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Two Scoops" translates into one win

Two Scoops” translates into one win for Toronto-based agency Reason Partners.

The cheery-sounding song, created by president Peter Holmes with input from co-creative director Robert McDougall (when the agency was still called Holmes and Lee), won Best Original Song in a Commercial Advertisement at the 2009 Hollywood Music in Media Awards on Nov. 19.

Performed by Canadian musician Michelle Harding, the song was used last year in a 30-second spot for Credit Canada called “Eviction Notice,” which features a woman on a shopping spree.

Both Holmes and Harding were on hand to receive the award. The song beat out Michelle Branch’s submission for Chase Bank.

The song received considerable response from viewers who inquired about downloading the song via posts on YouTube, blogs, and via e-mail, said Holmes.

The agency therefore decided to cut a full-length radio version, which it promoted online through MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Music Xray and music-focused blogs.

Holmes said the spot has translated into success for the Credit Canada brand. “Wherever the song has gone, the ad has gone with it,” he said.

The commercial is posted on Harding’s MySpace page, along with the full-length version of the song. Last September, her page received as many as 125,000 hits per day, according to figures from Trendrr.

Universal Music acquired the Canadian distribution rights at the beginning of the summer, and along with Harding, created a full-length music video. The song has also received airplay on top-40 stations, said Holmes.

The song has so far received media coverage on CBC and in BBC’s Focus magazine, the Huffington Post and British online music magazine Strummer.

“It’s an interesting story,” he said. “It’s not often an original song is written for a commercial.”

Holmes is currently negotiating with “major music labels” in the U.S. and abroad.

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Theft hits ‘green’ radio station

A radio station shortlisted for a green award for running largely on renewable energy is struggling to stay on air after its solar panels were stolen.

Gtfm in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, went on air as a community radio station in 2006 and has run mostly on wind and solar energy since 2007.

The station, up for a voluntary sector green award, is surviving on diesel power after the theft of four panels.

“It’s a bitter blow,” said station manager Terry Mann.

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Radio In CALGARY

By Ben

I wanted to talk a bit about what I’m listening to on the radio in Calgary. I realized however, that would be a very short list.

I’ve recently reduced my listening to two stations of a communal source. The CBC’s Radio One at 1010 AM and for a more musical fix I’ve found myself stationed at 102.1 FM, which in Calgary provides me with CBC Radio 2. That’s right, I one day aspire to be a an older man with a beard and cardigan, sitting in a warmly lit apartment while sipping wine and savouring my own delicious pretense. Not a word of a lie, that’s my dream.

So where does that leave us as far as this article goes? Why it leaves us an opportunity to discuss why I hate a lot of the other FM offerings in Calgary. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

First up. My current hate on rages most fiercely for the station dubbed “x”. As in brand “x” or “so bad we didn’t even bother to name this shit”. And we all know what happens when you use brand “x”, you’re inevitably unhappy. Calgary as a city, has a hard time overcoming the less then flattering idea that it is a hick city. A place for the red necks to cultivate and procreate. That’s not the Calgary I want, and less and less is it the Calgary I see. So why do we have a radio station, such as X that has a majority of personalities that consistently convey crass, bigoted, immature and narrow opinions? I don’t want to listen to a station that is homophobic, misogynistic and and critical of people trying to make post changes in the environment and in the city. These are not the type of people I want to listen to, nor are they the type of people I want representing my city.

Other stations have not received my attention for quite some time, and so I have a much less developed hatred for them and the radio personalities they offer. CJAY 92’s Gerry Forbes is enough of a reason to avoid that station, he’s the epitome of a relic left over from some barbaric time. He’s everything wrong with x92.9 in one man. The music isn’t really my style on the whole either. Vibe and Amp are your typical clone top 40 radio stations. Not my fare. Jack and 97.7 occasionally play songs I don’t hate, but I find I’m having to turn the dial way too often. Lite 96? Not if I want to feel young. How are Don, Joanne & Coach even still alive?

As for the other stations I’ve not mentioned, it’s because they really haven’t even hit the radar for me.

So there you have it. My angered, cynical and mostly correct take on the Calgary radio scene and why I don’t love it.

But now I have to go, Schubert, my sweater and sense of superiority beckon.

-Ben

An addendum: It was quickly brought to my attention that I had overlooked Calgary’s premiere university radio station, CJSW. A station that has been on the FM dial for over 20 years. In all honesty, I’ve never found myself listening to the station on a regular basis, however when I do, it normally has some flavours of music that suit my tastes. It is more than worth a try and can be found at 90.9 on your radio or online at CJSW dot com.

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Red Robinson returned from the Okanagan

By Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun

RED NOVEMBER: Exactly 55 years ago this afternoon(November 12th) 16-year-old Red Robinson returned from the Okanagan to his part-time operator’s job in CJOR’s broadcasting studio. From his office in the Howe-off-Robson Grosvenor Hotel, program director Vic Waters said he’d fired the disc jockey for whom Robinson cued and spun records. “Why don’t you go on and do the job,” Waters said, “and we’ll tell you later if you’ve got it.”

Robinson reached for Jubilee Records’ disc of the Four Tunes singing a doo-wap version of Marie. One hour later, at 5 p.m., every light on ‘OR’s switchboard glowed as city teenagers requested more of the songs few had heard before.

