RichardHorsman.com: IR: Why We Need a New Map
A very good thoughtful piece.
"four decades of tinkering"
A great way to sum up all the financially motivated, selfish, merging of local radio stations into quasi-national stations!
It started in the 90s with the regulators being pressurised more and more by bigger and bigger groups, and giving in. Now they 'punish' small community stations for what are minor indiscretions, but allow the 'suits' to broadcast 'local' services from 100s of miles away. Their excuse is that to maintain the service they need to cut back financially, and sell ads nationally BUT in the 70s ILR was successfully launched and had high ratings during a serious fanancial depression and strikes ! It also only had ‘50% needletime’ imagine the syndicated stations having to do 50% speech now!
Worst of all, services that used to aim at 15-54 year olds are allowed to narrow-cast to under 29s, with a mindless diet of insubstantial pop, and short, poor local news services. One was recently told "there were just enough stories that would be of relevance and interest to listeners in the ********** & ***** area to satisfy the station’s format requirement to provide local news"
The ONLY solution is to take radio from Ofcom, and set-up a new regulatory body for LOCAL commercial radio. Then, stop narrow-casting by demographic, and strip-down the 'giant sized' groups by 50%, allocating those areas to CREDIBLY run companies not rooted in their income, but their community. THAT would offer the choice and variety of style that is sorely lacking now.
'The heritage and the evolution gets in the way'
And therein lies the answer, unless we look back at what WAS achieved, and then destroyed, and LEARN from it, there can be no more 'evolution'.