Playing into their hands

by Crom

My experience with radio stations is limited mostly to my home city. I’ve listened to several outside my city, but in all fairness they were mostly in Saskatchewan, so it’s unfair to base judgment on other stations on those examples. So I will concentrate more on local, Calgary, radio stations. With that in mind let me say this: they all suck. Not 100% mind you, it’s more like 75% of the time they suck, with small amounts of time allocated to not sucking. Calgary breaks down into 4 major radio stations (there’s like 15 but these 4 are the ones people actually LISTEN to).

  1. CJAY 92 “Today’s New Rock!”
  2. CHRK Rock 97 “Classic Rock that really Rocks rock rock rock “
  3. Country 105 “Today’s best country” (Why do stations keep saying “today” like is shit going to change that quick?)
  4. CJSW University Radio “Enter Catchy Phrase here”

Now in order to save myself from a scathing remark from a fellow ranter, who dj’s on the university station on weds. I’ll say this for the them; the university station is all volunteer, so it reflects the current dj’s tastes. Therefore it is unfair to brand it as one particular type of music, since it varies hour to hour (and has on occasion made me happy I tuned in).

To the others then, CJAY was once the classic rock station for Calgary, and at that point it was actually a good station to listen to. It had a maniac on the morning show, and a crazy asshole on the drive home show. You really couldn’t lose. Then, they decided to change formats to “New” rock (top 40) and only play the good shit during the wee hours of the morn. Rock 97, this is my current go-to station, it contains the least offensive amount of tripe, my reasoning for this will be discussed soon. It has a goofy bunch of dudes in the morning that have hilarious contests, but the rest of the time is occupied by somber sounding DJ’s that play the Police WAY too much. And, finally, Country 105. I hate country music.

Now, I think there’s a funny problem here that propagates the issue. Calgary isn’t really that big of a city. You’d never guess that from our traffic, but there’s only 1 million people in the city. So each station caters to a specific demographic, and there’s no overlap. The closest you get is CJAY and Rock97, except that everyone knows that classic rock is 97 and CJAY plays all new, so there’s no serious competition between the two. Since there’s not enough of a population base to have overlap, there’s no competition. These radio stations could air their DJ’s making farting noises all day long and there’s Sweet Fuck All that we could do about it. They have no one to challenge them.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has an iron grip on the broadcasting industry. CRTC certification is required to run a radio station and that in turn requires conformation to their way of thinking. I think the only way to save interesting radio in Calgary Is to hire a whole bunch of Ham radio nerds to roll around the city transmitting random formats and music. This would give us choice amongst the sea of crap, and if they are really crappy, all we have to do is track them down and beat the shit out of them. My only other suggestion would be to storm the radio station like in “V” and take it over.

*Some of you may note that I neglected to mention Power 107. this was not an accident.

  • Playing into their hands
  • by Crom
  • Published on November 1st, 2001

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