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Thread: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

  1. #1

    NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    From Radio-Info Article:

    " NAB also says it's time to kill off the "AM/FM subcaps" rule. That would let one party own up to eight FMs in some markets. NAB says the change would "provide greater flexibility in radio ownership without increasing the number of stations owned by any one entity."
    NAB says it will make radio more "Local" Your thoughts.

    WLYB FM
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    100.5 Meridian Mississippi.

    WRYC FM
    92.5 Frisco City/Monroeville

  2. #2

    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    The big problem right now is that owners are deserting AM radio like rats on a sinking ship. The major owners like CBS have some of the biggest heritage AMs in their portfolio. They have a choice: Under the subcaps, they have to sell some of those AMs if they want to buy any additional FMs. That would be a problem, because the smaller local owners simply won't have the resources to run the AMs the way they've been run.

    Let's face it: The days of local owners in every town are gone. Local owners don't have the money or resources to run radio stations the way that people have become accustomed. They've had opportunities to buy stations in the last few years, with prices dropping to 30 year lows, and they haven't stepped up to the plate. So the owners we have now will be the owners that we will have in the future. So how can we make it possible for these owners to buy more FMs without being forced to sell the AMs.

    The BEST way the FCC can help local radio, however, is to eliminate the newspaper-broadcasting co-ownership rule. Eliminating this arcane rule would allow local newspapers to share their immense newsgathering resources among multiple platforms and better serve their local communities. Until that rule is eliminated, you either have major non-local owners with a local presence, or minor local owners who run brokered programming. That's the reality. We can talk about mythology all day. But it doesn't change the world we live in.

  3. #3
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    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA

    Let's face it: The days of local owners in every town are gone. Local owners don't have the money or resources to run radio stations the way that people have become accustomed. They've had opportunities to buy stations in the last few years, with prices dropping to 30 year lows, and they haven't stepped up to the plate.
    Plus: the elephant in the room is the Internet. Only large station groups or groupings of many stations can put together a web-based offering, such as iHeart, that can compete with the Pandora-type pure plays.

    For local information and news, combining two dying breeds, newspapers and AM radio, makes good sense from the listener perspective. Together, such combos can promote and integrate a web presence and provide information at the local level on multiple platforms.

    But more than this, the FCC's concepts of "diversity of local voices" and "local service" have to come in line with reality. If nobody makes money, having 20 different owners of dead radio stations and a dying newspaper or two provides no diversity and no service. Allowing combos of some kind permits economies, aggregates paltforms and suits listener needs today.
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  4. #4

    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    Have to agree with BigA and David that getting rid of the broadcast-newspaper co-ownership ban altogether, not just in the largest markets, would help bring more news gathering resources to radio and maybe even TV.
    If the FCC cares at all about local news and information on radio (and I realize it may not care), this is one of the biggest things it can do to help that.

  5. #5

    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    All the FCC needs to do is study how great newspaper-owned radio stations were before the ban, and how newspaper-owned stations today (with waiver) are among the best run radio stations in the country. If the FCC would simply do its job, and monitor the communications marketplace, it would learn a lot. Sadly, the current legislation being discussed in Congress won't address the biggest problems with this mis-managed agency.

  6. #6

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    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    They said this with Telecom '96. And look what happened.......

    I'm not falling for it. At all. My memory isn't that short.

    Besides, they have HD Radio.

    MAKE USE OF IT.
    My body is a temple; Ancient and crumbling. Probably cursed and haunted...

  7. #7

    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater
    They said this with Telecom '96. And look what happened.......
    Radio still is local. Maybe the DJs aren't, but the stations are still 100% local. There are towers and transmitters everywhere. Had the 96 Act not happened, a bunch of them would have gone dark completely, and lots of places wouldn't have stations at all. There's still a lot of local program origination, and more local news now than in 1996.

    No one has ever promised the Local DJ Full Employment Act. That's not what this is about. It's about having local stations in every town.

    As for HD Radio, no one wants it. They're happy with OTA radio. Why buy a new radio for HD when the old one is just fine?

  8. #8

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    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA
    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater
    They said this with Telecom '96. And look what happened.......
    Radio still is local. Maybe the DJs aren't, but the stations are still 100% local. There are towers and transmitters everywhere. Had the 96 Act not happened, a bunch of them would have gone dark completely, and lots of places wouldn't have stations at all. There's still a lot of local program origination, and more local news now than in 1996.

    No one has ever promised the Local DJ Full Employment Act. That's not what this is about. It's about having local stations in every town.

