Radio Evangelist

Thoughts of a Evangelist for Radio in all its forms

The “Radio is Dead (not)” crowd

Posted by Steve on February 27, 2009

Wow – today brought to my attention two articles arguing that indeed, radio is not “dead.” The first, written by an acquaintance of mine from back in my radio sales days in Boston – Neal Bocian – talks about the speech given by John Hogan, leader of Clear Channel. Here’s a brief quote from that article:

I found your perspective on the future of radio, Mr. Hogan, humiliating to my brothers and sisters in the audience. You are a leader in our industry, and with that title comes responsibility to lead our respective “tribes” with ideas for improvement and reinventing ourselves in order to gain market share. I know that’s what the audience was anticipating. I know that’s what I was expecting.

You really should read all of Neal’s post, here. It’s worth the time.

Then, this evening, I ran into these two posts, written in the same vein by Eric Thomas. Eric is a radio professional who recently was “downsized” from his gig at WWBN in Flint. In his two pieces, he talks about how radio folks need to stop getting down on themselves and get their butts in gear because the medium is still as powerful as ever – it’s just going through change. Here’s a quote from one of his two entries:

Radio is an industry that is boundlessly fun to work in. If you are good at radio, it will afford you opportunities that you would never have otherwise. I have stood onstage in front of thousands of people with a microphone, I have laughed until my sides hurt in a studio, broadcast from the Superbowl, signed baseballs at the MLB All Star Game, and countless other “I will never forget” moments and that is all because I am damn good at being on the radio. If you are not good at radio, you can get my coffee and watch me enjoy all these moments.

You can read Eric’s blog here.

I agree wholeheartedly with both of these guys. Let’s keep the dialogue going because that’s how we’ll make the business better!


2 Responses to “The “Radio is Dead (not)” crowd”

  1. Rob said

    The radio, like the Republican party, IS dead to me.

    I just wandered by following a link in your comment on This Week In Media and though you’d like to see a comment from somebody.

    Now that I’m commuting an hour a day, I got an iPod shuffle and listen to podcasts and audio books. I listen to what I want, when I want to. What a concept! I look forward to the day when my car will magically have the programming I want. Not music. Not sports. NOT ALL ADVERTISING ALL THE TIME! Not Rush or Air America: hate-mongers both.

    And they called television a vast wasteland.

    In my market, Austin Texas, there is nothing on the air I’m even remotely interested in during my commute times. I do listed to KLRU when they have non-music programming; Morning Edition, All Things Considered during the week. On The Media, Sunday mornings is the best hour of radio I know of. And, yes, I send them money during every pledge drive. I’m even considering putting them in my will. No joke!



    • Steve said

      I am particularly fond of KUT in Austin. And, there’s an independent rocker that’s pretty decent (can’t remember the calls, though). I know what you mean about using the iPod and podcasts, though. Even though I feel somewhat guilty about it (being in the “biz”) I’ve been listening to podcasts for 4 years or so now in the car. But – as I am trying to point out – content is king, and if ads along with content = good listening, people will tune in to commercial radio. The challenge is creating programming that reaches out and grabs enough people to make a mass-market station financially viable.

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