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November 2, 2020 3:48 pm  #1


Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

And we're off on the annual thread known as "is it too soon for Christmas music?" 

CHFI went all-Yule-all-day as of 5 PM Monday. 

If memory serves, they usually wait until after the Santa Claus Parade to launch this annual event, but because Santa's march will only be virtual this year due to COVID restrictions, apparently two days after Halloween isn't seen as being too early. 

According to a press release on the station's website, the pandemic played a part in the decision. 

"It’s been a wild year and we all need a ‘feel good’! That’s why we can’t wait any longer to bring some festive cheer to Toronto. Christmas is coming early…tonight at 5, All Christmas Music comes to 98.1 CHFI." 

I know many here (including yours truly) feel Christmas Eve would be too soon, but there's no denying that this annual gambit seems to do well in the ratings. But man, it sure does seem like a long time until December 25th.

My sympathies to those who work in stores that have this pumping through the speakers non-stop for the next two months.
 
https://www.chfi.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/1909_M30_41077_1052x592-Spotlight-1024x576.jpg

 

November 2, 2020 3:58 pm  #2


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Oh boy as of November?  Sooner or later they will be starting in September thinking this is "good" for people.  

This is going to create anxiety if one is stuck listening to this. 

 

November 2, 2020 4:29 pm  #3


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Another area station has already beat them to it. WTSS, aka Star 102.5 FM in Buffalo launched the endless Xmas format on Saturday. But they've taken an entirely different tack. They've also started an online alternative for those who think all that Yule isn't cool.

Its website link reads: "Not ready for Christmas music? We understand. Click the image to hear all your favorite non-holiday Star 102.5 music!" Well, at least they're admitting they're turning off some of their audience. 

https://images.radio.com/mystar1025/WTSS_ChristmasMusic_ScroogeButton_775x515_2020-REV.png?width=775&height=515&crop=775:515,smart


A lot of stations across North America have also launched (or will) the format as of this week. Here are just a few examples:

WBBX-FM, Salisbury, Md.

WTRY-FM, Albany, N.Y.

KEZ-FM, Phoenix

WMGF-FM, Orlando

WARM-FM, York, Pa.

WAKW-FM, Cincinnati

WSPA-FM, Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.

And then there's SiriusXM, which launched 14 channels of Christmas crooning on Oct. 29th. 

All of which raises the question, as it always does here, when is it too soon? All Access.com has an article that addresses those concerns.

http://www.allaccess.com/assets/img/content/nuvoodoo/nvd-11-01-pic2.jpg

And then there's this, an online proclamation, apparently laying down the law about early Christmas music. It doesn't carry any weight, but it's fun to read.

OUT-OF-SEASON CHRISTMAS MUSIC IS A MENACE, AND THE CHRISTMAS COMMISSION WILL PROTECT YOU

     Thread Starter
 

November 2, 2020 6:20 pm  #4


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

It will be interesting to see how their numbers compare from previous years. Due to fewer people congregating in stores and offices (where you don't get a say as to what station is on) you'd have to think it wouldn't be so strong. On the other hand, it could be seen as a welcome escape from the current news cycle. 

Regardless, if I was in charge I probably would've held off until after Remembrance Day. Not only because of the day itself, but also because they're the only all-Christmas station in TO.. so why bother risking those first two weeks?

Hopefully someone can post the data! 

 

November 2, 2020 6:31 pm  #5


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

torontostan wrote:

It will be interesting to see how their numbers compare from previous years. Due to fewer people congregating in stores and offices (where you don't get a say as to what station is on) you'd have to think it wouldn't be so strong.  

That's an issue that's hurting the station as whole right now in with its regular format, so this is a calculated risk that they can help offset some of that.


 
 

November 2, 2020 7:00 pm  #6


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

It seems very disrespectful to our veterans (albeit dwindling numbers) to put Christmas music ahead of Remembrance Day. Any respect I had for Rogers is certainly diminished. 
 

 

November 2, 2020 7:03 pm  #7


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

I actually listened to this being introduced at 5 PM. It started with Santa Claus giving them "permission" to go early. My eyes rolled back in my head. First time I've heard CHFI in years. As soon as I got wind of that first jingle bell in the their first song, I was gone. I won't be back anytime soon. 

One question though: what happens to Coop's classics on Saturday night? Will it be Xmas oldies or is it just off the air until January?

zed wrote:

It seems very disrespectful to our veterans (albeit dwindling numbers) to put Christmas music ahead of Remembrance Day. Any respect I had for Rogers is certainly diminished. 

As for Nov. 11th, this often comes up when the Xmas music launch is brought up. They usually wait until Remembrance Day is over. Perhaps they were desperate this year, but I'm not sure that's any excuse. And remember, they're not all WWII vets. There are Afghanistan war veterans around - and more of them than you'd think. 

