WFNX sold to Clear Channel

Bob Nelson
Thu May 17 11:23:47 EDT 2012

I was just about to link to the article; my own comments:

 Part of it could indeed be the deregulation that allowed multiple stations in the same market. Part of it also is today's exploding media environment, where there are smart phones, mp3 players, the Net, and so on. A friend of mine--who is 66--has a smart phone and raved about "with Pandora I can do what I want--do an all Fats Domino playlist!"

 People have shorter attention spans. Do you want music followed by 5 minute commercial breaks, or just music? Do you want DJs to come on and blab? We grew up with personality radio. Do people today want that? I speak as someone who has been on college radio up in Salem for 31 years. We just had our station banquet--awards given out, etc. We love doing alternative rock, blues, jazz, and so on. And we do have some listeners--but people today have other alternatives.

 Entercom was actually doing pretty well with Mike 93.7 before it got killed off to simulcast WEEI. People wanted a glorified mp3 player.

 (I worked as a news intern for 4 months at WFNX, 1983-84.)

 So yes the deregulation can create big profits but take away the local aspect of radio, and the emotional commitment. When Hurricane Irene hit last year, I did my show as usual but we had people calling in with updates
 (Bill Newell ex-WESX) and I helped pass along info to the listeners. Local, local, local. Of course on a small college station. Even that could be disappearing--look at what happened with Bryant college's station in R.I.
 Now simulcasting WCRB. 

 >>As an addendum to this conversation, my friend media critic Dan Kennedy kindly published my commentary about the end of WFNX, on his blog Media Nation:

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