Media

It's Time: CBC Investment in Hamilton

We are heartened to see the CBC's renewed commitment to increasing local radio service in under-served regions like Hamilton, but the work is not over yet.

By Sonja Macdonald
Published February 02, 2011

On February 1, 2011, CBC/Radio Canada released its strategic direction for the next five years. One of the central commitments of the Everyone, Every way plan is to expand and deepen CBC's regional presence in Canada by 2015. This is something that is long overdue.

One of the key elements of the plan is to establish new local radio stations in under-served areas of the country. This is potentially great news for Hamilton as it build on previous local efforts to increase the presence of the national broadcaster in our community.

Here is some of the background to this issue. Although we are the ninth largest urban area in Canada, we have no local service from the CBC, despite our region's contribution of more than $20 million per annum in tax dollars towards the public broadcasters budget.

Similarly-sized cities, like Winnipeg and Quebec City, have a greater number of local TV and radio stations than Hamilton, and both of these cities are also home to local CBC radio and television stations, whereas Hamilton has none.

The public broadcaster is aware of this, and in its 2005 Regional Strategy, CBC articulated its commitment to establishing new radio stations in several communities, with Hamilton as a priority region.

The Hamilton Media Project

Within this context, beginning in 2004, the Centre for Community Study (CCS) launched the Hamilton Media Project. A central pillar of the project has been engagement with the public broadcaster including advocating for a CBC radio presence in the region.

Through a focused effort that includes research, community engagement, meetings with executives from the public broadcaster, presentations before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (2007), and submissions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC), the CCS has argued that Hamilton is the most underserved community in terms of media in general in Canada and specifically in terms of CBC.

One goal of the Media Project is to urge the CBC to seek out solutions to this under-service, including securing a local frequency for a local CBC radio station.

Due to our proximity to Canada's largest media market, Toronto, frequencies are scarce. Therefore, the public broadcaster should consider a creative solution including the possibility of partnering with either McMaster University or Mohawk College to share their community/campus stations to provide a local CBC radio service.

Over the last two years, the precariousness of local commercial media has been exposed, with the demise of the CanWest Media Empire and the closure of local television stations across the country. Although we in Hamilton were saved the fate of losing our only local TV station, there is still a monopoly situation that exists in both talk radio and TV here.

As such, there is limited diversity of opinion in public affairs being presented by commercial media and little attention given to our many cultural gems, such as our world-renowned music scene.

The connection to our national public broadcaster is not just about local media diversity, but also about bringing Hamilton stories to the national stage. This is why it is imperative that Hamilton should be the priority locale for CBC's regional expansion of new radio stations.

Contact the CBC

Certainly we are heartened to see the CBC's renewed commitment to increasing local radio service in under-served regions, but the work is not over yet.

An early report suggests that Hamilton may be in line for a new micro news website to cover local issues. However, given the long-standing under-service to Hamilton, one of Canada's larger cities, CBC should also be establishing a local radio station.

Our community needs to rally now and make our voices heard with the leadership at the public broadcaster. All Hamilton residents who are interested in this issue can have their say in two ways. First you can communicate your views about CBC's overall 5-year strategy at CBC's online consultations.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a specific comment about CBC in Hamilton, you can email cbc@communitystudy.ca. The CCS will compile all comments and send them to CBC President Hubert Lacroix and Kirstine Stewart, Executive Vice President of English Services.

For more information on the Hamilton Media Project visit the Centre for Community Study website.

Sonja Macdonald is co-founder and research director at the Centre for Community Study. Sonja coordinates the Hamilton Media Project, which seeks to expand the local media diversity in the Hamilton region.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 17:44:03

It good to see Hamilton is seen as an opportunity to expand by the CBC. It up to the citizens to continue this in others areas and sectors as well.

New Moto.. "This is Hamilton?..hmmm not bad!"

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 17:54:05

This is awesome news. Aren't we a big enough market for other media as well? I think we sure could use another 'local' tv station too.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:04:18

This city is ripe for a "storefront" style news, local entertainment, arts scene, lifestyle television station close to the street, downtown, with a current, street savy, non traditional vibe. I'm sorry but CHCH is so white bread it isn't funny and if I hear Lisa DeAngelis say "sangwich" one more time I'm gonna puke.

