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The Decade's Most Important Radio Trends

Y2K is a distant memory. Will radio soon be, too?

Myself, I can hardly believe that another decade is coming to a close. It seems like just yesterday we were stockpiling canned goods, bottled water and batteries in anticipation of the Y2K global computer meltdown. Of course, on every millennial survivalists’ compound shopping list was a good battery-operated radio.

Now, ten years on, radio has undergone many changes. Many–like the rise of internet radio–were certainly predictable, even if the particular forms were not. While those of us critical of the consolidation fever that gripped the industry in the late 90s certainly believed that trend would lead to no good, I’m not certain that any of us knew just how badly Clear Channel and its brethren would gut commercial radio, and how many bankruptcies would arise by the end of the decade.

Between now and New Year’s Day my fellow co-bloggers and I will set about enumerating the fourteen most important trends in radio during the 2000s. These trends are in no particular order. Why fourteen? Well, ten was too few, and, uh, we ran out of steam at fourteen.

So, tune back in tomorrow when Matthew and Jennifer will school you about numbers 14 and 13.

The radio-trends-of-the-decade series


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6 Responses to The Decade's Most Important Radio Trends

  1. 35-Year Radio Vet December 23, 2009 at 5:47 am #

    “I’m not certain that any of us knew just how badly Clear Channel and its brethren would gut commercial radio, and how many bankruptcies would arise…”

    What myopic horseshit this is.

  2. Dwight Bobson December 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    The logical fact-based arguments put forth by “35-Year Radio Vet” in reference to the statement about commercial radio are just too, too powerful to refute. Being new to the site, I hope that this kind of analysis is the not the quality I can expect to find from those who comment on the subject matter contained herein.

  3. Matthew Lasar December 25, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Thanks for your comment, Dwight. Paul, Jennifer and I work very hard to produce this myopic horseshit. What kind of feedback it brings is beyond our control.

  4. Dwight Bobson December 28, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    Thank you Matt, I realize the risk of allowing the populace into a conversation. That said, as a 45 year vet of broadcasting – radio and TV, commercial and public – it doesn’t surprise me in the least that public radio bucks the trend. Commercial radio’s computer generated , lowest common denominator pap and political ranters are no match for intelligent news and discussion, genuine humor, broad variety of program choices, and all professionally delivered with local flavor. That’s what the hope of radio was when I started and it used to exist in commercial radio. Like so much of America, media chased the cost of everything media and passed by the value of it all.
    I now work on establishing small community radio stations in developing countries where they appreciate the value of the medium to inform and informally educate about community needs. It’s not expensive and not always polished but it knows its purpose and serves it. To give you an idea of what I mean, go to the web site for to see what I mean. They are one of the organizations that still understands the purpose of radio and value of radio.


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