Friday, December 28, 2007

Is Moses Znaimer a genius?

You may have missed this when it was announced, but Mr. Moses Znaimer (of MuchMusic and City-TV fame) bought Classical 96.3 FM, a classical music station in Toronto.

I noticed the ad to the left in the Globe and Mail last weekend. According to the ad, Classical 96.3 FM is "Toronto's #1 Classical station and Toronto's #2 station Evenings and Weekends overall". The source cited for this rating is the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement's (BBM) S42007 survey.

Now, being Toronto's #1 classical station is not that hard, given the dearth of classical stations in Toronto. But the fact that Classical 96.3 is Toronto's #2 station during evenings and weekends is, I think, highly significant. If this is true - and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of BBM's survey data or that Classical 96.3 is reporting the results correctly - then there is a significant, under served market for classical music in Toronto. But what about CBC Radio Two, you may ask? They play wall-to-wall classical music, don't they? Well, no, they don't, not since CBC Radio management's ill-advised foray into all-things-to-all-people (and satisfying no one) programming, launched on March 19 2007 and gradually creeping into all facets of CBC Radio Two's programming. In fact, I don't think any one would classify CBC Radio Two an "all classical" radio station during the evenings and weekends anymore - which may be precisely the reason for Classical 96.3 FM's popularity during these time slots.

At the time that Mr. Znaimer made his application to the CRTC to purchase the station, an article posted on the CBC web site stated that:

There are French-language private classical stations in Ottawa and Montreal and CBC's Radio Two, the public broadcaster, is available throughout the country, but no other commercial classical station survives in English Canada.

Well, hah! Guess what? The public broadcaster no longer survives as a classical station in English Canada either, except in the minds of the most self-deluding individuals.

So, back to the topic of this blog entry - is Mr. Moses Znaimer a genius for having invested in a radio station that features classical music? I don't know whether Mr. Znaimer is a genus or not, but I do believe that he has a knack for understanding trends in the market and in providing consumers with what they want. If I could, I would go long on Mr. Znaimer (i.e. buy stock in Mr. Znaimer with the expectation that the stock would subsequently experience price appreciation) and short CBC Radio management (i.e. sell stock in CBC Radio management that I do not own, with the expectation that the stock price will subsequently fall and I will be able to buy the stock at a lower price and replace the stock that I borrowed in the short sale, thereby making a profit).

Mr. Znaimer is also in the process of launching a new multi-media web site, integrating social networking, radio and video in one site. Mr. Znaimer believes that the over-50 generation is being overlooked by mainstream media and is targeting this generation with his new venture. CBC Radio management, are you sitting up and taking notice of this?

As further anecdotal evidence of the popularity of Classical 96.3 FM, I track readership of this blog using Google Analytics. And, do you know what the most popular search term that has lead readers to this site has been during the eight months that I have been writing this blog? Why, "new classical 96.3", amazingly enough! Also, I've found through Google Analytics that this site has been visited 47 times by someone from the CBC. I know you're out there, even if you're too bashful to comment!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CBC Radio Two Listener comments on Euroradio Christmas Music Day

A reader of this blog was kind enough to send me the URL for comments made by listeners during the Euroradio Christmas Music Day. You can judge for yourself whether the comments that were not included in the blog were positive or negative from Mr. Peter Cook’s comment: “Less welcome are personal insults.” Who was being insulted in the comments? Mr. Peter Cook? Mr. Howard Dyck? I find it hard to believe that the CBC Radio Two listeners are the type of people to direct personal insults at the program host, blog moderator or performers. One suspects instead that the personal insults were directed at CBC Management and programmers, for their choice of programming for Canada’s contribution to Christmas Music Day. Wouldn't it be nice to see all of these comments, unedited?

You can read the comments that were allowed on the blog for yourself

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nine months later, and listeners are still outraged!

I found this discussion on the "inside the cbc" radio web site. Well, it's good to know listeners haven't forgotten yet what CBC Radio Two used to be like.

Symphony Hall was cancelled? The Singer and the Song cancelled? Well, I can't say that I noticed - or even much care anymore, for that matter - since I quit listening to CBC Radio Two in favour of Sirius satellite radio.

Can CBC Radio Two really survive by gradually cancelling its best programming, until only the dreck remains? Only time will tell.

Euroradio Christmas Music Day

Dear God, what has happened to CBC Radio Two?

I've just been listening to "Joy to the World, Euroradio Christmas Music Day", and of course Canada's contribution had to be a jazz-infused program of non-traditional music.

Has there been an official ban by the CBC on traditional Christmas music and classical music? Must everything played on CBC Radio be contemporary, jazz-influenced, in front of a live audience of screaming
yahoos? Did this have to be the CBC's contribution to Euroradio?

As readers of this blog may have realized by now, I have completely given up on CBC Radio, but I had hoped there would be some reprieve from the trash usually featured on CBC Radio Two for this program.