Paying for Canadaland

Hey Everyone,

If your station’s like ours, you carry Canadaland as a syndicated show and probably got a notice today that they want to charge for the show.

I’ve been talking to them about different ways we could approach this, since if you’re like us you probably aren’t going to pay for it. If it comes down to it, we’ll take it off the schedule but we do think there’s a value to carrying the program.

I’m looking to find out who else is looking at this right now and wants to chat about some group bargaining opportunities.

We’re discussing additional promotions/advertising for syndicate stations, or other ways to air the show that reduce their production expenses.

I just saw that and instructed our PM to remove it from the schedule.
The PC may disagree but I doubt it.
We had it on air at one time, but there was an episode with some ‘profane language’ and when our (then) station manager phoned/emailed to complain, Jesse more or less told him to f*ck off.

I’m unsure if we’d pay for it.
Our then Station Manager btw Aaron, was Bob Simpson 😉

What I have gathered is that they need to cover the production costs of re-editing their podcast to be syndication friendly one-hour block without swearing (supposedly).

I mentioned that stations were more likely to air unedited shows or edit themselves than actually pay anything. I was told that if we didn’t need it edited we could still run it, or if someone within the sector was prepared to do the editing for everyone we wouldn’t have to pay either.

Another thing we were discussing was possibly buying advertising time in the show itself to promote CFUV (and other stations if we did a group effort) and they can direct those funds to whatever they need. This is probably not realistic for a lot of stations, but I’ve been thinking a lot about spaces we can promote CFUV to reach new audiences and it’s an interesting one to consider.

At least Jesse is answering emails promptly! 

I like the show, I think it's great, but our Board is not likely to pay for it. I hadn't realized that it was the post production that was driving the cost. I can understand if there are stations that wouldn't run it due to profanity, but I think we'd rather run it later in the evening than ask him to cut it up so that we can run it during the daytime. For a small station like ours, it's pretty much a no-brainer that we won't be paying for it. 

I'm left to wonder why it's a good idea to propose pushing that funding on to CC stations, many of which run on super-tight budgets... I keep thinking about other podcasts that are popular and have huge sponsors. I wonder if he's considered going that route to make the show sustainable?

Anyhow, thanks for starting this thread. Food for conversation in Abbotsford for sure.

We love the show too, and know that a lot of our listeners also enjoy it and it would be a shame to lose it because of the cost.  In a perfect world, we would love to pay for syndicated programming, but it's not in our budget and I am guessing that might be the case for a lot of us.

In the email that he sent out, which we didn't appear to initially receive (thanks for forwarding it Johnnie!), he mentions "moving forward we would love to provide syndicated versions of our other shows, The Imposter (arts) and COMMONS (politics). If syndicating either of these shows is of interest, please let us know!"

In the end, wouldn't we end up in the same spot, paying for either of those?


I also contacted Canadaland about inappropriate language last year -- more specifically, I emailed Russell Gragg about mature language (not profanity) in Episode 39, where there was no warning given in advance. They agreed to provide a warning in the future. 

I've sent Canadaland's request to CFRU's Programming Committee. I'm not personally in favour of paying this fee, and my sense is that CFRU ultimately will not pay it. I value the show's place on our schedule, and I'd be interested in any creative suggestions for navigating this situation that people may have.

I'm down for Canadaland group ad buys

We'd be interested in looking into this as well...

Up until last week I was downloading and editing CANADALAND & Shortcuts myself. After communicating with Russell about a tape sync, he asked if I would like the (then free) syndicated version, I said yes, and then today got the email about production costs. I can appreciate that they need to cover their costs, but my hourly wage is less than $30 and it only took about half an hour to edit the show, so I will likely go back to editing it myself, or making that a volunteer job. 

I am also into group ad buys. Thanks for bringing this up, Johnnie. 
We will definitely not be paying for Canadaland. We do no, cannot, and will not pay for programming. I think it sets a very bad precedent. On top of that, the fee they are asking for is rather ludicrous. They are asking for more money than we pay the NCRA and SOCAN.

