Monday, 1 October 2012

Ottawa radio: Bring back the pros





Everyday, I drive Scott to work and this gives me the opportunity to listen to private radio.
Don't get me wrong. I love the tunes.
I'm happy to rock out to David Wilcox or the Boss.
Sometimes I like to crack the window, open the roof and blast it out, just like the homies in the next car.
Unfortunately, this is a rare occurence due to the very existence of some Ottawa morning teams. Over the course of the twenty minutes it takes me to drive Scott to the car dealership, I'm lucky to hear two great tunes.
That's because all I hear are bad commercials in heavy rotation, long monologues, dick jokes or deejays riffing against one another, trying but not succeeding to be funny. Some of the on air talent is so young and inexperienced, they can't even answer their own trivia questions with a computer right in front of them.
God, I miss Kevin Nelson. The man knew how to be a good deejay, when to play music and when to shut the hell up.
I even miss The General, for God's sake.
Somehow Ottawa has forgotten to put the professional into radio talent.
News readers sound more like Laverne or Lucy than Barbara Frum.
The worst offender is a woman at one of my favorite little independents. Anyone who listens to this station will know who I'm talking about.
Here is how this nasally-challenged popsie sounds to me in the morning.

Good mor-neen. Here is our top story. Ottawa fire is at the scene of a wor-keen fire. The experience is being described by tenants as harro-ween.

Then she signs off with the station call letters and "effem" all running together.
She sounds like a first year student at CKCU at Carleton.
She makes me want to jump through the radio and put marbles in her mouth.
My tiny granddaughter has better enunciation.
I yearn for the old days with the great voices and the fun commercials.
Oh, don't get me started on the commercials.
Here's the one that is really pissing me off.
Howard's Pawn Shop is awesome and sells lots of cool stuff. I bought my son's amp there when an unfortunate musician either died or lost his livelihood. Scott sold his Betacam there when we needed money. Unfortunately, their commercial on the radio has made me question their business acumen.

Girl One: I can't believe my caaaar broke down. I can't afford this right now.
Girl Two: Why don't you go to Howard's Pawn Shop?
Girl One: They fix cars?
Girl Two: Nooo (guffawing, unnatural intonation) of course not! But take in that ring from your ex and they'll give you money for it.
Girl One: But I wanted to keeeeeeeep that ring.
Girl Two: You'll get it back (chortle in an uncomfortably unrealistic chortle).

Who wrote this shit?
Why would anybody pay decent advertising dollars to put it on the air and risk the wrath of their crankypants musicians and budding bass players.

If I were writing this commercial, it might go something like this.
Girl One: My ex took me to the cleaners and I can't afford to fix this piece of this shit car.
Girl Two: Take his crap to Howard's and pawn it. It's what all losers do.
Girl One: But I wanted to keep that ring.
Girl Two: Tough shit, you are among the 47 percent Mitt Romney talks about.

Here's another commercial about selling a house.

Boy One: Is this house for sale?
Boy Two: Yep.
Boy One: What's that smell? Is that garbage?
Boy Two: Sure is.
Boy One: And are those raccoons?
Boy Two: Sure are.
Boy One: Then you need One Call Services.

Really?

How about this.

Boy One: Is this house for sale?
Boy Two: Sure is.
Boy One: What is all this crap? I'm calling bylaw.

That would get people to invest in One Call Services pretty damned quick.

Look, I realize that radio pays crap these days. But come the fuck on. There are a lot of pretty decent unemployed writers around, not to mention voice-over artists who are starving for work.

Throw them a damned bone and bring radio back to its original glory.
Fire the popsies.
Bring back the pros.
 

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