I don’t believe most in radio realize how close to extinction the medium is.
When talking media extinction, radio tries to drag everyone else into the tar pit.
Here’s the newspaper pitch.
You tell me who has the best campaign.
Still, all the promotion and marketing campaigns mean nothing if there’s no substance beneath the hype.
And how about that? The only site they can do their future fossil fuel pitch effectively is on line.
The AM was a local 1,000 watter with a local morning show and a canned adult standards format for the rest of the day.
The FM was one of those rimshot class A’s, actually licensed to Chillicothe, Ill. – about twenty miles to the north of Peoria. It carried Citadel’s True Oldies format off the bird.
The owners, Kelly Communications, were considered local folk, even with their Longboat Key, Fla. business address. They were the only independently owned and operated stations in the market.
Its silence merited a news item on one of the local TV stations.
It’s nothing new and nothing particularly unusual. Radio stations have gone dark before – even in the best of times.
But this is different. You know it and I know it.
Radio’s Greater Fool Theory had already played itself out years ago.
In spite of the last great dumb deal when Disney cunningly dumped ABC Radio on Citadel, it was obvious three to four years ago that radio was rapidly losing ground with both ratings and revenue and this wasn’t going to be just a transitory occurrence.
That Citadel deal was sprinkled with the added infamy of being done the same week that Disney acquired Pixar from Steve Jobs.
We may not know the name of the first radio chain to go into receivership but we know it won’t be the last.
The louder these chains deny they’re sinking, the closer they are to insolvency.
Their lenders don’t want to be owners and operators. They know they're worth less today than they were yesterday and could be worthless tomorrow.
Like other near-extinct species, the old guard in radio couldn’t adapt to the changing environment. It’s not radio that’s totally over, it’s just over and out for those that ran this industry like it was still 1999.
How many radio companies are not trading for under a buck? Westwood One’s stock is worth a stick of gum and it’s beginning to look like Salem hasn’t a prayer.
CBS Radio put 50 stations on the block, claiming they’d have deals in place in thirty days. That was – what? – sixty six days ago and counting?
How about those equity players that assumed they’d have their radio fortunes in place and planned to be cashed out by now?
Instead of leafing through their Abercrombie & Kent catalog for an elite destination to winter in, they’re finding themselves in the same boat as those incensed bourgeois looking for someone to blame for the financial meltdown.
They assumed they’d enjoy the thrill of victory, now they have to get used to the agony of defeat.
Can you imagine when some of these deals end up in the courts?
Your Honor, I believed everything in the radio industry was on the level.
Sing it Kenny, "You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em / Know when to walk away and know when to run /You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table /There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done."
You think it’s rough selling a house in this economic climate? Try selling a radio station!
Housing’s fate is from predatory lending. Radio’s is predatory borrowing.
To some it’s a meltdown, to others who had their money stashed in places other than Wall Street, it’s the real correction. There is money out there. Smart money. The kind that detects a product’s real worth.
Then there’s supply and demand. Nothing’s selling if no one’s asking.