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CKNW Looking at Shakeup to Stop Sliding Ratings

March 25th, 2013 · 67 Comments

I’m sure no expert on how to conduct radio listener surveys…but it sure looks like the brass at CKNW (who ARE supposedly experts) are looking at making some pretty huge changes.

A recent CKNW(Corus) Voice Panel poll of loyal listeners apparently not only asked who they liked best and why BUT who they DO NOT LIKE and why!  Not the kind of survey any on-air employee wants to see conducted …unless they have a supreme sense of security.  And most  on air folks notoriously DO NOT have that quality.

You’re only as good as your ratings … and CKNW, as one media maven recently wrote on the media website … “seems to be slip sliding away”.

PugetSoundRadio is where those of us in the business of  radio, tv, newspapers etc. go to find out what’s REALLY going on behind the scenes in the media beyond the puffy press releases and promos of the stations themselves  …. who’s in, who’s out …and WHY!  And where we also keep track of old friends, colleagues, competitors and yes, bosses as they come and go too.

One recent posting there revealed that, according to People Meter ratings, the Top Dog is not only no longer Top in adult listeners (old news) BUT  has now slipped to THIRD spot in the Vancouver ratings … BEHIND CHQM-FM the new TOP DOG, and CBU-AM , the next favorite Pooch … leaving NW in the Doghouse, licking its wounds.

Enough for media hounds to set upon the wounded woofer, with postings on PSR like this:

“It’s painful to watch as the Top dog has barely a bark left.”

“NW needs a serious shakeup, probably from top to bottom.”

“They slept through the 90s and have now spent almost a third of this decade in a self-induced coma.”

Among NW flaws others have pointed out was dropping Canucks games; the decision to part ways with popular evening sportscaster Dan Russell, while sticking stubbornly with Bill Good and Philip Till, criticised quite often as “boring” by readers of this blog and others.

In fact, another media colleague on PSR wrote he wished there was some way NW could send out E-Mail Alerts, specifically pointing out when Michael Smyth would be subbing for Good.


When people are writing and commenting like that …and ratings are falling … can changes be far away?

No, according to blogger/broadcaster Alex Tsakumis who wrote a couple of days ago that major changes are coming soon to NW.

“There will be major changes in the newsroom and they will finally ask, and receive, producers who don’t sound or act as if they’re teenagers coming down from a rave,” Alex snapped at the once-top-dog.

Double Ouch!

If changes ARE coming: NW is missing a good story: tell us WHAT your Voice Panel said!  Id bet it would make really interesting reading …and even draw lots of listeners if you promote that segment in advance and broadcast the findings!

Otherwise, it will be the unkindest cut of all …. if NW announces major changes AFTER the blogsphere and a media website have covered the story …. before they do.

NW will end up in third spot again … even in covering itself.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · Media

67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dave // Mar 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I answered that survey as I always do when they send them to me. As I have stated in them time after time when they ask, I NO longer listen to Bill Good or the rest of the station except for the 6 & 8 AM news packages.

    I find Phil Till boring and pompous, the “humorous banter” contrived and not funny, the sports department no loner relevant or informative and most of all the right wing economic and political rantings of Michael Campbell, Michael Levy et al rehashed, failed American Republic policies.

    Hosts like Good (way expired) and Till’s shelf life have long passed and NW’s practice of 1 minute of something interesting sandwiched between 3 minutes of commercials is annoying and a huge turn off.

    Sad to see a once relvant station reduced to hacks calling in and boring pro government talk radio on an incessant basis.

    They need an enema to flush away teh crap they are serving up as news radio.

    (Response; But are they listening to the listeners …who are apparently less and less listening to them! h.o)

  • 2 Mark // Mar 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    The biggest problem with NW is they are all News Repeaters. They haven’t had any Reporters since Barker and Garrett left the station.
    They rip and read and repeat all of the mistakes every 15 minutes for days. Case in point, The Sexual Assault at the Pitt Meadows Rave was “A GANG RAPE” repeated ad naseum for days until The RCMP changed the tag line then it became A Sexual Assault. Don’t get me wrong, A young lady was violated but the gang rape was by CKNW and not the accused.

  • 3 Ess // Mar 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I also answered that survey and stated my dislike of Bill Good. I always tune in when Mike Smyth is subbing as he alone amongst the radio hosts seems to understand that we tune in to be informed AND ENTERTAINED. Bill’s just floundering, trying to come to terms with the new information landscape. He just doesn’t get it.

    He takes swipes at the bloggers, oblivious to the fact that they’re a main source of news now. ‘NW will lead with a story that I’ve read on a blog a week or more before.

    Yes some bloggers are coarse and use inappropriate language but I’m a grown up and can deal with that. They’re certainly not boring (unlike a lot of ‘NW’s programming).

