adherence to the traditional divisions of rap, country, EDM, whatever. That stuff is oftentimes made up by the industry and radio, not people. “Our goal is to promote viral superstar artists from around the world,” said Ray De La Garza, one of the founders of GoViralRadio. “We are not format-specific, we are what Top 40 was forty years ago. Think the hottest combination of pop, urban, rap, rock and country.”
Why this might have a shot.

Next question: will these guys be dead in 6 months? Possibly. The mortality rate among music startups is about 99% (trust us). But the founders of this company actually aren’t tech outsiders, pounding their fists in the air while touting theoretical mumbo-jumbo. De La Garza is actually a seasoned radio executive, who prides himself on plugging formatting holes.

The other founder, DJ Lynnwood, has been programming traditional and online radio stations for 10+ years. That includes nationally-syndicated radio shows, and even stuff for earlier platforms like MySpace and Beatport.
The last piece.

Here’s the part of the playbook that’s Radio 101. Target a demographic, then sell the crap out of it. And the proposition here is that under 25s are being woefully underserved.
+Advertise With Digital Music News

So, once they are served, advertisers will want to reach them. GoViralRadio calls it an ‘obvious and massive demographic’. Let’s see if they can corner and monetize them.


Bell Media Lays Off Employees Canada-Wide Amid Restructuring
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TORONTO—Bell Media says it’s embarking on layoffs as it restructures operations amid a challenging industry landscape.

The division’s vice-president of communications, Scott Henderson, said in an email that the company is not disclosing the number of people who will be impacted by the cutbacks.

He said more than two dozen Bell Media locations across the country are impacted and layoffs, which began Monday, are ongoing.

Henderson said the restructuring comes as it and other media companies in the country face increasing international competition, the evolution of broadcast technology, and advertising and regulatory pressure.

He said regulatory decisions, like the CRTC banning Bell Media from substituting Canadian ads over American ones during the Super Bowl this year, have had a significant revenue impact.

Bell Media owns dozens of local TV stations and specialty channels, 105 licensed radio stations and more than 200 websites and over 30 apps. The media division employed 6,568 people as of Dec. 31, 2015, down from 7,342 a year prior.

BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) will report its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Last quarter, Bell Media’s revenues rose by 3.5 per cent to $716 million thanks to subscriber growth from The Movie Network, its Crave TV streaming service and TV Everywhere.
Read more about:
Bell Media, Crtc

Bell Layoffs
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Bell layoffs hit hard
Trevor Nichols – Feb 2, 2017 / 9:02 am | Story: 187672

Local Bell radio stations were some of the properties hit by the layoffs

The latest round of Bell Media layoffs hit close to home this week as several high-profile employees in the Okanagan were left without jobs.

Included in the cuts were 53-year radio industry veteran Gord Leighton in Vernon, both members of CTV’s Kelowna bureau, and group program director Mark Burley and his wife Janet.

Farther afield, veteran news anchor Coleen Christie was let go from CTV Vancouver, and TSN personalities Peter Schaad and Scott Rintoul were dropped. Bell also let veteran Victoria radio personality Steve Duffy go.

Leighton, who had worked as general manager for Sun FM and EZ Rock in the North Okanagan, told Puget Sound Radio that Bell “sent him packing” just three days short of his 53rd anniversary in broadcasting.

Meanwhile, Kent Molgat and Barry Fontaine, who worked out of CTV television’s Okanagan bureau in Kelowna, are both out of a job after the company shut the operation down.

Reflecting on the news, Molgat said Wednesday there had been a definite uneasiness within the company in the wake of Bell’s recent waves of layoffs.

Molgat had been at his position for nine years and was somewhat optimistic about his prospects, so getting the news was still a shock.

Sitting across from his boss, staring at a manilla envelope with his name written on it, Molgat said the reality of the situation suddenly hit him.

“It’s the kind of thing that as your brain’s absorbing it, it’s almost physical, I could almost feel my brain taking it like a punch,” he said.

“For 30 years, I’ve gotten up in the morning, figured out what I’m working on, found the people to talk to, figured out what pictures we’re going to need, put together a story and started again. I’m 52 now, and all of a sudden someone across a desk says ‘no more.’”

Bell has not announced how many employees were let go across the country and did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

In a press release, Scott Henderson said the latest round of layoffs came amid more international competition, changing broadcast technology and pressure from advertisers and regulators.

