WHY WE MADE THIS FILM

Radiopoly Board

In 1998, KLZR, the FM rock sta­tion in the small town Lawrence, Kansas was vot­ed by Rolling Stone to be in the “Top 10 Sta­tions that Don’t Suck.”  With­in a year the sta­tion was sold and the for­mat was changed to sound like every oth­er sta­tion on the dial. Lis­ten­ers protest­ed but it was too late. This scene was hap­pen­ing every­where across the US. Small towns and large cities were los­ing their local voic­es because Con­gress had just made mas­sive radio con­sol­i­da­tion legal through the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Act of 1996.

Jewel (musician) was among 5 unknowns 

RADIO SILENCE

Why is Jew­el hold­ing the num­ber five? At any giv­en time, there were 5 local bands played in reg­u­lar rota­tion on her local rock sta­tion 91x in San Diego. These artists were most­ly unknown before they were giv­en air-play (Jew­el was home­less at the time). Local DJs built a local crit­i­cal mass behind these acts that launched some of them to grace the rest of the nation and the world. A local DJ can raise aware­ness for a local char­i­ty, a civic con­cern or a band. That end­ed when con­trol of local radio was tak­en over by out-of-town con­glom­er­ate bosses.

CORPORATE FM

How can a sta­tion make mon­ey if it con­tin­u­al­ly aban­dons its lis­ten­ers? This ques­tion was brought to us by vet­er­an broad­cast­er Dick Father­ley, who could not under­stand the mis­man­age­ment of the sta­tions that he loved. The math didn’t add up. The price of sta­tions were sky­rock­et­ing while the qual­i­ty of the prod­uct was plum­met­ing.  How were they mak­ing mon­ey? We dis­cov­ered that there was a new breed of high financiers who were mak­ing mon­ey off of the down­siz­ing, refi­nanc­ing and main­te­nance of con­glom­er­ate radio.  We made this film because we love radio and see a way out of this
 
If you’ve seen the film and want to do some­thing now.  Click here.

AUDIO: PODCASTS, BROADCASTS & SPEECHES 

The Written Word 

63 thoughts on “”

  1. From ear­ly reports and this quick pre­view this movie will be a ‘must see’ for those who care. Regards, IAN in Oz.

  2. A wise Radio Man­ag­er and Men­tor of mine, (The Real) Howard John­son, taught me that a com­pa­ny can give you 2 out of 3 of these: Qual­i­ty, Fast, Cheap. After 40 years in Radio myself, I can see that Radio in the 21st Cen­tu­ry has set­tled for “Fast & Cheap” because Qual­i­ty takes time and costs mon­ey! Cre­ativ­i­ty is crushed when Announc­ers have to “keep it short…under 10 sec­onds” so we can play more music, more music, more music. Let us pray that the “Pen­du­lum” swings back to Cre­ative Qual­i­ty where the lis­ten­er can’t wait to hear what the Announc­er is going to do on the next break. Today, the next break is like­ly to be just like the last break, short and safe. God bless radio! Ed

  3. This looks like a great movie! Please find a way to have it brought to Cana­da! This movie is what radio needs right now!!

  4. This film looks very inter­est­ing. It would be a great dou­ble fea­ture with my doc­u­men­tary, which is about what rock radio was like in the 50’s — 70’s — local, per­son­able, and excit­ing, instead of what it’s become. I hope some­thing can jump-start this indus­try back to rel­e­van­cy. Good luck!!

  5. Tony Santiago

    I wish I knew this film was being cre­at­ed because I would have real­ly loved to have giv­en my thoughts on the radio indus­try since for the past 19 years I’ve been bat­tling in New York City to push for a dance sta­tion. We’ve had a few along the way but for the past 3 years, noth­ing. And with FM turn­ing into the new “AM” with spo­ken word for­mats enter­ing, it’s safe to say that we are slow­ly wit­ness­ing the death of music on the FM dial

    Tony San­ti­a­go
    Coor­di­na­tor, New York Dance Music Coalition

    1. We will be bring­ing this film to New York. What they don’t say every time they simul­cast is that they just fired an entire radio staff and they are now serv­ing half as much of the pub­lic. Simul­cast­ing should not be allowed in a lim­it­ed spec­trum. Hope to see you in NY. Face­book us so I can keep you in the loop.

