Menu

Where are real women in the media?

The feminist perspective is relevant and slowly disappearing.
The feminist perspective is relevant but sadly it’s disappearing.

It’s a man’s world in the media. Earlier this year I wrote about SiriusXM radio cancelling my favourite women’s programs (The Judith Regan Show, What She Said and The Martha Stewart Channel, click here to read Sirius, we have a problem). I’m seriously fed up with Sirius and wish they paid more attention to their women listeners. Then, in April of this year my favourite magazine MORE (for mature women) ceased publishing due to lack of advertising revenue (click here for It’s time for some Boomer backlash). The dragnet is widening as Chatelaine and Macleans Magazines are reducing their frequency to bi-monthly and monthly respectively. And Canadian fashion mag LOULOU has ceased publication altogether.

It’s no secret that the advent of digital media has hurt print publishing. My daily newspaper is getting thinner and thinner. With print ad revenue diminishing in favour of on-line marketing, print publishers are laying off columnists and sourcing material from freelancers, shared news sources and, horrors, click-bait. That makes it harder for readers of any gender to enjoy exclusive, original, well-researched, intelligent material. Our information comes in the form of homogenized sound, print or on-line bytes. There are more sports channels on radio and television than I can count and while women have the ubiquitous HGTV option, our choices are painfully limited. It may surprise the men running media operations that women are interested in issues far beyond fashion, decorating, weight-loss and beauty tips. Women in the media is about more than pretty blondes with toned arms in sleeveless dresses reading the news. Women entrepreneurs and success stories have always been a subject of fascination for me but like great women world leaders, composers, artists, scientists and writers of centuries ago, these women and their accomplishments are buried in history, their stories never to be shared.

media1We’ve lost a number of print publications as well as radio and television programs. While the reasons cited are bottom-line related, it concerns me that quality programming for women is disappearing. I don’t know what the solution is. I already subscribe to more than a dozen magazines each month and heaven knows I support their advertisers by buying product but it doesn’t seem to be enough. It seems I’m constantly chasing diminishing sources of sharp, women-centric news and information but I feel like a dog chasing a car. I’ll never catch it and no one hears me barking. But I’ll keep doing it because I’m afraid I’ll get run over. Or perhaps I have already. Hello? Is anyone listening?

Click the “Follow” icon to receive automatic notifications of new BOOMERBROADcast postings.

Feel free to share this blog post via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or other social media links below.

Continue Reading

It’s time for some Boomer backlash

Another Boomer favourite bites the dust.
Another Boomer favourite bites the dust.

My world is collapsing. Just like my hair on a humid day or my self-esteem when I try on a bathing suit. I was devastated to hear that my favourite women’s radio show, Whatever, hosted by Christine Bentley, Kate Wheeler and Sharon Caddy on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 167 is being cancelled. (Click here to read Sirius. . . we have a problem.) Then, while I was still licking my wounds from that episode I received an email that my favourite magazine, MORE will cease publishing with the current April issue. I’ve been a subscriber for more years than I can remember, back to when I still had a waistline. Targeted at mature, Boomer women, MORE is one of the more intelligent, relevant and enjoyable magazines I receive—and I subscribe to eighteen publications per month. The day it arrives in the mail, I sit down with my cup of tea and read it cover to cover. Even the ads are interesting. Meredith Corporation’s, male president said low advertising revenues could not support further publication.

We’ve all experienced that frustrating sense of loss when a favourite product is discontinued. Who hasn’t mourned Estée Lauder or Lancôme cancelling our favourite shade of lipstick. “But we’re introducing new and better colours/shades/flavours/styles they tell us” in an attempt at consolation. I’m now down to my last tube of Portofino Coral lipstick sourced by Googling every corner of the internet and finally finding a supplier who had two left. Surprisingly, Estée Lauder still produces Frosted Apricot which I was first introduced to in one of their gift-with-purchase promotions about forty years ago, and is still in rotation.

Hey! We're still here and we're still relevant.
Hey! We’re still here and we’re still relevant.