Molgat said he loved his gig at CTV and little could probably have been done to prevent the Okanagan layoffs.

“I’m not privy to the whole decision-making chain, but I have a pretty clear sense that this is a decision made by a big company in a city far away that demands the branch plant make a certain amount of cuts, and then they have to make tough decisions at that point,” he said.

In the third quarter of 2016, Bell reported operating revenues of more than $5.4 billion, a $62 million gain over the same period in 2015. The company’s financial report boasted increases in net earnings, cash flow and a 3.5 per cent increase in media revenue.

Bell is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter earnings for 2016 this week.

CHOM Montreal Hit Hard Bell Media Layoffs
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“I’m so sorry.” “We’ll miss you.” “This sucks.” “WTF?”

Those were the most common comments by fans on Facebook this week after Heather Backman, co-host of the morning show on CHOM 97.7, announced that she had been laid off from the station after five years.

Her former co-host Terry DiMonte announced the news on air Tuesday, saying Backman’s layoff was “a decision that was not mine to make.”

Also gone is Paul Beauregard, a fixture of CHOM in the 1980s and 1990s who was brought back to the station in 2013 to work fill-in shifts.

Owner Bell Media cited budget cuts for the layoffs, the total number of which it did not specify.

“I can confirm that we are reducing several positions at CHOM,” Matthew Garrow, director of News, Local Stations, Sports, Discovery Networks & Community Investment for Bell Media, wrote in an emailed statement. “These changes are the result of the challenges Bell Media and other Canadian media companies are facing due to increasing international competition, the evolution of broadcast technologies, and advertising and regulatory pressure.”

The same statement was offered to other journalists across the country asking about cuts in their markets. Bell Media isn’t saying how many jobs are being eliminated, so news is filtering out slowly as people post about them on social media and websites are quietly scrubbed of any reference to departed employees.

Other Bell Media radio and TV personalities around the country have also been let go in the past week, including Ingrid Schumacher, a 40-year veteran of CHUM-FM in Toronto, TSN Radio Vancouver announcers Peter Schaad and Scott Rintoul, and CTV Vancouver journalists Coleen Christie and Kent Molgat, according to reports.

Financial data for CHOM alone is not public, but according to data published by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Bell

Media’s 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets nationwide made $72.9 million in profit before interest and taxes in the year that ended Aug. 31, 2015, from $306 million in total revenue. The Montreal English/ethnic commercial FM radio market, where two of five stations (CHOM and Virgin Radio 96) are owned by Bell Media, had $12.8 million in pre-tax profit and a 35-per-cent profit margin in that same year. Revenue has been flat the past five years.

Bell Media made $187 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the third quarter of 2016, slightly more than the same period the previous year. Parent company BCE Inc. made $2.2 billion in the third quarter alone, though more than 90 per cent of that is from its telecommunications operations. BCE reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

CHOM’s ratings took a tumble in the last report released in December, with a 10.2 per cent market share among anglophones, down from a high of 15 per cent in 2013.

Backman, who was told of the decision on Monday, took the high road, thanking her former bosses and colleagues.

“I would like to express my outmost gratitude for the enormous amount of love and support that has come my way,” she wrote in her Facebook post. “The radio business is an uncertain one and layoffs can occur at any time. It has truly been an honour to wake up with you every morning for the past five years.

“I’m confident that I’ll be back on the airwaves somewhere soon! I will surely miss you all every day.”

By noon Wednesday, the Facebook post had more than 500 comments from supportive fans.

DiMonte said Backman was “very close to us all” in a sombre message at the beginning of Tuesday’s show. Just two weeks earlier, the two had celebrated five years together on air. Days later, they celebrated DiMonte’s birthday.

“It was a tough day around here yesterday for a lot of us,” DiMonte said. “But our job now is to put one foot in front of the other and get on with it. And we wish Heather all the best.”

DiMonte described the cut as the co-host job being eliminated, meaning he will be expected to continue hosting alone, perhaps with some help from producer Esteban Vargas. But without Backman to banter with (and laugh at his jokes), DiMonte sounded like he was talking into a void on Tuesday’s show. Montreal’s other (higher-rated) music stations still have on-air couples hosting their morning shows — Freeway and Natasha on Virgin and Vinny and Nikki on The Beat 92.5.

Pierre Houde, a regular contributor to CHOM’s morning show and RDS’s Canadiens play-by-play announcer, paid tribute to Backman on Tuesday’s show.