  6. I want to see this movie. I’m sure many peo­ple can’t post what they real­ly think on this board.

    1. There is no cen­sor­ship on this board. The only thing I take out is the tons of spam that comes in. I will mod­er­ate to keep it civ­il but I’ve not need­ed to. Con­ser­v­a­tive or lib­er­al, every­one hates what has hap­pened to radio. This is why I know things will change.

  7. Bruce McLaird

    Is there going to be any more screen­ings or a DVD in the near future? I’m real­ly inter­est­ed in see­ing your movie.

    1. There are 2 ways to find out about screen­ings. First sign up for our mail­ing list on the right side bar of this page. Sec­ond send me an email and tell me what city you are in. We some­times have screen­ings at uni­ver­si­ties and com­mu­ni­ty cen­ters that are not always announced to the public.

  8. Great project. In Hol­land it is almost the same. To start a new radio­sta­tion, and only online, it is just not pos­si­ble. You have to pay so much to even play music. And the BUMA tells you that mon­ey goes to the artist. That is fun­ny because they did­n’t even ask which artist you play..

  9. KROO Stu­dent Radio is offer­ing a free screen­ing of Cor­po­rate FM on 9/17/2012 at 3:30 pm, with a Q&A ses­sion with the film­mak­er to fol­low. This screen­ing will be held at the the­ater in the low­er lev­el of the UMKC Stu­dent Union.

  10. Elitism Fighter

    What is your prob­lem with our free enter­prise sys­tem and what is it you love so much about Com­mu­nism? And why do you elit­ist snob Com­mu­nist homo­sex­u­als want to cram your weirdo minor­i­ty tastes down the throats of the majority?

    1. You call your­self the “elit­ism fight­er” but you want to main­tain the elit­ist top down approach of cor­po­rate radio. If you real­ly cared about free enter­prise you would learn about how pri­vate equi­ty is trash­ing it. I’m a cap­i­tal­ist myself. That’s why it crush­es me to see your igno­rance and prej­u­dice. Peo­ple want DJs to be able to pick the music, that is not a minor­i­ty taste.

  11. It’s not just local music and live, local DJ’s that los­es out when radio sta­tions are bought out and con­sol­i­dat­ed. That’s impor­tant, but what if there’s an emer­gency or dis­as­ter and there’s no one on the air to inform the pub­lic? Case in point: on Jan­u­ary 18, 2002 at about 2:30 am, a train derailed just out­side Minot, ND. Among the loads on this train were tank cars haul­ing anhy­drous ammo­nia which rup­tured, killing at least one per­son, and injured around a hun­dred more. Soon after the derail­ment, a large area around the derailed train was evac­u­at­ed, and res­i­dents in the remain­der of the city were told to stay indoors. Emer­gency response to the dis­as­ter was dis­or­ga­nized, as due to the time of the inci­dent (very ear­ly in the morn­ing) all local radio sta­tions, oper­at­ed by Clear Chan­nel, were staffed at lim­it­ed lev­els, giv­en automa­tion sys­tems were used at many of these sta­tions to pro­vide pro­gram­ming. As a result of the con­fu­sion, no for­mal emer­gency warn­ings were issued for sev­er­al hours while Minot offi­cials locat­ed sta­tion man­agers at home. The inci­dent has been cit­ed as an exam­ple of the phys­i­cal dan­gers of media con­sol­i­da­tion and the cur­rent­ly preva­lent cost-cut­ting mea­sure of not keep­ing overnight staff at sta­tions. Even with­out acti­va­tion of the Emer­gency Alert Sys­tem, a live announc­er would still have been able to warn cit­i­zens of the emer­gency via the tra­di­tion­al means of the broad­cast sig­nal and an on-air micro­phone. As local sta­tions were run­ning in auto­mat­ed mode, there was nobody on-site to inter­rupt pro­gram­ming and issue warn­ings con­cern­ing the dis­as­ter. And I’m sure you know about the hor­ri­ble Joplin, Mis­souri EF5 tor­na­do in May, 2011. 160 peo­ple were killed, many of them in their cars or in shop­ping cen­ters when that storm rolled through there. This dis­as­ter occurred at five o’clock on a Sun­day after­noon. I don’t know what the radio sit­u­a­tion in Joplin was like at the time, but since it was the week­end, I’ll bet the were few, if any per­sons staffing the sta­tions at the time. The point I’m mak­ing here is that radio sta­tion con­sol­i­da­tion can and does put peo­ple’s lives in danger.

