Both Google and Microsoft are pressuring the FCC to allow a new class of wi-fi communications in the space to be vacated by U.S. TV stations when they go digital in 2009. I can tell you the TV people, much less the radio guys, never dreamed their spectrum space would ever be coveted for anything else, besides maybe taxicabs. Radio people, I’m sure, thought, right up to last year, that they’d never face serious competition for audio listening from anybody. I mean, there’s only one way to hear “radio,” right? Wrong. Now we have satellite radio, Internet radio, and soon we’ll have people listening to those stations, thousands of them, on their phones — or whatever all-purpose entertainment gadget sucks the cellular system, wi-fi and wi-max into its sleek frame. What should radio do, as more young people, who will replace all old people, you know, stop listening to radio on “radios.” First, radio should stop pumping money down the “HD Radio” sinkhole. Not gonna happen. Why should anybody buy another box that only delivers a couple more channels of the same old thing? Name one new HD sub-channel format worth buying a new radio for, when you can get 100-plus from XM or Sirius for pennies a month. I don’t need to explain this fact-to-be to anybody but radio people. Hello. It’s the cell phone, guys. That’s the personal, pocket-size electronic instrument of the future, not to mention the present. So far, cell phones don’t pick up AM or FM. Why should they? So, what would be so terrible if radio “stations” of today fed their signals to phones and computers (of all sizes) via the Internet. Then, of course, radio people would have to compete with all the other stations available to the phone-computer-satradio owners. Oh, what’s that? They do already? Uh huh. But the sets they do it on are going obsolete, showing up at Goodwill with the film cameras. Could “radio guys” with their tight playlists, callout research and ARBITRON books compete with a world of digital radio on favored devices that don’t carry AM-FM? Do they now? The other things to do, besides dumping “HD”: join the new aforementioned distribution networks. And take your programming totally local, the sound of your hometown. Focus on the people within ten miles of your studio. Do it now, before somebody in your town beats you to it, with nothing but a Mac and a mic.


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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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