Asking the right questions

“…the implicit assumption is that radio’s past must be sustained into the future, and with a few tweaks here and there we can dial up our relevance […] and dial down our risk. This is equivalent to the consumer products company that asks “how can we make a new product that we can successfully sell?” – as long as that product is envisioned, made, and sold to fit with all the previous products the company has sold in the past.” — Mark Ramsey

Heavy snow knocked out power to our house yesterday so as darkness fell, I built a fire, turned on some solar LED lamps and dug out a transistor radio. I didn’t sample a lot of stations but the ones I listened too sounded… quaint?

I probably haven’t listened to a full hour of “terrestrial radio” in the last 5 years so what I heard felt strange in my ears. The phony DJ voices; snatches of Alice Cooper’s syndicated show (shudder)… but the most jarring was the lack of control over my experience. Don’t like a song? Well, tough shit, just gotta wait till it’s over and hope you like the next one better.

I’m going to take it on faith there are radio stations (somewhere) breaking new ground and reinventing themselves for the new media world in which they find themselves. If you know of one, drop a link (or just the call letters) in the comments.