As of midnight tonight, we bid farewell to a troubled year. There’s no need to recount the issues that face our country and our industry; if you’re in Radio you probably go to sleep at night worrying about poor sales, cutbacks, and what the future may bring.
It might make you feel better to know that our country—and Radio—has faced bad times before. During the Jimmy Carter years, inflation was in double-digits, gas prices were climbing rapidly, and the economy was in the doldrums. Many were pessimistic about the future.
But better times were in the offing. We were just a couple of years away from the Reagan Revolution and a revitalization of our economy. However, it’s important to note that Radio didn’t wait for a change of fortune. Through sales and programming innovation, a positive attitude, and a willingness to try—to beat a bad ec0nomy, no matter the odds—Radio was poised to take advantage of the boom times when they finally arrived.
Consider that Radio—from among all the major media—is best positioned to deliver results for local direct advertisers. TV is far too expensive, the newspaper dinosars are facing extinction, and direct mail costs continue to escalate. And local business doesn’t see the kind of results from the Internet that Radio can deliver.
So bring on 2009 and new challenges. I’m betting Radio is up to the task ahead.