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Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says (variety.com) 240

In a 30-page report, Larry Miller, the head of New York University's Steinhart Music Business Program, argues that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z -- people born after 1995 -- and that its influence and relevance will continue to be subsumed by digital services unless it upgrades. Key points made in the study include: Generation Z, which is projected to account for 40% of all consumers in the U.S. by 2020, shows little interest in traditional media, including radio, having grown up in an on-demand digital environment. AM/FM radio is in the midst of a massive drop-off as a music-discovery tool by younger generations, with self-reported listening to AM/FM radio among teens aged 13 and up declining by almost 50 percentage points between 2005 and 2016. Music discovery as a whole is moving away from AM/FM radio and toward YouTube, Spotify and Pandora, especially among younger listeners, with 19% of a 2017 study of surveyed listeners citing it as a source for keeping up-to-date with music -- down from 28% the previous year. Among 12-24 year olds who find music discovery important, AM/FM radio (50%) becomes even less influential, trailing YouTube (80%), Spotify (59%), and Pandora (53%). By 2020, 75% of new cars are expected to be "connected" to digital services, breaking radio's monopoly on the car dashboard and relegating AM/FM to just one of a series of audio options behind the wheel. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the typical car in the U.S. was 11.6 years old in 2016, which explains why radio has not yet faced its disruption event. However, drivers are buying new cars at a faster rate than ever, and new vehicles come with more installed options for digital music services.
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Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says

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  • Gen X here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:31PM (#55118333) Homepage

    Last time I listened to the radio in a car or at home that wasn't by accident was 1997, even then it was only because I was in someone else car or at someones house. Before that I'd only really listen to talk radio like Art Bell or shows like Brave New Waves on CBC Canada or Chris Sheppard Pirate Radio since it was hard to access electronic music where I was.

    • I listen to radio in one of four cases:
      1. I am at work. I want some music as background, do not want to spend any time choosing the songs and am not really annoyed by the commercials. The radio is free, does not require internet connection, and my favorite station plays some good music.
      2. I am driving a short distance. I want music as background, but, since I am driving a short distance (to a store etc) I do not want to spend time choosing the music, bringing tapes, connecting a minidisc player etc. Also, t

  • Monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:31PM (#55118335)

    Turns out letting one company own all the radio stations in the country and letting all music be chosen by an algorithm that compares music to existing hits is not a great idea.

    Radio will come back when different stations are run differently.

    • That's why I think the big commercial players will slowly die out, but college radio stations and things like that will continue to thrive. There are better ways of delivering payola than radio now, so there's not a lot of incentive for the media companies to support it once the audience goes away.
      • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        Does this means the spammers will eventually give up on Usenet's non-binaries groups and human users can reclaim them?

      • ... but college radio stations and things like that will continue to thrive.

        Not at my former college. The f-ers in Administration sold the radio license to someone else, because "streaming is good enough now".

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        That's why I think the big commercial players will slowly die out, but college radio stations and things like that will continue to thrive. There are better ways of delivering payola than radio now, so there's not a lot of incentive for the media companies to support it once the audience goes away.

        As much as I would love to see that happen it is doubtful that it will go that way. They will probably appropriate the spectrum and sell it off to the highest bidder. Just like they did with the analog TV spectrum.

        Shame too. Some of the best memories come from listening to college radio at 1 am and being able to actually call the Dj and talk to him/her live on the air. Then requesting some obscure track off the b-side of some album to be played. An they would actually play it.

  • I like to listen to live streams of music, even if it is just a playlist. And maybe with some announcements along the way about what I'm listening to, some little tidbits of trivia about the artist and song.

    As an listener I do not care that it comes over analog FM, or a digital system like HD radio, or over the Internet. Whatever is convenient and reliable in my car. (FM)

  • by Zephyn ( 415698 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:33PM (#55118351)

    Yes, radio is an older technology - one option among many. But it's also the only one where you sometimes have to sit through massive amounts of advertisements to get to the actual entertainment. The ads in the free versions of apps like Pandora are nowhere near as often or as annoying.

    • by psergiu ( 67614 )

      Yep.
      I have a radio in my car that i sometimes turn on during my daily commute. If it's in the middle of a "commercial-free hour of music offered by X" - it stays on. As soon as the 10-minute ad breaks start playing - off it goes - i'd rather listen to the engine hum...
      Thank you X for that commercial free hour of music - i might check your products. But no sale from me for the other ones.