Per capita The Hammer has one of the coolest, rawest, most talented music scene in North America. There are cultural events going on almost everyday across the city, amateur sport, local politics, the arts. They are all paid short shrift by the monopoly in town in both radio and tv. We need a Moses Znaimer type guy with some vision to turn this market upside down and reveal to the nation just how much this town rocks.

End of Rant.

Sorry.

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By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 13:00:40 in reply to Comment 59129

i second that emotion Shempatolla

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 08:55:24 in reply to Comment 59129

"We need a Moses Znaimer type guy with some vision to turn this market upside down and reveal to the nation just how much this town rocks."

At the very least we'd get a decade of blue movies before the careerism kicked in.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:34:28 in reply to Comment 59129

dude, you are so on the money. I've felt this way for years. It's telling that the only local media sources I use are the Spec's website, RTH, CATCH, The Hamiltonian, H Mag, twitter and various local blogs. I wouldn't even think of turning on the 6pm news or listening to our current radio offerings for anything other than sports etc.....

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By gullchasedship (registered) - website | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:06:52

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 04, 2011 at 11:16:08 in reply to Comment 59130

Look at it this way, CBC could be spending money on this or on buying more American TV show or producing more lackluster TV programmes.

I'd much rather see Hamilton get some good local news and event coverage rather than more Ghost Whisperer and Little Mosque.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 04, 2011 at 11:16:07 in reply to Comment 59130

Look at it this way, CBC could be spending money on this or on buying more American TV show or producing more lackluster TV programmes.

I'd much rather see Hamilton get some good local news and event coverage rather than more Ghost Whisperer and Little Mosque.

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By Participant (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:49:49 in reply to Comment 59130

GCS:
"Saturated" with what?
At 54, I'm the eldest person by far I know who listens to Radio One on a daily basis. Tune in one morning to The Current or 'Q' to understand how CBC radio programming in the 21st century has by necessity rendered itself current, relevant and in general entertaining. Its audience is young, bright and very engaged (not unlike that of RTH). It was a sad day indeed when we lost a Hamilton bureau at the mothercorp; now it's time we got CBC back into Hamilton's local consciousness. Thank you Sonja!

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:50:13 in reply to Comment 59130

The CBC is more than just radio. They have embraced all aspects of social and alternative forms of media. While I may not listen to traditional radio as much as I once did, the podcasts produced by the CBC are top quality and regularly find their way onto my iPhone for listening on the way to work, etc.

A CBC presence in Hamilton will also force other local media outlets out of their complacency. It's easy for CHCH, CHML and the Spec to stay in a rut when they have no significant direct competition in their respective forms of media. To be fair, they have all made improvements over the past year or two in order to keep up with the times, but not to the same degree as the CBC has done.

The CBC also presents an opportunity for our local stories to be elevated to a national level. Sure CHCH has a wide broadcast area, but is still essentially a regional influence in terms of news.

Lastly, it would be nice to have an 'outside' media presence that may be more willing to shine the light on local corruption. There are some stories that local media just won't touch.

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By SIgma Cub (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2011 at 21:42:13 in reply to Comment 59139

"There are some stories that local media just won't touch."

BTW, the new CBC digital service will be headed up by Executive Producer Roger Gillespie, 20-year veteran of the Hamilton Spectator.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 06:31:13 in reply to Comment 59139

"The CBC also presents an opportunity for our local stories to be elevated to a national level. Sure CHCH has a wide broadcast area, but is still essentially a regional influence in terms of news.

Lastly, it would be nice to have an 'outside' media presence that may be more willing to shine the light on local corruption. There are some stories that local media just won't touch."

Here's the thing: CHCH is owned by Channel Zero. Y108 and CHML are owned by Corus. K-Lite is owned by Astral Media. The Spectator and the city's community weeklies are owned by Torstar. All are Toronto affiliates and thus arguably 'outside' media presence.

