Page 1 of 16 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 155

Thread: If we knew then what we know now...

  1. #1

    If we knew then what we know now...

    How differently do you think the busness would be today?

    Would Telecom have been passed?

    If so, would there have been as much consolidation?

    How differently would the prices have been?

    How much more talent and on-air quality would have preserved if we knew what the future held?

  2. #2
    Inactive
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,249

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    "How much more talent and on-air quality would have preserved if we knew what the future held?"

    i bet not much. Technology and cheap trumps talent. Satellite formats properly executed (lots of local inserts, news, weather, local calendar stuff, local peoples names, etc) work the very best.

  3. #3

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry367

    Would Telecom have been passed?
    Absolutely. When you go back 20 years and look at the direction the FCC and the Congress was going at the time, there's no question it would have happened. There was a commitment by both parties to modernize broadcast regulation. I remember seeing Al Gore speak many times about the stupidity of having broadcasting regulated by laws that were written before TV was invented.

    In the years leading up to the 96 Act, the FCC relaxed the ownership rules several times, and had another proposal ready to go had the Act not been passed. I'm convinced that we'd be in the same situation now even if the 96 Act had not been passed.

    What made it inevitable was the over-licensing of the spectrum in the 80s. Now, a company that owned one or two stations in a market saw its share diluted from 20-30% to less than 7%. The same company needed to own more stations to retain the same level of market share it had in the 60s.

    At the same time, AM radio was in decline. The FCC was concerned that it could disappear. So the 96 Act required companies that bought additional FM stations also buy AM. That way, they could use the profits from the more popular FM stations to support the money-losing AM stations.

    As for consolidation and job loss, both were already taking place before the change in ownership laws. One of the first changes was in engineering. Many stations started outsourcing their engineering needs in the 80s. Instead of having a chief engineer on staff, lots of stations used outside engineering companies. There had been an explosion in LMAs, where a company "managed" non-owned radio stations. The rise in consultants and program suppliers in the 80s also led to replacement of local air staffs with outsiders. Thousands of radio stations were programmed by satellite delivered formats in the 80s and early 90s. Thousands of others had their local formats managed by outside consultants like Lee Abrams. So as I said, I'm convinced that radio was already heading towards operational consolidation long before the 96 Act.

    There have been many discussions to re-regulate broadcasting since, and suggestions that the Congress change the ownership rules. All it would take to roll part the ownership portion of the Act would be an act of Congress. But it wouldn't change a thing. Forcing stations to operate under old ownership limits or with minimum staffing requirements would simply lead to thousands of stations going dark. Because it's clear that stations couldn't operate with such restrictions in the 80s.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Where Appalachia collides with Atlanta
    Posts
    4,509

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    Much of our discussion at Radio-info is highly influenced and guided by YOUNG people who are fans and "wanna bees". And that is good.

    Much of our discussion at Radio-Info is highly influenced and guided by people who are currently active in broadcasting. And that is as it should be.

    Here is one of the problems of our effort at discussion. Not enough of the conversation comes from people who have experience in other industries, and from people who have dealt with personnel concepts in other industries. A significant part of our conversation sounds like we think ONLY broadcasting is having these problems that we kick around.

    I stand with the comments of TheBigA on this one. Changes in law, changes in social custom and changes in technology have upset industry after industry after industry. There were people who saw what was coming but they were for the most part overwhelmed by the "crowd mentality" that said: Radio is too big and too important to be changed by these outside influences.

    Folks who prepared for a lifetime of being a radio announcer/personality/talent have had the rug pulled out from under them.

    Folks who prepared for a lifetime of writing computer language code have had the rug pulled out.

    Folks who prepared for a lifetime of filling prescriptions and eventually owning the hometown or neighborhood mom-and-pop pharmacy have had the rug pulled.

    Folks who prepared for a lifetime of piloting airplanes have sensed the rug is missing.

    Folks who prepared for a lifetime of assembling automobiles in Detroit have forgotten what a rug is.

    If people in all these other industries couldn't see the change coming in time to drive a stake through the heart of change, why would we fantasize that radio could have?
    Life is too short to waste time dancing with ugly posts

  5. #5

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    It all goes back to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. One thing will affect another. Basic physics. The foundations for where radio is now all happened 45 years ago. Even the expansion from AM to FM contributed to consolidation and staff cuts. If Obi-wan Kenobi of Star Wars had been around in the 70s, he would have sensed a disturbance in The Force.

  6. #6

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    I think some things would have been different. How could they not have been?

    Could they have known how the decline of news coverage on radio has been accelerated after '96, there would have been at least some effort to put in safeguards, with minimum standards like those that are STILL IN PLACE for public service. There might be regulations on how much programming could be imported from market to market by multiple station owners.

    Remember that the '92 dereg did put some better formats on AM's that were merely simulcasting FM's or running paid religion (remember when it seemed every market had four stations in that format?). I have a hard time believing that '96 helped AM all that much -- it allowed a disproportionate 5:3 ratio of FM:AM ownership in bigger markets, as opposed to '92 which was 2:2. Some chains got out of AM ownership entirely or almost entirely in several markets. This left either one of the "big boys" owning the best AM's and the others languishing in the hands of undercapitalized small owners who couldn't possibly compete for shows or launch anything beyond brokering. Destroying the "middle class" of ownership -- which was historically where most of the innovation came from, not the bulked-up superchains OR the mom and pop's. Not to mention with the few companies that did own 3 AM's, the tendency to protect the flagship (usually a news/talker with Rush) at all costs and put little to nothing into the second and definitely into the third.

