New Technology Is Already Replacing Radio

My longtime friend Dan Mason, the CBS Radio President who is leading the dramatic turnaround of the company made a statement the other day about technology and radio.

Dan reportedly told his new media road show in New York that "$1 billion in ad dollars were telling you that the iPod or satellite radio will lead to the death of radio. That's a myth. To say that an iPod or satellite radio, with little or no human connection, will ever replace radio is absurd." (from

Well, maybe not satellite radio, but iPods have already changed the dynamic for radio. Just ask a young person who is not listening to a&hellip

Radio’s Salary Cap

Radio groups that have been chopping away at expenses are beginning to see the ratings repercussions of their actions.

Morning shows -- down and in some cases out.

Total ratings down (especially with a weakened morning show).

The decision makers decided they had to cut to the bone and their companies are getting ready to pay the price. You can't get top rates for declining shares. The economic downturn is prompting some advertisers not to buy as deeply in the top ranked stations for their desired demographics. Where they might have bought four or five deep, soon it will be three. After all, these are hard times&hellip

The Attention Span Problem

When public radio has to consider making its programs shorter because young listeners won't listen, we officially have a documented attention span problem.

Of course, it doesn't take any more than a few minutes in the company of the next generation before you realize that the number one problem going forward isn't too many commercials or too little new music or stupid djs or lack of social networking.

That, too.

But the inability or unwillingness of young listeners to extend their listening is problem number one. It deserves discussion, understanding and then innovation.

In NPR's case listening is up but for&hellip

Radio’s Deadly Game of Beat the Bomb

For those who may not remember it, radio (back when it did great on-air contests) used to feature a game called Beat the Bomb.

My first recollection of it was at the legendary top 40 station WFIL in Philadelphia -- either under the brilliant programmers Jim Hilliard or the late Jay Cook.

A listener is chosen at random and the sound effect of a bomb ticks for up to 60 seconds on-the-air. However, anytime along the way if the bomb goes off, the listener loses a chance to win up to $60. The idea is to shout STOP before the bomb goes off or you lose everything.

Today's radio industry is playing a deadlier version of&hellip

Radiohead — One and Done

So much for Radiohead's publicity-laced experiment to give their music away for free online -- or more precisely, let their fans determine if they are going to pay for it.

The band recently announced there will be no more pay-if-you-like releases from Radiohead.

I read an account of the story online the other day and the reporter wrote "The band remained quiet about whether the experiment was a success with so many fans opting not to pay anything for "In Rainbows"."

Well, let's see.

If it were a success, don't you think Radiohead would be repeating the offer? Instead, they're moving on. But to what?