This quote, taken from a letter sent by CFCY radio to local funeral homes and quoted in the CBC story Death notices cancelled after 70 years, about the decision by CFCY to stop broadcasting daily funeral announcements, is a brilliant example of heartless corporate-speak:
The letter said the station’s new format would be “looking to the positives we can point out in our community.” It went on to say “the unfortunate event of someone’s passing” would no longer be possible in this format.
Look for the upbeat new daily 12:30 feature “Islanders who didn’t die today.”
Heartless and wrong. There is nothing more uplifting than celebrating the lives of those who lived in and contributed to community. Put them on the radio and Islanders know who to cook for. I bet those death announcements were singlehandly responsible for more unconditional giving and support in the community that almost anything else during those 70 years. Now Islanders will have to phone each other and organize and maybe even miss the fact that an old friend or school mate has died. Imagine the shock.
What a dumb way to talk about it.
Giving birth and being born are no picnic either. Best can the birth announcements too. And traffic? I don’t know anybody who likes the thought of traffic, do you? Tell me how our kids are above average.
The owners of CFCY (and by extension, their advertisers) have expressed a wish. The fear that listeners might tune them out when the obituaries came on SHOULD be respected; by tuning them out AND letting them know why. Like any other business model, the money will eventually “talk loudly enough”.
Now that you mention advertising revenue, the change isn’t hard to rationalize with what we always hear about which marketing demographics attract the most advertising…and what we hear about the erosion of family ties. Mostly it’s old folks who die and mostly it’s younger folks who shop. Then if you only see your grandparents once or twice a year, your friends at school or work, who mostly know you by your first name nowadays, probably wouldn’t immediately recognize the name in the obituary as connected to anybody they know. The grandparents may be the social butterflies of their generation, but if the generation doesn’t shop, the advertiser doesn’t care if they listen to this radio station.
I am a CFCY advertiser and I think they’ve made a mistake.
BUT, why hasn’t anyone (CBC Radio for example) not asked why no other radio station has NEVER broadcast funeral announcements? Given their level of concern, why doen’t CBC broadcast them? They sure got a lot of mileage out of kicking CFCY with “calls to management were not returned” while finding ways of bringing the issue up again and again over several days.
Chris & Pete, did you listen to the announcements?
Well, I think this is another one of thoes times when someone from the mainland says “Silly little Islanders….we know whats best for you.”
Im only 23 and i will admit I didnt listen to the death announcements every day sence I moved from home (Im from West Prince but live in Charlottetown) but there are alot of people who still do. I remember having dinner at home and having to be quiet because “the deaths” were on and it was almost a mortal sin to even think of uttering a word when Dave Holland said “Suddenly at Community Hospital” or “Peacefully at Western Hospital…”
I guess it all comes down to were a little Island steaped in traditions. I think this will come back to haunt CFCY. Are death annoucments important now on PEI, Id say definately yes…..10-20 years from now MBS could look again. Jack MacAndrew had a good write up in the Graphics the other week about the topic. Check it out.