I’m loyal to brands that give me good service. Consider my internet service provider, mentioned in the preceding post. I’ve been with them since 1989, when they first started with their almost shoe-sized Amigo cellphones.
I’ve been loyal to a nightly TV news broadcast and two particular radio stations, too — though when BCE took over ownership of CFCF-TV and the CJAD-AM and CHOM-FM radio stations in Montreal, my loyalty started to wane as the corporation, which regularly posts billion-dollar profits each quarter, started cutting favourite on-air personalities.
I have boycotted all three above-mentioned stations in protest from time to time, but I always returned. But I haven’t listened to CJAD since the beginning of the new year when they cut the only two on-air personalities — Jon Pole and Dr. Laurie Betito — I actually tuned in to. I still watch CFCF’s newscast at 6, when I am not working for my own newspaper.
But CHOM-FM is another matter. Regular readers here have seen me praise CHOM over the years. And they’ve seen me boycott the station when I was peeved off about staff cuts BCE made there. But I always went back. CHOM is my oldest habit: I’ve been listening to it since the 1970s. I’m a hippie chick and a rocker. It’s in my blood. And CHOM is the only station that targets my g-g-g-generation.
But some of their on-air personalities are wearing me down these days. The problem: they talk too much, and some of it is simply prattle, in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and there doesn’t seem to be as much time left to waste.
OK, I know that millennials and so many other younger generations who listen exclusively to Spotify or other music streaming apps are probably thinking, ‘Duh, what took you so long?’
Well, as mentioned, it was loyalty and habit. I was part of the CHOM Rocks!! crowd, until it started to rock less and became a station of chatterboxes.
And I have a subscription to Google/YouTube music now. For a mere $10 a month, I have unlimited music options available to me with no ads and no mindless chatter — and I’ve been discovering amazing rock ‘n’ roll bands that CHOM never played. I feel ripped off now.
So, I seldom listen to CHOM anymore, though I like to tune in for Randy Renaud’s lunchtime special when he gives listeners a chance to vote on songs picked for a daily theme. But that’s over by 12:20 p.m. And I turn off the station and go back to YouTube music.
Randy’s show is the successor to his predecessor’s lunchtime show, The Electric Lunchhour, which lasted for an hour. I rarely missed that show because not only did we get to hear oldies that seldom get airplay anymore, but we got some amazing history from the host, Tootall, who has since retired.
Randy does a great job, too, but his 20-minute feature doesn’t measure up to Tootall’s show.
As for Jon Pole and Dr. Laurie Betito, they both have podcasts now. Their new incarnation is better for listeners than their previous gigs on CJAD were. We the listeners can listen when we want, and we don’t have to worry about some corporation taking them away from us.
Still, it’s hard to break the tie with CHOM. It’s a part of me. But even this dinosaur can (finally) see that the era of commercial radio may be coming to an end.