“How radio listeners need their own baseball play-by-play”. From March 18, 2021. Listeners have been tuning in on radio to live play-by-play of baseball games for nearly a century. In Toronto, Blue Jays baseball on the radio became the soundtrack of the city in the glory years of the early 1990s, when the Jays won the World Series two years in a row. But now, the corporation that owns both the Jays and the broadcast says it's dropping its specialized radio broadcast, and putting sound from tv on the radio instead. No other team in Major League Baseball goes without a home radio crew. TV audio is a poor substitute on radio. And it goes against the idea of accessible media. Commentary. For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of audio of Tom Cheek's famous call of the 1993 championship game on radio, posted to YouTube by MLB and tv audio posted by MLB; and from Sportsnet The Fan 590. For more on hearing sports play-by-play on High Definition Radio -- HD-- please check Season Two, Episode 12. (Photo: me with the World Series trophies at a time when 1050CHUM was home to the Jays Radio play-by-play.)
On pandemic stories in audio fiction. From March 11, 2021. On the first "anniversary" of living in the pandemic, I'm listening for audio stories about living in a pandemic. Audio drama -- ensemble, assembly or solo fiction -- is giving us new ways of exploring life in times of a pandemic...as escape. For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of bits from 2084 by Rainer Pluckebaum; On a Dark, Cold Night by Kristen Zaza, and The Apocrypha Chronicles from Renaissance Opera. Three very different approaches from creators in Canada. (Image from the World Health Organization.)
On the passing of radio news star Dick Smyth. From March 7, 2021. Stories are being told as news reaches us that Dick Smyth has passed away. His newscasts and his commentaries on 1050 CHUM are legendary. One of a kind. My unscripted thoughts, having worked with him at 1050 CHUM starting in 1985. I neglected to mention how wary some people in the AIDS community were of speaking with me as I set out on a major documentary in 1991, because of their memories of things he had said on air years earlier. Maybe that's a story for another day. For now...some thoughts on Smyth.
“On women in radio on International Women’s Day”. From March 4, 2021. When academics and researchers write about women in radio they tend to lean toward public radio and community radio. That's largely the case in a new book about women in radio in Canada. It's another worthwhile edition. I wonder if academia isn't missing a lot though, if more time is not spent examining the roles of some very well-known and popular women in commercial radio. A few suggestions here, from my own long years in commercial radio, about women whose stories I think would make valuable study. For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of bits of audio from CBC, CHUM-FM, City-TV. (Photo: Women in Radio - Unfiltered Voices from Canada. Edited by Genevieve Bonin-Labelle; University of Ottawa Press, 2020.). For more on the historic significance to radio of Hilda Matheson, please check Season 2, Episode 6.
On hearing sounds from Planet Mars on the radio here on Earth. From February 25, 2021. We are fascinated by the planet Mars. It stands out in the night sky, and we are drawn to it. Since the mid-70s, machines from Earth have been landing on Mars and gathering data. Now, there's a new probe -- Perseverance -- on Mars, looking for signs of previous life. And for the first time, part of the mission is to search for and transmit sound from Mars back to Earth. Of course, the sounds NASA is making public...are being heard on the radio! For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of bits of audio released by NASA and radio, tv and movie sounds in the opening montage. (Image: DPA microphone, as shown on dpamicrophones.com)
On how there's nothing funny about switching from a sports radio format to "funny". From February 18, 2021. Among the effects of the mass changes at radio stations controlled by Bell Media is the trashing of labour-intensive sports formats in cities including Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. In Vancouver, TSN 1040 is now Funny 1040. Sports radio listeners are outraged; you can find their independent videos on YouTube. Hamilton already had Funny 820 where a once historic CHAM had lived. That station has been airing an independently produced live morning show. Until the hosts walked away from the radio station, live on air. Commentary. For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of bits of audio from the Humble and Fred radio show and podcast -- humbleandfredradio.com (Image from istockphoto.com)
On World Radio Day - and its themes of Evolution, Innovation, Connection. From February 11, 2021. February 13th is recognized as World Radio Day. It's an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization --UNESCO. This year's episode of the podcast looks at the three themes of the day by applying them against specific developments in radio. Of course, the possibilities are endless. For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of samples of various radio broadcasts.
Today's episode is registered with the World Radio Day events registry.
On the mass layoffs in radio - including CFRB Newstalk 1010 and CJAD. From February 6, 2021. Hundreds of people have been thrown out of work in the past few days, in the midst of a pandemic...after spending the last year serving as essential workers in the pandemic...and helping to keep people informed. Sure, I no longer have my Friday night newscasting gig. But for most of the people thrown out, what they did there was their livelihood. Some unscripted thoughts, a few days after the firings...and why all this matters...but...you won't hear this on the news.
On the power of a poem. From February 3, 2021. It was a tense moment in history. Who knew what might happen as Joe Biden was being sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th? It was just two weeks to the day since a violent insurrection. Whatever they had anticipated, people watching and listening remember this among the highlights of the day: the performance of a poem by Amanda Gorman. Yes, words matter. Poems have power. And you can find a poetry "scene" in almost any city...and, on the radio. For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of bits of audio from Democracy Now, CNN, The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah, and Howl from CIUT-FM Toronto.
On whether news gathering is an essential service during a state of emergency. From January 27, 2021. In Ontario, newspapers, radio and television broadcasting are listed on the province's document specifying businesses and services considered "essential" during the Covid-19 state of emergency. So does that mean reporters are safe when doing their work? Is news gathering an essential activity? As heard in this episode, police have stepped in to block news gathering in at least one case where a news videographer was trying to cover a covid protest in downtown Toronto. Isolated incident? Or is this a taste of how police are going to be used to interfere in news production? For educational purposes. Makes fair dealing use of audio taken from video posted online by CNN, Global TV, CityTV. (Image taken from CityTV).