I’m convinced the entire world is determined to eliminate anything of interest or relevant to Baby Boomers. Despite our huge demographic, we can’t seem to convince “the establishment” that we’re a valued and financially valuable target market. They insist on focusing on the 18-45-year-olds. One by one commercial interests are chipping away at everything we like. My radio programs are being cancelled; movies almost completely ignore our generation; my magazines are now disappearing, and don’t even get me started on fashion.

Thank goodness books are still relatively free of purging by commercially-driven enterprises. While my choices in books may not always be best sellers, at least I can peruse the public library on-line and generally get what I want. Perhaps the 18-45 group doesn’t read books because they’re too busy texting what they had for lunch, and the library doesn’t know how old I really am.

At any rate, Boomers need to be more vocal in our support of what we like. I’ll continue to protest ridiculous fashion trends, zombie and other violent movies and poorly conceived accommodation for aging Boomers. They wouldn’t legalize marijuana when the Boomers were regularly smoking up in the sixties and seventies. However, now that Gen X’ers, Y’s and Millenials have demanded a place at the table, it’s acceptable and soon to be legal. What do Boomers get? Dying with dignity.

boomerbannerWe’re still paying taxes (plenty, in fact, probably too much), interacting and engaging in all kinds of media, dressing for fashion as best we can within our limited selection, and purchasing big-ticket consumer goods at unprecedented levels.  However, Boomers are ignored, disregarded, disrespected and generally dissed in the consumer market and it’s time we were acknowledged. What’s next to get axed? Sixties music radio stations? Pinot Grigio? Red Rose Tea?—at which time I will be forced to investigate the dying with dignity issue. Ban the Boomers is insidious but it is happening. Speak up and do not forever hold your peace.peace2

blogger3Click the “Follow” icon to receive automatic notifications of new BOOMERBROADcast postings.

Feel free to share this blog post via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or other social media links below.

Continue Reading

Sirius . . . we have a problem

Radio is an integral part of daily life for millions of listeners.
Radio is an integral part of daily life for millions of listeners.

Once upon a time I thought paying fifteen dollars a month for a radio subscription was an absurd and wasteful idea. Then we purchased a vehicle that included six months of free access to commercial-free Sirius XM satellite radio and I became a convert—to the extent we now have three accounts, one for each vehicle and one for the house so I can pick it up on my iPad with a Bluetooth speaker. Being able to drive anywhere in North America without having to switch stations in search of a clear local signal was just one of the benefits. The most convincing factor for me, however, was the abundance of excellent programming targeted at women, not available on regular AM/FM radio. My days of listening to CHUM non-stop are long past and I now enjoy and prefer talk shows, particularly interviews with authors, business people, women entrepreneurs and lifestyle aficionados.

Strike 1: Cancelling the Martha Stewart channel.
Strike 1: Cancelling the Martha Stewart channel, including Alexis and Jenny.

My love affair with Sirius XM has now been seriously challenged and my loyalty is at risk of imploding. One by one they’ve dropped my favourite programs and contrary to their mandate, they run advertisements which annoy me to no end when I’m paying for the service. Even though I’m not a huge Martha Stewart fan, I did enjoy her satellite radio station with tons of good information on cooking, decorating, wellness and other chick issues. I particularly enjoyed Whatever, a two-hour daily dialogue between Martha’s bitchy daughter Alexis and Jenny Hutt. The most amazing people used to call into that show to share opinions and observations. Then, Alexis and Jenny had a falling out. Alexis became a mother and soon after, Martha’s entire station was discontinued. Jenny still has her own show but there’s not the same tension or provacativeness.

Strike 2: Cancelling Judith Regan.
Strike 2: Cancelling Judith Regan.

But I always had Judith Regan for two hours every Saturday morning on Stars. Regan is a colourful and smart Boomer in her own right with a successful publishing career to her credit. As well as being the controversial publisher of the never-released “what-if” fictional account of the O.J. Simpson/Nicole Brown Simpson murder story, Regan has and is still publishing extraordinary books. Naturally, many of her interviewees were authors plugging their wares but I loved the discussions and was made aware of many wonderful books I might not have otherwise heard about.

