is broadcasting broken beyond repair?

Wed Apr 2 20:16:01 EDT 2008

Doug Drown wrote:

>. . . And yet, I would offer a prediction: it will be the small-town 
>stations and the small-town newspapers that will survive the 
>longest.  They fulfill the unique role of providing local news, 
>sports and weather coverage that aren't covered --- or adequately 
>covered --- by other media.

(some snippage)

>As for radio in metro areas, I stand by an earlier contention I made 
>some time ago: part of the problem, though by no means all, is that 
>there are simply too many radio stations.

Well, there are too many radio stations in most small markets, 
too.  Towns/markets that were able to support one station 25 years 
ago may have a half-dozen now, even though the population hasn't 
grown significantly (or has even shrunk).
Stations in smaller markets face different problems than those in 
larger ones.  One is advertising base:  as the big box stores and 
chains edge out the "mom & pop" businesses there are fewer potential 
advertisers.  There is also the difficulty of attracting and 
retaining staff.  Long gone are the days when someone would pack up & 
relocate to Berlin, N.H. or Millinocket, Me. to get their first radio 
gig.  OTOH, there is a greater need for these forms of news & 
info...much of rural New England is still dependent on dial-up (or 
satellite) for internet service, and likely will be for quite some 
time.  On-line classified sites like Craigslist haven't quite 
trickled down to these areas either.  Let's hope these stations can 
remain viable financially.

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