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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.

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Comments

Steve Poley

Thanks for blogging the Cramer rant but the link back to Calacanis is stunningly on target. 18-months since Calacanis delivered an on target assessment and steps to rebuilding radio. Has anybody made any successful moves?

Phil Wilson

Fred,

It's "out there" alright. Will the "truth" set us free? I hope so. Radio needs to evolve just like it has in years gone by. Opportunities await! We'll only be able to take advantage of them if we don't allow "the street" to keep holding us back.

paul vincent zecchino

BigRadio has a digital jones, courtesy of 90s cynics who pimped off digital as universal panacea.

But listeners don't. That's why HD is finished. So, BigRadio wheedles more undue favor from FCC to skew things for digital, and against the listeners it's supposed to serve.

People love computers, Blackberries, and cellphones. Do they care, they run on digital, analog, or wood shavings? Doesn't BigRadio get it? Isn't that why BigRadio's HD obsession costs it both listeners and investors? Listeners like content.

When BigRadio gets clean of its digital jones and rehires talent, BigRadio will again enjoy good times.

Radio's future isn't digital. It's future is content. An unintended consequence of sly, incremental HD jamming was that listeners fled BigRadio even faster.

Who wants their ears blasted by busted steam-pipe shrieking from some HD station, when tuning in a favorite program? No one.

Enter iPods, WiMax, those tape and CD books you 'read' while driving - and exit HD. AM/FM/Shortwave radios are becoming popular again. Who needs HD? No one.

The 90s gang condescendingly exhorted us to follow Europe's example. OK, consider this. As BigRadio's gasses off about HD, digital is on the ropes in the UK. It was supposed to be the Big Thing. Nope.

Germany junked digital radio after decades of trying to entice listeners. Australia shunned it.

LeAM and FM aren't the problem. Content, or lack thereof, is. Fix that, and BigRadio stocks might regain their previous allure.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasota Key, Florida
11 February, 2008

David Martin

Fred,

Let's keep things in context. JC talked down radio stocks and was speaking of those heading the traded groups. It's not that he's down on the business of radio rather he's down on putting money into any radio securities. He's right. Radio securities suck. My sense is radio remains a good business - ask Jerry Lee or any of the other good operators that run good stations (ones they also bought right).

While I certainly agree with you that radio has an urgent need for reinvention, my sense is too many of radio's best operating practice is now well beyond the best used by date.

The first tribe of wireless needs to get focused on getting different, getting better ain't going to do it. It's understanding the solution is to change the denominator.

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