Toronto is a media market led by private sector competition and home to a local/national dynamic that drives journalists to dig up stories. I'm having trouble thinking of any corruption stories that CBC Toronto has broken, but that's not to say there aren't any – just that a place like Toronto City Hall is not unfamiliar terrain for privately financed or independent investigative journalists. I have less difficulty thinking of Queens Park/Parliament Hill stories that the CBC has pried open, however.)

Local stories elevated to a national level in the last dozen years:

• Water Privatization/American Water:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/water/hamilton.html
"...done in collaboration with The Water Barons, an international investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which is a project of the Center for Public Integrity."

• Philip Services/Taro Dump
http://goo.gl/NvcJb

• Peter Rigo/Dominion Christian Centre
http://goo.gl/e32Y9

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 08:43:03 in reply to Comment 59170

Missed some more (non-news) Toronto-owned radio stations. Vinyl 95.3 is owned by Corus; CKOC and CHAM are Astral Media-owned.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 07:22:47 in reply to Comment 59170

You're right for the most part, although I remember The Current doing a fantastic piece on the Di Ianni election financing scandal. They may not have 'broken' the story, but they added the depth that our 'local' media were unwilling and/or unable to cover. That's just one example of the kinds of issues that our current local media can't handle, but the CBC excels at.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 08:32:05 in reply to Comment 59173

Forgot that example, though as you say, it's a qualified win – and got attention because it was a first. Had another mayor been charged before DiIanni, there would be no story.

Is that it for Radio One, though? I'm unfamiliar with the sleuthing prowess of Radio One affiliates in places like Edmonton, Quebec City, Winnipeg or London. (I confess that while I value the service, I tend to equate the CBC with balanced and earnest coverage of Canadiana and strained attempts to be hip.)

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:13:01 in reply to Comment 59130

Really? I find it commonplace for a radio to be on all day, but I work in an office, so maybe I am in the minority. I also listen to the radio in my vehicle.

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:08:26

there is limited diversity of opinion in public affairs being presented by commercial media

What are you talking about? The lines are open at CHML all the time! You can call in and get bullied and yelled at and hung up on every day!

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 06:35:58 in reply to Comment 59131

There's no call for rudeness, agreed. Cross Country Checkup at least indulges the trolls. ;)

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:31:03

This article by Nicole O'Reily in the Hamilton Spectator also mentions Hamilton being the largest underserved radio community in the country and that councillors McHattie, Collins and Merulla are fully supportive of a CBC radio station for Hamilton: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

It is high time for a new Hamilton CBC radio station to present news, fresh and balanced opinion, and to shine a light on the local arts scene.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 05:44:02 in reply to Comment 59133

Part of the reason this dynamic exists is much the same as our ongoing sports conundrums: because of Hamilton's proximity to Toronto. Advertisers aren't forced to buy into Hamilton stations to access Hamilton airwaves – in fact, it's almost always expressed as a bonus secondary market when TO stations make the pitch. Luckily, public money is immune to the cold logic of the marketplace.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 05:59:27 in reply to Comment 59166

Another local wrinkle in the broadcast radius story:

"In 1961, CHCH disaffiliated from the CBC and became an independent. The reason for the disaffiliation from CBC was threefold. Toronto's CBLT already provided full network service to some of CHCH's viewing area, and a power increase and change of channels at CBLT (from Channel 9 to Channel 6 and eventually Channel 5) would result in an overlap of nearly all of the CHCH and CBLT coverage areas. Additionally, the station's managers wanted to produce a larger amount of local programming, instead of being forced to carry CBC programming."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHCH-TV#CBC_affiliation

At least we got Frightenstein out of the bargain.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:47:42

@ Andrea and Shemp, check out what Niagara has around the corner:

http://wn.com/The_Launch_of_The_'X'_Zone_with_Rob_McConnell_on_Niagara_Now_TV_NNTV_Postponed

Radio listenership is indeed down, but let's look at what replaced it: portable, personalized music. That wasn't available in the previous media model. I think radio will always be around for the car and the office (as @Andrea mentioned). Commercial-free radio has eroded that market, too, but eventually - you gotta hook up with what's going on.

