CKNW 980 Review

CKNW AM 980 often refers to themselves as the giant 980 and that’s about right. Often if not always as the top of the Vancouver radio stations ratings, CKNW is the king of Vancouver talk radio. It’s been a consistent performer and it’s hard to argue with track record. Politics and current events are what CKNW is best know for. They were once the Vancouver radio station with all the sports but their live sports coverage has left for now. Current events and news around Vancouver, BC and the world are covered throughout the day by their various shows including the likes of Bill Good, John McComb, Dan Russel, among others.

Weekdays is where CKNW really shines. The morning show gives you traffic and weather throughout the peak morning hours. The afternoon show gives you that same excellent traffic and weather reports. The major news comes at 8am, 12 Noon and at 5pm and goes much more in depth on news.

The weekend is not a strong lineup for the most part but you can listen to the Shawn Leslie Show between 3pm and 5pm both Saturday and Sunday. Aside from that you will get a mix of paid programming and other mixed bag programming.

In the past, CKNW was the place for sports. They owned the rights to the Vancouver Canucks and the BC Lions. Times have changed and now the TEAM 1040 sports stations owns the rights to both the Lions and the Canucks. This change in direction at CKNW isn’t to say their sport coverage or news reporting is poor, it’s just that they don’t have the games on their station anymore. If you listen to Dan Russel’s Sportstalk you will get a less biased view of the Canucks. In fact Dan Russell at times seems to be anti Canuck or rather anti Canuck management. At time it appears personal, but Dan Russell has interesting opinions and always keeps the show entertaining. I get the sense that Dan wants to cover the Canucks as a neutral viewpoint to counter the apparent homerism on TEAM 1040 Canuck coverage. Sportstalk tends to be heavy with hockey with very little else. They cover most sports including minor league hockey, but in most instances when you turn on to listen, Dan is breaking down a Canucks game. Makes sense. It’s what the listeners care about in this market. During the Canucks off season you see a bit more variety and you also see Dan taking a good chunk of holiday time. If you want BC Lions talk or Whitecaps talk, you’re better off with the TEAM 1040 instead.