Radio Digs Its Own Grave as Cultural Currents Shift

Stolid biz loses a generation; Wi-Fi in cars could deliver a crushing blow

The major music business, the “new music” business, is built upon radio, it depends upon it.

There’s a fiction that we still live in a monoculture. This concept has been blown apart on television, where there are five hundred channels available, but the Luddites in radio still believe the Internet didn’t happen, that we’re all prisoners of the dial, where there are few stations and little innovation.

PHOTOS: Top 10 Radio Markets in the U.S.

There are radio alternatives (i.e., Pandora and the forthcoming iTunes Radio). Please don’t confuse Spotify and Rdio and Deezer and MOG/Daisy with radio, they’re nothing of the sort. Oh, they might have a Pandora or iTunes Radio component, but these streaming services are retail replacements, lending libraries wherein for 10 bucks a month you can go into the store and borrow anything you want, as long as you return it. Also, you’re not limited to one album at a time.

The radio alternatives represent market fragmentation. Because Internet in the car is not yet here on a widespread basis, they’ve had little impact on car listening. … Then again, we’ve experienced tapes in the car, CDs and iPod hookups. Terrestrial radio listenership is not close to what it once was. Radio used to dominate; it’s still the biggest player, but its market share has receded dramatically.

Sirius XM benefits from its automobile deals. That was the essence, even more than the programming. At this point, 10 years past launch, almost all cars are satellite-ready. Not everybody pays, but subscriptions exceed 20 million.

SEE ALSO: Jay-Z Announces New Album in Samsung Commercial

When Wi-Fi hits the car, or whatever type of cheap Internet access deploys in automobiles, Sirius XM will be challenged too. Right now, Sirius XM’s Internet play is laughable.

Most people under age 20 have never experienced good radio. So when baby boomers and Gen X’ers start waxing rhapsodically about their old-time favorites, wanting them to come back, it’s the equivalent of wishing that musicvideos would come back to MTV.

Insiders believe that there’s no revolution in terrestrial radio because the owners know it’s headed into the dumper. They’re just milking it for all they can before it falls off a cliff. So if you’re waiting for format innovation and fewer commercials … you’ll be waiting forever.

SEE ALSO: Veteran Rockers Stage Digital Revival

The challenge of Spotify/Rdio/etc. is … to tell their subscribers what to listen to. That’s what traditional radio has done best. So far, these services have not succeeded because they’re run by techies, and curation is all about human effort, not algorithms, otherwise we’d all be in relationships determined by computers.

Terrestrial radio sells records and builds careers. Just not as well as before. The reason we see so few diamond-sellers isn’t because of piracy so much as the fragmentation of the audience. In the old days of the walled garden, of radio and MTV dominance, if something got airplay, it went nuclear; now radio just plays to its niche.

There’s very little innovation in the music played on alternative and active rock stations. Hip-hop killed rock and roll, but rather than innovating, rock and roll stayed the same. And now electronic music is killing hip-hop. Sure, kids want something different from their parents, but even more, they want to own the scene, they don’t want to be dictated to, they want something that’s testing the limits!

Look at trends. Ten years ago the major labels said no record ever broke on the Internet. Look at Psy’s “Gangnam Style”! Radio is dying and YouTube and other alternatives are growing.

We, as a culture, want to feel included. That’s what the radio of yore was all about. To grow mass, you’ve got to make us feel included. In other words, it’s all about culture. Talk radio has culture. As does public radio. After that, it’s a vast wasteland of sold-out stations with the same fl aw of network TV. … Trying for broad-based appeal, they appeal to no one, and cede their market to excellence. HBO and the cable outlets killed networks with quality. … If you don’t think new services will kill terrestrial radio, you must like inane commercials, you must like me-too music, you must think airplay on one of these outlets will sell millions of albums, but that almost never happens anymore.

Read more Bob Lefsetz columns at Lefsetz.com.

