This is about the National Public Radio crisis
Radio, in general, is in freefall, and radio
executives everywhere are desperate to find a way to reverse the trend.
Enter HD radio and the unholy alliance between
iBiquity (aka iNiquity) and NPR. (But this also includes car manufacturers,
who have invested in the whole scam and are now
trying to force public acceptance by including HD radio in their high-end
models ó or asking the public to fork out extra
in the more base models.) NPR, through grants of 75-85k from the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting to stations to help fund
transmitters (thatís taxpayer money, folks), plus discounts and mega-deals
many other items, and iBiquity, which has just
lowered the going rate on its subscription fees, have pushed the idea onto
hundreds of public radio stations. Unfortunately,
thatís just the beginning of the expense for the stations that have signed
In an era of unfettered growth, this didnít seem
a problem, but as public radio listenership and support have flattened
over the past decade or more, it forced major
budgetary changes. What NPR offers is buckets of canned content. With a
whole network of HD-compliant stations, it can
shore up its bottom line by selling, along with the BBC and PRI, shows
all of its subsidiaries and filling all this
dead air. But its effect on local programming has been devastating. In
Austin, at KUT,
they downsized two overnight deejays and replaced
them with a canned jazz show that costs them all of $3,000 a year.
After forcing out longtime station stalwarts,
KUT is filling two HD stations with mass-produced product. And this is
happening in city after city across the nation
I listen to a lot of Howard Stern.
In some ways, he's got Pigboy's bombast, but
he's not an evil racist so I like him.
He claims HE is the reason for radio's decline.
He says he was always Number 1 in New York (He
also claims Rush is #6 in his time slot,
which is noon or whatever when hardly anybody's
is listening) but "terrestrial radio" fell apart
when Stern left and I'm not sure he's wrong about
I know the radio business is in trouble, but maybe
that's because the dumb bastards
saturated the airwaves with nothing but Pigboy
Before satellite radio, we used to drive out West
and it was horrible going from small station
to small station - thru OK, TX, NM, AZ, CO -
and hear nothing but wild-ass, racist Nazi lies.
I also remember when Gingrich took over in 1995,
NPR got more "balanced" which meant
one of the only places to hear actual, factual
news and intelligent comment that was not infiltrated
with Republican "fairness" and ...some hours
turned into something resembling FOX News.
I drove a vending route from 1990-94 so I heard
lots of NPR then, not so much since.
But NPR is
worth saving and that's why this crisis needs some attention.
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