“Radio is something that we do professionally, but binds are created, and friendships are developed,” he said. “We understand that this business has to go through ups and downs, and people go, people come … but at the same time she’s going to be missed.”

Beauregard declined to comment on the news of his layoff.

Boomers Tune In To Radio

by Carli Berry – Kelowna Capital News
West Kelowna posted Feb 1, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Allan Holender hosts his live show, the Boomer Home Companion from his home in West Kelowna. – Carli Berry/Capital News
Allan Holender hosts his live show, the Boomer Home Companion from his home in West Kelowna.
— image credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

When one opportunity ends, another begins.

For Kelowna resident Allan Holender, opportunity came in the form of radio.

Holender developed cataracts at seven, which slowly took his sight, but not his voice.

In 1951, at 10, Holender’s father built him his own radio which started his passion. Born and raised in Edmonton and now retired in the Okanagan, Holender spends his days in his cozy home studio, with a radio show he created.

“I thought ‘what are the things I’m going to be limited to when I go blind?’ My voice changed at 13 and I developed this deep, radio voice, and I told my dad ‘I think I could go into radio.’ Every night I used to go to bed with the radio on,” he said.

At 13, he lost sight completely in one eye after a experimental procedure.

From then on “people would joke and say ‘you’ve got a great face for radio,’” he said, and he carried his passion with him.

In his down time at the University of Montana, he hosted a jazz radio show before graduating with a sociology degree.

“I started to develop a following and that got me back into it,” he said.

In Vancouver, he worked for Big Brothers as a councillor, and one of his colleagues told him to start a radio station in Richmond, which is one of the only radio stations still playing AM, he said.

A vacation brought him to the Okanagan; he fell in love with the lake and moved to Peachland where he started a radio show. But Peachland was too sleepy for the Vancouverite, he said, and he moved to Kelowna with his wife, continuing to broadcast from home.

“Whatever you love to do when you’re 10-years-old, at some point in your life you’re going to end up doing that and that’s going to be your love and passion, until then everything’s a job. I needed to still do it.”

After doing his research, he realized the Okanagan didn’t have specific radio stations for the baby boomer generation geared toward those over 50. He wanted to fill a niche.

His goal is to connect boomers across Canada.

Boomer Public Radio is completely digital and can be accessed by visiting

Holender hosts his own live show called A Boomer Home Companion which plays every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. along with programs called Boomertown based out of Victoria and Slow Living from California,

DJ Frank Allan from New York hosts Music Beat, and Jazz on the Rocks is from Kamloops.

“I wanted to create original radio with new technology,” he said, adding others wanted to get on board.

He’s been broadcasting his show live since June, 2016. The little homemade radio that sat in Holender’s family den came full circle.

Last week, Holender had around 50 listeners and he plans to expand his brand as well as listeners.

“I call us independent, organic, free-range radio,” he said.

Listeners can also tune in through podcasts, which are set to launch Feb. 4.

Ingrid Schumacher Out At CHUM FM After 40 Years
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Ingrid Schumacher, one of Toronto’s longest serving radio personalities, has been terminated from CHUM FM Radio after 40 years there.

Schumacher has confirmed she had been let go last week by the station but said she has been given a severance package and will offer further comment after consulting with her lawyer.

“I wasn’t wrongfully dismissed or anything like that, I didn’t breach my contract, that much I can tell you. I was basically made redundant,” Schumacher told the Star Monday during a telephone interview.

“All I can say is that I’m hopeful for my future. I’m a glass half-full kind of person and I have a very positive outlook in general in my life . . . I have a clear heart and clear head. Beyond that, I’m excited about what the future may hold for me. There is life after something like this for sure,” she said.

“In the grand scheme of things, I’m taking this in stride. I’m going to deal with my legal issues as best I can and continue to have respect for the institution of broadcasting and myself and move forward,” Schumacher added.

Matthew Garrow, director, news, local stations, sports at Bell Media, which owns the station, confirmed the news in a terse statement.

“I can confirm the departure of Ingrid Schumacher as a result of changes in 104.5 CHUM FM’s programming lineup. We wish Ingrid the very best in future endeavors,” Garrow said.

Schumacher, a graduate of Fanshawe College’s radio broadcast program, first joined CHUM FM in 1977, has served as the midday announcer in recent years.

