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Media Shakeups: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

April 13th, 2015 · 57 Comments

First of all, kudos to Bell Media and CTV for firing its own President, Kevin Crull after he interfered in CTV News coverage of a major CRTC decision affecting the company and the network, ordering them NOT to include interviews with CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in coverage.

After other media exposed the censorship move, Bell Media and CTV were widely condemned and castigated … placing the very credibility of the company’s news operation in jeopardy.  Crull did a mea culpa and apologized  and frankly, that’s all I expected would happen.

But BCE top brass went further … removing Crull from his post … and I believe that not only did a lot to restore CTV integrity, but also sent a message (hopefully) to other corporate brass that News is not just like any other department, where operations can be directed from above, subjected to interference and editorial censorship … without word leaking out and the network having to face a severe public backlash.

Good for them.

Meanwhile at my old alma mater, Global, another major shakeup last week … this one raising more concerns over more staff cuts and further reducing its Vancouver station’s overall all behind-the-scenes roll in producing and editing news content for other smaller Global stations in the country.

The smaller stations will take on a bigger role in producing their weekday news … which I think would be good; but anchoring and all weekend production will be done in Toronto, which is  bad.

What kind of genius thought goes into shifting more operations away from the best, most successful station/news operation in the network to Toronto, where Global for decades has apparently run third or fourth in the ratings, despite having a much larger news staff than its West coast leader!

“We’ll actually increase reporting assets at the front-line through this in many locations and we’ll be able to increase the number of hours of news that we produce every week, though it is going to be a big change in the way that people traditionally think of television,” explained Troy Reeb, Shaw’s senior Vice-President of News.

He should have left it at that.

But  “Reeb added that the organizational changes were not a “cuts exercise, but an innovation exercise.”

Talk about spin!  I’m sure those who will lose their jobs will understand.

But I also see POSITIVE possibilities with the appointment of Jill Krop as station manager and News Director.

Readers of this blog will no doubt recall my many criticisms of what happened to Global News in recent years, especially under the direction of Alberta import Jeff Bollenbach as News Director.

Ambulance, police and firetruck chasing seemed to be regularly regarded as TOP news stories (UGH!), followed by LOTS of puerile pieces on pets, parochial events, and  all kinds of other small-town-type puffery and poppycock … sacrificing much of the serious investigative, hard political coverage and even quality picture/people features and series that BCTV very popular and  very rich.

Krop knows REAL news: she has been working in the business for more than 30 years, including 18 years at BCTV/Global Vancouver.

It remains to be seen whether Krop will have the dedication and strength to beef up Global’s Newshour coverage etc … or do, like I perceive other long-timers there have done … give up the fight,  just go along with Toronto’s directions,  cash the cheques …. and get away from the place as soon as they can each day.

In fact, I hear staff there are so demoralized and unhappy with the station’s direction/news content/management/product  (not to mention ratings down 200,000 viewers!) that very few even took part/submitted Shaw’s latest touchy-feely survey of staff. What’s the point?

Maybe Krop can change that.  We should wish her well.

Meanwhile, at CKNW, they need more than good wishes: they need prayers!

The station’s ratings Dec. 1, 2014 to March 1, 2015 were reportedly the worst in decades: 6.9 in the all-ages category; down again from 8.7 Sept-Nov; and 9.3 May-August.

And perhaps more importantly to NW’s owners, Corus Radio (maybe at least as a partial result of NW’s crash), the company reported an $86 Million LOSS in the last quarter alone …and shares are down.

“Corus shares fell $1.07, or 5.76 per cent, to close at $17.52 on the Toronto Stock exchange after the stock suffered its biggest one-day loss since 2001 of 11 per cent after the CRTC’s dramatic announcement,” the Toronto Star reported Thursday.  Downright ugly.

Corus owns several radio stations/specialty TV channels … but its financial performance has failed to impress to the point that a Swiss Credit ratings agency has now downgraded it to “underperforming” status.

The result another corporate shakeup.  Maybe instead of moving the deck shares around, the bosses at Corus should actually LISTEN to their programming.

And speaking of falling fortunes, Postmedia (publishers of daily newspapers, including The Vancouver Sun and National Post) just reported another net loss … $58.2 Million …even worse than it’s $25.3 million loss in the same quarter last year.

Print circulation revenues and digital revenues were BOTH down …as were advertising revenues.

What strikes me in ALL this MSM turmoil are the common denominators others have ignored or glossed over.

Management mistakes in the media  have destroyed their products over the past 10 to 20 years.

Yes, some very serious cost/revenue problems arose in print, radio and television; and yes, there were necessary cuts and eliminations of some behind the scenes production activities/services/operations …with accompanying job losses.

But then, they also began ripping limbs and wings and strangling the geese that laid their golden eggs: upfront news operations.

How many times have we seen stories about buyouts/layoffs/job cuts in newsrooms … the public face of media operations … including some of the best senior columnists, seasoned reporters, feature writers, investigators, on-air moderators, talk show hosts, pundits and just plan experienced, entertaining great writers!

Did they really think they could do all those layoffs, buyouts, watering down of products and programming, replacing them with inexperienced hires and delivering the public sub-standard NEWS content, written poorly … on t.v., on radio, in print …. would not be noticed?

Apparently, they were so arrogant to believe the rest of us … if surely not themselves …  would keep watching, listening, reading such clearly lesser products?

And I don’t buy their chicken-and-egg excuses for all that slashing  ….  that people …especially the younger ones …  just aren’t tuning in anymore.

YES, they are…but to OTHER media, OTHER sources of information, OTHER sources of entertainment…that provide interesting, entertaining, pertinent QUALITY information.

The population is GROWING, the potential audience is GREATER , and the younger generation ARE media savvy and hungry for information.

But they …  like the boomers who have also tuned out ….  INSIST on information THAT MATTERS … topics and issues that are important to them and affect their lives …. not mostly accident reports, fires, crime, charity walks, runs, bike rides, lots of promotional advertorials and house price stories ad nauseum …  and don’t forget all those lost/found dogs or cats epics.

Very heartwarming …but NOT news. Especially NOT the type of news that will draw readers, listeners, viewers in today’s HIGHLY COMPETITIVE media/social networking world.

These latest failings … in all major platforms …  prove the points I have been making on here regularly: taking their audiences’ desire for QUALITY news/writing/story-telling has come back to haunt them.

Media bosses are now getting what they deserve…. in all sectors.

I just hope the good people left in the industry will not be the ones who … once again … pay the price for more mismanagement  mistakes.

Harv Oberfeld

( For those interested, here is a link to an interview I did with Talk Digital Radio on this subject:  http://talkdigitalnetwork.com/2015/04/lack-of-experience-hurting-tv-news-ratings/  )

Tags: British Columbia · Media · National

57 responses so far ↓

  • 1 r // Apr 13, 2015 at 8:39 am

    if CFAX 1070AM ,Victoria talk radio, actually had a stronger signal CKNW rating might even be lower?

    (Response: I think Jon McComb is getting better … still needs a little more humour to wake us up with smiles, not heavy depressing issues. And I have enjoyed Drex in the evening. But what the rest NW is missing BIG TIME is the entertainment, real provocative fun characters as their on air hosts (a la Webster, Rafe, Michael Smyth, Garr) to raise interest, blood pressures and get GOOD discussions going. What the have now is a bland collection of very nice people … civilized discussion moderators who treat daily topics like neighborly coffee clatch living room chats ….BORING!!! And their weekend fare is probably the worst imported crud I have ever heard on radio. No wonder their ratings are going down the toilet. h.o)

  • 2 Roaster // Apr 13, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Well I hope the newscasters enjoy their on air cocktails, wine tasting, and gourmet meals while then can, because it won’t be long before they join the rest of the beans on toast crowd.

  • 3 D. M. Johnston // Apr 13, 2015 at 11:20 am

    http://canadalandshow.com/article/global-news-kills-koch-brothers-story-fires-journalist

    Stories like the above will not help Global much and when the network becomes a lame duck and advertising plummets, they can only blame themselves.

