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Sun Apr 15 6:35 am  #1


Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

The local talk/info stations brought in regular weekday talent on Sunday morning to staff Ice-mageddon 2018. 

Bill Hayes was on RB's morning show as usual, filling in as Dave Trafford gets ready to take the slot permanently. That was normal. We'll see if their regular paid time shows air as scheduled later on as conditions worsen.

Paul Cook and company turned up a day early on 680 News to do the morning run.

But what was really unexpected was 640 giving up all their paid time Sunday shilling to bring in Matt Gurney and producer Jason Chapman to actually do a morning show. (There were promises of "more of his colleagues" coming in later in the day. Does this mean they won't be airing Roy Green?) 

I have to say the most memorable show I ever heard on 640 was the day I was out shovelling my driveway in a wicked snow storm, listening to Larry Solway (yes it was a long time ago) take calls about how people were coping with the near-blizzard. It actually made such an impression that I remember it all these years later. It wasn't that it was the most fascinating radio ever done, but it was exactly what I needed to hear on a day when I needed to hear it.

With possibilities of power outages and terrible storm conditions getting worse all day, this is just what radio should be doing. So why was I so surprised when it actually happened in this who-wants-to-pay-overtime-anymore current state of the industry? Anyway, good on them for actually serving their audience on a weekend when almost everything else is usually infomercials, rerolls or canned programming. 

By the way I'm just curious. What happens to the transmitter arrays for stations when there's a huge ice event like this? How do they keep them clear and going when the ice is coating it and the winds are howling? Is it just the luck of the draw that they're not kicked off air or into lower powered emergency back-up mode? I'm betting the on air crews aren't the only ones in this day - extra members of the engineering crew are likely making an appearance, as well.

 

Sun Apr 15 7:18 am  #2


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

This is a massive storm...and it needs coverage...CP24 has brought in Stephanie Smyth and has a ground crew out on the roads giving up dates...the bottom line being, if you don't have to go out today, don't...

Thanks for the update RadioActive!

 


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...
 

Sun Apr 15 9:36 am  #3


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

CP24 is great for visual storm coverage and there's little doubt they provide a great service on days like this. But when it comes to possible hydro outages, radio is king. I wonder how many people still have a battery operated radio in their homes these days? 

That said, with AM 640 now doing wall-to-wall storm coverage and interrupting their usual unlistenable informercials, I'm very worried. Where am I going to get my Purity Products? 

     Thread Starter
 

Sun Apr 15 10:08 am  #4


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

RadioActive wrote:

.. But when it comes to possible hydro outages, radio is king. I wonder how many people still have a battery operated radio in their homes these days? .. 

a Wind-up has come in handy on a few occassions : )) ..

Emergency Radio - Hand Crank Self Powered Solar FM/AM/NOAA Weather Radio with 3 LED Flashlight 1000mAh Power Bank Phone Charger https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81C5Tn%2BWKYL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Sun Apr 15 10:11 am  #5


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

I have a Grundig wind-up radio, which works great, although my arm gets tired! Still prefer the battery operated kind, though. 

     Thread Starter
 

Sun Apr 15 10:19 am  #6


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

South Georgian Bay/Collingwood coverage by 97.7 The Beach (Bayshore Broadcasting) has been excellent this morning.  Live newscasts, a live talk show, updates on news and weather throughout the morning.  On the other hand, 95.1 The Peak (Corus) is in full automation mode and not providing a service to the community.  Not acceptable.

 

Sun Apr 15 1:28 pm  #7


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

PaulR wrote:

95.1 The Peak (Corus) is in full automation mode and not providing a service to the community.  Not acceptable.

I'm not the least bit surprised. Typical Corus radio doing things on the cheap.
I hope they realize they're spending $5 to make $6 instead of spending $500 to make $600 (as the saying goes)
YET
In Toronto, sister station AM 640 is live and local.
 

 

Sun Apr 15 1:46 pm  #8


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

Radiowiz wrote:

PaulR wrote:

95.1 The Peak (Corus) is in full automation mode

I'm not the least bit surprised. Typical Corus radio doing things on the cheap.
In Toronto, sister station AM 640 is live and local.

Well, which is it? "Typical" (cheap) OR "live and local" (overtime)?
 

 

Sun Apr 15 1:50 pm  #9


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

Radiowiz wrote:

In Toronto, sister station AM 640 is live and local.

Well, they WERE until 1 PM, when they went back to sponsored programming and then Roy Green's syndicated show. (Which beats 'RB, which dumped out of its storm coverage at 11 AM.) 

While I applaud 640 for doing live programming on a Sunday morning and giving up valuable infomercial revenue, it's a bit strange that all the experts are predicting the real disastrous weather is coming later in the day, when heavy deluges of rain hit that immovable ice, possibly creating flooding and hydro failures.

If that happens, it appears they may not be on locally when listeners need them the most. Still, I will admit there didn't seem to be a lot of point to staying on, saying the same, "it's lousy out there and the driving is bad" for hours on end, when nothing is actually happening. Hopefully, we get through all this mess with no real issues, but if the worst happens, I'll be curious to tune in and see if they're back on the air to cover it. 

If I'm sitting freezing in the dark, sorry, but "The TED Radio Hour" and "Inside Jokes" just ain't gonna cut it. 

     Thread Starter
 

Sun Apr 15 2:09 pm  #10


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

RadioActive wrote:

While I applaud 640 for doing live programming on a Sunday morning and giving up valuable infomercial revenue, it's a bit strange that all the experts are predicting the real disastrous weather is coming later in the day
it appears they may not be on locally when listeners need them the most. Still, I will admit there didn't seem to be a lot of point to staying on, saying the same, "it's lousy out there and the driving is bad" for hours on end, when nothing is actually happening.