    1. I was in Joplin the week before the tor­na­do and I took some time to go vis­it the radio sta­tion group in that city which is owned by Zim­mer broad­cast­ing. The tor­na­do hit 2 blocks from the sta­tion. Had the gust been 2 blocks south we would be telling the sto­ry of how all of Joplin’s radio sta­tions were oblit­er­at­ed because they were all in one build­ing. Anoth­er haz­ard of con­sol­i­da­tion is that it puts all the eggs in one basket.

      The minot poi­son gas sto­ry is in the film.

      1. The Minot sto­ry is a total 100% urban legend. 

        EAS requires gov­ern­ment author­i­ties to acti­vate an alert, which is auto­mat­i­cal­ly insert­ed in radio pro­gram­ming; sta­tions can not orig­i­nate alerts. The gov­ern­ment author­i­ties did not know how to oper­ate the EAS equp­ment at the local lev­el and thus, could not have broad­cast an EAS alert even were there 100 peo­ple stand­ing by at the station.

        In any event, at 2 AM when the acci­dent hap­pened near­ly nobody in a small mar­ket is even lis­ten­ing to radio… per­haps one-tenth of one per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. An EAS alert at that time would have been use­less no mat­ter how it was broadcast.

        1. Some­one died in the Minot tragedy. I bet their fam­i­ly does not believe it to be an urban leg­end. I love how you use the fact that cor­po­rate radio has dri­ven away lis­ten­ers as an excuse for cor­po­rate radio to not serve it’s lis­ten­ers. Wake up. Those sta­tions should not all be on remote-con­trol at 2AM or 2PM. You can try to blame the gov­ern­ment for this, but when there is no live DJ in that stu­dio, the sta­tion is no bet­ter than the inter­net. On that note, I should also men­tion that this tragedy knocked out the pow­er to about 1,000 peo­ple. The com­put­ers and TVs were out of com­mis­sion. Bat­tery oper­at­ed radios and car radios can be life sav­ing if the con­tent on them is not so poor as to make them use­less. Here is an arti­cle about the tragedy.

          1. Radio has not dri­ven away lis­ten­ers; the economies of automa­tion (in use since the 60’s) has made it pos­si­ble for thou­sands of sta­tions to be on the air overnight. In decades past, sta­tions in small mar­kets like Minot signed off at 10 PM to 11 PM quite nor­mal­ly. In such a case, not only was the sig­nal was not on the air but there was also nobody in the build­ing. And, of course, nobody was lis­ten­ing.. So an alert of any kind could not have been broad­cast. With the new tech­nolo­gies, sta­tions are on the air and author­i­ties can ini­ti­ate EAS alerts if they know how.. The train wreck was the rail­road­’s fault; the lack of a broad­cast alert was the local gov­ern­men­t’s fault as sta­tions are not legal­ly allowed to ini­ti­ate alerts themselves.

          2. The night DJ was not fired across the medi­um till after 1996. Yes automa­tion has been here for a long time but the invis­i­ble nature of voice­track­ing and the “vam­pire eco­nom­ics” of mas­sive debt are rel­a­tive­ly new.

