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CBC Radio Two goes after iPod generation with revamped schedule
CBC Radio Two listeners can expect a new evening schedule featuring jazz, live performance and contemporary music beginning Monday.
The new evening programming, the result of a revamp of CBC Radio’s arts and culture programming, is designed to attract younger listeners to the network.
Younger means aged 35 to 49, rather than the under-35 listeners who may be more attracted by CBC Radio Three, said Jennifer McGuire, executive director of programming at CBC Radio.
“As a public broadcaster, our mandate is to reflect the breadth and range of diversity across this country,” she said. That means music from a wider range of genres and from every region.
CBC research showed that of the estimated 30,000 songs created in Canada annually, only about 0.8 per cent get airplay. The Canadian content of the Radio Two music service will be increased, McGuire said.
The change in the schedule starting Monday is the first stage of a process that will see music programming migrating off CBC Radio One, the news and current affairs-focused main service, but remain the focus of Radio Two.
The new shows that will comprise the Radio Two evening schedule:
– Tonic, 6 to 8 p.m., jazz, blues and world music, hosted by Katie Malloch on weekdays, Tim Tamashiro on weekends.
– Canada Live, 8 to 10 p.m., live performances, hosted by Matt Galloway on weekdays and Patti Schmidt on weekends.
– The Signal, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., contemporary music, hosted by Laurie Brown Monday to Thursday, Pat CarrabrÈ Friday to Sunday.
– Nightstream, 1-6 a.m., a mix of musical genres, hosted by Danielle Charbonneau.
– Show times are a half-hour later in Newfoundland.
Range of styles
While most of the day on Radio Two will continue to be devoted to classical music, the broader range of musical styles is designed to reflect the way people now listen to music.
“If you look at what people have on their iPod, it’s usually a whole range of musical styles,” said Galloway, the Toronto-based host of Here and Now. Galloway will remain host of the Toronto drive-home show while taking on Canada Live.
“People who like jazz usually like a bit of the blues and they may be interested in world music,” he said in an interview with CBC Arts Online.
The Canada Live format features mainly Canadian artists, but a range of musical styles and venues, including concerts recorded by CBC in concert halls, in bars and at festivals.
“The point is to move from place to place and to give a feel for the incredible range of music being created in this country,” Galloway said.
The opening show Monday features Maritime singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett performing in concert with Symphony Nova Scotia, St. John’s indie artist Amelia Curran and Celso Machado, a Brazilian-born artist who plays guitar, stones and the corpo (his own body) for a unique sound.
On Wednesday, a show from Ottawa will air songs by several Canadian artists óincluding Phat Al, Acorn, Kelly Lee Evans, Jill Barber and the Mighty Popo ó who were commissioned by CBC to write songs based on black historical figures.
That same show features the Ottawa Chamber Music Society playing in a downtown bar and a violin concerto composed by Canadian Steven Gellman.
Brown said The Signal also will stray across a range of genres, featuring music that is rarely heard on radio.
“I want people to discover new artists, people they’ve never heard of,” she said in an interview. “At least once a night I want them to say, ‘Who is that? I love that track.'”
The contemporary music she is choosing for the show includes new music, but also electronic, ambience, sound tracks, instrumentals and any artist who can be considered an “original innovator.”
New artists
This reflects the way people listen to music now, mixing up genres and tracking down new artists on MySpace or elsewhere on the internet, she said.
“Radio is competing with iPod,” Brown said. “Everyone is searching for new discoveries. That’s where I find new music ó by searching the internet and friends telling me about something new they’ve heard.”
She’ll play musicians such as Gavin Byers, Philip Glass, Buck 65, Bjork and Caribou, linking works together by their sound or emotional links.
“It’s music that crosses genres,” she said. “We might have a composer who grew up writing rock work at composing for orchestra or a jazz musician who invites a DJ to scratch over his work.”
Brown, who began as a music journalist with The New Music and was a journalist with CBC TV, makes her radio hosting debut on The Signal. She’ll be working out of Toronto four days a week, while composer CarrabrÈ takes over from Winnipeg the other three days.
Malloch, the Montreal-based host of Jazz Beat, which has its last airing this Sunday, turns her skills to a two-hour supper-time program that will play jazz, mixed with a blend of soul, Latin and world-influenced music.
Canadian jazz singer Tamashiro takes over as host of Tonic on the weekends from Calgary.
Montreal-based Charbonneau will be playing a melange of music, from classical and chamber music to jazz and contemporary, in the relaxed overnight program Nightstream.
As part of the change, newscasts on the Radio Two network have shrunk to three minutes and a new dedicated website offers live streaming, blogs and podcasts.
Programs such as Global Village, The Arts Report and Jazz Beat have their last airing this week to make way for the revamped schedule.
The next stage of the changes on CBC Radio includes a revamp of the weekend schedule and creation of a new weekday arts magazine show hosted by musician and CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi to begin airing in April.