A couple of months ago, CBC Radio 2 made some changes which resulted in the cancellation of its evening classical music programmes, including my favourite: Two New Hours with Larry Lake. Two New Hours was the only radio programme to exclusively feature contemporary classical music, and its cancellation has ramifications for all of Canada’s composers and musicians, not to mention the audiences who relied on this particular programme as the only one of its kind to present the music of our living composers, as interpreted by Canada’s best, most creative musicians. It allowed us to travel all across the country from the comfort of our own homes, to hear great concerts such as those from the Winnipeg New Music Festival, and to feel connected with the new music community. It was one-of-a-kind, and now it’s gone – there is no alternative.
Critics (myself included) are condemning the changes as a “dumbing down” of CBC’s programming, that it unnecessarily duplicates other radio stations’ programming and leaves a big hole in fulfilling its mandate “to provide rich, original content that reflects the diversity of Canada.” Some lively discussions about the issue can be found here and here, as well as this letter to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage by composer Paul Steenhuisen.
A petition to restore CBC Radio Two has been initiated to try and convince those in power to undo these changes and reinstate “the type of intelligent, provocative and informative programming that has long been a hallmark of Radio 2.” Feel free to sign this petition if you have any interest in the issue. And be assured, this is NOT one of those silly chain emails that goes around; it is a legitimate petition.
Here’s hoping I get my CBC back.
[Dale’s note: this is a link to a page on the Canadian Blog Exchange which includes summaries of blog posts about the CBC]
Things only get worse. Daytime programs on Radio 2 are now almost unlistenable. They all are beginning to sound like “Disc Drive”!. I can no longer listen. News has almost dissapeared. Junk music is being included in classical programs. eg. “Studio Sparks”. There is no arts reporting of any kind. Promos are included now in the middle of shows. Long established shows are going, or are about to go. And all for what ? Nothing of any merit is taking their place. And it will get even worse within the next six months. The C.B.C. has ceased to play a part in my life. And there are thousands like me. What a tragedy for Canada.
I hear you. I can’t tell you how many times lately I have switched away from CBC while listening to the radio – I am just so tired of their crappy programming lately. Boring music, pointless interviews – same old crap day after day. Nothing against Rhapsody in Blue, but could we please find something else to play, too? And don’t get me started about some of the hosts…
The thing is, I keep turning it on, hoping that today will be different – I am an eternal optimist…
As of this exact moment, there are 867 signatures on the petition to restore CBC Radio Two. Who knows if it will make any difference, but we can try, right?
I heard of this silly decision in Australia, while listining to ABC Classical. I couldn’t understand why CBC Management, already famous for “stupity” in the last years would tamper with Radio 2. I’m apposed and will make sure I vote against the current government.
I live in Ann Arbor Michigan. I listen daily to the CBC Radio. My heart is broken. Why has CBC Radio been destroyed? All the classical music keeps the World a better place. Please keep trying to bring the Radio 2 back . I wish I could sign your petition. All of my ancestors were fellow Canadians would that count for something?
After day one on the “new and improved” radio two, I am predictably disappointed. They’ve lost me (and I have no where to go).
The classical music host is dull and boring; Tom Allen’s show is unlistenable, and the rest is really really bad.
Try Classic FM from the UK on the internet — http://www.classicfm.co.uk/Default.asp
Shame on CBC.
The directors should be hanged.
Try ; http://www.operacast.com/index.htm
On this station you have music and opera for 24 hours and 7 days a week from all over the world.
Much better that CBC.
Would the Naomi Putterman who posted on September 2, 2008 (see above) be the same Naomi Putterman that lived in Marin County California in the late 70´s and early 80’s? I’m just an old friend trying to track down Lagunitas School District graduates from 1981.
-Alejandro (Alex) Moreno, firstname.lastname@example.org
Still mourning the loss of the most superb music programming in North America. I had alerted all my friends to this exceptional pleasure of exploring classical music. Now we are embarrassed to find an incredibly shallow and largely insipid presentation. There must be a way to get back at least some of the people we so long admired.
If I recall correctly, the reason for the “new format” was to attract new listeners. Has there ever been a follow-up study to see if the changes have increased or decreased the numbers of listeners?
I know where my money will go on the result.
The ad for “Radio Two Drive” quotes Rich Terfry as saying, “If it ain’t broke , don’t fix it.” Well, I say that the old show in his time slot, “Disc Drive” with Jurgen Goth wasn’t broken and didn’t need fixing.
When I’m driving home from work between 3 and 6 PM I want to have one station I can turn the dial to and find classical music. Especially at that time of day I want to hear something calm and peaceful, or at least beautiful. I don’t want to have to pay attention to lyrics.
I know that Mr. Terfry is showcasing new Canadian talent, and that’s all well and good, but couldn’t this be done on CBC One somewhere? The CBC Two that I have grown to know and love is for classical music. Please bring it back!
While I’m here, I’d like to say how much I enjoy Julie Nesrallah’s show in the morning, and Tom Alllen’s contributions as well. Keep up the good work!