I’ve written about this here before. I just wrote a letter to the editor of RadioWorld, the trade publication, trying to be positive about radio, in the midst of its apparent creative destruction period. An excerpt:

I believe a real opportunity exists in steel-tower radio for a new kind of operator: the hometown broadcaster. Notice, I didn’t say “local.” Radio people–and TV people, too–have rendered that word meaningless. I mean My Town radio people–broadcasters who see the opportunity inherent in doing an authentic job of communicating with, serving and celebrating their communities. Kind of like newspaper people….I’m talking about a radio station that throws away the industry practices handbook and creates the sound of its town, then sells it to listeners and advertisers with gusto.

I go further, and suggest current operators think of selling their stations to people in their towns who love the town more than they do. I believe the money is out there. Radio operators have mostly shopped the corporate station collectors, even in the era of de-consolidation. Stations are only being sold to more corporate types who are only prolonging needed change, maintaining the failing ways of the big corporations, with a temporarily clean balance sheet. Not gonna work in the long run, and the long run is getting shorter. I hope my letter gets printed and somebody gets it. I think it’s a good old-new idea. I hope we get some new-generation hometown radio owners.

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The Radio Opportunity


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