Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

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Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby crs » Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:31 pm

So after watching Abbotsford Mayor Braun's 9pm press conference on the City's YouTube Channel last night warning residents of Sumas Prairie to evacuate NOW...which I found out about from a Facebook feed I subscribe to, I thought i'd dial up the City's radio station to hear what they were doing. After painfully struggling through a 5 minute commercial cluster, they played their Station I.D. and went back to another 10 in a row! Epic FAIL Corporate Radio :violent1:
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby radioman » Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:45 pm

You have to realize that most present-day radio stations are just glorified juke boxes with computers running everything. Very few of them can be relied upon for any up-to-date information in times of local emergencies. It is very likely that the Abbotsford station was in full automation mode at the time of the Mayor's 9:00 p.m. press conference, with nobody in the studios capable of doing anything to get a live feed on the air. I doubt the station even had a news person at the press conference, if they even have a news person on staff at all. When the owners of these stations apply for a licence, they blah blah blah all sorts of promises to provide local and community programming, including local news coverage, but in reality their performance of such promises is pretty thin. There are so many sources of news, information and entertainment available today (other than from local radio stations) that I would venture to say that the Abbotsford station (and others in many communities around BC) has so little actual presence in the community that the majority of the residents of Abbotsford don't even know that it exists.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby ED1 » Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:30 pm

Did the City of Abbotsford use the BC AlertReady system to issue the evacuation alert? I would have thought that would have been one of their first moves when the evacuation order was issued...
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby crs » Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:43 pm

Well Radioman, I worked at one of those Automated jukeboxes for several years which all have the capability to override the automation and go live. But you're right on the absence of a newsroom. :neutral: Still it wouldn't take much to draw up a contingency plan and say get an OP down to the Abbotsford station (someone who operates the board) and simulcast NEWS1130 over their airwaves in times of disaster...after all they're owned by the same corporate hacks. I'm sure the CRTC would approve.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby Willywood » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:28 am

Even if the news person is remotely located they can still do an emergency report. That’s why stringers are so important.
Certainly the bain of stations right now.
Very unfortunate coverage fail.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby talker2002@gmail.com » Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:01 pm

Another example as to why stations should be locally owned. The big bad boss in Toronto has no idea where Abbotsford is or if, in fact, there is a storm-induced flood situation.
Now, as for one owner owning 4 stations in a single market...don't get me started.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby cart_machine » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:53 pm

Abbotsford hasn't had a newsroom in close to 20 years.
You can thank managers, programmers and consultants who have fragmented radio into little boxes where Music Stations Shalt Only Play Music (especially after 8:35 a.m.).
You want news? You tune to a news station. That's the attitude today. I suspect that's the way listeners are now taught to think as well.
46 years ago. I was doing all-nights at CHWK and there were floods in Greendale. Grant Ullyot was out there at least 24 hours doing live reports on VHF overnight.
Who even has a live, local all-night show now, let alone specialty coverage?

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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:17 pm

Radio stations who choose to automate have a great obligation to provide breaking news coverage of local natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes. If they don't do anything, and just play music, then, what good are they ?

In the Okanagan, commercial radio stations have been forced to cover major breaking news, even when no news department was available. Like the general manager of the former CJUI-FM, who was seen going to a press conference for the 2014 Glenrosa forest fires with a tape recorder and microphone in his hand.

How many general managers are willing to do that, these days !

There used to be a day when on the air deejays acted as in the field reporters, when required. A good example of this is the former CKOV Kelowna during the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fires, sending deejays around the city to cover those fires.

But those days are long gone and deejays are typically voice tracking in the studio, when not doing their live shows or they want to make a beeline home, five minutes after their shift is over?

However, this writer has also worked with so called news deskers and even experienced news directors who ran away from the radio station like a bat out of hell, five minutes after their shift.

Well, I guess they never liked their jobs in the first place ?
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby mccrady » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:09 am

Or maybe they just don't feel it's worth their while.

I worked for eight private broadcasting outfits over my career. Despite the requirements of federal labour law, only one of them - CJCA - actually had me record my hours worked and paid me overtime accordingly. Somehow I doubt that's changed very much.

Back in the 60s at my first station we had a commercial writer go down sick during the Christmas rush. As a result I wound up doing my 6-10 am board shift and then working well into the evening writing spots. My reward after three weeks of doing this? My manager saying "We appreciate what you're doing" and a $25 bonus cheque.

The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 broke at the end of my evening TV News shift at another station. I pulled an all-nighter doing updates on radio. My reward? A nice memo from management appreciating my "extra effort" with an "amen" from my news director when I came in that afternoon for my next shift . No cash.

It's no wonder the voice trackers just go home.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby Justaprairieguy » Mon Nov 22, 2021 4:27 pm

mccrady wrote:Or maybe they just don't feel it's worth their while.

