It is the job of the CBC to build social cohesion in Canada, according to CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait, but “we also have an obligation to run a business.”
The longtime Canadian television and film executive told Michael Enright, host of The Sunday Edition, that her experience will help with that goal.
“I don’t think it was a surprise that I was selected as an entrepreneur to run this corporation, to try and find ways to uncover revenue that we might not have considered as possible for the public broadcaster,” she said.
The CBC depends on the government for about 70 per cent of its budget. It has never had stable, long-term funding. Budgets ebb and flow because they’re decided by the government of the day.
When it comes to financial support for public broadcasting, Canada ranks third-lowest among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The average per capita funding is $90 — in Canada, it’s $34.
About a year into her mandate, Tait revealed a new strategic plan to guide the CBC through a period of unparalleled media competition, over the next three years.[…]
The show’s senior producer, Ned Wharton, asked if I would mind stepping into the Radio Canada/CBC broadcast house in Québec City for a studio-to-studio interview. It’s perhaps a thirty minute drive from where I’m staying. I don’t think Ned wanted to inconvenience me, but little did he know that this radio geek has been itching to poke my head in that building for the past decade or more…Way cool!
So, I stepped in. And it was a great experience. Want to see what the studio looks like?
The interview took place in a small recording studio.
My recording booth at Radio-Canada/CBC Québec City
Everything (the board) was controlled by NPR at the other end of the connection. All I had to do was adjust my monitor level. Not the best photo–the front-facing camera on my old iPhone 5 can’t handle low light–but here’s another studio shot…
After the interview, I stepped outside into the atrium and took shots of the radio studio entrance and the main atrium.
Unfortunately, there was no one available to take me on a full tour as everyone was preparing afternoon shows. That’s okay, though, as I was excited just to get a peek in the studios! Great fun.
Shortwave Radio 1974: Canada, Argentina, Spain, West Germany, Albania, utility stations
-Brian Smith (W9IND)
Want to know what shortwave radio sounded like in 1974? This 55-minute recording, recovered from a cassette, was never intended to be anything but “audio notes”: I was an 18-year-old shortwave listener who collected QSL cards from international stations, and I was tired of using a pen and a notepad to copy down details of the broadcasts. I wanted an easier way to record what I heard, and my cassette tape recorder seemed like the perfect means to accomplish that goal.
But it wasn’t. I soon discovered that it was simpler to just edit my notes as I was jotting them down — not spend time on endless searches for specific information located all over on the tape. To make a long story shorter, I abandoned my “audio notes” plan after a single shortwave recording: This one.
Hallicrafters S-108 (Image source: DXing.com)
Still, for those who want to experience the feel of sitting at a shortwave radio in the mid-1970s and slowly spinning the dial, this tape delivers. Nothing great in terms of sound quality; I was using a Hallicrafters S-108 that was outdated even at the time. And my recording “technique” involved placing the cassette microphone next to the radio speaker.
Thus, what you’ll hear is a grab bag of randomness: Major shortwave broadcasting stations from Canada, Argentina, Spain, Germany and Albania; maritime CW and other utility stations; and even a one-sided conversation involving a mobile phone, apparently located at sea. There are lengthy (even boring) programs, theme songs and interval signals, and brief IDs, one in Morse code from an Italian Navy station and another from a Department of Energy station used to track shipments of nuclear materials. And I can’t even identify the station behind every recording, including several Spanish broadcasts (I don’t speak the language) and an interview in English with a UFO book author.
The following is a guide, with approximate Windows Media Player starting times, of the signals on this recording. (Incidentally, the CBC recording was from July 11, 1974 — a date I deduced by researching the Major League Baseball scores of the previous day.)
Guide To The Recording
00:00 — CBC (Radio Canada) Northern and Armed Forces Service: News and sports. 07:51 — RAE (Radio Argentina): Sign-off with closing theme 09:14 — Department of Energy station in Belton, Missouri: “This is KRF-265 clear.” 09:17 — Interval signal: Radio Spain. 09:40 — New York Radio, WSY-70 (aviation weather broadcast) 10:22 — Unidentified station (Spanish?): Music. 10:51— Unidentified station (English): Historic drama with mention of Vice President John Adams, plus bell-heavy closing theme. 14:12 — Unidentified station (Spanish?): Male announcer, poor signal strength. 14:20 — Unidentified station (Spanish): Theme music and apparent ID, good signal strength. 15:16 — Unidentified station (foreign-speaking, possibly Spanish): Song, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.” 17:00 — Deutsche Welle (The Voice of West Germany): Announcement of frequencies, theme song. 17:39 — Unidentified station (English): Interview with the Rev. Barry Downing, author of “The Bible and Flying Saucers.” 24:36 — One side of mobile telephone conversation in SSB, possibly from maritime location. 30:37 — Radio Tirana (Albania): Lengthy economic and geopolitical talk (female announcer); bad audio. Theme and ID at 36:23, sign-off at 55:03. 55:11 — Italian Navy, Rome: “VVV IDR3 (and long tone)” in Morse code.
Brian, this is a brilliant recording–regardless of audio quality–and we’re very thankful you took the time to share it. Propagation has left something to be desired as of late, so time traveling back to 1974 has been incredibly fun.
Post Readers: If, like Brian, you have off-air recordings on tape that you’d like to share, please contact me! Even if you don’t have the means to transfer your tapes to a digital format, I’m a part of a small community of shortwave radio archivists who would be quite willing to help.
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