Monday, November 3, 2008

Back but....

...(more than ever) feeling uneasy about our industry.

While I've been away from the blog for several weeks now - I haven't been away from the trades. October was a pretty disturbing month with the unprecidented layoffs happening in our industry. Lots of talent, both on-air and off being shown the door. This includes voices from all shifts as well as behind-the-scenes programming folk.

This past Friday (10/31), All Access reported that it "has obtained an internal memo from a major broadcaster that seems to foretell the demise of live and local night shows. It reads "Nights on all stations to be tracked by full or part-time staff -- or syndicated." More than the usual Halloween scare.

Reading about some of the dayparts affected throughout the country, it appears middays may not be too far behind nights in the land of "endangered shifts". Prime workforce listening hours. And that's sad.

Its no question that the tough economic environment is simply adding to the turmoil we've all seen in our industry in the past 18 to 24 months. More than a few times in the past several weeks, I've made reference in conversation to those in the biz (casually, I'm not bitter, really!) about my involuntary "hiatus" from radio only to be reminded that its simply not a good time to be in radio; and I'm fortunate to be employed on the sidelines. Indeed.

Two people who I have great respect for (names you would know; I don't have permission to quote from our private conversations) have said that 2010 will be radio's recovery year. I can't wait.

Meanwhile, I fear that cuts in "people assets" - all in the name of short-term shareholder value is really doing long-term harm to the industry.

Greater Media Chairman of the Board Peter Smyth writes in his November column today that radio will survive and once again prosper. Read here.

I share Peter's optimism. There's no better industry. And I've been at it since the 1970s.

Glad to be back; more to come - and thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading.


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