Thursday 23 January 2014

CHOM's Jason Rockman launches unique new music/talk program on CJAD

Popular CHOM FM evening show host Jason Rockman, he of Amped with the Rockman, launches a completely new and refreshing program on Saturday, January 25 (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) on CJAD. It is called On the Record with Jason Rockman. Every week he will welcome a different celebrity to the show to talk about how music has influenced their life. What was the first concert they ever went to? What was the first album they ever bought?  

Sugar Sammy
Stepping into the studio first will be the one and only stand   up  comic Sugar Sammy. “He is a real romantic,” Rockman told me.  “Sammy is into a lot of stuff from the 80s.”

The show will feature a mix of talk and music. “We have a lot of interesting people lined up,” Rockman said, mentioning  Ivan Doroschuk from Men Without Hats, Kelly Osbourne and Allan Thicke to name a few.

Jason Rockman
Rockman, 43, has been with CHOM full-time for four years now. He also does weekly segments on CTV News Channel and with Aaron Rand on CJAD. Prior to his on air career,  Rockman was the lead singer for a band called Slaves on Dope which toured with OZZFEST and were even signed to Ozzy Osbourne’s record label.  “I actually sent my original radio demo to Virgin Radio,” Rockman says. “Patrick Charles, who was working there at the time actually redirected it to CHOM. I had never really thought of that, but it did make sense. My band had won the CHOM Esprit contest and  I was friends with  Too Tall, one  of their longtime hosts.”

CJAD Program Director Chris Bury is very pleased with this new addition to the lineup: “We love the concept for On the Record," he says. "It’s a talk show, but it allows us to dabble in music. I think listeners are going to enjoy the mix and they’re going to hear a side of celebrities they haven’t heard before. I think Jason is the perfect host for this. He’s hard-working and connected. He’s also a musician and can talk about so many different artists and styles of music with authority.”

Monday 20 January 2014

Forget about ratings statistics for Quebec: we are lucky to have four anglo stations on our radar screens

I have never put much faith in the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM) ratings, especially the method whereby a random selection of individuals are given diaries and asked  to write down their radio listening or television viewing habits. For the former it has  been the introduction of Portable  People Meters (PPMs), pager-sized devices which allows broadcast signals to be encoded with inaudible signals as they air or stream live, which seem to have added a little more reliability. We understand it is coming for TV here soon.

BBM TV ratings came out last week. For news programs it was no surprise to see the perennial champions,  CTV Montreal,  still way ahead of the pack for the supper hour period.Their 6 p.m. one hour newscast, with Mutsumi Takahashi and Paul Karwatsky, has always been a powerhouse with over 100,000 viewers.  CBC has three separate newscasts with Debra Arbec and Andrew Chang, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. while Global's Jamie Orchard as the anchor desk from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Global Morning boss Robert Ostiguy with Dagenais  and Ross.
In the mornings, both Global and newcomer City have breakfast shows. While the ratings show that Canada AM on CTV has the most Quebec viewers, there is definitely something to be encouraged about for the others. The Global program has been on the air for just over a year, with the trio of Camille Ross, Richard Dagenais and Jessica Laventure. City's Breakfast Television, with Alexandre Despatie, Joanne Vrakas, Catherine Verdon Diamond, Laura Casella, Wilder Weir and Elias Makos only debuted last August. Global did have a morning show a number of years ago, but essentially there is a process taking place now and that is conditioning more folks to turn on their TV's first thing in the morning.

I believe it is working. Global's numbers, while not at the level of Canada AM, have improved dramatrically while the BBM's show City closely behind them.  I make it a point to watch all three: Canada AM to get a quick look at the national headlines and then Global and City to get some local flavor. To me, if you have a TV in the kitchen it is a no brainer to turn it on and get up to speed on trending news stories, weather and  traffic.
Casella, Despatie and Verdon Diamond.
When I sat down with Global station manager Karen Macdonald last summer to ask her about the incoming competition from City, she sincerely welcomed their presence. I guess she was right as her morning show's numbers did increase. So clearly what we have here is an evolving new morning show audience. Both shows are getting out to the community with live broadcasts - Laventure for Global and  Weir and Casella for City - and this definitely increases awareness.

"I really do think the competition is good," Macdonald says. "There is a  lot of talk in the community about morning TV. We know that it really takes a while to change the viewing habits of people."

I make sure to watch all three suppertime TV newscasts each day. While I cannot possibly watch them all live, it is wonderful to know that they are all pretty much accessible online. That folks is how TV viewing has changed in this decade.

In the case of CBC it is great to either turn the news on at 5 p.m. from the office or home and get an early peak at the developing stories. And all three also have late night newscasts.

My message to TV viewers is this: give each show your undivided attention. We are living with a Parti-Qu├ębecois government which is no friend to the anglophone community. The fact we havefour English-language TV stations bringing us live news shows is a luxury we need to encourage.