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    1. Bill says:

      Kansas City has had a good radio station (96.5 KRBZ) for the last 10 years. The music is great. They play new and past alternative bands. Their ratings have been very low because they are not playing hip hop or a variation thereof. The local rock station has been a power house for 20 years now. Their ratings are also slipping against he 6 or 7 pop/hip hop stations that divide up the rest of the listeners. This article explains the state of music radio. Kansas City is proof of music radio’s slow death.

    2. dsmcbryde says:

      I made my living as a disc jockey for 25 years. As a veteren of the industry, I can say Bob Lefsetz did what is commonly known as hitting the nail square on the head (maybe smashing the nail right on through the 2 x 4) when he wrote,

      “Insiders believe that there’s no revolution in terrestrial radio because the owners know it’s headed into the dumper. They’re just milking it for all they can before it falls off a cliff.”

      Truer words have ‘ner been spoken!

    3. Kevin says:

      I just installed a complete stereo system in my new car and the radio is not connected. I have a iPOD pre amp, it’s the only thing I listen to in the car. I’m not paying for satellite and terrestrial radio was over 15 yrs ago. The stock radio is used for it’s nav unit, makes a good clock too.

    4. Wesley Nye says:

      As a professional producer for the last (almost) 20 years, I admit most new music has been of a much lower standard. As a kid, I started as a intern using analogue tape and watched bands like NIN and Prince and the NPG take the love and energy it takes to sacrifice to put together a project. I’ve seen people have pain, be in uncomfortable positions for hours, be close to failure, crying and depressed. I saw joy and pain. I saw people working hard and I saw the love of the artform. Then came digital. The loss of sales due to peer to peer led to loss of jobs. Not for artists, for us. The songwriters, coaches, producers, engineers and other support staff that made your favorite artists bigger then life. We had a common goal and if we connected with our audience, there were rewards. For the past 10 years there has been a hemmorage of talent from the industry, first from the old guard, now from their underlings (like myself) Our costs have gone up at least 400% in the last 10 years. No, not from software, from government intervention, from real estate to energy and employment costs. Top people with credits and Grammys are working on spec just to stay working at all.
      Many are making less then starbucks, and without health insurance etc. Too many schools have exploded turning out graduates for which there are no jobs, leading to unsustainable rates for people.
      This is why everything is halfass now. People don’t even know if they are going to get paid. New engineers with degrees, do not even know the basics of headroom and gain staging or feeling or subtleness or magic. They want consistent and fast. Similar to Mc Donald’s. After laying off an old friend and good guy, It would seem like it’s not even worth trying to make anything for hire,because the market is distorted. I’d rather do it for the love and keep my standards and self respect. And I won’t even get started on the government sponsored theft of our services through the rediculous $0.00008 per stream we get. 72 million streams net $5500 before expenses and taxes. Who can pay a team and taxes on that??

    5. John Sullivan says:

      Technology frees us from a stultifying monoculture. Business suits whine because they have to wake up. Adapt or be replaced.

    6. rigginrich says:

      who is going to pay for internet for your car when you can use the data from your phone? there will always be people who wont be able to pay for data plans for both their car and phone and whatever else, and radio will be the alternative. this article doesnt know what it is talking about. the best sports experience you can have is watching a game on tv with the sound off and listening to it on the radio. those commentators describe everything and paint a picture that your mind creates for you. radio is a very intimate experience. just like records for audiofiles i believe that radio will always have a place for all the audio learners out there. thats why talk radio be it npr or the concervative talk radio people do so well. i feel like i know rush and beck and hannity and levin and clark howard and david ramsey just by listening to them. now this article is primarily focused on the music aspect of radio and its waining. im sure radio might change over time but fm and am will still be there, just like records will still be there. will all the stimlus that is out there and surely more to come, the respite and sanctuary will be radio.

    7. thecoldtruth says:

      I live in Houston. Our radio has steadily started to suck for at least the last 10-15 years. Anybody that has lived in Houston in the last 20 years remembers our last great radio station, Rock 101 KLOL. When that station went off the air (it was a complete surprise; I hear that even the people that worked there didn’t know it was happening – they just showed up for work one day only to be told to go back home), Houston radio went into free fall.

    8. Jeff says:

      FM Radio died when KMET (The Mighty MET) turned into The Wave – Easy Listening

    9. Richard says:

      The only radio I ever listen to is NPR and our local jazz station. The rest of the AM/FM dial is a true wasteland. True mental junk food delivered thru a paper cone speaker that’s both insulting and irritating at the same time. Much can be said as well for the bulk of cable television programming also. I also get better news from NPR, BBC and France14 than I do from our local 6:00 PM TV news which is nothing more than sensationalized entertainment and fluff that’s been re-packaged as ‘news’.

    10. Bill says:

      The sooner the music industry vanishes the better, along with radio, TV, and movies. They have produced nothing but 99% garbage over the last 10 years.

    11. Red says:

      Not hardly.

    12. Threeve says:

      Someone, please help the author of this article incorporate subordinate clauses into his next effort. I never read such a long string of short, declarative sentences in my life! The name “Variety” doesn’t seem to describe this author’s writing style, if this article is any indication.

    13. Nanny Mo says:

      The more I’m learning about NSA / FBI / White House snooping into my Internet life, the more I’m using things like my iPod to listen to music non-Cloud. I don’t see myself using Wifi – iTunes Radio in my car at all. I have my hard wired playlists and Airplane Mode, it’s all I need.

    14. MUSKET says:

      About 4 – 5 years ago I trashed my TV and have never looked back. Being fully retired, I do listen to a lot of radio – a large mix of Talk, with substantial amounts of Classical Music and Jazz. My Talk Station, Cumulus Radio, now offers Rush – who’s the best and most informed, along with a collection of underwhelming, less than informed gum-flappers! Hannity had 3 people talking all at once, none including Sean has a clue. Savage (Weiner) is smart by 1/2, doesn’t do shop prep., and has opinions on much more than he’s knowledgeable about. You can fool some of the people all of the time, . . . . If Talk Radio dies, it will be attributed to mismanagement.

      Did I mention that the multifarious Commercials are aggressively inane and meaningless?

      MUSKET

    15. Rich B says:

      This article is horse dung. Electronic music isn’t new and it isn’t killing anything.

      Electronic music peaked almost 20 years ago with Moby and perhaps Sasha and Digweeds Northern Exposure.

      • will b says:

        Right. EDM, Dubstep, and Trap are white hot, and almost a badge of membership among the young. A membership that is clearly eluding you.

        • EDM Producer says:

          Garden variety EDM maybe, but dubstep is on its way out and trap won’t last even as long as dubstep. Considering it’s just repackaged dirty south with some EDM sounds thrown in for good measure.

    16. Darren G says:

      I quit listening to FM radio a year and half ago when I got my first android and could get Pandora and an app to download songs for free. Someone here said TV will be next. I have also cancelled cable TV and get everything off the internet. I watch Netflix and Amazon streaming movies and I have lots of DVDS. I have not watch over the air network TV for years except for sports

    17. billrow says:

      Radio will have to reinvent itself and put out cutting edge entertainment to survive. I doubt they will react until it’s already too late. Newspapers, magazines and cable TV are all in deep doo doo

    18. All the land radio stations I listen to have an internet presence. There’s also iHeart radio that has numerous radio stations. I can listen to radio stations in Germany (radio eins), jazz from San Francisco. So I’m not sure what this article is talking about.

      • folkmuse says:

        As I read through all these comments the impression I got is very few have any realistic idea what has been going on over the last 15-20 years. Primary with few exceptions most are on the consumer end, so to speak. The internet has been a huge change in the way recording companies have done business. So far they have no figured out how to market with these new changes which are in some ways coming so fast that just about the time you got a handle on it things change again.

        But we are hear talking about radio more than the recording industry. So as I have been involved for over 20 years now with non-com stations at the far left side of your dial (where NPR, College and Religious stations are), down below FM92. I find it somewhat baffling that few bother to go down and check out that side of the dial.

        Where the more interesting stuff is happening is down on that side of the dial in what is called “Community radio”. Station that are non-profit, mostly volunteer DJ’s and few paid staff. I did for a time subscribe to Satellite radio and once was asked if I wanted to consider doing a show. When I mentioned the playlist I would do I was told “oh no, that song is for that Channel you can’t do this on this Channel”. It was then that I found that Satellite Radio is every bit as structured as the earth bound stations. but with a larger playlist.

        One problem is there are not that many Community Radio stations which is why so many of these comments are from areas where there are none. The bigger the City the less likely there is one as well as less likely there ever will be as the dial is completely full. For those locations where they have community station you find a great deal of interest in newer music as well as a more eclectic listening audience.

        I know of one station that has over 200 certified broadcasters, all volunteer, who play what they want and often from a very large CD collection they have as well as what is in the station library. One that I had been involved with had over 60,000 CD’s as well as several thousand vinyl records. I have over 2,000 vinyl and over 7,000 CD’s. I still get sent about 20-30 CD’s each month from independent labels. I rarely get a anything from the majors and have to admit that more often than not I prefer what most of the independent labels send to me. I know of some other volunteer DJ’s who have over 20,000 CD’s in their collection. One of the best jazz DJ’ s I know has over 20,000 vinyl, not CD’s.

        Couple this with these local Community station giving local news and view and what is happening around the Community in live entertainment and you do as I did, unsubscribe from Satellite radio as after a while you find these local passionate volunteer broadcasters are playing better music, are better informed and seek out the new music worth playing. Like the old days when radio was king.

      • Darren G says:

        I believe the article was talking about FM music stations. What you are talking about is talk radio. It is talk radio that informs people I do agree with you about the liberals taking over TV and the newspapers but they will not be able to control the internet because it’s too vast

    19. I don’t listen to m car radio for the music. I listen to my car radio for the talk. There is only one station that I listen to and that’s the station that carries Rush Limbaugh. I still own 100s of CDs and when I want to listen to music in my car, I play a CD.

    20. JH says:

      I’m not sure I understand where this notion that ‘radio has too many commercials’ comes from. Have you watched television lately? American Idol airs 25 minutes of commercials in an hour. Radio is still at about 12-14 minutes of commercials per hour… and it’s FREE and LOCAL!!! You pay for TV and get commercials. You pay for internet, yet most videos have commercials at the beginning and every site is loaded with ads. You have to pay for satellite radio. When internet hits cars, that’ll be one more thing we’ll have to pay for, and it will sound as awful as Satellite radio does with it’s compression and warble. It’s time to get over the ‘radio plays too many commercials’ argument because it’s just not valid. As far as radio being a dead medium, that’s about the most ridiculous idea yet, in fact, Variety should back this up with some solid research. We’re all waiting to see it. Laughable article. Truly laughable.

    21. Random Dude says:

      One hit does not a trend make. Look at Psh??? His hit was a visual hit not a song hit. If he didn’t dance it would not have been a hit. Does writer, Bob Lefsetz, not realize you can’t see radio? Bob, Bob! Radio is sound.

    22. davesfotowerks says:

      Oh, and I don’t *pay* for music.

    23. Look at Psy’s “Gangnam Style”!

      The credibility of this “author” just went down the sh*tter.

    24. r. morgan says:

      Sirius pitched me a no ad environment, it was for the most part, that for a while. But now it’s time to pull the plug. Besides the quality and content of the ads sound like they came out of a boiler room in Ft Lauderdale. Worthless dribble

    25. steve winkler says:

      When Rush goes to Sirius, all bets are of

      • steve winkler says:

        I meant all bets are OFF

        • FLOYD IN FLORIDA says:

          Rush will never go to satellite radio ever!
          He is loyal to his 600 or so AM & FM Radio stations that made him what he is!
          This whole article is about AM & FM music and not talk radio!

    26. Newshound24 says:

      Variety magazine is a fine bunch to be lecturing other forms of media about being obsolete…

    27. twan jim says:

      I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when radio was king and cranked out great music and had wild personalities. Todays pop formats are awful, same monotonous beat accentuated by screeching called singing. I rarely listen to any music on the radio it is just that bad.

      • jay byrd says:

        Five star comment.

      • JimO says:

        Agreed…

      • I’m quite a bit younger than you are, though I listen to music from when you were growing up. I do so because its quality. You’d probably disagree with me, but there have been a lot of great bands from a huge timeframe, from the blues of the late 1940s all the way to the post-grunge bands of the late 90s/early 2000s. Then, all the sudden, it seemed like anything worth a darn just dried up. I agree that it all sounds the same, formulaic. Even the rap and hip hop stinks now. Its all cookie cutter and processed through computers. I don’t think any of today’s bands hardly practice because they know any mistakes they make will be “cleaned up” by the producer, who will also remove any dynamic range from the music, as well.

    28. Astralis says:

      Try this: turn on a popular radio station owned by a major company. In one hour, count the number of minutes music actually played. The last time I did this, which was a few years ago, I counted 10 minutes of music and 50 minutes of chatter and commercials. That’s when I stopped listening to radio.

    29. Say what you want, call me old and out of touch. But most music today is just lousy. I’ve listened to (and still do) everything from 1950’s rock and roll to post-grunge and pop punk, and everything in between. That is a LOT of territory of music. I’ve listened to country and to blues. Symphonic music. Big band jazz. Electronica. Hip-hop/rap. But something happened to music about 10 years ago, or so. All the sudden, anything new just started to suck. I can’t quite put my finger on it, though I blame part of it on lousy production using computers to “fix” every last little thing in a song, and to remove any trace of dynamic range. I’m sure there are a lot of great bands in just about any genre you can think of, but very few of them will ever be heard by more than a few people. And unless you know exactly what you are looking for, you aren’t going to find anything different than you’ve already heard before.

    30. The consolidation of the media industry has made radio unpopular to many of us. With the leading media groups owning the majority of the stations they play the same old crap. Formulated playlists killed radio, we need to return back to the spirit of radio.

      • Rick Sterman says:

        Spirit of Radio, indeed.

        Want to second what you said and apply it to the news that is delivered over AM radio. Is all just a few companies that own everything. Can’t trust just ONE source anymore, have to listen to multiple reports and filter best you can.

        Always tell people to read it on Drudge, read it on HuffPo, add them up and divide by two. Gets you as close to the truth as you can hope….

    31. Peter says:

      Radio’s emperor has been naked for years and they think most people don’t notice. What’s worse is they are trying to play the music the teens and young adults want, yet the teens and young adults don’t want radio. Very sad. TV is next!

    32. Walter says:

      Would love to see data that shows exactly how much terrestrial radio anyone under 30 listens to. Radio will be around for years to come, but it will definitely have a minimal presence.

    33. David Miller says:

      This argument has been made about radio before, but television didn’t kill the radio star; Internet won’t either. This is because music is only one part of the successful radio equation. The above article assumes the old way of radio which is the following:
      -The customer desires Music
      -The radio station fulfills the need for Music
      -Advertisers benefit from people having a need for music.

      However, radio has already evolved into a much more sophisticated product; Successful program managers get this. Radio is now about providing a locally designed, cultural experience that the listener can participate in. Here is the new way of radio:
      -Radio Stations Design a Unique “Club” (Pyschosocial Needs)
      -They Market their “club” or “brand of cool” to the masses
      -People opt-I (listen and participate) to the “club” experience to meet their psychosocial needs…
      -The Radio Stations provides powerful live events, apps, internet participation, music selection, phone participation, sweet promotional deals, etc… This is all done with an emphasis on the local nature of radio. For example, a great alternative radio station would sponsor a snowboarding competition, talk the event up for weeks, attach energy drinks with it, interview people that are going to compete, secure some promotional deals on snowboarding gear, give away some free tickets, encourage all the listeners be there, then go live that day. They would then “debrief” the event the next day on their morning show. During this whole process they would play music that appeals to their unique audience….. I don’t see spotify/itunes or other “sources of music” providing anything like this.

