Radio 2: It’s CBC for “Whatevah”


The public broadcaster’s fancy radio network unveils its programming plans for the autumn. From the Inkless emailbox:




Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 2, Canadians will wake up to the sound of an all-new Canadian adult music network as CBC Radio 2 launches a revitalized schedule, including four new programs and four new genre-specific online music channels. The new Radio 2 brings listeners what they won’t hear anywhere else on Canadian airwaves – a unique range of commercial-free Canadian and international music, from roots to urban and jazz to classical.

“The final phase in Radio 2’s transformation is a monumental achievement and we’re excited to offer vibrant, stimulating and diverse music to Canadians,” said Chris Boyce, programming director, CBC Radio. “The new programs will showcase the best of this country’s songbook and provide national exposure for Canadian artists.”

Following a survey on Canadian arts and culture and radio listening habits, Radio 2 embarked on a strategy to deliver programming that is more relevant to Canadian listeners and reflects the diversity of music being made in Canada today. This third, most extensive phase of Radio 2’s redevelopment follows two phases that introduced reinvigorated weekend classical programming and evenings full of jazz, live performance and contemporary music.

Weekdays begin with RADIO 2 MORNING, hosted by CBC Radio favourite Tom Allen. From 6 – 10 a.m., listeners wake up to a mix of contemporary artists and familiar favourites. The show features a cross-genre look at the best of our nation’s music. The weekend edition of RADIO 2 MORNING airs Saturdays, 6 – 10 a.m. and Sundays, 6 – 8 a.m. with host Molly Johnson. Johnson, an acclaimed international jazz sensation, brings her firsthand experience and perspective as a Canadian performer to the airwaves.

Radio 2’s classical core takes the prime daytime slot as TEMPO airs weekdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., giving listeners five hours of celebrated classical music. Host Julie Nesrallah, mezzo-soprano and Ottawa native, brings her astonishing stage voice to the airwaves with a fresh perspective as artist and performer. With anecdotes, insight and the occasional studio guest, Nesrallah’s vibrant delivery and intimate knowledge of classical music makes for an upbeat and informative show.

RADIO 2 DRIVE, airing from 3 – 6 p.m. weekdays, is hosted by innovative Canadian funk/hip hop artist and passionate music fan Rich Terfry (he performs as Buck 65). The country’s premier destination for new music and emerging Canadian talent, RADIO 2 DRIVE boasts 75 per cent Canadian content from a range of contemporary musical genres with a focus on singer-songwriters. Rich will be joined in-studio from time-to-time by artists for interviews and live performances.

FARRAGO with Jurgen Gothe wraps up the weekend, Sundays from 5 – 6 p.m. Gothe presents listeners a medley of music drawn primarily from his own collection with his unique and off-the-cuff commentary. Sophisticated and amusing, the program features new discoveries and unheralded gems presented within a new theme each week.

Note: All programs air one half hour later in Newfoundland

CBC Radio 2 is also launching four new online music channels, dedicated to classical, jazz, Canadian songwriters and Canadian composers. Each will deliver a steady stream of quality programmed music at cbc.ca/classical, cbc.ca/jazz, cbc.ca/canadiansongwriters, and cbc.ca/canadiancomposers respectively. These streams enhance CBC Radio 2’s comprehensive and interactive website at cbc.ca/radio2 that includes blogs, music podcasts, concerts on demand, and live streaming of concerts and special events.

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 28 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.


For complete broadcast information and online features, please visit www.cbc.ca/radio2.


Radio 2: It’s CBC for “Whatevah”

  1. Excellent News: CBC Radio has ruled all my life and still does! Keep up the good work guys if any one there reads this!

  2. They’re getting rid of Disc Drive?  That’s not good…

  3. “Radio 2’s transformation is a monumental achievement”

    Changing playlists at your own station is a monumental achievement? I know the luvvies have their knickers in a twist about the changes but come on. I think Boyce needs to get out more.

  4. $1.65 drop-kicks Gothe … there goes nation … sort of

  5. Gothe is the soundtrack of our lives! What the hell? How did his cats take the news? Where will I hear a calypso version of his theme music?

    Seriously, that sucks.

  6. Why are you posting about the CBC? What happened to the Dion blog-blog from the NPT? I guess Dion’s announcement wasn’t that important?

  7. Wow. We really do get all the geniuses here. Check out the time-stamp on the CBC post, Mike514: 12:57 p.m. Dion presser started 78 minutes later. I even had time to get a Diet Coke. Dion blog will be up in a while.

  8. Hey JWL = what is a luvvie?

  9. Do disc spin programs merit announcing?

  10. Sorry, my mistake. My excitement about the blog-blog got the better of me, and I didn’t notice your posts weren’t in chronological order (but then, why aren’t they in order?…).

  11. Wayne It is an expression I learned while living in England. I just found definition on wiki: ‘luvvie’ is a derogatory noun for pretentious, overblown, narcissistic people of an artistic or dramatic bent.

    I don’t listen to CBC Radio much but I have been reading stories about the changes at Radio 2 and how people are freaking out about them for at least six months. It seems like a very small number of people think the channel is theirs and they want the station to stay exactly as is. Never mind that only 12 people listen to the station now and the changes are likely to bring more listeners.

