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December 11, 2012

Radio Wars: Vancouver Autumn Radio Ratings Now Available

Although radio remains an afterthought for many, as popular culture media fixation focuses much more on iPods and various assortments of portable mp3 listening devices, tablets, and laptop computers, the bare fact is millions still tune in every week, multiple times each week, to their favourite local radio station. The age-old quest for ratings in radio remains of paramount importance to the conglomerates that own our local radio stations, given that all but two of those stations listed in the graphic below are funded solely through advertising. Thus, today, we present the Vancouver Autumn Radio Ratings, for your amusement and perhaps edification, and to provide you with some insight into how popular your radio station appears to be among listeners across Metro Vancouver.

First a few notes, and a couple of observations on Vancouver's radio wars.

Bell continues to make its pitch to take over the Astral network of radio and television stations. In Vancouver, The Shore, Virgin Radio, and CISL are all owned by Astral Media, a media conglomerate looking to get itself out from under a tough market, and sell itself off to Bell. Locally, Bell owns CHQM-FM, TEAM 1040 and 1410, and FM rocker, The Beat, as well as the local CTV television outlet. Bell's acquisition of Astral is all but a fait accompli given the assurances that Bell has given to the CRTC to be "fair" wth their competitors — of course, if the takeover is successful the CRTC will insist Bell divest itself of some of their local radio properties. Nat and Drew, the morning hosts at Virgin Radio make a little fun of their current predicament in the video above, as they visit all of the current (and a couple of currently unemployed) morning radio teams at radio stations across Vancouver.

Ratings notes: The Shore continues its basement run, a surprise given that it's among the better and more listenable radio stations in town. The Beat took a hit in the ratings as their former morning host Kid Carson took his morning schtick over to Sonic Nation, seemingly to good advantage.

Astral Media: According to Astral, in the latest Vancouver radio ratings, perennial runner-up in the young folks listener category, their local Virgin Radio outlet 95.3 "jumped" in this book from number three to a solid number one in market share, with adults 25-54, based on the gain from 11.6 to 13.3 "commercial share points", or a rise of +14.7% from the last survey of radio listener habits. With SHORE 104 and AM650, Astral Radio now claims 17% of of the 25-54 demographic of the commercial radio listening audience across Metro Vancouver.

Our local Mother Corp station, CBC Radio One, continues its months long run atop the ratings heap, while former Top Dog CKNW (and its 65+ age audience), although near the top of the ratings, can really be said to only be languishing, a comment that holds true for bottom dweller, The Peak. JR-FM has rebounded in recent books, as listeners look for an alternative to the middle-of-the-road music most Vancouver radio stations programme. The rest you can figure out for yourselves. Here then are the ratings ...

Vancouver radio ratings for autumn 2012

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 12:26 AM | Permalink | Radio

March 10, 2011

Vancouver Radio Ratings (Winter), Nov. 29 2010 - Feb. 27 2011


The folks at PugetSoundRadio published the raw Vancouver radio ratings earlier this morning. Perennial 'top dog' CKNW emerged, once again, as the ratings leader, down 30% from years past but on par with recent books.

CBC Radio 2 continues its climb into prominence, rising 30% over the course of the past 18 months. When the Board of Broadcast Measurement went to portable people meters, reputedly a more accurate measurement system than had been employed earlier, CBC appeared to drop dramatically in the ratings, but all that seems to have changed in recent books.

Despite layoffs galore at CKWX, the 24-hour news outlet holds on to a significant portion of Vancouver's radio listening audience. Triple-A (adult album alternative) Shore FM remains an also-ran in the ratings, which given the speculation that the station is about to be sold to Astral to be converted into an uptempo 80s station (just what we need, another oldies station in Vancouver) stands to reason, at least in terms of economics.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Radio

April 2, 2009

Vancouver Radio Ratings, Spring 2009. A Sea Change.