    (Response: This is a disgraceful action by Shaw/Global if the facts are as stated: how many other stories have Shaw/Global brass interfered in? Why wasn’t those who INTERFERED fired? What does it say about Shaw/Global’s integrity and credibility? Not very good if this tale is true! And they wonder why people are turning away and tuning out? h.o)

  • 4 Other Wayne in Victoria // Apr 13, 2015 at 11:28 am

    And so it has come to pass, by serving their political masters they have sanitized their product into something no one wants to buy.

    Masters of their own destruction!

    They wear it well.

  • 5 larry Bennett // Apr 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I’ll likely be raked over the coals for this, but we should not, any longer accept the feminist cant that women are not treated with equal respect in the entertainment (radio/T.V.) industry. It is nothing now to see a woman newscaster discussing the weather with a female weather person. (And I personally feel that weather is given way, way too much time in both mediums). Also, even in sports, there are more women than ever seen before – and I will say nothing about some of the uninformed sports commentators now heard (see, CBC hockey)! Not to say I am particularly informed, but then, I’m not getting paid huge money for non-essential tittle-tattle!
    On the on-going nonsense with Shaw cable, why do they insist to promote such garbage as Big Brother Canada? Has anyone watched more than 3 minutes of this garbage, or the nonsense about the brain-eating zombie and her insights of the people she eats! Why this fascination with death and zombies and other supernatural nonsense? I guess maybe it comes with the growing acceptance of abortion, euthanasia and gbltetc -xyz!

  • 6 RossK // Apr 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    That ‘Canadaland’ enterprise linked to by DM Johnston, above, is one of those ‘other’ places that Harvey mentioned that folks are turning to get their information.

    And even though it’s all free, the listeners actually like the product so much that they are willing to pay for it anyway.

    .

  • 7 Lew // Apr 13, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Harvey, the bean counters are frequently blamed for the lack of quality a lot of us are complaining about, but I’m wondering if you have any insight into the role the legal beagles play. Are those employed by struggling media organizations overly cautious?

    It occurs to me that with the red ink these organizations are bleeding all over the carpet, the possibility of attracting a lawsuit with its attendant costs must keep the brass awake at night. The inexperienced hires you mention (and whose on-air training we endure) not only reduce the quality of the product, but increase the likelihood of a costly legal faux pas. Unless they’re kept on a very short leash. Mix them with low-morale veterans coasting into retirement with no investigative resources, and the resulting gruel offered up to consumers is very thin.

    Hockey players threatened with benching if they take a penalty, baseball pitchers forbidden by the manager to come in high and tight on a batter, or poker players who never bluff all lack the edge to be effective. Similarly, any journalist denied the option of operating on the edge in the dark will never get the whole story. And it will show. Government and corporate malfeasants don’t usually play in the sunlit center of the field. They play on the shady edges, and have very deep legal pockets. Is that part of the problem in your estimation?

    (Response: I don’t believe its legal scares that keep stations from going after stories ion government and corporations the way they used to. Stations have very good media lawyers available on retainer to check stories/scripts if necessary. I worry the problem may be gutless newsroom management or more interference and tone-setting (don’t rock the boat) from top corporate brass than we ever hear/learn about. h.o.)

  • 8 Rae // Apr 13, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Would one of you people who know the system well explain why on CKNW mornings I am subjected to the ‘comedy hour’ where last night’s late TV show which I didn’t watch – this is radio guys – is played for the host(s) to discuss and laugh over. If I wanted comedy I’d stay up late to see it.

    (Response: I’d dare say that when people tune in the morning, after just getting up, they want overnight news, and light, bright info …not just a recap of EVERYTHING they’ve seen on the 6 o’clock News, the various National newscasts AND late news. Remember Frosty? BY FAR Numero Uno for decades …bringing NW $$$ Millions, by informing, entertaining and yes, amusing ..not by depressing those who listen. h.o)

  • 9 An Old Friend // Apr 13, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Harvey: as usual, you blame the shrinking audiences for newspaper, radio and television news on the content. You call it a lack of “real” news, and as usual there’s a strong undercurrent in your column that content was somehow higher quality back in the good ‘ol days when more people were watching, reading and listening. So how then do you explain the enormous increase in traffic on the websites run by these exact same news organizations? It’s true. The number of “clicks” and video views are up dramatically on the websites that feature the exact same “puerile” content that you regularly disparage in this space. I hope this fact will help you to better understand what’s really happening in your old industry. People are choosing new platforms to consume content in huge numbers – the exact content you blame for the declining fortunes of what you might call the traditional mediums. Trouble is, website ads are cheap. That’s what’s changing, Harvey and the facts really don’t support your all-too-easy argument that the viewers, listeners and readers would come running back if only there was a return to the good ‘ol days when ‘real’ reporters covered ‘real’ news. Good grief.

    (Response: The problem with all those “clicks” on websites is that the coverage there is even more shallow than what we see on air: instant tidbits…. press conference, interview clips etc. But WHERE are the HARD questions? WHERE are the serious investigative pieces? Far TOO FEW. Where are the SCOOPS of the revealed untold info NOT announced by officials or commented on by critics? FAR too little of that. And as you say, not bringing in the advertising bucks that will ever see that improve. Where are the REPORTERS who entertain, write really well and bring BACK viewers … and subsequently advertisers? Too little … and the audiences show that. h.o)

  • 10 AndyO // Apr 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Great read Harvey,
    And the floor falls in in the MSM. CKNW ppm’s drop like a lead balloon and Brand Manager Ian Koenigsfest calls what they’re doing CKNW 2.0. Doesn’t look like it’s working, I cant listen anymore, listen to CBC Victoria. Global BC adds Jill Krop as Station Manager and News Director. She may be respected by some, which is a bonus for Global, but will she do the job that needs to get done to fix it? When you you put someone with her stature in charge, knowing everyone there, will she cut personalities who are her friends, working compadres, or will it be the status quo? Will she the ship afloat for the captains in Toronto and keep on losing viewers to CTV?

    (Response: A news business colleague told me privately that, even if Krop decides to “serious up” the Newshour, her problem will be lack of many reporters and producers CAPABLE of doing in-depth investigation or hard reporting. Sad if true. h.o)

  • 11 13 // Apr 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    As I am able to listen to radio for 10 or more hours every day my interest this media self destruction is focused on NW. I truly have been a long time listener and was a frequent caller.
    I still listen to NW every day from about 5am till 5 or 6 pm. Weekends I listen to Jill Bennett and Micheal Cambell. As you pointed out the rest of the moff radio and the ralph radio is beyong bad.

    NW suffers because the suits and the bean counters have lost touch with reality. They think that their younger target audience will put down their I Phones and listen to NW because they are on facebook, twitter, Young people for the most part arent aware than a car radio has an AM frequency. The advertisers seem to know that the audience wants retirement homes, joint pain relief, funeral homes and vacation cruises , investment advice. Koingexpress must not listen to the ads or he might just realize who listens to am band talk radio.
    Mr Mcomb is doomed as he is good but without a solid production crew and a budget he can only do so much. Youve got to spend money to make money has been totaly lost on Shaw.

    (Response: The BEST radio hosts were CHARACTERS themselves ..strongly opinionated and entertaining but open to debate and discussion: even if you disagreed it kept you alert and was fun to listen. These days, it’s hard NOT to yawn! Nice people …but not very entertaining. h.o)

  • 12 e.a.f. // Apr 13, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Jill Krop may give it the best she has got, but the corporate culture may not permit her to do the job she wants. I expect she will try and then retire.

    It doesn’t matter much what they produce for Global. who is watching? not many.

    You turn on the news and its shooting here, shoot there, car up a pole, speeding crashes. That is not really news which impacts our lives to any great extent. its news which rubber neckers watch, like freeway accidents. Will things change? No expect them to get worse. It works for the corporate elite and their friendly politicians. Keep them in the dark and feed them bull.

    (Response: You hit it on the head exactly ” not really news which impacts our lives to any great extent.” Or at least TOO MUCH that does not. I hope Krop will understand this …but then again, she can only work with the reporter/producer pool she has … and that looks pretty shallow to me for the Number One station in BC. h.o)

  • 13 Rollie // Apr 13, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    What this country needs is an all puppy news network. That’s what people want. Instead of kickers to end the news let’s start out with puppies!
    It’d make Harper happy and increase the female viewers! There’s where the money is! The devolution of mass media continues.

