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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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August 2011

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"HD Radio Initiatives: Today's New Opportunities"

"Struble began the session by citing the latest HD radio sales and broadcaster data. He noted that while sales of HD Radios are sharply increasing, especially with the new portable Best Buy Insignia and Zune HD models, the economy and declining station revenues have slowed adoption a bit on the broadcaster side. We’re selling millions, but we need to be selling in the tens of millions.”


"Struble: Radio Is the Last Analog Medium Standing"

"Insignia HD — I think this will be a nice little interim step for jogging or working out. It proves the viability [of the technology] and hopefully we'll get sales; but no, this is not going to sell in the hundreds of thousands... Radio alone — the sad reality of where it is — as a standalone device, it just doesn't exist anymore as a category. Nobody goes into Best Buy and says 'Where's the radio department?'"


The first article is what Bob Struble told the 2009 NAB Philly Show, and the second is what he told Radio World that same week.

In an email from Eric he claimed to have sold over 1,000 Mighty Reds, yet he won't be selling anymore after the second shipment. I'm guessing the majority of these were sold to HD broadcasters who were part of this miserable stunt. I've read comments about this on another popoular blog, and it seems all Eric accomplished was to tarnish his own reputation. Eric claimed to have sold out the first shipment, and the next shipment would conveniently be availble for Christmas, but for some reason these magically appeared. It's stunts like these that HD Radio has become famous for.

It is pretty obvious that no one will ever care about HD Radio. And, just like Ford that was supposedly adding HD Radio starting back in 2007, there are no reasons to believe any future announcements about HD Radio. According to posts on Radio-Info, iBiquity just had a massive layoff, as they are supposedly not returning phone calls to HD licensees.

Robert C. Savage

What about the harmful interference to first-adjacent stations, Fred? WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE DOING ABOUT IT????

Robert Knolls

Fred Jacobs, you're a foolish man.

Bob Young

"But I think that Eric makes some great points, and it's time for this industry to either get behind and support HD radio, or pay the price with a high-visibility failure."

Come on, are you for real Fred? It is a colossal technical and commercial failure either way, better dump it before radio looks even more foolish than it already does.

Scott Hanley

Well, Fred, thank you for posting this. The other commenters are entitled to their opinions as are you and am I. But I do question the eagerness to disparage others in the process.

For me and my radio operation, the law of the land allows a doubling of the FM mask in use of IBOC. FM Stereo led to a less pristine but seemingly successful system - that was compatible with existing receivers. That it took FM almost 20 years after that to catch up to AM in audience reach is a fact.

HD Radio is, likewise, compatible with current FM receivers. It will not likely have 20 years to wait for success, but to not try to make it work or wish for it to fail as some of your posters seem to recommend is not a path I or my station are following.

I can't really speak to the problems of AM stations, since I have been out of that side of the business since 1993.

Best wishes and regards to all,

Scott Hanley


Well Scott from WDUQ. Comparing HD radio to FM is a really bad comparison and you should know that. But, then again, you're going to believe what you want to believe. FYI - FM never displaced any existing services like iBiquity digital is doing. Stations co-existed without interfering with other services as well. Station owners didn't have to pay Armstrong a licensing fee either. So - good luck with that HD radio "path" you're on.


"I can't really speak to the problems of AM stations, since I have been out of that side of the business since 1993."

Scott, you really must be out-of-touch with the radio business, as a whole; so, you are not aware of the nighttime medium-wave debacle that IBOC is causing? I agree with Bob, above, that analog FM never displaced other broadcasters, as IBOC was designed from the start to jam the smaller, adjacent-channel broadcasters on AM/FM. You see, HD Radio stations double their bandwidth, thus displacing the adjacent-channel programming with their own HD2s/HD3s, but I'm sure you are aware of that fact; as time goes on, the General Public is also becoming more aware, guaranteed.

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