Friday, December 17, 2010

"Joy to the World" program schedule for Dec. 19 2010

One of the most popular programs on CBC Radio 2 seems to be the annual “Joy to the World” program of choral music presented by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

This year the “Joy to the World” program will be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 19, beginning at 9:05 AM. I found this courtesy of Li Robbin’s post on the CBC web site. The schedule for this year’s program is as follows:

Sunday, Dec. 19 2010
9:05 (9:35 NT) - Helsinki - Lahti Brass Quintet, organ, soprano
10:00 (10:30 NT) - Oslo - Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
11:00 (11:30 NT) - London - BBC Singers, organ
12:00 (12:30 NT) - Prague - Ensemble 18 in 18th-century seasonal music
13:00 (13:30 NT) - Reykjavik - Icelandic Music Old and New
14:00 (14:30 NT) - News (runs 4 min, 30 sec.)
14:05 (14:35 NT) - Frankfurt - Frankfurt Radio Big Band: "Swinging Christmas"
15:00 (15:30 NT) - Graz - Graz University Chamber Choir
16:00 (16:30 NT) - Madrid - RTVE Chorus: Carols from Spain and the New World
17:00 (17:30 NT) - Montreal - Orchestre Symphonique Montreal; Montreal Children's Chorus; Susan Graham; Kent Nagano, conductor

The remainder of the holiday programming schedule is:

Friday, Dec. 24 2010
6:00 pm - 6:54 pm - Being Jann's Christmas with Jann Arden
7:00 pm - 7:54 pm - Past & Presents with Jurgen Gothe
8:00 pm - 9:55 pm - A Christmas Eve Tonic with Tim Tamashiro
10:00 pm - 10:55 pm - O Soulful Night with Nana Aba Duncan
11:00 pm - 11:55 pm - A Celtic Christmas with Francesca Swann

Saturday, Dec. 25 2010
12:00 am - 12:55 am - A Yule Night with Nora Young
6:00 am - 8:54 am - Christmas Morning with Molly Johnson
9:00 am - 10:54 am - CBC Christmas Sing-In with Katie Malloch
11:00 am - 11:54 am - Christmas from Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal with Peter Togni
12:00 pm - 2:45 pm - Handel's Messiah with Julie Nesrallah
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm - Queen's Message with Bob Mackowycz
3:00 pm - 3:55 pm - Noël Premiere - Canada's First Carol with Bill Richardson
4:00 pm - 5:55 pm - Highlights from EBU "Joy to the World" with Peter Togni
6:00 pm - 6:55 pm - Season of Song: Canadian Tenors and Friends with Andrew Craig
7:00 pm - 8:55 pm - Christmas Classics with Katherine Duncan
9:00 pm - 9:55 pm - This Is My Christmas Music with Laurie Brown
10:00 pm - 10:55 pm - Bowls of Cheer with Stan Carew
11:00 pm - 11:55 pm - A Susie Arioli Christmas with Katie Malloch

I found the holiday schedule listed above in this post on the CBC web site.

One wonders why the CBC couldn’t display this a bit more prominently on their web site, instead of forcing people to search for it. Ah well, there isn’t anything that the CBC does that surprises me anymore.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The new host for "As It Happens" is, as it happens, also a former actor

Long-time listeners to CBC Radio One’s “As It Happens” were understandably upset when it was announced by the CBC March 29, 2010 that Ms. Budd’s contract would not be renewed. After a twenty-six year career with the CBC, seventeen as the co-hose of “As It Happens”, Ms. Budd was apparently being let go from the corporation because the CBC wanted a co-host with a background in journalism. As stated in a Globe and Mail article from April 5, 2010:

“My performance was never called into question during these discussions,” she adds. “Over the last while, the corporate spokespeople and the senior management have always been very clear that they’ve been fans of mine.”

But the CBC wants more journalists on air as opposed to “presenters,” which is how Ms. Budd, who is an actor, has been described. It’s a delineation that slightly rankles. “I haven’t studied journalism, but I think that, on the job for 17 years, after being so closely entrenched in the show, people might assume that there’s a certain amount of journalism that’s rubbed off on me.” Still, she’s not bitter. “I knew I wasn’t the journalistic part of the duo. I didn’t quibble with it because I loved what I was doing, and in listeners’ minds, there’s never any distinction between those roles.”

Ms. Budd, a 58-year old former actor and mother of a seventeen year old son with special needs, had spent twenty-six years of her career at the CBC. Now, it seems that she was to be tossed out on her keister. The same Globe and Mail article from April 5, 2010 also stated:

Ms. Budd’s termination is another sign of the corporation’s efforts to update its programming, observers have noted. “It isn’t enough to have the audience that you have,” she says, explaining her take on the CBC’s rationale. “[But] it’s not as if As it Happens doesn’t already have [younger people] listening and writing in.