  • 4 SunWuKong // Mar 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I’m not sure where the difference in perspective comes from but there’s one significant grace I *do* give to Bill Good: if his guest has a point to make, regardless if Good agrees with them or not, Good almost always gives them the time and space to make it.

    Coming from Calgary, I often disagreed with Rutherford but this same virtue allowed me to listen more often than not to the show.

    As counter examples, I usually cite: Charles Adler, Roy Green, Michael Campbell and, to a lesser extent, Mike Smyth.

    While I admire Smyth’s tenacity and lack of deference to authority, I sometimes get annoyed that he forms his own echo chamber and stubbornly refuses to intellectually budge. It’s not readily apparent if he believes his sometimes odd positions, but he certainly doesn’t want to backtrack on the air.

    What can CKNW do? I’m not sure other than the few obvious low hanging fruit, e.g., get somebody who actually knows economics as counterpoint to Michael Campbell. But it could be their audience is the on-air equivalent of a seniors home with all that implies.

    To close out: there’s ONE thing that Good has said that absolutely bugs me: (paraphrasing) “Management has never told me what to say — there’s no imposed editorial bias.”

    From science I can reply: selection can also be a bias.

    (Response: I’m sure management never tell Bill who to agree with or who to give a rough time. But that’s not the point. Many years ago, I knew a Canada correspondent for Xinhua, the Chinese News Agency. I smugly mentioned that, unlike him, there was NO censorship by MY bosses in what I wrote. Not necessary, he answered, the censorship occurred when they hired me: the bosses knew from my history what they were getting, that I was middle of the road “trustworthy”, and that I was not a revolutionary etc. He was quite right! The censorship is done in the hiring: that’s why, I suspect, there are so many more center right or more far right types on NW as hosts among their talk show hosts than left. In my view, censorship through hiring management. h.o)

  • 5 chuckstraight // Mar 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Many do not want to listen to a blowhard arse kisser like Good.

  • 6 Skippermurph // Mar 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    A shakeup at NW is long overdue. We were long time listeners.. Since Jack Webster and Frosty and we rarely changed the dial. Bill Good is so lame and boring we stopped listening to him 6 or 7 years ago. And with TUNEIN RADIO on the iPhone or iPad, why would one listen to Till when you can tune into Don Imus, William Bennett or even Glen Beck?

    (Response: I still prefer local content in the morning as I get ready for work … and still start with NW/Till/Good by habit. But must admit I am happy to hear Jon McComb or Mike Smyth are “sitting in” and wish the others nice, long, happy vacations.And not kidding, when Campbell comes on, that’s when I now usually go to the bathroom. h.o)

  • 7 harry lawson // Mar 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm


    today i listened to bill good make legal actionable comments about alex g tskumis.

    i expect that a professional host would have enough common sense.

    (Response: Ooooh! What time?… I wasn’t listening today. (What does THAT say about ratings!). h.o.

  • 8 D. M. Johnston // Mar 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Ah, the “top dog” is more and more looking like a “dead dog”. CORUS have only themselves to blame.

    Mistake #1 – Getting rid of Rafe Mair.

    Mistake #2 – Kowtowing to advertisers, making the station more like a day long infomercial.

    Mistake #3 – Failing to retain the Hockey broadcasts.

    Mistake #4 – Letting sideshow pitchman & huckster, Micheal Campbell have airtime and pretending he is expert. His right-wing neo-con rants are ever so tiresome.

    Mistake #5 – Letting the news department crumble away.

    Sad to say, the once mighty NW’98 is no more and I rather doubt they will ever come back to prominence.

    (Response: I mostly agree. And bring back Frosty!!!! However people do move on with time: the key is to find someone to replace them that is also genuine, informative and maybe most of all entertaining to listen to regularly. h.o)

  • 9 Larry Bennett // Mar 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Good may or may not be an “arse kisser” but he certainly can’t be described as a “far right type”, unless of course, I’m considered middle-of-the-road!

    (Response: I wouldn’t consider him far right either. But not sure I can say that about Adler, Green, Mike Campbell…. more tea=party types. LOL! Yet NW just hasn’t seemed to realize yet that these people, like tea partiers, may have a loyal following but I suspect cause many more to switch stations as soon as they hear their voices. h.o)

  • 10 johnnyC // Mar 26, 2013 at 12:09 am

    NW’s biggest problem is that their base is aging and young people don’t listen to the radio. As much as some of the comments talk about attracting a younger audience it’s a fallacy and under the new rules. All NW can do is make their programming more exciting and less stale on a tighter budget. They could create more excitement by exiting some of the deadwood but that still will not attract the younger audience.

    The further bad news for them and much of the radio industry is that they will probably start losing the car radio audience as soon as streaming radios are included with cars (GM says 2014-15) which will mean they will be competing with stations all over the world. At that point people will tune in for traffic reports or news blocks but that’s about it.

