"The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby Richard Skelly » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:33 pm

To repeat what I just posted on the other thread, it appears that Roundhouse Radio is not archiving Coast To Coasts for even a few days after broadcast.

If not, why not? Currently, huge swaths of Lower Mainlanders cannot pick up Roundhouse’s low signal. CKNW, which didn’t suffer that problem, nevertheless archived Coasts...sometimes for up to 10 days.

Retro music lovers might want to Google around to find an archived Sunday night Coast. During the first hour, George Knapp chatted to Roy Orbison Jr. about his late, great pops and a new coffee table book on the Big O. Aside from some phone glitches, it was most interesting.
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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby kal » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:47 pm

BTW, the CKNW web site, such as it is, buried within the Global banner, still shows Coast to Coast running at 10 pm. Clearly something is amiss when it comes to updating the station's component of the Global site.
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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby Jim Walters » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:04 pm

So, with the new news format for the national audience, we go 8 hours without expanded local stories, weather, traffic etc.

Absolutely brilliant.

And by the way Larry, where are the required legal IDs for your stations?
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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby freqfreak2 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:05 am

Hey folks,

I've held back on commenting on the whole C2C-demise/Drex-as-replacement matter until the dust had settled somewhat.

As a terminal insomniac, live overnight radio has long been dear to me. But over the last 60 years, it has become a slow decline with ever-diminishing returns.

First were the days when Canadian stations signed off after sunset and/or midnight, allowing the fascinating sounds of U.S. stations to bleed into the crystal rocket radio set buried beneath my childhood pillow.

Then came live and local overnight Top 40 jocks pumping out the great tunes of the sixties and seventies. Later, the airwaves became filled with voice tracking and then full-on out-of-market automation.

Over the years, the CBC dabbled with various overnight formats in between long periods of signing off completely. At about the same time, CKO came and went.

Locally in Edmonton, for years CJCA once carried a show hosted by [a name I can't currently remember] who simply took phone calls from people working the night shift. The show had no agenda other than compassion and companionship. The show was compelling due to its simplicity.

Then Art Bell and Coast To Coast arrived, a program filled with interesting and bizarre topics matched only by the interesting and more bizarre real life of the show's host.

After Bell departed, George Noory easily slipped into the big empty shoes left behind and crafted a show he had no problem with being labelled as simple entertainment (and he admitted to that accurate description often when challenged on air).

Over time, Noory's show (with associated guest hosts) attracted serious and informed voices in the world of politics and science (interrupted only occasionally by interviews with people who claimed their dog could communicate directly with Hitler).

In the immediate years leading up to 2018, I was quite content to switch between the sometimes too-loony Noory and the CBC's internationally-sourced programming while staring up at my ceiling waiting for sleep to arrive.

Then came news that Bell and Corus got into a pissing contest that has left no one a winner ... but one mystery (at least for me) got solved as a result.

In the time between the Corus C2C cut-off date and the arrival of Drex, local Edmonton station CHED re-ran previous-night Charles Adler shows into the wee hours.

When drifting in and out of sleep, Adler's faux-affability and self-inflated pomposity actually made sense. Easy on the ears, his show was equally easy on the brain ... once you understood the source of that hot wind that crept into your ears.

Adler has mellowed somewhat over the years (moving from Winnipeg to Vancouver will do that to anybody) and I hoped that Corus would simply cheap out and continually repeat Adler-infintum until I fell asleep for years to come.

For some time I had read about a guy in Vancouver named Drex on this and other websites.

When Corus announced that the next best thing to sliced bread was going to host their overnight replacement slot, I could hardly wait to hear what the guy actually sounded like.

Hosting overnight radio is an acquired skill.

Slow pacing, with carefully-modulated and soothing tones, and empathy with the "it's just you and me" feel, are the hallmarks of great radio in the most intimate of hours.

I can get past an accent. After all, I've long listened to the CBC's and BBC's international programming.

A stammer (not actually a stutter) only occasionally jars me if I wait and actively listen for it.

But what truly fails an overnight show is the sound of an ill-informed immature self-important self-revealing way-too-young-sounding talk-jock seemingly from a small-market Top 40 station borne out of the mid-1960s who has drunk way too much coffee and/or swallowed way too many Percocets before driving into the station's parking lot.

In Edmonton we have a 9-to-noon show hosted by a guy of this caliber. Apparently he's quite popular.

But no matter what serious topic he presents, when he substitutes "for" with "fur" in his best boss-jock voice when describing his wonderful pillow I simply bail out.

I'll skip the man's tendency to pre-load a simple question of his interviewees with a torrent of inflammatory and contradicting/competition-sourced media quotes (ambush radio at its best).

It's his over-selling of himself vocally that I find particularly annoying.

After all, when you converse with someone who is your invited guest - why do you yell at them (often so loudly you can actually hear spit hitting the wind sock) in an attempt to embarrass them in a gotcha moment?

This style might work mid-mornings but it sure doesn't work overnight ... at least not now on Corus-owned stations ... and at least not for me (a prime representative of a very small target audience).

If I want to be mentally agitated by bush-league shenanigans until way past dawn, in my kitchen I can easily find a tall and all-too familiar can of Nescafe Rich Blend instant coffee and pour myself a couple of scoops directly into my veins.

Given the current career graveyard of recently "retired" radio voices who could/would easily fill (and die for) an overnight talk-slot, all I can say is that Corus seems to be monetarily satisfied with serving up the simplest of dregs (pun intended).

It's long held that licenses (both driving and broadcasting) are privileges bestowed by a public trust.

Sad that those once-mighty are now back on training wheels.

When will we ever learn? Rinse and repeat ... and repeat ... until there is nothing left.
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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:44 am

In the context of this dialogue, someone here needs to bring up the name of Bob Fass.
In NYC of the 60’s and 70’s he laid the foundation of everything that’s good and works when overnight listener call-in talk radio is done well. His 1971 live and extended conversation with a young Brooklyner in the process of suicide is legendary. I’ve heard the recorded air check and it is riveting.
Bob waded chest deep into the history of cultural change in America as it was happening.
Radio Unnamable on WBAI-FM.
There’s even a documentary film.

"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:05 pm

If you’re at all interested in hearing the story of the 1971 suicide call to Bob Fass, it can be found here on an archived episode of NPR’s This American Life.
Select the second start icon titled Act One - Fass Talker.
Hopefully, it won’t be blocked. It’s fully available in the US; can’t be certain about Canada.

"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: "The Shift with Drex" launches Jan 22

Postby Richard Skelly » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Noticed freqfreak2’s mention of the “more interesting and bizarre” life of Art Bell. Came across a broadcast-industry site with a news item from last spring. Turns out the defamation suit launched by Art vs. Michael Savage was settled out of court. No terms, if any, disclosed.

Bell’s suit targeted Savage for his idle/reckless onair musings about a certain unnamed talker taking up with an underage girl from the Philippines. Several years prior to Savage’s swipe, Art wed a much younger gal called Airyn shortly after the death (from an asthma attack) of previous wife Ramona. Airyn was probably 22 at the time as she reportedly had just become a teacher near Manila.

The lawsuit settled about the same time Art almost checked out from pneumonia that developed from his ongoing struggles with COPD. That incurable ailment probably explains more than anything else (including Bell’s claim that an enemy was literally taking potshots at him) why Art has likely hung up his mic for the last time.
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