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September 13, 2019 2:24 pm  #1


Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Always strikes me that when the radio ratings come out there is virtually nothing said in any of the Toronto newspapers. I would think the readers of the Toronto Star or Sun would be interested what station has the most popular morning show, what station is growing quickly and who is most popular announcer in the city etc. But almost nothing ever in the local print media. Ken Shaw has been missing from CTV Toronto lately, why? Cutbacks? Is he negotiating a new contract? Is he retiring?

Also there isn't much on any of the personalities on radio or TV for that matter. Toronto has lots of radio stations and TV stations/networks but the local papers hardly even acknowledges them in terms of articles or features. Again wouldn't readers be interested in reading about some of the people that they watch or listen to everyday? 

I would love to see what the evening news ratings are on television. Is CTV Toronto still clobbering everyone else? Is Global making any headway catching up? Is it true that CP24 is and has been the number one news channel in the GTA for the past few years? Who knows, you never see or read anything about this. Maybe a billboard once in a while but that's it.

Buffalo News as we know courtesy of RA does a great job covering the local media scene in the Queen City. But personally I would really like to hear and see more from our media regarding local GTA radio and TV. Even WGRZ did a news report when one of Buffalo's low rated FM stations (WMSX) switched format to "The Breeze." Do our TV stations or newspapers  cover any format changes, maybe if it is in the same corporate family, and even then almost never.

I was glad to see that Roger Ashby got a lot of press when he retired in both print and TV. We even had a good article about him here in Kitchener/Waterloo in The Record. Mind you, he did start his long and successful career in Kitchener.

Anyway just an observation on the very poor local media coverage in the GTA, and I know that the average non media person would be interested in seeing, reading and hearing more about local stations and personalities.

 

September 13, 2019 2:54 pm  #2


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

This is a question that’s come up in almost every version of the SOWNY Board over the years. And outside of perhaps shrinking budgets, there’s no real answer.

The Toronto Star used to have regular TV columnists – a guy named Jack, whose last name eludes me at the moment, the curmudgeonly Dennis Braithwaite, Jim Bawden and more. I think it was Greg Quill who covered radio for them, although all too often, it was only CBC programming.
 
The Toronto Sun used to have Gary Dunford pass on radio gossip in his Page Six column, while Jim Slotek watched TV for readers.
 
None of these people are around today, although some TV shows still attract attention, even if most stories on them come from Bill Brioux, a freelance writer who doesn’t actually work for any of the papers.  
 
Unless it’s a huge story (like Roger Ashby retiring) or involves some kind of scandal, radio no longer ever gets mentioned in either paper. It's like it doesn't exist. And yeah, I miss the coverage, too.

 

September 13, 2019 3:34 pm  #3


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Yes I remember the Sun would run the sports radio ratings from time to time. Seems a shame and shouldn't be that hard to at least run the local TV and radio ratings with a little commentary. Both the Star and oddly even the Sun seem a little "high brow" in their local entertainment coverage. All TIFF all the time! Or what's coming up at Niagara-On-The-Lake.

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September 13, 2019 5:51 pm  #4


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

I'm not sure how much public interest there really is. We have so much data today about anything we want at our fingertips, and I don't know if TV/Radio ratings stand out enough that they warrant being published beyond where those who care can look them up. Even my post HERE, of all places, with the numbers that matter only got a smattering of interest.

On top of that, the numbers that can be published, especially for radio, (2+/12+) really are more meaningless than ever, in that they don't represent how well the stations are doing against each other.


 
 

September 13, 2019 6:43 pm  #5


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

As a young broadcaster, I always joked about wanting to get mentioned in Dunford's column in the Toronto Sun.   That was a sign that you had made it.   Eventually it happened..twice.   The first time was great,  a positive note about an event I was involved with.   The second was about how I was hauled on the carpet for something I had done.   Really quite trivial looking back.    I guess it is true.  Be careful what you wish for.

 

September 13, 2019 6:46 pm  #6


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Well I wasn't just talking ratings, although I think that would be of some interest to the average reader, with some context and not just a listing of the numbers. More about articles around the business and personalities. Millions in the GTA watch TV and radio everyday, I would think there would be plenty of interest.
Buffalo News covers the local broadcast scene in that city all the time. Why would there be less interest in Toronto which is a big media town?

     Thread Starter
 

September 13, 2019 9:27 pm  #7


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

I've always wondered why Toronto newspapers do such a poor job of covering radio. Lots of people listen to the radio, and I bet they'd like to know the stories behind the folks behind the mic.


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

September 13, 2019 10:20 pm  #8


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

The Toronto Star used to have regular TV columnists – a guy named Jack, whose last name eludes me at the moment, the curmudgeonly Dennis Braithwaite, Jim Bawden and more. I think it was Greg Quill who covered radio for them, although all too often, it was only CBC programming.

It was Jack Miller. Both he and James Bawden came to the Star from the Spectator.

 

September 13, 2019 11:35 pm  #9


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

I would love to know the numbers "Being Frank" pulls in.  

 

September 13, 2019 11:51 pm  #10


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

grilled.cheese wrote:

I would love to know the numbers "Being Frank" pulls in.  

Take a guess as to how much the tv air time costs him each week...
 

 

September 14, 2019 7:04 am  #11


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Other than veteran media professional Christy Blatchford (National Post), who would you be confident is capable of analyzing the ratings and (other than provide a list of published results) report  the results accurately?   

 

September 14, 2019 8:01 am  #12


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

grilled.cheese wrote:

I would love to know the numbers "Being Frank" pulls in.  

I'd be surprised if the Numeris chart put that under a different name than "paid programming."

