Are You Ready for Radio’s Next 100 Years?


By Deborah Parenti, Publisher, RADIO INK


There’s a saying that “what’s old is new again.”

I was reminded of that when I received an e-mail from Hammacher Schlemmer recently. The subject line read: “The Best Pocket Radio.”

When was the last time you saw a retailer promoting a radio? Has the world gone mad?

Of course, I immediately opened the e-mail to “learn more”:

”The Best Portable Pocket Radio delivered clear reception and received more AM/FM stations — even with its antenna down. It has five presets that store 20 AM band 20 FM stations, volume dial, and simple tuning buttons. Its backlit LCD panel displays station numbers, time, and radio data received from FM stations. “

If that wasn’t enough, HS made four additional recommendations, three for radios!

At $99.95, it’s a bit pricey, and they missed an important “selling point”: having weathered 15 tornadoes on Memorial Day and a mass shooting, anyone where I live (Dayton) will tell you a reliable radio can be a life-saver when cell towers and electric power go down.

That said, I know a traditional radio is “old school” to many, in spite of its value in emergencies. And my head is firmly planted in the future. There’s not a new platform or device I don’t love. But seeing a radio being promoted by a retailer, coupled with the sounds we’re hearing today about a resurgence in audio “sex appeal” is music to my ears.

And it’s something radio needs to not just embrace verbally, but capitalize on with action. As we look to 2020, the 100th anniversary of commercial radio, it’s time to strike up the band. While a recent reference by Bob Pittman was specifically about podcasting, there is a birthright involved here. In terms of content — whether podcasting or other — audio is radio’s birthright.

Read more  HERE.


  1. Love my Sony AM FM Walkman SRF-S84. Have gone through five in the last 19 years. Love listening to talk radio throughout the day. My Flip Phone doesn’t get AM. Talk about handy during power interruptions. Big storm in July during K-Days years ago in Edmonton. Primeau and Grose kept us informed throughout the evening when the power was off and I listened by candlelight. Sony discontinued that model about a year ago so managed to get a couple more on ebay recently for a premium price and was happy to pay it.


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