CFTA Radio Back From The Brink
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Six months ago CFTA Radio was close to shutting down for good, now they’re on the road to recovery.

“When we said in the paper (Amherst News) that we needed the stairs done somebody came in and asked what it would cost,” said Bev Estabrooks, sales manager at CFTA. “I came up with a number and he wrote a cheque and he wants to stay anonymous.”

New Electrical

“The key change was getting the electrical panel finished so we could get the heat pump turned on,” said Emery.

“Andrew Melanson posted a fundraiser on facebook called, “The heat is on,” added Emery. “People donated to him and he gave us the money for an electrician.”

New Business Plan

CFTA went to the CBDC to try to get a loan but were denied because they already owed money to them.

“But what they did was give us a person, Debbie Lawrence, who did a business diagnostic and told us everything we needed to do,” said Emery. “For God sakes, I don’t know what I would have done without her. She helped us straighten out our accounting…”

Debts paid off

“There’s been so many people coming forward and handing us a cheque for $500 or $1,000 and saying, ‘I like your station, you have no idea what it means to turn you on in the morning, get the information I need and listen to the songs that make me smile,’” said Estabrooks. “The respect we have in the community has helped us to move forward. In six months we’ve gone from almost closing the doors to opening the doors and saying, ‘you know what, we’re staying. Come in and see what we’ve done.’”

World: Chan Fong Has Been In The Radio Business For 25 Years
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With a radio career spanning over 25 years, 988 DJ Chan Fong is one of the country’s most established deejays today. But did you know being a radio deejay has never actually been his full-time job? Chan Fong’s career path has been a varied one.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after finishing Form Five. I wanted to go into the entertainment line but it wasn’t well-developed then. So, I decided to study graphic design instead,” recalls Chan Fong, who turns 47 this year, in an interview.

Still, he always kept an eye out for opportunities in the showbiz industry. “While I was studying, I heard that Rediffusion (now 988) was looking for radio drama artistes. These drama artistes work part time, recording only at night.”

He became a drama artiste for the radio station in 1991 while studying.

By the following year, the hardworking Chan Fong had proved his worth and made the leap to radio presenting – something he would do to this day but still only on a part-time basis.

So where does Chan Fong’s bread and butter come from?

Earlier in his career, he also pursued a diploma in recording engineering, and later put those skills into good use when he produced albums for popular Mandopop duo Michael & Victor (Michael Wong was his junior in the diploma course). He also hosted the weekly chinese musical programme, Music Express on TV3 and had acting gigs too.

But Chan’s main source of income comes from working full-time at an advertising agency for the past 19 years. “If you remain only in the entertainment line, it’s hard to live a good life. Advertising brings me a better source of income,” says Chan Fong, who now owns the ad firm and has 70 employees under his care.

Asked why he continues to be a radio deejay despite having found success in advertising, Chan Fong says he still has a passion for it and feels a big sense of responsibility.

Indeed, besides anchoring 988’s breakfast show, Morning Up (weekdays, 6am to 10pm), he also offers a shoulder for listeners to lean on once a week on City Heartbeat (Fridays, 10pm to 1am).

For 20 years now, listeners with problems big and small will call up the show and Chan Fong will offer them some words of wisdom.

“I have a responsibility to do this programme. Whatever problems a listener shares, someone else out there is facing a similar problem. I may not be able to solve them immediately but it may help those out there listening from going down the same road.”

1. As a radio deejay, you play a lot of music for other people. What kind of music do you personally love?

I listen to a lot of jazz music. I love artistes like Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Diana Panton and Janet Seidel.

When I listen to jazz music, it’s not like pop songs where I can easily sing along, it’s about the feeling it gives me.

I like to hear it especially when I’m driving alone at night.

2. Listeners pour their hearts out on your segment, City Heartbeat. What’s the most heartbreaking story you’ve heard?

Once a guy who has been taking drugs for quite some time called up. I told him, “Why don’t you quit? I know it’s hard but you have to do your best.”

I even scolded him. He said, “I’m sorry, I know what I did was wrong but please let me finish.”

He shared that his family didn’t want to see him anymore. They had moved out and they didn’t want him to find them. They were scared of him.

He called my show hoping that his family would tune in, and listen to what he had to say.

He told me he had been very sick and had three months left to live. Then he mentioned his parents’ names and said, “Mum and dad, I’m so sorry, please forgive me. Bye bye.” And hung up.

I was stunned.