  • 14 BMCQ // Apr 13, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Whether it be Shaw, Bell, Post Media, or any other Corporation looking to improve the Bottom Line of it’s Media outlets it is an up hill battle today.

    There are many reasons for that. More and more competition between established forms of Media, the ever growing number of Younger People getting their news off of sources like Social Media, Entertainment Tonight, Jon Stewart, and those that just do not care about Current Hard News Events.

    Then there are those that are somewhat older that have due to circumstances been “Dumbed Down” for one reason or another and they just do not care or have an interest in Hard News!

    Between more Media outlets (I will not say News Outlets) and fewer people that really care about that Hard News it has become a “Dog Fight” between various Media outlets for that Listening/Viewing Audience that have traditionally provided Hard News.

    Then take into account the fight over drastically reduction in available Advertising Dollars and that future becomes quite frightening for that Traditional Media!

    Only a guess but I believe that for reasons listed hear and elsewhere on this thread the Genius Program Directors, Execs and other Management types at the outlets discussed all are attempting to implement strategies they feel will result in increased Listeners/Viewers/Readers m which translate into improved ratings.

    So far the strategies employed are failing in a major way!

    Whether it be desperation, lack of understanding, or simply the inability to manage properly and efficiently all of those outlets under scrutiny would be wise to change direction and find New Management that can change strategies in very short order.

    What still remains a puzzle to me is how NW and some of the others have been so quick to abandon their traditional Demographic of Listeners.

    As many of us here have stated it is the “Boomer’ that now has the disposable income and for some reason outlets like NW and that Programming Genius there are attempting to acquire “The Hipster’ that has no disposable income to purchase NW Advertiser’s Products and no interest in listening to Radio as his Listening Audience!!

    Brilliant!!

    Harvey and others of his vintage would know far better than me but I honestly feel that if an outlet like say global or NW turned the clock back and really worked on the old hard news and Entertainment format they could recover much of their Listener/Viewing Audience.

    Let’s fact it, they certainly have nothing to lose!

    I would not expect anything here but I for one would like to hear from a few of The Frosty, Cox, Grohman, Harvey, and other local Media types on this topic.

    No need to use your own name just a few Initials will do but please at least identify yourself as someone with a legitimate history in Media.

    I think comments from someone like those mentioned would be very interesting insightful, and informative.

    Please step up your former Employers could use the help!!

  • 15 Rollie // Apr 13, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Media management have been on the gravy train too long. It’d take a lot of courage to change directions now and who do you know who’d have the cojones to dare do it?

    (Response: Shaw just reported profits were down 24% in the most recent quarter, compared to the same period last year. At some point, their top bosses better realize the public will NOT accept crud NEWS products and programming … hopefully before their ratings go the way NW have! h.o)

  • 16 BMCQ // Apr 14, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Sorry – meant to say here up the page, not hear!!

    Please forgive any other Spelling mistakes and any grammatical errors.

    I must learn to proof read!

    John and Laura would be AGHAST!!

  • 17 r // Apr 14, 2015 at 8:40 am

    concentration of media opinion?

    http://rabble.ca/news/2015/04/sounds-silence-postmedia-buys-sun-newspaper-chain-and-no-one-heard-thing?utm_content=bufferda417&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  • 18 Douglas // Apr 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

    It is about ten years since I bought a newspaper and longer since I watched TV news.CKNW was my radio of choice back in the day but in 2015 it is just rubbish.I do listen to specific programmes on CBC Radio and BBC Radio(0n line).

    Where have the journalists gone?Rolling Stone Magazine,which made a bollocks of a recent story,does some excellent journalism.I especially like Matt Taibbi and Tim Dickinson.I like The Atlantic Monthy and The New Yorker.Walrus Magazine intially seemed promising but has been a failure.Actually poor at times.

    Of course the rise of the internet has changed the media landscape.The once great British music weekly NME sells less than 15,ooo papers per issue presently.Back around 1980 it sold well over 200,000 issues per week.The print version is fading to black.

    @13 Michael Campbell is one reason why I am a CKNW free zone.

    Harvey,I used to get mad about the demise of my favourite media outlets.Now,who cares.Just hope they go away.

    (Response: I still believe they could improve and I don’t buy the surrender attitude of too many inside and outside the business. Every industry needs to keep fresh and innovative and needs new blood …but what the brass thought they could get away with is totally watering down their product … hiring junior players to do jobs that used to require experience and expertise. No NHL hockey team would just bring in inexperienced juniors to replace retiring stars; no one wants to be operated on for a VERY serious ailment by a novice surgeon; but for some reason the media bosses in the BIG media markets (why by the way are mostly still making profits in the hundreds of millions!) thought they could give listeners, viewers inexperienced reporters, lousy story tellers, with no background knowledge or contacts etc .and no one would notice. People did … and left. h.o)

  • 19 DBW // Apr 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I would like to agree with the comment by An Old Friend #9, who said

    `the facts really don’t support your all-too-easy argument that the viewers, listeners and readers would come running back if only there was a return to the good ‘ol days when ‘real’ reporters covered ‘real’ news.`

    I have no idea about the rest of you, but I still watch and read as much news as I did in the past but I don’t watch it at 6:00 or by reading The Province over breakfast when it was tossed on my parent’s porch back in the day.

    Things change and I have boxes of LPs and cassettes that I never use to prove it. Whatever the content – Beatles or London Philharmonic – people will not buy cassettes.

    We now have 24/7 news information at our fingertips. What we want – at least what I want – is an analysis of the news. No matter how you dice it, an hour show will not give you that analysis unless we limit the news to a handful of stories. That’s why I would take a newspaper over the TV news any day.

    But I rarely buy a newspaper because everything is online. And I can get a complete balance. I can read the same story from the CBC, the Sun, the National Post, and the Tyee to name just a few that run the gamut of left to right.

    And I can read the comments of 100s of fellow citizens who have taken the time to post their ideas. And yes some of the posters are trolls or just downright stupid so you have to have your intellectual filter in high gear, but at least there is a dialogue that doesn’t occur in the physical paper or the TV news.

    And there are shows out there that give us analysis ranging from the very serious on all news networks to the entertainers like John Stewart or John Oliver (who are often more on point than the real journalists) or fluffier shows like The View.

    I am not sure of the answer. I am not sure if an answer is necessary as I am not even sure if we are clear on the question.

    I want to see stories covered and I want to feel that I am getting balanced information. The internet, all news networks, bloggers, etc etc give me all of that.

    We can lament the good old days (if in fact the good old days actually existed), but times do change.

    (Response: Perhaps you hadn’t noticed, but Global and CTV and CBC ALL have 24-hour news channels …so the single 6 p.m. newscast argument doesn’t apply any more. The fact is, though, even with so many MORE news programs, fewer are watching: THAT’S where the quality of what they show us comes in. There are MANY like you and I who still want/take in a lot of news content …and not just older people … but not fluff and ambulance chasing etc. I have NO DOUBT that if the nets delivered high quality well-written riveting NEWS, many more WOULD watch…including Gen X (who now have families and kids and are more settled) and even Millenials …but they’re too smart to watch much of what now goes to air, day after day. h.o)

  • 20 Emma Rose // Apr 14, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Global – Chris Galius is good in the field BUT as an anchor he is far too irreverent to be delivering the news. Kirsty Gordon is way too casual in her delivery and we now don’t watch except to catch Squire Barnes with the news.
    In fact, Vancouver is sorely lacking a solid quality 6:00 news hour.

    CKNW: I love Simi Sara – smart, informed, and not afraid to ask the hard-hitting question. Best of all, she freely shares her opinion so there is no need to second guess if she has a hidden agenda.
    Miss having a nightly sports talk show – Dan Russell was great and my entire family miss that show.

    (Response: I know many of the local news types ..including the bosses ..read this blog, so hopefully they will pay attention to the comments/critiques you and others have offered. h.o)

  • 21 morry // Apr 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    the main issue with media these days is MANAGEMENT. They are really useless in being able to provide the content in demand by the public. They are too fat and lazy, filled with their hubris. They should all be demoted and their salary cut by 40%. Then we’ll see how fast and nimble they can scramble.