    Oh well, it’s been a good ride.

    (Response: There are still MANY who listen to radio … in the morning, in their vehicles, to keep up with breaking news and enjoy music or good talk shows. But programmming must be ENTERTAINING and when that stops happening on one station, people will turn to another. h.o)

  • 11 ME // Mar 26, 2013 at 6:11 am

    “PugetSoundRadio is where those of us in the business of radio, tv, newspapers etc. go to find out what’s REALLY going on behind the scenes in the media”


    Nobody in the industry takes PugetSoundRadio seriously. It’s a message board filled with retired lunatics. The “admin” of the site is obsessed with this “chem-trail” conspiracy and has delusional views which make the tea party look left wing. It’s a site run by some wacko filled with wackos. They hardly ever have any industry information you can’t find elsewhere and the few rumors they have are usually false. You really must have burned most of your bridges with industry contacts if this is where you go to find out “what’s really going on”.

    (Response: Like other websites, there are all kinds of people writing/commenting on there. But I enjoy it…esp the boards where I can follow what’s going on behind the scenes and also keep track of people I and many others who listened over the years knew here in BC … when they’re working, when they retire, and even when they pass on. Although you disagree…I notice you did not provide an alternate site you recommend to do all this. h.o.)

  • 12 G. Barry Stewart // Mar 26, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Using my late-20s sons as examples, there are young people who listen to the radio in their commute. One is a 1040 sports talk fan and the other listens to The Fox and 1040 — at least during hockey season.

    If its straight music that someone is after, then yes: I can see streaming radio taking a bite out of local radio — but if it’s TALK radio: who in BC wants to listen to Toronto talk or London talk? World talk, maybe, but we’re already well-covered by the CBC on that.

  • 13 Hawgwash // Mar 26, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I liked Till when he was an international correspondent and still enjoy him when he gets to talking about those days. Otherwise the only reason I listen to him is for Madryga’s daily forecast, Bruce Allen and to catch the bottle of the week.

    Daytime CKNW plays in the background in many workplaces, especially with contractors, and is only turned up when an interesting guest is on. Most of the time it is just tolerable noise.

    I gave up on Good a year or more ago when he questioned the relevance of libraries by asking “who uses a library any more.” Completely out of touch.

    Yesterday, when I heard about his segment with Sheila Orral, I went to the ‘NW audio vault. In 1954, I got my first portable RCA transistor radio and that half hour piece of the Good show was the worst air I have heard in 50 years. Bar none.

    (Response: Till was a very good correspondent…I agree. But that doesn’t mean someone is also a good program host…espe on a show that’s on air daily for many hours a week. I think that’s why so much of it seems so contrived, phony … missing a key morning radio component …REAL humour (the way Frosty was)and ultimately hard to listen to day after day. h.o)

  • 14 Larry Bennett // Mar 26, 2013 at 7:34 am

    “…. well-covered by the CBC …”, I agree, I just don’t like the looks or the odor of what we are being covered with.

  • 15 Lew // Mar 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Good may not be far right, but he’s far from right.

    I can remember when we used to discuss some of the banter between Frosty and Norm Grohman later in the day when we got to work, and most of the time we were still laughing at the sharp wit. Contrast that with the painful attempts by Till and Madryga. It should be embarrassing to every ‘NW employee.

  • 16 OldIslander // Mar 26, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I started listening to CKNW back in the late 60’s — loved Webster. Then along came Gary Bannerman — once I warmed up to his style, I listened to him faithfully until he left and Raif Mair took his spot. I was shocked when they fired Raif in 2003, and replaced him with Bill Good.

    To me, Good was an utter ‘milk toast’, and quit listening to the morning spot. Phillip Till was an instant ‘channel changer’, too. When they hired Christy, that was it — have not tuned into ‘NW since. I can’t imagine going back to them, unless of course they rehired Raif, and I don’t guess that’s going to happen any time soon….

    My humble advice to CKNW — if in late May, a certain ex-premier comes crawling back; grovelling, and asking for her old job back, turn her down.

    How about you Harvey? It would be great to hear your voice and ‘feet to the fire’ questioning back on the air again. Interested? 🙂

    (Response: Actually I had a media job offer just last week … not from NW. BUT I’m truly retired …enjoying relaxing, travel and blogging.. done with work. Unless the dough runs out, and then there’s always driving cab! 🙂 h.o.

