Reditorial: CRTC rules, radio suffers

Puget Sound Radio reports CISL is extending its programming to include music and  features lost when 600AM became redundant. It is a smart move. You  have to understand that this great 50 plus audience has been totally ignored with the exception of CISL and 600AM. I applaud General Manager Brad Phillips on this strategic move. My good friend and icon, Dal Richards is moving his popular show up the dial to 650.

Some of the comments on the site are interesting opinions but not necessarily based on any facts. One respondent asks “Why save a dead format?”

Who says it is a dead format?

He continues: “My insinuation that Adult Standards is a dead format (in Vancouver) would come from the fact that Pattison didn’t decide to carry it over to FM.  It’s not as if the commission has forbidden Standards on FM.”

I just couldn’t let that  comment go by without a response.

In Canada we have a marketing board mentality. Of course the CRTC is not made up of broadcasters. but bureaucrats much like you would find at the post office. They don’t forbid a jazz format,  a classical format, a classic country format or a standards or oldies  format but they create stupid rules that make it impossible to  have a pure format on any radio station. They justified bringing in  a series of rules to protect AM radio.  With the demise of so many AM stations what are they protecting in 2008?

People are amazed to discover that radio stations have to play up to 40% Canadian content and must obey the Hit/Non-hit ratio for music  played. This means you are restricted to only 49% of the music played being in any given format. If you play “oldies” on FM you must play 51% non-hits, so there has not been an oldies station worth a damn on FM in Canada. We are also  too limited in the number of heritage Canadian country acts to conform to the 40% Cancon rule. The same applies to jazz and other formats we  don’t hear in Canada. Add to this the hit/non hit ratio and you have a blueprint for bad radio.

I can understand the rules for contemporary country, rock and pop, but beyond that the Cancon rule should go the way of the dodo. I really believe we have talent and it can stand on its own now. I also really believe that radio would be so much better if the government got out of our faces. This is not  CUBA. Why are Canadians so afraid of speaking out against draconian situations like this?