  12. In Jan 2000 I was work­ing as a Staff Pho­tog­ra­ph­er for Kansas City Sports and Fit­ness. On Jan 23rd I was sent to Kauf­man Sta­di­um to get stock pho­tos of Roy­als Man­ag­er Tony Muser after a win­ter work­out with the team. As I was wait­ing it start­ed to snow big white fluffy snowflakes, the kind pho­tog­ra­phers love as they show up bet­ter on film, yes film!
    I went down, got my pho­tos, and start­ed my dri­ve home to St. Joseph. I tried to go north on 435 but it was closed because of an acci­dent, as told by a police offi­cer sit­ting there, ok, west on 70 so I can go north on 29/35, once again closed due to snow! I tried to call sev­er­al radio sta­tions to find out what the hell was going on, no answer as this was I believe a Sat­ur­day. I final­ly got on 29 north and ran into a hell of a traf­fic jam up by Plat­te City, when I final­ly got into the QT peo­ple were com­plain­ing about the traf­fic when a QT employ­ee barked at all of us as to the 11 peo­ple that were killed on the Tra­cy curve (Coun­ty Road H exit) and how we should be ashamed, I barked back that due to local radio NOBODY knew what was going on except for those direct­ly involved and how radio dropped the ball on this one! Sad­ly this is the same snow storm that Der­rick Thomas was injured in from his car wreck on 435.
    i do not blame a per­son for this, I blame cor­po­rate radio. I had the phone num­ber for Metro Traf­fic and would report traf­fic jams or acci­dents, to help my fel­low com­muters on the St Joe-KC run, but no one answered those phones either.
    So does local radio have a respon­si­bil­i­ty to the com­mu­ni­ty, hell yes!

  13. Thank you Kevin. I appre­ci­ate the sup­port. Its a good feel­ing know­ing that some­one is behind me–as per my peti­tion. I saw your vid and I am inspired. You have inspired me. I hope I have inspired you. Thank you for the ener­gy to car­ry on this fight for local radio and TV. Keep in touch.

  14. First Kevin, THANK YOU for com­ing to New York to show this movie.

    Real­ly, all I have to say is WOW…and not in a good way regard­ing the radio indus­try. You have cer­tain­ly opened my eyes and gave me a deep edu­ca­tion to what has gone wrong with radio, espe­cial­ly the corporate/capital part­ners angle of it all and how that has destroyed the local feel of radio to the com­mu­ni­ty along with the lack of local sup­port for artists since cor­po­ra­tions have basi­cal­ly DICTATED to the sta­tions not to play them.

    Seri­ous­ly, every­one who fol­lows music, those in the radio indus­try or had left, real­ly NEEDS to see this doc­u­men­tary. It left me angry in the sense that cor­po­ra­tions did this with no regard to peo­ple. And yeah, we the pub­lic need to do some­thing about this.

  15. Colleen O'Connor

    Will this film come to Seat­tle? Would love to see it. My hus­band and I are huge fans of local, com­mu­ni­ty based radio.

  16. Isn’t this more cor­po­rate wel­fare? We (the pub­lic) finance the infra­struc­ture, and Clear monop­o­lizes it com­plete­ly, makes it uni­form­ly val­ue­less, and we con­tin­ue to sub­si­dize a monop­o­lized, use­less product.
    Even “pub­lic” radio isn’t pub­lic any more. Pro­gram­mers are ter­ri­fied of offend­ing the unac­count­able, phan­tom car­tel that actu­al­ly con­trols the waves. Even Big Bird keeps his head down.
    I hope your film shows how this cor­rupt sys­tem works, and brings the big play­ers out of the shadows.
    I miss radio, but there is very lit­tle “there”, there, anymore.

  17. In response to Ed & the rest, I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with (The Real) Howard John­son at Z‑104 and he def­i­nite­ly had the right idea! The sta­tion was #1 although we weren’t the most pow­er­ful sig­nal or had the best facil­i­ty or most mon­ey to work with. We also had 50 sig­nals pound­ing us from D.C. and Bal­ti­more. What we did have was a ded­i­ca­tion to mak­ing the sta­tion serve the local com­mu­ni­ty; the com­mu­ni­ty paid us back by being glued to our frequency.
    The cor­po­rate radio oper­a­tors like CC and Cumu­lus only know how to cut cut cut and do “robot radio”. Same pro­gram­ming in all mar­kets. Makes me puke when I think of how they’ve killed the “gold­en goose” that used to be Radio. Time spent lis­ten­ing declines reflect the dam­age. And the com­ments here about Radio as a source of News & Info dur­ing an emer­gency is spot on. Lis­ten­ers can no longer rely on Radio.

