Sudbury·THE NEXT 40

Forecasting the future of radio—'community broadcasting will transcend the technology'

What would you hear on CBC radio in northern Ontario if you were tuning in 40 years from now? Experts say the more important question is how you'll tune in.

The Next 40 is a CBC Sudbury series imagining what northern Ontario could be like in 2058

Today, we can listen to CBC audio content on new technology like a smartphone app or on old technology like a transistor radio. But will that still be in the case in 2058? (Erik White/CBC)

A lot has changed at CBC radio since the Sudbury station first signed on in 1978.

For instance, reporters didn't have to write up web stories like this one. They just focused on radio.

So, a lot more could change in another 40 years. There might not even be something called radio by then.

Here's what some experts had to say when we asked them to predict the future:

Mark Ramsey, American broadcasting strategist: "I would hesitate to predict anything 40 years out. I think that's pretty much sheer madness. Everything is about the consumer. If you focus on that, you can anticipate the future pretty readily. You can't anticipate the march of technology that readily."

Jesse Hirsh, North Bay-raised technology expert: "There's quite a bit of value in a shared experience. In feeling that the north is waking up together. I think that kind of community broadcasting will transcend the technology."

You can hear more on this week's edition of our special series The Next 40:


Erik White


Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to


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