Vancouver Spring 2009 radio ratings

The Vancouver 2009 Winter radio ratings were published this morning, and the news is huge! For the first time ever, Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC, has emerged as the top-rated radio station in the market, besting long-time market leader CKNW by almost a full percentage point. Only four short years ago, in 2005, CBC Radio One scored a paltry 5 percentage points, behind eight other stations. Now, CBC Vancouver is number one!

Tom Monaghan, VP media director of Vancouver-based advertising agency Cossette Media told the Globe and Mail's Fiona Morrow that recent developments in the city's radio scene had made an impact on the figures, noting the arrival of The Peak and some re-branding among other stations.

"It's a balancing out of the marketplace," he told Morrow. "And, to be honest with you, it's CKNW's audience that has declined - it's not that we're seeing a dramatic increase with the CBC, and it's a relatively small increase anyway."

Taking a look at the ratings above (click on the graphic at the top for the fullscreen graph), apart from the local CBC radio outlet, AM650 (formerly CISL) emerges as the other big winner, tripling their ratings in the past year with a move to the low-key "All Time Favourites" format, a format they assumed when Jimmy Pattison's AM600 went dark in the autumn of 2008.

In the morning slot, 6 - 9 a.m., CBC Radio One pulled in an unprecedented 16.9, with JACK a distant second at 9.4, and the other morning shows emerging as also-rans, averaging 5.1 (the Team) to 7.7 (QM-FM). News1130 registered 9.0 in the morning, with Rock 101 and Virgin tied at 6.4, CKNW dipped to 6.1, JR-FM held steady at 5.7, with Virgin and CFOX tied at 5.3. CFUN, AM730, CISL and The Peak are the bottom dwellers (1 point each). CKCL, 104.9 (oldies), remains stuck at 3 percentage points.

Otherwise, for the most part, the 2009 Winter radio ratings book is stand pat. One supposes that the Team 1040 (CKST) has reason to celebrate (as the Canucks do well, so does the Team), reaching 4.0 for the first time. And Jimmy Pattison can't exactly be thrilled with a rating of 1.0 for The Peak, his new triple-A radio station (can't sell many ads with a 1.0 rating).

PugetSoundRadio has published a further demographic breakdown of the numbers, which shows perennial favourite 103.5 QM-FM and 96.9 JACK-FM in the lead 25 - 54, and CHQM out in way out in front with women 25 - 54.

The folks at RadioWest (from whom we appropriated the graphic) have also begun to weigh in on the Winter 2009 radio ratings book, the commentary in the early going focusing on the "erosion of the once Giant 98."

With the portable people meter coming to Vancouver as early as this fall, to record local radio ratings, we'll see what effect, if any, the new technology has on recording radio listening preferences on the Lower Mainland.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Radio

July 16, 2008

Vancouver Radio Ratings, Spring 2008


In another ho-hum Bureau of Broadcast Measurement ratings book, radio in Vancouver continues in the listenership doldrums that has gripped the medium for the past decade and more. For all that, there is some provocative movement in this latest ratings book, ranging from a re-ascension of CKNW, to a new, august place for country music in the hearts, minds and ears of those resident in Metro Vancouver.

CKNW experienced its best 'book' in a couple of years, mostly due to the increased listenership brought in by mid-afternoon talk show host, Christy Clark. Even given the loss of the broadcast rights to the Vancouver Canucks and the BC Lions a couple of years back, CKNW continues to hold its own, even if it has the oldest (and continuing to age) audience among the fraternity of Vancouver over-the-air broadcast radio stations.

JRfm continues its ascendancy in the Vancouver radio listenership stakes, finding both a younger and more diverse audience, while 95 Crave — thanks to the appointment of programming genius, Brad Phillips, as General Manager / interim Program Director — incrementally increases its audience from book to book. The issue that Crave owner, Astral Media, has to address is what to do with perennial oldies loser, 650 CISL, which has languished near last place in the ratings for a number of years now.

Perhaps, when Jim Pattison shutters his oldies outlet, 600AM, later this year CISL will pick up some of its displaced, ever-aging audience.

