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In a message dated 97-07-21 02:17:16 EDT, you write:

<< Dan wrote:>
 >I listen to Imus every morning because he has the most entertaining
 >show on the air in Portland.  The problem is not network programming, but
 >stations that hook up to the dish and ignore any local involvement at all.
 I am not dissing networks or satellites.  I am saying that the over-reliance
 on voices from somewhere else has crippled what used to be radio's farm
 team-- the smaller markets.  Years ago, you did college radio then went to
 Bangor then to Providence and then to Boston.  Someday, Imus and Howard
 Stern will go do radio for the Big Guy (or Gal) up in the Sky, and who will
 fill their shoes?  There are few small markets developping talent these
 days-- it's easier to flip a switch and get it from somewhere else... >>

I agree that this could be a problem.  I think at this point, there are still
enough small and medium market stations doing live, local programming to
provide the talent.  The reality is with networks and satellites there are
fewer large market jobs to fill.  Also, at the network level we will see more
people from entertainment and politics moving in to radio and filling the
network slots.

I think the major market stations will always be able to come up with good
talent, but the lack of new talent is already a problem at the small & medium
market stations.  In Portland today, there are people on the air in key spots
at stations who I think would have been relegated to overnights or weekends
ten years ago.  (I admit it might just be that I'm getting old.  I'm almost
30!)  It seems that in markets like Portland, the stations are being forced
to put inexperienced people into key roles because there are not as many very
small stations doing local programming for new people to get experience at.
 Also, I think the consolidation and shakes ups in ownership have encouraged
some experienced people to get out of the business.

Dan Billings
Bowdoinham, Maine