Another reason I’m glad to be out of professional radio

This is corporate radio’s idea of sharing the love:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
First quarter pacing is down and, as a result, we are reallocating assets to better position the company for future growth. A letter outlining your severance compensation and insurance options under COBRA will be mailed to you in the coming weeks,
And we love you.

“Love” is a registered trademark of Large Radio Broadcaster Partnership, LLC. All rights reserved.

(Hat tip: Perry Michael Simon of AllAccess.com)

That’s not much of an exaggeration. I was fired once by long distance telephone call the day before Thanksgiving. And I was told to leave my computer, which I’d brought from home because management refused to provide one for the music scheduling software, at the office because it had proprietary information on it! (I didn’t.)

There are a couple of reasons for the imminent long dark night facing terrestrial radio. First, the economy sucks, and advertising dollars are one of the first expenditures cut when businesses tighten up.

Second, as I’ve written before, Internet radio will soon be as easy to receive as satellite radio. Suddenly, terrestrial broadcasters will face competition from all over the world. All it takes to be a webcaster is a big hard drive and a few hundred bucks a month to stream. The difference in cost between running a webcast and a radio station in regulatory fees alone is staggering.

Not that webcasters are making money yet. The big boys of broadcasting want to keep it that way, which is why the Library of Congress was persuaded to levy onerous performance fees on Internet radio operators.

Even so, IP radio is the future. It’s a global medium, and the easiest way around U.S. copyright law is to host the streams offshore. (Bear in mind, I’m not a lawyer and that shouldn’t be construed as an informed opinion. But I’ll guarantee you I’m not the first to think of that.)

Jim Cramer pronounced radio dead last week. He was thinking strictly in terms of investment, but he may be more right than he knows.

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