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 on what’s worked before. People can only report on what they’re familiar with, so when new formats can only be based on familiar elements, you’ll never adopt a “new” idea. Yes, you can be creative with existing elements. But renaming the same old stuff doesn’t produce anything fresh. So, now, in all businesses and many other pursuits, nothing is working anymore. Out of all this destruction, opportunities will arise. Broadcast AM-FM radio is not dead. Amazingly, in spite of IPods, Internet radio, and everything else, American radio is only bleeding badly. Most of the damage of the past ten years has been done by financiers and consolidators. They’ve had to destroy the stations to try to pay for what they bought. Now, maybe soon, they’ll have to sell stations. So far, they’re just trading them among themselves. Soon, maybe, when station prices fall far enough, I hope, real radio people will gather enough financing to buy stations and run them, rather than just cut them, hold them, and wait for a buyer with more money and desire to come along and give you your capital gain. Time’s running out for the arbitrageurs. Soon, maybe, radio will have a future again.


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THINKING AHEAD

RADIO GUY GALLERY


hertzsketch1
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

RADIO GUY GALLERY


STERN-3
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

RADIO GUY GALLERY


PALEY-S
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
zenithfloor

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