  • What does radio offer that the other options don't? Annoying commercials, distortion, and lack of playlist control aren't exactly compelling.
  • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:41PM (#55118423)

    AM/FM radio is in the midst of a massive drop-off as a music-discovery tool

    Radio in the US hasn't been a "Music-Discovery Tool" for the last 10-20 years since ClearChannel acquired nearly every FM station and made DJ's irrelevant.

    • Yes, in retrospect, the ClearChannel takeover really did mark a definite point when radio took a dive.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        Yes, in retrospect, the ClearChannel takeover really did mark a definite point when radio took a dive.

        Yeah, I think you nailed it dead on there. Ten years ago I would have laughed at you if you would have told me that I would be paying 15 bucks a month for a streaming music service. Now, I do so gladly. I play spotify 8 to 10 hours a day. No commercials, no jabbering morning show wasting my time, and annoying the hell out of me.. Worth every penny of it to me.

    • by dtmos ( 447842 ) * on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:04PM (#55118633)

      This, although Clear Channel changed its name to iHeartMedia [wikipedia.org] in 2014. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 [wikipedia.org], which allowed individual entities to own far more broadcast stations than before -- as well as cross-ownership of media -- led to the homogenization of the radio bands: The stations in each format all sound the same, wherever one goes in the country, since they're substantially all owned by one owner, and there is substantially zero innovation in either programming or technology.

  • Every station own by iHeartRadio sounds the same. Radio hasn't been a source for new music discovery for years because they're always pushing the same 20 "artists". And I'm damn tire of Ryan Seacrest and Mario Lopez. Taylor Swift had a new song and about an hour later I've heard it 4 times on three different stations.

  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:42PM (#55118447)

    Radio has never been a great way to discover music. It's just that until relatively recently, there hasn't really been any better alternative. Once radio programming started to get centralized, it became even worse.

    At least in the old days there was some sort of connection to the local community. Most radio doesn't even have that much going for it anymore.

    • I'm not so sure about that.

      There are of course exceptions, but it is not general human nature to widen horizons when given choice.

      I can remember many times in the distant past listening to stations I didn't really like because they were all I could pick up. In doing so, my tastes sometimes changed to include something truly new. My tastes now include rock, classical, blues, jazz and country amongst others.

      Now, one can easily "discover" thousands of rehashes of the same old stuff that they "like". This is no

      • Yes, if someone doesn't want to be exposed to new stuff, they can accomplish that equally well on radio or online.

        However, if they do, it's so much easier online that on the radio. First, there's a much wider variety of music available online than there ever was on the radio. Second, there are many services (both streaming and not) that are designed specifically to help you discover new music. Using those, your chances of serendipity are way beyond what was possible with radio.

        In a sense the difference is t

        • Agreed. My point was that people generally do not want to be exposed to new stuff but need it.

          My general observation is that ample, easy choice results in polarization of the population around fewer more radically defined interest areas. Fewer people venture outside of their comfort zone and discover wider horizons, not more as people with the adventurer mindset would hope.

          This is because the choice not to change has always been more attractive to most and is now more available.

          Yes, adventurers are better s

          • I don't stream music myself, but my children do. I know with some services (Spotify, for instance), there is a measure of serendipity that seems roughly on par with radio. They will pick a stream that is a certain "genre" (I put quote marks around that because the genres are often not what I think of as musical genres) -- but the stream will still come out with the oddball discovery anyway.

            So all may not be entirely lost.

    • Never? I remember hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time on the radio on WNEW NY and I was blown away. Also lots of good music on college radio like PRB Princeton and Pirate Radio(seaton hall).
      • Yes, I would say it was never optimal. That's not to say it was never good or that they never play anything unexpected.

        The essential problem with radio is twofold -- the very limited amount of music that it can play (in terms of the number of minutes per day), and the fact that radio stations must maximize audience size to maximize revenue, which seriously restricts the sort of music you'll hear. Top 40 radio has been a thing from very early on.

        College stations and community radio tend to be better about th

    • Radio has never been a great way to discover music.

      Found the millennial, or maybe you're a Gen Y that probably still fits too.

      Radio most definitely was a great way to discover music. Back when DJs decided what to play, fresh bands sent tapes in to radio stations to get exposure, and the industry wasn't dominated by men in suits.

      It was so prevalent that at one point when music tastes started changing radio stations that would play the new music got outlawed which led to the whole rise of pirate radio.