  12. Chronological upwards, Grasshopper. The recent past is higher, because closer to God’s grace.

  13. “Chronological upwards, Grasshopper. The recent past is higher, because closer to God’s grace.”

    Paul With comments like that, I think McCain might be giving you a call to ask if you can help out on his weird, dadaist media campaign.

  14. Whether the changes will bring more listeners remains to be seen. Even if they do, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the changes are a good idea. It would be possible to attract many listeners by broadcasting utter crap. Personally, I like Tom Allen’s classical morning show. I liked having classical concerts in the evenings. I liked Danielle Charbonneau’s evening show; I also like the Katie Mallick jazz/soul show that replaced it. I don’t mind jazz/folk fusion and original pop music, etc., but I don’t want to see that sort of thing dominating Radio 2’s schedule.

  15. I’m struck by the four online networks (and if you follow the links, you’ll see the sites aren’t live yet), especially “Radio2 Classical” and “Radio2 Canadian Composers.” Russell Smith will be sent to them, with stern orders to gorge on their menu all he likes, while the larger audiences stick with the main network. I’m not entirely sure it’s a bad idea.

  16. The destruction of CBC Radio as a source of music may not mean there is much less classical music available, just that it won’t be there on the radio. I’ll have to check out “online networks” I suppose, but I like listening to old fashioned broadcast radio.

    The offensive corporate advertising doubletalk used to promote the new order doesn’t promote confidence in the people behind it or their thinking.

    Still, everything changes, often for the worse. It’s true that classical concert audiences are generally pretty old. I’m 52 and I usually feel like a kid at these events.

  17. With Disc Drive gone, I really have lost my last reason to listen to FM radio in Calgary.  Might as well fire up the Shoutcast connection 24/7/365, I guess…

  18. Garth Wood – try CKUA. INteresting that the CBC is copying the best radio station in the universe.

  19. Paul Wells – I hope CBC gets Radio 3 – classical music 7/24 so you guys will shut up.

    But seriously I like live radio – and particularly local weather and news. Given what CKUA can provide on a very limited budget I’m surprised CBC radio 2 can’t offer 3 or 4 channels in a variety of formats and local locations. As CBC radio 2 has stopped the classical people like me are listening more.

    One thing the classical music buffs shoold try to do is build allies with other fans of public radio instead of telling us we are unsophisticated and stupid because we don’t like classical music.

  20. JWL – I’m one of those who was upset by the changes. I loved Radio 2 and would listen to it for several hours a day on weekdays and from 8 am – 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The dial was parked there permanently. Now, with all the changes, I’ve stopped listening to it. I use Radio 1 for news and Espace Musique for music.

    I fully admit they have every right to change the format just as I have every right to be disappointed and change the dial. Part of what bothers many people like myself is that we are not valued as an audience (in a lot cities there isn’t any choice when it comes to classical music). Instead of building on a very loyal fan base, they have tossed us away. Is that a wise business decision.

  21. Jwl calls other people pretentious, then uses a stupid term that s/he “learned while living in England”? Priceless

  22. When the Radio 2 motto was “Classics and beyond”, the “beyond” for me was radio silence. Now the “Wherever music takes you” mantra takes me right away from Radio 2.

    I’ve been stuck on classical music on the CBC for decades. When that music stops daily (or for good) it’s back to CDs. I’m only one lost listener, so it won’t matter, but rots of ruck trying to carve out a new audience playing the same stuff as everone else, with a bit of esoterica thrown in.

    I certainly won’t miss the oh-so-clever prattle that passes for culture on “Disc Drive” and some other programs.

  23. Does “giving listeners five hours of celebrated classical music” mean that we will get more than one movement at a time? These works were meant to be heard in their entirety.
    We’ve been getting “Greatest Hits” snippets for too long.

  24. i will sorely miss jurgen gothe and “disc drive.” I am a u.s listener, and will miss the electic mix of music that jurgen provided, along with his humorous banter and educated commentary. I think the cbc made a huge mistake in programming judgement.

  25. YIKES!
    Just listed to a few ‘cuts’ on Tom Allen’s show (Sept 2..8:20AM )
    I’m going back to bed!!

  26. Please, will someone at CBC tell Julie Nesrallah that by now we are aware of her identity and that “she’s on till three, three-thirty on the ‘Rock'”. No need to harass us with 6 to 7 reminders per hour. Once an hour will suffice ffor our shrunken brains. On the other hand, great music. HLMartin

  27. Three months after the launch of the new Radio 2, does anybody care to comment on the new format/programs.

    For that matter does anybody care about it. I stopped listening last summer when I wired my computer up to my tuner/amplifier. Now I listen almost exclusively to ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) which has an excellent classical music station. They put the CBC to shame.

    • I’m with you, Fred. I occasionally listen to Tempo while driving. If at home, I am listening to ABC Classic FM online (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation classic station). Who made this hairbrained decision to shut down the classic music programming on Radio 2?? I don’t know ANYONE who bothers to listen anymore….

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