Dive into the archives.

  • Review: Sirius Satellite Radio

    This is my first review of Sirius. I’ve had an account for about five months. Though I spent a good part of my life in radio, and all of it thinking about and/or listening to radio, I didn’t acquire a satellite radio until my daughter bought me one for Christmas 2006. We were busy moving […]

  • Radio — still in the real estate business.

    Eleven years after the FCC opened the U.S. commercial radio business to corporate consolidation, the radio station trading business still dominates the attention of everybody in the business. First, it was about who could buy the most stations, and in short order, all the prime stations in the biggest markets were in a few hands. […]

  • Should music be free?

    Internet radio stations are currently something of a Web cause celebre; should musical artists collect more money from the Websites that play their music for profit? To rehash an older tussle, should any kid with an MP3 player and a computer get free copies of anybody’s creation, just because? Should commercial on-air radio stations get […]

  • The Ellen Trend?

    Ellen DeGeneres is the only entertainer who’s hit it big recently without exploiting potty-talk or meanness. She’s (gasp!) nice. One person doesn’t a trend make. But I can hope. And I do. Can you think of any others who aren’t Limbaugh-Savage-Hannity-Stern types? PS: This is a radio site, so I hasten to add as self-justification: […]

  • How do you listen to radio?

    The past ten years have been earthshaking for the U.S. radio business. Not only did Internet and satellite radio emerge and get huge…not only did Napster, ITunes and the IPod remake the way we acquire and enjoy music, but American commercial radio mostly changed its financial and management structure. Now there’s a revolution in the […]

  • About

    What’s it about? Radio in America. Marconi Dreams is my novel manuscript in progress. But I’m also building this supporting site. I’m leading with a kind of blog about the state of radio in the U.S. — what we hear, and what’s going on behind the electronic curtain.

  • Why I’m writing about radio.

    I love radio. I think it’s important to say what I mean by “radio.” Over-the-air AM-FM radio – sound embedded in electromagnetic, radio frequency energy. The art form radio people developed and evolved for making shows and services in sound, for broadcast through the air. You can argue that “radio” is also distributed on the […]


This is the archive for July, 2007.


Heinrich Hertz's experiments proved the existence of electromagnetic radiation. Cycles-per-second, the standard measure of radio wave frequency, was named for him. He died in 1894, at 37. Wikipedia: Hertz


What do you do with a problem like Howard? After decades of profits and FCC indecency fines as routine budget items, Howard Stern, king of all pottymouth radio guys, followed his enabler Mel Karmazin to Sirius Satellite Radio, leaving CBS to make up a hundred million in revenue (They sold stations) and fill the void for the half of Howard's loyal audience who didn't choose to buy a new radio and pay fifteen bucks a month for a few more, ranker epithets.
Wikipedia: Stern


CBS might have become the Cigar Broadcasting System. William S. Paley was the scion of the family business. In 1927, his cigar tycoon dad, Samuel, bought the struggling network of early radio stations from a group of poor schlumps who were trying to – would you believe: sell programming to radio stations! Every syndicator since has had to relearn that this doesn't work. Bill and his dad figured out the right business model -- you sell commercials to advertisers, and give the programs to stations. Got it?
Wikipedia: Paley