Last edited by RadioActive (November 2, 2020 7:06 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

November 2, 2020 7:15 pm  #8


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

zed wrote:

It seems very disrespectful to our veterans (albeit dwindling numbers) to put Christmas music ahead of Remembrance Day. Any respect I had for Rogers is certainly diminished. 
 

How is playing Christmas music before a given date disrespectful?  Halloween is before Nov 11, as is anything that occurs on Nov 10. 

I dont see how Christmas music being played before Nov 11 is somehow disrespecting veterans.  Does the music contain disrespectful lyrics?  

 

 

November 2, 2020 7:22 pm  #9


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

I'm still old school in that you wait until after 11/11.  But I also keep a poppy on my visor year round to constantly remind me.  But that's another discussion.

Last year, on a December trip to the falls to see the lights, my Wife and I discovered STAR 102.5's xmas music.  It seemed a much more eclectic mix than CHFI.  Then again, I can't stay tuned to the stuff for too long without going all "jingly".

 

 

November 2, 2020 7:38 pm  #10


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

96.7 CHYM in Kitchener which is very similar to CHFI hasn't gone to Christmas music yet.  Last year they did the flip on Friday November 22nd, so likely will be the 20th this year.  But with no Christmas parades maybe it could be earlier.  Last year CHYM's first Christmas song was It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams.

RA, I'm surprised that you haven't listened to CHFI in years?!  With all of your dial twisting that is very surprising.
I think the Santa giving permission to play the music early is kind of funny.  Sets the tone for a "Merry Christmas."

AM 740's choice of Christmas tunes is excellent, but they likely won't be getting into the Christmas stuff in a big way for quite a while yet. 

 

November 2, 2020 7:48 pm  #11


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

I don't tend to listen to a lot of music on radio anymore and CHFI certainly doesn't play the kind of stuff I like. In fact, as I think back, I can't remember ever being an 'FI listener even in years past. Just not my kind of station. It baffles me that they're so popular, but hey, to each his/her/their own. (I think that covers everyone!) 

The few times I listen to FM, other than the occasional CBC show, it's either Q107, Boom or Moses' 96.7 repeater. Other than that I am (A-M?) all about the other band. But then I don't listen to the radio like everyone else does, with lots of out-of-town and out-of-country stations drawing my interest.

     Thread Starter
 

November 2, 2020 7:54 pm  #12


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

grilled.cheese wrote:

zed wrote:

It seems very disrespectful to our veterans (albeit dwindling numbers) to put Christmas music ahead of Remembrance Day. Any respect I had for Rogers is certainly diminished. 
 

How is playing Christmas music before a given date disrespectful?  Halloween is before Nov 11, as is anything that occurs on Nov 10. 

I dont see how Christmas music being played before Nov 11 is somehow disrespecting veterans.  Does the music contain disrespectful lyrics?  

 

Never got this one either. They have nothing to do with each other.


 
 

November 2, 2020 7:56 pm  #13


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

paterson1 wrote:

96.7 CHYM in Kitchener which is very similar to CHFI hasn't gone to Christmas music yet.  Last year they did the flip on Friday November 22nd, so likely will be the 20th this year.  But with no Christmas parades maybe it could be earlier.  Last year CHYM's first Christmas song was It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams.
 

Yeah, don't see CHYM going early. CHFI's trying to pump up the last few weeks of a not-so-great ratings period while CHYM's not in ratings at all.
 


 
 

November 2, 2020 8:11 pm  #14


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

RadioActive wrote:

I don't tend to listen to a lot of music on radio anymore and CHFI certainly doesn't play the kind of stuff I like. In fact, as I think back, I can't remember ever being an 'FI listener even in years past. Just not my kind of station. It baffles me that they're so popular, but hey, to each his/her/their own. (I think that covers everyone!) 

The few times I listen to FM, other than the occasional CBC show, it's either Q107, Boom or Moses' 96.7 repeater. Other than that I am (A-M?) all about the other band. But then I don't listen to the radio like everyone else does, with lots of out-of-town and out-of-country stations drawing my interest.

I wasn't a big CHFI listener either especially years ago when all they seemed to play was Michael Bolton and Celine Dion.  They were much too mellow for my tastes at least back then.  Naturally a much different station now.

Funny I was thinking about that recently, why CHFI was so popular.  They are a good station much better music now in my opinion with solid on air personalities.  And, they still have news.  I think this may be a small reason why they do so well. 

So many FM stations have no news at all or try to pass off "information" with announcers reading what listeners have texted in about whatever.   But CHFI still does have actual newscasts or news breaks and I think that is one reason why they do so well in ratings.  I happened to catch their 6 o'clock break tonight, and it was all I was looking for. 

