CBC Radio 2 lives up to its goal of not being interesting

There was once a famous ad campaign where two car rental companies competed for the public’s business.
Going up against HERTZ, the dominant number one dealer, prompted another company, AVIS, to use the brilliant line “We’re Number Two – We Try Harder.”
For CBC Radio 2, the challenge is even greater.
They must try harder every day to not try at all.

In order for Richard Stursberg to boast that The Current attracts a surprisingly large listenership, or for the CBC to maintain that Q “has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada”, Radio 2 must be vigilant in order to not bring attention to itself, lest it draw listeners away from Radio 1, the station that the CBC points to as its proudest achievement.
Nothing must be allowed to compete.
This is harder than it may seem, but Radio 2 succeeds admirably.
From morning till night, there is nothing worth tuning in for on that station. And to accomplish this rare feat, the CBC has gathered the most boring of the boring in the Greater Toronto area to pretend to do “radio”.
As the top administrator of public radio in Canada, Denise Donlon is at work every day to ensure that nothing interferes with the popularity of all the radio shows that were on Radio 1 before she joined the CBC.
It’s even rumoured that there’s a large red button on her desk, used to immediately squelch the slightest inadvertent slip into imaginative or, worst of all, exciting content on the air. The chairs used by each announcer are apparently wired to inflict a mild electric shock in the event that anyone should begin to utter words or sentences that would give even the slightest hint of arousing interest or keeping anyone’s attention.
Congratulations to her, and all the useless programs on Radio 2, for their great success at being a total failure.

17 comments:

  1. Dread Zep
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jian lost me when he was referring to someone he was talking to as a punk rock icon.Was it Siouxie ? D.Harry? Patti Smith? No just Belinda C from the one hit GoGos flogging a book………….

  2. Anonymous
    Posted June 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If no-one is really going pay attention to Radio Two, why not take the BBC’s example and do this:
    http://bit.ly/9qa3xc

    Maybe no-one would listen but at least we’d feel good about ourselves.

  3. Allanjoined April 10, 2009
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece
    • Anonymous
      Posted June 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      No! It’s called a “feature chat” in the faux-Brit style. There are no “interviews” on the CBC. Feature chat! Chat! Chat!

  4. CanadianOwl
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I have begun to wonder if the writers on this blog are simply too close the action and bitter about the success of Strombo and Jian. Whether those of you on the inside like it or not, a lot of us on the outside mostly enjoy Q and The Hour. I think Jian has come a long way in a couple of years. And really, who would you rather listen to, Jian or Sheila Rogers? I know who I’d pick.
    On the other hand, I am a classical musician and have stopped listening to Radio Two completely. It has become utter crap. There is no way to sugar coat it. Also, I hate what they have done to the National. In particular, I hate the fact that they have reduced the length of the At Issue Panel.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      Well, Canadian Owl, some of the writers on this blog are more “successful” than either Jian or George, so it’s best not to jump to conclusions. And some of us just like to point out the absurdity of people who take themselves and their “success” too seriously because, like Buddha, they share a laugh about it. Finally, some of us see things in a more nuanced way than just loving or hating the CBC. We endeavour to create something finer with our tax dollars (no matter how long it takes).

  5. Allanjoined April 10, 2009
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    listening to As It Happens, which dropped a woman who sounds like a man and replaced her with a man who sound like a woman, with an obnoxious accent.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Peter Togni and Choral Concert are the last of the old-style programs, with a host who actually knows what he’s talking about. But I never, never turn the radio on a minute before 8 AM. Molly Johnson was utterly dire whenever I listened to her.

    The funny thing is that Choral Concert ends, after the nice music is all done, with a couple of LOUD promos. Now what whiz in programming figures a Choral Concert listener would be enticed to listen to George Strombolopooulis’ show by a loud frenetic promo??

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    in many many cases. there has been no difference between R2 and R3 since the redesign. both services use the same old easy song formula – what someone above perfectly encapsulated as “lame singer-songwriter crap or derivative monetized fake indie rock.”
    the supposed ‘new music’ show, the signal is fucking playing patrick watson and arcade fire, and the stars – just like radio 3, and drive and shift and R2 morning, and fucking strombo.
    what is the point of all this mushiness?

  8. Anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    A year ago I would have said that they should replace R2 with R3, but this past year R3 has started to decline as well.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada?? They must lumping the numbers from both broadcast times together. I don’t know anyone who likes Q, and I know a number of people who’ve stopped listening to morning CBC radio because of Q, but as far as I know it’s the first show that’s been broadcast twice each weekday. They tried this trick with The Hour too, didn’t they? I think they ran it several times each day and then added the numbers together and reported it as one number.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      That claim about Q garnering “the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada” should be viewed with suspicion since it originally came from Jian’s bio on Jian.ca and the only place that you’ll find it on CBC.ca is in Jian Ghomeshi’s bio on the CBC/Q page, which is a copy/paste of his bio on Jian.ca.

      In other words, the dubious source of that claim is not the CBC or BBM Canada or Neilsen, but none other than Jian Ghomeshi.

  10. toddsschneider
    Posted June 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Any network that hosts Peter Togni, Tom Allen or even Tim Tamashiro can’t be *all* bad. And did they mention enough it’s commercial-free?

  11. Anonymous
    Posted June 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Why not just save some money and only have Radio One?

    • Yawn
      Posted June 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      A tiresome argument.

      Think about it. Should we tear down all those transmitters and mothball the entire music library on account of Terfy? Why not just get a wider range of more musically astute young motherfuckers to forge something newer and better with programming?

      Fuck scrapping R2. Wait until the teens of the 20s of this century for a backlash against the lame singer-songwriter crap or derivative monetized fake indie rock. Someone will hopefully come along and tear shit up in a new way. Just need to clear the decks of CBC of some tired, inside the box thinking.

      And I don’t mean radio3 can save the day. That shit also bores.

      Radio2 if you want to do something right while we wait for you to fix your shit, redevelop concepts like Vanishing Point.

      Stop boring us!


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