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By goin'downtown (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 18:55:41

sorry...break in thought...so much to cover! There actually is really decent local music programming and coverage here in The Hammer, (C101, CFMU, Y108) it's just not front and centre.

There's also a bit of a movement to save the CBC from the chopping block right now, based upon comments made by Dean Del Mastro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

http://www.friends.ca/ILoveCBC/

http://thestar.blogs.com/politics/2010/1...

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By MattM (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:27:17

Y108? Yah, that's great if you want to hear Back in Black 16 times a day and listen to 32 different beer commercials.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 01:40:39 in reply to Comment 59141

Agree 100%!

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By GlennBeck (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:37:21

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:38:38

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 20:45:07 in reply to Comment 59143

"Why should we even have it other than to serve communities that would otherwise have no radio or TV??????"

Listen to nothing but Hamilton talk radio for one week and you'll understand.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 10:22:43 in reply to Comment 59150

I understand that there is no market for what you want to hear. I have no problem with local coverage.

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By H-RAG (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:38:39

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By saywhat aka Scott Thompsom and Bill Kell (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:42:50

CBC will put the final nail in the coffin of the two morons Bill Kelly and Scott Thompson. I would take a tax increase to rid us of these clowns. Has beens and wanna be politicians. Lmao

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By anyone but Scott Thompson and Bill Kelly (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 19:48:27

Please CBC come to Hamilton to rid us of the wannabe and has been morons known as Scott Thompsom and Bill Kelly. These guys are giving Morons a bad name. Plus they both are poster boys for having a face for radio. Ewwww. Lmao

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 21:14:58

Due to our proximity to Canada's largest media market, Toronto, frequencies are scarce. Therefore, the public broadcaster should consider a creative solution including the possibility of partnering with either McMaster University or Mohawk College to share their community/campus stations to provide a local CBC radio service.

This a great idea leveraging synergies for the Mohawk media courses! We get a great station (I listen to 101.5 most of the time now) and the students get real world class work experience.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 05:56:28 in reply to Comment 59154

My limited understanding (open to clarification) is that the scarcity of frequency availability would mean that a Hamilton CBC station would supplant 93.3 or 101.5. Most southern Ontario affiliates seem to be below 94.1 on the dial, so I would guess that CBC would replace CFMU.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 09:25:44 in reply to Comment 59167

A CBC-radio affiliate in Hamilton need not replace an existing station, but could work with it to deliver CBC programming in Hamilton.

I got rumblings a few years back from other CFMU volunteers that the CBC had actually approached CFMU about sharing the signal (CBC programming during the day, CFMU at night), but didn't know if it was true until CFMU's station manager owned-up to the discussions on a friend's Facebook wall a couple of days back.

I don't know what the details of the agreement would have been, but obviously it fell through, and the process apparently they left a bit of a bad taste in the station manager's mouth, so no idea what might happen this time around.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 10:55:08 in reply to Comment 59188

Can you suggest a current example – ideally, another campus-bound CBC affiliate – as to how this might work? I'm guessing the station would benefit from hardware upgrades, but I can imagine the politics of it getting sticky. Especially under a day/night split. I gather that MBTRG is an overnight consideration and therefore probably in the clear, but what counts as "night", for example? 6pm-6am? What would this do to the existing multicultural/advocacy component of CFMU? To what extent would it require buy-in from the MSU? To what extent would it endanger MSU funding (multiculti/Freewheeling Folk show being great money levers)? Would the station be bumped off-campus as a matter of practicality? All questions with the capacity for creating unease or leaving a bad taste.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted February 04, 2011 at 09:51:21 in reply to Comment 59190

MM, honestly I have no idea--I wasn't involved in the discussions, and obviously whatever was discussed was contentious enough to scuttle the whole thing.

I would suggest that the exact same questions you ask were being asked by our station manager and he probably didn't like the answers (esp. since, as you mention, he'd be cutting maybe 1/3 of the station's programming w/ a day/night split).

