All hits, all the time

Well, maybe …

After writing my blog post on Saturday for World Radio Day, I went on a bit of a nostalgic tour of the radio stations that I’ve followed as I moved from place to place.

Here they are, and their current format.

CKLW – the information station

WCAR – sports radio

CKNX – country, talk, news

CFTR – new

CHUM FM – adult contemporary

CKMS – independent, progressive university

WLS (The call letters kicked in while thinking about this Chicago station) – news and talk radio

WRIF – rock ‘n roll

CJWF – country

E STREET RADIO – Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band

voicEd Radio – education and music

It comes as no surprise that these days all of these stations have a website. I mean, who doesn’t have a website these days. I tracked each of those down to see it and also to see what format of radio they currently have.

I can’t help but be impressed with the change in mindset radio has had over the years. Originally, you had to be in a car or near a radio AND within the broadcast area of the station to hear it. There was nothing more frustrating to drive outside the range of a station and have to endure static. Then, you’re scanning for a new station that was both strong and the same format that you wanted.

It’s not the same these days. Since stations also broadcast over the internet, distance and antennas are no longer the requirements. I can, and did, tune into CKNX to find out what was happening in Western Ontario.

Radio is also very competitive. It was interesting to see the chance in format for some of the radio stations. Listenership is important and having the loyal following is key.

So, thanks to World Radio Day for taking me back to some great listening memories. As I leave, I’ll leave you with this link to Radio Garden. Here’s a place to go and search for a station or just explore on a map. After all, once you know location and where the stream is, you can listen from anywhere.

Or zoom way out to see stations across a continent.

Or take the earth for a spin. We don’t have a monopoly in North America with radio stations.

3 thoughts on “All hits, all the time

  1. Good morning Doug!

    Your comment about the annoyance of losing the signal of a station while driving brings back memories, for sure. After receiving my driver’s licence, I spent a lot of time during the summers travelling around Ontario as part of my work. At that time, my vehicle only had AM — and no turntable or 8 track feature — and so static and fading signals came along for the ride while trying to experience the enjoyment of music while driving.

    At times, long drives after dark brought the phenomenon of radio signals skipping off of the ionosphere, whereupon a station would appear on the radio from far outside its normal geographical reach. In addition to the isolation brought on by the dark and the lateness of the hour, the often crystal-clear signal with a voice from far-away would make for a very surreal experience. One memory that stands out features a fire-and-brimestone performance from a preacher from the deep south. It was quite fascinating to hear something for real that, until that point, for me would have been only experienced in the form of a caricature on a TV drama.

    One of the wonderful learnings that came from our first cross-Canada drive (1992) came in the form of a small card that we would have come across once we reached the mountains between Alberta and BC. We had been spinning the dial during most of the drive, tracking the CBC as we moved from one region to the next, trying to find the frequency of the most local rebroadcast tower. Adding mountains to the mix certainly increased the likelihood of losing a station in the middle of a show, and so we were overjoyed to come across a card at a roadside tourist stop that listed the CBC stations and frequencies by province along the Trans-Canada. From that moment on during our drive, it became a lot easier to find and listen to the local affiliate. The regional variations in the programming were also a wonderful complement to the experience of new geographies and variations in Canadian culture.

    BTW, if you’ve not yet done, “What ever happened to Rabbit Ears?” you might want to consider putting that on the list of Sunday topics. I’ll stay focussed today by leaving my reminiscences on those for some future Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

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