I worked for eight private broadcasting outfits over my career. Despite the requirements of federal labour law, only one of them - CJCA - actually had me record my hours worked and paid me overtime accordingly. Somehow I doubt that's changed very much.

Back in the 60s at my first station we had a commercial writer go down sick during the Christmas rush. As a result I wound up doing my 6-10 am board shift and then working well into the evening writing spots. My reward after three weeks of doing this? My manager saying "We appreciate what you're doing" and a $25 bonus cheque.

The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 broke at the end of my evening TV News shift at another station. I pulled an all-nighter doing updates on radio. My reward? A nice memo from management appreciating my "extra effort" with an "amen" from my news director when I came in that afternoon for my next shift . No cash.

It's no wonder the voice trackers just go home.



While we worked in the biz during different era's, what you posted was as true decades later. Common lines I heard were, "that's the business," "it's you're job," "that's the way it's always been done..." Those lines are well and good for the PD/GM, etc rambling them off, but at the end of the day an employee should be paid for their efforts despite a "salary" that conveniently absolves the company of paying overtime. Eventually even dedicated hard working employees burn out when they see their increasing effort resulting in a stagnent paycheque. I guess that may be "the business," but glad it's not my business anymore.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby erratics » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:00 pm

I think you'll find private radio in small markets, in most cases, leave the news reporting to CBC Radio 1, that does an admirable job, when it gets bad. That was likely the case in Abby as Rogers has a private radio monopoly there with most of it run out of Vancouver.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby radiodon » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:43 am

Hey from the Valley - Don here from FVN Fraser Valley News and chillTV -- Formally ND of the Drive in CHWK as well as News1130, Z95, Jack FM CISL etc -- Soooo ,, Rogers owns Country 107 Abbotsford - also owns Star FM and KiSS Radio ( Yes it IS licensed to CHWK) CHWK. The Drive in CHWK is Pattison. Praise is Lyndon Wash. CBC has ONE repeater (CBC Radio One) in Abby Harrison and Hope and has three TX in CHWK ( Radio One and Two plus Radio One French). Rogers does evening drop ins on their stations but its generic.
FVN and chillTV are manned and owned by us OLD timer broadcasters and we are social media only including respective YouTube Channels. We do many updates every day.
So now ya know.
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby don'tpanic » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:46 pm

OK folks,

Next week in the House of Commons, I'm going to comment on the performance of broadcasters serving the communities most impacted by the floods. Tell me what you know and have observed, and most importantly, what your remedy is for the shortcomings in the services they provided.

Ken Hardie, MP (and Recovering Broadcaster)
Fleetwood - Port Kells (Surrey BC)
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby the-real-deal » Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:11 am

don'tpanic wrote:OK folks,

Next week in the House of Commons, I'm going to comment on the performance of broadcasters serving the communities most impacted by the floods. Tell me what you know and have observed, and most importantly, what your remedy is for the shortcomings in the services they provided.

Ken Hardie, MP (and Recovering Broadcaster)
Fleetwood - Port Kells (Surrey BC)


Well, Mr. Hardie,

You are a former, long time P.R. person for ICBC, isn't it so ?

I wonder, is this another P.R. stunt, bringing this matter of alleged non compliance before the House of Commons.

While I appreciate your concerns, what good would it do for the people of the Fraser Valley ?

They don't need the radio coverage, now. Their farms are all tits up ? Most of them need a generous government handout.

Funny, but I don't recall any corporate CRTC licence holder, such as Rogers, getting their licence pulled over non compliance of spoken word. Have you ?

Besides, the licence holders can argue, especially in rural markets, that the Covid 19 pandemic has depleted their revenues to the point where hiring more news people is not feasible and thus, the layoffs are justified.

Of course, while singing that song, they (the corporate radio world) all generously partook in the Liberal govt. issued Covid 19 corporate handouts, then, quickly laid off their news and sports departments, anyhow ! LOL

Perhaps now is not the time to bring up the lack of news coverage in the FV. Maybe when Rogers attempts to merge with rival Shaw, then, Rogers can then explain why its coverage of the recent floods was woefully substandard.

That said, while City News (also owned by Rogers) has (I think) done a decent job of covering the recent floods and mudslides, they did arguably a much lousier job of covering the Lytton fires, earlier this year.

However, regrettably, many of B.C.'s once finest interior radio stations also dropped the ball on that one, such as CHNL in Kamloops, while AM 1150 in Kelowna played an encore presentation of the Phil Johnson Show, the morning after Lytton burned to the ground ! LOL

So, as I predicted on this very site, years ago, what this is all leading to is: "traffic on the Don Valley Parkway and Toronto weather on the 10's" is coming to a rural B.C. station near you ? :towel:
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Re: Abbotsford Radio Station misses the mark

Postby radiodon » Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:02 am

FYI the real deal-- Ken IS a former broadcaster, past PD of NL Kamloops-- We worked together 83-85. Now ya know...
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