MSU rate-payers would probably also have some tough questions, since its students that mostly pay for CFMU's operation, and they'd lose opportunities to actually produce programming during the most heavily listened-to spots.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 11:06:48 in reply to Comment 59190

Can you suggest a current example – ideally, another campus-bound CBC affiliate – as to how this might work?

During the CBC lock out a few years back, Metro Morning was produced and broadcast out of CIUT, U of T's station. Granted it was a temporary arrangement, but might provide a template.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 10:58:13 in reply to Comment 59190

Meant to break the funding Q into MSU and community-based fundraising, which is obviously where the multiculti/Freewheeling Folk programming comes in.

BTW, please don't mistake my line of questioning as FUD – it's just a novel arrangement and as I know that it's a struggle to maintain independent radio in any city, I'm curious as to how this might take shape.

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By Emptor (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 22:10:29

Please God; give me something better than CHML to listen to

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 04, 2011 at 11:23:32 in reply to Comment 59156

We've already got it. 101.5 is flippin' awesome. Only drawback is the news is weak - whenever their DJs comment about the news, it's cringe-inducingly bad, and their actual news coverage is just Canadian Press.

But otherwise, I haven't flipped to any Corus products in weeks... well, except for reggae. Dunno why, but I can't stand reggae.

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By Austin Powers (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 22:12:54

CBC 1, CBC 2, CBC 3, CBC 4, CBC 5, CBC 6, CBC 7...CBC Heaven

CBC Hamilton. Can't Wait. This sort of thing is my bag, baby.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted February 02, 2011 at 22:14:02

The Haters might be surprised to know that Metro Morning (CBC Radio 1's Toronto morning show) has been the NUMBER ONE Toronto morning show for years (since about 2002 I believe).

I don't listen to Metro Morning much - because most of the time it is just too Toronto - but on big issues like G20 and whats going on in Egypt right now - you can't even begin to compare the quality of programming to what most CHML listeners would be used to.

And speaking of CHML - they own the old folks home grumpy AM market - retired geezers like Fred and John are not going to start calling in on CBC - so I honestly can't see CBC radio hurting their CHML's ratings.

I can't express how happy I would be to have Hamilton centric, morning and drive home radio programming.

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By cityfan (registered) | Posted February 02, 2011 at 22:22:51

@ Emptor

I sooo agree with you!

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By RayMonty (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 00:07:21

How about nice street front CBC Studio/Alternative Media Centre perhaps as one of the cornerstones of a revived Royal Connaught!

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By bobinnes (registered) - website | Posted February 03, 2011 at 00:30:43

CBC: yea, yuk, yum, yeow. I agree with everybody! CBC is a tax sponge that needs no extra, but to which I listen muchly, mostly their podcasts. If they weren't so politically correct, I'd be less ambivalent, so I have to think the bashers have a point. Hamilton radio has nothing to fear since I don't listen anyway but anything to raise the tenor of public debate has to be welcome.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 07:55:59

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By rednic (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 08:26:31

I think the storefront idea would be great .. but the musicians should also be pushing to make hamilton the easter outpost of cbc3 ...It would be good for local talent an also take away some of the spot light away from toronto ...

The other part i would question is a frequency really required in this day and age ? I dont own a radio at all and listen to cbc every day .. via the internet ... and CBC3 is NOT available on a frequency ..

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By cmc (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 11:20:25

If you listen to Radio One from Toronto you have to regard it as an inequity that Hamilton is part of 99.1's broadcast range and gets virtually no coverage by that station. A lot of resources go into CBC local programming on radio, which is why private broadcasters will oppose local Hamilton CBC programming. Metro Morning is number one in Toronto because it covers developments in the GTA comprehensively and intelligently,

What we are talking about is, at most, six hours of local programming between the morning show and the afternoon "drive-time" show plus five minute local newscasts on the half hour. The rest is network programming.

That portion of the broadcast day would make a huge difference to Hamilton and the surrounding area--coverage of local politics, social issues, community events, business, food, arts and culture.

I find it difficult to understand the contention that there is already enough local media. Not enough to properly cover the recent civic election I'd say. And to those who say that Hamilton has enough music radio I'd say that the limited amount of coverage that Hamilton CBC would give to local musicians would greatly benefit the music scene here.

