Monday, August 26, 2013

Post 2428 - Radio 965: Initial Thoughts.

First of all, a health update.  I saw my doctor this afternoon.  We went over the test results from the blood tests I had a few weeks ago.  My iron and ferritin levels are returning to normal.   My hemoglobin levels went from 127 three months ago up to 144, which is a low normal for a guy.  And my ferritin levels went from a nearly-not-there 10 all the way up to 41.  I guess all that raw red meat, iron supplements and attaching myself to electromagnets is helping.  The only side effect is the baying at the moon.  Can't have it all.

My days of donating blood are behind me.  I nearly ruined my health doing so, and it is not worth it.  Maybe I'll donate plasma, but no more whole blood.  It'd be ironic if I needed a blood transfusion after donating some of my own.

Anyway, let's talk about the new radio station in Halifax.

KOOL FM signed off for good at noon today.  The last song they played under the old format was "Thank You For Being A Friend" by Andrew Gold.  The new station signed on right after.  Newcap, those sneaky little buggers, had bought several domain names in an attempt to thwart the three people in the world who spend their off-work time thinking and writing about Halifax radio and who would investigate errant domain names.  (Me, Wayne Harrett, and the guy who runs the Radio Insights website are those three people.)

The station promised to play stuff like "Of Monsters and Men", "Mumford and Sons", Maroon 5, and lots of other quieter musical artists of the current generation.  My impression so far is that it is an upbeat Lite 92.9.  You will hear Adele, but you hear her on C100, Lite 92.9, formerly on Live 105(!), and maybe even Energy 103. Do you see where I am going with this?

I listened during my lunch hour, and while I was driving to and from my doctor's appointment.  I heard David Myles' "How Did I Ever Think I Loved You?".  Now, don't get me wrong.  I have enjoyed David Myles' music for the better part of 10 years now.  I think it's amazingly neat that his career is finally taking off after all his hard work, and after years and years of being known only within the context of CBC radio.   But I have heard that song on C100, Stan Carew's weekend show on CBC, Energy 103, and now Radio965.   I don't listen to Lite 92.9 enough to know if the tune is on that fine station.  Quite frankly, it should be if it isn't.  At least four stations play that song.  Great for royalties for David Myles and Classified.  Not so great if this new station really wants to present a different musical personality from stations already in this market.

Radio 965 replaced KOOL FM, a station whose music had grown stale for me years ago, but which had a big following among people of a certain age who could not let go of their youth and wanted to be constantly reminded of the music from those halcyon days.  It had a good run, but it was time to let it go and try something else.  The music on the new station should not be bothersome to any of these older people disappointed and bitter to lose KOOL FM.  It is perfectly good music that isn't going to offend anybody.  It's safe.  Whether that rotates your axle, floats your boat, or inflates your balloon, is up to you.  And if that is what they're going for, then they are meeting their goals, even if the objectives may not be the most efficient.

I have promised to give Radio 965 a chance.  I am looking forward to what Domink Diamond and Kate Venas will do with the morning show, which starts Tuesday.  Sweets is the Drive Home guy.  He is late of K-Rock in New Minas, where he did Drive there for the last six months (and swing for 7 months before that), since Mel Sampson went to Miramichi to become PD of 95.9 Sun FM.  And I am also curious to know what their mid day person will do, since she is also the Music Director.  They're trying to keep it a secret for some reason, but she will be Christina Fitzgerald, who is apparently working at Live 105 until Thursday and commences work at  Newcap the very next morning.   I interviewed her last year.  There are other day parts to fill, and I do not know who will fill them.  When I find out, so will you.  I am grateful that this new station plans to staff most day parts rather than what KOOL FM had become, with only Griff and Caroline as the on air jocks.  That is a huge, honkin', impressive step in the right direction.  Gold stars and three huzzahs for Newcap for doing this.

I wish Radio 965 well.  They will have to differentiate themselves from seemingly-similar stations in this market, but it is very early days.  They will have to find their own voice, and I look forward to them clearing their throat so that listeners can find out what it is.

See you tomorrow.


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