  • frees up the spectrum for my cell phone. I don't care for their music and talk radio seem to be dominated by the likes of Rush Limbaugh & Co. Besides, they're all owned by one company. It's not like there's any real benefit outside of emergency services.
  • Isn't that the point MTV was trying to make 36 years ago?
  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @02:46PM (#55118499)
    some 15-20 years ago when they overpaid for all their stations, had to run too many commercials to pay for them, then heavily restricted their play lists to avoid the chance someone might not like the song currently playing. Forget about discovering new music on the radio, unless you switch from your country station to a hip-hop station or somesuch. Which ain't gonna happen.

    I've got a 30G USB stick in my car with a dozen or so playlists. Only time I turn the radio on is when I'm stuck in traffic for a report to figure out if I should stick it out or go another route.
    • I use google maps for that. It's not a problem when I'm driving 5mph. My kid has controls on her car's steering wheel for it so she can do it at speed.
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      In Seattle, there's KNKX, KEXP, KUOW, and KING. All public radio. All local. None owned by big mass media conglomerates.

      On the other hand, drive a few miles outside of Seattle and the airwaves are being taken over. Seattle stations are often swamped by Canadian stations (a few French language) out of B.C. And there's a Spanish language station somewhere around Mt Vernon that is audible from around 91.5 to 92.5 MHz. And interferes with most other stations on either side of that band. Poor filtering and too

      • by epine ( 68316 )

        Seattle stations are often swamped by Canadian stations (a few French language) out of B.C.

        Draw a giant circle around Langley.

        You'll want your audience to include North Vancouver, Chilliwack, the Gulf Islands, and Victoria.

        Welcome to Mount Vernon, loud and clear.

        http://cbctransmission.ca/en/m... [cbctransmission.ca]

        Turns out the CBC actually operates antennas on the burnt-roast fringe in Sooke, Richmond, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack.

  • I was driving to work about a 35 minutes trip. As usual I jumped in the car, and turned on the radio to my local classic rock station. I then proceeded to hear the sports report, news report, at least 10 commercials for products I do not want, or need, the DJ yammering on about his golf game, and going out in his boat.
    I then arrived at work, having not heard any actual music.
    I know what you are thinking. Change to another station.
    That might work in another market, but where I live most/all the stations a
  • Netkids don't "get" commericals. That's because they suck and contrary to popular believe, the kids on your lawn aren't as dumb as the media likes to act. Nothing can save their business model, but it's likely that if we moved the tech beyond HD radio and streaming titles, new opportunities would open up to a mixed-mode digital & analog radio that had more interactivity between listener and DJ, fan ratings, show movie previews, etc.. Even if you don't use the FM band to transmit, there is an awful lot
  • I took my family and friends to Yellowstone prior to the eclipse. One of the families in my car happened to have two young children (ages 3 and 5). As we approached Yellowstone and cellular data service dropped to near-nonexistent, the two had a meltdown. They were screaming "I want YouTube" over and over for a good half hour, and their parents couldn't get through to them that YouTube was inaccessible here. They had never been without Internet connectivity all their lives. Meanwhile, AM/FM radio worke [radio-locator.com]
  • by Colin Castro ( 2881349 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:00PM (#55118605)
    I never understand all these types of articles talking about music. Literally Jack/BOB FM are the only ones playing music during rush hour. Other than that it's all dumb ass talk radio with idiots. Their jokes are dumb, no cursing, and of course they're all basically the same. And nowadays they're syndicated from who knows where.
  • by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:01PM (#55118609)

    Just wait until they're stuck in a hurricane with no internet access. That little battery/wind-up radio would be a godsend.

    • Yea, Gen Z is going to be lost when some natural (or man made) disaster separates them from their technology. What do you mean "Read a Book?"
  • NPR (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kargan ( 250092 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:03PM (#55118625) Homepage

    I might not listen to music on the radio at all, but I listen to NPR on the radio on a daily basis. Younger me would never have done so, but I find a lot of their content interesting and/or informative.

    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      Hear, hear.

      Some may bitch about it being a "progressive echo chamber" or whatever, but I've rarely heard something poorly researched, not not supported by appropriate evidence.

      • Hear, hear.

        Some may bitch about it being a "progressive echo chamber" or whatever, but I've rarely heard something poorly researched, not not supported by appropriate evidence.

        I heard such things on NPR on a regular basis. They do *attempt* to do their research, but they are very slanted to the left in both their approach to their stories (They take a very left of center view) and they clearly pick stories that naturally slant left. I've often felt that they did great research, but only on their presupposed perspective and ignored information that was contrary to their preferred storyline.