My generally impression is that Jesse is very unaware of how community radio functions. 

I agree with Brian, I also think Jesse has little understanding of how community radio works. We've never paid for syndicated programming, and it's likely we won't for CANADALAND - especially at the cost they're asking. Which is a bummer, we enjoy the program a lot. 
We're in a unique position: CJLO is co-presenting Jesse's CANADALAND Book Launch show in Montreal tomorrow night. I sent him an e-mail and told him I'd like to discuss this with him in person - I'll definitely be bringing up the idea of group ads, and other options (such as station self-editing, it doesn't seem like a task that's too time consuming for an experienced producer), and I'll definitely be letting him know the general consensus of NCRA members. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like me to say (I'm going to try to be polite, haha).
We even taped a live version of the imposters podcast.
I don't think they were very happy with me, but we paid them to come out from Toronto and provided all of the space, gear, etc. Still wouldn't pay for programming.
TBH we can afford it, but most can't and I won't do it based on precedent. That's coming from a person who wouldn't run the BBC world service for free though.
What was he asking for in compensation? We never got an ask since we no longer air his show.
Sliding scales $10-30/episode according to overall budget.
Or so?
Just wanted to chime in from CJSR - they've also asked us to pay. We agree it sets a bad precedent for syndicated shows as well as our own volunteers who put in just as much work to make stuff broadcastable.
Their guest host Omar is recording episodes at CJSR this month while Jesse's on the road. We're letting them do this in exchange for a couple t-shirts to use at Fundrive time, because we air the show and we think our listeners see the value in it.
That scenario would be hard to justify if we paid them for each episode. 
I personally donate to them on Patreon. I think it does a good service in our media landscape. But I agree with Brian - what they're asking doesn't make sense for our sector. 
Those details make this request almost insulting to me. It seems to me that Jesse doesn't realize there's an exchange happening here already. They provide a strong spoken word program and we help them spread it across Canada. I'm more than willing to pay $20/week if they pay me $20/week for "advertising" to potential new Patreon donors.  
I don't believe CKDU has been asked (yet). We still air the show and recently hosted a live taping during our sustainer drive. I suspect why (sorry to be vague and ominous since we are still getting our ducks in a row, but HINT HINT it may have to do with Russell's employment transition).
I think it is extremely naive of Canadaland's team to start charging for syndication when it has always been free. The show is certainly an asset to our program schedule and maybe all of yours, but frankly, it's unreasonable to ask us to pay that amount for a 60 minute show. 
If asked, CKDU would drop it, full stop. 
As much as I would like group ad buys, I have a feeling it is unlikely. 
It seems to me that the plan is to drop, unless group ad buys are doable.
Hello everyone,