3. Do you see the rise in the consumption of music streaming services today, especially among the younger generation, as a threat to radio stations?

There are two groups of people. The first group wants to listen to music only while the other group, wants a mix between listening to music and listening to deejays talk as well. Music streaming services can’t satisfy that.

Teenagers prefer to listen to music only. But when they get older, they know they need more information, whether it is local news or life advice. So they will listen (to radio).

And on 988, we are focused on current affairs and news, while other radio stations are more skewed towards entertainment, music and games.

4. 988 just launched an album with four short films, CNY House Of Happiness 2017. Tell us about it.

With most Chinese New Year songs, the lyrics are usually filled with well-wishes and flowery words but there are no stories behind them.

I wanted to tell stories. So last year, we made a short film, accompanied by songs with simple messages in them. There’s a song about people buying clothes off the rack for CNY these days, unlike in the past when people used to have their clothes tailor-made.

This year, we have four short films packed with meaningful messages. For example, one of them is about putting down your handphones and enjoying the festivities.

5. As the host of a morning show, you’ve been waking up very early for years. What tips do you have for people who aren’t early risers?

You just have to sleep early. There’s no other way. I try to sleep, ideally, by 10.30pm because I have to wake up around 5am.

In the past few years, I’ve also been changing my lifestyle. Not only do I sleep early, for breakfast, I eat chicken breast or grilled salmon (with no oil and just a bit of salt) plus a bowl of boiled vegetables. I also go to the gym three times a week.

Canada: U.S. Radio Reached Over the Border
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The Radio Preservation Task Force faces a mammoth undertaking: It is tasked with preserving and archiving American broadcasting.

The reach of that broadcasting, however, is not confined to the boundaries of the United States of America. In fact, in the 1920s and 1930s, NBC, CBS and MBS all established affiliates within the boundaries of Canada.

Material evidence of American radio persists in Canadian archives and forms part of the early history of the country’s broadcasting, not only as stations that could be heard over a signal-porous border but from within Canada itself.


As regulations tightened in the United States and Canada in the 1920s and 1930s, American radio signals broadcasting across the border and American affiliate stations established in Canadian cities both came under scrutiny.

Most Canadians lived close enough to pick up powerful American stations on clear channels in the evenings. Technical changes were put in place so that powerful U.S. stations did not dominate, including the use of directional antennas and regulation of frequency utilization.

Immediately after World War I, amateur broadcasters prevailed under light regulation. But as more stations filled the airwaves, interference from distant stations, weather conditions and finally the reallocation of radio frequencies disrupted the audience’s enjoyment of radio programs. Radio became dominated less by hobbyists and increasingly was influenced by listeners who wanted to hear their favorite programs. Regulation became more important.

NBC and CBS stations that crossed the northern border were broadcasting to Canadians and were part of the American networks.

The popular misconception that Canadians listened almost exclusively to U.S.-based stations was disproved by the establishment of American-affiliated stations in Toronto, Montreal and later Windsor.

CKGW in Toronto and CFCF Montreal were NBC-affiliated stations that enabled the network’s programs to broadcast over Canadian airwaves. CBS provided a more select variety of programs on CFRB in Toronto and on CKAC (now the largest French-language station in Montreal), which existed as a bilingual station with local English and French content and also included CBS content in the mix during the ’20s and early ’30s.

The American Radio Act of 1927 and creation of the Federal Radio Commission were followed by reallocation of radio wavelengths across North America. Strict technical requirements forced many small American stations off the air; but small, private, local stations, not part of any chain, persisted in Canada.

In Canada, the Radio Broadcasting Act was not enacted until 1932, but in the intervening five to six years, stations in Canada joined NBC and CBS.

Following the reallocation, Canadians and Americans were dismayed by the loss of favorite stations and programs. A convergence of factors following this disruption permitted drastic changes in Canada.


With the exception of Montreal and Toronto, Canadian cities were limited to one frequency per city, in order to serve listeners who were tuning in with crystal sets rather than expensive radios with tuning knobs. Crystal sets were more likely to be found in American and Canadian cities until the introduction of tabletop radios in 1931.

The shortage of radio frequencies assigned to Canada in the North American Gentleman’s Agreement of 1924 — allowing only six exclusive wavelengths and 11 shared wavelengths — forced a variety of Canadian cities to share wavelengths. Larger companies that hoped to acquire a city radio station often had to settle for a signal outside the city, sometimes outside of the province, hoping it could still reach listeners in the desired location. Therefore, it was challenging for American affiliates to acquire their own stations without a shared wavelength.