    And, yes, the Dems were for the big picture '96 Act -- which included a lot more than radio. Bill Clinton later admitted deregulating radio ownership was a mistake. But the drafting of the '96 ownership dereg was played out entirely among the NAB, big chain owners, and the GOP congressional leadership.

  7. #7

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    FYI - and Al Gore's - television was invented and demonstrated by the end of the 1920s - significantly before the Telecommunications Act of 1934. In fact, the Federal Radio Commission issued the first television station license (W3XK) to Charles Jenkins in 1928.
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

  8. #8

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    Quote Originally Posted by smedge2006

    Could they have known how the decline of news coverage on radio has been accelerated after '96, there would have been at least some effort to put in safeguards, with minimum standards like those that are STILL IN PLACE for public service.
    Wrong. The FCC eliminated news requirements long before 1996. Format specialization began in the 70s, and that's when news coverage on music stations began to disappear. At the same time, there has been an increase in outside news providers. This also began in the 80s. Stations didn't have to employ in-house news staffs. They could get local news from other area suppliers. The number of these suppliers has increased, not decreased. So you're making a generalization that really isn't true.

    The fact is that the FCC was trying to get out of the radio regulation business as a result of the Reagan budget cuts in 1984. They didn't have the time to do all the paperwork regarding news standards, public service requirements, or anything else. Their budget had been cut, and Congress was not going to give them the funding necessary to do all this programming police work. They wanted to leave it up to the stations and market forces. That was the Reagan Doctrine. That POV did not change in 1996, and there was no discussion that I've seen in the hearings on the 96 Act that lead me to believe that they wanted to enact any kind of standards for news coverage.

    Quote Originally Posted by smedge2006

    This left either one of the "big boys" owning the best AM's and the others languishing in the hands of undercapitalized small owners who couldn't possibly compete for shows or launch anything beyond brokering.
    Ironically, the “big boys” are the ones who have made the best use of AM frequencies, with companies like Entercom, Cox, and CBS at the forefront of local news coverage. It’s the smaller companies that simply can’t afford the personnel and don’t have the resources to provide the kinds of service you want the government to require.

    Quote Originally Posted by smedge2006

    Destroying the "middle class" of ownership -- which was historically where most of the innovation came from, not the bulked-up superchains OR the mom and pop's.
    The 96 Act didn’t “destroy the middle class.” It EMPOWERED it. It made small players like Clear Channel, founded by a car salesman in San Antonio, bigger than media monoliths like CBS and ABC. In 1996, the biggest fear was that ABC would use its power and resources to buy up all the radio stations and monopolize media. Little did they know that a much smaller company would far outdo anything the “big boys” ever did. Lots of other middle class companies COULD have done the same thing. They chose not to, instead taking the money and running.

    Today, there are lots of smaller groups, and they’re all empowered by the ownership rules from 1996. Companies like Greater Media and South Central Communications. These are all very successful, and they don’t own a lot of stations. They also compete well against companies like Clear Channel, Citadel, and Cumulus.

    Quote Originally Posted by smedge2006

    And, yes, the Dems were for the big picture '96 Act -- which included a lot more than radio. Bill Clinton later admitted deregulating radio ownership was a mistake. But the drafting of the '96 ownership dereg was played out entirely among the NAB, big chain owners, and the GOP congressional leadership.
    Absolutely not true. The 96 Act was the pet project of Clinton’s “technology VP,” Al Gore. He was the one who took the lead on it in the public, and on the Hill. The big chain owners had the most to lose by de-regulation, and the feared the tyranny of the TV networks. The final vote for the Act shows just how popular it was in both parties. Liberals and conservatives supported it. Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Bill Bradley, Ted Daschle all voted for it. So did Jesse Helms, Al D’Amato, Al Simpson, and Strom Thurmond. The Senate vote was 81 to 19. The House was even greater: 414 to 16.

    I don’t know where you come up with this conspiracy, but this was a bi-partisan bill unlike anything we’ve seen since. The problem with such a bill today is that the parties can’t agree on anything.

  9. #9

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot
    FYI - and Al Gore's - television was invented and demonstrated by the end of the 1920s - significantly before the Telecommunications Act of 1934. In fact, the Federal Radio Commission issued the first television station license (W3XK) to Charles Jenkins in 1928.
    Were there regulations regarding TV in the original 1934 Act? To the best of my knowledge, all of the decisions regarding TV regulation came afterwards.

  10. #10

    Re: If we knew then what we know now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Rodeo Cowboy

    If people in all these other industries couldn't see the change coming in time to drive a stake through the heart of change, why would we fantasize that radio could have?
    Not sure I understand what you mean by "drive a stake through the heart of change". Change is inevitable, and what benefits some doesn't always benefit others.

    As someone else said, the real problem is the number of stations has increased significantly over the last 25-30 years, but the advertising pie hasn't grown much if at all. Something had to give. As to whether some of these marginal outfits should have gone dark is a whole 'nother thread.



Page 1 of 16 12311 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

     
Useful Contacts
Community


123