Wednesday, June 11, 2008

274th Post - Just Changed My Mind

I was going to post this evening about the time I stood a girl up for a date. It's a funny story in retrospect, but I won't tell it tonight. It will be told in the next few days, after the special #275th post goes up. That post may be delayed a little bit until the subject of the interview this week vets the notes I e-mailed him the other day.

(I have 3 more interviews lined up, by the way. And they're not all radio people, either. Details to follow.)

What I want to discuss this evening is the new radio station that is going on air on Thursday in the Annapolis Valley.

I grew up in that part of the world. As youngsters listening to the radio, we had the choice of listening to Annapolis Valley Radio, or the CBC. AVR was... how can I put this nicely, not very good. The worst music you could imagine. Not always professional-sounding jocks. As I understand it, they paid their staff not very much money, and the end product showed.

Got my first radio at the age of ten, and I quickly learned that there were radio stations I could listen to from outside the Valley, ones whose programming was compelling and invited me to come back for more. I could pick up the AM stations in Halifax, for example, like the late and lamented CJCH. At night, I could listen to radio stations like WINS or WCBS in New York.

Anyway, it seemed that very few people liked AVR. Maybe even some of the people who worked there.

In 1986, they started an FM service, or rather, they resumed their FM service, after having allowed the CBC to use that signal for many years. Magic 97 went on the air, and the best thing I can say about it is that it didn't suck. I rather liked it in the early years; and it was a disappointment once I moved to the city that I could not listen to that station despite my best efforts. Not the best FM signal booster, not the highest quality dipole antenna, not nothin', would let me pick up that station.

Magic 97's programming got worse and worse over the years. It eventually became Magic 94.9, a 100 000 watt station that I suppose I could pick up here at home if I wanted to try. But the quality of programming is just not there.

Well, tomorrow, residents will have what I prayed for as a young 'un: Competition in the private radio market. K-Rock 89.3 goes on the air just past 8am. 30 000 watts of signal should go through most of the Valley very nicely. And the music will be the stuff I typically like. The K-Rock format is over on Prince Edward Island at 105.5. I can pick up that Newcap station very well when we are at the cottage, and it is pretty good.

For what it is worth, and that probably ain't much, I wish this new radio venture all the best. There has been a huge musical void in the Valley, a massive itch that has never been satisfactorily scratched; and tomorrow that void will be filled. I feel a little sorry for the staff and management at that other station.

Wish I lived there again, if only to be able to hear that destined-to-be-cool radio station.

Tomorrow, I hope: post #275, which features an interview with... but that would be telling!


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