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Mon Apr 2 5:15 pm  #1


Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

Not a surprise at all, but the ink is barely dry on the deal by Bell to buy Larche communications in Central Ontario, and cuts have been made.

Bell now owns a couple of radio stations in the market including The Dock, and KICX FM,  after at least twice being denied in their application for a licence by the CRTC.

Both were great local stations, deeply involved in the community they served, with numerous fundraising campaigns, and with hourly newscast in the AM, Noon and PM.

Well that is now over.    Two newspeople are now missing from the station website, and apparently afternoon news is gone.

Of the at least two people let go is Martin Vanderwoude who has been at the station since it went on the air, and in the market for many years before that.

There may be more cuts that I am not aware of but this is another case of a station dropping News in the market.   

This also comes just weeks after two local newspapers shut down, The Barrie Examiner, and Orillia Packet & Times.   

Two more local stations in this area about to become nothing more than repetitive jukeboxes

 

 

Mon Apr 2 5:35 pm  #2


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

Fine.  The stations are yours.  What would you do, given the tech, synergies and advancements that a corp cluster brings that is different?  Oh, and you HAVE to make a profit for the shareholders.  YOU be the PD.  Go ahead.

 

Mon Apr 2 6:15 pm  #3


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

cGrant wrote:

Fine.  The stations are yours.  What would you do, given the tech, synergies and advancements that a corp cluster brings that is different?  Oh, and you HAVE to make a profit for the shareholders.  YOU be the PD.  Go ahead.

 
Corporations care nothing about journalism or the product they own.  As you say, it’s all about the shareholders.


-- Chris Mayberry
 

Mon Apr 2 6:25 pm  #4


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

cGrant wrote:

Fine.  The stations are yours.  What would you do, given the tech, synergies and advancements that a corp cluster brings that is different?  Oh, and you HAVE to make a profit for the shareholders.  YOU be the PD.  Go ahead.

Well, according to the application, the stations are profitable. 

 

Mon Apr 2 8:06 pm  #5


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

maybo wrote:

cGrant wrote:

Fine.  The stations are yours.  What would you do, given the tech, synergies and advancements that a corp cluster brings that is different?  Oh, and you HAVE to make a profit for the shareholders.  YOU be the PD.  Go ahead.

 
Corporations care nothing about journalism or the product they own. As you say, it’s all about the shareholders.

OK, here goes my rant.   A broadcast licence is much different than a business licence.  Anyone can go to City Hall and get a business licence, open a Tim's across the street from another Tim's and hope to make a profit.  Those business licences  will be handed out like suckers at Halloween.
  If you want a broadcast licence, you apply to the CRTC, and make promises to provide a service to the community you are in
  If you are gutting your News department, programming department, local fund raising campaigns, running national spots and doing nothing local what service are you providing.
  Make a profit any way you can but the bottom line is you have a responsibility to shareholders, but more so,  provide a service or something to the community you are in.
  That is what radio and television stations are supposed to be.  They are no longer that, and we are all much poorer for it.

Rant over...For now
  

     Thread Starter
 

Mon Apr 2 8:24 pm  #6


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

yes, i agree.  larche committed thousands to the RVH, and succeeded it it's goals.  I am a tad biased, since my family benefited from the purchases that hospital made as a direct result of larche donations.

so ya, let's go all in with corporate purchases cutting quality and quantity of local broadcasting.  i worked with Vanderwoode both at a station and later as a non-profit mouthpiece.  he's a solid journalist.  given the losses at the examiner newspaper, and the vacuum at corus, barrie people can't rely on the bell radio/tv cluster to provide  intensive news to the region.
 

 

Mon Apr 2 8:26 pm  #7


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

I agree with this rant.

Bell is going to take some profitable radio stations and, in the short term, make them more profitable. Great, they're doing their jobs.

However, this isn't pure free market -- this is limited public spectrum. Not everyone has equal access to start their own business within it.. As such, public interest and benefit needs to be considered to some agree along with profit potential. 

Until such a time that limited analog bandwidth and unlimited internet access meet, the limited analog bandwidth needs to be held to higher standards. 

 

Mon Apr 2 9:59 pm  #8


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

cGrant wrote:

Fine.  The stations are yours.  What would you do, given the tech, synergies and advancements that a corp cluster brings that is different?  Oh, and you HAVE to make a profit for the shareholders.  YOU be the PD.  Go ahead.

There may be some important missing information. 
When I turn on my radio I don't give a rat's ass how old the equipment in the studio is, just as long as tuning in delivers good quality to the ear.
What if Larche really was slamming into a brick wall with the true cost of running a radio station?
A station can be profitable on paper, but how old is the tower? Does it need expensive repair or replacement?
How about the studio? I mean, I'm not saying they still spin records, but is the actual equipment up to date?
Or years behind the times?  
Is the production room still using "Cool edit pro"? lol 
Stuff like that... 
Don't forget company vehicles! How old are they? Are they well maintained? 
Bell may cut jobs, but they also have the deeper pocket to fix any hidden problems or expenses the stations may have been encountering behind the scenes.

I honestly don't know. I'm just saying...

 

 

Mon Apr 2 10:41 pm  #9


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

Radiowiz wrote:

What if Larche really was slamming into a brick wall with the true cost of running a radio station?
A station can be profitable on paper, but how old is the tower? Does it need expensive repair or replacement?
How about the studio? I mean, I'm not saying they still spin records, but is the actual equipment up to date?
Don't forget company vehicles! How old are they? Are they well maintained? 
Bell may cut jobs, but they also have the deeper pocket to fix any hidden problems or expenses the stations may have been encountering behind the scenes.

No, NO, NOOO!  There is absolutely NO place for that logic on this board.  Be gone with you.

People here don't care about actual financial numbers.  No, all they care about is that someone, with no education, falls ass-backwards into an on-air gig, and that the station and management owe them and their descendants a job for life (and beyond).  And, that, even with advances in modern technologies and synergies, that same company never, ever change and stay the course.  Oh, and that they resurrect the departed ghosts of the Slaight and Waters family and freeze time in 1957.

A pox on your soul. 
 

 

Tue Apr 3 3:41 pm  #10


Re: Bell does just one thing well. Cut costs

This is typical quarter to quarter mentality.  The spending cuts will likely make the stations profitable in the short term, but with the competition from streaming services and satellite radio, I don't think there is any long term future in running an FM station with little local content and inferior analogue sound.

At one time, virtually all FM stations were profitable, but some are now losing money, because the streaming services offer a better quality product. You can stream Spotify for free, if you are willing to listen to 3 or 4 commercials an hour.

FM stations can only compete if they have a local identity.  The big Telcoms seem to think radio is still a cash cow, but that is twentieth century thinking