Music Industry

The Sad State of Canadian Media

Today I learned from Ottawa radio personalities Stuntman Stu and Angie Poirier what fans of 45 radio stations across Canada have also learned from their local radio personalities, that Canadian radio is not teetering on the edge but has pretty much been toppled by other media.

These are 45 out of 103 Bell Media owned stations that are being sold and only the latest cuts in the company, which cut 9% of their work force and some local news programming recently, including the noon broadcast of CTV News here in Ottawa.

People in the industry in Ottawa were concerned after Bell Media had applied to have their commitment to local television reduced with the CRTC in June 2023, days before a massive 1300 in lay-off in the middle of the month and weeks before when two major CTV News personalities, Leanna Cusack and Joel Haslam had retired in July 2023.

All is not well with Bell Media yet people are still acting like we are in the states and have access to a sustainable amount of viewers, when American radio has their own issues according to Pew Research.

So, what will happen if no buyers are found for these stations? Will smaller, remote communities without high speed internet become dead zones? Will larger stations simply become re-transmitters for American programming?

“Tough luck” is not actually a response, especially in communities where print has disappeared, where small business advertisements, local events and important municipal, provincial and federal government information have no venue. But unfortunately this dismissiveness is being heavily promoted by American propagandists on social media, who want to control this nation’s media.

I guess some people have forgotten that weather radio is being decommissioned in many communities in Canada and that cell coverage fails during some weather emergencies, as well as internet access.

Television and radio are the more reliable information sources outside of the urban centres and suburban communities. And it’s time to stop listening to the ought-is.

Now That Was Annoying!

I was unable to write anything on this blog because I had injured my right shoulder last week. But now i’m back with a few events:

The Burlington Record & CD Sale will occur this Sunday, the 13th, from 10am to 3pm at the Halton Naval Veterans Hall at 2444 Industrial St. in Burlington, Ontario.

The nearest bus stops are stop #204 at the corner of Gueph and Mountainside and stop # 207 at the corner of Guelph and Davidson. Admission is free with a donation to the hall.

Fanaticcon 4 will be occurring this Sunday, on the 13th, at the Ottawa Conference and Event Center at 200 Coventry Road. And this event will feature stars from Television of Film, as well as memorabilia from those genres and comic books.

This event will occur from 11am to 5pm and general admission is $15 with kids under 12 getting in for free. But you should note that VIP early admission tickets are available for $20. Click here for details.

Fan Expo Canada is a four day event that will occur at the Metro Toronto Convention Center that will feature celebrity appearances and merchandise from music, film and television.

Both the north and south buildings will have various vendors, displays and autograph sessions/meet & greet opportunities from the 24th to 27th of this month. And the nearest subway station is of course Union Station.

Admission prices vary depending of what experience you would like and additional details can be found by clicking here. But you might want to hurry and buy them by midnight tonight, eastern time, because they are discounted until then.

Enjoy. And if you’re over 50, be careful lifting cases of 24 water bottles!

Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater

Growing up in rural New Brunswick in the 70s and 80s, I was only able to watch five television stations, three of which were publicly funded; The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the francophone networks Radio-Canada and Télé-Québec. And these provided many more cultural programs than the other networks though-out my early life.

I first watched educational programming in both languages on those stations, like Mr.Dressup, The Friendly Giant and Bobinot. And then in my teens I watched programs like Video Hits and Good Rockin’ Tonight, well before Much Music and Musique Plus had gone on air on cable.

After moving to the Ottawa-Gatineau area with my family, I still watched these networks regularly, mainly for consumer programming for young adults like Street Cents and then later Marketplace, La Facture and L’épicerie. And very little of the above mentioned programming was matched by the commercial stations in Canada, nor were dramas like The Beachcommers, Degrassi Jr. High and Murdock’s Mysteries or nature documentary series like The Nature of Things and Découverte or satirical news programs like This Hour has 22 Minutes, The Rick Mercer Report and Infoman.

Internationally renown comedies like The Kids In The Hall, The Red Green Show, Kim’s Covenience, Shitt’s Creek and Un Gars/Une Fille were produced and aired on the CBC or Radio-Canada. And although the commercial networks had one or two international hits, they were simply more interested in providing American content because it brought in the advertisement revenue, which is fine. But where’s the latest Corner Gas or Trailer Park Boys?

When it comes to radio, very few stations aired comedy programming like Air Farce, classical music and jazz like the CBC and Radio Canada in rural Canada, a large percentage of which was Canadian.

The very first concert I attended was classical pianist André Gagnon, whose music was introduced to my family via Radio-Canada. And like CBC Records and Les Disques SRC, CBC Music and ICI Musique provide classical music and other forms of music to Canadians, some of which still does not air on commercial radio outside of the larger cities in Canada.

Yes, I did manage to listen to francophone pop and rock in areas where french was quite prominent but are these many commercial television networks and radio stations that operate in that language outside of the provinces of Quebec, Manitoba and New Brunswick? Are we seriously going to defund this major cultural institution over a minute amount of political commentary?

Let’s face it, only a minority is actively campaigning to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And whenever I discuss the issue with this minority on social media and ask them for examples of an alleged bias, they assert claims that are easily disproved with a Google search of the official sites of these public broadcasters.

It makes no sense for the people of Canada to capitulate our institutions to the foreign interests that failed to introduce Sun News Television to our country. And a neutral and independent commissioner is available to handle all complaints at CBC/Radio-Canada, regardless of the repeated assertions made by the remnants of the aforementioned conservative news network.

It isn’t about nostalgia but preventing the surrender of our media to foreigners that have nothing but negative opinions of this country.

Vinyl Outsells CDs in the United States

NPR has just reported that vinyl records have outsold CDs for the first time since 1987 ; 41 million units sold in 2022 compared to 33 million CDs, regardless of the vinyl shortage that occurred that year.

Click here to read the article.

Jack White Appeals To The Labels

In 2021, vinyl sale revenue grew by 61% in the states to a Billion Dollars according to the Recording Industry Association of America. But the major labels don’t have their own pressing plants, regardless of vinyl’s ever growing popularity. And unfortunately album pressings are delayed here in Canada as well.

Hopefully there won’t be any delays for Record Store Day on April 24th.

Six Hours of Canadian Indie Music

* Viewers discretion advised. And all that crap! 😉