For Whom The Bell Tolls

John Shomby

by John Shomby

Radio Ink

March 12, 2024


(By John Shomby) A few weeks back, major Canadian radio broadcast company Bell Media announced it was selling 45 of its 103 radio stations. A spokesperson said radio is “not a viable business anymore.”

On the same day, analytics platform Chartmetrics issued a report that emphasized radio’s impact on an artist’s streaming success worldwide. They concluded that “this data challenges common misconceptions about radio being outdated.”

Quite a contrast, don’t you think?

Yes, both entities have different goals – Bell’s is profits and Chartmetrics deals with radio’s cultural impact, BUT – is viability really the issue here? It’s clear to me that radio has, to start, a PR issue and has had one for quite some time. I do realize that factors vary from market to market, but I think what we BELIEVE and what is actually happening are two very different things.

Bottom line: radio – and I mean ALL of radio – needs to close ranks and change these long-standing misconceptions. iHeart, Cumulus, Audacy, etc. can’t hide in the bushes. This is an “all hands on deck” proposition. To start, we must all clearly communicate the value proposition of the medium to investors, labels, artists, clients (including agencies!), and listeners. We cannot look at this as some form of a ratings battle.

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