Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Monday, September 14, 2009

Radio: Back To The Future?

Radio and New Media guy Jerry Del Colliano suggests in his latest e-column that the radio industry could, just maybe, be “saved” if the FCC would turn back to “increased and renewed involvement* by the FCC -- basic regulation”…

They might as well, though I suspect it won't really matter; with Wifi, etc. the proverbial horse may well be out of the barn for good.

For the record, I don't think Telecom '96 wrecked the industry so much as it brought certain problems to the forefront that were heretofore bubbling under. After all, the industry wasn’t exactly an idyllic wonderland before ’96 (trust me on that – I was there)…

Make no mistake: what we now have in the biz is a variation on what we’ve always had: a government protected-oligopoly; the difference is mainly a matter of degrees. (I’ve always maintained that big business is the mortal enemy of free enterprise. Does anybody really believe that, say, Clear Channel wants a truly “level” playing field?)

In any event, as long as Washington bureaucrats control access to the AM/FM band, a truly “free” and “equal” competitive market is a pipe dream.

So sure – turn back the regulatory clock. Who knows, maybe it’ll help. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for miracles…

* One thing Jerry and I agree on totally: we don’t want to see a return of the Fairness Doctrine. In any event, it ain’t gonna happen, so all you conservaclone hosts and programmers can chill out…


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