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What is a Radio Survivor? Matthew's P.O.V.

Moi, via an unglamorous basement cam shot.

Moi in the basement, via camcorder.

It’s way too early to start writing self-congratulatory histories of this web site, but since Jennifer asked for the back story on how we got started, who am I to refuse . . .

I first approached Paul Riismandel last Spring about creating what eventually became because I was, and still am, concerned that discussion on the ‘Net about the state of radio has become marginal and fragmented. The conversation has become marginal because so much blogging on the future of media focuses on other technologies and venues, among them IP video, social networking, P2P, e-Books and other mobile applications. It has become fragmented because most of the big sites that report news about radio do so from the vantage point of a particular corner of the radio industry—streaming, terrestrial, podcasting—and almost always from the perspective of management.

The rest of the talk is propelled by solo bloggers whose wonderful sites ponder all kinds of interesting questions, but who rarely interact with each other. I wanted something more than that.’s mission, as I see it, is to stimulate dialogue about radio from a listener perspective. It is the listener, who does not have a monetary or employment investment in some corner of the status quo, who is in the best position to discuss the future of radio.

The big question is . . . what is radio? As it is being transformed by the Internet and wireless, what do we want from it as individuals? And how do we think radio can serve us as neighborhoods, cities, regions, and nations?

I am happy to report that Paul was very receptive to this idea. He contacted Jennifer, and 250 terrific posts later, here we are, drawing in many more page views a day than I ever imagined we would. Our contributor Helen Yamamoto should also be mentioned for her great work.

The domain name “” is intended to evoke the crisis in which terrestrial radio finds itself today—with revenues and listening rates in near free fall, and the other, more recent platforms treading water at best. What do all of us who still believe in radio—we the “radio survivors”—do now? I’m hoping that our writing will draw in many more listener-oriented voices to offer answers to that question.

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