Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby groundskeeper willy » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:38 pm

Didn't know about the switch to the Smooth Jazz. Sonically, it should be a better fit with what they're trying to accomplish, though it could be subject to the same handicap as the old Blues programming, ie: very limited music universe and massive overplay on whatever genre cancon they have access to. I believe Stingray does have a few Smooth Jazz channels in their streaming portfolio, so who knows, they may have the ability to pull off something great.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:50 pm

I suppose, but I suspect they'll just write-off the daypart. 9-5 will be the lifeblood of this station. I'm calling #2 Midday A25-54 and #1 Midday 35-64 for Edmonton.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:00 pm

Good comments Willie and Aaron. Too much Luba? They only played her twice yesterday..hahaha. Just wait until the onslaught of Celine starts!!

Excuse my ignorance but why is LG in Vancouver burdened with four hours of Jazz every evening? And they committed to 40% cancon? I have heard community stations promising things like this but not a regular commercial outfit. I am sure they will try to change this come renewal time. Think I will listen after 11pm eastern this week to check out how they handle the smooth Jazz. Don't see the 20% quota being an issue. Like Christmas music does the listener really care if Winter Wonderland is sung by Andy Williams or Michael Buble?

Check out the website for The Breeze 106.1 in Philadelphia. They have a comments area and already there are quite a few comments regarding repetition of songs and artists. They def. play more ballads, Air Supply, Toni Braxton and Michael Bolton. They made the change on November 12th, as did Detroit.

The slightly softer or mellow sounding US stations? Don't think I agree it is largely the cancon. This morning Aha Take on Me and Queen Best Friend was playlisted on the Calgary and Vancouver outlets, just noticed that these stations are a little more upbeat generally (including jingles and liners) that what I listened to in Philadelphia, Buffalo and San Francisco.

The Breeze doesn't have a national trademark? So whoever came up with this a few years ago is making nothing? I remember both BOB and JACK formats (Chum Group and Rogers Media) received royalties from radio stations in the US and Europe for the right to use the names and logos. Also I do believe they did have a hourly music formula or hot clock that was followed by stations that signed on. I did notice that the Stingray Breeze stations logos were much more like the US iHeart radio version.
Detroit and Buffalo totally different but all have similar slogans.

Like a new restaurant in town, I don't judge format changes in the first few days or weeks. We will get a better idea in 3 or four months after the inevitable tweeking is complete and after the first rating in the spring. I do like the fact that all of the Breeze stations that I have listened to make a reference to "songs you haven't heard on the radio in years." This is true, all of them have been playing songs that haven't been heard in some major markets for a while. A lot of the mellower cuts however are still played in smaller and medium markets, just not as much in the majors.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:17 pm

paterson wrote:
Excuse my ignorance but why is LG in Vancouver burdened with four hours of Jazz every evening? And they committed to 40% cancon? I have heard community stations promising things like this but not a regular commercial outfit.


Because LG is a relatively new signal, and it became normal to promise these things in today's competitive new licence process. So the folks who started 104.1/104.3 were going to do a Triple-A format, with 40% Cancon and 15% specialty music. Two (three?) owners later and just as many formats, those conditions are still there. Newcap did apply to remove the specialty music requirement last year, but they messed up its compliance, so they're stuck it. Most newer stations in bigger markets (LG Vancouver, AMP Edmonton, HOT/LiVE/Boom Ottawa, Indie Toronto, Virgin Halifax) are at 40% Cancon because of this.
Last edited by Aaron on Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:21 pm

paterson wrote:
The slightly softer or mellow sounding US stations? Don't think I agree it is largely the cancon. This morning Aha Take on Me and Queen Best Friend was playlisted on the Calgary and Vancouver outlets, just noticed that these stations are a little more upbeat generally (including jingles and liners) that what I listened to in Philadelphia, Buffalo and San Francisco.


Because you have to adjust the overall sound of the station when 35 or 40% of your playlist is regulated. You can't just use Cancon for tempo.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:30 pm

Aaron wrote: AMP Edmonton


Err...Calgary
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:22 pm

Ha ha, I did the same think when I referred to the Breeze Calgary! Thanks for the info regarding new commercial licenses, I thought it was community and college stations that would promise additional cancon or alternative blocks of programming. Wasn't aware this was becoming the norm for new commercial stations as well.

