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Radio : THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL


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Radio : THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL

THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL

 

by: Randy Adams

 

Hollywood, Ca U.S.A. - If you're in radio, you know that this industry has been going through very rough times lately.

 

And, unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know that Clear Channel purchased almost half of the radio stations, from a total of 14,000 in the U.S., in a frenzy in the 1990's. They then homogenized radio to make most of their stations sound cookie-cutter and we saw the first wave of talent go by the wayside.

 

Today, Clear Channel announced yet more layoffs and what they call "restructuring". It's duly noted that they're doing this on a day most all of the media attention will be on the inauguration of our new president. The official press release from their CEO states about 9 percent, or just over 1,800 people, were given pink slips.

 

In Clear Channel's case, it isn't the economy's fault that this is happening. They set the table perfectly for complete collapse and failure.

 

And most other corporate radio groups are going through similar, though not as deep, cutbacks. Many of these stations were purchased by CC with huge debt. It certainly isn't a buyer's market today.....profit margins were slim in the good years. A corporate group here in our hometown, our competition, is moving to a smaller building from a location they've been in for well over 10 years, apparently to cut costs.

 

They took the "local" out of local radio. Soon, you'll see one programmer for each "region" and puppets will add the music they are told to add at the local level. Personality radio will be replaced by disc jockeys reading cue cards....if there are disc jockeys at all. Corporate radio groups have made it difficult for stations like ours- independent and locally owned- because to make payroll at the end of each month, they have "fire sales" and go off the deep end, slashing their prices by more than half. We think our product speaks for itself. We do a great job for our clients and serve them well. We own our building....our overhead is much less than what most stations across the country have each month.

 

We didn't get to this point by selling 5 stations for the price of one or having on-air radio auctions. We got here by smart, fundamental business practices and what some would consider "old school" radio.....with local personalities talking about local events. We encourage our employees to spend money when they can with our advertisers.

 

I'm lucky as are others in this building.....anybody that is working for an independent group such as ours (not a chain of stations region-wide or nationwide) that we are in a position to weather the storm that is certain to brew economically in 2009.

 

It's also time for locally owned stations and groups to shine. See, the "centralized" programming of radio stations is now only going to become more apparent than ever. Any local control any Clear Channel PD may have had is most likely not going to be there anymore. And don't fool yourself. Several trades now say Citadel is next with the chopping block.

 

Today, hundreds of people who have done nothing but radio as a career will be out on the streets, wondering what to do next, because of greed and poor planning. In the end, the on-air product for many radio stations will suffer.

 

Radio, as we've come to know if for as long as I've been in the industry, is dead Not completely, but major changes will be apparent soon for a listener. I'm not saying we're immune....everybody, including myself is expendable.....but so far, we're far away from life support machines.

 

http://www.boosweet.com

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Screw local radio stations - they all freaked out just as much as Clear Channel when Howard Stern moved to satellite. In fact, the final straw that pushed me to to Sirius satellite radio is when my favorite local classic rock station changed their format to smooth jazz. Before I moved to the Jersey shore, I was able to get stations from both NYC and Philly so it's not like I lived in some remote area with only a few stations either; there were lots of them and they all turned to crap.

 

If the writer of that story feels that only local radio stations can have diverse programming, he really needs to take a look at the Sirius/XM channel guide. I've had satellite now for around three years and I can confidently say that I do not miss FM one bit, local stations or not.

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Not sure on that web site where you're seeing that Sirius might fold in a few months. They've been floundering for years but don't seem to be any worse off than any other business in the current economy.

 

What I like about satellite over what you use is that I can listen at work without being flagged for streaming nor do I need an expensive phone and internet access via the phone just to listen to radio.

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As these problems continue, if the open market is allowed to exist, (ahem), I think (hope) we can return to an open format for regions where AC/DC all day, or Brad Paisley all day, is not accepted.

 

The original KDKB in Mesa Az in the early 70's made Bill Compton a famous man, some money, and open format radio a reality. It was very short lived. Because he sold it.

 

But very profitable.

 

There is a local station around here toying with some open format programming, with live DJ's, that is doing quite well.

 

I, too, did some radio in my day.

 

Best to ya.

 

Murph.

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Clear Channel needs to be waterboarded. The fairness doctrine needs to be reinstated and all voices need to be heard on the airways that (I remind you) are owned by the people. If you want a broadcast license in American you can get one with the only stipulation being that you serve the American people.

 

All voices!

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Clear Channel needs to be waterboarded. The fairness doctrine needs to be reinstated and all voices need to be heard on the airways that (I remind you) are owned by the people. If you want a broadcast license in American you can get one with the only stipulation being that you serve the American people.

 

All voices!

 

That sounds like Socialism to me.

 

So, I can't play whatever music I want on my radio station? That I own? (Not that I do, but I've worked at several stations. I've seen formats changed slowly, and "on a dime".)

 

You're really weird there, Homz......

 

Murph.

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Yeah,

a lot of FM radio stations are indeed in the early stages of death. That's because they have lost any sense of originality and vision. Gone are the days of spontaneity and passion for music. DJs have had their hands tied for a long time now by greedy corporate programing directors who are only out to make a profit. Nearly every station has a morning duo or some slapdick comic team that are far from knowledgeable about the music.