  • 17 Alexandra // Mar 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

    The programing on CKNW is truly terrible these days, most mornings it sounds like a hours long Ad for the BC Liberal party.
    Bill Good should only be reading news script, not hosting a radio show.
    Till works better than taking a sleeping pill to put you back to sleep.
    Michael Campbell should have been fired years ago, all he does is agitate and whine about how stupid we all are….lovely radio programming.
    Then theirs the news room!!…the last Investigative reporter there must of already turned off the lights….sad, so very sad

  • 18 Diverdarren // Mar 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

    There’s not much good that one can say about CKNW, but it at least has some topic variety. Give yourself a week of American style talk radio (either side of the political spectrum) and you will become very board with the constant ranting. No real guests that offer incite or debate, just “shouting” at the other side. And when one 2hr show ends a new host with the same material begins.

    For all the short falls of NW, they do talk about different stuff, Municipal affairs (too bad Jim Green died), courts and crime, entertainment, gardening and so on.

    I hope the bosses at NW don’t think that all they need to do is go strait national syndicated shows about politics. 8a-8p Adler, Green ect. and ax the local content.

    I think the issue at NW is where to slot in Smyth. The answer is to bite the political correctness bullet. Fire Simi Sara (she’s lousy at the job) and put in Smyth. I know that eliminates diversity and it ends up looking like a station by old white men for old white men; which for advertisers is a total kiss of death.

    As long as NW’s market is the Lower Mainland they will always need to have token hosts to appease the advertisers. And, that is why NW will continue to slide; they program for their advertisers and not their listeners.

  • 19 john // Mar 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

    If Michael Campbell is such a wonderful ‘economist’ why is he still shilling for NW. He should be retired on the proceeds of his ‘investments’. Because I’m some distance from Vancouver, the reception static on NW becomes too much so I don’t have to listen to boring Bill etc.

  • 20 L Almond // Mar 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Bill Good must go!
    Simi is fantastic and is a shining light in a very dark place. I think the ratings are far worse than they even realize as many listeners myself included tune in to Bill Good just to see how bad it is, kinda like slowing down to look at a car accident.

  • 21 SunWuKong // Mar 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I’m personally unsure about Simi Sara — when she likes a guest it’s softball all the way.

    Btw, Harv: “The censorship is done in the hiring …” I guess my “selection can also be a bias” was too oblique? 😉

    (Response: Guess I’m just more direct in laying it out. 🙂 h.o

  • 22 Herb // Mar 26, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Don’t understand the vitrial against Michael Campbell. To me he just tells it like it really is and not what politicians want you to believe. And Michael Levy is a first class financial analyst. Maybe its just that most commentators on here are brilliant analysts.
    As to Bill Good I quit on him 4 years ago. I listen to Rtherford on streaming audio. And Adler after that. Strongly suggest that NW do a complete house cleaning and fast while they still have an audience of any size.

    (Response: But they DO NOT tell it like it really is, in my opinioh. They regularly single out their victims…union workers, poor people needing help, government agencies/departments …all valid candidates at times for criticism. BUT notice how silent or seldom they are on the attack about HUGE gouging oil company and bank profits (beyond any reasonable investment returns); enormous executive payoffs, bonuses; enormous corporate bribes by governments, grants and tax breaks to VERY profitable firms and using public $$$ for scams like the HST … or that of Harper giving Gordon Campbell a luxury sinecure in London when the “people” expunged him in disgrace. There’s the rub …the one-sideness and unfairness day after day …and they wonder why people tune out! h.o)

  • 23 212Degrees // Mar 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

    In a typical one hour CKNW talk show session, there is 8 minutes of traffic reports, 7 minutes of weather reports , and 30 minutes of advertising. That leaves 15 minutes out of the sixty for talk on what is supposed to be a talk show and then they are flat out of time. And they wonder why people have stopped listening and no longer have the patience to stick with that kind of programming.

  • 24 212Degrees // Mar 26, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Why Jill Bennett, from the early weekend time slot has not been promoted is beyond logic.
    She keeps things moving, is quick witted, pleasant to listen to, balanced on issues, informed, and she actually listens to guests and callers. CKNW would be wise to take advantage of her talents.

  • 25 Gordon Stewart // Mar 26, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I’ve watched Harvy Oberfeld, on Parliament Hill, making politicians uncomfortable with incitefull, but fair, questions; also got to see him on BCTV along with listening to Bannerman and Raif Mair in their latter days.Since then there has only been a couple worth listening to.Good and Campbell have got to be retired and Till puts me back to sleep.My suggestion for CKNW to survive ; John Mc’Combe. Simi Sara. Harvey Oberfeld. Alex Tsakumis.Green.Smyth. Pratt . Better political commentators and producers who sound intelligent.Until that happens I’ll concentrate on Blogs and sometimes the CBC radio.