I know the thinking is if people want information they will go to a news station.  But a lot of people just want a quick update and not a lot else.  CHUM FM used to have great newscasts and updates in the afternoon drive, but I believe those are long gone.  Don't even know if CHUM has news in the morning anymore.

 

November 2, 2020 8:30 pm  #15


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

They can use the resources of CFTR, which of course has all the copy and everything else already written for 680 News. It's a simple matter just to assign someone to read the 90 sec. update.  

I'm not a huge fan of Rogers, but I do admire how they leverage their various brands, i.e. Sports on 680 is from The Fan 590 and Sportsnet. CHFI gets its updates from 680 News etc. 

Bell once also did this a lot, but for some reason it's not as common as it used to be. CFRB - which no longer has any sports reports - used to throw to a "TSN" anchor. They still occasionally refer to CP24 or CTV (CFTO) but other than that, they don't seem to do as much cross promoting as they used to. I'm not sure because I never listen to TSN1050, but do they call their traffic updates as coming from the "NT1010 newsroom" in some way? 

I have to admit I don't think I'll ever get used to hearing other station call letters or branding on a sister outlet. It still sounds weird to me. (I remember the first time I heard Peter Gross at 680 refer to himself as coming from the Fan590, even though he clearly never worked there. I thought he'd made an error on air until I realized what they were doing!)

     Thread Starter
 

November 2, 2020 9:06 pm  #16


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

RadioActive wrote:

. . .

I have to admit I don't think I'll ever get used to hearing other station call letters or branding on a sister outlet. It still sounds weird to me. . .

Years ago when I used to op for Ed Needham at CFRB, he'd go ballistic every time RB played a commercial for CBC. He felt that there was no place for advertising any other station, radio or tv.
 

 

November 2, 2020 10:10 pm  #17


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

I remember the time I heard a traffic report for NewsTalk 1010 on TSN 1050. I thought that was odd - considering that CFRB and CHUM were once rivals - until I realized they are both owned by the same company. 


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

November 3, 2020 12:07 pm  #18


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

I think what also does it for CHFI is their "perfect music mix" while although not perfect, it is a decent variety where as other stations are stuck on one genre and era constantly.  You'll go from hearing a current pop song, to a classic rock song.   Sometimes its too drastic, like going from Ed Sheeran to Berlin Take my Breath away but...it seems to work especially for a dental office or store.

Christimas thing is also about the ratings.  The announcers are on thing I cant stand.  I dont listen much but heard the station so much in my office at the time that I know.

I think the closest thing to classic CHFI at this point would be Jewel FM. 

 

November 3, 2020 12:26 pm  #19


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

It's interesting that the Christmas season is about the only time you hear classic artists like Andy Williams, Brenda Lee and the Carpenters on commercial radio. The rest of the year they wouldn't touch those artists with a 10-foot pole, but it's OK at Christmas. That's the one thing I like about it.

As for whether they should go all-Christmas so early, why not? It gets ratings, and that's what it's all about. Surprised the Jewel doesn't go all Christmas as well.


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

November 3, 2020 10:03 pm  #20


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Rogers and their shareholders obviously have absolutely ZERO respect for Canada's veterans etc.  Rogers does not care about each and every man and woman who has fought and died for our freedoms.  This makes me absolutely sick and then some, that Rogers, a major Canadian company, is completely disrespectful toward veterans, including my grandfather who served in WWII and passed away this past spring, well into his 90s.  At the same time, it does not surprise me that Rogers does this - all in the name of profit.

DO NOT PLAY CHRISTMAS MUSIC ON CANADIAN RADIO OR TELEVISION PRIOR TO REMEMBRANCE DAY. NONE. AT ALL.  If you do anything - *ANYTHING* - Christmas-related before November 11th, you are completely disrespectful and heartless, and should not even be in existence.  Show some frickin' respect.

 

November 3, 2020 11:03 pm  #21


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

That makes total sense.  

 

December 16, 2020 8:24 am  #22


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Turns out CHFI didn't go too early. In fact, the problem - if you believe this article - may be that they didn't go soon enough.

In Pandemic, The Most Wonderful Time For Christmas Songs Turned Out To Be ... In July

     Thread Starter
 

December 16, 2020 9:39 am  #23


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Christmas music in the middle of summer and hot weather.  Just shows how radio is lacking for creativity and ideas.  Wonder what the gimmick will be next year?
 
Why don't they resurrect the "dead air" idea from years ago.  Some consultant found that if a station with a tight music format had a few seconds of dead air between commercials or songs occasionally, this would  put some listeners off balance.   The thinking was that the audience would listen closer to see what happened.  Yup...sure they will.. maybe once or twice....Instead of engaging the listener, it sounded like sloppy production.  However all over the US, some stations tried this new thing that was supposedly going to help solve their problems.

