Will “local” radio roll back the clock?

From Forbes:

The recent announcement by Clear Channel Communications…which will look to sell off 448…stations, could push the pendulum back again, to a time when DJs exuded a local flavor and educated their audience on the artists whose tunes they played.

Maybe it will, maybe not. It really depends on who buys those stations. And what financial rationale they buy them with. And what models of success they intend to follow.

I suspect that some will see the light while most will not. But isn’t that the nature of all things?

The article also includes the following quotation from yours truly:

“The stuff between the records is what’s key, it’s what separates radio from iPods,” says Mark Ramsey, president of Hear 2.0, a media research firm in San Diego. He acknowledges that a lot of the syndicated programming out there sounds better than what most local stations could produce, given their managements’ current reluctance to invest in new talent.

So the tension will be between three things:

1. Quality local talent with local connection and high entertainment value 2. Quality syndicated talent with high entertainment value 3. Low cost or no talent – regardless of its source (i.e., nothing matters but the music)

Of those, which do you think is the toughest to achieve? And which is the cheapest?

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