When I heard about the latest Cumulus bloodbath in San Francisco, I had to make this logo. About 20 staff were fired at KFOG and KGO. The financial press often ignores the real reason for these mass firings. The layoffs are part of the plan and not a freak result of a competitive market. Quite the contrary, consolidation occurs because competition is gone. It won’t matter to Cumulus if they fire their star talent because they also own the competition (who might have otherwise beaten them). Consolidators fire staff so that they may run a skeleton business and claim an increased profit through fewer expenses. It’s that simple.
Competition is actually what we need to end this radio nightmare. Businesses operate at the speed of competition, not at the speed of the consumer. When stations have to compete for the consumer, that’s when great programming occurs. However, corporate radio has pushed the government to create this alternate reality where competition is not allowed. Competition is bought out and consolidated. Rival consolidators now divide entire cities for monopoly control. In the past, many smaller broadcasters acted as disrupters and sent our culture into new, exciting places. Breaking up the consolidators would act as a stimulant to the economy through more local jobs and would also jump start the culture through more local programming. Music movements begin with faith and that is something that consolidators see as a negative on a balance sheet. It takes a human being who feels the music and knows one’s audience to make radio work. That is something that consolidation, by its very nature, destroys for quick gain.