    1. What we did have was a ded­i­ca­tion to mak­ing the sta­tion serve the local com­mu­ni­ty; the com­mu­ni­ty paid us back by being glued to our frequency.”

      Well spo­ken. If radio was owned by radio-peo­ple, it might have a chance to do this again, but not with the lever­aged buy­out barons who now try to squeeze prof­its out of it by acquir­ing and cut­ting instead of invest­ing in an engag­ing product.

  18. A cor­po­ra­tion bought up all our sta­tions; they have dupli­cate for­mats on more than one. Guess which one was axed? The one with a lib­er­al for­mat, of course. (It’s sports now; there are sev­er­al sports sta­tions in our mar­ket.) Then a local labor union tried for awhile to broad­cast the pro­gres­sive for­mat, but failed after a while. So now all that’s left is a one woman show 3 hrs a day M‑F. “Fair and Bal­anced”, uh huh.

  19. Steven Levinson

    Mr. McK­in­ney:
    I recent­ly bought a DVD of your movie. I got a note from (I believe) you say­ing that there was going to be an aca­d­e­m­ic ver­sion. I was excit­ed about that as I am a Pro­fes­sor at Cal State Univ. Mon­terey Bay, where I teach a course in Com­mu­ni­ty Media and I run an Inter­net Radio Sta­tion. I have also worked with Prometheus in devel­op­ing local radio stations.
    I would love to be in touch with you.
    Thank you,
    Steven

  20. Thanks for the DVD. I have watched it twice. I have three peo­ple bor­row­ing it this week. In the course of film­ing, I won­der if you had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­view Tope­ka radio DJs Mar­shall Bar­ber or Lou “Louie Louie” Con­stan­ti­no. Those two guys could have real­ly giv­en you an ear­ful about the broad­cast­ing industry.

    Here in Tope­ka we now have an inter­net only radio sta­tion, with com­mer­cials, that plays 1950–1960s rock ’n’ roll and rhythm ‘n’ blues. There are three DJs there that pre­vi­ous­ly worked at the oldies sta­tions that we no longer have. The stu­dio is locat­ed in a bar in a shop­ping mall. Shop­pers can look through the win­dow and see the stu­dio. They even play “Chick­en­man” dai­ly. This is quite an ambi­tious under­tak­ing and prob­a­bly cost more than the aver­age fan­boy could set up at home. Nice as this is, peo­ple still have radios in their cars and can’t lis­ten to this sta­tion while dri­ving like they would any oth­er sta­tion. http://www.wrenradio.net

    1. Looks great. Yes cor­po­rate radio does not con­sid­er any­one over 54 wor­thy of ter­res­tri­al sig­nal when it comes to music. They took broad­cast­ing and replaced it with narrowcasting.

      1. Don’t blame radio for what is not radio’s fault. Adver­tis­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly the local, region­al and agency accounts, do not seek con­sumers above 50 or above 55. There are many rea­sons for this, based most­ly on poor return on invest­ment, but the fact is that sta­tions that cater to old­er lis­ten­ers find that there is scant lit­tle rev­enue to sup­port their endeav­ors. So sta­tions that depend on ad rev­enue to con­tin­ue oper­a­tions can’t sur­vive if they have pre­dom­i­nant­ly old­er lis­ten­ers. Again, this is not some­thing big busi­ness or big radio imposed.

        1. Con­sol­ida­tors (and their con­sul­tants ie. David?) will blame every­one but them­selves for their fail­ing num­bers. Pre­re­cord­ed Bor­ing Con­tent = Less Adver­tis­ers. Run a sur­vey on your lis­ten­ers and it will show poor return on NO invest­ment. We are not say­ing that radio should cater only to the old­er crowd. Radio should broad­cast to a broad audi­ence which includes the over 50 crowd. A good time to play to them is at 6AM when they are up before the rest of us.