I am not one to usually chime in on these type of things. But, having some community/campus programming experience...I think I understand our sector well enough. 
And I was flabbergasted after I read this email. We have been playing CANADALAND for a year now. And yes, "mature" and/or profound language has been used. Sometimes it is warranted, sometimes not. 
Even if I object to it and want an edited version, it takes me between a half hour to hour to edit. At most, it would cost our station 700$ a year to put this on the air (if a volunteer were unable to edit it).
To suggest that we pay them 30$ a week to play their show is ridiculous. That is almost 1600$ a year, from ONE station, for this show. A show that, while intensely important and interesting to our nation, consistantly challenges the professional guidelines (sometimes it is warranted, sometimes not) I set for my own programmers (in regards to profane language and its context).
Furthermore, on the topic of not understanding how community and campus radios stations work, it seems Jesse does not understand how seasonal scheduling works. To switch over from free to 30$ an episode IN JULY is either a great idea (because we will have to comply) or a horrible one (since we feel screwed over having to play rebroadcasts for at least two know because we rely on Canadian syndicates when we are located on university campus areas and a great porportion of our hosts leave for the summer).
Perhaps this is too harsh a criticism--but dang-- I felt greatly insulted today.
Have a wonderful long weekend and try not to be as salty as I,
   We haven't received an email from Canadaland yet, but if we are asked to pay for the program we'll have to remove it from the schedule.  We don't have the funds to pay for programming.
I agree with Dave, this is good fodder for conversation in Abbotsford. The topic is way bigger than Canadaland as it causes us to question the paradigm upon which we operate. And to flip it over, I question paying our own people for content (as we were required to do for the RVF). I get that you can only ask volunteers to do so much, if you need more you need to figure out some sort of incentive/compensation as they are going to have to give up work opportunities to make the time available. So as the demands for quality increases (for example to compete with the production values of crowd-funded podcasts) we need to look at our processes and procedures and see if there is a way to do this and still maintain our core values. And I think one of our strongest core values is that we share content for free.
Does every one of your stations keep the section of the show in that reminds listeners to visit Canadaland's Patreon account?  Because assuming you do, us all airing their show is bringing so much exposure to them, their Patreon and by extension their potential for earning more money from Patreon, the idea of then suggesting they're worth money to US is really maddening.  We'd essentially be paying them for the right to then advertise for them.  I think it's a great show, I always assumed us playing it for all our listeners was us doing our part.  We have some really really incredible shows created by volunteers, paying Canadaland feels like it would suggest to those other shows on our program that they don't have the same value.  The last thing I would want to do would be to send any signal to our devoted local volunteers that we put more value on larger budget syndicated shows than we do on our local contributors.  Seems like it would run the risk of losing our devoted local support.  We'd end up with more holes in our scheduling that would need to be filled by more potentially-costly-to-us-Canadalands.  
Okay, I didn't know about the Patreon part. That's just another nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned.

I only listened to one or two shows a couple of years ago, and despite the opinion of others did not find anything so remarkable about the content to make me overlook the extensive and extraneous use of foul language. 
There are a lot of things we could do to improve our late night/overnight programming (we just run playlists of new music, without announcing titles or artists. Which is only slightly less lame than not playing the tracks at all) but Canadaland probably would give me more negative feedback to deal with. No thanks.
I would like to add to this discussion thread by pointing out that most syndicated radio programming (like Canadaland, which I will disclose, I have never heard, before, and have never been "hit on" for advertising by them?) has a darker side, namely, community radio management sometimes overrely on this type of programming at the expense of REAL, locally developed and produced shows, for which the CRTC (and the public) expects us to put out ?

So, before we get our collective shorts in a knot about being hit on for advertising, let's talk about, first, the addiction or overreliance on syndicated programming. generally, in community radio ?

While we at WDCR Society do play syndicated shows, we use them sparingly, like Look for a Star, with Gordon Heffler, and Rendezvous de la Francophonie. We tend NOT to use such shows, as we perceive syndicated programming much like a drug, which like heroin or cocaine, once hooked, cannot be easily weaned from.

So, re: canadaland, what people expect, I guess, is their free dose of heroin or is it methadone ? If they have to pay for methadone, people will get cranky.

Let's rely less and less on other people's programs and let's just do our jobs, i.e. training, producing, and creating unique, interesting, local shows made by local talent that will distinguish your local community/campus radio station from all of the commercial licenses in your broadcast area.

If you don't know how to produce local shows, then that would be a very good reason to attend the upcoming NCR conference, to sit down with other programmers and find out what they are doing, how they are doing it, etc. 

You make a good point though your characterization of the issue with Canadaland is flawed. It's not about advertising.

I would counter that if you use programming from other c/c stations properly you increase the diversity by providing viewpoints and music genres you may, at this moment be weak in. And while I accept and work towards a local focus I still think it is important to to hear viewpoints from other parts of the country.
You are right, you can get dependent on it, because a lot of it is really good and your audience may like it and protest if you stop, but it also gives local programmers a benchmark for good programming.
From a purely practical standpoint, until I can get people who can do a show at the times that are open, I need to fill those spots without taking too much of my time. 
There is nothing wrong with airing good syndicated programming. And there is nothing wrong with using our program exchange to air and support shows that are interested in gaining a national audience (ie. Cited Podcast at CiTR comes to mind.) 

