Sunday, December 16, 2007

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.


Andrei said...

Hi James,

I came across your blog while googling to see if anyone else shared my opinion of the new CBC Radio 2 and also of today's Christmas concert. I am quite surprised that there is much less of a hue and cry of the assault on CBC that I thought there would be.

CBC did get an earful on their own blog, enough for Peter Cook, the moderator of the blog, to sign off with a comment about how disappointed he was with the insults. I found that quite amusing, but I'm sure they won't learn anything from the feedback.

I also read the demographic analysis that you gleaned from Statistics Canada data with interest. Unfortunately, you missed a big point. And that is that boomers, who apparently have taken over CBC Radio 2, abound with bad taste. I don't know any young people (20s, 30s) who actually like the stuff on Canada Live. It is all boomer dreck. Boomers are going to be buying tickets to Led Zeppelin reunions until they all die off. So your point that CBC won't be catering to the 50+ generation as they age is unfortunately incorrect. In fact, they are catering to them; it's just that 50+ listeners now actually like that crap, and will continue to as they age.

I'm afraid that what has happened at CBC is that they have been taken over by the "anti-elitists". They believe that classical music is "elitist" and therefore bad. They seem to have missed the point that a huge amount of money has been poured into cultural institutions in Canada recently, and people seem to think that it is a generally good thing.

Unfortunately, it just shows what happens when a large institution is taken over by a meme, or "thought virus". It will pass, but in this case it may leave a lot of "collateral damage", considering the importance of the CBC as a cultural institution.

James Wooten said...

Hi Andrei,

Thanks for your comments. I had a look at the "inside the cbc" blog but couldn't find the comments from listeners that I believe you were referring to. Could you please add a comment on this blog with the URL?

I did find this thread ( on the "inside the cbc" blog that is also interesting, but I don't think this was the one you were referring to.

I'm happy to hear that you don't believe any 20 to 30 year olds are listening to the new "Canada Live" - why would they, when there are commercial radio stations with far more interesting programming? I don't believe that CBC Radio Two management has caught on to the fact that, in this era of increasingly specialized broadcasting, trying to be all things to all people just will not cut it.

As for your comment on the boomers turning to classical music as they age, I can not substantiate my claim that boomers will show a greater interest in classical music as they age. Indeed, I fully agree that there will be some boomers who will still be listening to Led Zeppelin in retirement homes. But it is my fervent hope that there will be other boomers whose musical tastes will mature as they age.


Andrei said...

Hi James,

The blog I was referring to was the one on the CBC's own web site:

It is "moderated", which means that they didn't print my letter. I didn't think it was rude, but I did point out that they have very strange ideas if they think that their new target "young audience" was going to take the day off to listen to the radio, which was going to be mostly classical and carols, and do Christmas baking. It really makes you wonder what they are thinking.

If they censored my comment, I'm sure they did the same to many others who had the same opinion, in order to bump up the proportion of the letters praising the broadcast.


james wooten said...

Hi Andrei,

Thanks again for your comment. I haven’t read them all, but I liked this one for its no-holds-barred honesty:

What a disgrace to Canada. The first six hours passed singing gloriously about Christmas but the castrati in CBC decided that anything so religious must be avoided and so we have pathetic music by nonenties. Pure mall music which is as sexy as last weeks condom. WHo? How? What? allowed this travesty to air representing Canada. I am here typing rather than suffer more of that drivel and the claques around them
Posted by: r nickel | December 16, 2007 01:28 PM

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