I know what you are saying regarding cancon for the two Breeze stations but I still don't agree. It is not necessary that they sound exactly like the various US versions, or mirror all of the same artists. All stations are regulated to a certain extent, and as soon as you adopt any format like Breeze you are regulating what you will or won't play.

Ultimately Stingray will be deciding what cancon and artists they will play or won't play and how often. As an example I am sure they will increase some carefully chosen country crossover songs and artists in coming months. I am not a real fan of soft A/C radio but if this is missing in a market, well have at it. They may do alright.

As I mentioned earlier, Edmonton sounded the best to me of the six Breeze stations I listened to last night and today. At least they had live announcers and some interaction with the audience. Philadelphia and Detroit seemed to be on auto pilot and Philly had no commercials all day. Buffalo will be easier to judge once they get through their 10,000 songs commercial free. KISQ San Francisco also sounded pretty good, and had live announcers.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby paterson » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:29 am

Had a chance to listen to The Breeze Vancouver for a couple of evenings during the 15% alternative music segment that they committed to when they applied for the license to the CRTC. The upside it sounds like this is a three hour segment since both nights I listened it was 9 to midnight.

To me it is not all bad, liked the way they promoted this part of the day as the "evening breeze." Some of the music was actually pretty interesting but a little heavy on the instrumental side. Smooth Jazz is not all Kenny G sounding instrumental material.

If they are committed to do this they should make a bigger deal of it and at least INCLUDE THESE SONGS IN THE RECENTLY PLAYED TAB! Nothing from 9 to midnight listed when I checked. Not a good move, would have been nice to see who they are playing. As I said some of the cuts were pretty good to my taste, but didn't know artist or song, and sadly the "evening breeze" wasn't even voice tracked. In the car, many vehicles still are not able to pick up song information if the signal is encrypted.

CBC Radio One has a jazz program at 10pm, so the Breeze has an hour jump on them, a little advantage if they promote this segment. In fact I think they have a real chance to skim off some of the large Radio One audience in other dayparts. Even CBC Radio One listeners listen to music at some point.

Call me crazy.. but since this only represents a 15% of the music played, much of the it could actually be incorporated into the day (except mornings). Unless the promise of performance was for a specific block of music, which often it is not, with a little work and creativity this could be worked easily into the format. Would only be one or two songs per hour. This way after 9pm the station would sound similar to the rest of the day...And with the smooth jazz incorporated and not ignored (jocks should treat this music like the rest), the station would truly be "The Breeze." They could really do well with this!

As I mentioned before The Breeze Philadelphia is already getting quite a bit of blow back on their comment page regarding overplaying of the same artists and songs, after only seven weeks with the format. So in reality the 15% alternative music could be a great thing for Vancouver, if they are smart and handle it properly.

In terms of Edmonton, which I assume plays 35% cancon and no specialty music required, the only thing I would look at would be a few more country cross over songs in the mix which would help keep the sound fresh. Folks like Faith Hill, Brent Kissel, Carrie Underwood, Shinia etc. Not a lot, just a sprinkling throughout..and again treat this material the same as all the other music. The spring ratings will be interesting.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby radiofan » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:15 pm

After listening to both Edmonton and Vancouver for some time this afternoon, it appears both markets not only share the same quotes from their PDs in their press releases, but both cities appear to have been missing the same songs.

What played in Edmonton between 3 and 4 PM MST, played in the same order in Vancouver between 3 and 4 PM PST.

Nothing like being creative and local.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby jon » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:19 pm

Cruz-FM already has billboards in Edmonton inviting former Capital-FM listeners to try Cruz.

Meanwhile, Marc Patterson is doing a shout out on Facebook to CKNG-FM to start playing Oldies with or without a name change from 'Chuck.

Maybe they could call it Capital-FM.
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Re: Stingray Format Changes in Vancouver and Edmonton

Postby Rocky » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:45 pm

jon wrote:Cruz-FM already has billboards in Edmonton inviting former Capital-FM listeners to try Cruz.

Meanwhile, Marc Patterson is doing a shout out on Facebook to CKNG-FM to start playing Oldies with or without a name change from 'Chuck.

Maybe they could call it Capital-FM.


That would be interesting. They could bring back the JOE FM or KING FM branding or even CHED-FM or COOL 92.5. And hey, why not get Rob and Audi back on the air together again, they have a solid following in Edmonton and they played all the music when they were hits.
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