    As for HD Radio, no one wants it. They're happy with OTA radio. Why buy a new radio for HD when the old one is just fine?
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA
    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater
    They said this with Telecom '96. And look what happened.......
    Had the 96 Act not happened, a bunch of them would have gone dark completely, and lots of places wouldn't have stations at all. There's still a lot of local program origination, and more local news now than in 1996.
    I HIGHLY doubt that.....

    Let's say they have their new ownership caps. Then what's the excuse, say, 10 years down the road? "Oh, we really need the NCE portion of the FM band now because we're just struggling to survive......"

    And they didn't deliver on the "job creation" department either (and that WAS one of the things that was promised in the debates over Telecom '96.) They will just gut more stations for a short term profit and then whine for more stations when they realize nobody is listening to the mess they already made. People were fooled once.

    And the only reason HD Radio never took off was nobody was willing to invest anything more into it than making it a static MP3 jukebox with liners. They demanded (and got) HD Radio. Yet somehow they weren't willing to make anything of it. And then blamed the market for doing what it normally does when given a lackluster option.

    And if terrestrial radio seems to be drying up THIS badly, then what's the point in carrying on with it? If full power commercial FM stations go dark (not that they actually would now or EVER), then let them go dark. There's always new competitors for those frequencies. Keeps the blood circulating.....

    I see through this one "Just give us more stations and we can make radio local again!" Well, then let's see what they can do with what they ALREADY HAVE FIRST. If they have enough money to buy more stations, they certainly have enough money to HIRE more local air talent.......

    Only the most gullible would believe this again, so, no....
    My body is a temple; Ancient and crumbling. Probably cursed and haunted...

  9. #9

    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater

    Let's say they have their new ownership caps. Then what's the excuse, say, 10 years down the road? "Oh, we really need the NCE portion of the FM band now because we're just struggling to survive......"
    There's no crime in asking for something. No guarantee they'll get it. Same with this current situation. But I doubt they’ll ask for the NCE portion of the band. It’s easier to buy the non-coms currently in the commercial portion, which is what some companies are doing now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater

    And they didn't deliver on the "job creation" department either (and that WAS one of the things that was promised in the debates over Telecom '96.)
    Maybe you can be more specific. What did they "promise?" And who was the "they?" There was a lot of growth in the years immediately following 1996. The growth hit a brick wall around 2004, thanks to lots of circumstances no one anticipated in 1996.

    The fact is that in the last few years, the radio companies have created lots of jobs in the digital content area. That wasn't anticipated in 1996.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater
    And the only reason HD Radio never took off was nobody was willing to invest anything more into it than making it a static MP3 jukebox with liners.
    Companies have invested a lot of money in HD radio programming, including NPR. The investment hasn't paid off because people aren't buying radios. That's not just a problem for HD Radio. It's also a problem for satellite and internet radios, which also aren't selling. It's clear when you look at the facts that it has nothing to do with the content. Consumers, for the most part, are satisfied with the free content they get from OTA radio. That's why only a small percentage are willing to spend money for satellite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongwater

    And if terrestrial radio seems to be drying up THIS badly, then what's the point in carrying on with it?
    This tells me you don’t understand what the NAB is asking for. The issue is AM/FM subcaps. To be specific, CBS owns a lot of heritage AM stations. If they want to buy more FMs, they must sell those AMs. Anyone who buys those AMs probably won’t be able to run them as 24/7 local news stations like WCBS or KNX. So what the NAB is saying is that the number of AMs a company owns shouldn’t be held against them when buying FMs. If you look at the specific examples, you’ll see it makes a lot of sense, and will keep those stations local.

    The fact is that companies like CBS and Entercom are doing a great job with what they own, and should be allowed to buy more stations because it’s good for the public, and good for the industry.

  10. #10

    Re: NAB says it will make radio more "Local"

    The simple fact is that CBS, Entercom, and anybody else interested in buying more FMs can generally do that. All they have to do is sell some of their AMs. In some cases, that means selling a (very) profitable signal and hoping listeners follow to their new FM. In many cases, they simply need to sell unprofitable AMs that they own simply to prevent any real competition with their profitable AMs. Competition drives better quality, not further consolidation which is akin to monopoly.

    If the AMs are so valueless, then sell them to other people who want them, and buy an FM. No, it won't be a break-even proposition. Buying a new FM will cost considerable out-of-pocket dollars as well. This is simply another attempt by Big Corporate to attempt to create de facto monopolies in particular formats and demographics.
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

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