    (Response: Thanks…but really I could never have done it any other way. Readers of tghis blog are well aware of the price I have paid for standing up for what’s right: no Senate seat offered(LOL!) or Order of Canada or Order of BC for being such a hard-edged reporter refusing to play the political game to get ahead with those in power; but also persecution/retaliation at BCTV for union support; not only no Lifetime Achievement Award … doing frankly more for BC, for journalism and truth than many others honoured … but even kicked from the Webster Awards juddges panel after writing critical blogs about BC medias’ dropping quality …. and still taking on all political parties/angles when I see wghat i beelieve to be wrongs. There IS a price to pay for all that …but there would be an even higher price INSIDE to give in, go along and keep my mouth shut. h.o.)

  • 26 Much2Say // Mar 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    About time. And a major shake up is needed. NW has gone too far to just promise to start behaving better or just getting rid of Bill Good. There seems a cultural rot that has set in. They need to get rid of Children in high places and recruit some experience and capability. The upper brass need to go too for all of this slide has happened as they watched and enabled it.
    NW has to re-invent itself completely. The secrets to their survival in the future are all in view if they look to their past.

    (Response: Experienced reporters …who actually go out and cover stories, not just press conferences or other handed-on-a-platter news stories …cost money. And judging by what I’ve heard on NW news in recent years, they thought they could slash for cash and no one would notice. They were wrong. h.o)

  • 27 Ed Seedhouse // Mar 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I’m with you on Campbell Harv. He basically spouts the “neo-liberal” line that capitalism can do no wrong and markets must be left to do what they want no matter how dangerous and stupid. I don’t remember him warning anyone to get their cash out of the stock market in 2008, or that the housing situation in the states was going to lead to disaster *before* disaster happened.

    There were economists who *did* predict these things in advance, but the response of the neoliberal wing of economics has been to drown them out and deny the obvious facts.

    That kind of economist will end up crashing the system entirely sooner or later if they are allowed to continue calling the shots (as they still are). That will be a terrible shame and doesn’t need to happen.

    I am a big supporter of a market system, by the way, not a socialist by any means. There are people who, if listened to, could get Capitalism back on it’s feet and functioning as they should, but people like Mike Campbell are drowning them out and getting them ignored. That will not end well if it isn’t changed.

    (Response: My arguments re Campbell and his ilk have nothing to do with free enterprise vs socialism etc. It’s about informed comment (either sidee) compared to just one sided propaganda: not something I like to listen to constantly …right or left ..and judging by NW’s numbers, either do more and more of us these days. h.o)

  • 28 johnnyC // Mar 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Harv you are right with the economics of NW. Lets face it Talk Radio is probably one of the most expensive formats for a station to run (that’s why syndication is rampant in US Talk Radio).

    Unfortunately I cant see local talk radio growing in the near future as most of the talkers right now are bland and don’t even measure a blip on the excitement scale. Couple this with an expensive format and you don’t have a good mix for the future.

    (Response: Actually I think talk radip could have a future, but you have to know your market. It has been almost ALL been right wing, with lots of ourtrage, but that audience is aging and people are increasingly smart enough to see it for waht it is. But I do believe a good mix of left and right…point, counterpoint…with LIVELY types, so it’s FUN radio, not justboring propaganda radio, could still be a winner. h.o)

  • 29 harry lawson // Mar 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    the problem with nw and others is the corporate ownership structure.

    the sense of community is truly lost. cknw charges an administration fee for the orphans fund. is that community ?

    harv we met around 1975 or so. i trusted you and slipped you brown envelopes at midnite on the roof of little mountain

    there is nobody in mainstream media i trust as a whistle blower.
    that my friend speaks volumes.

    (Response: Thanks. It is certainly a mark of trust when someone who could lose their job or be compromised some other way chooses a reporter to provide info ..and happy to say I’ve had more than a few …and NEVER betrayed a source! One of my favorite memories was when the Socreds replaced the beautiful Princess Marguerite with a regular ferry and claimed passenger figures remained “strong”. Empty shops and restaurants in Victoria suggested that was not the case and i started to receive actual passenger figures in brown envelopes PROVING the passenger numbers were dropping like flies…and did story after story. The government also claimed the Maggie was NOT SAFE and would need almost a complete rebuild, but another envelope, containing the actual engineering study, proved that was NOT true either. It was fun …for me …but not the minister or government. However the Maggie WAS fixed and returned to service for years more …and I always loved seeing her in the Inner Harbour or sailing with her to Seattle. She even made it onto a Canadian stamp! All thanks to little brown envelopes. h.o)

  • 30 James G // Mar 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I agree that boring Bill has to go. He continually claims political neutrality but listen to his Show and it is clear he is a Liberano lackey. They must have promised him an order of Canada when they get back in power federally. Rafe Mair was an excellent host , well read , investigated interesting issues. I would suggest someone like Jeff O’neill from CFOX as a replacement , he would attract a younger audience.