        But that's the media's everyday problem. Reporters are guilty of confirmation bias every

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:05PM (#55118647) Homepage

    It's not radio that faces a grim future, it's the old fashioned model of commercial radio. You get, maybe, ten minutes of music followed by tons of commercials that repeat the phone number 20 times. But the spectrum will still be useful for new types of over-the-air services. Old radio needs to die. It's nothing but commercials and right-wing hate spew.

  • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:07PM (#55118651) Homepage

    I'll echo the sentiment about Clearchannel killing the diversity that used to be available on FM radio. I moved to my current location 20 years ago. At that time there were locally owned stations that played many rock genres (hard/metal, alternative, contemporary, classic), some rap/R&B, top 40, country, talk, sports and two NPR stations - one that did news, the other was the classical/jazz station. Today, the NPR station still exists, and one of the independents, but quite literally everything else is programmed by Clearchannel. It's not only the radio programming that sucks now, but the stations used to be a big part of the live music scene, sponsoring festivals and promoting local bands, and otherwise contributing to the scene in some way. The DJs were local and knew the scene, did appearances at bars and many of were music geeks who really liked the genre they were in.

    Fast forward to now, we have one NPR station that does news, the classical/jazz station is gone. The rock stations have been consolidated and homogenized, or converted to play "modern country", aka "country pop". The pop station has less diversity. There are now two sports talk stations that seem to be staffed by the world's most hateful idiot trolls that exist solely to fill the airwaves with useless drek. Local DJs only exist on some streaming stations, no longer on the air. I got a car with satellite radio and got hooked on that -- I like that the stations can be very genre specific and that there's a wide variety of styles to choose from. The DJs know their music and seem to like it. I also have a Spotify subscription and pile of podcasts to choose from. When I can choose between music that I like or talk I want to listen to, FM doesn't stand a chance, but on the other hand the vast number of streaming stations and services like Spotify make music discovery so much better now than when I was growing up -- even the best college stations from 20 years just don't hold a candle to what I have available to me now.

    • Problem here is that if the NPR formats you like where profitable, *somebody* would be duplicating it. As it sits, only NPR can do this kind of thing because they are not as profit driven.

      Radio simply is NOT profitable. Advertising dollars are better spent on other media. Radio really only has one place left to cut costs and that's in it's on air talent and other "people" doing the business. So what do they do? Put the same programming on air in multiple markets using their most popular talent, consol

  • Have you read NAB's response to this?

    http://variety.com/2017/music/... [variety.com]

    It is so delusional that I almost feel sad for them.

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:24PM (#55118777) Journal

    67 million millennials listen to radio each week [newsgeneration.com], That's about 90% market penetration. Just because millennials will use other outlets to discover new music doesn't mean that existing outlets aren't used for consuming music. The Internet has become the new "local club/bar" where you'd go each week to hear new bands and genres; but consumption still is in radio.

    SONOS, the largest consumer speaker company on the face of the Earth, sees a massive use of streaming FM stations over Internet - meaning if anything, FM radio's reach is increasing into the modern world. It's staying with broadcast but also streaming onto the Internet, so that a given station is no longer limited to a small geographic region but worldwide.

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:29PM (#55118801) Homepage Journal

    Almost every FM station near me has HD radio with 2 side stations, so you get up to 3 stations of content per station.
    There is AM HD [wikipedia.org] put doesn't appear to have been implemented, I couldn't find any hardware or AM HD radio stations.

    But, some car manufacturers are still playing the "HD radio is extra" upgrade for their premium levels.

    And then HD radio consortium killed off portable HD radios because they don't want people to pirate the clear signal.
    I would Love an AM/FM (with HD) on my cell, but If you can't buy it, that's effectively killing it off.

    It's easier for me to stream radio onto my cell phone, just so I can hear talk radio in the my car.
    Corporations are ruining radio, mostly due to clear channel stranglehold.

    But then, not everyone has high speed internet or mobile data across the US too.

    The whole situation pisses me off.

    • Yes, I wanted to replace a classic analog FM tuner with an HD tuner. I discovered that there weren't any. What ? You launch a new transmitter with no receiver ? WTF kind of business model is that ? Sony made one...it is now up to $400 if you can get a working one on Ebay. No one else makes one. They need to read about RCA and Dumont, who realized that folks needed receivers so they could sell transmitters....
    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      I would Love an AM/FM (with HD) on my cell...