    PS i have seen too many organizations get top heavy. and useless. Then they go poof…

  • 22 larry Bennett // Apr 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Douglas – You enjoy CBC and BBC radio online! Also, you are likely the last of the drug sotted hippies who still reads Rolling Stone (I really shouldn’t comment, never having been tempted to actually read it throughout the ’60s, 70′s or ever since.) The Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, Walrus? What crapola this all is. Michael Campbell would likely be the only one at CKNW that I would listen to, if I could ever find it on the dial. I do read the British Spectator, the National Review (though it has lost its famous humour since the demise of WFB). There is little left out there that I would waste time on, and with the loss of SunMedia, that leaves only FoxNews, left on T.V., and (sometimes) the N.P. in the print media.

  • 23 morry // Apr 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    “Michael Campbell would likely be the only one at CKNW that I would listen to”

    “waste time”

    -30-

  • 24 13 // Apr 15, 2015 at 4:45 am

    You have to wonder what its going to take to make someone at corus think “maybe we have lost market share because we have failed to reinvent the wheel”. NW was the top dog for a reason. It appealed to a more mature audience. Not the facebook, twitter crowd. As good an argument people like Laura make re a bunch of dinosaurs that have to die and make way for a newer younger audience, it isnt working.
    The Eckford experiment is a failure. Even if as he boasts he leads in his time slot. The crap that they have found to replace Roy Green is just painful to hear.
    Even the last dying spark , the am show with Jon Mcomb is not burning very bright. His new producer John Odoud has been tasked with a daily buisness report. Strange as they still use Levy and Campbell. Odoud reported that sales of the new Apple watch were strong. I wonder how much effort went into that bit of indepth reporting. The time Mcomb spends with Palmer, Smyth are glimpses of what NW used to be.
    To Laura and others that claim the changes are positive and Eckford is better than sliced bread, the numbers DO NOT support your position.
    As BMCQ stated earlier NW needs to turn back time.

    (Response: I too pay more attention as soon as I hear Palmer and/or Smyth will be on. NW should learn their key audience SHOULD be the boomers …aging, but with time to listen, the interest in listening and lots of dough to spend on advertised products, unlike their kids or grandkids, who the station seems to dream of capturing but never will …until they too are older and more mature …own homes and worry about taxes, politics etc. h.o)

  • 25 Ron // Apr 15, 2015 at 6:43 am

    My opinion:
    Michael Campbell should go far away like his brother.
    Simi Sara has dumbed down her show since inception (like the rest tow the line to keep their spot, Mike Smyth included). I liked her at first. What little I have heard of her shows lately are worse than Crusty’s were when she worked at NW and I tired of Crusty real quick. I lost all respect for Simi after her softball questions to guests about the Mount Polley disaster (not spill!) after prior rantings .
    Any “News” hour that is 25% weather content is not a program but a show..
    It’s obvious that TPTB are running (and ruining) what goes into these shows.
    When the bunker oil spill happened in Vancouver and Crusty finally had a conference 2 or 3 days later, there was one reporter who was asking the hard questions. Crusty shut this reporter down by pushing Environment Minister mannequin Mary Polak to the mike because she was stumbling over her words, and yet no story how the BC Premier would not answer those questions. Instead the story was how everyone was pointing fingers at each other.
    The real story is how ALL of them won’t give an answer and be made accountable.

  • 26 BMCQ // Apr 15, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Emma Rose – 20

    I will do my best to be polite here Emma.

    “I love Simi Sara, smart, informed, and not….”

    “YIKES”!

    I am quite sure Simi is a nice person but IMHO she is nothing more than one of two members of the NDP Farm Team, the other being Eck.

    I quit listening to NW between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM because of the 100% one sided Anti Harper – Anti Christy of the two hosts just mentioned.

    I admit I do hear the odd bit of both of those shows if I get in my Car and NW is on from earlier in the day. When she is doing simple non political interviews Simi is just fine but…….

    Honestly, I have no problem with one Host or another having a Political bias but please at least be honest about it! Then the Listener can make an informed choice.

    Please point out one positive story she has done about the Federal Cons or the Provincial Libs. I will be waiting for your response.

    Simi attempts to fool her listener into believing she is fair and balanced and she has obviously fooled you. However I would suggest that by the dismal results of the ratings at NW they have not managed to fool all that many of their listeners.

    One day I will tell you about my “On Air” conversation with Simi and her reaction to me when I asked her some pointed questions about Jenny Kwan and Jenny’s problems with her Restaurant, Wine, Food, and Travel Critic’s position with The NDP Shadow Cabinet. It was very revealing to say the least.

    By the way I understand Jenny is very hopeful that once she is elected Federally both “Gotham” and “Le Croc” will open satellite Eateries in Ottawa!

    I am very confident that Jenny has the ability to make Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, and the Liberal Senators that got into trouble look like “Rank Amateurs” when it comes to burying her Snout deep into the Public Trough!!!!

    The Genius of a Program Director at NW should consider the following

    6:00 – 9:00 AM Time Slot

    Drex –

    He is honestly Left of Centre but I honestly believe he is fair, somewhat irreverent, not politically correct and humorous, and I believe that will work in that time slot. He would provide a fast paced informative show and I hope improve as time goes on.

    Drex would not be my favourite but I honestly think he would be a “Compromise” Host that would work for the majority of Listeners.

    9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Time Slot

    McComb -

    An equal opportunity Basher of Politicians. not afraid to be critical of any Politician regardless of Party. For some reason he does not like Christy but he is open and transparent about and as a B.C. Liberal supporter that is just fine with me. McComb is great at the serious stuff.

    !2:00 PM – 12:30 PM Time Slot

    Same News package that currently exists including Bruce Allen for all of you “Bruce Haters”!!

    12:30 – 1:00 PM Time Slot

    A half hour of World News rapid fire by the two news Readers that are on from 12:00 – 12:30 PM.
    People need to be informed about what is going on in the World and I believe this would work.

    1:00 – 4:00 PM Time Slot

    Michael Smyth –

    For all of the reasons we all already are aware of!! “No Sacred Cows”!! Unpolished but he is just what the people need when listening to talk radio.!

    4:00 – 5:00 PM Drive Time Slot

    A mixture of Business, Entertainment, and Politics. Something that appeals to Business People travelling home and Boomers with Money to Invest and Pensions to look after.

    5:00 – 6:00 PM

    Michael Campbell –

    I know Harvey and 90% of the rest of you are about to “Light Your Hair On fire” here but Campbell has some great guests and we can all learn from those guests.

    Campbell is egotistical yes but PLEASE TRUST ME people there is a lot of important information offered on his Show with some very good guest contributors and therefore much to be learned from his Show. Have an open mind people!!

    Yes he is a Capitalist and a Conservative but he unlike Simi he is open and honest about it!

    I suppose this thread is morphing into a CKNW thing.

    The reason CKNW is discussed so much is because there are many that read and post here that miss what CKNW once offered.

    I for one am very happy to see people so passionate about something.

    No apologies necessary for that my friends!

  • 27 larry Bennett // Apr 15, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Well Ron, at the very least, we can agree that the weather section of the news takes up way too much time in an hourly show!

  • 28 An Old Friend // Apr 15, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Harvey: I’ll try again to explain this to you. Your argument that ‘better’ content (translation: the kind of stories you used to cover) would bring back ratings doesn’t hold water. The news content that you say is driving away the audience is attracting an enormous audience online. The facts prove this, Harvey. As TV ratings slip, the local websites for CBC, CTV and Global attract monthly audiences in the MILLIONS with the content that you are criticizing. The news content you hate is in fact wildly popular. Sorry, but it’s true. If more “serious news’ was the answer, then CBC’s local news would have been #1 for years with its long-term but failed strategy of keeping its primary focus on investigations, with or without anchors who have ‘gravitas.’ A closer look at local ratings data tells you what’s really happening: the largest audience segment for television news by far is over the age of 65. That group of viewers is bigger than ever. The content hasn’t chased them away at all. As for that content itself, I would also argue that there are far more hard hitting investigations on local television right now than there were when you were reporting Harvey. In 2014, our local TV news broke the temporary foreign workers scandal and the story about abuse of animals at Canada’s biggest dairy farm, just to name two examples off the top of my head. Maybe you were in Florida, but ask around and you’ll discover those were huge stories that dominated the news for months. And let’s also “keep it real” and remember that there were just as many puerile puppy stories on the News Hour back in the 80′s as there are now. Your selective memory betrays what I suspect is more of a nostalgic view for the days when you were on the beat as opposed to a fact-based analysis of local media. My two cents.