The final blow came last week. My absolute favourite Sirius XM radio show What She Said, which airs daily from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Canada Talks Channel 167 is being cancelled. To say I’m devastated is an understatement. What She Said is the only reason I still subscribe to Sirius XM. I listen to Christine Bentley, Kate Wheeler and Sharon Caddy as often as I can. Christine Bentley is a particularly skilled interviewer and their guests introduced me to a world of thought and inspiration that made my day, every day. Rumour has it the ladies are negotiating with other media sources to continue their show so I’m on standby for the outcome. Damn you, Sirius.

Strike 3: Cancelling What She Said is the last straw.
Strike 3: Cancelling What She Said is the last straw.

Bit by bit the powers that be at Sirius XM have chipped away at quality women’s programming until there’s nothing left. I hate celebrity-centric shows. I have no use for the dozens of sports, NFL, NHL and other jock stations. X-rated humour is not my bag, nor is a steady diet of a single musical performer. If a phone-in pet psychic can get her own show, why can’t we keep What She Said? 

I give up.
I give up.

I understand Channel 167 Canada Talks is going to an all-news format which means the same depressing, boring news stories and interviews with self-serving politicians will keep looping over and over, ad nauseum. If you know of any shows with quality content similar to those I’ve described above that are targeted at smart and informed women, then let me know. Otherwise, I’m going to have to cancel my subscription and I’ll be forced to go back to searching for a strong local signal while I’m driving around. I’m not looking forward to returning to earth from my formerly happy place on satellite radio. On what planet can we not make a business case that justifies programs that appeal to fifty percent of the population? But, who listens to me? I’m just the customer.

blogger3Click the “Follow” icon to receive automatic notifications of new BOOMERBROADcast postings.

Feel free to share this blog post via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or other social media links below.

 

 

Continue Reading

From Russia with love and deception

russiaMy interest in Russia and its people probably began when I first viewed Dr. Zhivago in English with Dutch subtitles in an Amsterdam movie theatre in October 1967. The music was haunting. The history is stark, brutal and complex. So, when I heard Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia being interviewed by Judith Regan on Sirius Radio I immediately downloaded the book onto my Kindle. Pomerantsev was born in Russia and moved to England as a child with his family. Working in broadcasting in the U.K. gave him the kind of experience Russian television was looking for when the iron curtain fell. Western cultural ideologies and practices found an entirely new audience in the millions of Russians who wanted to embrace this insurgence of new ideas.

peter-pomerantsevPomerantsev brought the advantages of being born in Russia and speaking Russian as well as being educated in England and working in British broadcasting. Taking this experience to Moscow where he lived for nine years, he worked originally for  light-hearted local television, then later for Ostankino, the Kremlin’s official mouthpiece. What he found in his former native land was at times hilarious, sad, evocative and sobering. He describes the work of Golddigger Academies who offer classroom-style training for beautiful young Russian women on how to attract rich men to sponsor their lifestyles of nice apartments, glamorous clothes and financial security.

Russia’s attempts to embrace and emulate everything western has resulted in varying degrees of success and failure. As a broadcaster/producer, Pomerantsev describes the colossal failure of his attempt at a Russian version of Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice. After decades of Communism, corruption and graft, viewers and participants had no conception of western-style business philosophy based on hard work, market research, customer service and supply and demand. Accustomed to simply buying what they were told to buy and paying whomever and whatever they were told to pay without any consideration for market conditions, the Russian viewers simply could not comprehend the entrepreneurial concept. In fact, their entire value system is very different from our own.

Teaching Russians the capitalist principles of business resulted in growth industries in business training and education. Even the scary and questionable Western organizations like LifeSpring that were popular in the 80s gained a strong foothold as people experimented with new philosophies. The Rose of The World is based on LifeSpring and a modification of an earlier Stalinist personal growth and development program with incremental levels of training and financial outlay required to evolve into the perfect person (sound familiar?). Members are humiliated and intimidated into increasingly more controlling “personal training” and is considered by many to be  a dangerous cult. Russia is also rife with racism and prejudice against segments of their own population.

