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April 13, 2021 12:11 pm  #1


CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

At 7 am World Report went off the rails. The intro music played for over well over 90 seconds before a slightly rushed Pep Philpot who usually anchors on weekends began shuffling paper and reading the newscast. Then after two stories Nil Koksol the usual anchor suddenly began reading stories and apologized for the difficulties. She apologized again at the end of the newscast and thanked Philpot for jumping in. I have never heard anything like that on CBC Radio before. Does anyone know what happened exactly?

 

April 13, 2021 12:26 pm  #2


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

My experience at the Corpse: if there was so much as a few seconds of dead air it was thoroughly investigated and a report written up and publicly displayed.

 

April 13, 2021 12:29 pm  #3


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

Extra long bathroom break?  It doesn't exactly sound like a "meltdown" to me.

 

April 13, 2021 12:48 pm  #4


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

Since the start of the pandemic I've noticed World Report sometimes comes from a different CBC location than usual. For a few days in a row last year I remember it was anchored from Calgary, and one day a month or so back they did it from Regina. In both cases using a local CBC host.

I know some CBC Radio broadcasters have moved back to working from home during the third wave. Not sure about World Report or Metro Morning, but the local shows in Vancouver are being done from home again right now, with technical staff still based at the CBC facilities. I could see WFH causing issues in some cases, such as if someone's home Internet goes down.

Last edited by MJ Vancouver (April 13, 2021 12:50 pm)

 

April 13, 2021 3:06 pm  #5


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

I've only heard something like that once and it was a long time ago. It happened in the last place you'd expect - the top of the hour CBS Radio News.

It was around 1977. I was behind the controls at NewsRadio, a news service out of CKEY, that owned the rights to CBS Radio in Canada.

I've never entirely been sure what happened here, but maybe you can figure it out. Anchor Susan Spencer was obviously expecting to come on right after the intro stinger.

That never happened. My guess, all these years later, is her mic failed and she was forced to scurry into another studio as quickly as possible to deliver her newscast. Unfortunately, it just happened to be going across the country, the so-called hourly update, and it ran this way on hundreds and hundreds of affiliates.

That void you hear is 16 secs. of dead air. It may not be a long time, but when you're on - or rather, off the air - especially on a national broadcast - it feels like an eternity.

You can hear it here.

 

April 13, 2021 5:11 pm  #6


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

grilled.cheese wrote:

Extra long bathroom break?  It doesn't exactly sound like a "meltdown" to me.

90 seconds of dead air on every Radio One station across the entire country, papers shuffling, a flustered anchor being replaced by another anchor mid newscast and two on-air apologies in one 10 minute newscast is definitely meltdown adjacent.

https://22083.mc.tritondigital.com/CBC_WR_P/media-session/8dfd08c8-bde8-4c22-af97-0140c63ce84a/wr/wr-OIRkVYdU-20210413.mp3

Last edited by Prod Guy (April 14, 2021 2:32 am)

     Thread Starter
 

April 13, 2021 5:47 pm  #7


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

It would have been a lot worse if it had been on TV instead of radio. This clip - which is on RealAudio and requires a local download - is every newscaster's worst nightmare. It happened back in the 60s on NBC - the full network of all places - when the late, great Frank Blair was literally hung out to dry not once, not twice, but four times in a row. 

Apparently, there was a technical problem with the telecine chain and engineers couldn't get anything to work, leaving Blair to endlessly throw to stories that never ran. My favourite moment is the third attempt, where he visibly slumps on air as he's let down yet again.

To his credit, he never lost his cool and he never really said very much about the glitches. But I've always wondered what he had to say about it once the camera was turned off!

Frank Blair Outtake  

 

April 13, 2021 6:36 pm  #8


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

Found it on YouTube. It starts at about 38 seconds in. It goes on and on and on and on from there. Man, what a pro he was to go through that and come out with his dignity intact.


  

 

April 13, 2021 8:41 pm  #9


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

RadioActive wrote:

It would have been a lot worse if it had been on TV instead of radio. This clip - which is on RealAudio and requires a local download - is every newscaster's worst nightmare. It happened back in the 60s on NBC - the full network of all places - when the late, great Frank Blair was literally hung out to dry not once, not twice, but four times in a row. 

Apparently, there was a technical problem with the telecine chain and engineers couldn't get anything to work, leaving Blair to endlessly throw to stories that never ran. My favourite moment is the third attempt, where he visibly slumps on air as he's let down yet again.

To his credit, he never lost his cool and he never really said very much about the glitches. But I've always wondered what he had to say about it once the camera was turned off!

Frank Blair Outtake  

This sounds like an SCTV News sketch with Floyd Robertson and Earl Camembert. There’s one where Earl does the intro to a story, it never starts, and he’s just sitting there staring into the camera waiting, occasionally smirking. Eventually Floyd loses his cool while Earl is calm and collected.

 

April 13, 2021 10:39 pm  #10


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

I'm sure Catherine Tait and Barb Williams will be launching a full and thorough investigation...

 

April 14, 2021 1:54 am  #11


Re: CBC Radio One Technical Meltdown

RadioActive wrote:

I've only heard something like that once and it was a long time ago. It happened in the last place you'd expect - the top of the hour CBS Radio News.

It was around 1977. I was behind the controls at NewsRadio, a news service out of CKEY, that owned the rights to CBS Radio in Canada.

I've never entirely been sure what happened here, but maybe you can figure it out. Anchor Susan Spencer was obviously expecting to come on right after the intro stinger.

That never happened. My guess, all these years later, is her mic failed and she was forced to scurry into another studio as quickly as possible to deliver her newscast. Unfortunately, it just happened to be going across the country, the so-called hourly update, and it ran this way on hundreds and hundreds of affiliates.

That void you hear is 16 secs. of dead air. It may not be a long time, but when you're on - or rather, off the air - especially on a national broadcast - it feels like an eternity.

You can hear it here.

Waaaay before my time - I've heard two versions of this:  There was an issue with her studio and she had to run down the hall to another booth - that would explain the switch sound about 6 seconds in.   The other story is that they lost return and couldn't hear the sounder or the director in NYC (Susan Spencer was a DC-based correspondent and the Hourly runs out of the Broadcast Center in New York). That one doesn't make as much sense to me because you're trained to just start talking 2 seconds after the top of the hour.  Whatever the tech disaster, it must have happened seconds before the Hourly.  CBS has had a hard rule that anchors have to be IN THE BOOTH 5 minutes before air for a full run-though WITH tape and live components.  And back then, every cut was run from a reel to reel so there was no messin' around.