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Radio Ink is Celebrating 20 Years

20 Years. Seems Like Only Yesterday

(by Publisher Eric Rhoads) I have a passion for radio. That passion began when I was a 14-year-old boy who got thrown into an airshift by accident. I clearly remember my first words on the air -- which were accidental, because the mic was on when it wasn't supposed to be. Later, on a better commercial station, when I was hired to run the Sunday-morning church tapes, I would practice over and over again for my one ID per hour. After all, I was on a station that mattered. I had fallen head over heels for radio, and the dream of being the voice coming out of the speakers. And like time-machine travel, I find myself here 42 years later -- half of which has been spent doing a magazine for radio.

Though we all seem to have our own plans, I've found that those plans rarely work out the way we expect. I was in New York, visiting a magazine publisher because my ads weren't working. Two hours later, I had met with the owner and shaken hands on a deal to buy the magazine. I published it for about three years and then, in 1992, changed the name to Radio Ink.

I guess God's purpose was bigger than my own. I never would have imagined myself creating a radio magazine for two decades of my life. I never stopped to think about what I would say when my magazine hit 20 years old, and though I'd like to offer some profound words, I'll spare you the pain.

Over the course of the next 12 months, this magazine will celebrate its heritage with a look back over the industry, replaying some content from previous issues and some stories from the past 20 years. I'm not one to dwell on the past. The future is much more interesting. But coming this summer, at the actual date of our launch, we'll do a special anniversary issue. Maybe by then something profound will emerge.

Though the past offers good lessons, what matters most is "What have you done for me lately, Eric?" Therefore, rather than dwelling too much on the past, the majority of our content will always be devoted to doing what we love most: giving you ideas to improve your station, your people, and your bottom line.

Below are some of the pages we have featured in the 2012 issues of Radio Ink