This is not a defense for Evanov, as I can see they have let 1380 rot away. But I think there are a few things that need to be put into perspective here.
I worked at the station just ten years ago as a swing announcer. The late Dick Buchannan owned and managed it then. And the man, though he seems to be posthumously celebrated now because he represents ma and pop radio, was the target of a lot of ridicule back then.
It doesn't seem to me that he was putting any energy into selling time on the AM side. During the day there might've been one or two spots aired an hour, and I'll bet they were freebies thrown in as part of a spot sale on the FM side. His formatics were totally out of whack with what could make the station sound good.
We were a Classic Hits format which should incorporate a high level of energy to sound exciting. But instead he had announcers execute bits about whatever subject came to us. Sure I'm all for personality and one on one communication. But such bits came off contrived and "forced" between songs. Plus we could not talk over posts, and we had to let the songs fade off COMPLETELY before we could talk on an extro. So you would hear a song slowly fade, followed by a couple seconds of crickets chirping. Then the announcer came on. It sounded abysmal.
There was nothing ever done to attend to the piss poor processing there was. The was only some minor peak level limiting but nothing to bring up the soft passages of music or voice, which just became washed out by AM noise.
And sure, you could say that we had live evenings and overnights. But we just simulcast what was on the FM side (an AC format at the time). That doesn't really sound like a commitment to the AM signal to me.
Sure Evanov came in and axed out employees. My good friend was a casualty of those cuts and it's one that has left him wondering about the future of his career, and his well-being. It kills me to watch it and to hear it, because I know just how much he loved what he did on-air. It was his whole identity. So I am sensitive to what job losses at radio do to people.
But at least Evanov tried to do something with the withering station. Let's be objective here. 1380 was a dying station while Buchannan still had it. I think that the collective awareness in Brantford that there even was a small AM station in town was minimal.
First off, Evanov did do something about the sound quality by at least employing some proper compression in the engineering room. They did so just before flipping to country (it actually sounded really good with the oldies).
Secondly, Evanov did try to run with a format that would better justify that station's existence. They were always touted as having the largest newsroom in the area. Now they had a newswheel format to take advantage of that. But I guess it wasn't profitable enough. But hey, after all business is business, right?
Evanov has probably dropped the ball on making CKPC 1380 into something big. But we should just remember that the station's decline didn't just start with the Evanov take over. It was happening LONG before then.
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