CRTC looking at eliminating top-40 radio restrictions

In one of those “we have a law for that?” moments, the CRTC has decided to (again) take a look at a rather archaic regulation they have that limits FM radio stations on the use of “top 40 hits.”

The regulation was created to protect AM Top 40 stations from the FM Radio Menace that sought to kill them off with their better sound. Sure enough, now AM stations are disappearing, being replaced with talk radio, all-news stations, all-sports stations and some community and student radio stations. Portable music players are being built with FM-only tuners (where radio tuners are built-in at all), which will lead to further erosion of the AM listening base.

What does this law say about our radio broadcasting industry? Sadly, radio stations are failing to realize that having a 1,000-song playlist and virtually no indie content or DJ autonomy means that nobody wants to listen to your stations. Now they’re really starting to feel it as people tune to podcasts, Internet radio and songs they’ve ripped from their own CD collection.

I certainly hope their solution to that problem isn’t “more top 40 hits.”

Deadline for comments is March 4.

5 thoughts on “CRTC looking at eliminating top-40 radio restrictions

  1. DAVE ID

    What’s radio? OK I’m kiding, but seriously it’s dead. It’s just a tool for the record and ad industries which is odd since most pop music today is perfect jingle material anyway. Kill it off.

  2. Eric

    This explains alot, when I was living in the US I listened to radio all the time. Good music good variety, but back in Canada I can’t stand the radio, bad music, poor variety. So it turns out it is not poor taste of Canadians, or bad business by the station owners it is in fact more ridiculous laws passed by our over funded government.

    Shouldn’t this, and most CRTC laws, be considered censorship?

  3. Zoey Castelino

    I feel sorry for the teens of Montreal who are lead to believe that MIX 96 is actually “today’s best music” when in reality it’s simply the only game in town. But I guess it’s not the fault of THE MIX that they play hit songs just a little bit later than other stations or that they don’t play all the hits in the first place.

  4. Sara Hadjis Razavi

    As a teen who frequently listens to the radio, both AM and FM, I know I am a rarety in my age group.
    The reason being that I am passionate about broadcasting, and would like to go into that field after high school. Let me assure you that not a single Montreal teen believes that Mix 96 plays today’s best music.


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