Will we see “local” radio again?

So Clear Channel is going to sell 400+ radio stations. Will these stations become more local? Mark Ramsey says it depends on who buys the stations and the “models of success” they try to follow:

1. Quality local talent with local connection and high entertainment value
2. Quality syndicated talent with high entertainment value
3. Low cost or no talent – regardless of its source (i.e., nothing matters but the music)

He concludes his post with the question: “Of those, which do you think is the toughest to achieve? And which is the cheapest?”

When I started in radio (1972), a lot of radio stations were still trying for #1. Not all of the local talent was “quality” and I’m not sure how “entertaining” we were. But syndicated programs were still a few years away and most communties weren’t ready to let you get away with juke box-ing the station.

But I think Ramsey sums up the options accurately and we’d see more station owners try #1 if #2 and #3 weren’t such attactive (short-term) options.