What's wrong with Radio and how would YOU fix it?

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What's wrong with Radio and how would YOU fix it?

Post by thecheese » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:03 pm

With the recent round of Clear Channel layoffs, and many smaller stations either switching to syndicated or voice tracked programming, all in the face of more and more people switching off terrestrial radio in favor of iPods, it would seem those of us who love radio are quickly becoming an endangered species.

What do YOU think the real problem with radio is? Can it be fixed? Or is terrestrial radio doomed to go the way of the horse and buggy?

My personal observations as a listener first, and as a relative newcomer to the industry second, is that Americas consumption methods have changed, and radio has been slow to adapt.

Today, a persons only real need to listen to a radio station is to hear local content mixed with music they enjoy. When you syndicate programming and voice track, you loose that local element.

And why bother listening to your station at all?

I think in order to survive, stations need to really focus on cost effective ways to deliver local programming targeted specifically to, and able to evolve with the local audience.

One thing's for sure.. the same old formula just isn't cutting it.


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Re: What's wrong with Radio and how would YOU fix it?

Post by Impala » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:55 am

I could genuinely write a book in response to this inquiry. Filled with social factoids, graphs, charts, changing technology, trends, the impact of the economy on advertising, the changing infrastructure, the relationships with the music industry, the lack of leadership and visionaries, and on and on and on. Radio is on life support. In preservation mode. In full denial.
If you really hope to find a measure of creative achievement...assemble an investent group, put in your own money and professional sweat equity, find a team of like minded adventurers with similar commitments, staff the station with a wokforce willing to risk being paid on results and buy a small market radio station. This will be your lab and a challenging venture into the realities of the marketplace.

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Re: What's wrong with Radio and how would YOU fix it?

Post by KaseyKruz » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:39 am

I think the obvious repealing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 would be a good start. Then legislate that an entity that serves the public interest can not be put on the stock market. You can't serve two masters, and when you have the big corps bowing to investors, you have regular RIFs and lack of quality, local programming. I would make it mandatory that each station be manned 24/7 in the event of an emergency. I would also get rid of IBOC, what a mess that turned out to be. As far as programming, it would take care of itself after all was said and done. Just think, programming for the LISTENER again.

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Re: What's wrong with Radio and how would YOU fix it?

Post by Spanky74 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Radio used to help set trends by responding to its audience-not anymore. Think about certain musical genres such as disco, grunge, rock-rap, etc, etc. They all emerged from an underground, became mainstream for 3-5 years until the new big thing took its place and such the cycle went. Not anymore. We've had nothing but a steady diet of ignorant ghetto thugs mixed amongst 1-named female pop star cliche blueprints singing while 1 of them raps in the background. This has been the near only flavor we've had on Top 40 radio for 10 years which is why I and many others have stopped listening. This is exaserpated by radio's ongoing tradition of playing the same song over and over and over for months on end, that doesn't help. Even when you're a fan 150 + plays of the same record is a bit over the top so radio deserves to lose it's audience when it plays the same four 1-named female singers amidst the carbon copy cliche ignorant ghetto thugs. Top 40 has completely flouted the diversity of rock and roll, male pop stars, the breaking of indie rock/rock minimalist, veteran performers who remain wildly popular and other such diversity and instead integrated Urban 'artists' playlists into Top 40 playlists to a near absolute degree. The success of Adele's record speaks a lot to what I say. It's not as if she is just so outstanding, it's just that radio audience has been so starved for an artist who puts some effort into song craft and traditional music values that she has benefited from an audience denied anything of subsance outside the 1-dimensional cliche offered at radio. And personally I think it's great and a form of justice. When 1 company gets to single-handedly dominate the industry and decide what records are going to be a hit while ignoring what is organically popular, it deserves to lose it's entire audience which fortunately is what is happening.

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