Category Archives: Radio

Joseph Lanza on CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup

Joseph-LanzaOrchestra London concertmaster Joseph Lanza was one of the callers to CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup on Sunday, where the topic for discussion was the future of classical music. It was a timely call; earlier that week, the orchestra had announced it was suspending operations in the wake of a huge operating deficit. The orchestra spent $330,000 more than it brought in during the 2013-14 season, bringing its accumulated deficit to well over $1 million. A London Free Press story from city hall today indicates that the orchestra plans to go cap-in-hand to city council this week with a new request for funds, which includes an amount to pay for a bankruptcy proceeding.

Here, meanwhile, is the call Lanza made to the weekly CBC Radio show, hosted on Sunday afternoons by Rex Murphy:

The impact of social media on communication

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of serving as an interview subject for a short radio documentary by Conestoga College student Andrew Shepherd, produced in the studios of CJIQ-FM, the college’s radio station. Shepherd was interested in the exploring the impact social media are having on our society and the relationships we have with one another. He called his documentary “Transcending Maya.”

A bit of background on Shepherd: He was born and raised in Kitchener, Ont., and is in the second year of the Broadcast Radio program at the college. In high school, he took all academic/university level courses, thinking he was university bound. But his friends coaxed him into developing his broadcasting abilities.

“I didn’t always know that Broadcast Radio was the program I wanted to be in,” Shepherd says. “My friends told me I belong in radio, so I gave it a shot. I’m glad I did, because it’s the best experience I’ve ever had — and I’ve fallen in love with radio.”

In addition to his studies, Shepherd works part-time at 99.5 KFUN as one of the weekend newscasters. “And when the big guys take time off, I’m the man to fill in on the morning shows on both KFUN and 105.3 Kool FM,” he adds. “I’m currently working on getting an internship there for the summer.”

“News is my forte. I enjoy watching the world change in front of my eyes and reporting on it,” he says.

To listen to Shepherd’s documentary, click on the link below.

Transcending Maya

Ontario Morning visits London

Ontario Morning host Wei Chen interviews a guest during the show's visit to London.

Ontario Morning host Wei Chen interviews a guest during the show's visit to London.

CBC Radio’s regional morning show Ontario Morning made a rare field trip to London this morning, escaping the confines of the studios at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto to get out among its listeners. The occasion: this year’s Doors Open London, a weekend of opportunity for those interested in seeing behind the doors and walls of some of the city’s most interesting edifices.

I’ve been a stalwart Ontario Morning listener for many years, because I believe the program does what more media organizations should be doing: journalling the distinctive cultural and political landscape that is Ontario, beyond the shortsighted vistas of Greater Toronto.

I had this discussion several times (to no avail) with editor-in-chief Ed Greenspon when I was a page editor on the night news desk at The Globe and Mail. The Globe, which possesses the capacity to produce up to 10 distinct editions across the country each day, is content to distribute its GTA edition, printed in Mississauga and containing the early Toronto pages, to subscribers from Guelph to Kitchener-Waterloo, through to London and on to Windsor. As a result, readers in those cities get basically the same content, usually consisting of two pages midway through the paper’s A section, as do readers in the GTA — columns and stories derived from the (mostly) Toronto police, politics, education and urban culture beats. With minimal effort, I told Greenspon, those pages — in the Ontario region beyond the GTA — could be converted to “Ontario” pages that would gather in the most important developments of the day from the great rural-urban mix from Windsor to Guelph. It’s home to more people than live in all of Atlantic Canada, billions of dollars in annual research budgets, and a key piston in the country’s economic engine. Alas, I never did manage to sell him on the idea.

Unfortunately, the CBC gives residents of Southwestern Ontario similar treatment in the late afternoon, when it sends the signal of its Toronto-centric Here And Now, hosted by Matt Galloway, to transmitters through the region. Some of the discussion on that program is all but irrelevent to anyone beyond the sightlines from the CN Tower’s observation deck.

All of which makes Ontario Morning, with its strong provincial emphasis and regional correspondents, a unique and valuable pleasure.