    (Response: Actually I could see Bill getting an Order of Canada …not because he’s a lackey, but because he has served the interests of the establishment for decades, earned big bucks that allows him to rub shoulders with them … and I can’t ever remember seeing him chase a fleeing politican down a hallway …. perfect media quaification for O of C. Ahhhh! Now I see why I did not! LOL! h.o)

  • 31 Barry // Mar 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    What I fear is that if the NDP wins the election, NW will undergo a change all right–the Canadian talk radio version of Faux news. There are people who are regulars on that station who could form a nucleus for such a thing.

    On a related note: If the NDP wins, I bet you’ll see a lot of the Victoria MSM news bureaus that were eliminated or downsized will suddenly be restaffed; “in the public interest” of course…

    (Response: No doubt. Maybe with the help of “sponsorship” ads from the BIG business/film community? h.o)

  • 32 13 // Mar 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Nice topic Harvey. 30 comments in one day would point to the fact that people either love or hate NW. I also get to comment on the voice panel.
    As a trucker I am locked into radio for 8 to 12 hours per day. I dont care much for music and the sound in a truck is not concert hall quality. So its NW in the lower mainland and CBC when the NW signal fades.
    If you go back a number of years the black tower canned a hoard of on air talent in one huge cost savings swipe of the axe. Frosty , Berner, Faux, Mair, Thompson (who seems to be back). Till and Macomb worked well together but splitting them up saved money and filled 2 slots. Get rid of the live on air programing and rerun Adler. Give a dentist an hour or air time. Give morgage brokers air time. It all saves money.

    I guess the morons never heard penny wise pound foolish.You get what you pay for. The cliches to describe that bean counter mentality are almost endless. Peoples patience with cheap tightwad money grubbing assholes is not endless.

    PS I love Coast to Coast. Nice change from BC politics.

    (Response: I doubt Frosty was canned: more like he just decided he had enough or dispute over contract? Help us, Frosty, why, why, why did you leave … and thus ruin our mornings? 🙂 h.o

  • 33 SunWuKong // Mar 26, 2013 at 8:27 pm


    “Don’t understand the vitrial against Michael Campbell. To me he just tells it like it really is and not what politicians want you to believe.”

    Except that he’s been completely wrong on at least one subject that immediately comes to mind: minimum wages and economic effects. He claims that the preponderence of studies say increasing the minimum wage kills jobs. Those studies were in the 80s, and new research says otherwise.

    To be “direct”, what I’m saying is not that minimum wage increases don’t kill jobs, but that Campbell cannot claim that the current research supports his claim.

    Likewise, he’s very gung-ho for market pricing healthcare: you know, competition and all that.

    Speaking from the private healthcare field, I can tell you from experience that patients have NO IDEA what level of quality care they’re getting and so use a bunch of soft criteria (e.g., friendliness, attentiveness, etc.) that have nothing to do with the medicine/science to attach value to their care. It’s a deliberate oversimplification to assume that patients can participate in the market on an equal basis.

    That’s why I’d like an actual economist to occasionally bat down this kind of obvious stuff.

  • 34 G. Barry Stewart // Mar 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Larry says/ quotes: “…. well-covered by the CBC …”, I agree, I just don’t like the looks or the odor of what we are being covered with.”

    I wasn’t talking about CBC Vancouver, which is some good/ some bad.

    I hope you’ll agree that on world issues, Carol Off, Anna Marie Tremonti and Jian Ghomeshi are top-drawer radio personalities.

  • 35 Larry Bennett // Mar 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Say what you like, I like Mark Madryga and Michael Campbell! I haven’t heard them for years, because I seem to have trouble picking up CKNW nowadays, don’t know why, have they cut back on the magawatts or sumpin?
    You are not going to find another Frosty Forst anytime soon, and I think it is time for Mair (is it Rafe Mair, or Raif Mare?) to go fishing for the the interim, preferably in Scotland or New Zealand. Bill Good I have never taken to, he won’t take a stand on anything, and he will change his mind on any subject and deny he did.

    (Response: Madryga is good ….very popular too. But don’t think the weather guy is enough to prop up a morning radio show. h.o)

  • 36 Robert // Mar 27, 2013 at 12:07 am

    All these Smythe fans forget he had his own show on NW and it was just a Gordon Campbell love in. Especially about Eagle ridge protests , the Olympics and how bad the NDP were . Never tried to verify statements about NDP finances they were bad according to him. Lately its being calling Dix a Weasel and other bad reporting.

  • 37 Larry Bennett // Mar 27, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Totally unfair to weasels and rats and all other vermin that frequent our sewers and back alleys. Let’s get real here, have you seen or heard some of the epithets being tossed around at various blogs as they concern the character, and even physical characteristics of the present Premier of the province? It is one thing to have some fun, but when they become personal, with various sexual connotations, it is time for a little self-control and respect for, if not them, then their families. I will not be voting for her, and I can have fun with Dix and May, but not to the point of scandal. On another blog site I mentioned that a particular candidate needed her teeth fixed and was chastised by the blog master!

