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Why Radio Sucks

Interesting take on radio from Ken Levine. He is mainly a tv writer. He has written for Mash, Frasier, Cheers. He has also worked on radio and has done baseball announcing. And he his blog is good. He also started a podcast if you check out his site. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2017/05/why-radio-sucks-one-of-reasons.html
Responses (6)
  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, May 05 2017, 05:29 PM - #permalink
    Don't let anyone say or convince otherwise: Content is king.

    Like anything else in business, give someone what they desire, and they'll come in droves. Radio (broadcasting in general) is supposed to connect the listener to the advertiser. But when you have insipid content, broadcasting becomes background. We have lots of insipid and uninspired radio. Way too much of it in general on too many stations and signals to divvy up a shrinking listener and ad pie.

    Problem is talent costs money and it takes time to nurture. Wall Street doesn't see anything more than this month's P&L statement. Even privately operated firms which are debt free have this tunnel vision as well lest they be like a Fred Eychaner. But he too has limits.

    Let me also add engineering types are also being shoved out with no one coming in to replace them. In the not too distant future, off-air outages will be more frequent and longer in duration even at the top stations in major markets. It's happening all the time now in small markets as there is no one left in those areas to respond...

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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, May 05 2017, 06:43 PM - #permalink
    That article stunk more than radio does today. Lol
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, May 05 2017, 07:58 PM - #permalink
    President Regan killed terrestrial radio with deregulation allowing corporate accountants to sweep in and kill off the Family o&o stations. People like Mal Bellairs knew what people wanted from radio stations and he gave it to them.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, May 06 2017, 10:22 AM - #permalink
    Let me also add engineering types are also being shoved out with no one coming in to replace them.

    As a teenager, putting myself through college, I had my 1st class, and was the engineer/on-air/board/tower climber for several stations - I worked cheap and I loved the era. I loved local. Just before I got married I worked for a major manufacturer in a minor market. As a sideline I did fill-in for free and "worked up" to a daily local show that worked with my real job hour hours. Why? Because this was radio! I loved local, I got to know people, and when I announced I was getting married and leaving that station, the local fans were wonderful (to be honest, I did a LOT of free promos for the station, many old folks homes,but the real thing was people knew a face/voice/loved local).

    Within the last few years, I have been offered several jobs as I go through local rural areas listening to legacy AM stations trying to survive. Just yesterday I showed up at a "major" news conference as I was passing through to adjust the sound as it was awful. A couple of years ago I was listening to a rural station that was SO BAD with their on air talent discussing technology for old farts (like me!) that I walked my bum knee up three flights of stairs to the studio/office to correct on-air and be offered a weekly show (duh, for free, you can sell the time, can we call you as well?)

    There may be a small resurgence. but local radio is close to dead. My scouts were able to leech a LP license and did a 12x7 station for years. Low Power locally to me has volunteers. sadly I have set up several minimalist stations/studios at assisted living homes for local broadcast. To keep engineering going, I give a transceiver to any scout who gets a license in my area. I also against my will set the same kids up with podcast equipment so they sound better. There is hope, one kid was really interested in low band. His contacting people (yeah, I set it up) many states away without a license just lit up his eyes.

    On the good side, a local amateur radio place by me sees a resurgence of kids working for licenses. Maybe we skip a generation?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, May 07 2017, 08:29 AM - #permalink

    Agreed! And poor content combined with 8 minute content free commercial sets....just adds to the problem. Still wondering when a car dealer will figure out that their message airs back to back with their competitor.

    @rich r:

    It's Clinton who signed the telecom dereg into law in 1996. Reagan still hasn't said the word *AIDS* yet.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, May 07 2017, 05:09 PM - #permalink
    Guest wrote:

    That article stunk more than radio does today. Lol

    Certainly one person's opinion. But among the many things he is done in the entertainment business I think his experience counts for something. You might want to say why the article sucks.
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