The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Chopping choruses: Calgary radio station promises more music with edited songs

  • Print

CALGARY - Want to listen to a shorter tune by Justin Timberlake? Or maybe a cut-down version of Katy Perry's latest hit?

An Alberta radio station is promising listeners "twice the music" by cutting all of its song times in half, to an average of two minutes.

The station, 90.3 Amp (CKMP) in Calgary, changed to a format called QuickHitz one week ago.

Its owner, Newcap Radio, describes the switch as a first for a radio station in Canada and perhaps the world.

Steve Jones, vice-president of programming for the company, said Friday that a few stations in the United States have adopted the short song strategy part-time trial. But the Calgary station is the first he knows of that has made the move permanently, around-the-clock.

The company spent two years analysing behaviour of its radio listeners, Jones said. It found that people's attention spans have changed when it comes to music and they often listen to portions of songs or fast-forward through tunes on their iPods.

"The idea of three-and-a-half- and four-minute songs goes back to the 50s and 60s and the need to be on a 45 RPM record, to be in juke boxes and on the radio," said Jones.

So he said Newcap decided to scrap the established formula and try something new.

"There's been a lot of excitement about the idea that you can listen to a radio station for 15 minutes and hear six or seven or eight songs and feel that sense of momentum and energy."

A company in Vancouver, SparkNet Communications, supplies the QuickHitz sliced songs to the Calgary station. Jones said professional music producers take out long intros and repeated choruses, and make the shorter versions sound seamless.

He said the Calgary station was selected because it's in a tight top 40 market in a city that's relatively young and progressive.

Some of the company's other 89 stations may someday adopt the same format, he said, depending on their audience.

He admits the mini music move isn't for everyone, and that the Calgary station has received both good and bad reaction.

"We're very comfortable with not everyone liking the radio station. That's to be expected."

Calgary singer Jann Arden vented on Twitter that the station is basically messing with art and, amid expletives, called the people running it "morons."

"Can anyone recommend half a good book I should read?" she wrote.

"The NHL is only having one period this season. Makes sense. Those games are just too long."

Jones said editing songs for radio play has been done for decades. For instance, he said, Don McLean's classic American Pie was cut to four minutes from 7.5 so it could be played on air.

"This idea that somehow music is sacred and should never be tampered with is ludicrous."

He said no other artists or record labels have complained about the editing.

And the Calgary station doesn't play Jann Arden.

"That has nothing to do with the fact that she's taken to the Internet in a rage of hatred against us," Jones said. "It really is the fact that her music isn't suited to the format and hasn't been for decades."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Gary Lawless & Tim Campbell on the Jets' inconsistency - Jets This Week Oct. 16

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Are you still on the Bombers' and Jets' bandwagons?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google