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August 28, 2020 9:09 am  #1


680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

It used to be 680 News would run ads touting the station as the only one being live and local overnight in the entire city of Toronto, Canada's largest radio market.

They can’t run those anymore.
 
Last January, a thread here noted that 680 was being simulcast overnight on both 570 News (Kitchener) and 1310 News (Ottawa.) But now the entire thing appears to be on a full cross-Canada network.
 
I happened to be listening after midnight Friday and heard the station suddenly referring to itself as “All News Radio” instead of the traditional “680 News.” Almost all of its news reports were mostly canned stories taken from CityNews in the various cities where Rogers has TV stations. Most were fairly generic or of national interest. And most tellingly, there were absolutely no local Toronto stories presented, which is normally the station’s bread and butter.
 
One of the co-anchors was Jared Launchbury, who’s listed as an “Evening Show Editor” for CFFR, aka 660 News in Calgary. I suspect the entire enterprise is bring run out of there and aired in Toronto. Worse yet, there was a screw-up in the automation and the first weather report they aired was for that western city, with the meteorologist signing off for “660 News.”   
 
 Another clue: while the traffic updates appear to be local, there are never any current temperatures given after a forecast, a dead giveaway that there’s no one there to provide them.
 
I suspect this is Rogers trying to save money by grouping all of its news stations across the country into one feed - and saving huge bucks in salaries at multiple stations for a less lucrative overnight shift.
 
I find this pretty sad. What happens if there’s a shooting in the city (well, OK, bad example. Lately there’s ALWAYS at least one every night, it seems.) Or a fire? What about an issue at Toronto City Hall? A snowstorm that promises to snarl traffic for the morning rush or a severe thunderstorm that causes a flood? You won’t hear about any of them on “All News Radio” overnight anymore because you can’t report on a local issue that people in say, Calgary or Vancouver could care less about. And regular local programming doesn't resume until around 5 AM.
 
And so the last truly live and local overnight shift in Toronto appears to have gone for good. It may not have had a huge audience, but I think listeners here – and elsewhere - are the poorer for it.

 

August 28, 2020 9:43 am  #2


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

I'm up before 5am usually, have the google hub play 680 and the top hour ID's get all messed up and they are back local with "first at 5"

 

August 28, 2020 1:28 pm  #3


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

I enjoy the overnight  news on 1310News in Ottawa. I do listen when I can, something I would not do when they carried an all-night sports show from the United States with discussions such as the top 10 draft choices from Penn State.
And it lessens my tuning to WCBS from New York.

 

August 28, 2020 2:25 pm  #4


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

That truly is a shame.  Over three million people to serve and no longer live.  I do however count on them to get me through Hogtown during the day.

 

August 29, 2020 8:26 pm  #5


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

RadioActive wrote:

It used to be 680 News would run ads touting the station as the only one being live and local overnight in the entire city of Toronto, Canada's largest radio market.

They can’t run those anymore.
 
Last January, a thread here noted that 680 was being simulcast overnight on both 570 News (Kitchener) and 1310 News (Ottawa.) But now the entire thing appears to be on a full cross-Canada network.
 
I happened to be listening after midnight Friday and heard the station suddenly referring to itself as “All News Radio” instead of the traditional “680 News.” Almost all of its news reports were mostly canned stories taken from CityNews in the various cities where Rogers has TV stations. Most were fairly generic or of national interest. And most tellingly, there were absolutely no local Toronto stories presented, which is normally the station’s bread and butter.
 
One of the co-anchors was Jared Launchbury, who’s listed as an “Evening Show Editor” for CFFR, aka 660 News in Calgary. I suspect the entire enterprise is bring run out of there and aired in Toronto. Worse yet, there was a screw-up in the automation and the first weather report they aired was for that western city, with the meteorologist signing off for “660 News.”   
 
 Another clue: while the traffic updates appear to be local, there are never any current temperatures given after a forecast, a dead giveaway that there’s no one there to provide them.
 
I suspect this is Rogers trying to save money by grouping all of its news stations across the country into one feed - and saving huge bucks in salaries at multiple stations for a less lucrative overnight shift.
 
I find this pretty sad. What happens if there’s a shooting in the city (well, OK, bad example. Lately there’s ALWAYS at least one every night, it seems.) Or a fire? What about an issue at Toronto City Hall? A snowstorm that promises to snarl traffic for the morning rush or a severe thunderstorm that causes a flood? You won’t hear about any of them on “All News Radio” overnight anymore because you can’t report on a local issue that people in say, Calgary or Vancouver could care less about. And regular local programming doesn't resume until around 5 AM.
 
And so the last truly live and local overnight shift in Toronto appears to have gone for good. It may not have had a huge audience, but I think listeners here – and elsewhere - are the poorer for it.

This isn't sudden.  This has been going on for months during the pandemic.  My understanding is that things will return to normal when revenue increases and social distancing and sanitization of multiple stations doesn't have to occur to serve a relatively small number of listeners. 

Last edited by Prod Guy (August 29, 2020 8:27 pm)

 

August 29, 2020 9:30 pm  #6


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

Thanks for the update. I really haven't been listening to them much after midnight in the past while so it's little wonder I didn't notice.

I suppose it makes economic sense but if there's any format that desperately needs to be local 24/7, it's an all news station. I wonder if that increased revenue scenario will ever come to pass or this becomes 680's - oops! I mean "All News Radio's" - new normal. 

     Thread Starter
 

August 30, 2020 12:54 am  #7


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

I totally agree.  It's important to be live in that format.

Some radio companies have seen an 80% decline in ad revenue in the last 5 months but it is beginning to rebound.  Hopefully there isn't a second wave.

 

August 30, 2020 9:26 am  #8


Re: 680 News No Longer "Live And Local" Overnights

Prod Guy wrote:

Hopefully there isn't a second wave.

Sadly, I will be shocked if there isn't.