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September 19, 2014

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01/22/07 Welcome To Our Radio Town Hall Meeting

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?
ó George Bernard Shaw


When I start waxing poetic about the good old days, I flash back to images of my grandfather in his brown, vibrating easy chair talking about the way things used to be. As life progresses and hairs grey, itís easy to fall prey to fond memories of days that have long since seen sunset. But are Model-T Fords really better than the gadget-filled, self-parking Lexus, or do they just fill memory slots in our brains because of the value they once represented to us? Were the golden days of radio really better? Are we clinging to visions that are no longer relevant?

Radio is transitioning from a generation of broadcasters who remember the days of rich promotions, energy-filled competition, and being the first to play an unreleased hit record to a generation that doesnít remember radio markets without multi-station clusters, automated or satellite-programmed formats, and syndicated talent. Some would argue that the latter brought higher quality content and more consistent programming to markets that otherwise had none. They also might argue that consolidation brought benefits like systems, health insurance, and 401K plans where mom and pop broadcasters provided only long air shifts, the Yellow Pages as an account list, and all the records you could take home.

When I catch myself being empathetic to my buddies who pine for radioís halcyon days, I tell myself to stop acting like an old timer (Iím not one ó yet), and realize that I donít want to be like my grandfather, wishing the old days were back. I donít want to return to the past; I want the best for the present.

I have encountered so many people who want radio to become fun again, to see the energy back in the business, and to see more promotion and live talent. So, the Radio Ink staff came up with the idea of a radio town hall meeting, which youíll find in this issue. It provides many sage voices from different segments of the radio business a chance to offer solutions to an industry in need of some steam. Their fresh perspectives and years of wisdom could go a long way in offering solutions to radioís challenges, and direction for the opportunities that lie ahead.

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
ó Frank Tibolt



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