I grew up listening to, CJAD thoroughly enjoying the likes of George Balkan, Gord Sinclair, Earl Halderman, Ed Cowell and Ted Blackman among others. So, I should have a soft spot for CJAD.
Talk radio is about personality more than it is about content. It is necessary to get people to listen so that content could have a chance to be heard, the way to do that is to get people interested in the announcers first.
My day with CJAD begins with Andrew Peplowski and Trudie Mason on their Live at 5 show. These two have a nice chemistry going as they read the newspaper together. That’s pretty much the entire 30 minute segment. They read news from Breakingnews.com and then they read the news from the newspaper. But it is informative and gives a decent overview of what the Montreal papers (and Globe and Mail) have to offer. All in all, not a bad half hour. (B)
Andrew Carter delivers what a morning show should deliver in that it serves up light, entertaining news and information to start your day. Funny, he is, and he is well suited to the role of morning man. Nothing bad to say about him. (B)
Tommy Shnurmacher could have been a one trick pony when he started, as he was all about the language debate and the separatists, but he has emerged as the star the station. No one trick pony, this one, but a burning cauldron of wit and sarcasm that makes him and entertaining listen. I don’t always agree with him, but I don’t have to. His show begins at 9am with the gang of four, a group of the station’s personalities discussing the day’s hot topics. Egbert Gaye is the weak spot of the 30 segment. His “systemic racism” ideology makes him a the one trick pony that Schnurmacher could have been. He just can ‘t defend his opinions well and is often mocked by the other 3 members of the gang of four for it. Graeme Decarie was well suited for the tussles with Schnurmacher but, for some reason, he ain’t there no more. But he was the most intelligent, eloquent of the bunch…maybe thats why he’s gone??? Gang of four (C) Tommy solo (B+)
In all fairness, I don’t care for Ric Peterson’s politics. So that is what may be clouding my judgment of him. As a broadcaster, he is a true pro but his four o’clock show seemed liked an open audition for fox news (sun news maybe?). He’s toned down a bit for his 12 o’clock show which is a good thing. Maybe Suzanne Desautels has been a calming influence on him? I don’t care for his politics at all but, like Schnurmacher’s politics, I don’t have to. A little less venom from him is nice, but stop with the open audition for ultra right wing nonsense….and a big yay for the return of Suzanne Desautels to Montreal radio. Peterson solo (C) Peterson and Desautels (B-)
Thank goodness for Aaron Rand! Rand has been able to trade music for talk and he also manages a bit of toughness into his show. His interviews are lively and he is the best thing to happen to the station since Balcan came back from CFCF. (A)
As for the other stuff….
- It is highly annoying that their Weather Center is nothing more than the Environment Canada Website.
- Can they possibly say CJAD any more than they do? Is there a contest there to see how many times they can say it? Stop it, already!
- Their news broadcast center???? Please, a little more honesty.
- Sports segments are a joke, 2 minutes of commercials within the 5 minute segment. What a waste of Farber time..the guy has 30 seconds to spout his wisdom….please Farber, TSN 990 is more suited to your immense talents.
- Their trivia show is most entertaining. Laxer and Fisher have great chemistry.
- I miss Dan Laxer during the weekdays….ditto for Kevin Holden
- What’s with the fascination towards children? It seems to occupy their every waking moment.
- Their sound bites from their newscasts are infuriatingtly small! I don’t know what their interviewees are saying!
- Coast to coast is just plain sad. This show just doesn’t have any credibility. The few times credible people are there doesn’t make up for all the nonsense in between.
All in all, CJAD isn’t terrible but it isn’t what it once was either. Their credibility takes a hit whenever their psychics are on air. They are capable of being so much more. Instead they went the right wing, confrontational way…filled by crackpot shows (coast to coast) and psychics and Harper worshippers. Their saving grace lies in their on air personalities. (B-)
(I have not listened to the Barry Morgan show enough in order to give it a fair review)
But what do I know, I’m just a bus driver.