    (Response: You right puppy stories were done… but NOT so many and not in the top package! And I disagree that the old kind of stories don’t attract viewers .. they DID tune in by the hundreds of thousands more UNTIL management started to cut resources, research, investigative time and efforts and replaced senior journalists with inexperienced reporters capable of only doing stories that are handed to them on a platter. The St Paul’s Hospital move is a perfect example: the fact that the move to Terminal/Main was imminent was known for weeks …did I MISS the stories about HOW that extra distance would impact the lives of 100,000 in the West End/Coal Harbour …esp the elderly who have strokes, heart attacks? Where were they? After all, the media have spent a WEEK of almost daily coverage on the health of half a dozen ducks impacted by an oil spill…but NOTHING on the fact more people WILL die as a result of moving the hospital to the other end of the core …in fact, well beyond it. The public DEMANDS quality and as CTV has been doing better at providing it …the ratings have risen. Think about that…not from digital world trivialities, but from having better coverage of real stories, more relevant real features and investigative stories and even better technical production than the competition. That’s what works …as long as the brass don’t interfere. h.o)

  • 29 Rollie // Apr 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    News is good when it tells the story …. wait for it – from the affected party. That is the first commandment of journalism. Not a newser where the hospital board tries to rationalize the move to news cameras but from those who will be impacted. Have we heard from the lodge owners whos livelihood was ruined by the Mt Polley spill destroying the fishing grounds? Why is this so hard?

    (Response: Your comments are particularly astute in relation to my blog on St. Paul’s: I saw/heard/read virtually no coverage of or from those who will be most gravely affected by the move: the 100,000 people who live and work in the West End and Coal Harbour …esp the very large number of senior citizens. What we were mostly subjected to was the spin …from the government, health officials, developers … news as delivered .. on a platter to an uncritical and hardly questioning media. h.o)

  • 30 nonconfidencevote // Apr 15, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    @#28 “An Old Friend”
    “Harvey: I’ll try again to explain this to you”….

    Wow I see the “arrogant ‘tude” is still alive and kicking!
    My own personal opinion.
    Todays newscasters are hired for their beauty not their brains.
    Rock jawed Chris Gailus, Kristy Gordon, ALL of them aint hard to look at. And with our 60 second sound bite attention span. Even these Newscaster beauty pagent “winners” are beginning to lose their appeal.
    Would the Harvey Oberfeld’s(sorry Harv) or the Rex Murphy’s of the world even make it through the interview process in todays materialistic, narcissistic, navel gazing , big money, big business “News” world?
    Perhaps as producers or directors of documentaries. Never would you see them on the 6pm Beauty Fest of today.
    (note to Squire, dont lose your sense of humour or yer toast).
    As for the internet “clicks”.
    You can thank “apps” for that.
    Most of my friends get their “news” from their phones in 30 second “alerts” that they receive unsolicited , read, spew out as if they are the almighty news oracle and then go back to their “Hay Day” game.

    Personally. I read The Economist every week. The print version, because i find the email version has far too many distractions.

    Local Newspapers are great for wrapping fish. Local radio is an endless scroll up and down the dial for music and not annoying, nattering DJ’s that couldnt tell you where Halifax was without Google.
    TV 6pm News?
    Only if dinner is finished, and I need a distraction for my toothache.

    So , “Old Friend” who, as I recall, is an experienced News room expert.
    Dont be too smug about them internet “clicks”. 80 % are either apps or people at work bored and sluffing off.

    (Response: BCTV had the homeliest group of reporters of probably any tv station in North America. BUT their ratings, on a per capita basis, were the HIGHEST of ANY local newscast across the entire continent. Why? Because almost all of those homely types were experienced, established journalists, investigators, writers and story tellers …mostly with a print (newspapering) background. Almost none of them expected to ever end up on tv: what brought them there was the brilliance of Cameron Bell as News Director and Keith Bradbury as Assignment Editor …who wanted experience journalists first and foremost. And it worked …attracting 650,000 a day and making the station hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. h.o)

  • 31 Laura // Apr 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    People seem to look back on what CKNW used to be with rose-coloured glasses. It was never “hard news”. It was comfort pablum for people of a certain ideological bent. There was very little actual debate or presentation of contrary views that weren’t seemingly vetted by the Liberal public affairs people.

    The line-up at CKNW used to include Philip Till, Bill Good, Christy Clark and Michael Smythe. Thank goodness those people are gone, as their audience has for the most part died off and they wouldn’t attract a new one. I know I preferred to listen to music most of the time they were on.

    As to balance, CKNW is much more balanced now than it used to be.

    Bill Good versus Simi Sara? Simi is much more balanced.

    Christry Clark versus Mike Eckford? Mike is much more balanced.

    Jon McComb versus Philip Till? John is the more balanced of the two.

    The Right still has over-the-top right-wing hosts like Bruce Allan and Michael Campbell. That should be enough. Back in the old days of CKNW I would have been over the moon if a couple of unabashedly left-wing hosts had been given so much airtime.

    As for Michael Smythe, I don’t miss him at all. He does a great job of attacking the Left but he certainly doesn’t go after the Right to the same degree. He’s probably spent more time going after Jenny Kwan than he has spent going after the entire Liberal government over the past 12 years.

    Same with Keith Baldrey and Vaughn Palmer, I doubt anyone to the left of Christy Clark miss them at all. Everyone knows what they’re going to say before they say it, too predictable.

    There is no comparison, CKNW is much more balanced and a much better station than it used to be.

    The above doesn’t mean I’m completely unsympathetic to those that have lost an important piece of their daily routine. But things change and if the brass at CKNW thought they could make money continuing to be a local version of Sun News, they’d still be doing it. Fact is, they can’t, the audience was no longer there.

    So instead they’re trying to attract people who tuned out CKNW years ago, time will tell if they can overcome their reputation and get some of those people to tune in.

    (Response: Your selective history is quite misleading. You refer to Good, Clark, Till …but they were not what ever made NW GREAT. Somehow you overlooked Frosty Forst, Norm Grohmann, Neil McRae, Jack Webster, Rafe Mair …and the First Class News operation they had…covering almost everything in the city LIVE (not by phone) …that’s when NW was REALLY the Top Dog….a far cry from the whimpering tired crippled old pooch it has become. h.o)

  • 32 nonconfidencevote // Apr 15, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Harvey I ALWAYS enjoyed your reporting.

    Especially one time when you asked a Seperatist in Ottawa a question in English and his snotty response was in French and he said, ” Ask me that in French and I’ll answer”.
    You IMMEDIATELY switched to french and repeatedly asked him the same question over and over. He ran.
    Somehow I cant see the “reporters” of today doing the same thing.
    Sad.

    (Response: I don’t see many reporters covering BC politics today asking tough questions in either official language. h.o)

  • 33 nonconfidencevote // Apr 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    @#31 Laura
    Sorry Laura, I have to agree with Harvey on this one.
    Bill Good , Christy Clark?
    THEY were part of the problem an ‘NW’s inexorable slide to the toilet.
    Frosty, Webster, Grohmann. Classics all.

  • 34 Laura // Apr 15, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    As I’ve said before, the days of Frosty and others predates me, I never heard Frosty on air, he was a long time ago. Webster has been gone for what? 25 years? There was no such thing as the internet when he was a host. Many of those hosts, like their listeners, are dead.

    I can only go by what I read here and the complaints are about the current people on CKNW, I didn’t see any articles or comments from people here complaining about Till, Good, Clark and Smythe so I assumed you thought it was only the new bunch that were evidence of a decline. And that’s all I disagree about.

  • 35 nonconfidencevote // Apr 16, 2015 at 5:54 am

    @#34 Laura
    Philip Till was DREADFUL. His first week on air was cringe worthy. He actually had a “french personality” that he would “interview”. Switching from his voice to a french accented one. That crap lasted about a week before someone told him it wasnt’ funny….at all. He would then blather one about “his days as a reporter dodging bullets in Beruit”. I’m sure he was a very capable reorter but he came across as a sanctimonious blowhard that knew everything. AND he wasnt funny.