In their enthusiasm to embrace everything western, Russia has undergone a circle of trial and error leading up to Putin’s current backpedaling toward old-style Communism. And like the ancient Egyptians, Russians systematically destroy physical and psychological evidence of previous rulers and governments to proclaim the virtues of the latest flavour-of-the-month running the country.

Throughout these transitions, however, the one constant is corruption. No one trusts the system and everyone is always looking over their shoulder to protect themselves. Former Russian crime bosses and oligarchs have been replaced by Putin’s appointees who are once again the official manipulators and rapists of the system. Organized crime bosses have expanded outside Russia to the U.K., United States and other countries where their activities are legitimized through laundered businesses and enterprises. Pomerantsev describes hyper-projects such as the Russian Winter Olympics in Sochi. At $50 billion “the project cost $30 billion more than the previous summer games in London and five times more expensive than any Winter Olympics ever”. The extra money is siphoned off to benefit and enrich those individuals and organizations loyal to the Kremlin bosses.

My quest to become better informed about Russia and to better understand its people was somewhat satisfied but at the same time, having finished the book I know I would never like to live there although I definitely would like to visit. The country and its people are fascinating, fallible and functioning under a set of principles completely different from how we live life in the west. Many of their more unsavory characters are infiltrating western business and cultural practices and our law enforcement agencies are constantly monitoring their movements and activities. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible is a fascinating read and while it did satisfy some of my curiosity it also heightened my quest to learn even more. It was an amazing book and I highly recommend it.

For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or anytime gift. Click on this link: http://www.lulu.com  or http://www.amazon.com

Continue Reading

These boots are made for workin’

Sometimes entering a radio contest pays off as it did for me a couple of weeks ago when I e-mailed my entry to a contest on Sirius Satellite’s What She Says program that runs every morning on CBC Talk Radio, Channel 167 starting at 10:00 a.m. I always enjoy the topics covered by hosts Kate Wheeler, Christine Bentley and Sharon Caddy Their guests are interesting and the topics of discussion are of interest to women as well as men. In promoting a line of work boots designed specifically for women, they were offering a free pair to the person who submitted the best reason for why they should win. Here’s what they said:

WINNER OF OUR “SHOW US YOUR MOXIE” CONTEST

 

This contest entered the construction phase with the appearance of our guest Marissa McTasney, the inspirational entrepreneur who told us her story of ditching corporate world high heels for the trade’s world work boots … only to find out there was no such thing as women’s work boots! Marissa is now President of Moxie Trades Ltd. whose first product was the Iconic Pink Work Boot for WOMEN! You can check out the entire line of women’s safety apparel now available at www.moxietrades.com

Well, we were so inspired here at What She Said Radio by Marissa’s story that we challenged our subscribers to SHOW US THEIR MOXIE and that is exactly what our winner Lynda Davis of Mississauga did! This is what she told us…

” As someone who spent most of my career in the construction industry it was always frustrating to me that I had to buy MEN’S size 4 safety boots, which were nearly impossible to source in the days before the internet. I looooooove these boots – just wish they’d been available years ago. As a cool, rockin’ Boomer chick I’d really do them justice. Everyone would stop me and ask where I got those boots (Amelia boots) and I’d be your best promoter.” Here is a picture of Lynda Davis wearing her men’s size 4 safety boots. We are sure you will all agree how amazing she will look in her brand new black Amelia work boots – with pink laces of course!

0 2
Josee-Amelia-3_4-single-Right-Shoe_900x900Congratulations Lynda, we know that you will absolutely rock these $180 Amelia work boots and since the foundation of What She Said Radio is all about interviewing, informing and inspiring women all across the nation, we encourage you to promote the heck out of these Amelia Boots and Moxie Trades Ltd. to help us build a strong community of women helping women!
After
After
And here I am a couple of weeks later in my new Moxie boots. Although they have safety toes and are shock-resistant, they’re not just for working—with a choice between hot pink or black laces, they’re suitable for both informal and formal wear. Rock on!
Continue Reading
Close Menu
×
%d bloggers like this: