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Has Consolidation Critically Injured Radio?

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(9/5/2013 10:39:02 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
LGSR3D Thanks a lot for the article post. Awesome.
- NY
(1/7/2013 3:41:12 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
"Brazil: Tests Tech Before Implementation"

"After extensive testing of both HD Radio and DRM, the Secretary of the Ministry of Communications Electronic Communications, Genildo Lins, said the tests of the two technologies have had poor results, especially high-power FM."

(1/4/2013 12:27:24 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I don't accept the notion that consolidation has critically injured radio, but I do believe that radio has become an insanely mechanical, de-humanized business since consolidation. Consolidation is a fact of business life and there's not an industry that I can think of that hasn't experienced it. My view is that corporate leadership is the driver of the success or failure of any merger or consolidation.

While the radio industry advocated for consolidation (as it continues to do now), based on my experience as a GSM during the late 90s thru the first decade of the new millennium, I don't believe there were many people at the top of the food chain who had a clue how to make it work. Anyone recall the first 10 years when companies were hiring Directors of Sales? OMG, what a nightmare! The poor people hired for those positions largely had no job descriptions and sort of made it up as they went along. Then came a round of eliminating those positions and a seemingly constant restructuring sales departments and compensation as the big dogs struggled to find the right mix.

Account management, talent acquisition/development, pricing, positioning--all business 101 items--were all over the map. Perhaps the greatest issue that dragged radio down after consolidation is the fact that radio executives or managers who were well suited to lead in the pre-consolidation days were seriously unqualified to lead in the post consolidation era. The results amounted to putting old wine in new wineskins.

I'm peripheral to the business now, but I still talk to people on the inside and what I hear dismays me. The way business is done in radio today is pretty much the same way we did it in 1996. Yes there are shiny new toys and impressive sounding buzz words. And yes, there is much lamenting about how radio doesn’t get even its representative share of ad revenue. And I submit that consolidation isn’t the culprit. It’s that T-Rex and all of his extraordinarily well-paid friends still reign in Radio Land despite the world becoming more digitized and focused on accountable business relationships. Until this changes radically, Darwinian theory will continue to take its course.

- Larry
(1/4/2013 12:02:25 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I love the new iBiquity logo!
- LMFAO!!!
(1/3/2013 10:00:30 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Radio has always been a brutal, cutthroat business.

In the 1970s I worked for management that bought a station, walked in the next day, fired everyone except the receptionist, and went on the air with an entirely new air staff.

T'was ever thus.

- Steve
(1/3/2013 3:03:28 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
In an eralier comment, someone mentioned that what is missing in radio these days is FUN. I agree. But equally important, and equally missing is PASSION. Radio has always been a business of course, but of late it seems to have evolved into a BUSINESS! Cold,calculating and cruel. The creative part seems to have been replaced by the balance sheet and overseen by a bunch of bean counters. What happned to all the people who actually LOVED radio and would work and work and work for lousy money because they had a serious passion for it? Oh, I know...they've all been fired. I spent 20 years in small markets and big markets, and it breaks my heart to see what these money vultures have done to "my" radio.
- Tom Darrah (aka Daren)
(1/3/2013 12:47:13 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content

An objective analysis of the impact of consolidation in the radio industry might lead one to conclude that the process is birthing a much-needed evolution through the forced process of adaptive innovation.

The consolidators are actually benefitting small market operators on at least a couple of obvious fronts:

First, they are paying the price for being first adopters in what will quickly become a huge market for “off- the-shelf” products from digital media service providers;

Second, they are conceding perhaps 85% to 90% of the total radio revenue in many medium and smaller markets by focusing on the type of transactional business that a “national footprint” (de facto network) traditionally attracts.

While ownership consolidation certainly presents huge challenges in the short term, the long term competitive strategy and, conceivably, the advantage to small and medium market operators should be obvious.

Step up your game and you may wind up actually being grateful to radio’s “big-boys” in the long-run.

- Paul W Robinson

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