Letters to the Editor - November 1998

letters-logo-oct95In a quest for answers to WHY radio stations do what they do, the conventional answer would have to refer to the dramatic change in the business and how bean counters have replaced real radio diehards in so many cases. But for a desire to believe there are still real radio people out there, I’ll bypass convention.

So, why is (music) radio forcing itself to live within ever more self-imposed constrictions? I guess it’s because radio, like advertising, is a copycat business and has always built boundaries for itself. It’s just that with more narrow targeting and more splintered formats, thus heavier competition, programmers obviously see salvation in setting boundaries so narrow as to leave little room for the things that made radio truly compelling, interesting, memorable and fun.

So many opportunities are there for a station to stand out! STAND-OUT, now those are four letter words to those programming pundits who are so afraid, let alone lousy spellers. They are scared stiff to stray from those holy boundaries. Fact is, they abdicate their intelligence to serve the format, rather than let the intelligence of the format serve them. This applies to all areas of on the air operation, including production.

There ARE other vehicles than laser zaps surrounding mega-macho vocal wonders now in vogue to create excitement and fun. Here’s a thought (resurrected from ancient times—the sixties), do something “spontaneous” once in a while. Even if it’s written down and then produced in the production room, it can be perceived as having the magic of an impromptu “special” moment.

Lighten up radio, you’re too serious...too predictable...too afraid.

Bob Green
Bob Green Productions, Inc.

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