Automation of Canadian Radio Stations - Page 4 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #46 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-10-19, 09:44 PM
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I honestly do not know, as I do not live in those areas and do not have a say in how those specific radio stations operate. I do know that with all the automation in radio, there was a huge amount of Manual Programming all day yesterday on many FM Radio Stations. The reason? Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip past away, and there was so much demand for his group's music, and his solo music, that Practically Every Radio Station HAD to play The Hip, heck even Much Music was playing non-stop hip videos yesterday and today. This tells you that even though radio stations have a strict schedule to adhere to, they are VERY flexible in their program schedule when there is enough public demand, and this programming change requires, yup you guessed it, HUMANS to control. Humans were talking on the air, they were playing interviews of The Hip from the past, they were playing songs from their LPs they were playing songs from live performances, they were even taking calls on the air of listeners and the hip fans and asking them what song they want to hear and what their best memory of the hip were. So as much as you want to say Automation was taking over, yesterday proved 100% that we are not there and there is still a lot of Manual programming behind the scenes, just a lot of you do not see it because you do not work in the Radio and Television sector.

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post #47 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-10-21, 10:38 PM
 
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Thanks. As an actual human programming such a station, I can say that not only did corporate not interfere with what we needed to do locally, they supported us with resources and ideas from across the country.
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post #48 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-08, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Inglewood View Post
How automated are Canadian radio stations?

The local radio in my market is getting ridiculous - some stations share the same DJ for a few hours a day. The rest of the day sounds like a playlist that is poorly setup and rarely changed.

It has gotten to the point where I hear a certain bumper, or commercial, and I know what song is coming on next, and the song after that. It has been the same for months. Other channels are the same when I keep track.

I figure they have automated the hell out of a group of stations to the point where they can't even be bothered to reset or re-arrange the playlists to save further $$$. The only thing that changes is the weather forecast (which is usually way off, or an old one some poor intern without a radio voice recorded put in a pre-assigned spot, or it is missing completely) and a quick news break (which like the weather, is sometimes way out of date or very generic Canadian national news that seems to be read by a random person off the street sometimes).

One local station, still on October 5th, is playing bumpers that "Summer is here" and "welcome to summer" with random jokes about the heat that is coming. The same station has a bumper for "Today's weather forecast" with 20-30 seconds of dead air after it. Then "Traffic brought to you by sponsor ABC" with another segment of dead air.

Isn't there a better way to automate these stations - for example:

-isn't there software that could shuffle a playlist, and advertisements/bumpers randomly? I know that SiriusXM use to play the same songs over and over in the same order on some channels, so maybe this doesn't exist, and maybe isn't affordable to local stations.

-can't the weather be automated? Can't a software package process the info from a local weather station and a Siri type voice read the forecast?

-for other news, it could be automated the same way - some service can provide sports scores, national news, etc. that is read by a computer?

Maybe I just need to get with the times and admit that AM/FM radio that plays music is dead, and subscribe to a service that will mix music better...however I miss someone being on air talking about local current events and giving up to date details on local news/weather/traffic...
Wow. As a radio programmer, reading this is embarrassing. To me, this sounds like the Program Director either needs to wake the hell up and listen to their radio station and start caring or just quit. Yes, there are a number of Programmers who quite enjoy switching things to "auto" to just glide through their day taking care of other matters around the station and not focusing on the one thing that REALLY matters... the sound of the station.

There are many ways a programmer can fix these problems, they just have to care enough and take the time that's needed. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it involves putting in a few extra hours in a day. Don't give up on radio and please don't let a few small market stations jade your outlook - there are programmers who care and stations that "can" sound good even if they don't have the desired amount of staff members on hand. I'd reach out to the station's GM and make them aware of your observations. Sometimes a good kick in the ass is needed to get out of complacency.
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post #49 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-08, 11:52 AM
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Wow. As a radio programmer, reading this is embarrassing. To me, this sounds like the Program Director either needs to wake the hell up and listen to their radio station and start caring or just quit. Yes, there are a number of Programmers who quite enjoy switching things to "auto" to just glide through their day taking care of other matters around the station and not focusing on the one thing that REALLY matters... the sound of the station.