      Yes! I'd like to tune it to NPR and have it automatically switch to the nearest local NPR station as I drive cross country. And when I'm out of radio range but still within cell range, I want it to stream NPR with my data plan. This would be a good substitute for satellite radio.

      Also, it should automatically send me hyperlinks of stories and other things they talk about. Don't open them, just put the links in a list that I can look at later (or not).

      Also it shou

  • I listen to the local talk station, 6-9am...then the rest of the day, we have a low power 24/7 no commercial blues/jazz station. If I can't pick it up on the FM dial, I just stream it. When I'm out of town, I stream everything from pandora, spotify or MP3's. Commercial FM plays the same songs over and over and over with little to no variety, not to mention the LOUD commercials.
  • The death of radio has been predicted every decade over the last century. It was supposed to have died when the first talking pictures appeared in the 1920s, then it was the rise of television in the 1950s.. MTV and cable tv was supposed to have killed radio in the 1980s. Than it was the CDs and music sharing sites like napster in the 1990s that was to be radio's demise.

    None of these new technologies have managed to disrupt radio, which has proven incredibly resilient to change. I wouldn't bet against the

    • by Rakhar ( 2731433 )

      Radio stations shift their playlist to accommodate a demographic. Many respond to large amounts of feedback and adjust accordingly. It's a lot easier to change a playlist on a radio station than to shift the programming on a television station. With television there isn't as much new material to work with, and licensing on anything new is problematic at best since each station wants to keep its best shows to itself. Radio stations don't make new music, and they don't have go directly through competing r

  • College Radio (Score:2, Informative)

    by highlife ( 653388 )
    College radio is still a great way to discover music. Scan the lower end of the FM dial and there's a good chance you'll find a music lover queuing up obscure tracks from eras gone by. If you don't live within range, check out the College/University section of iTunes' built-in Internet Radio menu. KALX (Berkeley), KXLU (Los Angeles), KRPF (Moscow, ID), KEXP (Seattle) are good places to start. Plus, NO COMMERCIALS.
  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:41PM (#55118869)

    Over the last couple of years, it seems like we've ditched a growing handful of perfectly reliable technologies in favor of a host of closed systems that rely completely on an internet connection. I see a massive vulnerability bubbling to the surface here.

    We have people who simply cannot function without some kind of internet access. Without it, most of our industry leading experts become empty headed morons, unwilling or unable to perform whatever they are supposed to be the experts at. Most of our tools and toys are the same way, no network=no workie.

    When the power goes out, these people and technologies just shut-down and stare at the ISP hardware until the power comes back on. Most don't even seem to own/include an AM/FM receiver.

    This makes me sad, and a little worried. I completely understand how inferior OTA radio is when compared to things like streaming services and fancy internet connected gimmicks and such, but at the end of the day, radio will still be there when the rest of this shit is "searching for network"

    When the rest of your options die because they all rely on a single point of failure (network connectivity) talking shows, commercials, and the same 20 artists over and over again will still be there, free of charge.... unless we let it die.

    • Well, I don't listen to the radio or stream. Instead, I have a very large existing music collection and I have agent software that crawls the internet to find new goodies for me.

      If the internet apocalypse comes, I'll still have plenty of tunes.

      That agent software is an interesting thing. A number of years ago, I had basically stopped buying music because the radio was a musical wasteland and worthless to me in terms of discovering new music, and used record stores pretty much stopped being a thing.

      But the a

  • It's been just less than 100 years since the very first commercial broadcast radio station was licensed - and that one was for news.

    There are people alive today who didn't experience broadcast radio in the early years of their lives. It was initially only for those with money.

    How can anything that didn't even exist in the early lives of some alive today be even close to being "traditional"? Virtually nothing in the realm of tech is "traditional" yet. It will all change and most of it will change within the

    • I dunno. If something has been in your life for as far back as you can remember, I think it counts as "traditional". Perhaps not in the (ahem) traditional sense, but certainly in the experiential sense.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @03:44PM (#55118891)

    In the beginning we had free, over the air, TV... then cable came along... and now we pay Netflix/Amazon/Disney for their programming...

    Radio used to be free, over the air... then XM came along and soon we'll be paying youtube/Pandora/Spotify/Some-music-label to listen to their catalog.

    Most people used to drink tap water too, now we pay $2/bottle because it has a picture of a mountain on it or it says it comes from a Tiny island 3000 miles away (Fiji).

  • I don't see any of the problems the study is investigating. I never used Radio to discover music. I don't have any playlists, I don't subscribe to any streaming service. I listen to radio for the news, and the radio stations I listen to are mainly having political and travel magazines, interviews, science and history features.

