Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I try to listen to the US morning radio, but have become increasingly dismayed. It's usually the same sequence: A few vague news stories, advertisements, menial opinionated banter, weather, repeat every fifteen minutes (including the same exact news stories). Yes, I am speaking of the local AM station KGMI. And I am lucky that I don't need suffer through the screaming pundits that seem to take up bandwith throughout the day. I find KGMI painful to listen to, even though its homey feel is quaint for a small town like Bellingham.

My father worked in radio for virtually all of his life, and we frequently lament this dismal and further declining state of radio in this country. He's been a radio broadcaster for most of his life, and although he still does in on and off part-time, it's all computer driven and pre-programmed, so there's no reference to real work events, since it will be broadcast at a future date. But that's another story.

So instead, I find myself tuning to a much higher caliber of radio from our northern neighbors, which includes CBC Radio 1. This is a slightly better quality of programming and more varied than, say, NPR. And more objective too (although I've grown away from NPR as a news source). So I find myself more abreast of Vancouver's news than Bellingham's or Seattle's (did you know that Vancouver's apartment vacancy rates increased to 2% this year versus .5% in October of last year?), even though we're much closer to Vancouver than Seattle.

And since I don't watch the television, I find my nights spent reading and relaxing to CBC Radio 2, which is a pretty mellow station with music that is very fresh and varied. And good to wind down the night with.

But not to bash all US stations, there is of course the lower end of the dial where the gems like KPLU and KUGS reside. And WWOZ in New Orleans but that's far, far away.

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