          1. Old­er “lis­ten­ers” are not up ear­li­er than the rest of the pop­u­la­tion and there is no infor­ma­tion to sus­tain such a posi­tion. In any event, most mar­kets have so many sta­tions (Thanks to Dock­et 80–90 and oth­er FCC actions) that none can pro­gram effec­tive­ly to a broad seg­ment of the pop­u­la­tion. Sta­tions have, since the FCC man­dat­ed an end to FM simul­casts in 1967, had to become more and more niche pro­grammed. in order to carve out a viable seg­ment of the audi­ence. Oh, the sur­veys I have been a part of show peo­ple quite hap­py with their favorite radio sta­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly as the brands become extend­ed to new media with rich new content.

          2. The DJ’s that I inter­viewed spoke of old­er lis­ten­ers dri­ving the sta­tion num­bers at 5AM. As for blam­ing the 80–90 dock­et for your poor num­bers, any­one who blames local com­pe­ti­tion for not mak­ing it should not be in the busi­ness in the first place. Cor­po­ra­tions and the their con­sul­tants will blame any­one but them­selves for their poor num­bers. What you fail to grasp is dock­et 80/90 saved your butt by giv­ing lis­ten­ers a rea­son to stay on the dial instead of turn­ing it off when your sta­tion was not pleas­ing them. Com­pe­ti­tion is actu­al­ly “Coope­ti­tion” because it keeps lis­ten­ers in the same MEDIUM. Those same lis­ten­ers tune back a few min­utes later.

  21. I am very inter­est­ed in see­ing your film. I am the sta­tion man­ag­er for KDUR in Duran­go Col­orado, a free form radio sta­tion serv­ing Duran­go Colorado.….

  22. Does any­one on MSNBC know about this? I would think Rachel, Ed, or Chris would take this ball and run with it. We need our media back ASAP!

  23. I’d love to see this film screened in Atlanta. We are home to the *WORST* FM pro­gram­ming, thanks to Clear Chan­nel and Cumu­lus com­plete takeover of the FM dial. The major­i­ty of the cor­po­rate owned sta­tions all play the SAME playlist of less than 200 songs, despite claim­ing to be dif­fer­ent for­mats (Hot A/C, A/C, Top 40, etc). Most of the voice tracked cor­po­rate sta­tions ignore vital news and weath­er events that have tak­en place. Gone are for­mats such as jazz, oldies, MOR- the cor­po­rate apol­o­gists like DAVID EDUARDO claim that no one wants to hear them. 

    What peo­ple like DAVID EDUARDO fail to acknowl­edge is that is a PRIVILEGE to obtain a broad­cast license, and at the end of the day, if your sta­tion does­n’t oper­ate in the PUBLIC inter­est and SERVE the com­mu­ni­ty it exists in, than these cor­po­rate swine do not DESERVE the licens­es. It’s as sim­ple as that- and the mas­sive SCAM that RADIO ASSIST MINISTRY engaged in to move in FM trans­la­tors (all of which are lat­er to be sold to Clear Chan­nel and Cumu­lus) is an exam­ple of just how ANTI-COMPETITIVE and down­right sleazy these con­glom­er­ates are.

    Many of us have lost our careers, our futures and are out on the street so a hand­ful of peo­ple can ben­e­fit- main­ly the Dick­eys and Bain Cap­i­tal. Mean­while, com­mu­ni­ties are los­ing out on the very fab­ric that LOCAL radio pro­gram­ming can pro­vide- the inter­net can nev­er replace LOCAL pro­grams, sup­port­ed by LOCAL adver­tis­ers, it’s a great cir­cle bro­ken NOT by the inter­net, but by lever­aged buy­outs and the desire of a few to destroy an indus­try while prof­it­ing all the way.

    If you want a great exam­ple of the epic fail­ure of how cor­po­rate radio FAILED, ask any­one in New Jer­sey what the cor­po­rate slime that did not get washed off the air did- they kept on their automa­tion and voice track­ing dur­ing the worst hur­ri­cane to hit that part of the coun­try in 200 years. What a shame, and a dis­ser­vice. They should have their licens­es pulled.