Hey next time a station changes format, rather than the sound of ocean waves crashing against the rocks for three days before the launch, why not try the sound of snowflakes falling and touching the earth? 

Nobody has tried that one yet!  I am sure everyone all over town will be talkin' about it, because they will think you have gone out of business and off the air.   Or, maybe nobody will care...https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/sleeping.png

 

December 16, 2020 10:21 am  #24


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

RadioActive wrote:

Turns out CHFI didn't go too early. In fact, the problem - if you believe this article - may be that they didn't go soon enough.

In Pandemic, The Most Wonderful Time For Christmas Songs Turned Out To Be ... In July

According to the article, we can thank 99.9 KESZ in Phoenix, Az. for creating this monstrously, horrible [in my opnion] format in 1990. The A/C station had a 6.5 and 6.0 share in Oct/Nov, according to stationratings.com, which was good enough for #3 in the market. The station is also blessed with a STAR102.5 type signal, 100,000 watts from a 1700' tower. I am sure the "Holiday Hits" format will improve the 6.0 share.

 

December 16, 2020 10:51 am  #25


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday


 

December 16, 2020 11:14 am  #26


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Am I the only one who immediately thinks of "back to school" time whenever that Andy Williams song comes on?

That was brilliant marketing.
 

 

December 16, 2020 3:29 pm  #27


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Peter the K wrote:

Am I the only one who immediately thinks of "back to school" time whenever that Andy Williams song comes on?

That was brilliant marketing.
 

No you are not alone in thinking that. I absolutely loved that ad with the announcer gleefully chirping "They're going baaaaack", the parents dancing down the aisle while the two children slowing walking as if headed to an execution room.

 

December 16, 2020 5:41 pm  #28


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Peter the K wrote:

Am I the only one who immediately thinks of "back to school" time whenever that Andy Williams song comes on?

That was brilliant marketing.
 

👍👍
 

 

December 16, 2020 5:43 pm  #29


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

paterson1 wrote:

Christmas music in the middle of summer and hot weather.  Just shows how radio is lacking for creativity and ideas.  Wonder what the gimmick will be next year?
 
Why don't they resurrect the "dead air" idea from years ago.  Some consultant found that if a station with a tight music format had a few seconds of dead air between commercials or songs occasionally, this would  put some listeners off balance.   The thinking was that the audience would listen closer to see what happened.  Yup...sure they will.. maybe once or twice....Instead of engaging the listener, it sounded like sloppy production.  However all over the US, some stations tried this new thing that was supposedly going to help solve their problems.

Hey next time a station changes format, rather than the sound of ocean waves crashing against the rocks for three days before the launch, why not try the sound of snowflakes falling and touching the earth? 

Nobody has tried that one yet!  I am sure everyone all over town will be talkin' about it, because they will think you have gone out of business and off the air.   Or, maybe nobody will care...https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/sleeping.png

A handful of broadcasters also ran "Christmas in July" movies,  as well.  For me personally,  it was a non-starter;  but I guess the numbers must have been there.
 

 

December 16, 2020 7:04 pm  #30


Re: Here We Go Again: CHFI Goes All Xmas At 5 PM Monday

Media Observer wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

Christmas music in the middle of summer and hot weather.  Just shows how radio is lacking for creativity and ideas.  Wonder what the gimmick will be next year?
 
Why don't they resurrect the "dead air" idea from years ago.  Some consultant found that if a station with a tight music format had a few seconds of dead air between commercials or songs occasionally, this would  put some listeners off balance.   The thinking was that the audience would listen closer to see what happened.  Yup...sure they will.. maybe once or twice....Instead of engaging the listener, it sounded like sloppy production.  However all over the US, some stations tried this new thing that was supposedly going to help solve their problems.

Hey next time a station changes format, rather than the sound of ocean waves crashing against the rocks for three days before the launch, why not try the sound of snowflakes falling and touching the earth? 

Nobody has tried that one yet!  I am sure everyone all over town will be talkin' about it, because they will think you have gone out of business and off the air.   Or, maybe nobody will care...https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/sleeping.png

A handful of broadcasters also ran "Christmas in July" movies,  as well.  For me personally,  it was a non-starter;  but I guess the numbers must have been there.
 

A few years ago only two stations off air where I live played Christmas music 24/7 for a month or more.  Now it is about six.  Like everything else it is overkill and any rating benefits are starting to get watered down by so many stations doing the same thing.  I don't dislike Christmas music at all, and like the fact that you hear some artists that are no longer played on the radio.  But the novelty of playing 100% Christmas music too early or in the summer months will grow stale very quick.  Seems to be more of a desperation move, for stations that don't know what they want to be.

Last edited by paterson1 (December 16, 2020 7:06 pm)