      The end result is a powerful/loyal band of listeners that will buy the products the station tells them to buy. Radio will thrive if program managers follow the new world of radio as articulated above.

      • Jeff Smith says:

        Promotions like the one you discuss are what I hate about radio. HATE it. I just want music… nothing else. The problem is, that if you only have radio, like… back when that’s all we had… you had to suffer through stupid crap like that with about 6 songs an hour. No thanks.

    34. Chicago 860 says:

      When ownership caps came off and the anti-trafficking rules were set aside, broadcasting became a commodity. So a bunch of Harvard and Kellogg school MBA’s look at the business and think, “Hey. All we gotta do is buy these things, raise the rates, add a couple minutes per hour and we’re golden. Well, not so fast, Miller, as the punchline goes. Advertisers balked. Instead of taking the hint, those brilliant silo boys and girls decided to throw even more non-program time at us. And it’s not working.

    35. Mikey says:

      Leased a car that came with Sirus radio free for 6 months. Scanned through it a few times and it has been off ever since I found the USB connection for my thumb drive. Sirius sure does mail a lot of junk mail however that is covered in pictures of Howard Stern and lots of fashionable black people in sunglasses. No thanks.

    36. Kevin Walsh says:

      Gangnam Style is crap. It should never have been foisted via youtube.

    37. Pouncekitty says:

      This article is unreadable. Dopey wishful Gen Z crap about the “future,” while most of the teens and 20 somethings can’t even read! HAHAHAHahahaaaa!!! No wonder they need more technology. They can’t EVEN READ!!!

    38. roccotool says:

      The same thing that is killing network TV is killing radio: stupid, long commercials! But I’m sure the advertisers and columnists on Variety aren’t going to admit that.

    39. HansJurgen says:

      It’s the damn loud obnoxious commercials – don’t want them and willing to pay not to have them! Get it?

    40. Miguel says:

      The Variety writer, Bob Lefsets, clearly has little experience listening to radio, Am or FM. He attempts to squire his hip hop-led wannabe self-important “young” audience along in his planned route which he plans for them (away from radio) toward his pre-planned gurgling for new age offerings. AM and FM radio are far more adroit and free-form than he imagines from his phony “all knowing” position of fast talking BS artist.

      He bespeaks his own position from the pages of Variety, one of the lessor-read offerings on store magazine shelves, or online.

    41. Greta Grey says:

      If I’m driving, I’m listening to A.M. News, talk, weather, community events. What’s not to like?

      Your premise is simply wishful thinking, Variety.

    42. Mad Hatter says:

      I’ve been hearing how radio is going to die back when MTV started with that lame song “video killed the radio star”. 30 years later, radio is alive and well. As long as people drive, have clock radio’s at their desk, and deliver news, weather, traffic and sports, radio isn’t going anywhere.

    43. This is coming from a magazine that is now dead and only survives by internet. Radio is nowhere near death, just the modern formats, which can evolve. Something that Variety didn’t pay attention to when Entertainment Weekly did.

      • Rob says:

        Ha, I actually liked that song.

        • Rick says:

          XM is actually positioning online in interesting ways. I think they could do well I. A wifi car if they get the pricing right, it’s too expensive now.
          Their categoric stations with hosts can be very good and now online you can put those stations into a custom mode where you hear the playlists streamed wi your own tweaks. Unique idea. And songs on their live feeds buffer to the beginning.
          So they are actually uniquely positioned.

    44. Rick Sterman says:

      Am radio went off the deep end when these right wing hosts kept deriding ‘the media’ and never seemed to realize that being on AM< they WERE part of THAT media.

