Not that long ago radio was part of everybody’s life. AM Top 40 stations dominated the sixties, FM carried on through the seventies and eighties, and then the business started committing suicide.
I know the story, but I’m the stereotypical lazy cat and it’s easier to let Ken Levine tell it. (He was a DJ before going on to write for “M*A*S*H,” “Cheers,” “Frasier” and other sitcoms).
From Ken’s blog: “[I]t has always broken my heart to see how the industry has changed, and never for the better. Once major conglomerates were able to gobble up more than a couple of stations in every market things went from bad to calamitous. Thousands of jobs were eliminated, every corner that could be cut was, commercial loads increased to insane amounts, and the listener was completely disregarded.”
Every week brings a new story about a brand-name personality being dumped.
Ken again: “And there’s no one new coming up because who in their right mind would want to begin a career in radio now? That’s like hoping to go into the typewriter manufacturing business.”
All radio conglomerates are guilty, but for my money the worst is iHeartRadio, formerly known as Clear Channel (“Cheap Channel” to employees).
Like my personal assistant, Ken grew up with a love for radio but saw where things were going. In addition to comedy writing, producing and directing, he has been a baseball announcer for several major league clubs. The rest of his resume is too lengthy to detail, but suffice to say he is one industrious human.
We lazy cats declare it nap time at about 275 words.
Ken’s blog post about leaving radio: http://tinyurl.com/qgox7mz