Why American Radio is Failing


The land of FM AM is about to transform completely from what it was. The “good old days” of radio are long gone. The economic structure and the media landscape has changed so much from what it was twenty, ten, even five years ago.

As I traveled through Germany, I saw how possibly the radio world would change. Across the country, Germany has radio stations that deliver the same feed on multiple signals. It would be like hearing one of the channels on Sirius throughout the entire country, but every time the signal would fade or disappear, your radio would know what the next frequency was that carried that signal. That was how are rented car’s radio worked. When switching from one frequency to the next to keep the station, you could hardly hear the difference. You hear a moment of static and suddenly the static disappears. The radio knows where to switch to.

American radio is basically doing the same thing now. So many stations carry the same syndicated morning show, the same syndicated evening and overnight shows. Many stations also carry syndicated afternoon shows now. So what’s the difference between that and Germany? American radio stations try to sell the “local” angle of their stations, even when their play lists are dictated from their corporate owners. Most DJ’s are reading “national” news and avoiding the local angle since it’s more work. Most DJ’s are prerecorded or “voice tracked.” There is no “live” anymore. There is no “local” anymore…so why are our American stations lying to us?

My WHAT THE HECK is for radio. You already are forcing your employees to take mandatory work furloughs (a la Arnold in California) or laying off entire staffs reducing all radio stations to just one working “air talent” and the rest syndication (or non-DJ jukebox stations). You already give no stations their own choice for what they play; it ALL comes down from “on high.” You are fighting against what you used to call “non-threatening media” like Internet radio and pod casts. Soon, Internet radio will be in every one’s cars and they’ll be much more choice than between AM, FM, or XM.

Radio, you are done!

Just pack it in, do what Germany’s doing, quit lying to the public, QUIT LYING TO HARD WORKING RADIO EMPLOYEES! Here’s what sucks about radio…the lying! I was once told by a radio manager that “perception is reality.” If I say I have a chance for you to win a million dollars, that sounds big. What I don’t tell you is you’re competing against other stations and against unfathomable odds. Radio sucks because it’s run by OLD OLD MEN that are still living in some glorified past that has LONG SINCE GONE! These old men, this good ol‘ boys club, stays in power due to RADIO’S CONSERVATIVE NATURE and no one dares unseat them.

I guess the “all mighty dollar” will finally have to do it for them.