There are many ways a programmer can fix these problems, they just have to care enough and take the time that's needed. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it involves putting in a few extra hours in a day. Don't give up on radio and please don't let a few small market stations jade your outlook - there are programmers who care and stations that "can" sound good even if they don't have the desired amount of staff members on hand. I'd reach out to the station's GM and make them aware of your observations. Sometimes a good kick in the ass is needed to get out of complacency.
Well Said! I couldn't Agree with you more! I have been saying this all along without hearing any feedback from a real radio programmer, guess I was right on the money. thanks

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post #50 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-08, 12:18 PM
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Dunno what you're congratulating yourself for. "Sometimes (a lot of the time) it involves putting in a few extra hours in a day..." equals more cost, something that corporations use automation to avoid.
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post #51 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-08, 01:25 PM
 
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Actually, I know troyboom if he is who I think he is..as I am the one who provides him with tools on the software side to schedule his radio station. I can tell you that as a former program director myself, there is no extra money for management to put in extra time to make the station better. Better sounding station = better ratings = better revenue.

Could Toronto stations automate anytime they want?? Yes. Do they?? Some do. Do the good ones?? No.

Smaller markets automate because there isn't the revenue to have full time staff 24/7. Back in the day, you would lay a "voice track" down on a reel to reel tape and some kid would come in and put it together with the music. This isn't something new.
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post #52 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-08, 01:33 PM
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You mean to tell me that Ryan Seacrest isn't sitting in a control room in Halifax playing CDs on Virgin 101.3? /sarcasm

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post #53 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-08, 07:06 PM
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Just hope it doesn't get this bad..... Someone forgot to check the broadcast.

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post #54 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 09:58 AM
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Like everyone has been saying, there are good radio stations and bad ones, don't judge a book by its cover, don't judge the broadcast radio industry in Canada based on what you heard on one, maybe two bad stations? for every bad station there is probably a hundred good stations out there who do things right. This is a general rule in life and does not necessarily apply to only Broadcast Radio, it applies to Television, Shopping, banking, Purchasing a car, etc.
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post #55 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 11:40 AM
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But this thread isn't about the general state of the radio industry in Canada. It's about the automation of Canadian radio stations. So, can you provide examples of how automation can improve the quality of a radio station, beyond what a human being can provide?

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post #56 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 01:09 PM
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Well for starters, we are we even asking this question to a majority of people who do not know the answer. For starters that is why you are not getting any PROPER answers because the people your asking have no idea and most don't work in the industry. Everything else you hear is Opinionated and not based on facts, and leads to a lot of confusion and false information, otherwise as President Donald J. Trump would say, FAKE NEWS

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post #57 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 01:22 PM
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In the case of the radio stations above. It looks like automation was set up but lacks human oversight and maintenance. Maybe the program director left or was let go. Maybe the station only has a part time staff and nobody was there at the time. Whatever the reason, the station owner is too reliant on automation and the result is very bad for the station and listeners. It's also quite evident that the automated system is poorly implemented since the software has nothing in the way of correction in the event that segments are missing or fail to play. This is the worst that automation has to offer.
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post #58 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 04:22 PM
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Everything else you hear is Opinionated and not based on facts, and leads to a lot of confusion and false information, [snip - see No political comments]
Really? Seems to me the first-hand observations here are similar to your posts in the Android box thread. Are you trying to cause confusion and the dissemination of false information there?
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post #59 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-10, 08:39 AM
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No. (filler)

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post #60 of 68 (permalink) Old 2017-11-15, 09:10 AM
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Well for starters, we are we even asking this question to a majority of people who do not know the answer. For starters that is why you are not getting any PROPER answers because the people your asking have no idea and most don't work in the industry. Everything else you hear is Opinionated and not based on facts, and leads to a lot of confusion and false information, otherwise as President Donald J. Trump would say, FAKE NEWS
So to be clear, when you complain about how things you don't use suck because it was better in the 70s, that's somehow entirely different than when I complain that information relating to the response to a severe weather event was totally lacking?

Because here's a simple fact: radio was totally useless during said weather event, as every station was running automated music with no human presence to give out said information. The idea that we need an "insider", aka a Bell Media employee to come in and tell us how it's actually fine is absurd. The government tells people even today to have a battery powered (or wind up) radio on hand for an emergency so they can get information out and then what we got was automated music and a call in show from Toronto.

These days if you want emergency response information, you had better be on Twitter or a Facebook local news group. You can't rely on an automated radio station having anyone there to take over in the event of a problem.
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