      All that is left on AM is Obama bashing, sports, UFOs and Jesus….

      Is a real shame for such a great medium to die such an agonizing death.

      • Just because you don’t like the way AM is, doesn’t mean no one else does. The numbers for right wing and sports radio are through the roof. Rush Limbaugh has an average of 20 million listeners per day.

        • Rick Sterman says:

          OK, if what you say is true, and AM numbers are so high, then it furthers MY point about THEM being PART of the media that they pretend to despise.

          NAB – National Association of Broadcasters – That’s terrestrial BROADCAST TV and RADIO, HUGE part of the media.

          I listen to AM all the time, like to hear differing viewpoints and you don’t get that anymore with Limbaugh. Is so predictable, could write code to predict the standard responses used. Limbaugh used to be great to listen to, but ever since he went of the painkillers, he’s more mean than funny.

          Would also offer to you the BRILLIANT model of Fox playing both sides against the middle. Which TV network pushed the envelope for more adult type entertainment, more gay characters, more ‘liberal’ leaning programs? Meanwhile on FoxNews, they decry the fall of civilization because of what ‘the media’ does.

          I LOVE The Simpsons and many other Fox shows, but I see the BIG picture here and am able to see above my own political leanings. Is why I can listen to AM radio during the day. To me, it keeps me intellectually honest to hear other opinions.

          Is one more thing on AM that I forgot, spanish stations, music and news. Is plenty of room for everyone, but to hear the AM radio pundits complain about ‘the media’ being ‘liberal’ is just utter hilarity as they totally IGNORE their FCC responsibilities and INSULT the people who choose to go to AM for news and up to the minute information.

          Rush Limbaugh has HUGE RESPECT from me, he is the best at what he does and he is happy to do it. Though I am NOT politically aligned with him, can only admire his tenacity, his endurance and his ability to master his craft. Mad respect.

          But I rarely listen more than a few minutes anymore, lots of fish in this sea.

        • Kevin Reilly says:

          Sternman……not really on top of whats going on out there, just like to bash Jesus when you can?

    45. Rob says:

      As long as I can enjoy Rush Limbaugh in the morning while I garden, it is all good.

    46. T. Enrique says:

      All I hear in L.A. AM radio stations is Asian and Spanish broadcasts. Oh, and sports.
      Not much choice!

    47. Me says:

      Radio isn’t dead. Music is dead. Look at Limbaugh and other conservative talk show numbers.

    48. Ed Bear says:

      Wi-fi in the car? Heh. I’ve been listening to Sky.FM for over a year by plugging my cell phone into the car’s auxiliary input. Commercial overload is what’s killing radio. I pay for human-curated music and NOTHING else has to pollute my driving time. (Or I listen to things like the Baen Books free podcast. MY choice about what to listen to.)

    49. T W Wren says:

      Hip-hop did not kill rock and roll. Rock and roll migrated to country. Ever listen to Keith Urban play the guitar?

    50. Charlie Van Dyke says:

      When I was in radio in the 70s, most spot loads didn’t go past 6 to 8 minutes an hour. Really! In morning drive, some stations might have been able to squeeze 12 minutes of commercials in, but that was considered pushing it. Now, with owners heavily in debt after acquisitions, they’re doing 25-minute hours or more just to service that debt. So, of course, listeners are bailing in droves. The Internet has given us more (and better) choices, but in reality, radio is killing itself.

      BTW, in America, we punctuate inside quotes. So it’s not “Gangnam Style”! It’s “Gangnam Style!”

      • Greg Taylor says:

        Good to hear from you Charlie. I sure miss the old days when rock n’ roll was king on AM then FM radio. Reading this thread has inspired me to reorder my subscription to Reel Radio!

      • Tim Miller says:

        I grew up listening to Charlie on WLS in Chicago! Charlie thank you for making radio fun! It’s people like Charlie that had me starting in radio at 15! 30 years later I’m in TV here in Columbia, SC. So sad to see where radio is going.

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