The Boo Two

August 19, 2008

Our National Broadcaster, the CBC, will announce today that Radio 2 will be “re-branded” as “The New Two”.  And what, you ask, is so new about it?

The CBC will announce a radical revamp of its Radio Two network today with the introduction of more popular and cross cultural music and a de-emphasizing of classical content.

They won’t drop classical music entirely — not yet, anyway — but it will be carefully caged between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., when few people listen to the CBC.  This means, presumably, that excellent programs like Music and Company and Canada Live will be canned.  If they extend the policy to the weekend, it will mean the end of In Tune and the longstanding program Choral Concert.

Classical music programming on the CBC has been eroding for a while, so this is not entirely unexpected.  And the decision is not wholly irrational either: even the CBC needs an audience, and the changes are an attempt to attract “younger listeners”, whom they believe, probably rightly, do not listen to classical music.

The cause for lament, therefore, is not so much that the CBC is changing its programming, but that the cultural memory of my peers continues to fade, the years before 1960 falling into an ever deeper forgetfulness.

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4 Responses to “The Boo Two”

  1. Adam Hincks Says:

    Well at least between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. is when I do most of my listening to CBC. From six p.m. onward they have Tonic now anyways which is contemporary, so they must be making more cuts on the weekend.

    The real solution is to create Radio 3, isn’t it? The BBC has Radio 1 through 7, not including the World Service. Why shouldn’t we have another station for contemporary music?

  2. cburrell Says:

    My favourite program is Music and Company, which falls outside the “classical window” at the present time. I wish I could listen to the radio at work. You must have a real slacker job.

  3. cburrell Says:

    A Radio 3 is not a bad idea, but I expect there are budgetary considerations preventing it. And if you can’t get listeners for a couple of hours in the evening, how can you justify launching an entirely new station?

  4. Matthew Says:

    Not to rain on your parade, but CBC Radio 3 already exists (http://radio3.cbc.ca/). It’s the CBC’s indie Canadian music station, available on the Internet and Sirius. Perhaps they can do something similar (Internet and satellite radio) for classical music, but you’ll never get back the same programs as the old Radio 2.


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