More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

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More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby jon » Wed May 30, 2018 8:06 pm

Edmonton’s #1 news is now on air 24/7 with launch of Global News Radio 880 Edmonton
By Kirby Bourne
Digital Content Coordinator

Corus Radio announced the launch of Global News Radio 880 Edmonton on Tuesday as it officially hit the airwaves.

Combining the strengths of the Global Edmonton newsroom with the Corus radio newsroom, the goal of 880 Edmonton is to be a 24/7 source for local, national and international news in a quick format.

“As our listeners’ habits change, our radio station needs to change as well,” said Corus Edmonton Radio program director Syd Smith. “Global News Radio allows us to expand our ability to provide our listeners with the news coverage they’ve come to expect from Corus.”

With a format that features traffic, weather, local, national and international news, as well as business and sports updates, listeners will be able to tune in for 15 minutes and be caught up on the major headlines of the day.

“Our listeners lead busy lives and our radio station needs to reflect that,” Smith said.

“The new format allows them to tune in when it’s convenient for them, invest as little or as much time as they have, and come away informed on the day’s top stories.”

Familiar Corus radio anchors like Brenton Driedger and Morgan Smith will head up the team as the morning anchors from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The radio team will now be joined by trusted Global Edmonton anchors Shaye Ganam and Jennifer Crosby from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Kevin Robertson and Kerry McAthey will take over the news coverage.

Corus reporter Scott Johnston will team up with Global Edmonton reporters like Fletcher Kent, Vinesh Pratap and Kendra Slugoski to expand on the up-to-the-minute updates both teams already create from the field.

Global News Hour at 6 will now be heard on the radio as well as Gord Steinke, Carole Anne Devaney and Jesse Beyer deliver a full hour of news to those looking for a full recap of the day.

“Global Edmonton is the No. 1 destination for news in Edmonton,” said Corus Edmonton station manager Jim Haskins. “This change allows us to expand on the excellence that both Global Edmonton and Corus radio produce on a daily basis.”
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby albertaboy4life » Thu May 31, 2018 11:38 am

Bryan Hall missed the memo at the time of his 7:12 sportscast on 880 this morning. :oops:

I'm fairly certain that he closed his 'cast with a reference to iNews 880 not Global News Radio.
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby freqfreak2 » Thu May 31, 2018 9:40 pm

A bit of history first ...

Back in late 2007, the CRTC announced hearings for four new Edmonton radio licenses. Among the applicants was Rogers, proposing an all-news station.

The hearings were set for the end of May 2008 at the Matrix Hotel - ironically directly across 107th street from the building where CHED was born back in 1954.

I wrote a letter to the CRTC in support of the Rogers application, stressing the need for editorial diversity in local news given concentration of Edmonton media ownership.

In previous years, CHED had been hailed for its breaking of stories - mainly due to having inherited CHQT's aggressive news department after Corus bought the station from Shaw Radio in 2000.

A week before the CRTC hearings took place in late-May 2008, Corus flipped under-performing CHQT, then Cool 880 (oldies), to iNews 880 (all-news).

I attended the hearings at the Matrix Hotel.

After Paul Ski had finished his presentation for his Rogers all-news application, the CRTC brass presiding over the hearings seemed puzzled (as if a note had just been slipped to them under their cloth-wrapped tables).

Isn't there already an all-news station in Edmonton, one commission member asked.

Ski had to admit there was. But he didn't have an argument for how Edmonton could support two all-news stations.

What wasn't made obvious to the CRTC was the machination of Corus' tightly-timed flip. It also raised the question of how "in tune" the CRTC was to sudden hearing-dependent format flips.

I introduced myself to Mr. Ski after his presentation. He had read my letter to the CRTC and he thanked me.

What's next, I asked. Ski replied, Plan B.

Plan B never came to be. That's because Plan A had worked so well. And Plan A belonged to Corus as the Rogers application was later formally denied.

By flipping CHQT to all-news, Corus protected CHED's status as Edmonton's then-premiere news/talk station and effectively shut Rogers out of the market.

To this day, CHQT as iNews 880's Numeris ratings remain half what they were (at best) during their days as Cool 880 and it suggests how much Corus continues to spend to have once-kept Rogers from being a direct competitor.

At the time of the 2008 flip, Corus honcho Doug Rutherford declared to all who would listen and report (primarily Corus/Shaw-owned media) that iNews 880 would raise the bar for journalism in Edmonton.

As a news junkie, and intrigued by Rutherford's bold declaration, I tuned into iNews 880 daily for months. The experience left me longing for the good old days of CKO.

I also had occasion to visit the iNews 880 operation several times during its early years. The visits confirmed what I had heard on air.

If raising the bar meant surfing the web, selecting 40-second wire-service voicers, and adding a few phoners to the mix (mostly borrowed from the CHED newsroom), then iNews definitely set a new bar for journalism (however, I failed to find out in which hotel the bar was located - perhaps the Matrix?).

I also failed to hear a single story from an iNews 880 reporter actually on a street somewhere covering anything.

So now it's ten years later and the launch of Global News Radio 880, enshrined with the same verbosity of iNews 880's 2008 launch but this time with the announcement of the merging of Edmonton's "two greatest newsrooms."

I'll grant that Global TV's newsroom has done some excellent work ... but the CHED/iNews side of Corus has been running on fumes for years.

