Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Live Local Radio

Posted to OGR on 01/24/2010

This week I was talking to a fellow broadcaster at the local Media Club
meeting and he was telling me that the FCC was considering a change in
ownership rules that will require that at least 10% of each radio
station be owned by a person that lives within the signal of that
station. It that is true, there is the potential for a significant
change in what you hear on your local stations. Just in case you didn’t
know, almost all of the local stations in mid-sized and larger markets
are owned by a handful of corporate giants. This has resulted in the
loss of local identity in the on the on-air content of most local
stations. The “personality” deejay has been replaced by a juke box
running on an automation system. In some cases, stations are being
named “Ralph” or “Bob.” Unbelievably, some actually promote the fact
that they play what they want to hear, the heck with what you want.
Some computer cranks out a pre-determined play list and commercials
7/24 with no live local person ever turning on a microphone. They don’t
even have a control room, just a computer and a transmitter. As the old
commercial used to say; “untouched by human hands. “ In my mind,
commercial radio is losing the battle against satellite radio and the
internet based music services because it has become too much like them.
No wonder the corporate broadcast giants are going bankrupt!

But Wait, you say... isn’t Our Generation Radio automated? Yes, we run
automation most of the time, but not as a cost saving measure. The
automation is there only when a live deejay is not available to do a
show. OGR is run by volunteers as a labor of love. Live, personality
radio is our goal; the more the merrier. Our hope is that we will be
able to find more deejays to fill in the hours currently filled with
automated programming. We believe that the on air personality is the
differentiator between what we do and what the commercial stations are
providing. The difference in our audience numbers when we are live and
when we are automated, prove that to us. While we can’t be truly local,
because our audience is world-wide, each of our deejays interjects a
little local flavor into their show. This amalgamation of local flavor
creates the OGR community. Maybe, if the FCC changes the rules,
community will come back to our local radio dial. That would bring
happiness to the hearts of my Media Club friend and me!

Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley

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