As another under-performing beyond-106 station jacks off, we listen in to the station where it all began. 96.9 Jack FM Vancouver.

Listened In is 2ZY’s regular air-check blog, where we listen to a random twenty minute sample of a station or programme in the news.

WHO   Kiah & Tara Jean

WHAT   96.9 Jack FM Vancouver

WHEN   Monday 4 March morningshow-hdr-652-2

Centrefold/J Geils Band

PROMO: Jack’s Employee of the Week

ADS: Remedy (TV)/North Shore Auto Mall/Westminster Savings/Roll Up the Rim To Win (!)/Hunter Douglas Lighting/Outdoor & Travel Show/Skyline Motors/Sears Outlet/The Blacklist (TV)

PROMO: Jack App

AD: Northern Gateway Marine Emergency Response Proposals/Science World Lego Adventure/Home Depot

JACK TRAFFIC: Problems with a rollover crash in Surrey, another rollover accident in West Van on the upper levels, and VC Hydro say it will noon before several neighbourhoods will have power back ‘after an ice storm’ last night.

Kiah reads the weather. Kind of. “More rain this morning, should clear up more by this afternoon, but then still, err, cloudy, chance of showers pretty much for the whole week.”

ID: Chant: No Time to Google VO: No Time To Google (crowd fx) Brought to you by Applewood Kia. It’s all good at Applewood. Visit Applewood kia.ca. Now, here are your hosts. Kiah and Tara Jean. (into cheesey quiz bed that runs through link)

Kiah sets it up. “Morning! We play No Time to Google every morning at 8.30. It’s the rapid-fire trivia battle that’s bound to have questions about the Oscars!” Fake laughter from Tara Jean. A true radio crime. “Hey if you wanna play this morning, you can win $50 to spend at the newly reopened Kings Head Pub in Kits. Call 280 JACK and we’ll play with callers 10 and 11 next.”

Low Rider/Funk

ID: Jack’s Morning Glory with Kiah and Tara Jean – Staunch advocates of the belief that reading the fortune in your cookie should always be followed by the words ‘in bed’.

It Ain’t Over ’til it’s Over/Lenny Kravitz

ID: No Time To Google (same as above) followed by virtually word-for-word the same Kiah intro. “Morning! We play No Time to Google every morning at 8.30. It’s the rapid fire trivia battle that’s bound to have questions about the Academy Awards.”

Tara Jean introduces the contestants. “Michelle is from … for some reason I typed out Michelle is from Michelle! Oh, Monday. Michelle is from Mission. She told us she breeds gerbils just for the fun of it. And Melinda is from Chilliwak. She’s playing this morning from inside the melting igloo her and her kids built over the weekend. Doesn’t sound very safe, Melinda, but say hello you two.”

They say hello.

“You lovely ladies are going head to head in the rapid fire trivia battle called No Time to Google,” continues Kiah. “It’s a best of three. You’ve each got five seconds to answer your respective questions and today the winner gets fifty bucks to spend at the newly opened, newly reopened Kings Head pub in Kits.” “Great.” “Awesome,” say the contestants, seemingly unconvinced.

TJ starts the quiz. “Alright Michelle, you’re first and the clock starts at the end of this question. From Academy Award trivia ladies ..” “You’re kidding,” interrupts Kiah. “Yes!” “Uh-oh,” says Michelle, before answering correctly that Ellen De Generes was the host. Melinda gets hers wrong, thinking Gravity won Best Picture.

Round 2. “Some math trivia ladies. What is 25% of 200?” Michelle stumbles around for the right answer. “25. 100. Sorry, 50! I know what it is.” Melinda correctly answers that 100 divided by 5 is 20.

“Let’s do some geography. What is the second longest river in BC, which runs in part between Terrace and Prince Rupert?” She gets it wrong. “The Queen Charlotte Islands have been renamed what?” Melinda gets it right. Haida Gwaii. “Congratulations,” offers Michelle deadpan. “Awesome. Thank you,” from Melinda. “Melinda, you’ve won fifty bucks to spend at the newly reopened Kings Head pub in Kitts.” “Fantastic. Thank you SO Much.” “Yeah, Have fun when you come in from the wet.” “Oh, yes.”

ID: Jack’s Morning Glory with Kiah and Tara Jean (not Darrow)

“Hey four degrees in Vancouver, and if you love Rod Stewart, you’re gonna love us this week, cos we’re giving away tickets to see Rod Stewart and Santana with a game called Like A Version, we’ll play before nine on Jack.”

SUMMARY

The music’s very Jack. There can be no more Jack tune than Centrefold, after all. And even though the fortune cookie line is a weak one, it’s good to see we’re exporting Paul Darrow back to the Canadians. But it was all a bit, safe, measured and – for, Jack, girly. TJ is definitely the lead-presenter here. Clearly Kiah gets top billing, because he’s the man, right?

Jack is the definitive anti-format, so works best when it subverts tired old benchmarks like a (lamely easy) trivia quiz. That sounded pre-recced too.  It’s a format that needs personality and attitude. Lovely ladies? There’s no music ownership, and in twenty minutes they don’t deliver the strap (and even that’s been updated from ‘Playing What We Want’ to the slightly cock-less ‘Playing Whatever. Whenever.’) 

Which is a shame – as TJ is certainly capable of good storytelling. Just before our 20 minute listen began with Centrefold, she told a (slightly wrong for breakfast) tale about swallowing her crown while chewing on some hash browns and having to use her son’s potty ‘to do number twos to fish it out.’

But in this 20 minute segment at least, Jack’s all dressed up like an unconvincing Jackie. Perhaps in its attempts to beat AC competition in the market, it’s all gone a bit ACDC.

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