Current Issue:

Current Issue

On The Cover:
Cumulus Chairman Jeff Marcus

Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.

Radio Ink Writers

Phil Boyce: "We Don't Need An FM Chip."


He's going against what the radio industry is working so hard to accomplish, but former WABC Program Director Phil Boyce says mobile phones do not need an FM chip. "The truth is we don't need it. All of my stations can be found on mobile devices. I just need an app."

Boyce was part of a news/talk panel when he was asked the question about the chip. He also took issue with the lack of a standard measurement that can easily combine on-air listeners with online listeners. And Arbitron was his target. "We pay them millions. Give me a number that is combined. How hard can that be?"

(9/21/2012 3:58:34 PM)
Understand that Phil is coming from a slightly different perspective: most if not all of his stations are AM and they are not invited to the chip party simply because it is impractical. He is right when he says that he doesn't need the chip, just an app. That's the only way an AM station is going to get on your phone. Your mileage may vary if you are an FM.

Next, what will happen in a dire emergency situation or widespread disaster? You will still need a radio to pick up the AM stations that will manage to get back on the air and have actual programming you will need. Granted the phone can serve as an FM radio with the chip and that certainly doesn't hurt where those stations will serve your needs. But since the phone might be otherwise useless the device of choice might well be a radio - which will have the choice of both FM and AM where the phone will not.

I think the chip argument has creedence only because phones are being made with the FM capability and not being enabled. Cause it to make economic sense for the carriers to enable it and it will happen.

- radiomike
(9/20/2012 2:52:12 PM)
Radio? What's a radio, grampa?

- Steve
(9/20/2012 10:30:20 AM)
I'm having seond thoughts about the FM chip. I thought it wasn't needed given that most stations can be heard via streaming. Last Sunday I wanted to hear the football game but discovered that to hear the game I would have to be part of the NFL media package. The game was being broadcast on FM; my old Motorola Droid X phone had an FM receiver built in but the new phone doesn't. I downloaded an FM receiver but it doesn't work on my new Droid.. As more sports go to FM, people will look for a way to hear live broadcasts and syndicated shows like Rome that aren't aired free on streaming sites.

- Robert Jackson
(9/20/2012 10:24:44 AM)
The Radio industry is LATE to the game on this one, where were they when people first started carrying cell phones 10 years ago...before the apps...when radio still had a fighting chance...they missed an opportunity then to be in everyone's pocket. And only now in 2012, when listening habits have already changed and evolved, do you rush to get back in people's pockets?
Radio could have stayed relevant in 1999 had they pushed for the cell phone chip mandate back then. now there's an app for..

- Jerry Flint
(9/20/2012 10:14:16 AM)
Earth to 'Ed' and your ilk- seriously, do you honestly believe, for even one second that the fm chip has anything to do with safety? If you do I feel sorry for you and appalled at your stunning ignorance. If on the other hand you know, as we all do, why broadcasters want an fm mandate, then just keep it to yourself.

By the way, the likelyhood of an fm chip getting mandated is exactly zero. Save the money you're blowing on Gordon and invest in something meaningful.

- Joe

Add a Comment | View All Comments


Send This Story To A Friend