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November 15, 2012

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Somebody needs to do an exhaustive study of the "buggy whip" - from beginning to end and post it here. There's a lesson to be learned. As new technology made the buggy whip obsolete so will today's technology make traditional radio stations sending signals from tall towers obsolete.

As for local weather and news alerts they are "automatic" and in real time on my smart phone/device (soon to replace the traditional AM/FM radio on the car's dashboard). No minimum wage DJ/board operator or newsman trying to give me their version from watching a local TV station or reading from the weather channel's website. Traditional radio is now a ghost ship.

The towers are more valuable revenue streams as cell towers for smart phones than the softening ad dollars generated from studio operations..

Lee DeForest Kelly

If radio is not local, then it's worthless. I might as well listen to SiriusXM if I don't want to know about a tornado bearing down on me or why I'm stuck in traffic. Local is the only reason to listen to AM / FM anymore, and if you take that away, as CC & Cumulus are doing, you've lost great value. Radio would not longer serve the "public interest" if they're just nothing more than a 'repeater' housed in a window-less, people-less, soul-less building. Maybe there's nothing that can be done; maybe radio's time is up as we know it; maybe local IS the only thing that an save radio? Your article makes you want to jump off a bridge, it's that depressing of a picture of what the industry may become.

Jim Morales

An interesting dynamic never mentioned during discussions of consolidation and downsizing is the "public interest" stipulation under which broadcast licenses are granted. There is a huge difference between stewardship of licenses in the interest of the local community and the stewardship of the company's bottom line on behalf of shareholders.

While challenges to the fulfillment of that obligation are rare and sometimes a function of prevailing politics, it will only take one well-funded and determined challenger to ignite a potential firestorm.

It will be tough indeed to defend a license when most or all of what you've done is turn each local broadcast station into a robotic repeater. Trying to prove interest, convenience and necessity in that environment ought to be fun to watch.

All broadcasters would be well served to remember the conditions under which they were granted their licenses in the first place...

Keep up the great work Eric!! Cheers!

Craig

I agree with much of what you said, I'm curious though about what you think the listenership of radio will be in 3 years? On a recent trip with a class of 8th grade students not one of them listened to traditional radio. It was all Pandora, Youtube or Mp3's. When I asked about our local stations they couldn't name more than 3 stations. And lately I talk to more and more people who are using bluetooth radio's to stream the music from their smartphones. So in 3 years we could cut the cost of running a station, but who will be listening? Wouldn't it make sense to attract and keep new listeners with the only think they can't get on Pandora? Local news and even local music?

HDRadioFarce (Greg Smith)

I wouldn't call the HD Radio scam a disruption, but rather a distraction. Bob Struble loves to call HD Radio a disruptive technology. All IBLOCK does is disrupt adjacent-channel reception.

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