It's no longer about the music. It's about the buck, the all-mighty dollar. And like most corporations who preach the mantra of profits over quality, they gambled and they lost.

I left FM radio a long time ago when the music started to sound the same (because it was always the same stuff) and first turned to Christian radio because the music was inspirational, new and fresh sounding. Then I discovered KPIG FM coming out of Santa Cruz, CA. Wow... I can't listen to other FM radio stations anymore.

KPIG, it's relayed from up and down the coast between the North Bay area to San Luis Obispo as far as Santa Maria in Santa Barbara county.

I'm listening to it right now on the internet.

Here's the link.

KPIG

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Yeah,

a lot of FM radio stations are indeed in the early stages of death. That's because they have lost any sense of originality and vision. Gone are the days of spontaneity and passion for music. DJs have had their hands tied for a long time now by greedy corporate programing directors who are only out to make a profit. Nearly every station has a morning duo or some slapdick comic team that are far from knowledgeable about the music.

It's no longer about the music. It's about the buck, the all-mighty dollar. And like most corporations who preach the mantra of profits over quality, they gambled and they lost.

I left FM radio a long time ago when the music started to sound the same (because it was always the same stuff) and first turned to Christian radio because the music was inspirational, new and fresh sounding. Then I discovered KPIG FM coming out of Santa Cruz, CA. Wow... I can't listen to other FM radio stations anymore.

KPIG, it's relayed from up and down the coast between the North Bay area to San Luis Obispo as far as Santa Maria in Santa Barbara county.

I'm listening to it right now on the internet.

Here's the link.

KPIG

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That sounds like Socialism to me.

 

So' date=' I can't play whatever music I want on my radio station? That I own? (Not that I do, but I've worked at several stations. I've seen formats changed slowly, and "on a dime".)

 

You're really weird there, Homz......

 

Murph.[/quote']

 

You can have all the radio stations you want Murph, but the airways belong to me and the rest of the American people. If you intend to broadcast your right wing filth then you must also reach an equilibrium with the left wingers too. That's the fairness doctrine. I know it doesn't bother you that a vast majority of the radio stations are owned by one group, but thats only because you (at the moment) are on the side with all the stations. What you should be thinking about is all that power in the hands of a small number of people is very dangerous. For example the way that Bush stole power over the last 8 years; you should have been concerned then perhaps if you were you wouldn't now be wondering what Obama is going to do with all that power. Nah.... never mind I doubt you are actually wondering. Just swearing and planing you escape to Canada when he kills babies, takes your guns, and allows the gays to marry.

 

It's bliss isn't it Murph?

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BTW what's with all the Socialism talk. I bet no one seems to mind when their government owned Police or Fire Dept. responds to they're aid. Is that socialism? When your father goes to the doctor and Medicare pays the bill, is that socialism? How about when you cash your Social Security check, is that socialism? Or are you thankful when you still happen to live in a small town that owns its own utilities and you pay half for the same service as your neighboring town who is owned by a corporation. Is that socialism?

 

The answer is they are all a form of Socialism. And so what. I believe it's the governments job to sustain the basic necessities of life. Clean water, safe food, power, sanitation, and health care, and maybe a few others, but beyond that I want them to get the hell out of the way.

 

If you want to label it Socialism then fine. I call it the job of any responsible government to sustain the basic needs of all her people.

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Hey' date=' you're not a liberal, your a libertarian! I take all the bad things I'v been saying about you ..

 

 

:-&

[/quote']

 

I am for government regulations on many things such as the SEC does, or rather are supposed to do. Mining industry regs, OSHA, FDA, EPA, and etc. etc.. A libertarian seems to think these industries self regulate just fine. They don't. They just start doing cost analysis to see weather fixing the problem is going to cost more then paying off the law suits. That's sick and it leaves scars that will never heal in both people and property.

Libertarians are a slightly more tolerable type of wishful thinking republican.

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I am for government regulations on many things such as the SEC does' date=' or rather are supposed to do. Mining industry regs, OSHA, FDA, EPA, and etc. etc.. A libertarian seems to think these industries self regulate just fine. They don't. They just start doing cost analysis to see weather fixing the problem is going to cost more then paying off the law suits. That's sick and it leaves scars that will never heal in both people and property.

Libertarians are a slightly more tolerable type of wishful thinking republican.

[/quote']

 

Oh, well in that case I can only take back some of the bad things I'm saying ... said .. I mean said about you

 

.

.

.

.

 

=P~

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Oh' date=' well in that case I can only take back some of the bad things I'm saying ... said .. I mean said about you

 

.

.

.

.

 

=P~

[/quote']

 

Do you really want the health and welfare of your self or your family boiled down to a cost analysis on a spread sheet of some corporate auditor. It happens all the time. Every time an auto company decides weather to do a recall or an oil company spills oil they do a cost of clean up Vs. cost of law suit analysis projection. With proper regulation they would have no choice, but to do the clean up or fix the problem. Or I should say that's the way regulations are supposed to work. I'm not so naive that I think it always works that way. It should and thus I support that effort.

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The governments job is to protect it's citizens and regulations are a means to accomplish that. I got no problem with it. I don't trust corporate greed anymore than I do our representatives.

 

I look at it this way, we have one party that wants to increase the size of the government by one means, we have another party that wants to increase the size of government by another means. I think the libertarians will bring some balance to the system. i don't necessarily want them to take over.

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