Waters promptly hired Robinson for the after-school hour five days a week. By 1958, in his final teenage year, jazz-raised Robinson was logging 55 hours weekly, airing the rock’n’roll music he believed — and still does — “was an offshoot of Louis Jordan.”

Robinson then grew his career at CKWX and CFUN, where, as program director, he hired such stellar deejays as Fred Latrimouille, Terry David Mulligan and the late Darryl B (Burlingham), and again at CJOR. He also founded Arctic Records and, with partner Les Vogt, set up concert-promoting JAG Enterprises. He co-founded Trend Advertising Ltd., and, with Steve Vrlak, the Vrlak Robinson ad agency. His business enterprise today is simply Red Robinson Management Ltd.

He’ll sign off at that Pender-at-Carrall office at 5 today to be feted by industry pals at the Gotham steakhouse. There’ll doubtless be talk of CHUM Radio Vancouver eviscerating talk-station CFUN to become sports-oriented TEAM 1040. Astounded by that, and the demise of what he calls “the best call letters in Canada,” Robinson said: “There’s been firings at [CKNW-owning] CORUS Entertainment and elsewhere, but never everybody.”

Buddies may urge Robinson to celebrate his double-nickel anniversary by airing a new show. Betcha the first disc he’d spin would be Sammy Hagar’s 1984 hit I Can’t Drive 55.

– – –

SETTING IT STRAIGHT: It was the Canadian Fishing Co. Jim Pattison acquired in 1984, not Ocean Fisheries, as I reported recently.

malcolmparry@shaw.ca

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Red Robinson – CFUN

Red, you are bang on with your Reditorial about the lights going out at CFUN and the broadcast biz as a whole.

I’m truly thankful for my 15 years ON-AIR in radio and TV, including having worked mornings at CKWX with greats like yourself and Cam McCubbin. I learned so much, working alongside you and Cam.

Leaving the industry in 1988 for a 20 year stint with the Ministry of Highways, on call with Burnaby RCMP, and 19 months ago returning to the private sector to work full time as a communications operator with Mainroad Howe Sound Contracting, has proved beneficial in so many ways, monetarily, and still dealing with media who call for traffic updates.

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Broadcast journalism and sports writing


What if the nightly newscast you watched were tailored to your interests, and the broadcasters only spoke about the movies you wanted to see, the teams you cared about and the news you deemed pertinent.

Researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., have created a computerized newscast called “News at Seven,” which scours blogs, articles, photographs and videos on the Internet and compiles multimedia broadcasts that are delivered by avatars.The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

“News at Seven” even has the capacity to generate opinion-based discussions about movies. The avatars use quotes from movie reviews to coherently “debate” the films. Researchers are currently in the process of trying to give the avatars human-like personalities.

Professor Kristian Hammond and his team are also working on a sister project called “Stats Monkey,” which composes baseball-game stories by looking at box scores and play-by-plays. After analyzing the data, the program instantaneously writes a story that captures the essence of the game and its key plays and players. Hammond’s team is aiming for the program to include all sports.

” ‘Stats Monkey’ does a little bit better of a job at writing a game story than the initial short AP story,” Hammond said. He added, “We’re hoping by next year we’re able to write a genuine story with images and quotes for every high school football game that’s playing in this country.”

Hammond said “Stats Monkey” could even be used for financial and political news. “If there are numbers and the numbers are interpretable,” he said, “we can write a news story.”

— Melissa Rohlin

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Radio presenter reads news from iPhone

Alison Rooper, an experienced BBC Radio 3 newsreader, managed to keep her cool during the glitch and told colleagues to send the script to her mobile.

She had arrived at Broadcasting House at 6.15am on Wednesday expecting to present the hourly bulletins as normal on Rob Cowan’s breakfast show.

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Thief gives college $500

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A handwritten letter with a phony return address arrived at a Catholic college in Iowa last week and opened a door into a long-forgotten mystery.

The author was seeking forgiveness for a crime so minor, no one could recall it.

But the thief didn’t forget, and slipped five $100 bills into the envelope as repayment for a portable radio that must have cost only a few dollars when it was stolen in 1955 from a teacher’s lounge at Clarke College in Dubuque.

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iTunes tagging

Listeners of Absolute Radio, on 105.8 FM in London, who use the nano’s built-in radio player, will now be able to ‘tag’ songs they like. This allows them to find out a track’s name, the artist, listen to a preview and then purchase it through the iTunes store.

The service was launched this morning by the station’s breakfast show host, Christian O’Connell. He said: “Never again will people face the humiliation of trying to sing a song to their friends that they don’t know the name of. We can all be clued up music experts at the touch of a button.”

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Kevin Federline Bails On Radio Hosting Gig

The night before Kevin Federline was scheduled to host the 2DayFM radio show the following morning, the chubby ex-husband of Britney Spears became enraged by a headline on the show’s website.

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Tom Leykis back

Tom Leykis returned to L.A. radio on Nov. 23, and who would have thought it would be on National Public Radio. But it was. He joined attorney Gloria Allred on a segment of Patt Morrison’s weekday afternoon show on KPCC/89.3 FM to discuss “Fatherhood – What Is It?”

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