As economic times turn to the south, radio takes another look at what is possible for them to afford. It does not seem that long ago when radio was a hot commodity for companies like Clear Channel Communications and CBS, buying out large portions of the radio market, making people question, “How much is too much to own?”
Those days are now gone with radio megaliths shedding what “extraneous baggage” that they can. Unfortunately, that so-called baggage are programs and people, people dedicated to a medium that is losing a popularity contest in a big way.
Watching friends struggle as they lose what they love most is disheartening. Many are forced to move away to markets where their talents are still needed. Those that choose to stay are nearly blacklisted, finding it nearly impossible to get a job in the same market that once showed so much love. I had seen this before while I was a student in San Francisco.
I started out going to university as a broadcasting student. I love the radio, more than that I love music. It seemed like a natural thing for me to venture towards. As I started my first semester with a couple of basic broadcasting and communication courses, I hooked up with a local station (Live 105) and became somewhat of a groupie of their morning show. When CBS bought out the station, they fired nearly everyone that worked there to give the station an overhaul of sorts. I remember listening to the station as it happened. Suddenly there was no DJs for hours, even days. Apparently the news came to the staff in the middle of the morning show… ending their on-air personalities on the spot. At that moment, I made the decision not to work in radio or music. I love it too much, but I like security. Security in knowing that I have income and benefits coming in.
So those in radio, I feel for you but this is the life you have chosen and I admire you for it. It is definitely not for me. Those who listen to radio keep on… it is you who drive the market.