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Mon Oct 8 9:31 am  #1


Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

It’s probably not surprising that most so-called news/talk stations chose to air endless rerolls on a stat holiday like Thanksgiving. Unlike music formats, where you can put it on autopilot, it’s readily apparent by dated references and cut off throws to breaks that the programming aired for 24 hours is anything but recent.
 
And yet despite the fact there’s a perception that no one’s listening on the national day off, some stations still decided to do live programming. CKTB, for instance, almost always does a live holiday morning show and there was a substitute host on the air Monday.
 
To my surprise, CBC Radio 1 also had a regular Metro Morning on during Thanksgiving, although hosted by Michael Serapio instead of Matt Galloway.
 
In the U.S., I noticed that many of their stations were live during the day, despite the fact it’s Columbus Day down there.
 
Meanwhile, over at CFRB and GNR 640, there were the canned musings of the regular hosts, repeating highlights of old shows (although John Moore’s show consisted of interviews instead of the normal format.)
 
I have no objection to giving on-air people the day off, but they could bring in some subs to take their place. Still, it’s expensive – doing a live talk show on a stat means bringing in a host, a producer and a board op, all at overtime rates and all giving them a day off in lieu.
 
Yet the other stations find a way to make it work. I can say that my ears went to those who had original programming on.
 
The days of full service radio are behind us forever. But I wonder if anyone here thinks going live on air during a holiday is worth the effort or simply a waste of money. And perhaps it makes more sense to do it during the afternoon drive shift, when more people are likely to be on the road going to family dinners, coming home from the cottage, even leaving work or shopping – most of the grocery stores in my area, for example, are open.
 
Either way, if you’re into talk radio, the message being sent on Thanksgiving and most holidays is, "come back tomorrow. We’re closed."

Hardly the message they should be trying to send.

 

Mon Oct 8 1:21 pm  #2


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

CFRB still had live traffic reports. I did not keep the radio on long enough to hear if the hourly news was in house or contacted out to CP.

 

Mon Oct 8 2:00 pm  #3


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

Aytononline wrote:

  CFRB still had live traffic reports   

Jody Thornton never steered me in a wrong direction
 

 

Mon Oct 8 5:20 pm  #4


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

It looks like CTV2 is taking the holiday off again.. NO NEWS at 6 or 11 in London it seems 
They do have News in Kitchener though. 

 

Mon Oct 8 7:38 pm  #5


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

If Bell media only wants to run 4 tv news rooms instead of 7 in Ontario, that's okay, but they should turn 2 of the programs into regional programs. Kitchener could also include London and Windsor. As far as Barrie is concerned it would not take much for the Toronto or Sudbury stations to take over this area for one day. All they would really be doing is expanding the weather forecast and not much else.
It would be better then what they are doing now.

 

Mon Oct 8 8:59 pm  #6


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

The Thanksgiving programming on Sportsnet 590 the Fan was pretty damn good, with Jeff Marek, John Shannon and Gord Stellick on Hockey Central at Noon.

Over on TSN 1050 subbing for the morning show, it was ESPN, cough dreck cough, but Leafs Lunch was live with the usual suspects.

Sports radio shows can get away with a 'Best of' reroll on the weekends in the early morning, but even the most casual hockey fan isn't going to want stale outdated sports talk.

The sports PD's seem to respect their listener base more than their talk radio counterparts, or maybe it comes down to available budgets?

 

Mon Oct 8 10:07 pm  #7


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

Aytononline wrote:

If Bell media only wants to run 4 tv news rooms instead of 7 in Ontario, that's okay, but they should turn 2 of the programs into regional programs. Kitchener could also include London and Windsor. As far as Barrie is concerned it would not take much for the Toronto or Sudbury stations to take over this area for one day. All they would really be doing is expanding the weather forecast and not much else.
It would be better then what they are doing now.

I agree, in fact they used to do this for the main CTV markets of Ottawa and Kitchener on holidays with a southern Ontario newscast originating from Toronto with same day coverage from the other markets in a single broadcast. 

Last edited by zed (Mon Oct 8 10:08 pm)

 

Tue Oct 9 7:48 am  #8


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

Well, Radio Active you bring up a topic that hits close to home.  I worked stats for 14 of my 15 years at NewsTalk 1010.  I filled in for morning man Ted Woloshyn.  Leave it to Kowch to explain; why I was working on a stat.  "John, research tells us that the potential audience; on a stat is quite a bit lower that on a regular weekday.  Therefore we're bringing you in." In hindsight it's a funny line. 