Today it was announced by the CBC that another former actor, Jeff Douglas, has been named as the new permanent co-host of “As It Happens”. An article in today’s (December 16, 2010) Globe and Mail states that:

When it was announced in March that Budd’s contract wasn’t going to be renewed, the rationale given by CBC executives was that they wanted another journalist in the co-host chair. Yet Douglas, like Budd, comes from an acting background.

Denis Donlon, general manager of CBC Radio, said Wednesday that CBC executives never specified it had to be a journalist.

“We need a person in the role who can actually make a contribution to the production of the show”, she said. “And we purposely left it really wide that way. It could have been a journalist. It could have been somebody who’s really good in social media. It could have been a chase producer [who tracks down stories]. We needed more hands on deck in terms of the overall production of the show.”

Carol Off, the co-host who fulfills the journalist role on the show, had this to say about her new co-host, also according to today's article in the Globe and Mail:

“And then he has this range in his voice. I actually thought he reminds me of Jim Carrey. It’s elastic.” Off said. “It brings this other range to that position. This guy can do anything. He can announce. He can read. He can present with authority, and yet he can make you laugh.”

Mr. Douglas is described in the Globe and Mail article as being best known for having performed what has since come to be known as the “Joe Canadian rant” in a beer commercial. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this commercial, you may view it on YouTube.

I'm not a lumberjack, or a Furtrader,
and I don't live in an igloo,
or eat blubber
or own a dogsled.
And I don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I'm certain they're really, really nice.

I have a prime minister... not a president,
I speak English and French, not American
and I pronounce it About, not A-boot.

I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack,
I believe in peacekeeping, not policing,
diversity not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.

A toque is a hat,
a chesterfield is a couch,
and it IS pronounced Zed,
not Zee... ZED!!
Canada is the 2nd largest land mass,
the 1st nation of hockey,
and the best part of North America.

My name is Joe...

Thank you.

As I’ve said before in this blog, I couldn’t even begin to make stuff like this up.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Radio 2 Cummings and goings

While in Toronto today I tuned into CBC Radio 2 – for about fifteen minutes, which was all that I could take. I heard the last fifteen minutes of Radio 2 Morning with Bob Mackowycz, during which I heard a song performed by Buffalo Springfield (Buffalo Springfield!) and someone named, I believe, Virginia Gore.

The song performed by Buffalo Springfield was "For what it's worth" by Stephen Stills. (“stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what's going down”) and I was immediately transported back to the late 60’s, at least for several minutes. I remember the sixties, likely because I was too young to be doing drugs at the time, thus disproving the saying that if you remember the sixties, you probably weren't there. Or was that Woodstock? Perhaps both. I mention this not out of nostalgia for the 60s, however, but because I have to wonder: how does playing a song from the 60s that you can hear on any JACK FM or similarly derivative station make CBC Radio 2 more relevant to Canadians?

I thought the song by Virginia Gore was by Feist, but it wasn’t. Have you noticed that there is now a new generation of female singer/songwriters who sound like Feist, who in turn seems to have been influenced by Bjork? Just something that I’ve noticed.

Radio 2 Morning ended and I was pleased to hear that Joe Cummings is now reading the news. I was afraid that Mr. Cummings had been unceremoniously dumped from the CBC after the Arts Report was canned. Good to see you’re still there, Mr. Cummings!

I began to wonder what happened to Tom Allen. I searched the CBC web site and found that Mr. Allen is, according to the CBC web site, hosting either “Radio 2 Shift” (where he is the host) or “Shift with Tom Allen” (where he is apparently the anchor). Both programs seem to occupy the same time slot. Whichever it is, I’m happy to see that Mr. Allen is still with the CBC.

So then I looked up Mr. Cummings on the CBC web site. Apparently Mr. Cummings is the host of the “Arts Report”, which according to the CBC “provides CBC Radio Two listeners with up-to-the-minute coverage of the arts in Canada and abroad”. Who knew?

The web site goes on to say that:

With contributions from arts reporters in major centres across Canada as well as from freelancers abroad, The Arts Report covers everything from cultural politics on Parliament Hill to a new art exhibit in Vancouver to a play première in Halifax.

During its 23-year history, listeners have come to rely on The Arts Report to provide a broad-based, regionally balanced account of artistic life in Canada.

In 1993, The Arts Report won the Imperial Oil Award for Excellence in Arts Journalism, presented by the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

It would be nice if it were true, wouldn’t it?