Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MEDIA CHANGES: LAYOFFS AT CBC, FORMAT CHANGE AT 1050 CHUM

Well, today was a big day for media in Canada as the CBC gave the chop to 800 jobs.

Honestly, you would have thought that passing up on the exhorbitant Olympic rights fees for 2010 and 2012, giving away the expensive theme song to Hockey Night in Canada, and some improved ratings on the TV side would have helped matters over there. Really, they seemed to have done a few things right as far as their decision-making has been concerned -- the place hasn't been completely run into the ground on the programming side. (Not that giving up the Hockey Theme was a bright idea, but I don't think that move cost them money.)

Yet these folks at the CBC are still managing to find a way to lose money. I think maybe the lack of ad revenues has been a real killer for them this year. Nobody's buying any freaking TV time.

And the CBC's attempt to shake down the government for even more public money has flopped, so now they are going to throw people out the building. They claim the government isn't giving them any money to cover their shortfall. Well, boo hoo -- the government is too busy trying to bail out the auto industry and everyone else. I doubt people will be too sympathetic towards these CBC fat cats not receiving more of their beloved loot, especially with so many other people being thrown out of work.

I don't know, folks -- these cuts kind of look fishy to me. We'll see what these guys plan to do as far as cuts are concerned. They may just cancel a bunch of shows that nobody watched and then turn around and blame the government for it, even though these shows were on their last legs anyway.

Apparently the CBC is threatening to put on more reruns, old movies and other crap on the main network. But that's good, because the only entertainment shows I tend to like on the CBC seem to be their reruns, old movies and other crap.

It's a heck of a lot better than most of their new material, I'll say that right now. If the CBC wants to pull some old Wayne and Shuster tapes out of the vault and run them on TV, that's perfectly fine by me. Heck, they can pull out some old Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup tapes while they are at it.

So long as they also keep showing the sports. Heck, they have to show something new some of the time there.

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In other news, the greatest and most storied radio station in the history of Canadian rock and roll, 1050 CHUM, is about to kick the bucket and drop its oldies format --- again. The last time they got rid of oldies, they morphed into The TEAM 1050 as part of Canada's first all-sports radio network. Then the network collapsed, and 1050 went back to playing oldies.

Since then, the whole CHUM empire was sold to CTV, who are going to convert the radio format to all-news and simulcast the CP24 cable TV news channel on the radio. It's going to be called CP24 Radio 1050.

I don't know why they think people in Toronto will tune in -- there's already all-news on 680, and lots of news on CFRB, CBC Radio, AM 640 and everywhere else. I guess this is payback to Rogers for getting a license for a competing Toronto cable all-news channel. That channel is going to compete with CP24, so CTV might as well launch a radio competitor to 680 News!

To be honest with you, this won't be any worse a move than what was going on before with the station. 1050 CHUM may have the richest radio history in Canada as the place which introduced Canada to Elvis, and the Beatles, and everyone else -- but lately the station hasn't been up to much. Not much personality or effort seemed to be put into things there -- they simply spun oldies tunes all the time. If you want to hear a station in Toronto that does a decent job of playing old stuff, tune into AM 740. At least that station has some personality.

It's sad to see 1050 CHUM go, but that station has been pretty much dead on its feet for the longest period of time. That's all for now.

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