In other news around the dial, Clear FM took a hit, dropping almost a full percentage point, probably due to the loss of Fred Latremouille in the morning and the failure of Charlee Morgan to find her own audience, while CBC 690 also took a somewhat unexplainable hit in the latter part of the spring. Otherwise, it's pretty much same 'ol, same 'ol in Vancouver radio.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 2:08 PM | Permalink | Radio

July 18, 2006

Vancouver Spring 2006 Radio Ratings


Well, folks, the Spring 2006 radio ratings are in, and perennial favourite CKNW took the biggest hit. Although the chart to the left shows a precipitous drop for 'NW in this latest radio ratings book, if you take a look at the audience ratings in the advertiser friendly 18 - 49 demographic, CKNW was devastated this latest book, this year over last.

From the latest ratings book, what pundits have said for some time now would appear to be true: the majority 'NW audience is 55+, and the new powerhouses in the Vancouver radio market are JACK-FM (otherwise known as CKLG-FM), Corus-owned Rock 101 CFMI, pop-rocker Z95 (CKZZ), QM/FM and the younger skewing, The Beat.

Oh for the halcyon days when you could actually listen to CKNW. With 'NW now in freefall (as VanRamblings predicted last fall), there's some speculation that CBC could catapult into the number one position in the not-too-distant future. Whatever the case, with CKNW having lost the Canucks and the Lions to the Team 1040 (CKST, which took quite a hit, as well), look for 'NW to plummet even more by this time next year.

The Spring ratings chart above is divided into S1 and S2. Survey 1 was taken January 9 to March 5, 2006 while Survey 2 was conducted April 17 to June 11. Survey 3 was completed July 3-16 but won't be out til Oct. 2nd.

JACK'S ratings have fallen by 50% this year over their best days, while Z95 (CKZZ) seems to be on its way back, and The Beat (CKBT) gained audience share. Overall, this ratings book portends a shakeup in our radio market.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 12:34 AM | Permalink | VanRamblings

December 9, 2005

Radio Ratings: 'NW Thrives in Face of CBC Strike

Click on the picture above for a larger, more readable version of the ratings table

The latest Vancouver radio ratings were released earlier this week, and the results were largely ho-hum.

CKNW — which has never sounded as inane as they do at the moment (and that’s going some) — triumphed with a splendid 14.8 rating, meaning that at any given time 14.8% of those tuned into radio in the Greater Vancouver area had their radio tuned to the once Mighty 98, ’NW. All VanRamblings can say is, “Thank goodness our XM Radio was hooked up today.”

In the all important adults 25 - 54 tuned in Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. til 10 a.m., the news broke down like this ...

More results of note in this ho-hum Board of Broadcast Measurement book: AM 730 MOJO Sports Radio, although still in the basement, somehow managed to double their ratings, while The Team 1040 Sports Radio still beat their pants off, taking it to their competition.

Rafe Mair leaving failed to raise a blip in AM600 CKBD's ratings. CKWX News 1130 continues to have decent books, as does Jimmy Pattison's JR FM.

What else is there to report? With Gerry ’O Day as PD and morning host on CISL 650 the station treads water, as does CFOX and ‘they oughta put it out of its miseryCFUN. The ‘fight’ for teen listening dominance between Z95 and The Beat remains a standoff, with the latter emerging the victor.

VanRamblings is simply glad the CBC (hallelujah) is back: Rick Cluff and the whole Early Edition crew, Mark Forsythe and BC Almanac, and even the newly expanded version of On The Coast, with the ever dreadful Priya Ramu (maybe she’s nice in person, but she sure doesn’t come across that way on radio ... where’s Katherine Gretzinger when you need her ... come back Katherine, come back ... we miss you ... thank goodness Ms. Gretzinger’s a CBC fill in host occasionally, both locally and nationally). All said, VanRamblings reasonably expects that the CBC will regain its previous august ratings position in the next (winter) ratings book, with CKNW and AM730 taking the biggest hit, returning to their past, most recent ratings.

