Radio is dying. Or, it’s already dead



Mojo, of WKQI-FM’s “Mojo in the Morning,” presides over the sort of intensely local program experts say will thrive as radio changes.
(Photo: David Coates / The Detroit News)


By Neal Rubin,

The Detroit News
December 4, 2014

Radio is dying. Or, it’s already dead.

The precise condition of the body depends on which futurist you read, assuming you read futurists at all.

As for “futurist,” that’s a job title that didn’t really exist 15 years ago — just like most of the things that are supposedly killing radio.

Gordon Borrell, who worked in newspapers before he became a media marketing guru, predicted a few weeks ago that half of the existing AM and FM radio stations would be out of business in a decade.

Seth Godin, a marketer, author, entrepreneur and overall wise person, wrote that radio has been teetering on a cliff for years, and it’s about to plummet.

The fairly clear inference is that if you’re about to launch a career in radio, don’t bother signing up for the pension plan.

But wait, says Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media in Bingham Farms. The future doesn’t have to kill radio, as long as radio looks to its past.

And wait, says Dick Kernen of the Specs Howard School of Media Arts in Southfield. What about the Weather Channel?

Kernen, 76, says he’s been hearing about the demise of radio most of his life — the first time from his dad.

In 1956, Kernen says, he had just landed his first job at what’s now WXYT-AM (1270).

Instead of applauding, since Kernen would now be able to take over the payments on his 1949 Mercury, his father followed a brief attaboy with, “Radio is dead. Who wants to listen to ‘The Lone Ranger’ when you can watch it on television?”

Changing with the times


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