Automated Radio: Grim Listening For Audiences

How automated are Canadian radio stations?

The local radio in my market is getting ridiculous - some stations share the same DJ for a few hours a day. The rest of the day sounds like a playlist that is poorly setup and rarely changed.

It has gotten to the point where I hear a certain bumper or commercial, and I know what song is coming on next, and the song after that. It has been the same for months. Other channels are the same when I keep track.

I figure they have automated the hell out of a group of stations to the point where they can't even be bothered to reset or re-arrange the playlists to save further $$$.

The only thing that changes is the weather forecast (which is usually way off, or an old one some poor intern without a radio voice recorded put in a pre-assigned spot, or it is missing completely). And a quick news break (which, like the weather, is sometimes way out of date or very generic Canadian national news that seems to be read by a random person off the street sometimes).

One local station is still, on October 5th, playing bumpers that "Summer is here" and "welcome to summer" with random jokes about the heat that is coming. The same station has a bumper for "Today's weather forecast" with 20-30 seconds of dead air after it. Then "Traffic brought to you by sponsor ABC" with another segment of dead air.

Isn't there a better way to automate these stations? - for example:

-Isn't there software that could shuffle a playlist, and advertisements/bumpers randomly? I know that SiriusXM used to play the same songs over and over in the same order on some channels, so maybe this doesn't exist and perhaps isn't affordable to local stations.

-Can't the weather be automated? Can't a software package process the info from a local weather station and a Siri type voice read the forecast?

-For other news, it could be automated the same way - some service can provide sports scores, national news, etc. that is read by a computer?

Maybe I just need to get with the times and admit that AM/FM radio that plays music is dead, and subscribe to a service that will mix music better...however I miss someone being on air talking about local current events and giving up to date details on local news/weather/traffic...

A disgruntled listener vents on the Digital Home Canada board

Leave a comment