I think we are all probably doing our jobs in trying to recruit volunteers to create local programming. The implication that we are not is unusual to me.
But to get back to Canadaland, it's clear that Jesse doesn't understand how campus and community radio works, which is shocking considering he hired people who have extensive knowledge on our sector. So it gives me some comfort knowing that this could be Jesse acting stubborn and then relenting after he realizes he was wrong. It doesn't seem like we are overreliant on Canadaland or synidcated programming because many of us have indicated that we are willing to drop it. 
The discussion from this thread has been great. Hopefully we will hear an update from Jesse/Canadaland's team on the situation soon enough.

Does every one of your stations keep the section of the show in that reminds listeners to visit Canadaland's Patreon account?  Because assuming you do, us all airing their show is bringing so much exposure to them, their Patreon and by extension their potential for earning more money from Patreon, the idea of then suggesting they're worth money to US is really maddening.  We'd essentially be paying them for the right to then advertise for them.  I think it's a great show, I always assumed us playing it for all our listeners was us doing our part.  We have some really really incredible shows created by volunteers, paying Canadaland feels like it would suggest to those other shows on our program that they don't have the same value.  The last thing I would want to do would be to send any signal to our devoted local volunteers that we put more value on larger budget syndicated shows than we do on our local contributors.  Seems like it would run the risk of losing our devoted local support.  We'd end up with more holes in our scheduling that would need to be filled by more potentially-costly-to-us-Canadalands.  

Hello NCRA/ANREC world

I want to apologise for our delay in responding, it was a long weekend here in Ontario, and I was off on Friday. Gearing up for the NCRC! 
It's been a very interesting conversation. I have been coordinating the NCRA/ANREC's presentations. And one of them 'National / Marathon Programming' is designed to launch a conversation about national programming, such as RVF (which we pay you for), and marathon programming such as Homelessness Marathon. The session is just over an hour, with 4 panelists. We would like to open up the conversation for the second half of the session to a discussion on these topics. I believe the Canadaland conversation could fit here. 

From the Office's point of view, there isn't too much we can do about Canadaland. I personally agree with much of the comments here and agree that community stations should not be paying for it. If you do, then there are considerations that would need to be reviewed in terms of if you are reaching your local content quota, and if it best reflects your obligations under your license to highlight local community voices (For example, if you are paying for syndicated programming that time slot may block an opportunity a local voice from having a show). I'm sure Freya can add more information here. 

As a community member who creates a syndicated show (shout out for CanQueer), I would never expect stations to pay that programming, as access to the airwaves is a privilege and not a right. I believe it sets a very bad precedent. 
There are, however, other options to Canadaland. The NCRA/ANREC's Community radio exchange produces 37 hours of programming per/week. I've attached two documents here with more information if you are interested, or go to this link:,  
In terms of the group, add buys the NCRA/ANREC office can lead that discussion if that's the will of the membership.  
Hopefully, in a couple of weeks after a conversation, we can come out with a better and more clear direction. If you are unable to attend the conference we hope to live-stream the National programming session and use slido so that people from across Canada can be a part of the conversation. 

Please let me know if you have any further questions. The NCRA/ANREC will keep an eye on this exchange and jump in if we need to! 

Hey all,

Here's a response from Jesse.
Hi everybody, Jesse here. I've read all of your comments here and have communicated with some of you directly. Hope you don't mind me jumping in - this seems like an efficient way to communicate with you all. 