Having had a role in a campus community station and valuing what those stations offer I do not see the sharing of the sharing of a frequency as a solution that furthers choice on the radio. CBC should offer local programming in as many places as it is able. Synergies aside, I don't see why that should happen at the expense of community stations.

Internet broadcasting is an option for listeners but a lot of people still depend upon radios for live broadcasting even if their devices now come with I-Pod docks. The great obstacle to CBC expanding into Hamilton is the expense of a local operation to a public corporation already hurting for funds and operating in a hostile political environment. Another factor is the perversity of CRTC licensing decisions.

There certainly are many options to local radio that didn't exist in the past. I can listen to a station from New Orleans or BBC over the internet without difficulty. Still, Radio One offers a form of live talk radio for which there is an established and continuing demand. I don't expect CBC in Hamilton to happen but it would a great benefit to the city if it did.



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By hmag (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 11:32:45

There was a proposal to use CFMU's frequency and partner with our campus station to provide those crucial six hours of local programming. CFMU would resume for the rest of the day - while you could tune into 99.1 to get the cross country CBC programming.

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 11:50:32

"If you listen to Radio One from Toronto you have to regard it as an inequity that Hamilton is part of 99.1's broadcast range and gets virtually no coverage by that station. A lot of resources go into CBC local programming on radio, which is why private broadcasters will oppose local Hamilton CBC programming. Metro Morning is number one in Toronto because it covers developments in the GTA comprehensively and intelligently,"

Totally agree. I know way more about morning traffic conditions in Toronto than in Hamilton. The only time Hamilton is mentioned is during the weather forecast. I would love to have some quality coverage of Hamilton and surrounding area.

Comment edited by BeulahAve on 2011-02-03 11:51:29

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 12:20:30

"The estimated $33-million cost of the plan over five years – which includes doubling the percentage of the CBC’s budget going toward digital services – is expected to come through further cost-cutting and streamlining efficiencies. The broadcaster won’t be asking Ottawa for extra funding, CBC executives said. .... Meanwhile, CBC management stressed its new regional expansion. Over the past several months, there has already been an increase in local news and programming across Canada, including pilots for new morning and weekend news shows. But around seven million Canadians, even those in relatively large towns and cities, currently don’t have local or regional fare, a particular problem in the West. Upcoming expansions will entail giving some CBC regional offices new equipment to deliver radio, TV and digital programming. The CBC will also create “micro” news websites for large communities, for example the large Montreal suburb of Longueuil. Hamilton is another city under consideration for local coverage on the Internet."

http://goo.gl/LO5oi

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By beaslyfireworkstechnican (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 13:30:31

CBCFMU.

do it.

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By Langdon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 14:12:13

Great article, but if this CBC dream is to become reality, where are the local politicians on this? It's one thing to have community group discussions, but if there is no push from our local MPs (Sweet & Alison), the mayor and members of Council, this is not going to go anywhere (as we've witnessed since the 2005 report was released). Congratulations to Councillor McHattie and former Mayor Eisenberger for supporting the CBC initiative. Now, let's get the rest of council on board along with David and Dean. Otherwise, this is not likely to happen. I am in full support and would love for our community to enjoy professional, mature and "classy" radio/tv programming for a change. We certainly need something to turn our current local media outlets on their collective heads. Thank you for the opportunity to post my comments.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 14:16:02

I believe Sweet was supportive in the past. Hopefully he and McHattie will pick up the ball again, now that there's a very real possibility.

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By Langdon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 14:23:38

Mr. Sweet's soft support should be ramped up to advocacy. With all due respect, the Member for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale is largely missing-in-action, only available for photo-ops when the Feds are doling out cash. This is such an easy win, I'm surprised he hasn't been the lead champion.

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By cmc (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 14:41:08

@Langdon

Jason Farr has indicated his support for local CBC.

