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.