The "Blanding" of Radio

Walter Kirn, writing in the New York Times Magazine, laments the sad state of radio these days and I can't disagree with him at all.


Recently, I found out whom to blame: a company called Clear Channel Communications. The mammoth buyer and consolidator of hundreds of independent local radio stations -- along with its smaller competitors, Infinity Broadcasting and Cumulus Media -- is body-snatching America's sonic soul, turning Whitman's vivacious democratic cacophony into a monotonous numbing hum.

I was out of the radio buying side of things in my agency career for about 2.5 years and when I returned I was stunned at the consolidation that had occurred. Oh sure, it's very convenient to buy now because you can call two people and reach the whole country! But what kind of leverage is that? Not to mention the incredible "blanding" of programming that passes for good radio. Every station sounds the same now. Carson Daly can pump out "localized" voice overs to hundreds of stations from his apartment in New York.

I thought radio was a local medium. It's really a sad state.
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by Steve Hall    Jun-22-03   Click to Comment   
  

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