Ch Ch CHanges….. Wake Up Call for Radio!

Someone has to kick radio stations in the ass. Radio is probably one of the biggest whiners out there right now, well maybe for the exception of Fox News about Trump.

First radio got all fired up about satellite radio. Sirius/XM really hasn’t done that much to hurt your local radio station. They did show the public that there is another audio road and this one is uncensored. Which to some is refreshing. Radio is being told one of the reasons you have crappy ratings is that your listeners have fled to satellite and the Internet. There are now thousands of internet radio stations. Some sound pretty good and are run by folks that know what they’re doing. On the other hand, a lot are crap and seem to be just a platform for kids to drop the F-Bomb over and over again. The Auto Industry are putting Internet radios in some cars and even outfitting vehicles with Wi-Fi. How does radio, in their infinite wisdom, answer this looming threat? Just about every station have now cloned their signal so you can hear it over the internet. Yes, the same signal that forced listeners to flee in the first place, but it’s on the internet and they have a flashy webpage to go with it. Now they have, not just the local audience, who put them at the bottom of the rating pile, but don’t mind showing off to a Worldwide audience, which proves the locals were right. We then hear from radio when asked, “The internet side really isn’t doing that much for us.”

We all know that your local radio station or terrestrial radio has to play within the rules set out by the FCC in the US, and the CRTC in Canada. If they don’t, they might be shut down and believe me that has happened.

After working in Radio for the better part of my life and it really was the “better part”. I don’t know how many times I heard, “WOW if I could just run this station, it would be #1.” I heard that from GM’s talking about PD’s, PD’s talking about GM’s and Announcers talking about both. I even heard it from an accountant that was running a station that went into bankruptcy. All very creative people with very creative ideas on how to move forward.

The time has come for local radio, that’s playing on the internet, to do “*something* or get off the pot”.

We asked the FCC and the CRTC what they’d allow radio stations to do. The CRTC was first to reply “There are no CRTC licensing requirements for radio or television stations in order to operate over the internet. Therefore, terrestrial stations can not only broadcast their feeds on line, they can broadcast programming completely different.”  

Handling the FCC was Corey Deitz from ”So, on your Internet radio station you are free to broadcast whatever music you choose, no matter the content. The same can be said for any spoken word including pre-recorded or live comedy, poetry, political, social or cultural discussions.”

With tablets, smartphones, laptops, apps there has never been a better time for radio to take the next step and show the World how creative it can be. Come on radio, you’re being given a blank      internet slate to play on. Don’t be lazy and do what everyone else is doing, repeating your tired old radio signal.

I don’t want to say that station owners are cheap, but how was copper wire invented?. Two station owners fighting over a penny. You can create an added revenue stream by doing something new. Yes, you might have to hire extra producers, maybe on-air, a writer or two and a web person.

I can hear the excuses, “Oh you can’t really measure how many people are listening!” Yes you can, there’s a company with an app for that. I was talking to an ex-radio friend that runs a Toronto internet station he gets a wealth of information from, how many are listening, in what country, to how long they listen. His average minutes tuned per listener is over a staggering 45 min. “We’ve noticed that more people listen to our station and not the web feed”. I’m sure someone in Japan said, “What, those waves, just tickling my toes, Tsunami, Pastrami, ha ha ha”. One word for you, “ADVERTISE!!”

So Mr/Mrs Radio, you play country but you’ve always wanted to play Rock & Roll or maybe you run a talk station but you’ve always wanted to throw in comedy. You can do it now, over there, on the internet. You can stay as local as you want, or go as Worldly as you want. There’s a ton of great content out there from some very creative people.

Right now, some *kid* dropping an F-Bomb, is getting better ratings than you. Ya, and you can tell that kid, “Hey Get Off My Lawn!”

Get Off Of My Promo Pic400x300

Bryan Cox
Broadcaster/Author/Comedian/Voice Actor
Twitter @OffTheLawn

2 responses to this post.

  1. Terrestrial radio is currently only concerned about…saving the almighty buck..and providing…voicetracked..mid days.. Syndicated evening Crap…and what’s an allnight show again….?
    Local radio isn’t about only providing..local info..for a local crowd…It’s about promotion of the community and area…also giving an outlet..or training groups for young cut their teeth..behind the mike.
    That training ground is lacking in today’s radio….and it is proved painfully obvious,by some illiterates..that key the mike currently.
    So once, local radio does focus on the LOCAL..part of the Business…the world wide part…can’t be developed..and should not be developed.
    So I agree with you Brian.


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