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

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Could radio get interesting?

The other day, a Washington DC morning deejay "took over" his radio station with his IPod Shuffle. Stations in L.A. and Philadelphia have flipped to new music mixes with station handles like "Jack" and "Ben." Music montages like Jessica Simpson/Grateful Dead/New Order suggest a new dawn of spontaniety. Or, these corporate giant-owned stations might just be, in that colorful industry term, stunting--like, an audio head-feint. You can be sure somebody's staying up all night crunching the playlist for tomorrow. Still, undeniably, change is rumbling corporate radio. Millions listen to Internet stations weekly. All those white buds you see stuck in hip young ears around town are not throbbing with commercials. Hyundai's about to make XM receivers standard equipment. Jerry Springer's new talk radio show goes national April 1--only the latest confirmation that "progressive" talk will make it. Radio's dominant ratings company, Arbitron, just released a "study" suggesting the IPod scare is overblown. But research is, at best, recent history. Everything in this post happened this past week.

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