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By sweet and sour (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 18:08:37

>This is such an easy win, I'm surprised he hasn't been the lead champion.

really? I'm surprised he even attends the photo-opps. most useless MP we have had ever and still can't believe he won given his past statements.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted February 04, 2011 at 18:26:35 in reply to Comment 59236

I'm one of Sweet's constituents, and both eager and happy to let his past be the past. I have spoken with him enough to know that he takes seriously his role of representing all his constituents.

But that said, jeepers is this ever right. Sweet is as useless as boobs on a man. Even on veterans' issues where he is most active, he's done nothing of practical use, it's all decorative/photo op stuff.

That said, at least he is not Mr. Single Issue Gord Guyatt, the Walking Conflict of Interest.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 14:38:58 in reply to Comment 59277

I am also a constituent of Sweet's.

It has not been my experience that he takes an equal interest in All constituents. (He may take an interest in those who voted for him though..?)

One person who works at his campaign office was absolutely the rudest, most arrogant person I've ever spoken to! I thought we had a vicious dog ban? Don't savage the constituents, or allow your staff to do so!

If anything he, should take a page out of Rob Ford's book. Ford didn't get elected Mayor of Toronto on any of his records except 'Service to his constituents & others'. I am NOT pro Ford, but I do know Why he was elected, & it wasn't just gravy train issues. He is proactive, polite & dare I say..Helpful..? (even if you didn't vote for him.)

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 04, 2011 at 19:37:36 in reply to Comment 59277

By "walking conflict of interest" do you mean the fact that a medical professional vocal in his support protecting universal healthcare, or is there something I'm missing?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 04, 2011 at 11:29:40 in reply to Comment 59236

Because people aren't voting for him. Ancaster-flamboropugh-etc's candidates all seem to be backbenchers so people are really just voting for the party leader.

Which is sad, because I actually really like Dr. Guyatt.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 15:08:45 in reply to Comment 59269

I like Guyatt too!

I don't feel that he was a one issue candidate at all.

(Better a candidate with one issue, that's an important, universal social issue, than a candidate with no actual issues at all, until he get's elected & then he can sprout some.)

A 100% Safe Seat is a Vacant Seat.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 15:07:00 in reply to Comment 59269

I like Guyatt too!

I don't feel that he was a one issue candidate at all.

(Better a candidate with one issue, that's an important, universal social issue, that no actual issues at all, until he get's elected & then sprouts some.)

A 100% Safe Seat is a Vacant Seat.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 15:14:12 in reply to Comment 59322

(sorry about double post!)

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By Hoblo (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 20:35:01

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By davidsfawcett (registered) - website | Posted February 04, 2011 at 19:27:11

Here's my letter to the Spec © Hamilton Spectator from Sept. 2007. Hope they don't take us all to court!

CBC Radio 1's morning show in Toronto is rated No. 1 among many competitors because it caters to the issues and interests of listeners. Their on-air motto is "Totally Toronto."

Hamilton represents a bare 15 per cent of the population of the GTA. Our concerns are not those of CBC Toronto's listeners. It is unreasonable to expect a Toronto station to present Hamilton issues to their public regardless of the easy availability of the radio signal here.

Hamilton's on-air personalities could offer the sort of intelligent engaging segments which typify the CBC's local morning and drive-home shows (not just in Toronto, but in all the markets they serve), but these do not represent the format of commercial stations which offer inane conversation, irrelevant music and endless commercial messages.

I live in Hamilton and listen to CBC Toronto because the quality and format of their programs are far superior to commercial radio. Hamilton is the largest Canadian city without a CBC Radio 1 presence. We should have access to the first-class programming that can be provided by Canada's national broadcaster.

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By konzertina (anonymous) | Posted February 04, 2011 at 21:28:04 in reply to Comment 59279

We used to have some Hamilton 5th columnists on CBC. Matt Maychak (a local boy, Metro Morning before Andy Barry) and Jeff Goodes (Fresh Air, a Winnipeger transplanted to the NEW City of Hamilton) used to plug the hell out of the Hammer. The Mother Corp reeled the new folks back into a proper Hogtown-as-centre-of-the-universe perspective.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 08:05:33

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 14:50:32

Haven't we walked this way before? A number of times?

