Dive into the archives.


    This is what radio’s supposed to be good at. However, we must be realistic. American broadcast radio stations — the AM-FM steel tower kind — have been facing forward, but looking into a rear-view mirror, since the 1970s. Every programming decision has had to be “researched” — run through a focus group, or based only […]

  • Radio guys, talking trash.

    Want to get a feel for how radio people think? Read Sean Ross’s tribute (here) to a now-legendary country station, KPLX Dallas. Sean’s a fine writer, formerly with Billboard, and he’s a radio fan-journalist in the top tier — one of two or three. He now works for one of the major radio biz research […]

  • Chicago Trib editors slip away.

    I just saw in the New York Times that Ann Marie Lipinski, the Tribune’s editor, is resigning, saying “…this position is not the fit it once was.” Hardly surprising, and not the first Trib editor to “ankle.” (Love that word.) Sam Zell, real estate and radio mogul, who bought The Tribune Company earlier this year, […]

  • The Radio Guy Mind

    The other day a friend of mine asked me, on behalf of a radio station manager he knows, if I could suggest a “radio news writing consultant.” Now, if you wanted to choose a specialty whose name simply shouts failure, you couldn’t do better than “radio news writing consultant.” I could go on with other […]

  • The History of Radio in One Post

    A couple of weeks ago I had the quaint idea to write the history of radio in MarconiDreams blog posts. Watching the business side of American radio huff and puff toward implosion, I’ve decided there really isn’t that much to it. I think I can do it in one post. Here goes: Heinrich Hertz and […]

  • Targeting your programming — to the ratings.

    I don’t like to get involved in talking about which corporate radio company just bought which existing station, but there’s a message in this one. Bonneville just bought a Los Angeles FM station. The buzz about this purchase surrounds what format the radio company might choose to program on their new station. You can read […]

Radio Biz

This is the archive for Radio Biz.


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