CBC Radio. Some of it is my age - I admit that. But as a longtime radio guy, I know what works, even if I may not like it personally. But the cultural rebuffs of the programs are now wearing thin on both Radio One and Radio Two.
Radio Two is supposed to be "young." Even "edgy." But not so discordant that it messes you up the way some zoned-out kid on the subway does, whose earbuds shatter everyone within ten feet.
Radio Two is (among other things) supposed to attract a younger demographic. But to me it sounds like whoever has come up with the program concept hasn't understood how people - of ANY age - use the radio.
First, there is something in the radio industry called "daypart." This means that the programming should be respectful of the time of day that people listen and put stuff on the radio that is useful at that time. Head banging music doesn't work for most people. Perhaps after 8 pm.
Second if a younger demographic is what is being sought, then putting the content and the playlist on line, where it can be accessed and downloaded for podcasts would be more useful.
Third, whatever is being played is often impenetrable. It makes no sense and the on air staff - with some notable exceptions like Tom Allen and Katie Malloch - go out of their way NOT to explain why I should listen. Arch hipness, or just arrogance?
Radio One is the information service, but it comes festooned with a lot of minimally talented local bands whose claim to fame is that they are playing next Tuesday at some lounge in the west end of Toronto. Sadly, I fear that many of their offerings would get scant attention if it weren't for the relentless plugging on Radio One. It feels like the revenge of outdated CanCon regulations and it makes for simply awful radio. Even the usually well-informed hosts on Radio One seem to be at a loss for words when they ask me to listen.
There is - I should mention - an online service on CBC Radio called Radio Three. It claims to be a source for indie Canadian bands and specializes in music that is even more toneless and talentless than what gets played on Radio Two. Whew! Do any managers inside the CBC listen to this?
Compare this with the music service called Espace Musique on the French-language service of the CBC - Radio Canada. It's worth learning French just for this service, because the quality of programs and the credibility of the announcers are simply spectacular.
Also compare (once again) with the musical offerings on NPR: there, information programs have developed the "performance chat" between host and artist to a fine art form. You hear the musicians speak AND play. You learn about their influences and the hosts actually help the listeners get involved by being journalistic with and about the artists.
Even the interstitial music that is played for 30 seconds or so between NPR news stories are well thought out. So much so, that listeners began demanding to know the names of the snatches of songs. Out of that was born an entirely online music show: All Songs Considered, which became a hit in its own right. As a result I learned a lot about contemporary music (all genres) and want to know more.
So CBC Radio, I'm still here and still willing to stop switching to Sirius XM as soon as I hear the grim strains of yet another no-name band. But help me out by reaching half-way. Talk to me. What should I be listening for? Hello? Anyone there?