Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NYT Op-Ed: Saving Radio in the Satellite Era

Saving Radio in the Satellite Era - OpEd by Eric Klinenberg in the New York Times: "RADIO is our most intimate medium — it wakes us in the morning, follows us into the shower, accompanies us during commutes and becomes a lifeline in emergencies. But radio is struggling to attract and retain an audience.

Today in Congress, the executives from XM and Sirius who propose merging into a $13 billion satellite monopoly will argue that consolidation offers the best hope for reviving radio. Traditional broadcasters also favor consolidation. In October, the National Association of Broadcasters asked the Federal Communications Commission to relax ownership limits in local markets, so companies could control yet more stations per town.

But does anyone believe that consolidation has been good for radio? During the past five years, I’ve traveled the country asking people to describe what has happened to their local stations, and not one has told me that radio is better than it was a decade ago. Listeners complained that their favorite local D.J.’s, talk show hosts and reporters have disappeared, replaced by syndicated shows, automated programs, predictable song cycles and endless commercials."


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