Did VanRamblings mention we’re listening to XM Radio? M-m-m-m, good.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 11:30 PM | Permalink | Radio

August 22, 2005

CBC Unplugged: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Transmitters


Missing your daily fix of CBC radio? Wonder when the time will come when you’ll next hear World Report, or the folks who bring you The World at Six will make their triumphant return, so that you’ll know what’s really going on in the world?

And what about The House? How are we supposed to figure out what the shenanigans of those Ottawa-based hooligans on Parliament Hill really mean if Anthony Germain and company aren’t available to help us tread through the shoals of the affairs of the Canadian political miasma?

And just how much stinkin’ BBC News can a woman (or man) listen to and watch before going completely bonkers? We want Peter Mansbridge back on the air, and we want The National to begin broadcasting NOW !!!

No NHL hockey in Canada for a year. A piece of cake. But, if you’re anything like the author of VanRamblings, a week without the CBC is the equivalent of what we believe a week in hell would be like. And that just ain’t no fun.

CBC Unplugged has come to our rescue, and not a moment too soon. In a story on The Tyee, British Columbia’s feisty online presence reports ...

Locked-out CBC employees are working together to put out their own radio programmes, under the collective name of CBC Unplugged. They will broadcast on conventional radio stations and across the Internet through a new technique called podcasting, in which people download audio files from the web and listen to them on their iPods or other digital audio players.

The initial CBC Unplugged podcast is available here, and the second full hour broadcast is available here (Windows Media Player required).

A bit of sanity has returned to the universe. And not a moment too soon.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Radio

August 11, 2005

Jack Gets Jacked: Vancouver Spring 2005 Radio Ratings


The Spring 2005 radio ratings are finally in — courtesy of Ted Wendland’s terrific Vancouver-based, and radio-related website, This particular book covers May and June 2005, and it ain’t lookin’ good.

A brief analysis of the ratings would seem to find the much ballyhooed JACK-FM in freefall, down almost 40% from their halcyon days in the autumn of 2003. The good folks at CBC 690 show their best book ever (radio listeners must be getting serious), while Corus’ moribund MOJO Radio 730 should be put out of its (and our) misery, and declared officially dead (given their miserable 0.3 rating). I mean, who’s listening anyway?

When it comes to Contemporary Hit Radio, Z-95.3 drops more than a full point, with competitor The Beat picking up most of the slack. Otherwise it’s pretty much stand pat for most other stations in the Vancouver area.

CKNW seems to be holding on to its aged audience, but just wait for the summer (due in October) and fall radio ratings books, and you’ll probably see NW drop right down — with Phillip Till in the morning show, and Winnipeg-based Charles Adler pulling the Mighty 98 down from its previous lofty heights, to a bare 8+ rating, its deserved place in the ratings.

The Province newspaper’s Joe Leary offers his overall insight on the latest radio ratings here, and covers the battle of Vancouver’s sports stations here. Meanwhile, the folks at offer erudition here.

These are sad days, indeed, for voice-tracked, corporate commercial radio.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 12:42 AM | Permalink | Radio

August 3, 2005

"F**k You Very Much, FCC": Eric Idle


Despairing for the state of radio, and a fan of Monty Python?

VanRamblings has just discovered this delightful little song by ex-Rutle, Eric Idle, the most musical of the Monty Python crew.

Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), VanRamblings is just thrilled that Eric has a message for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (the U.S. equivalent of the CRTC), as well as Bush and Cheney.

“Here’s a little number I wrote while out duck hunting with a judge,” Idle announces, then croons in soft-shoe English music-hall mode: “Fuck you very much the FCC / Fuck you very much for fining me.”

After razzing U.S. corporate radio giant, Clear Channel, Idle flips off Condoleezza Rice the ‘intellectual tart’ and ‘Dickhead Mr. Cheney,’ rhymes ‘Bush’ with ‘tush’, and thanks all concerned for locking up ‘uppity rich bitch’ Martha Stewart instead of Enron and saving ‘the great white male’.

