Think of the cost to pay someone to be in the studio all the time! And you want the newsroom staffed 24 hours a day too? What have you been sniffing?
Welcome to the good old days, when the lack of technology forced radio owners to serve their audience better. Pity the poor owner who had to pay the overnight guy minimum wage to baby sit the limited listening audience until the world woke up again.
What a stupid waste of money. If only there were a way to avoid forking out those few bucks.
What about that one night every five years when the area is under a tornado warning? What about that one night out of several thousand when there’s a true local emergency and law enforcement officials need the instantaneous ability of radio to get the word out to the public? Is that worth the many nights of minimum wage? Probably not.
Look at what has happened here. Because it was no longer important that the stations be staffed overnight, people stopped turning to the station when information was needed. They knew they wouldn’t get the info they wanted, so they went somewhere else to get it.
Well, that was okay, because now management could justify cutting out the news department. “No one listens to the radio for news anyway.” And since radio stations were no longer required to serve the public by providing news and public affairs, news operations quickly became expendable, and management gave the public yet another reason not to turn on the radio.
So here we sit now, amid 10 minute stop sets, voice-tracked “music” shows, satellite programming that shouts “non-local” to the listeners, and screaming numbnuts (deluded by what Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm dubs “messianic self regard”) making stupid statements about everything from politics to sex. And management cries in its beer and wonders why business is so bad and people aren’t listening.
These managers may be too young to remember a time, just a couple decades ago, when radio was the go-to source for breaking news, intelligent entertainment and talk.
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