Digital Radio’s Global Consensus

It’s a tale of two futures for broadcasting. In the United States, as the radio industry and regulators wrestle with a poorly-designed and proprietary digital radio standard, online competitors are eroding the market share of stations and redefining radio itself in the process. Our reaction so far has been carefully-cultivated denial and wild swings between cheerleading and hand-wringing. Contrast that with Europe, which has widely adopted the Eureka 147 DAB standard. Now nearly 30 years old, DAB has gone through an evolution of its own, and the latest variant is called DAB+.

Many countries that initially adopted DAB are rebuilding their networks to accommodate DAB+. Cross-compatible receivers are on the market, and since the system works on non-broadcast spectrum, countries have some flexibility on how to build and deploy their digital radio networks. Read More

Pretty Outside, Broken Inside

You may have noticed that this site is now on a bona-fide blog platform…about a dozen-plus years late to the party, but hey, it finally happened. However, the transition has been a trainwreck behind the scenes. While things are clean-looking, (somewhat) searchable, and dialogue-enabled, the design, configuration, and content-migration did not go remotely as I’d hoped.

For one thing, most internal links within posts are broken, which requires hand-code fixes. Not only just for links to other site-content, but also to links to locally-hosted media files (audio/video/pictures). With 1,000+ posts over 17+ years, it’s a mind-numbing task, but I hope to have it complete within the next week or two. (As of today, all posts from 2006-present have been fixed). Read More

WKRP Reunion Highlights Innovation and Chemistry

Last week the Paley Center for Media hosted a reunion of cast and crew from WKRP in Cincinnati. The show aired on CBS from 1978 to 1982 with an 88-episode run and is still in syndication more than 30 years later. When it first aired, I was too young to appreciate the show, but I grooved on it as a teenager and have to admit that WKRP is partially responsible for my forays into radio. Read More

RadioDiscussions Sheepishly Restored

A curious e-mail hit my inbox this weekend announcing the resurrection of RadioDiscussions.com. Once a mainstay of online discussion about U.S. broadcasting, the site suddenly disappeared in December when its owner, Streamline Media, pulled the plug. Streamline had just purchased RadioDiscussions seven months before declaring it unprofitable.

The new manager is Charles Bosworth (aka "Charlie Profit"), a Canadian radio professional who’s branched out into new media marketing. Bosworth is also the administrator of Your Midwest Media, a message board focused on the central United States. Read More

RadioDiscussions Killed By Greed

It certainly hasn’t been a kind year for online radio discussion sites.

For more than a decade, one of the most vibrant sites online to talk about U.S. broadcasting of all stripes was RadioDiscussions.com. It began in the late 1990s when three radio enthusiasts merged their own bulletin boards into a common site called Radio-Info, providing an outlet for discussion about dozens of speficic radio markets, boards for every state, as well as specialty forums for things like community radio, digital radio, engineering, and FCC policy. Read More