After numerous retirements and firings of once-great reporters at CHED, only the hard-working Scott Johnson remains as the echo of the once-proud mantle of investigative journalism (and he seems to be the station's only man on the street).

And in the decade since iNews 880 hit the air, I suspect more pencils and chairs have been broken than actual news stories at the Corus compound on Roper Road.

As CHQT is now simulcasting Global TV for several hours a day, a bad situation for local news junkies seeking diversity in media has only gotten worse as such mergers are usually done under the guise of cost-cutting, leading to fewer reporters chasing fewer stories and more-and-more rip-and-read press-release journalism.

So how did things play out on Day One?

During Global's six o'clock news TV coverage of the big event - live from the CHED newsroom - news anchor Gord Steinke was alone ... without one reporter or newsreader in sight even "pretending" to be at work. It wasn't a matter of shyness - there simply wasn't anybody there.

Conspicuous by their absence, they were ... and not even local radio news stars like Bob Layton, Bryan Hall or even Eileen Bell were on hand to sell the big announcement (that job fell to unknown Corus execs who listeners and viewers had no interest or investment in).

And when Global ran hours-old footage of the former iNews/now Global News Radio 880 newsroom "in action," they showed three unidentified people passively clicking mice while surfing the web - exactly what I saw during my own personal visits to the alleged news war room years earlier.

So how did things play out the next day when the rubber met the road on the new Global News Radio 880?

I crawled into bed about a half-hour after Game Two of the Stanley Cup Capitals-Golden Knights game had finished and tuned into Global-whatever 880 curious to hear the new promised land of news in Edmonton.

The first thing I heard on the up-to-the-minute news station was a sports update, giving me the score of the game as of the end of the second period, along with an invitation to hear the third period on sister station 630 CHED.

The only way I could only follow-up on the invite if is I was able to travel backwards in time.

I wish I was making this up.

The legacy of commercial radio news reportage (I've purposely kept the CBC out of this discussion) has sunk to such a new low that there is only one way to describe the arrival of Global News Radio 880:

You can only polish a turd to so high a gloss.

Bryan Hall missed the memo at the time of his 7:12 sportscast on 880 this morning. I'm fairly certain that he closed his 'cast with a reference to iNews 880 not Global News Radio.


See above turd remark.

Hall has been past his best-before date for over a decade. Only his sales contacts keep him employed. I'm just saying.
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby the-real-deal » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:36 pm

Bottom line with 880 News ? Like a stowaway from Africa hidden in the inside of a jet wing, it rides for "free" on the backs of others? LOL

I wonder. Did the stowaway bring a winter coat with him. It might get frosty, up there.

Do you think that the Edmonton public is that stupid !

Yeah, I, too, like how Rogers has been prevented from setting up an all news channel in Deadmonton by Corus. Sounds like classic radio manipulation to me !
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:22 pm

Not in the market, and not being familiair with the station, I gave it a listen this afternoon. In 5 minutes, I heard:

-The sportscaster mentioned above. Wow, he can't handle this format
-A dated weather forecast still talking about the projected high temp for the day (at 5pm)
-An iNews branded news-theme cut off when the mistake was realized.

Just terrible.
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby jon » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:21 pm

Aaron wrote:-A dated weather forecast still talking about the projected high temp for the day (at 5pm)

At this time of year in Edmonton, the high temperature often occurs as late as 6:00 pm. Today, for example, the highest hourly temperature was at 5:00 p.m.
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby Howaboutthat » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:24 pm

jon wrote:
Aaron wrote:-A dated weather forecast still talking about the projected high temp for the day (at 5pm)

At this time of year in Edmonton, the high temperature often occurs as late as 6:00 pm. Today, for example, the highest hourly temperature was at 5:00 p.m.


I think what Aaron was getting at, is that Env Can updates the forecast just before 4pm for the evening and overnight and the station was still running the 11am forecast an hour past it's expiry time.
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby freqfreak2 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:14 am

Howaboutthat wrote:I think what Aaron was getting at, is that Env Can updates the forecast just before 4pm for the evening and overnight and the station was still running the 11am forecast an hour past it's expiry time.

How much time does it take to update a weather forecast? Back in the days of first finding a fresh cart, it was maybe two minutes (including the time to bulk erase).

Today it's 45 seconds with two mouse clicks (and without having to leave your chair).

If your branding is "immediate and up to the minute," then such really minor details are Job One ... and it speaks volumes to the listener.

What seems to be missing here is a news director or a program director monitoring such details.

And as that part of the operation seems to be missing, management must be only concerned with keeping the needles moving and keeping the transmitter warm.

How truly sad that this passes for responsible broadcasting today.
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Re: More than a Name Change: Global News Radio 880 Edmonton

Postby Aaron » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:19 pm

Howaboutthat wrote:
jon wrote:
Aaron wrote:-A dated weather forecast still talking about the projected high temp for the day (at 5pm)

At this time of year in Edmonton, the high temperature often occurs as late as 6:00 pm. Today, for example, the highest hourly temperature was at 5:00 p.m.


I think what Aaron was getting at, is that Env Can updates the forecast just before 4pm for the evening and overnight and the station was still running the 11am forecast an hour past it's expiry time.


Yes. I understand that the high may not have been reached yet, but the entire forecast had clearly been intended for earlier airing.
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