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November 23, 2021 2:35 pm  #1

Speech From The Throne On Radio? A Bit Of A Mess

Listening to Global Newsradio's coverage for about 20 minutes prior to the actual speech was confusing and disjointed.  I was listening first to 900 CHML and the audio levels were all over the map and the hosts were attempting to explain the ceremonies and what was going on visually. 

Then all of a sudden dead air at about 7 minutes before one o'clock. After about 30 seconds of dead air some CHML jingle soundtrack music that they use for traffic reports, no traffic report came on.  Then just some generic music for about 4 to 6 minutes.  During this time I flipped to AM640 and all I was getting was static.  Nothing on air. 

It's surprising and really sad that a remote radio broadcast in 2021 would have so many technical glitches and so disjointed for the listener, with hosts saying on air they couldn't hear anything. Sometimes didn't even know when they were on.  While other media is getting slicker and can go and do more than even 10 years ago, radio seems to be stuck in a hole and in some cases going the wrong way and not improving on the technical side. 

Nice that Global Newsradio attempted  this but other than the actual speech, most analysis was lost because of the technical issues. Their coverage was static and kind of  boring.   Newstalk 1010 was much better what I heard, sticking with analysis and what to look out for in the new parliament, and had guests on to explain. Even moments of humour.   Much easier to listen to and more informative for the listener.  Newstalk 1010 and Bell sounded like they knew how they wanted to cover this special event and did.  Global sounded like they were just along for the ride, hanging on and hoping for the best.

CBC 1 when I tuned them in briefly during the speech also had analysis with guests.  They maybe played some highlights but weren't carrying the speech live when I listened.  Like Bell opted for guests and analysis.  

Last edited by paterson1 (November 23, 2021 3:05 pm)


November 23, 2021 2:44 pm  #2

Re: Speech From The Throne On Radio? A Bit Of A Mess

Funny, we rarely agree on much, but on this, we're in accord. 

I was very surprised on Tuesday afternoon, when Corus decided to carry The Speech From The Throne on its radio stations, apparently across the country. (I, too, heard it on both 640 and 900 CHML with the endless glitches.) I suppose there's nothing wrong with the idea, per se, but technical disasters aside, even Ottawa insiders will admit that it's not exactly the most riveting content to listen to. 

CBC Radio 1 also carried it live, which is not unexpected. But to have it drone on and on over the Corus Radio network isn't a choice I would have thought they would make. I listened for a few minutes and to be charitable, new Gov. Gen. Mary Simon is not exactly a spell binding reader of deadly dull copy. In three different languages, no less. 

I agree that CFRB and its affiliates handled it much better, carrying on regular programming (with Leslie Roberts in for Evan Solomon, who I believe was doing TV duty for the day) and then summarizing what was in it after it was done. 

I understand how important the Speech can be, but if it drives listeners elsewhere, it doesn't benefit anyone. I tried to listen for longer than about three minutes, but gave up. Corus may have made the "responsible" choice - but it wasn't one for its radio listeners, whom I'm sure were long gone by the time it ended. 


November 23, 2021 2:50 pm  #3

Re: Speech From The Throne On Radio? A Bit Of A Mess

I once knew a broadcaster who became the Lt. Gov. of one of the provinces. I won't use the name, but this person was busy reading this endless Speech from the Throne that went on and on and on. And I asked my old friend a few years later how they managed to make it through the thing. 

The now former-LG admitted it wasn't easy. In a response I've never forgotten, the unnamed government appointee told me, "About an hour in, I felt like interrupting it to say, 'We'll be right back with more, after this message!' "

If only that had really happened! But if you think it's hard to listen to, imagine having to read all those pages for an hour or more without interruption.