First off, I get the message! 
Clearly, what I proposed won't work for you. It's been pointed out here that perhaps I don't understand the culture of community radio. That seems to me a fair (and at this point, obvious) criticism. 
Let me start by clearing up a few things:
1.We value CANADALAND's relationship with C/C radio. Reaching your listeners is important to us. Also, you have been generous with your studios and some of you have worked with us on fantastic events. I'd like to keep working together. 
2.Our shows remain free for you to air. Any of you are welcome and encouraged to broadcast our podcasts. But our podcasts - the shows we produce for the Internet - vary in length from 25-55 minutes each episode and contain ads and foul language. Most of you are not able to air our shows "as-is" but some of you are, or are willing to edit out the profanity yourselves. If that's you, please air us as you please, for free. 
3.We are not trying to turn a profit from our partnerships with you. We get that you are tiny, cash-strapped organizations who do what you do because you love it and because it is needed. So are we!
I'm sorry I didn't make all that clear in my earlier email to you. My goal then, and now, is to describe a problem we have with our partnership and try to find a solution. 
Here's the problem:
We spend hours and hours every week making a special version of our show just for you. Our producers remove the profanity and the advertising and make dozens of editorial decisions about what to cut, in order to provide you with a broadcast-ready, syndicated version of our two flagship shows in a dependable, hour-long format, every week of the year. This is costing us thousands of dollars. It has been pointed out here that you allow us to include our own crowdfunding messages on our syndicated version, which is generous and appreciated. Our initial hope was that this would bring in new funding to cover our syndication costs. But a large survey of our funders revealed that this is sadly not the case, and radio syndication for CANADALAND remains a money-loser for us. So that is what we were looking to charge you for - not our content, but thelabour of the skilled audio/editorial professionals who work here. 
Here is a possible solution:
If just one station or program manager is able to step-up and take on the job of cutting a syndicated version each week, then this could be made available to all, just as it has been. 
I appreciate the idea of figuring out a group-ad buy on CANADALAND as a different way to solve this, but that will only work for some stations.... The truth is, if any of you want to advertise with us, either as a group or independently, we would be very glad to talk about providing you with a very favourable friend-rate, as a separate matter from this conversation. 
So, we are looking for a volunteer.  Let's keep CANADALAND on the air, for free, for any station that still wants us. Any hands?

The staff here at the NCRA/ANREC Office would like to sincerely apologise to the members who participate in this list. 

Although, we appreciate the clarity offered by Jesse from Canadaland. We feel that by sharing the internal conversations of our members, from within our protected forum, with a third party supplier was not only a breach of our rules but also a breach of the ethics of this mailing list. 
We hope that the NCRA/ANREC mailing lists are a location where members feel comfortable enough to share their experiences, concerns and ideas without worrying that those conversations will leave the circle of our NCRA/ANREC members. 
The NCRA/ANREC investigated and Russel Gragg had been added to our list when he was with CKDU-FM. The NCRA/ANCREC contacted CKDU-FM and confirmed that Gragg is no longer affiliated with that member stations. As Russel breached our terms of use and is not affiliated with a member he has been removed from this list. 
Russell will be informed he's been removed from the list, and Jesse and Russell will both be collectively informed of any responses you wish us to share with them, you are also free to contact them yourselves. 
As a reminder are are the rules:

As the NCRA/ANREC has over 100 members, with multiple staff from each station participating, it's incredibly difficult to keep track of who to remove from the list. We will look to address this issue moving forward. 

My apologies again for this. 

CanadaLand reached out to us a few years ago it seems, and recently reached out again to our Program Director to form a "partnership" with us. To my knowledge, we have never aired Canadaland. After reading through this entire thread, I think we'll keep it that way. 

I will continue to air CANADALAND on CiTR as I feel the content is vital to the Canadian political landscape, regardless of my personal feelings about their approach to C/C radio syndication. I don't believe they were trying to extort us as a sector, I understand that hard costs are involved in doing extra editing work for free. 
Starting in July, I (or a CiTR volunteer) will be editing a version of the show for air on CiTR that removes all ads, and profanity. I cannot guarantee that it will be perfect, but if anyone would like access to the content, please let me know. I suppose this could be uploaded to the NCRC program exchange, or just posted with a private soundcloud link. 

I think you are the solution Jesse was asking for Madeline. 

I happen to disagree with you on Canadaland's value, but without the profanity I might find it to have enough value to consider it. Particularly as the chairman of the bod here (who happens to also be a Jesse) agrees with you and not me.

If you decide you would like access to the version I will be editing, let me know. I am making up a mailing list, and will add anyone who asks to be included. 

Please don't mistake my openness to do other stations a favour by sharing this edit as a declaration against anyone who decides not to air CANADALAND. That's really up to y'all. 

Thanks, all the best folks. 

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