It’s unfortunate the lack of institutional memory we have in our industry. It keeps us from seeing where our problems originate.
After Docket 80-90 added nearly 1000 FM stations to the supply side of the equation, nearly half the stations were operating in the red. Generally stations were looked upon as poor credit risks and many probably were. Rep. Blackburn has her stats right, just the wrong decade. It was only after consolidation allowed a combining of back-office and support services that the industry became healthy. I’m sure people in our industry forget this bit of history. A stand alone AM in a small market can’t afford a full-time engineer or news director. But a station cluster in a small market can, and usually does.
We’re in a funk right now, but generally radio stations aren’t in danger of going dark. In the 80’s… they were. Despite whether you or a friend got rolled in the mud by a large corporation, if you lived through the 80s you know consolidation saved the radio industry. Thankfully, Representatives Blackburn and Ross realize this, too.