Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

AM vs Sirius

So as I sip some Appleton Estate rum on the rocks, I thought I would say something about radio.

AM radio sucks.

I could end it there, but I will elaborate a bit.

I live in the North East corner of London. Somewhere that would have been considered the edge of the city not too long ago. Today. Lots of sirens. I go out and get in the car to go and shoot some photos. Find I can't head in the direction I need to go. Police car blocking traffic. Redirecting down side street. I can see Fanshawe and Highbury and there is an accident there. And lots of emergency vehicles. And a fuel tanker truck. So I notice it is about a minute to the hour or so. I switch from my Sirius satellite radio to AM in the car and turn to the local news/talk/dreck station AM980.

I have not listened to AM980 in probably 2 years. At one minute to the hour they are having a golf show starting. Interrupted by a golf commercial by the same local golf pro in the show, going back to the show which then goes over the top of the hour by close to a minute. Then the cliche signature tune and American top 40 sounding voice over for the station identification announcement....and the Breaking News.

So yeah, I tune in to the only local radio station that has substantial local news and you have to separate lots of chaff from the single strand of wheat. I did finally find out a tanker truck had been T Boned by a car (which turned out later to be a Honda Element like I drive), a woman had been killed and the passenger critically injured. The truck driver was not hurt.

My point is this. If you are a purportedly news radio station and can tell time: put some beeps or chimes or your signature tune at the top of the hour and have some news start then. You're just pissing off people who actually want to know something local that could be important by putting commericals that roll over the hour and when you essentially can't tell time.

Counterpoint. BBC World News, or CBC Radio 1 on Sirius. Turn to them at the top of the hour and you actually get news. And no BS. And its on time. And important stories go first. And neither are American centric.

CRTC rules do not allow local or even regional programming on Sirius ( I emailed the CBC once about this and they responded) so I suppose if I really do need to find something out when it is affecting me I am stuck. But as long as satellite radio is offered I will listen to it over anything local at all. No exceptions. It's even got me interested in music too. I mean who knew I liked minimal house. Certainly not me. :)

Commercial free music with very little in the way of DJs is fantastic on Sirius as well. You do get 'whats coming up later ' sort of commercials but no Bassomatics or Chia pets or local car dealerships hawking in the style of wacky wavy inflatable arm flailing tube man. And that is worth the price of admission. It's funny when it's parodied on on Family Guy but not so much when its not a parody.

/end rant.

Mike Wood Photography

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