Tuesday, December 27, 2011
2011 Radio Musings
2011 was an eventful year for Montreal radio. We saw plenty of big names change positions on the dial and lots of station re-brandings. The Habs also found a new radio home and play-by-play guy. I’m glad to report that at Radio Centre-Ville, the English programming sched remained pretty much unchanged from the year before. In other words, thankfully I’m still on the air!
I can’t help but think about Montreal’s radio past. We lost Ted Tevan in 2011. His influence over an entire generation of Montreal-born radio people cannot be understated. Tevan knew how to entertain and understood that when you make a living on the radio, it's important to differentiate yourself from your competition. Of course, those were the days when they actually allowed you that freedom. It’s rarely about personality anymore - it‘s primarily about the brand.
And speaking of personality and influences. I have a great fondness for overnight announcers of old. I remember listening to Dave Patrick in the 1980s put on a show between 12-4 AM that was better than most of what you will find in daylight hours on many talk stations nowadays. You could have made the same argument when it came to Peter Anthony Holder. His show was less geared toward the “what’s on your mind” crowd though.
I still think the best talk radio is heard after midnight. It’s less inhibited and allows for the more colourful personalities and “regulars”. They don’t count the ratings for overnights, so these kind of shows have become expendable. I was a night shift worker for many years and believe me, when it is gone, it leaves a huge void.
Another year is about to end. Before you soak up the usual predictions for 2012, remember that most of the big news stories of 2011 caught everyone totally off-guard. We’ve got too many talking heads and too many advice dispatchers. Either way there is a lot of money to be made in scaring people or attempting to tell them how to “repair” their lives. I don’t know what will happen next year, I just hope it involves good health, love, and economic stability for everyone.