 

September 14, 2019 2:03 pm  #13


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

paterson1 wrote:

Millions in the GTA watch TV and radio everyday, I would think there would be plenty of interest.

I don't mean this to sound snarky, but....

Millions in the GTA_______
-Drink orange juice
-Bank with TD
-Drive a Ford

We really don't see the kind of detailed article about any of the above as we used to about quarterly radio ratings or comings and goings. Broadcast media used to hold a much higher level of interest than any of those, but I'm not sure it does anymore. 

If I were a news editor looking at Toronto radio, the only stories I think would have been newsworthy from the last year or so would have been Roger Ashby retiring, Flow 93.5 returning to Hip-Hop, and the goings-on at Jazz fm.


 
 

September 14, 2019 9:28 pm  #14


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Not snarky at all Aaron, guess that wasn't the best analogy. However I don't think we on this message board are really the ones to judge if the average person would be interested or not since many that read and contribute on SOWNY are either in the broadcast business or have retired. Maybe we are a little too close to the source to make that call what the regular reader of the Star or Sun would find of interest.

As you mentioned earlier, not many, even here looked at the ratings posted, but as you also said, if you know where to go, you can at least find the basic rating info from Numeris or a few other sources.. The average person wouldn't likely know where to find any ratings material on line and you are right probably wouldn't seek to find them out in the first place. The general public is not thinking about radio or tv ratings as a rule.

However newspapers in particular are still about the best at presenting feature information to readers/consumers as they scan the page. If the average reader of the Star came across the ratings, and again with some context and explanation along with this, it very well could be of interest. They are seeing information about local media and personalities that is new and something never seen normally in their local paper. 

In reality in Toronto it would be quarterly in the Star or Sun with an article explaining to the reader which stations are the most popular, on the rise, which stations have changed format and who has Toronto's most popular morning show. I actually can't see how this wouldn't be interesting to many people. And also it is not just radio but  television news ratings locally as well. Augment this with occasional articles about media in Toronto, changes in the broadcast landscape etc. and again personalities. 

As I have mentioned a few times, the Buffalo News has been following the broadcast industry in that city for decades and it must be of some interest to their readers or they wouldn't be giving this such a high profile week in and week out in the entertainment, occasionally business sections, How would Toronto be any different?    I think the answer is, it wouldn't be.

     Thread Starter
 

September 15, 2019 2:09 am  #15


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

That's why I read 12:36.  Marc Weisblott regularly covers the goings-ons of Toronto media.

 

September 15, 2019 5:32 am  #16


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Nate wrote:

That's why I read 12:36.  Marc Weisblott regularly covers the goings-ons of Toronto media.

   
  
Before Marc there was nothing
 

 

September 15, 2019 1:20 pm  #17


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Yes Marc touches on media coverage but nothing recently that I could see on the local radio or television ratings. But good that he at least does cover some local media and personalities. Still think Toronto's newspapers and their websites should do a much better job.. Is it a competition thing that they don't want to be promoting competing media?  Radio, TV, Film Production, Broadcast Head Offices, add them all up and Toronto is a big media town by any measure. Just surprised local newspapers in particular do such a poor job with their coverage, especially concerning local TV and radio.

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September 15, 2019 10:05 pm  #18


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

It's not just Toronto. As newspapers everywhere have contracted, they've stopped having media beats. When I was in Boston in the early 90s starting what's now NorthEast Radio Watch, both the Globe and the Herald had reporters assigned, if not full time than at least frequently, to cover local radio and TV. I think the Globe even had separate beats for general radio/TV and sports radio/TV (Boston being the sports market it was!)

As the web started up, it was possible for a while to read media coverage from many other papers, too - several of the NYC tabloids and the Record in NJ all covered the NY scene, Robert Feder was THE man for Chicago in the Sun-Times, and the list went on and on even into much smaller markets. 

Those beats started to go away in the late 90s and faded away all but completely by the late 00s. A few of the reporters managed to keep their coverage going as blogs (Feder is still at it in Chicago, for instance), but I can't think of any newspaper in the US that's still maintaining a regular beat reporter. 

Canada at least has Steve Faguy at the Montreal Gazette, who seems to do some media reporting for the paper and a lot more for Cartt.ca and his own Fagstein site. 

 

September 15, 2019 10:42 pm  #19


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Faguy does a great job, not only for Montreal but also for a lot of the country. His regular Media News Digest on his website is long and detailed. There aren't many left like him. 

There are, though a few exceptions. I've noticed regular columns in some small newspapers, like out in some of the more remote sections of B.C. and even one in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Perhaps it's because in the smaller markets that radio is more of a factor in the lives of those readers and any changes are noted. Ironically, perhaps, small gets more attention because big is too large to care and there are too many other things going on.

There's a also a guy out in the L.A. area who writes a weekly radio column for the L.A. Daily News. His name is Richard Wagoner and he does a terrific job in finding angles that don't just involve ratings and station promos. Even though he refers to stations I really could never hear here, I find his columns well worthwhile. Here's one of his pieces as a sample. 

A vanishing breed, I suppose. And if you believe the prognosticators, much like the medium itself.   

 

September 16, 2019 5:35 am  #20


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

A leaf-thru the Life & Entertainment sections of any of the GTA's four newspapers frequently indictes "Contributor" as the author of articles.   That indicates they came from free lancers

Why bitch & complain in SOWNY when one can be paid for the pleasure?    

 

September 16, 2019 10:23 am  #21


Re: Why doesn't Toronto media do a better job of covering "the media"

Bitch and complain? Never. More like an observation and wondering why.

     Thread Starter