  • 38 Herb // Mar 27, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I have the same problem regardless of at home or in my car. Don’t know what the problem is but I suspect that they’ve cut back on the transmission power.
    By the way, Frosty offered to stay on for two more years but was turned down. Management was going in a new direction at that time and no longer needed a morning warm up act. Notice how that turned out.

  • 39 Alexandra // Mar 27, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Michael Campbell is emblematic of what’s gone so wrong with that station.
    He goes unchallenged, and given a soap box to spew his neocon garbage over the airwaves.
    The only people enjoying it is his brother Gordon, and Larry Bennett

  • 40 CGHZD // Mar 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    So, CKNW has dropped int0 the toilet bowel just in time to start swimming around with the Liberals.
    Time for the flush handle to be pushed. As in Monte Python with the headline “Today On Who Cares”.

  • 41 13 // Mar 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Harvey, ask Frosty if he still plays that one hit wonder that sang “Shes got Betty Davis eyes”

  • 42 R // Mar 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I know… hire cc back

    (Response: Doesn’t she have a job? 🙂 h.o

  • 43 crh // Mar 28, 2013 at 5:44 am

    I have been searching around in my dusty cupboards to find a reason to care and I couldn’t find a damn thing.
    If CKNW goes kaput they did it to themselves. They chose to preach instead of reporting and that may have worked if they had kept it to Sunday mornings.

  • 44 morry // Mar 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Rafe Mair is the only one that would lure me back to NW. Bill Good is a blow-hard and lacks objectivity and facts.

  • 45 e.a.f. // Mar 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

    If the radio station actually reported news people might listen. The same old pap just doesn’t cut it. The radio station acts like the P.R. dept. for the lieberals. That isn’t reporting on the news.

    People might be interested in listening if radio stations did some investigative reporting, which is of interest to the listener. It would be worth listening to radio if it at least was funny and entertaining. But what passes for funny these days just isn’t. I’d rather listen to old time radio drama, than what passes for news these days.

    When I listen to radio, the odd time, I want to listen to news which is factual and not tainted with words which reflect the opinion of the newscasters.

    Talk radio is very yesterday. it might be more interesting to have interviews with people who have something to say.

  • 46 Jon // Mar 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t listen to Bill Good very often, but it seems like every time i do he is talking about how he is not a Liberal Shill. The only thing is i’m not sure who is is trying to convince, the audience or himself.

    People get tired of the propaganda and it just gets boring.

    (Response: Interesting that “boring” is a word that comes up very frequently nowadays when people discuss Bill: that is NOT good … in radio ratings jargon …or any entertainment field. h.o)

  • 47 johnnyC // Mar 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I dont want a host to be Liberal or NDP or Conservative. I want them to be hard hitting with everyone and telling it like it is.

    As soon as a host starts sounding like they support one side or the other people will start being suspicious. Hosts need to not believe anyone and to do the footwork themselves. This is definitely not happening today with the lazy or rookie hosts preferring to get their leads from what is trending on twitter.

  • 48 RS // Mar 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Boring…frequently nowadays? In my HO, HO (ho, ho, ho) Bill’s always been boring.

    Mike Smyth’s schtick gets boring quickly when he’s on for more than a couple of days.

    And the other Campbell brother, or should that read bother, just keeps repeating the same twaddle over ‘n’ over ‘n’ over…

  • 49 Keith E. // Mar 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Harvey,

    here is a piece by Mark Milke of the Fraser Institute from the Times Colonist a couple of days ago. If anyone from NW is reading this blog, this is a good example of what reporting on financial matters looks like.

    A bit different from the one sided pap M. Campbell puts out, it’s called telling like it is or Keeping it Real.

    (Response: I’m sure Mike is just waiting to finish reading the WHOLE budget before he comes out with a scathing condemnation of all the corporate welfare Milke also discovered! But he maqy be a verrrrry slow reader. h.o)

  • 50 Larry Bennett // Mar 29, 2013 at 11:33 am

    G. Barry – You could be right but I wouldn’t know because I gave up watching them years ago. Though I am pretty sure there is a similar bias in their analysis of matters, i.e. anti-Americanism, pro- Arabic (Muslim), pro-abortion, pro SSM and etc.. However my bias against them goes back a long, long way. If you lived in rural Canada and out of reach of American networks, you were forced to endure such crap as was regularly seen on programs like “Festival”, the “Plouffe Family” and such liberal clap-trap as “This Hour Has Seven Days”, and etc. (Does anyone remember Paul Watson and Laurier LaPierre) ? The last time I saw the latter was on a show called “Vancouver Show” I believe, and Laurier was trying to explain to the viewers that when he went to Wreck beach he didn’t know whether to sit at the gay or the straight beach so he sat in the middle. As if anyone wanted to know that; it was the last I saw of him, but I think he passed on recently – may his restless soul be at peace!