    Frosty was an impossible act to follow.

    Bill Good? Couldnt listen to his partisan bootlicking for more than 5 minutes after he read the news. It was embarrassing. The odd caller would challenge him and he would get huffy. “Give me an example!” Give me an example of when I’m too easy on the Liberals!” His entire show was a love fest with the liberal party.
    Bill “Bad” deserved the hook years before they finally punted him out.
    The listeners voted with their dials……

    AM talk radio is going the way of the Dodo unless you’re willing to “shock jock” like that revolting walking obscenity called Howard Stern.

  • 36 BMCQ // Apr 16, 2015 at 7:18 am

    We can argue all day about who was best and who out of those had the ability to hold an audience, investigate, had integrity, was high principled, fair and balanced, and independent, but the one thing that we cannot argue about is THE FACT that the 45 year old plus audience which includes the Baby Boomers is now the largest potential listening audience for any Radio Station!!

    In their wisdom CKNW has abandoned that Audience and has chosen to pursue another Audience that just is not there!!

    Over two years ago I spoke to the South African PD there and voiced my concerns. He simply told me that the old traditional format that CKNW had seen it’s time and it was his job to change the direction of the Station. I told him his direction was the wrong way and he then replied, “Well if you correct and I am wrong I will then be looking for another job”!

    Time for him to start the job search!!

    One important thing about the old NW is the fact that they had a vast listening Audience that included people of all ages say over 35 and that Audience consisted of People from all Political persuasions!!!

    Harvey and other Media types would know more than me but those Personalities, Reporters, Management and support staff at NW then all had one thing in common, they were Professionals!!

    To repeat.

    It is the people over 45 that have the disposable Income to spend on products and services that believe it or not still advertise on NW.

    Many of those potential Listeners that are Baby Boomers are fortunate to have inherited huge amounts of Money and need Cement Sidewalks, BMW’, Mercedes, Funerals, Sierra Syl, NG Fireplaces, and all of the others advertised there.

    Those same advertisers will soon realize that the guy from South Africa has abandoned them by “Dumbing Down” the Station and they will go on to other Media outlets.

    In the Mean time the Genius of a Program Director will continue to chase a listening audience that just does not exist!!

    I for one would love to hear more on the direction NW has taken from some of the retired Media People willing for offer an informed opinion.

    Kudo’s to H.O. on this and thank you for the effort and patience put into this topic!! I believe your analysis for the most part here is correct!

  • 37 Laura // Apr 16, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I agree with you nonconfidencevote. That’s exactly how I felt listening to them too.

    Since the topic isn’t only about CKNW I wanted to mention Team 1040, now known as TSN 1040. Like Emma above I miss Dan Russell on CKNW, his Sportstalk show was the best this city has ever produced.

    I have no idea how 1040′s morning show with Brother Jake and Dave Pratt is still on the air. Dave Pratt actually used to have a segment where they’d read out whose birthday it is and if it was some female celebrity he’d ask his co-host if “would you…?”. Whenever I heard that I was appalled, kids listen to that station for god sakes.

    Yesterday, (our office has TSN 1040 on all day right now because of the playoffs) Jake and Dave were going on about Pamela Anderson and some other actress being chased by papparazzi before the 10:00 host Matt Sekeres reminded them it was playoffs, people wanted to talk about the Canucks, not Ms Anderson. At least someone at that station gets it.

    I especially like Blair McDonald and Don Taylor. But Jake, Pratt and Moj need to go.
    Yet, I believe they have a growing audience.
    Unfortunately a lot of people like things that many of us here don’t.

    BMCQ, I believe I’m a lot closer to 45 than you are (I apologize if I’m wrong) and I assure you CKNW appeals more to people my age now than it did say five years ago.

    From the subject matter CKNW seems to be going after the 35 to 55 demographic, not “hipsters”. Instead its people with kids and jobs who worry about the environment and the economy and schools and hospitals and that sort of thing. We don’t want to hear “inside baseball” stories about the Legislature all day, especially from hosts who clearly support the government.

    I hope I never have to hear another story from Vaughn Palmer about how witty a Liberal MLA was in deflecting an NDP question. Most people don’t care or are wondering why a media guy didn’t want to know the answer to that question as much as the NDP. Said a lot about the cozy relationship that used to exist between CKNW and the Liberals when they cheered that stuff.

    I’m thankful that has changed and the current hosts won’t be going down that path.

  • 38 Phil // Apr 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    TSN1040 what can I say? The morning show really is one large commercial with a smattering of sports talk. What really gets me is the self promo commericals, who needs to hear those. The show is annoying enough. As for Dave Pratt, I agree with Laura. The only reason I listen is because there is no competition and I like sports.
    The afternoon show has three guys doing the work. How ridiculous is that? And quite often they are all talking at once. Sheesh.
    As for NW I listen to Drex every so often. It’s not to bad. As for the rest of the lot there is very little hope for them. I have been a long time listener to NW since the 70′s, now I occassionally listen.

    (Response: I heard today that CBC has let go Shane Foxman in Vancouver, part of 240 MORE cuts … including eliminating its camera crews in Calgary and Edmonton. Read about it here: http://www.straight.com/news/433081/cbc-fires-more-200-staff-same-day-it-dumps-jian-ghomeshi-report-media That should make local coverage even worse. h.o.)

  • 39 BMCQ // Apr 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Laura – 37

    No need to apologize to me for anything at any time!

    I always feel that if I feel I need an apology from any one here I should find another place for my argument discussion and debate!!!

    If you are over 30 you just might just be a little closer to 45 than I am.

    Having said that Pamela Anderson always tells me that I do not look a day over 45!! You mentioned her not me!

    You state that “CKNW appeals more to people your age than it did say five years ago”

    If that is the case then please explain why no one is listening and the NW Ratings are going down quicker than The Italian Cruise Ship Concordia!

    I really look forward to your response to that.

    Once again and I hope for the last time.

    NW HAD A HUGE AUDIENCE and in only a few years the Station Management have managed to chase them away!!

    Trust me Laura that Audience is still out there!

    Why Abandon one Audience with Buckets of Money to spend to week another that are still paying Huge Mortgages, High Rents, and raising Families for a group of over 45′s that actually have money to spend!!

    Am I doing that poor a job of explaining myself?

    Sheesh, next thing I know you will be accusing me of explaining myself about as well as that poor Over Matched Mayor Hepner!!

    Last time I criticized Hepner here was the next morning right after her election. I was soundly Booed for my comment then. I believe a few of you might agree with me now.

    Fact is Hepner is so inept and so far in over her Head I do not think she could find Girls at Hugh Heffners House!!

    Having said that I would have voted for Hepner myself. I would have been mistaken!

    Just got back from a two hour tour of the existing Saint Paul’s Hospital and the proposed site for a new SPH on Main St.

    Guess what, I heard your friend Eckford on the Car Radio talking politics with Palmer and Baldrey!!!

    I am told by an unnamed source that your friend Eck is doing his best to get The PD at NW to bring them on to bolster his show. Imagine that!!!!

    Fact is The Programming Genius at NW should let Eck have Baldrey and Palmer on each week for an hour at a time with open line for the last half hour. Better yet they should be on The McComb Show each Friday for the last hour of his Show. NW would also be wise to bring back Norman Spector but……….

    Sorry but Baldrey and Palmer might save hour Hero Eckfords job!

    What the Eck!!

    Sorry, no proof read here

  • 40 Rollie // Apr 16, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Speaking of shakeups the CBC has laid off both its Calgary and Edmonton photography departments.
    Be prepared for more talking and less moving images. TV news had such promise and Cameron Bell’s dream of an image driven medium is in a sunset phase if not an eclipse

    (Response: They actually laid off another 240 people today at CBC. That cannot bode well for coverage … except the shallow, easy stories …press conferences, photo ops, charity events and protests. Ho hum. h.o)

  • 41 13 // Apr 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    86 million in the hole. The only path the current crew at NW will be going down is the path to the unemployment office.

    The numbers dont support your position Laura.

