Saturday, April 20, 2013

The letter R

It's been a crazy week in our country, as we all have felt the pain of those suffering in Boston and in Texas.  We have been glued to the TV watching the aftermath of the bombings and the fertilizer plant explosion.  We paused and watched on Thursday a beautiful ecumenical service from the Boston Cathedral. 

So, when I got to thinking about my R word today... these came to mind:  remembrance, religion, random acts, reason, and roses.

But, I think it's time to change topic and move on...just to take a break from the heaviness in our hearts.  So, today my R word is radio.

I have a history in radio.  I worked for a short while at my college radio station and graduated with a Mass Communications major, and then immediately went to work in "real radio" in Baltimore, first at WBAL, and then it's FM counterpart 98 ROCK.   It was a fun time! I was young and I was there in the "hey day" of  the AOR (album oriented rock) format. 

So many things have changed in radio since that time.  There have been technology advances for sure. Gone is vinyl, gone are album covers (and I still miss them). We used to run commercials off of cassette decks. The radio boards had knobs on them!  "Pots" to turn on and off, turn up volume, etc.  There were no computers.  "Live copy" (what the announcer read) was in a notebook!  I don't know if I would recognize a radio studio these days.

Gone also are the listener loyalities.  With so many choices out there now, there is not a fan base like there used to be.   Satellite stations, networks, and Ipods, and more...  all take away the radio as the only source for music. 

At first I used to fight the changes.  I felt bad for my friends still in the radio biz and worried they would lose their jobs.   But, change happens...and it's best to embrace it.   Radio has survived so far.   Listenership numbers are nothing like they used to be.  But, there is still a need for local PSA's, commercials, weather updates, traffic, etc.    So, it's still around.

I'm wondering...

Do you listen to the radio in your car?   Perhaps you do.  But, do you listen still at home?   Doubtful. 

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