  • 51 Henri // Mar 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Larry Bennett did you purposely not mention Hymn Sing. On a scale of 10 it had to have been -10.

  • 52 G. Barry Stewart // Mar 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Larry: the topic was radio. I was talking about CBC radio.

  • 53 Larry Bennett // Mar 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Actually Henri, we had to watch (listen?) because my dad liked it. He never went to church (he was UCC) and only got baptized in order to be able to marry my mother at St. Mary’s cathedral (side alter), his family weren’t at the wedding – all big time Masons and Shriners, Job’s Daughters and all that. But there was Tommy Ambrose!

  • 54 Larry Bennett // Mar 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Right you are G. Barry, I guess being as I knew what they look like, I assumed they were T.V., and obviously, I almost never listen to radio, especially CBC.

  • 55 Henri // Mar 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Gosh Larry Bennett ,I cant recall Tommy Ambrose at all ,reason being our TV in those days pretty well sat on CH 12 KVOS TV, other than for hockey on CBC TV, CBC radio was never listen to.

  • 56 kootcoot // Mar 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Larry, that’s “altar,” unless you are referring to alternate sexuality or some other alternative choice!

  • 57 R // Mar 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Hire cc back on may 15 th

  • 58 R // Mar 31, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Blogger scrutiny -challenging the status quo

  • 59 Larry Bennett // Mar 31, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    kootcoot – Gee, koot, I’m sorry my typo, or possibly, misspelling, or even Freudian slip, has excited your propensity to concupiscence – that thought is indeed, frightening.

  • 60 G. Barry Stewart // Mar 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Speaking of CBC radio: I forgot to mention Rex Murphy. His “Cross Country Check-up” on Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 is a first-class talk show and call-in show.

    Today’s topic was Ralph Klein and there were many people calling in with their touching memories of the man.

    Rex is a real gentleman and he seems to be able to talk to anyone that calls in. I especially appreciate the way he talks to children who call in occasionally, notably during his pre-Christmas “recommend a good book” show.

    Rex is a national treasure.

  • 61 Larry Bennett // Apr 1, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Rex would indeed be worth listening to, and it is good that you remind us, whether or not I will be able to listen to it, given my schedule – though they do have these radio vault thingies on the internet now, so I would definitely give it a try.

  • 62 13 // Apr 1, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Just this weekend I heard Bill Good being interviewed by another NW host. He claimed that he was as happy at NW as NW was happy to have him.
    For the record I agree with L .B. I quite enjoy the conservative ramblings of Mike Cambell.

    (Response: I don’t mind conservative ramblings …IF they’re countered also by leftist ramblings …so we can make our own decisions and not feel just propagandized by one side over and over again. h.o)

  • 63 RichardV // Apr 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    NW has long been regarded as the voice of the BC Liberals. Their constant shilling for the likes of Coleman and Christy Clark is blatant. Bill Good should be the first person they fire. NW’s web site polls are also rigged in favor of the right wing.

  • 64 johnnyC // Apr 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    A show hosted by Campbell and another person who is “leftist” might be interesting radio but unless it is a point counter point type of show would quickly be boring again and result in bad ratings.

    Not sure why but Left Leaning Radio just doesn’t maintain an audience and quickly disappears. Just look at Air America in the US

  • 65 Larry Bennett // Apr 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    R at 7:09 – I’m afraid that cc is now damaged goods, so I will be voting Conservative (in Burnaby!), though I will say that cc was damaged because she saw action – a lot of it! Whereas, the only “action” Adrian Dix ever saw, was falling off the back of the turnip truck. And remember folks, yuh plants turnips, yuh gets turnips!

  • 66 Eirik The Red // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Saturdays are a complete writeoff that begins with a staccatto-speaking Jill Bennett, immediately followed by a giggling Michael Campbell, announcing his fantastic Goofy Awards. Oh, gee,,don’t keep me in severe tension mr. Campbell, could it be another attack on the retiring masses that has paid into their legally and fairly negotiated pension plans?? A better name for this show should be “Monkey Talks”, since M.C. keeps repeating the same right wing rhetoric message ad naseum to the gullible listening masses. Yes, I am slightly on the left, more human side of the Lieberals and you may call me a socialist, no charge.

  • 67 Eirik The Red // Apr 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    And to add to this, this would be a appropriate topic for Michael Campbell to mention in either his opening vitriolic comment (that has nothing to do with any investment or financial advices what so ever) – OR in his “Goofy Awards”.
    I guess he has no stocks in RBC?