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Checking My Preferences

Posted on Jan 25, 2020

I hate being grilled about things, especially questioning my preference of one thing or another. Why do I like this or that? What is it I don’t like about this food, that company, this person, that show, etc. These kinds of interrogations are often met with blank stares, shrugs, and when pushed, a scoffed “none of your fucking business.” Mostly because I have no real answers – I like what I like and I don’t like what I don’t like. Same as everyone else.

However, now and again I like to check in with myself to see if my preferences still hold true. Am I still mad at this person? Do I still love that show? Do I now like something I used to hate? Am I still the same person or have my values changed?

For example, I used to hate kids. Now I like kids. I used to think eating animals was necessary. Now I’m not so sure. I used to hate coffee. Now I may kill someone if they come between me and my coffee. Tastes change, sometimes even values do. They mature, and it’s important to recognize when you’ve outgrown something or someone.

Which brings me to an epiphany I recently epiphanied: the reason I love WAK so much.

I have occasionally wondered why I prefer them over all other morning shows but I haven’t given it THAT much thought – I like what I like. But the other day I was taking a cleansing inventory of my radio preferences and finally put my finger on the specific reasons I listen to them: it’s because they don’t talk about themselves or other people.

Here’s what the other stations’ morning shows talk about (in MY opinion):

93.7 – Music, life, current events. Light but with an underlying sincerity. Clay and Karen were my favourites for a very long time, but since WAK started at 101, I haven’t listened to JR as much. I used to listen to their show later in the day via streamon but they have taken out all the conversation bits and only left in the songs so now I can’t even do that. Blah. They are still great though, and a close second as far as conversation goes.

94.5 – “Have you guys ever (insert inane thing here, like been on a plane and had someone beside you take their shoes off, or seen a friend double dip at a party)?” and then three people talking over each other and snarking at one another’s opinions. Shrill.

95.3 – The Bachelor. Weddings. Engagements. Gossip. Ugh. Sounds like they are reading from a script.

96.9 – I don’t even know what they talk about. I can’t listen to them.

99.3 – Current events, sports, a little about life. Can be a judge-y and they make fun of others a bit too much, but tolerable and often even entertaining. In the top four.

102.7 – Fart jokes and bodily functions. Juvenile at best. Nice guys outside of the studio though.

103.5 – Life things, some gossip, etc. Light. Engage with audience in a genuine way. Top four.

104.3 – No life. One person is not a “morning show.” Sleepy.

104.9 – Celebrity gossip, some current events, “National Whatever” days. Sincere and silly. These are really the nicest people on the planet but the conversations don’t captivate me enough to stick around. I can’t take Jordan’s voice. That’s just ME though, nothing to do with him. He’s lovely. High audience engagement and socials interaction (and shenanigans!)

This is what WAK talks about: music and musicians; world events; movies; sad things; happy things; funny signs and headlines; science and inventions; things that matter (to me); relevant personal stories (hardly ever); occasional self-deprecating jokes.

This is what WAK does NOT talk about: what someone said to them (except when Willy tells a rare story about one of his kids); celebrity gossip; what someone should do/say/wear; people they know; strangers; themselves or their families.

They lift people up instead of tearing them down. They don’t judge people for how they look, what they do, where they’re from. They don’t have to be silly or invite people to call/text/message. They don’t post to Facebook/Twitter/Insta asking for opinions or advice. No silly videos. They aren’t about glitz and splash, they are about genuine friendships and conversations. Mature conversations sprinkled with humour, poignancy, depth. Conversations which every day make me laugh and occasionally make me (and them) cry.

Willy leads the conversations with such finesse you can’t even tell they spent two hours that morning preparing their show. If they rehearsed it, I can’t tell. And that’s how professionals do it – seemingly effortless yet woven with such intent and precision we can’t even tell it’s in the script. Just like that show you watch where you forget you’re watching a show, you’re just so IN it.

This is, of course, my own opinion and yours may differ greatly. Perhaps if you thought about it you might have similar reasons for liking your favourite radio hosts. And maybe the reason I don’t listen to them is the very reason you do!

But that’s none of my business.