Letters began arriving at the offices of the Radio Branch of the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, complaining not only about interference from the reallocated Canadian and American stations but also the religious criticism of Judge Rutherford, president of the Watch Tower Society, which was broadcast over International Bible Students Association radio stations.

The minister of Marine and Fisheries exercised his only power by cancelling the IBSA licenses. This action provoked debate in the House of Commons over the power exerted by the ministry. That same year, the regulation of radio broadcasting was questioned and a few slots for new radio stations were created. In December 1928, a formal inquiry into the future of Canadian radio commenced with the appointment of the Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting, commonly known as the Aird Commission.

Soon NBC became the first of the American networks to enter Canada with the physical presence of an affiliate station. On Nov. 16, 1929, R.W. Ashcroft, manager of the Trans-Canada Broadcasting Company, announced that CKGW would begin to broadcast programs from NBC’s Red and Blue networks, making it the first American affiliate to offer American programming in Canada.

Shortly thereafter, Montreal’s CFCF became an NBC affiliate. CFRB affiliated with CBS. And CKAC added CBS programs when it became an affiliate.

While Canada moved tentatively toward regulation and the creation of a national public radio broadcasting network, Canadian stations continued to join American networks and carry American programming. After the Radio Broadcasting Act, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission broadcast select programs on the national network as well. The Canadian Broadcasting Act of 1936 established the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which introduced more American programming on its own stations and permitted its continued inclusion in the schedules of private Canadian broadcasters throughout the interwar years.

Anne F. MacLennan’s research on radio has been published in “Journal of Radio & Audio Media,” “Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal” and “The Radio Journal.” Her ongoing research focuses on radio programming in the 1930s, the radio audience in the 1930s, broadcasters, and the design and promotion of early radio.

Radio World welcomes your own stores about the preservation of radio content as part of our ongoing coverage of the RPTF effort. Email ideas to

Receive regular news and technology updates. Sign up for our free newsletter here.

Digital Has Not killed The Radio Frequency In Canada — Yet
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Norway may be switching off its FM radio network in favour of digital but don’t expect the same type of tune-out to happen in Canada any time soon.

The shift to digital radio technology — touted for its clearer sound and potential for more channels — is taking place at a much slower, wait-and-see pace here, say broadcasters and industry analysts.

That’s not to say we haven’t already tried. During the late ’90s and 2000s, Canada experimented with the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) model that Norway will shift to this week — and it was a flop.

Duff Roman was instrumental in trying to make DAB a success here as president of Digital Radio Rollout Inc., a consortium of private and public broadcasters, but ultimately couldn’t woo the Americans to follow.

“We tried our best to get them onside. They didn’t want to do it,” he said.

They were already working on adopting HD Radio, another type of digital radio technology that’s now slowly seeping its way into Canada. It is developed by a private company and delivers digital versions of the audio from FM stations via a special receiver.

Digital receivers can cost hundreds of dollars and inability to convince consumers to buy into a new system was part of the reason that DAB stalled.

Roman said he is disappointed because he thought DAB was the superior model.

“It’s sort of like Beta and VHS,” he said of the difference. “The best system didn’t win.”

“I’m over it now … I think it will work as sort of an upgrade.”
14 Canadian stations testing out HD Radio

The CRTC stopped renewing DAB licenses after 2012. Now, it oversees 14 Canadian stations who have started experimenting with HD Radio in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and a few other cities.

These stations have largely been using it as a way to simulcast their AM talk radio stations with less fuzz and clearer audio.

It’s not like internet radio, which is streamed off the internet, or satellite radio, which uses a particular frequency and has a wider footprint. Instead, HD Radio is broadcast in a local market and can only be heard via a HD receiver.

“It allows a radio station to use its analogue FM frequency to broadcast multiple digital audio signals on the [same] frequency,” CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao explained in an email.

She said the number of broadcasters adopting it remains small.

“Presently there are no public proceedings or applications before the CRTC related to this issue, nor is it under discussion.”

Corus Entertainment has been testing out HD Radio in three of its markets — New Westminster, B.C., Hamilton and Calgary.

But Chris Sisam, vice-president of Corus Radio East, said widespread adoption is still a long way off.

“Really, we’re just dipping our toe in the water,” he said. “For us, it’s just a better way of delivering an AM signal.”

