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A quick one (while he’s away)

Radio is not what it used to be.  Sure, the roaring nineties and zero zeros (or whatever you call this decade) where great for the owners.  They sold, bought, consolidated, laid off, installed automation, made redundant, and so on.  Those that got out before summer of 2008 made a lot of cash.

They also left the industry hurting.  Our competition is keen on eroding what ever revenue is still left in radio, and that competition is large and multiple.  New technologies like ipods, iphones, PCS phones, and whatever other wireless mobile device they thought up 5 minutes ago,is trying to gain our listeners.  Satellite radio, which is more like meh, who cares, is making a small inroads.  But worse than all of that, we have ourselves.

The rot is increasing and it is from the inside out.  Everyone is looking to cut expenses.  The easiest way to do that is automation.  Those stations that have not already automated are likely to, which will further exacerbate the radio loosing listeners problem.  I mean really, how many more crappy bland “mix” formats, or satellite syndicated talk radio formats do we need.  We are already swimming in a sea of mediocrity.  And who gets to take care of all this high tech gizmos that keep the stations on the air?  Usually the Engineering Department.  So, we get more work, for the same, or less (by the time inflation is calculated in) money.

That trend has to stop.

It is not irreversible (yet).  The station that stands out, can win, and win big.  That is all for now, I look forward to writing about radio engineering.

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1 comment to A quick one (while he’s away)

  • J. Aegerter

    Compare radio broadcasting to Juke Boxes. It used to be a mechanical marvel that played records, kept track of selections (for the goozy royalty crowd), and displayed flashy dressing to capture attention. The people who maintained them had to be pretty sharp as the machines were largely mechanical and electrical. Nevertheless, vinyl is unheard of by today’s youth, and the CD Jukebox came in and now it, is almost extinct! The Juke business today requires a high-speed Internet connection, the box contains nothing but a computer interface (NIC), money grabber, and audio amplifier. No more records or CDs! The music comes from a central server as a mp3, the selection is recorded for the goozy royalty, and that is about it! Really Neat and Tidy! The Juke Box operator these days has to be a computer geek! Radio could go this way if a fire isn’t lighted under the regulators and the management of today’s stations.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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