    Corus has cheaped out and the money they save by hiring Eckford and a group of producers that sound like school kids isnt going to off set their losses when the advertisers dont see boomers at the cash registers

  • 42 Laura // Apr 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

    BMCQ and 13, you guys seem to continue to believe that everything was fine at NW and ratings only started falling when the current hosts were hired. Ratings were falling then too. Look at their people, Bill Good, Christy Clark, Roy Green, Charles Adler, Michael Campbell, Philip Till. Most people would say that line-up was definitely right of centre. The gradual effect was to turn people off. Ratings were in decline long before Mike Eckford stepped up to the mic. So CKNW decided the multitude of critics were right and they needed more balance.

    Now as for your point BMCQ, that ratings continue to fall, that is simply a demonstration of the old adage that it takes a lot more work to gain an audience than it takes to keep an audience. The people that tuned out CKNW years ago may never come back and all that is happening now is they are losing the people who want more Charles Adler and Michael Campbell. That is obviously a risk NW is willing to take because their ratings were in decline regardless, at least this way they might have some hope they will one day bounce back. Which isn’t guaranteed, the people that left have probably found other sources.

    Lastly, contrary to your view, the old NW audience no longer exists, its no longer “still out there”. That’s not just my opinion, its also CKNW’s. They can’t bring back Good, Till, Adler etc and suddenly there will be a big audience again like back in the 70s or something. I understand nostalgia, but that’s all it is.

  • 43 13 // Apr 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Mr Eckford is getting the drift even if Laura isnt. Mr Eckford has resurected Cutting Edge of the Ledge. Palmer and Baldry chatting with Eck. Eck changed the name to 3 headed monster. Eck also has a wime women that sounds every bit like Carry Mcsherry from Bill Goods friday wind up with the gourmet warehouse. Strangely Eck winds up his friday with this Carry clone.
    You have to ask yourself , is Eck being told to copy Bill Goods format or has he seen the light?

  • 44 BMCQ // Apr 18, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Laura – 42

    13 – 43

    If you notice my last post at 39 and my friend 13 – 43 you may both notice our reference to your Hero Eck.

    Eck is desperately clinging to life and is doing his best to bring back those two Media types you seem to consider past their “Best Before” Date, Palmer and Baldrey.

    Eck has only had them on a few times for a half hour bit so far but if he and NW were using their heads they would do what I suggested and bring them back for a full hour and take calls for the last half hour of that.

    As I also stated up the page I personally would rather see P & B on for the last hour of McComb each Friday. A way of winding up the weeks Politics in B.C.

    You are partially correct about one thing Laura, much of the ratings problems started at NW a little while back.

    There are many reasons but a huge part of their problem began when a PD or two back began allowing/encouraging the new “Green” Politically Correct hires that started as Producers to inject more PC type stories into the format that caused many in the traditional listening Audience discomfort and they moved on. That my friend was the beginning of the slide down the ever present “Slippery Slope”!!

    The simple fact is that the once huge listening Audience at NW do not and did not want PC and they will go away to other places for their current events , news, and Political interaction.

    As I also stated up the page Laura the huge audience is still there and quite possibly larger than ever. They for reasons 13 and I have mentioned and others have just simply abandoned NW.

    No matter how you wish to spin it Laura there are more over 45′s including Boomers now than ever before.

    They have not moved away to Palm Springs or Florida, they are still here looking for someone to fill the void NW has created by deserting their traditional listening Audience. How stupid of the management at NW!!

    I do not quite get why but somehow you have become convinced that anyone over 50 is not worth paying attention to or for that matter they are not worth providing a service for.

    It is almost as though they were not purchasers of product advertised on NW or other Media outlets and almost as though they had no needs for News, current event activities, interaction with others, or just do not care about what is taking place in the World.

    Guess what Laura, I interact with people of all ages each and every day from all over North America, Australia, The UK, and The EU and I find it is the over 45′s that have a better understanding and are better informed than the 20 to say 40 year old age bracket.

    My own Son that is 25 will testify to the fact than most in his age bracket do not know and do not care what goes on in the real world.

    He is a University Student and his Girlfriend who is in Sauder states the same. They live in Olympic Village and interact with younger people from all over the City.

    Contrary to what you seem to feel Laura not all of those over 50 are ready to be pushed kicking and screaming by their families down the wonderfully coloured and brightly illuminated Tunnel and on into the “Soylent Green” Factory!!!! No Laura they are very important and have much to offer society!

    Hell, most of those under 30′s could not afford to purchase their own Housing if it were not for their Poor Doddering Old parents hat are over 45!!

    Those folks I just mentioned have money to spend, they are politically aware, astute, for the most part have good strong character, a zest for life, and they care about what takes place in their own community and at the same time they cae about what takes place on the other side of the world.

    Those same people want and deserve a news outlet that offers them what NW once did and NW is choosing to abandon them.

    You say that “The traditional NW Audience does not exist”.

    Please clarify, just where are they? Are they sort of like the missing Salmon?

    Again, by changing the format and Hosts at NW the way he has the PD has virtually created a Radio Station that is doomed to fail!!

    One might even refer to him and day as an “Architect of Disaster”!

    Please keep in mind that about 90% that post here are Left of Centre and they like 13 and myself were loyal listeners to the old NW. Those L of C were also purchasing product from NW Advertisers, imagine that!!

    I know 13 and I will never convince you Laura but we have done our best.

    Perhaps once your Hero Eck has changed his Show totally to reflect the old NW he may then explain it to you himself!!

  • 45 Emma Rose // Apr 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    BMCQ – #26/&#44

    No, Simi Sara does not have me fooled; she is very upfront about the political views she does indeed hold. Even if she were to disagree with ME in an ‘ON-AIR’ discussion it would merely confirm my perception that she is open and transparent. I do not need radio hosts to mirror my beliefs to consider them fair, informed, or honest.

    It is apparent though that Michael Campbell has YOU fooled. Open and honest? Hah!

    My own Sons that are 20, 29, and 32 will testify to the fact that most in their age brackets DO know and DO care what goes on in the real world. One has several University degrees and works with young people all over the city, another is himself an University student and again interacts with young people all over the province, and the other one is an accomplished tradesman whose girlfriend is a University graduate with an upper level banking position. And yes they also interact with young people everywhere.

    They all are knowledgeable about world events, and yes, they all care about goes around them. They gather their information from a variety of sources: newspaper, television, radio, iPhone, apps, conversation, reading, etc.
    Perhaps your son and his girlfriend need new friends?

  • 46 BMCQ // Apr 18, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Emma Rose – 45

    Look I don’t want to turn this into a “My Dad is Tougher Than Your Dad’ thing but…..

    “Several Degrees”, You say!

    Sounds like you just might be the Mum of Charles Krauthammer!

    My Son will most likely be required to go through life with just one university Degree.

    Oh well, that is one more than I have anyway!

    Simi is disingenuous at best!

    I believe I mentioned my conversation regarding Jenny Kwan and “Kwan Gate” with Simi. She would not even consider answering my question as to why she did not cover the story. She actually mumbled something about being away the day the story broke. I simply stated the following. “Because you were away does not mean it is still a story a few days later”!

    She still refused to even discuss it. I suppose I caught her off guard somewhat and she became confused. After mumbling a few other things about me pushing her she cut me off.

    Just listen for a few of her Shows and you will never hear her praise either the Federal or B.C. Provincial Government.

    As to my Son and his Girlfriend.

    She is in The Sauder School of Business and is actually somewhat Centre Left. I expect that once she becomes a CPA she will straighten out somewhat.

    My Son attended U.S. College where he played College Golf, Kwantlen and U Vic. He is a Conservative minded individual and grew up on the West Side of Vancouver.

    During his late Teens he would have many of his friends over on a regular basis. Most of them attended Magee HS and Vancouver College as he did. They all seem to be doing quite well with their studies and vocations of choice.

    Having said that in my opinion and his most 20 somethings do not know enough about Current, Canadian, U.S., and World Affairs. Sorry.

    Just an observation Emma, just an observation!

    You dislike Michael Campbell because he is a Capitalist and a Free Enterpriser, simple, nothing more nothing less. To me that is a real shame Emma, a real shame!

    I do not like George Soros that much but I read much of what he has to say.

    By the way, how do you feel about Glen Clark and Patrick Moore these days?

