Friday, December 2, 2011

Radio Reinvented

KGO, one of the nation's most successful talk radio stations has just changed its format to all news. Just what we need: yet another news outlet.

I believe the era of traditional talk radio, with expensive headquarters and expensive talk show hosts is obsolete. The question is: What should replace it?

If I were starting a radio station, I'd crowdsource my programming: Each day, I'd search the podcasting world and broadcast and podcast the very best shows I could find. It would seem that such curated crowdsourced radio would offer fresher, better content, far less expensively than any one station's set of talk show hosts could provide.

Of course, changing programs every day will lose listeners who tune-in specifically because they like a specific show or host. But net, I think it would improve radio and allow it to survive in a world of too many new outlets for interactivity, for example, online forums, Amazon and Yelp reviews, and, of course, Facebook.

What do you think?


Jeffrie said...

They tried this in San Francisco a while back. KYCY FM, or KYOU Radio. It only lasted a couple of years.

This news with KGO is a big surprise. I can't imagine it will last long, unless it beats out the other local news station.

Dan said...

Marty, KGO's move doesn't make sense. While KGO is losing listeners, it is still among the most popular radio stations in the Bay Area. If there was a huge erosion in overall radio listenership across the board, why didn't KGO's smaller sister station, KSFO, go under first?

I think Internet radio will only succeed on a subscription basis. If the radio hosts I enjoy went to an online only format, I would pay a monthly fee to continue to listen.

Maybe free terrestrial radio will morph into a proving ground for new talent. Once they generate a following, they jump to the web a la Howard Stern and start charging a fee.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marty,

I used to enjoy when you were on KGO on Sunday nights. I think you are right. I used to be a KGO listener since I was in high school in the 80s. From what I've read, KGO has lost listeners almost all across the board. I'd still listen to Gene Burns and John Rothman if they did a podcast. I've been a big fan of Adam Carolla's podcast as of late. He seems to be making money.



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