By VanRamblings’ calculations it would cost a radio station a mere $70,000.00 each time the song was played.

For background on the genesis of the song go to Wikipedia, which also provides the song lyrics.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 12:12 AM | Permalink | Radio

September 19, 2004

As The Dial Turns: Vancouver's Summer 2004 Radio Ratings


Generally not considered to hold that much importance in the industry, the summer radio ratings book, on occasion, may be used to act as a predictor for the fall and spring ratings books, or simply find itself ignored.

Although some have suggested that Rogers’ JACK-FM is in the doldrums and due for a re-think, VanRamblings thinks it’s a little early to bury the 80s powerhouse. The fall ratings book will tell the tale. Stay tuned.

Otherwise, one would think that the management at Z95 (which has finally managed to build a decent website) has to be pleased with the station’s steady climb in the ratings, while the folks over at Corus Radio have probably taken note that The Fox also appears to be on the ascendant.

For your edification — with thanks to, and courtesy of, PugetSound Radio‘s Transistor Sister — VanRamblings has been made privy to the following confidential e-mail from Corus Radio’s west coast head honcho.

Memo: To All MOJO AM730 Staff
From: Lou Del Monte


Due to our disappointing last place finish in the latest Book I have once again been forced to cancel the celebratory MOJO ratings party scheduled to take place tomorrow afternoon at Hooters on Robson.

Instead, you’re all invited to my office for a 2pm meeting where Tom Placebo will once again explain how we — the biggest collection of managerial dufuses it has ever been my pleasure to preside over — will somehow manage in the foreseeable future to turn this trainwreck of a radio station around.

While Tom is addressing us I’ll be taking notes which I will instruct Assistant Program Director Crosby McWilly to incorporate into our new game plan ... whatever the hell that might be.

After I’ve finished dotting all the T’s and crossing my eyes, I hope you’ll all join me for a light lunch under my desk.

See you there!

That’s it for this ratings book. See ya in December for the fall ratings.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 10:45 PM | Permalink | Radio

July 9, 2004

Move Over, Pirate Radio: SomaFM Plays Tunes For The World


Ran across this San Francisco Chronicle story the other day.

SomaFM is a commercial-free, listener-supported, underground Web radio network broadcasting from a garage in the Bernal Heights neighbourhood of San Francisco.

Dedicated to high quality MP3 internet broadcasts reaching across the globe, SomaFM’s founder, Rusty Hodge — working with four other Bay Area residents whose music tastes have spun off stations like the indie-rock — broadcasts six RealAudio webcasts 24 hours a day.

The radio stations available range from the ambient beats and grooves of Groove Salad (RealPlayer / WinAmp required for each link), indie pop rocks, and the post-modern mysterioso of secret agent, to the blips ‘n’ beeps (backed w/beats) of cliqhop, the very tasty, atmospheric textures of drone zone, and the deep-house and downtempo chill of beat blender.

Among the salient features of the site (apart from the great music): a song history for each of the webcasts, linked to artist information; introduction to music you won’t hear elsewhere; and ... the broadcasts are all perfectly legal, given an arrangement SomaFM has negotiated with the RIAA.

Donations to SomaFM, through Paypal or’s Honor System, are gratefully accepted.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 4:33 PM | Permalink | Radio

May 28, 2004

Vancouver Radio Nostalgia: CKVN Top 30 Survey May 8, 1970


Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Radio

May 27, 2004

As The Dial Turns: Vancouver's Spring 2004 Radio Ratings Are In

Corrected figures applied. The chart above is a copyright of

As the men at Corus Radio’s 730 MOJO Sports Radio remain in their crisis prayer circle at Hooters on Robson, and Corus General Manager Lou del Gobbo recovers from having to fork out $2 million to keep middling sports quasi-‘talent’ Neil McRae in the Corus fold — a rumour is being floated that McRae will host a new noontime sports show on CFMI — there is general rejoicing at Corus that CKNW clobbered JACK-FM in the spring radio ratings, as ’NW emerged once again as Top Dog in the Vancouver market.

