Radio’s real problem

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As a former radio personality (NPR and later WHAS-AM 840 in Louisville and other stations) and broadcast operations manager and intern supervisor at the University of Louisville), I continue to shake my head at Emmis and boss Jeff Smulyan’s total swivet with cell phone operators for refusing to put radio tuners on their phones or switch them on if they exist.

The reason (and not even your [Feb. 4] excellent bio and story of Emmis “idea man” Paul Brenner can change my mind on this) is that these days radio—not only in Indianapolis but in most markets—has little or nothing truly worth listening to. The way one listens is secondary to the fact that the dial is almost devoid of truly unique programming or anything at all for those (including me) over the prime rating target of 18-49 years.

You can lead folks to radio through any device you wish, but unless programming is unique and compelling, no one will tune in. Neither Emmis nor its competition (Clear Channel, Cumulus, etc.) have shown any signs of accomplishing this.


Ted Fleischaker

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