    Oh wait, these peo­ple own the FCC too. Nev­er­mind. One day, the peo­ple in this coun­try will WAKE UP and see how a hand­ful of peo­ple are hard at work to end fair com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket­place, by buy­ing Con­gress and manip­u­lat­ing a sys­tem designed to allow every­one a chance at success.

  24. I think you have a over­ly roman­tic view of bygone radio, seri­ous­ly, I have been in radio for 35 years and it has been heav­i­ly for­mat­ted and con­sult­ed for decades. In the 70’s we called it cor­po­rate super­stars rock, in the 80’s it was man­u­fac­ture MTV pop and boy bands in the 90’s. The tight for­mat­ting and lack of per­son­al­i­ty is noth­ing new, still there are still good DJ’s today who have a loy­al fan base work­ing with­in the cor­po­rate struc­ture. Future­more, active lis­ten­ers express them­selves more­so than today in huge num­bers via social media and online stream­ing. In yes­ter­year, all there was a one line “sug­ges­tion line”. Also, it has been my expe­ri­ence that most, not all, radio sta­tions in the past had off site own­ers who also owned radio sta­tions in oth­er mar­kets and lev­aged their prop­er­ties to buy even more sta­tions in dif­fer­ent mar­kets. Local unsigned bands have more avenues to gain exposed than via Air­Play, many are pro­mot­ed via online con­test while lis­ten­er vote and links to buy their music are pro­vid­ed. Local bands are also offen invit­ed to play at rock fes­ti­vals who nation­al bands and as open­ing acts in small­er venues. Cor­po­rate radio is not killing radio, tech­nol­o­gy is giv­ing con­sumers more options and the things like voice track­ing, syn­di­ca­tion and con­sol­i­da­tion would be as much of real­i­ty had the law changed in 1996 or not. The real prob­lem is less com­pe­ti­tion for own­er­ship and the pow­er and mon­ey is only pro­vid­ed for a select few and less com­pe­ti­tion not only in radio but in areas of bsui­ness. It’s the Walmart/Traget effect.

    1. True yet false. While you are right that the prob­lem is less com­pe­ti­tion. Sta­tions have no moti­va­tion to be great when they are all owned by the same com­pa­ny. You total­ly miss the point of what makes radio more pow­er­ful than the inter­net. None of these oth­er avenues have con­cen­trat­ed local audi­ences. You also do not see the con­nec­tion between your point of less com­pe­ti­tion and why radio now is much much more heav­i­ly for­mat­ted than it was when you start­ed 35 years ago. This isn’t romance, it’s an autop­sy on an indus­try that has been killed by those who own it. While it is true that bands have many more tech­nolo­gies to use; it is facile to assume that any one of those tech­nolo­gies or all of them togeth­er can cre­ate the local crit­i­cal mass that was once cre­at­ed by an alert alive local radio sta­tion. You are right that there have been crap­py radio sta­tions since radio began. But now we see an entire spec­trum of life­less automa­tion. Today is Sat­ur­day in my home town and there is no live com­mer­cial radio on the entire spec­trum. That’s crim­i­nal. They are not enter­tain­ing us nor serv­ing the pub­lic good need or neces­si­ty. They dri­ve us to our ipods. The lip ser­vice that cor­po­rate radio gives to local bands today on their web pages will nev­er make up for the silence on the broad­cast signal.

  25. We are work­ing to estab­lish an lpfm in rur­al area north of Kansas City. Our inter­net ver­sion goes online in a cou­ple of weeks. I would love to talk to peo­ple in KC area who have sim­i­lar goals.

  26. To me its simple..If a radio sta­tion is on the air..it should be a law that it has to have an on duty oper­a­tor 24/7 365… that is in the bulding…What a con­cept huh??

    1. Con­sol­i­dat­ed radio will tell us that they do have some­one in the build­ing 24/7 356 for 8 sta­tions at at time. That per­son is an engi­neer to ensure that the Arbi­tron machines don’t fail. The banks and pri­vate equi­ty com­pa­nies could care less about the pro­gram­ming (till they see the movie) 🙂

  27. Every city has there own 5 top local bands to play in rota­tion. In San Diego at that time they were Jew­el, POD, Jason Mraz, Blink 182 and Switchfoot.

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