No one at Corus has much to say about the miniscule ratings jump by sibling, Rock 101 CFMI. Sister station, suburban rocker 99.3 The Fox is also up a bit in the ratings, to a relatively anemic 4.7, picking up the extra point and a half following the demise of urban rocker, 104.9 X-FM.

Meanwhile, over at Rogers, there’s much gnashing of teeth given the precipitous drop in listenership suffered by winter radio ratings leader, 96.9 JACK-FM. So much for the spike in ratings that was expected following the investiture of Larry and Willy into JACK’s morning slot. Execs at Rogers’ Toronto headquarters have to be asking just how much the firing, last fall, of former PD Pat Cardinal has to do with JACK’s 3-point ratings drop?

For the folks at Rogers, clear is clearly no improvement, as sister station 104.9 clear-fm picked up only one point over their urban rock predecessor, X-FM, landing in the unlucky number 13 spot, overall. Meanwhile, on Rogers’ AM side, News 1130 remains steady (or is that mired?) in 12th spot, with a 3.6 share of the Vancouver radio listening audience.

The dim bulbs at CHUM Radio can’t be all that happy, either. Even though soft rock 103.5 QM/FM spiked a bit in the ratings, AM sister stations 1410 CFUN and Sport Radio - the Team 1040, remain radio ratings basement dwellers. But at least the Team 1040 crushed their MOJO competition.

As for the remaining, also-ran, radio stations on Vancouver’s airwaves: in respect of former new music powerhouse, Z-95.3 (who’s new website sucks), all that the spring radio ratings tell you is that these are early days. Jettisoning their Top 40 format in favour of an urban adult contemporary format hardly seems to have paid off for Z in the short term, but at least the station wasn’t obliterated in the spring ratings, given their mid-book change in format. Sister station 650 CISL — who’s sound is brighter than than it’s ever been — actually lost listenership. The owners at Standard Broadcasting have to be scratching their heads.

94.5 The Beat, which has pretty much switched to a Top 40 format, failed to pick up any of of Z’s old audience. Pattison-owned 600 AM dipped dramatically, while sister station JR-Country spiked a bit.

According to the story that ran on Global-TV last night, Rafe Mair’s Spring 2004 numbers are down approximately 40% from the fall book (a 6.9 share this time out, as opposed to an 11.2 last fall). Many believe this has to do with Rafe’s too frequent vacations; the fact that he doesn’t work the Mondays of long weekends; a 10:30 a.m. sign-off time that is much too early (considering that his competition on CKNW, Bill Good — who, in the important spring ratings period, posted a much-improved 13.6 share — stays on the air until noon); an inadequate vacation replacement in the person of producer Shiral Tobin; and Bob Saye’s shamefully poor ‘lead-in’ morning show. Rafe — who is currently on vacation — won’t like the Spring ratings book. Changes will definitely be in the works at 600 AM.

As of 10 p.m., Puget Sound Radio has corrected the figures on the radio ratings chart (above) to reflect the accurate information supplied by CBC to VanRamblings this morning. As the CBC official averred: “CBC 690 has gained a 13.0 share in the Central Vancouver Area, and 5 a.m. til 1 a.m. CBC Radio One sits at a 7.8 share — up a full point over the autumn book — for fourth place overall in the Vancouver market. In the morning period, the Early Edition is up Spring 2004 over the fall book, at a 13 share, second overall across the Lower Mainland in listenership.” Good news abounds.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 12:19 AM | Permalink | Radio

April 3, 2004

Progressive Voices Given New Home on American Radio Dial

Air America Radio signs on, and radically
alters the radio landscape

The much-buzzed-about ‘liberal’ radio network, Air America, began its broadcast life this past week, featuring such well-known political activist entertainers as comedian-provacateurs Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, hip-hop icon Chuck D, and activist Robert Kennedy Jr., among its hosts.