    I don't know if such stations exists in the U.S. (besides NPR). At least I didn't find any of them when I was in the U.S. the last time.

  • The only station near me that doesn't play the same songs over and over is run out of a college. Even they have large time-chunks dedicated to the same music every day. I used to live on the coast and moved to the midwest. It took three years for a song the played every few hours on the coast stations to make it to the midwest stations. So no, overall the market for AM/FM is not, nor should it be "music-discovery".

    Other music services can be tailored per-person. They don't rely entirely on pandering to

    • by hguorbray ( 967940 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @04:30PM (#55119111)
      For the adventurous I think a good deal of the West Coast has really good non-commercial radio choices.
      -Particularly the SF Bay Area:
      College: KFJC, KZSU, KSJS, KSCU, KALX for starters -with dozens of genres of music I rarely hear anything I have heard before and have found hundreds of new bands I like over the past 25 years as well as the occasional Eno song or lost or new psychedelic classic
      Hippie Radio: KKUP, KPFA -sadly KFAT/KPIG is only online these days.
      Classical/other: KDFC, KSCM (Jazz -ostensibly part of College of San Mateo, but not really)

      In Northern California and Southern Oregon there is JPR (Jefferson Public Radio) as well as College and some Joe radio stations and I have even heard good radio in the Sacramento area.

      Eugene, Portland and Seattle also have local stations and promote local and indie bands -particularly KEXP.

      and I have even heard a fair amount of diversity in LA music stations -even on KROQ as well as local NPR affiliates

      I'm sure that there are also clusters of independent or non profit radio stations on the east coast.

      But if you're in the midwest and not in the Denver/Boulder area or Lawrence Kansas, you may be out of luck...

      As long as free non-commercial radio continues to thrive where I live I have no interest in a cable-like Satellite radio subscription, which is going to tend to try to silo me into a particular genre when what I want is to hear different things all the time from 40s radio serials to afrobeat to 'The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show' (KFJC) to Philosophy Talk (KZSU) to whatever emo or techno or trance some millennial in some tiny broadcast booth wants to throw down.

      -I'm just sayin'
  • Ah yes, all kinds of stuff comes to my mind.

    I haven’t listened to traditional radio for some time, usually listen to the 2-ways from CHP, media helos and ENG vans, and the hamsters. In another forum they talked about fewer media aircraft, I remember KCBS SF bay area had a number of aircraft flying around the bay area, I could either tune to their AM station or simply listen to their 450 MHz 2-ways (get more gossip). KCBS did away with all their aircraft, and many other media stations have reduced t

    • Yup, as a fellow ham, I've learned more from Shadow Traffic, the internal ENG media frequencies, and PD Car-to-Car than the occasional traffic reports on the radio....a good dual band and some programming work and you are good !
  • I grew up with the AOR top-down radio system (the 80's). I went to school in a college town. The station owners broke a song there...if it took off, it went to NYC. I was stuck with the same playlist for months at a time....it sucked. Once it was played out in Boston, it was "a NEW SONG" in the NYC market....you never heard anything truly new in NYC. We once tried to get a band to play our school. We were told by the band manager that even though we could afford them, and they wanted to play our schoo
  • were some of the radio programs that were broadcast when I was a kid. I loved the Green Hornet and The Shadow Knows. That was in the last 40's and early 50's. Then came BW TV and all the movies and cliff hangers that were shown on the silver screen in the 1930's started appearing on the Tube. I loved Buck Rogers and his battles against Ming the Merciless as he flew through space with his spaceship making weird sounds while sparks fell from his exhaust as smoke was rising from it. In the late 50's thr

  • Music radio (as opposed to talk/news radio) gave up on innovating altogether back in the 20th century. I blame ClearChannel [wikipedia.org] (now known as iHeartMedia) and its ilk for that.

    Back in the day - which is to say "the 1960's and 70's" - radio programming was mostly done by people who actually cared about music. Program Directors, as they were called, actively searched for new and interesting artists to whom they could expose their audiences. Formats became increasingly fluid, mixing genres and styles, an

  • Way way way back even before Jerry (6400), there was this article from the magazine Radio Age, July 1924, which I always find an interesting read:

    CONGRESS has adjourned without acting either way on pending radio legislation, according to the news dispatches from Washington.

    Unless a special session is called, which does not seem likely at this time, radio will be untouched by legal attachments until next year, at least.

    The two most important measures which were shelved by the adjournment of the well-me

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker

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