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January 26, 2021 9:33 am  #1

When GNR640’s “On Point With Alex Pierson” Goes Off Point

I really like Alex Pierson’s “On Point” show on GNR640. Unlike Barb DiGiulio’s “Nightside on CFRB,” it doesn’t indulge in topics like “Who does the laundry in your house?” or spend half an hour with “guests” like Angel The Psychic. Instead, it deals with actual news in 15 minute bites, never sticks with one subject too long, is well paced and has pretty good guests.
But there’s one thing about the show I simply can’t understand. It starts every weeknight at 6:30 PM. But on Mondays and Wednesdays, it interrupts itself for a paid shill show at 7 PM. Despite being called "The Employment Hour," it lasts for only about 45 minutes, at which point Pierson comes back on for eight minutes, goes to news, and then returns for the rest of the show.
Why would they do it this way? Why not start the paid hour at 6:30, go for as long as it needs to, then start On Point immediately afterwards, so the entire program airs without anything in the way? This “program interruptus” has always baffled me. I can’t recall a single show anywhere in radio where one show regularly interrupts another, only to have the previous program essentially restart.
Who thought this was a good idea to maintain listener tune-in?
The other problem I have with this “Point” is that, even though it runs until 10 PM, it actually ends at 9:30, when they replay interviews from the first two hours. It’s bizarre that a three hour show sometimes only features two hours of actual content, followed by a half hour reroll every night.
It’s a great show. But it would be even better if they got rid of these strange anomalies.