Franken, who once wrote a book attacking Rush Limbaugh, will now compete against Limbaugh in the noon to 3 p.m. slot. He's calling his show ‘The O'Franken Factor’ in a jab at Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, which sought an injunction against his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. And he plans to criticize the president early and often.

“We're going to take it to Bush," Franken said. “Bush is going down in November. Then we're going to take it to the right-wing media and hold them up to scorn and ridicule.”

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 8:48 AM | Permalink | Radio

March 28, 2004

Canada: Satellite Radio Proposals Already on the Table


XM Satellite radio comes from space bearing gifts: 100 digital channels with eclectic music options and few or no commercials, beamed directly to cars and home stereos. To date, the service has been available only in the continental United States, but all that is about to change as dueling satellite radio providers, XM and Sirius, have recently signed deals with potential Canadian providers.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, along with privately held Standard Radio, and Sirius Satellite Radio have teamed up, while a competing venture launched by Toronto entrepreneurs John Bitove Jr. and Stewart Lyons has allied with Washington-based XM Satellite Radio.

In Saturday's Globe and mail, Michael Posner writes about the three contenders (CHUM has recently entered the picture) for consumer satelllite-radio dollars. Satellite radio is in Canada's near future.

Some analysts expect satellite radio to grow the way satellite TV did. If so, XM and Sirius radios will become standard in cars and homes sooner than later, and both companies could become budding media giants.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 9:52 AM | Permalink | Radio

March 4, 2004

Right On: Left on the Radio

ALFRANKEN Progressive commercial talk radio is about to arrive on airwaves across the United States, in what one hopes will become a successful attempt by liberals to provide counterbalance to the right-wing wackos who've been polluting the U.S. radio dial for oh so many years.

Comedian Janeane Garofalo is set to join Air America's talent line-up, taking on 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. duties, while environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr. will host a weekend slot.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 8:21 PM | Permalink | Radio

March 3, 2004

The Death of Top 40 Radio in Vancouver

The radio ratings wars are on again, as the radio scene in Vancouver continues to transform itself, in search of ever more listeners.

Or, perhaps it is that corporate radio is interested only in going after the same piece of the 18 - 34 demographic pie. Z-95 recently jettisoned its long successful contemporary hit radio format in favour of chomping on the same piece of pie that is being chewed on by radio ratings leaders, 'soft rock favourite' QM-FM, and the relatively new radio kid on the block, the self-styled "We play what we want", JACK-FM, and their rehash of 80s hits.

Bad enough that there's no place on Vancouver radio for ambient / techno / jazz and related electronica radio formats. Now, Vancouver radio listeners — particularly, young people — won't even be afforded the opportunity to listen to the latest pop hits from Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera?

Whatever the sad and regrettable case, Michael McCullough writing in today's Vancouver Sun covers the local radio ratings scene, and the demise of broad spectrum radio in Vancouver.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Radio

February 22, 2004

CFUN Solid Gold Weekend: Daryl B & JB Shayne

Earlier in the month, VanRamblings posed the trenchant question: Whatever happened to J.B. Shayne?

Although we haven't come up with the answer to that provocative question, as yet, while research continues, reader M. David Eaman has forwarded an aircheck of J.B. and Daryl B, broadcast in all their glory one Friday afternoon in October of 1979.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 8:11 AM | Permalink | Radio

February 21, 2004

Site maintenance, and New Radio Listings

Have this afternoon re-added the link to Jib Jab under Diversions (to your left), about which I wrote on February 12th (the item may be found by clicking on the Diversions link, under Topics, to the right).

Also, this afternoon, under the Radio heading, links to three wonderfully informative and virtually must-listen National Public Radio (NPR) shows have been added: All Things Considered, Terry Gross' Fresh Air, and Morning Edition. In addition, another raft of radio links have been added.