  • 47 R // Apr 19, 2015 at 12:47 am

    http://willcocks.blogspot.ca/2015/04/another-bleak-update-for-postmedia.html

  • 48 Laura // Apr 19, 2015 at 12:47 am

    13 and BMCQ, you both are happy that Palmer and Baldrey will be joining Mike Eckford once a week. Well that’s perfect then is it not?

    You get something and I get something, neither side is completely happy nor completely turned off. We can’t ask for more than that can we?

    I think balance is good and don’t mind listening to contrary views as much as you seem to.

    As for your belief that the old NW audience is still there and ready to return well then I suggest you take your own advice and buy or start a radio station catering to that “massive” audience you seem to know is still there.

    After all, you say that audience exists and they have lots of money, well this would be a perfect scenario then for some of them to invest their own money into. A talk radio station with no PC and no balance.

    You will all be richer by this time next year if you’re right and I’m wrong.

    Until then, I will continue to suffer in the delusion that NW’s audience dwindled because of a lack of balance. Something they are now trying to rectify.

  • 49 13 // Apr 19, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Emma @45
    glad to hear you have children that are successful. I too have 3 sons that Im proud of and they all keep track of current affairs. They dont listen to NW. Well the oldest is almost 40 and I think he was starting to listen a bit before moving away.
    All of this simply supports BMCQs or my position. NWs format is suited to an older crowd. The older crowd is self sustaining. Yes they do die off but all of our children are growing into news talk radio listeners.
    NW has made a mistake. They have alienated their core audience by asking them to facebook and twitter. This might come along but they should ease off and stick to the tried and true. I remember my hesitation to e mail when it first became popular. Now that I like to email its become passe.
    So NW needs to realize that they can try to attract a younger audience but not at the cost of losing the older crowd. The hip shoulder music is annoying but Ill give them that because it goes away as quick as it comes.
    Eck and Simi are currently NWs weakest links Ted and Mof(moth,mott) are total write offs.
    Ill bet that NWs weekend numbers are so low they cant be measured. Roy Green did just fine and perhaps expand Cambells show or heres an idea. After Cambells hour of capitalistic right wing rants find some left wing nut to host an hour of commie socialist rants.
    Smyth, Tielman (yes side sell out) are just a couple of names they could add to the roster.
    Ive heard Harvey on a couple of internet interviews and he has a great radio voice.

    (Response: Shhh! I’m retired! h.o)

  • 50 Rollie // Apr 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Hey were in the middle of a provincial election in Alberta and they lay off all CBC news photographers in Edmonton and Calgary?
    Are we in Russia?
    What is going on?
    This is undemocratic the CBC belongs to the people!
    We need coverage to get out the vote and to debate the issues!

    Help this is an attack on our province and democratic rights!

    (Response: This may make you even angrier… I have been told that EXEMPT for the recent CBC layoffs were French CBC services in Vancouver (allegedly a staff of 78 to do a single daily newscast and a few local tidbits) and rest of the West. My informant did not know of the situation back East. Maybe some intrepid reporter (any left?) should look into this. Would be a great story if true. I’m retired. h.o)

  • 51 Emma Rose // Apr 19, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    BMCQ – That was your big Simi Sara story? That she had the unmitigated gall to cut you off after acknowledging that she hadn’t covered the story? Really?

    And you have never heard her praise the federal or provincial government?! Oh dear! What is a listener to do???? So much for critical dialogue.

    And please do not presume to know why or if I dislike Michael Campbell. You really aren’t THAT preceptive.

    I’ve noticed that you are no longer capitalizing ‘university’. Interesting. Not sure why you felt you had to in the first place.

    I think Laura sums up the most intelligent and informed opinion thus far: ‘I think balance is good and don’t mind listening to contrary views as much as you seem to.’
    Bravo Laura!!!

    Today’s youth are not seeking a radio station to fulfill all their news/discussion needs; it is merely one component of a variety options for them to remain current.

    NW’ IS trying to find a balance and this is the closest they have come in years. Sorry if that upsets some of you but it is nice to see more than the same old tired doctrines trotted out all the time.

  • 52 BMCQ // Apr 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Emma – 51

    University, University, University!!

    There you go!

    Look Emma, I have many faults, my lovely Wife will attest to that. Can I say lovely about a Spouse?

    Two of my faults when Posting here are

    1. I type very quickly and because of that I may make the odd Spelling mistake and obviously some grammatical Errors.

    2. I do not Proof read enough. I am quite busy especially early in the Morning so quite often I do not have time.

    I most likely should proof more and I am always attempting to do that.

    Fact is Laura oops sorry Emma I would have never picked up the either Cap or non cap University any way. Self congratulations I see!

    Do not really get your meaning thee and frankly I do not care.

    Contrary to your comment NW is not attempting to find a balance!!

    Fact is Laura/Emma the management at NW have a job to do and that job is to attract the biggest Listening Audience possible!! Nothing less, sorry!!

    If they manage to do that Advertisers will take notice and those Advertisers will and should pay the Station High Advertising Fees which will ultimately bring Profit to the Media Outlet.

    If all of those factors align properly you will see many happy People. The Radio Station will make Money, the Employees/Management will make Money, and the Advertisers will make Money from the Sale of their Product.

    Ultimately the Share Holders of the Media will make Money and that is ultimately the most important factor about this whole exercise.

    That is supposed to be how it works Emma! Very Simple really!!

    I am personally always invested in many different things,

    I was at once heavily invested in Media. As I type this I do not have one single Nickel invested in any Media Outlet at all!

    Pleazse Please Please, do not even think of telling me that NW is attempting to find a balance!!

    Still do not get your point about the university thing.

    University, University, University!!

    Somehow I all of a sudden feel Liberated!

  • 53 Emma Rose // Apr 19, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I am so relieved that you BMCQ do not have a single nickel invested in any media outlet! Whew! They may still have a chance at balanced reporting . . .

  • 54 Laura // Apr 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I agree Emma, I’m sure we’re all relieved to hear there won’t be any radio station popping up that will employ only right-wing hosts.

    Again, either everyone in BC is not as smart as BMCQ or the market just isn’t there, people can draw their own conclusions about that.

  • 55 BMCQ // Apr 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Emma – 53

    Thank you for the kind words!

    Very Classy!

    Oh, and by the way.

    “University”

  • 56 Emma Rose // Apr 20, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I really hope BMCQ you didn’t consider your last post to be either clever or witty. Or even remotely mature.

    How disappointing that you chose to take my initial comment on THE TOPIC and make it personal.

    I thought this was a forum where people could share their opinions without tired old arrogant windbags attacking and making erroneous assumptions.
    Fortunately for the most part people play fair and Harvey does a great job. And most of the posters bring an array of interesting viewpoints without lashing out at others.

    Classy? Really BMCQ? Your posts and constant put-downs of other posters illustrate your complete lack of not only class but manners.

    Please try to respect others views and stay to the topic. You can go back and read your initial post where you decided to deride MY OPINION with your arrogance and self-importance.

    *Harvey: I apologize for going off topic but enough is enough!

  • 57 Trev16 // Apr 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Wow Harvey….I just read the comments on your post and I can’t believe some people.

    Laura..OMG…are you kidding me? NW is better now??? I can’t believe people still argue the left versus right crap….It doesn’t make a difference who is in power…they are all bought off by different political interests.

    As you mention Harvey we are looking for content on some serious topics. If people want news they now have to go to the Internet for Independent Media. There you will find whistleblowers and real content on some serious subjects effecting us all.

    One example would be geo-engineering happening everyday. 90% of the population is clueless even though they are being sprayed like bugs. The information is out there if you take the time to look. Whistleblowers have come out but of course they are not covered on corporate news.

    There is whole world of news out there which is not being covered by Corporate Media who is only looking out for their advertisers and the latest missing puppy story.

    Sad times!!!

    (Response: Yes, sad but true: I don’t think we would see stories today like we did at BCTV, exposing the possible wrongdoings by advertisers ..like I did when the new head of Woodruffs fired 640 people, some of them 35 year employees. The story caused such anger, hundreds of people (or more) returned their ripped up credit cards etc. and the company actually apologized for the treatment of staff. Or when I went after Waste Mgmt recycling record ..and my stories cost them a $28 million GVRD recycling contract. h.o.)