Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Radio in Cyberspace

There are moments in time where you realized that perhaps you chose the wrong profession and with most people it is because of technology. I graduated from Specs Howard School of Broadcasting Arts in July of 2007. I got a job in Grand Rapids a week after I graduated doing radio for WGRD and WNWZ a Tex-Mex station. I also did promotions for the 3 other stations that at the time it was called Regent Broadcasting. I did it for a year working weekends on-air and doing promotions whenever possible. But there was a problem.

Radio was and still is in a decline. We were playing the same music all the time. My program director told me " We dont play requests if we did we all be out of jobs". So the question I raised to myself was " What are people listen to ?" I was not so sure if it was us anymore.

The following year, I moved back to Detroit and got hired working for Greater Media and worked for Riff2 on air and found out that Regent Broadcasting went bankrupt. The reason being? Online radio stations like and were becoming places that listeners could customize their radio experience. People were not spending their ad dollars on the radio stations like FM or AM. There were going in mediums that people are using. My time at Greater Media prove this even greater. I was in a major radio market and yet lay-offs were happening all the time. If ratings were not there you were gone. No chances to prove yourself at all because people chose to listen to their mp3 device on their way to work.

The internet has changed many things but the most has been the music business and radio. You can promote bands via sites like Myspace and Facebook without getting into a radio station. Internet sensations are created. Look at Justin Bieber. Yes we all might hate him but thanks to Youtube, he found radio play via the net. Most bands have created their sound based off a audience created on here. They hear a band and download the song on their mp3 device.

The weekly Internet Radio audience has increased 50% over the past year according to Arbitron. No one wants to hear the same songs over and over again. The internet has created a chance for bands who might never got their chance otherwise through conventional and other methods to be on a radio station.

I run the campus radio station and we play all kinds from local to world music. We want people to have a awareness of what else is out there. The internet is a world-wide forum and we have people that listen all the way from England to listen to music. That is powerful stuff. Local radio stations serve a purpose to the community but the internet has allowed to push the envelope on increasing the music diversity and for others to hear a song.


  1. Roger,

    As you know I worked in the business with you. I did it for 12 years. When satellite radio came into the equation I asked the same questions. What is the future of terrestrial radio? My PD at the time assured me that we would be ok. XM & Sirus were not the death of regular radio only created a slight dent. Years later, again I asked questions when internet radio (pandora), IPODS, stations like DOUG FM, which don't have human air talent (possibly just traffic reports in the morning). Is there a future in this business. I was told, "terrestrial radio will never die, because people always need the human element." Not too sure if that person is right. DOUG FM smokes WCSX in the ratings. So minus the human element, they must be doing something right. They even do well in women, which is a very hard demographic to lock in as non Top 40 station. I think the best way to put it..You and I both are back in school after being in the business...Must be a reason..Blame the internet, the economy, whatever...The broadcast industry is a sinking ship, and I am not going down with it...


  2. 100 percent agree. Doug will be the wave of the future and with PPM too Rudy its all going away. What line of work are you trying to get into?

  3. Lawyer lol.....Yes don't even get me started on how flawed PPM is a rating system...