...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A techie talks radio.

Paul Andrews, the Seattle Times E-conomy columnist, says satellite radio is the greatest thing since, uh, radio.

He loves, especially, its commercial-free nature. It's well worth $12.95 a month and special equipment costs, he says:

If broadcast radio eliminated commercials, it would be a "good enough" alternative to undermine most of satellite's attractions. Given the commercialism of broadcast, it's no contest.
(And, I might add, if newspapers eliminated ads, it wouldn't just be no contest, it'd be no column for you.)

Well, enjoy it while you can, Paul. Radio's favorite bottom-line barracuda, Mel Karmazin, is now at the tiller of Sirius Satellite Radio [Flash site, beware of dialup download time], and he's already telling Wall Street he's installing an ad sales department, ahead of the arrival of Howard Stern, his longtime employee-cash bull, next year (Thanks, Mediabistro). You think he'll keep his hands off the other hundred-nineteen channels?

Meanwhile, Clear Channel, radio's killer whale--which also owns a chunk of XM--is reducing commercial loads on its 1200 or so stations, and the ratings are beginning to show an improvement as a result. This news is buried in the middle of Mike Kinosian's long-winded piece in this week's Inside Radio--on the phenom that passes for programming innovation these days: all-Christmas-music. I'm not kidding, it's the talk of the industry. Yawn.

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