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CBC Radio 3: an effort to gain a younger audience in 2000

CBC Radio Three wasn't actually on the radio. Rather, it was a series of internet sites that licensed creators' content and sought multimedia submissions from young Canadians.

'This ain't your parents' CBC Radio'

A new CBC platform uses the Internet to reach younger Canadians in 2000 and seeks submissions in return. 1:50

It wasn't your parents' CBC Radio.

"It's even hard to classify this as radio," said CBC reporter Mike Wise, introducing viewers to a new service on June 27, 2000, that nevertheless had "radio" in its name. 

CBC Radio 3 was a "series of websites" that had been created by the new media division at CBC Radio.

The content offered by the service included a video in which a young man carried a boom box onto Vancouver's SkyTrain, pressed play on a cassette, and proceeded to dance to rave music as bemused commuters looked on.

Youth appeal

A CBC manager said the internet was "the medium of choice," given the way young people were making use of it in 2000. (CBLT Newshour/CBC Archives)

The first of the websites to launch, called 120seconds.com, was "a somewhat experimental site full of multimedia content," said Wise. (120seconds.com now redirects to CBC.ca.)

"I think it's where we should have focused our attention in the first place," said Alex Frame, then the vice president for CBC Radio. "The way that young people are going to the internet clearly makes it the medium of choice."

I was hoped young Canadians would go to the site to tell their stories, said Wise.

As an example, the camera showed a print article on racism in high school.

"120seconds.com is... allowing young people to post their multimedia work on a particular topic," said Wise.

Freelance multimedia 

"We're going to change the perception that people our age have right now of the CBC," said Carma Livingstone, a producer at CBC Radio 3. (CBLT Newshour/CBC Archives)

According to the Globe and Mail, two more sites under the Radio 3 umbrella were due to launch later in 2000 called justconcerts.com and newmusiccanada.com. 

120seconds.com also consisted of freelance work, including animation and comedy, commissioned from creators.

Producer Carma Livingstone said the site was going to "change the perception that people our age have of the CBC."

Wise said the producers acknowledged that they could be "inviting anarchy" by allowing listeners to contribute.

"Rather than having young Canadians complain about the media," said Wise, "they'd rather have them become it." 

In 2000, CBC introduced Radio 3 in an effort to gain a younger audience. (CBLT Newshour/CBC Archives)

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