The Death of Radio Part 2… Out come the idiots.

    I intentionally did not update this site for a week so everyone who got linked over from Radio-Info had a chance to read my blog. The response has been nothing short of phenomenal. I have been contacted by people who I really respect, and people whom I have never met. I have also had comments posted by exactly the people who are rooting for radio's downfall, and its exactly who we think it is.
    Radio is an industry that is boundlessly fun to work in. If you are good at radio, it will afford you opportunities that you would never have otherwise. I have stood onstage in front of thousands of people with a microphone, I have laughed until my sides hurt in a studio, broadcast from the Superbowl, signed baseballs at the MLB All Star Game, and countless other "I will never forget" moments and that is all because I am damn good at being on the radio. If you are not good at radio, you can get my coffee and watch me enjoy all these moments.
    These people have always been the same. The board ops. The surly interns. The guys that have the 4 day beard, acne and an attitude. They got into radio because they wanted the spotlight so they could lose that pesky virginity and maybe drown out ghostly echoes of the ridicule they received in high school for working in the A/V dept. I personally understand where these guys are coming from, but the difference is that I am good at radio and they are not. So I had a very much different experience than they did. Yes, I am out of work, but I feel like the business did well by me and I still have an unquenchable passion for it. These guys want to burn the house down because they didn't live in it, and the internet has given them newfound voice because they can post anonymously.
    So when I wrote my mostly upbeat, positive note about radio as a media, this was setting up the proverbial bright white light for the dumb little moths to come bump into. My post was largely about how radio as a media isn't dead, regardless of our state of affairs. Even the most staunch supporter of consolidation would probably agree that it didn't go well, and these companies are too large to turn a profit. I didn't really argue the business model because I think that is a settled point.
    So out come the idiots. These guys of course have never met optimism that they didn't dismiss or nuance that didn't confuse.
    First up is Nick. He commented a bunch of things early last week, and I deleted them. It was pure drivel from someone who clearly has never even been in a programming meeting and doesnt even know how Arbitron measures ratings. If you know nothing about radio, I don't respect your opinion. He wrote back yesterday:

I posted extensive comments here the other day on why your commentary is hogwash, and you deleted them.

If you had any balls, you'd put the comments back up and debate me.

    Yep. Not going to post them, because I know that makes you mad. Ha ha.

    I will however, debate Alan Zarek:

"Radio doesn't ask you to stop what you are doing, commanding your full attention and patience. Radio can be with you when you drive around, do housework, play video games or exercise and its the only media that can do all of that"

Wrong Mr. Thomas..

Ever hear of an I-Pod?

I can put whatever music I want on it, in whatever order I choose and listen to it whenever I want.

    AN IPOD IS NOT A FORM OF MEDIA, STUPID!!! Its a device. Pizza Hut doesn't compete against ovens! When the iPod first launched, they were sent to every radio station in the country. My PD and MD had no idea how to use it, so they gave it to me and I loved it. Radio is filled with old men that don't understand that iPod technology only helps radio. The phenomena called "iPod fatigue" is real and something that Apple is fighting to the point where they are slowly phasing out of iPods, focusing on phones (which I also have and love) and the games functions of the touch (which also recieves email). The problem with people like Allen and a lot of people in radio, is they have no idea how to use this new technology. They just have an arousal of a fear lobe and yell "iPod" and act like its the death of radio.

"you need a subscription or a website account to view periodicals".

Ever hear of the Drudge Report?  Look to the left hand side of the can read pretty much whatever you want..for free..

    But it isn't a proven advertising media. You can download software that blocks their ads. Cable systems provide a free service to fast forward through their commercials. The only one that gives you the most impact is radio. Ads on the internet get lost in the shuffle, but not on radio. Besides, there are plenty of people who are listening to their free radio web stream WHILE they look at Drudge. Until 2007, Drudge had… a radio show. If that show would have gotten any traction, he would still be there. But alas. you have to attract a dramatically larger audience on the radio than you do on the internet.

"Our industry is not hurting, it is thriving"

You are so completely and totally full of [balderdash!] that I can't believe you wrote that scentence with a straight face..the vast majority of the radio stocks that are trading now are penny stocks..which means you can buy thousands of shares of a dead cat stock for pennies..

This industry is dying a slow death..many of my friends are now out of work..and at the New England AM I work in now, we openly talk about how we can get out of here as fast as we can.

    Good. Get out because you can't hack it. You are part of the problem and not part of the solution. In fact, quit now because I want your job. I want to work on the East coast, and your position is the perfect platform to jump off from. Go announce your two weeks and send me an email. Works for both of us, you want out and I want back in. Its people like you who have jobs and gripe about it that I absolutely hate. I'll be happy not to work with you.
    Our industry is thriving because radio listeners went up in 2008. People are deciding whether or not they want to keep paying for cable or newspaper, they continue to listen to radio. This idiot doesn't even understand what I wrote in the first place.
    I got one criticism that I thought was pretty sage, tho. I am not sure if he wants me to name check him, but I will say he is a big name programmer from NYC. He writes:

Unfortunately, radio's champions and defenders are pretty much preaching to
the converted. The pigs who currently own/run most station groups won't even go
into the church, much less hear the sermon.
FYI, radio listening has indeed decreased over the years, starting around
10 years ago, as measured by time-spent-listening. It's not a big drop, but
Arbitron has documented it. Nonetheless, nearly 90% of Americans still listen to
radio at least on occasion.

Yes. That is the problem. What we do need to carefully consider the product that we are putting on the air, because status quo is they don't like it. We can turn that around instantly with better programming but…

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1 Comment

  1. Eric – I feel for you. I’ve been at this for 30 years, been out of work a lot of times, I had a column in a national broadcast trade publication for 16 years, and I’m now working at the network level in Washington DC.
    Opportunities along the way for me were a little more plentiful than they are now and I wont deny things are tough and wont be getting better anytime soon. If I were to offer any kind of career advice, I’d tell you and everybody to get the hell out now and go into television. Not for preservation of my OWN career, but because it’s real.
    Visit any major city anywhere and you will see more cameras on the corner than microphones. What are they putting in cellphones? CAMERAS, not little radio stations. What’s going into more radio stations every day? Webcams for streaming video. Who’s making a pile of money on TV? How about Ryan Seacrest, Joel McHale and dozens of others. Who’s making a pile of money on radio? Rick Dees and that’s about it. Stern has been more TV-centric than radio for years. They got the message: clean up the act, take a teleprompter class and get in front of that camera.
    I love radio as much as you do. But the reality of the industry is that it will never be the same again and we’re never going back to any way it “used to be”. Keep your love for the medium alive, by all means — but get out now and evolve. Get rich. Get famous. Live large. Be seen with famous actresses. Otherwise, the other out-of-work radio guy *will* and leave you in the dust.
    Alan Peterson (Professor of Audio Technology, Montgomery College; Ass’t Chief Engineer, Radio America Network, Washington DC; Author “The World According to ARP”, Radio World newspaper 1989-2005)
    Also, a lot of stations in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia

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