30 September 2009

Radio Broadcasting, Media & Business

I've been a media member since...well that depends on my "real roots". I suppose it goes back to when I was a young child who, like so many Americans, loved listening to the radio personalities up and down the dial (when it really was a dial). Times were great for listeners: personalities were plentiful, and radio station owners paid those personalities enough to make a decent living, for the most part. It stayed that way up until perhaps the late 1980s or early 1990s before the dying breed --- the local owner --- could no longer afford to continue paying the "developmental personalities" at the smaller stations. The economy was not very good.

Consolidation laws FIRST forced the radio broadcasting (TV, too) industry to change - to accept larger allowable ownership groups. It had the potential to help, we were told. Then we watched as "deregulation" was forced through the FCC and Congress. Along the way, computers helped us out, giving us new ways of making "radio magic"...unfortunately, that was followed by brutally harming the program hosts with "voicetracking". Sure, it made it possible for us to do a break ahead of time so we could take a lunch break, but it also allowed station management to think "we can cut payroll with this feature". And cut payroll they did, except for their own pay. They took away the livlihood of hundreds of thousands of radio personalities, opting to show a "profit" for their quarterly or yearly earnings. Then they took the shareholders' money and ran to the bank with their bonuses.

Broadcast industry job cuts even made news this week. How about the way Westwood One CEO Rod Sherwood as well as Executive VP/Business Affairs and General Counsel David Hillman ordered mandatory five-day employee furloughs in Q4 2009, then "schedules" further salary cuts for 2010? The employees weren't very happy about these moves. You wonder how much Hillman will get as a reward for this kind of change --- Hillman's been specializing in this move for more than five years, before he was a VP. Ahh, the "esquire" must be entitled. Right? Keep combing through the press releases and watch for his "bonus" in 2010. It will happen.

With just only 25-year-long career in broadcasting, I have come to realize that the only place where radio's "personalities" will soon reside is where people are listening to them. That may not simply be a radio station: it will be a particular online "channel" as well as on your cellphones, media devices such as mp3 players, etc.

I'll boldly predict that such days are coming as soon as by the fall of 2010.
By fall of 2010 --- your favorite air personalities will be available for listeners on MANY media platforms. I should add this word: again. Many of these personalities have been out of the spotlight or unemployed for too long.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to this because of all the media applications where we will see this personality-driven "channel" exist...it'll be numerous platforms and the applications where they will be featured will be widespread, thus leading the various listeners/viewers (some will want the personalities on video, too) to seek them out.

I'll admit I am looking forward to this new "channel" because I will take part in its existence and shaping.
Q: Why?
A: Because I want to...and because someone has to get "radio" back on track, even if it's not always or only on the radio airwaves of AM and FM.

The good news is: the air-personalities will band together.

These men and women are already picking up on the fact that this is one development coming, as we/broadcasters who are personalities either shake our heads or laugh in disgust at the idiots currently running and ruining "radio as we know it".

Frankly, I am not a household name today.
Ahhh...but wait until "tomorrow" and see/hear what happens.


A sincere thanks to all those who want to participate in this new chapter of radio broadcasting.

RANDOM ramblings about "business".
"I'll give him/her 'the business'."
"That's nobody's business but their's."
"I own my business...built it from the ground up!"
"In Business News..."

When one wonders about the economy...it's often because the "regular" news and the "business" news become closely related, or even the same.

"New Auto Production Down As Mexican Plants Begin Sending Inventory North"
"Fewer Americans Filing For Unemployment As Part-Time Jobs Are Filled"

Hooboy, to be an economics pundit in 2007 and predict the economic collapse (the way some actually did). Wow...someone could make fortunes off the writing of that history book.

Here's the question: What business can suck the life out of some and make others wealthy at the same time?

Unfortunately, the answer is: ANY business in 2009.


Who else thinks the business climate in 2010 will look mighty good for some compared to 2009?