The most interesting day of the year I worked was Christmas Day.  EVERYONE of the on air staff had the day off.  Steve Kowch decided it would be nice to have me on the air live to play Christmas music and tell stories about Christmas past.  I wasn't thrilled; but I told him I wanted my wife to co-host with me.  Therefore for a few years I worked Christmas day; with my wife and believe it or not I found it really enjoyable swapping Christmas past stories; with my bride.  

Just doing an edit here.  Just so you don't think Mr. Kowch was being a mean guy, he would always remind me and it's true, I was the "swing" guy; so it was part of the job; during that era.  Except for Christmas; where Steve turned into Christmas Grinch. :-)

Last edited by John D (Tue Oct 9 8:05 am)

 

Tue Oct 9 8:00 am  #9


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

I once worked a talk show gig on Christmas Eve. There was a lot of debate before airtime about what how we should approach it. Do we do a regular format or go all warm and fuzzy Xmas? It was an AM station that couldn't possibly compete with FM music. And EVERYONE else was playing the usual Yule-yesterday stuff. 

So we did a regular show, incorporating Christmas into it as much as possible. 

To my surprise, the phones went crazy. This was in the days before the Internet, which cut off the amount of choices we might have today. But even then, I wasn't expecting it. I was screening calls that night and listener after listener all said the same thing - "Thank God there's someone doing something else! I've been searching for something to listen to, but it's all "Feliz Navidad" and "Wonderful Christmas Time" on every station! You're the only thing worth listening to!"

I learned a lesson that night about consistency and that not everybody cares about hearing the exact same unimaginative stuff that passes for programming on Dec. 24th and 25th. Still, I can't argue with CHFI's annual All Xmas format, which always boosts them to the top of the ratings every year. But it's nice to have that alternative that night when everyone else is doing the same thing.  

     Thread Starter
 

Tue Oct 9 8:11 am  #10


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

Breakfast Television could learn a lot about working stats.  Name the stat and you won't find Breakfast TV; on the air.  Not even sub-hosts to keep the programming going.  Usually a re-run of CityLine. Meanwhile turn on American TV.  And for the most part either some of the regular hosts are on; or all of them; giving us regular programming and some holiday stories.  Toronto Morning TV doesn't seem to take holidays very seriously; when it comes to their audience.  Then again to be fair; their on air staff must love magement.

Last edited by AMFM (Tue Oct 9 8:12 am)

 

Tue Oct 9 8:24 am  #11


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

George Noory works holidays if they fall within his regular shift. 

 

Thu Oct 11 10:11 am  #12


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

John D wrote:

Well, Radio Active you bring up a topic that hits close to home.  I worked stats for 14 of my 15 years at NewsTalk 1010.  I filled in for morning man Ted Woloshyn.  Leave it to Kowch to explain; why I was working on a stat.  "John, research tells us that the potential audience; on a stat is quite a bit lower that on a regular weekday.  Therefore we're bringing you in." In hindsight it's a funny line. 

The most interesting day of the year I worked was Christmas Day.  EVERYONE of the on air staff had the day off.  Steve Kowch decided it would be nice to have me on the air live to play Christmas music and tell stories about Christmas past.  I wasn't thrilled; but I told him I wanted my wife to co-host with me.  Therefore for a few years I worked Christmas day; with my wife and believe it or not I found it really enjoyable swapping Christmas past stories; with my bride.  

Just doing an edit here.  Just so you don't think Mr. Kowch was being a mean guy, he would always remind me and it's true, I was the "swing" guy; so it was part of the job; during that era.  Except for Christmas; where Steve turned into Christmas Grinch. :-)

Well John, it took a few years but nice to see you've come around as to why you had to work stats - It was part of your job description. Imagine what Ted Woloshyhn went through when he was the swing announcer for Wally Crouter who took the entire summer off and a lot of the winter. Ted would have to work Mon-Fri AND his weekend shift!.

Replacing a host on stats also makes sense because of the research, quoted by John. It doesn't make sense to have the morning man work a stat when there are less listeners. And then give him a day off on a regular day (for working the stat) when there are more listeners. 

As for Christmas Day, John Donabie had the best Christmas morning show in Toronto. Taking calls from the kids about what Santa left under the tree was heart warming. And remember the cardinal rule: When you put kids on the radio you are really catering to the parents. Parents bond with the radio station that generates fond family memories.  

So thank you John for all the years you and your wife made a difference on CFRB radio on so many Christmas mornings.

 

Thu Oct 11 11:51 am  #13


Re: Holiday In: Going Live On A Stat

Ahhhhhh.  Thank you Mr. Kowch.