Radio — R.I.P.?

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Recently, I heard someone who controls a very sizable media budget declare: “Radio is a dead medium!” He has moved all his ad dollars to other avenues…Radio gets $0. Period.

Is Radio dead?

Since leaving my management position in Radio a number of years ago, I must confess my Radio listening has declined dramatically. From listening almost constantly, I now listen to Radio…not at all. This was initially shocking to me — someone who was steeped in the magic of Radio since I was a pre-teen now moving into the ranks of a non-listener.

Inquiring of friends who are not in the industry elicits much the same response: little to no listening to Radio. Has Radio lost much of its audience? Could be.

What I know for certain is Radio people don’t use the medium the way “average” listeners do. And that could be the reason a growing number of people have abandoned Radio.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love Radio. It’s just that Radio is no longer the center of my life. I’ve become “normal”, and that could be the key.

It would be ideal if everyone working in Radio was able to take a year off. Get away from the day-to-day grind and start listening like a “regular” listener. I suspect the revelation would be profound. And the result could be a re-invigoration of Radio that would boost the medium far into the new century.

I ask again: is Radio dead?

The problem with being dead is that you don’t know you are. I hope Radio is not in that situation. But ultimately it depends on the listeners. And if they’ve decided Radio is no longer vital to their everyday lives, the medium I’ve loved for over a half century is in real trouble.