In respect of All Things Considered, each day Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the programme's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features. Steve Inskeep hosts the weekend programme. As is the case with all three of the NPR links, the option of listening to the entire programme, or individual items in which you're interested, is available.

Each weekday evening, on Fresh Air — NPR's Peabody Award-winning magazine of contemporary arts and issues — the programme features in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

Winner of broadcasting's highest honour, the George Foster Peabody Award, for its outstanding contributions to American radio, Morning Edition offers a daily two-hour mix of news, analysis, interviews, commentaries, arts, features and music. Morning Edition is heard Monday through Friday on more than 600 NPR stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide ... and is now available as a link on VanRamblings.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 3:58 PM | Permalink | VanRamblings

February 19, 2004

Fresh and innovative

From time to time, VanRamblings will add links to Net-based radio stations.

One of my favourite radio outlets at present — the number one FM station in Europe, and currently the most popular radio station broadcasting on the Net — is Glasgow's The Beat 106, who present the brightest amalgam of dance beat music available anywhere on the planet.

If you ever find yourself feeling a bit blue, the best pick-me-up that I know of is a listen to The Beat's morning team, Paul, Des and Babs (available from 10 p.m. til 1 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, which is 6 a.m. til 9 a.m. Scottish time). Together, these three have fashioned one of the most stimulating and energetic morning radio programmes I've heard in years.

Where to find The Beat? Click here for a listen.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Radio

February 17, 2004

A bit of radio nostalgia

From my early days while listening in bed late at night to far-flung radio stations across the continent, through my employment with CKLG during its 60s and 70s heyday — when 730 CKLG was the Drake-formatted KHJ BOSS radio station which ruled Vancouver's airwaves — til the present day, radio has always been a particular love of mine.

From time to time, will post airchecks of favourite radio personalities from days gone by. First up, this aircheck of Fred Latremouille on the CFUN morning show, circa October 24, 1984, with Kathy Baldazzi on traffic, and Tom Larscheid on sports.

For those interested, here are this past autumn's Vancouver radio ratings.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Radio

February 11, 2004

Whatever happened to J.B. Shayne?

The state of radio in Vancouver is such that virtually no one's interests are attended to. Radio stations programme music off the American Billboard charts, personality radio is almost a thing of the past (save Rafe Mair at AM600 and Frosty Forst at 'NW), music with a huge following (ambient, techno, progressive house, electronica) has no place on local commercial airwaves, and the situation continues to deteriorate.

VanRamblings will weigh in, from time to time, on the state of radio.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Vancouver | Comments (4)

February 8, 2004

Brain Trust Brain Dead

Reading Greg Douglas' column in the sports section of The Vancouver Sun on Saturday, he reported that CKNW programme director Tom Plasteras has announced that MOJO radio, AM 730, will be losing its unsuccessful Radio For Guys orientation, in favour of becoming Vancouver's 2nd all-sports, AM-based radio station.

Now, MOJO radio was born in response to AM730's previously failed "All News" format (which never rated higher than .7, while competitor CKWX hovered in the 2.3 - 2.8 rating range). MOJO Radio, over the course of the past 18 months has also never climbed higher than a .7 (percentage of all Vancouver listeners tuned to radio at any given time) rating.

So, what does the brain dead brain trust at Corus Radio (owners of CKNW, MOJO Radio, CFMI and CFOX) plan for MOJO's replacement? How is it that these folks think that a second all-sports radio station in Vancouver is going to achieve a higher rating than their CHUM Radio-owned Team 1040 sports competition (which itself has never managed to climb out of the 1.0 ratings basement)?

Joe Leary, in his Province newspaper column published this past Monday morning, reports that MOJO has fired most of the on-air personnel.

Why didn't Corus just turn AM730 into a jukebox, and voicetrack it? At least that would have made economic sense.

But a second all-sports radio station? Please, give all of us a break!

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at 10:59 PM | Permalink | Radio


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