Friday, 10 July 2009

CBC's Publicly Funded Radio

I have been interested in the evolution of CBC radio. In a bid for higher ratings, methinks, they have been taking away from their more traditional fare. I used to listen to CBC Radio all morning (I adored Peter Gzowski) while doing home day care (30 years ago!) for developmentally disabled kids, while caring for my own 3 children, and/or driving in the car to do errands. Now that I am retired, I find myself turning away from CBC Radio.

For example: they have taken away classical music on CBC Radio2. As that article says, in a publicly-funded radio, operating on tax dollars why they are trolling for a younger demographic I do not know. We do know that the population is aging, and many radio programs feature whacko hosts, with music I am unable to tolerate.

The classy hosts - like Gzowski, are being replaced by, say, musicians, like Jian Gomeshi, whose tastes are quite different than mine. His arts show, Q, features artists I question as artists. There is little balance between the genres. Besides modern musicians have great ease in getting PR, it is the unknowns Gzowski used to feature, as well as books and book authors that were must-reads. Some of the language and the vulgarity and toilet humour leaves me no choice but to turn the radio off.

Then there are the CBC Radio shows meant for early morning.
They celebrate themselves:
"Thanks for making Ontario Morning number one in both London and Kingston!
(BBM ratings March and April 2009)"
What options do any of us have?
I rise early and used to plug in. I adored Anthony Germain, whose Ottawa morning show featured hard-hitting news, based on local, regional, provincial and federal politics. Why they sent him to China on my tax dollar, to cover news that the Chinese government will not allow him to report, is beyond me. He went to do a positive item on a new factory (I think?) that had a Canadian facet to the story, and they would not let him talk to anyone. What is the point in speding big bucks having him there? He had timely news items of the REGION, unlike the morning show I have to listen to in Central Ontario. Ontario Morning features a variety of reporters, many that simply do not interest people in my generation. Sophisticated technology reports not meant for regular folks like me, or dating or parenting techniques? I think not.

Eli Glasner - Why can you not speak on CBC's Ontario Morning on more classy films? I am tired of reviews of crap like Transformers, Bruno and other cartoons. Vulgar, puerile movies I would not be caught dead seeing. How about reviews on adult films?! The kids tell the parents what to watch, they do not need any marketing by you. I'd like info on little-known adult films. Or classics that our young people might be interested in.

How about featuring local events, as you do with Barrie's Jack Lynch on w/e events: Muskoka shows, or outdoor theatres, like Brampton's Rose Theatre?

There are spots that appeal, i.e., economic reports, and some that do not: Peterborough, London news? I think not. If they dealt in-depth with local issues that have an impact across the province, i.e., rural health care, senior health care, closing emergency room beds, LHINs doing the dirty work of cutting health care to save tax-payer dollars, municipal political trends.

Muskoka will host the G8 in 2010, as well as the Winter Games, and there is much going on in this respect. OPP are rehearsing, you can see the planes flying over, and emergency crews doing highway simulations. We were stopped behind one last month. A plane flew over, several OPP vehicles stopped traffic for a few minutes, while emergency vehicles sped past us. All in the middle of highway #11.

For heaven's sake, the sheer number of vacationers who visit us (OPP estimates a million on a long-weekend!) you'd think our weather should be covered well. That safety (land, air and water) issues would be highlighted.
What about travel, the roads, cottaging, vacation travel, idling, Bonfires and leaf burning, environmental issues, rural municipal politics?

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