I'm of two minds on this..... First, given 640's tradition of having all-shilled programming on the weekends, who is actually going to tune-in to the station to hear if there is anything different on?  Is the mindset, "hmmm, it's a storm out there and I rely on 680 and 1010 -- but, let's see if that infomercial station is different today"?  I seriously doubt it.

That said, what, exactly, is gained with endless "storm" coverage?  It's been established that it's bad out there and the suggestion is not to go out.  People have windows and know it isn't going to change in the next few hours.  What can a station do more for me?  Tell me there's an accident on a road I'm neither on nor should be?  Nah.

In 640's case, sadly, it's "too little too late".  If they want to be taken seriously as a "go-to" station, they need to jump-in all-in, full-time.  As they say, "either shyte or get off the pot".
 

 

Sun Apr 15 11:23 pm  #11


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

Well it turned out exactly as I expected. During the morning Sunday, both RB and 640 were fully staffed, and while the weather was awful, there was nothing serious going on. Flash forward to Sunday night/early Monday morning. The rain and wicked winds had begun and with tree branches down all over the place, there were at least 40,000 homes in the GTA - and more outside of it - without power. That's not just 40,000 individuals, that's 40K worth of families.

So what did those people hear on 1010 and 640 as they sat in the dark and the cold looking for info on when their power might be back? CFRB had a reroll of Humble and Fred. And the Corus flagship was repeating an old John Oakley show.

It can certainly be argued that bringing in anyone at midnight Sunday to do an unscheduled fill-in show would be a waste of resources. But for those sitting in a blacked out home or apartment, it's an opportunity lost to have your station there when there's no power for your TV or computer. Maybe they should have made those arrangements, too. (Is RB's news even live at that hour?)

As mentioned above, I still remember the Solway show from what 25 years ago? I'm guessing whoever turns on the only device that will worth sans electricity won't remember Humble or Fred when it's all over. Only that their favourite station wasn't there when it counted. Guess 680 News wins this round by default.

     Thread Starter
 

Mon Apr 16 12:24 am  #12


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

cGrant wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

PaulR wrote:

95.1 The Peak (Corus) is in full automation mode

I'm not the least bit surprised. Typical Corus radio doing things on the cheap.
In Toronto, sister station AM 640 is live and local.

Well, which is it? "Typical" (cheap) OR "live and local" (overtime)?
 

It's doing things on the cheap all around. 
640 gets credit for making an effort but neglecting other stations is unacceptable.
 

 

Mon Apr 16 1:09 am  #13


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

Radiowiz wrote:

It's doing things on the cheap all around. 
640 gets credit for making an effort but neglecting other stations is unacceptable. 

Looks like 640 can't catch a break from you.  (And that's quite an ironic statement coming from me.) 😳🤔

 

RadioActive wrote:

It can certainly be argued that bringing in anyone at midnight Sunday to do an unscheduled fill-in show would be a waste of resources. But for those sitting in a blacked out home or apartment, it's an opportunity lost to have your station there when there's no power for your TV or computer. Maybe they should have made those arrangements, too.

Once you "train" your audience into thinking they are only a live and local station during the weekdays only, it's nearly impossible to believe they will tune away from an actual FULL-TIME news station covering the weather to seek coverage elsewhere. (640)

As for 1010, despite their tag of a "breaking" news station, they, too, have trained their audience that that only applies during convenient hours only. They have canned news after 11 and no whisper of live until the morning.

Again, I say, either do something full-time or not at all.
 

 

Mon Apr 16 8:34 am  #14


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

I would think the lure of info-commercial money would be irresistible, storm coverage be damned. Also I think that with CFTR's news and traffic every 10 minutes, that would be most people's go-to-station for storm coverage. Tough to compete with that. But I do applaud any effort by 640 and 1010 to be live and local.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

Mon Apr 16 9:41 am  #15


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

I experienced this firsthand this morning. The power went out around 7:30 AM and I was worried that in these kinds of conditions, it could last all day or longer. First thing I did in that darkened house was to reach for one of my battery powered radios. Sure enough, minutes afterwards, John Moore came on with an announcement about how widespread the outage was and that officials knew about it and were working on it. 

They obviously found it fast, because within half an hour, the hydro was back on, to my extreme gratitude. 

I'm sure the people in a similar situation Sunday evening would have liked to have had access to that kind of speedy information as they sat through a very long night. But I'm afraid some here are right - it was too late, they were too unprepared, and I'm guessing they thought there was too little reward to get someone live on air.

And that's too bad. Because when the lights go out, that's when local radio can really shine.  

     Thread Starter
 

Mon Apr 16 10:39 pm  #16


Re: Local Radio Brings In Big Guns For Sunday Storm

I would think there's a real opportunity for a media company to partner with a hardware or electronics store, like 'The Source' , and put together a mini emergency or camping kit, with a transistor radio branded with the station logo, plus flashlight, batteries, energy bars, bottled water etc.

If Newstalk 1010 can do socks, beer etc. why couldn't someone do a transistor radio. A bit expensive, but if done as a medium sized promotion, the free publicity would last as long as the radios. The average transistor radio can be purchased for around twenty bucks so it could work...give away the first bunch, sell the rest at cost. Maybe just before Father's Day in June.

Last edited by betaylored (Mon Apr 16 10:42 pm)