New Music! New Music! New Music! New Music! New Music! New Music!
After following the downhill trajectory of CBC Radio for the past seven years I've finally figured out where CBC Radio went wrong.
If you listen to the announcers and read the pronouncements of CBC Radio executives you will come to realize something. Everyone currently working at the CBC is a failed musician, record producer, music industry has-been executive, music industry wanna-be or music industry groupie. Sorry to tell it like it is folks, but it is true.
So what does this mean for CBC Radio? When the Jian Ghomeshi fiasco first erupted a newspaper article quoted a CBC Radio employee. The employee described how enjoyable it was (at first) to be working on the new programming at CBC Radio. The employee was quoted as saying that they would rather be programming shows with the so-called "new music" instead of programming classical music for seniors living in Saskatchewan. Yes, that's precisely what this person said. "Instead of programming classical music for seniors living in Saskatchewan." I would quote the newspaper article, but unfortunately Google is not co-operating with me in my search for the original article.
There you have it, folks. At one time if you were a failed musician or music industry groupie and were otherwise unemployable, you could find yourself a job at Sam The Record Man or an HMV outlet. With those venues no longer being an option, what is the failed musician with no other marketable skills to do? Why, join the CBC, of course!
Once there, the failed musician - let's call him or her FM for short - decides that the old CBC is, well, boring. The CBC is programming Classical Music for seniors living in Saskatchewan! They know nothing about the indie bands erupting all over the country! They know nothing about the New Music! New Music! New Music! New Music!
So what does the FM, now an aspiring programmer/producer/CBC executive/music industry has-been, do? Change the CBC, of course! Program more new music! Show Canadians what they're missing! Who cares if Canadians don't want it! They will learn to love it! The new programming on CBC Radio Two will "find it's audience", as CBC executives said many times.
In 2007 the CBC justified their programming changes with the elusive "Arts and Culture" survey, which purportedly found that Canadian seniors living in Saskatchewan didn't want their old CBC, but wanted a new, vibrant, culturally-aware CBC that programmed more new music. New Music! New Music! New Music!
Of course the CBC refused to release the infamous "Arts and Culture" survey to the great, unwashed public. But the survey found what the CBC Execs said it found. Trust us on this, they said. We know what's best.
And so we all know what happened. Programs were axed, veteran announcers were let go, new programming was introduced and the CBC's market share slid. If you don't know about all this, start reading my blog entries beginning in 2007. You can read the whole sorry story there.
Which brings us to my latest rant. There's a new show on CBC Radio One on weekdays from 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Whereas previously this time slot was occupied by a variety of interesting programming, such as "Ideas", "Rewind" and even "Vinyl Cafe", it is now occupied by a program that can only be described as "Q Lite". And yes, it is chock-a-block full of New Music! New Music! New Music! And yes, I find it impossible to listen to.