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Music Radio Has Become A Flock

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(10/24/2013 12:12:30 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
QtfqZ0 Thanks so much for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.
- NY
(1/14/2012 9:18:10 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Music Radio is in the state it is because of a number of attitudinal positions that have become a kind of Truth.
1.) No amount of Talent will bring the profit-curve to intersect with expenses and drive profits way above expectations.
2. Music Radio is the way it is because everything that could be tried has been tried and alternatives do not exist.
3.) Justifying the status quo - even while it is unsatisfactory - is important, as doing so rationalizes the behaviors of the last many years.
4.) Music Radio - mostly driven by corporate entities - is unlikely to be embracing any "innovators" anytime soon. Innovation includes that which is not understood by most management and is, therefore: Unmanageable.
And Gawd knows... we can't have that!

- Ronald T. Robinson
(1/13/2012 8:14:59 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I agree with the last comment. Like it or not radio is not about doing "good radio" It is about "maximizing profits".

Why do you think that the stars of the industry are now Market Managers and CEOs. There are no more Robert W. Morgans or Scott Shannons.

That era is over. Just turn on music radio today and listen to all of the so called "personalities" voice tracking. 20 years ago, most of these people would never have had the chance to be on the air. But now they get to be on the air because they are cheep. It's sad, but it is just a fact of how things are.

Z100 in New York is not great because of what it does today. It sounds just like any other CHR. It is great beacuse of it's history back in the 80s, its brand, and the fact that it is in Market #1.

I am as sad and dissapointed at where music radio is as the next guy. But we all must face the fact that all good things come to an end.

I honestly believe that FM Music Radio is where AM music radio was 30 years ago. It is going to need to adapt and change in order to survive. All the industry needs is an innovatior to lead the "lemmings" down the path.

Not shure that is going to happen.


- Bob
(1/13/2012 7:57:31 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Thanks to "BC" for an outstanding and articulate series of comments.

While some of the issues have been addressed in my next Radio Ink article, it might be useful for me to point out my frame. That being: A station or organization is missing tremendous opportunities to dominate their markets by applying the talents of exceptionally well-trained, local and "live" performers.

I have no expectations of Radio making any exceptionally dramatic, strategic changes. I'm more like the baseball manager who sez, "I'm not trying to change The Game - I'm working to get this organization a championship."

Thanks, BC.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(1/13/2012 9:17:22 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Articles like this are based on a perhaps false (at least not obviously true) premise that the market will reward "good radio" enough to make a difference in my company's financial performance. I submit that nearly all the empirical evidence suggests that this is not true.

Successfully investing in "good radio" requires that the investment in talent and other parts of on-air performance pay off enough to more than offset the increase in cost, and to the degree that the investment will out-perform other possible uses of the money. However, radio's portion of the advertising universe is not expanding and it is not going to expand, if for no other reason than that the pie is being divided among more competitors. Thus, by definition, any increase in revenue is going to come at the expense of other radio stations. From this it follows that we must have some reason to expect that our ratings will increase (or, perhaps, that response to local advertisers' commercials will increase) enough for me to steal enough revenue share to pay for it. However, the evidence suggests that most of the audience is satisfied with the radio they have; moreover, since the predominant driving force in advertising sales is price, they are able to operate at a cost that makes it nearly impossible for a station that does not do the same to compete successfully on a CPP basis. So, it is difficult to see how the investment necessary to do "good radio" will actually pay off.

Whether you and I like it or not (and I don't, at least aesthetically), radio is a mature business selling a product that is priced like a commodity. This is why we have the radio we have now. Moreover, the job of corporations is not to do good radio. It is to maximize profits, insofar as possible.

Maybe radio survives this era, maybe it does not. Maybe public taste will change dramatically and people will clamor for Robert W. Morgan to reincarnate. But I would not bet on it. And if radio, as an industry, fails, so be it. That's also part of capitalism. I'm sure there were a lot of people in the buggy business who were wringing their hands when the Ford Model-T started rolling off the line, too.

- BC

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