Do I Really Care?

It was a ritual like the way I would have morning coffee and settle in to read the newspaper. I used to be this way about reading the ARBs when they came out in every radio market.

Now I don’t give a shit.

Not because I don’t care about radio, but because I’m resigned to the fact it doesn’t matter what your numbers are. The only thing that matters is how much revenue you drag in for the radio station (if you’re in the talk format) and how much a company like Clear Channel can save by running in the can programing from another market. In music radio one air person may do three to four different radio stations.

Gone are the days when radio was live, and people made appointments to hear their favorite person on the air. Now the voice you hear may not be in your market.

Most people never think about this important aspect when it comes to radio: owning a spot on the airwaves is supposed to be a privilege a few are granted–this makes a radio frequency a finite resource. The airwaves are supposed to belong to the public and in turn broadcasters are to return the privilege granted by providing a public service to their community.

Can some one please tell me how Clear Channel’s’ inauguration day slaughter benefits the public for right to own and operate on “the people’s airwaves”? How does it help when a tornado touches down or there’s a gas leak at 3 in the morning?

Can someone please tell me how voice tracking and syndication helps to act as a local focal point for the above mentioned community involvement or great entertainment based on what goes on in the community? Can anyone tell me how programing in the can like peas or tuna fish acts as anything but an alienated voice from another city?

Clear Channel’s slaughter of 1,800 people– like the baptism scene in the God Father– flunks on a grand scale. The media has nothing to do with servicing the community and giving John Q Citizen better entertainment and information it has to do with making money and shows capitalism without a human face at its worse.

If your in broadcasting there’s a couple of things you can do: vote and write you elected officials and the FCC making your concerns known on broadcasting. Educate the community to the fact the airwaves belong to the people of this country and in turn they are owed something better then they are getting.

Remember the old saying “God helps those who help themselves”? Now more than ever this is true. Mobilize and fight back or end up in the trash bin of radio history. Which do you choose? I know what I choose.

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