These excuses are important because owners have used them before to retain possession after bankruptcy like they did with Citadel Broadcasting. The excuses are also used by any owner who wants to avoid scrutiny for skimping on the staff.
- The internet made me do it. The notion that a service that people pay for (the internet) could threaten a service that is free (radio) shows us just how bad radio has become. The last time I checked, new cars still have radios in them, and it is easier to access than the internet. They will try to blame services like Spotify while ignoring the fact that radio only plays predictable corporate playlists. Radio motivated us to search the internet when they started ignoring us. They could have integrated the internet into their local stations to strengthen the bond with us, but instead they just spent money on acquiring more stations.
- It’s the millennial’s fault. Blaming the audience is the same as blaming the victim. Radio continues to lose every new generation because the content is no longer curated by the new generation. Radio dictates content to us instead of playing our requests. Today “requests” have to fall within the pre-established corporate playlist. It’s an illusion of choice.
- The great recession of 2008. The recession only hurt radio because they had been firing the staff in order to pay their debts. In 2008, even the bankers wised up that radio couldn’t cut any more costs without cutting too deep into bone.
- The iPhone did it. Since the dawn of television, every new technology has been heralded as the death of radio. On a surface level it seems logical that you’d rather watch TV than listen to the radio because TV is like radio with pictures. But the real question is: what can you use radio for? Radio is supposed to be a passive medium of local expression. In other words, you can do an engaging activity (like driving) with radio. Cable TV, and Facebook do not change that. What does change that is when corporate radio owners fire all the DJs who made the station worth listening to.
- It’s the Debt (That they agreed to pay). This excuse it legit. What is not OK, is pretending like this is something that they did not already know. The numbers were there in black and white in the mortgage papers. They chose to buy-out the maximum number of stations rather than to responsibly own fewer stations. They also used something called private equity to foist debt on an industry while shielding themselves from the risk. Private Equity makes the stations responsible for debt while the owners collect fees. I find this outrageous. This is revealed further in the film on Amazon.