Sisam said the number of people listening to the stations via HD Radio remains small — and that’s just anecdotal. He said there is no way of measuring those who are listening via traditional FM radio separately from those listening by HD Radio.

Bell Media and Rogers Media, two of the other major Canadian broadcasters, are also experimenting with HD Radio in a few large markets. CBC is running a pilot project with HD Radio in Toronto for its French-radio service.

“At this time, we have no plan to abandon FM radio, but we are starting to explore digital technologies for radio broadcasting,” CBC spokeswoman Emma Bédard said in an email.

“CBC/Radio-Canada supports HD Radio as a voluntary North American digital radio standard. As both U.S. and Mexican radio broadcasters have endorsed this standard, this will help ensure the widespread availability of receivers to North American radio audiences.”
But will it catch on?

When it comes to digital radio, America is much further along.

There are around 4,000 stations using HD Radio technology in the U.S. and an HD Radio receiver has become a common feature that’s built into new cars. They are being installed with some new car models in Canada, but owning an HD Radio receiver is still pretty rare here.

“We don’t have the reception system available,” Sisam said. “We could deliver [programming on HD Radio], but no one could receive it.”

Norway to become 1st country to switch off FM radio
Canadians consuming less TV and radio but more media overall, CRTC says

David Bray, president of the radio consulting firm Bray and Partners, thinks there is a “real possibility” that HD Radio might not catch on here.

“You still face the challenge of getting receivers out there,” said Bray, who was also involved with the push for Canada to adopt DAB. “That’s a huge practical problem.”

He thinks the better sound and promise of more channels might not be enough of an incentive for people to go out and buy one.

“How are you going to get the public on board? It’s really not that easy,” he said, comparing it to DAB’s struggles. “Apathy is the insurmountable problem.”

Bray suggests creating some unique programming that’s only available on HD Radio, similar to what some speciality satellite radio channels offer.

“Digital radio is almost certainly the future, but in what incarnation I’m not sure.”

Ask The Coach: Do I have the talent to suceed?
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QUESTION:  Do I have the talent to succeed in radio?  - Numerous!

That is one of the questions that gets slung in my direction the most?  “Do I have what it takes to succeed?”  I think the answer for everyone is “yes”. It is my personal belief that every person can succeed if they work hard enough and put in the time. That’s not to say that everyone will achieve the same level of success.  They won’t.  It will also be harder for some people than it is for others.  That’s life.  But, if you want something enough and are willing to commit yourself – and be patient – then I believe you can succeed.

Why do I believe that?  Well…

Talent isn’t a gift of nature.  It’s like a muscle.  The more you work the muscle the bigger and stronger it can grow.  Stop working it and it begins to weaken again.  Yes, some people naturally have bigger muscles and greater strength, but everyone can grow their muscles if they work at it.  Talent should be thought of like a muscle.  It takes unimaginable dedication and perseverance, and often personal sacrifice but you can improve performance if you work at it.  You can take a good performance and turn it into something great.  Something spectacular.  If you really want to.

When I talk to people about improving their performance, one thing I recommend is keeping a “Performance Journal”.  I invite talent to capture their dreams in these journals.

The thinking is that if you write your goals down, it is more likely to happen.  Once you write a goal down, you bring it to the attention of your subconscious mind.  Then the Reticular Activating System in your brain brings relevant information to the attention of your conscious mind.  You are bringing the power of your whole mind – both the conscious and subconscious parts – to the achievement of your goals.  Sounds scientific, so it must be true!

Jim Carrey is a believer in this.  His famous story goes something like this…  In the early 1990s when he was a struggling comic trying to make his way in LA, he wrote himself a check for $10 million and dated it Thanksgiving 1995, added the notes ”for acting services rendered,” and he carried it in his wallet from that day onward.  Every day it was a physical reminder of what his goal was.  He looked at it every day. Yup, you guessed it! He got the $10 million for his role in Dumb & Dumber in 1995.

The idea with the “Performance Journal” is to physically write down what you want to achieve.  Write down your dreams for the future.  Then each time you make an entry you reflect on your progress.  Are you getting closer to your goals?  What do you need to work on tomorrow to achieve  it?   Writing things down creates clarity.  It keeps you focused on what’s important.  With every entry you make, you add more clarity to what you want, constantly reminding yourself what it is you’re working toward.

Every day I encourage you to make a new entry and re-read your most recent entries.