I'd love to see a CBC affiliate here but It's Not going to happen, because the powers that be ( Remember the Stadium debate, & every other big issue lately) won't let it happen.
If the Stadium debate showed us anything, it was that Hamilton is closed to new ideas, new people, & anything that rocks the current status quo.

"We have enough local celeb's & stars, We have enough public opinion. Our 'movers & shakers' are shaking the same old things. Predictable is Good! We are just Fine as we are, & thanks, but No Thanks!"

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By cmc (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 16:23:17

It shouldn't be necessary to point this out but the BBM results cited by Say What are for a twenty hour broadcast day. It's in the morning slot that Radio One has consistently led in Toronto. This is local rather than network programming. Hamilton already receives Radio One's network programming. What it does not receive is local CBC programming and local coverage.

You can argue for or against what CBC radio offers. You can argue for or against having a public broadcaster. Before you claim that an argument is based upon a lie, however, you might do better to determine what facts are at issue.

I don't have a whole lot at stake in this discussion and I've already identified an area in which I disagree with the author of the piece we are supposed to be commenting on. Say What's entry raises another issue.

RTH was recommended to me some time after I arrived in the city. I have followed it since. It's a source of information and generally informed argument. There is plenty written on this site I disagree with and a lot of politics that strike me as naive but, to me, RTH is a positive presence in the city.

Something else that I have found is that there is a band of individuals who lurk about the site waiting for the opportunity to deliver snaps or putdowns upon blog contributors. Apparently, there is too much risk in developing an argument one might have to defend in detail. Of course, every blogsite invites this kind of participation and there is little gained by paying it too much heed. I suppose that this kind of contribution is therapeutic, perhaps even cathartic, for these participants but it has convinced me that the system of voting down comments, applied properly, is a valuable tool--which is not what I thought about it at first.

I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said before and I'm reluctant to use the occasion of one single entry to make a point and possibly inspire more of this sniping but I find it therapeutic to comment one time on this troubling phenomenon.



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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 10:33:12 in reply to Comment 59329

Well said dude/dudette?

In general I find the debate here civilized and well informed but as of late there has definitely been an influx of troll type sniping and put downs. A migration from other media sites and "supporters" of the city's "institution" called the Tiger Cats.

Like you (and as someone who views himself as a right of center guy) there is plenty written here that I disagree with and I have commented as such when I felt inspired to do so. But yes RTH is a positive in this town and as a place where the vast majority of posters participate in a respectful and thoughtful way it will be one I continue to frequent. Thanks for posting.

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By Guglielmo (anonymous) | Posted February 11, 2011 at 14:27:17

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/cbc-5-year-plan-includes-new-radio-stations-115019569.html

There are no details yet on where new radio stations might pop up, or which TV stations might get an injection of cash and staff. Lacroix suggested the heavily populated areas around Montreal might get some attention.

He used Longueuil, Que., as a example of a large suburban community that might benefit from more local coverage through the CBC's website. Hamilton has long been discussed internally as a good candidate for a local radio station.

But how will the CBC pay for more regional programming, which is much more expensive than national programming? The slim, seven-page plan includes bureaucratic headscratchers such as "360-degree revenue management" or "an enterprise-wide approach to procurement and merchandising."

There are hints advertising will play a big role: "To fund our strategy, we need to grow our commercial revenues faster than the overall market."

Ian Morrison, spokesman for the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, says he worries about a further commercialization of the CBC, which might force more emphasis on shows that attract advertisers rather than those that fulfil its mandate under the Broadcasting Act.

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By craigbear (anonymous) | Posted February 11, 2011 at 17:20:35

It seems to me that the solution is really rather simple; CBLA's transmitter in Paris/Brantford could quite easily be turned into a new CBC station that would target the Hamilton/Brantford/Kitchener-Waterloo areas.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2011 at 15:23:01

Here's an interesting parallel in NPR, which is largely listener-supported, unlike CBC.

"Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from the tape is when [NPR SVP of development Ron] Schiller talks about NPR's funding. Out of a budget of about $800 million a year, only $90 million comes from the federal government."

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/03/npr_vp_in_the_long_run_we_woul.html

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