Radio caps critiqued, value of radio underscored


An article from Digital Radio News says that the FCC decision to leave local radio caps alone means that those who hated dull repetitious radio in 2011 will get the chance to hate it just as much in 2012 – but it does note that the medium remains the best way to expose new music to the public.

The article notes that the most popular acts, from the biggest labels, will continue to dominate the airwaves, thanks to the lack of change downward in the FCC ownership proposal.

The article notes that people who really care about finding music precisely to their own taste now have plenty of alternatives to traditional radio, thanks to the internet, personal music storage devices and satellite audio services.

However, it takes note of Arbitron’s statement that 93% of all Americans tune in to a radio station at least once weekly, and notes that it remains the #1 option to “cut through the clutter” and bring a piece of music to the attention of a mass audience.

RBR-TVBR observation: Even if the FCC wanted to, it would be all but impossible to lower local radio ownership caps — mass forced spin-offs would be a transactional nightmare even if the station trading market wasn’t challenged by lack of financing. Whether anybody likes it or not, those worms are out of the can.

As far as tight, repetitious playlists go, that argument has been made since the dawn of Top 40 – well before the advent of eight-station clusters. The fact is that whether you like it or not, stations that do not have tight playlists tend to go all right – go out of business. Music purists hate it, but as Digital Radio News said itself, despite all the things it finds wrong with the modern terrestrial radio business, it still gets all but 7% of us to tune in each week.

You know what? If the FCC did decide to order radio groups to sell sell sell until they reduce their clusters back down to no more than two stations per market, people would still be complaining about tight repetitious playlists.