Oh, and why not just spend a few minutes each day thinking about these things before you drift off to sleep?  And why can’t you capture these notes on your iPhone?  Well, there’s good evidence that the act of writing itself helps us remember things better. So make sure you physically write things down!

Building your talent is a mission.  This technique – the ”Performance Journal” - helps you focus on the mission.  Achieve what you dream. You’re worth it.

If you have a question or would like to contact Paul for any reason then you can email  And don’t forget to follow Paul on Twitter @mrpkaye

20 Ways to Use Twitter’s #FollowFriday Meme to Engage Your Radio Station’s Community
ARTICLES, Net News 0  

By Seth Resler Jacobs Media

Follow Friday is a Twitter meme. Today, Twitter has over 300 million active users, but when it first launched, they weren’t a lot people using the service. What do you do when you join a new social network and none of your friends are on it yet? You look for other interesting people to follow. This is the situation Twitter’s early adopters found themselves in. So in January of 2009, one of those early adopters, Micah Brown, posted this tweet:

I am starting Follow Fridays. Every Friday, suggest a person to follow, and everyone follow him/her. Today its @fancyjeffrey & @w1redone.

— Micah Baldwin (@micah) January 16, 2009

Before long, others on Twitter began adopting the hashtag #FollowFriday, using it to spotlight interesting people worth following. Today, it’s a popular way to “give a shout out” to other people on Twitter.

How do you do it? Easy…

Check your calendar to see if it’s Friday.*
Write a tweet with the hashtag #FollowFriday or #FF in it.
Include the Twitter handles of other interesting people.

Example: #FF @jacobsmedia @fnjacobs @pauljacobsmedia

(*If it’s not Friday, use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your tweets in advance.)

#FollowFriday is a great way to catch somebody’s attention on Twitter. There’s a good chance that the people you include in your tweet will respond or even follow you back. It’s a very easy way to build rapport with people in your local community.

20 Simple #FollowFriday Formulas for Radio Stations

Celebrate the artists you added to the playlist: “#FF New music on WKRP: @LinkinPark @Cher @SammyDavisJr”

Thank anybody that you interviewed: “#FF Thanks for chatting with us! @MovieStar @Comedian @HockeyPlayer”

Congratulate the people who won prizes from your station during the week: “#FF Big winners on WKRP this week: @LongTimeListener @FirstTimeCaller @PrizePig”

Tease upcoming contests: “#FF Win tickets this week! @Singer @MusicFestival @BaseballGame @Musical”

Mention upcoming events in town: “#FF Coming to town this weekend: @TheCircus @RockBand @FoodFestival”

Plug your station events: “#FF Find us here this weekend: @AmusementPark @Nightclub @CarDealership”

Welcome new advertisers: “#FF Welcome aboard! @MattressStore @LaserHairRemoval @LocalNightclub”

Warm up your sales prospects: “#FF Have a great weekend! @LocalBusiness @LocalAgency”

Call attention to your airstaff: “#FF Shoutout to our staff! @MorningShow @MiddayJock @AfternoonJock @NightJock”

Show appreciation for your colleagues: “#FF Thanks for support! @MajorLabelLocal @IndieLabelRep @IndependentPromoter”

Spotlight local bands: “#FF Check out these bands: @BabyBand @UpAndComers

Connect with local celebrities: “#FF Have a great weekend! @Quarterback @LocalWeatherman @Mayor”

Reach out to local bloggers: “#FF Keep writing! @FoodBlogger @MovieBlogger @SportsBlogger”

Toast local hotspots: “#FF Here’s to the weekend! @Nightclub @DiveBar @Restaurant”

Mention the movies that are opening: “#FF In theaters this weekend: @SummerBlockbuster @ArthouseFlick @KidsMovie”

Welcome stand up comedians performing in town: “#FF Excited to see you on stage! @HeadliningComic @OpeningComedian @Emcee”

Comment on pop culture: “#FF Congrats on the Emmy nods! @HBOShow @NetflixSeries @TelevisionStar”

Support local charities: “#FF Thanks for all you do! @LocalFoodBank @BloodBank”

Applaud local graduates: “#FF Congrats to the class of 2019! @College @HighSchool”

Congratulate local schools with winning teams: “#FF Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! @DylanPanthers @SunnydaleHighSchool”

#FollowFriday gives you a great way to embrace the local community without adding more talk to your airwaves.