Radio's Three Blind Mice

One of these days the radio industry is going to get it right -- but today isn't one of them.

Frick and Frack -- the NAB and RAB -- two organizations that still don't get it -- have announced at the NAB Radio Convention -- that they are going to spend more of their members' money.

The latest brainstorm is the "Radio 2020" project.

The first problem is the name. Radio doesn't have until 2020.

National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau are apparently going to spend all this dough to re-brand radio. That's right -- re-brand a medium that in the same breath they claim the majority of listeners are happy with. Go figure.

And if you're not impressed with the NAB and RAB's apparent stance that they're mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore, then perhaps you'll see through their announced mission to blame radio's "opponents" who have been allowed to position radio for too long.

Just one quick question -- just who allowed it (if it is true?).

Could it be the NAB or RAB?


If that doesn't make your brown eyes red then how about the news that iBiquity, the HD radio company, is joining in on this boondoggle.

Three blind mice. See how they run a dying business.

An account in the trade paper Inside Radio reported the key goals of this trio is "to market radio's accessible technology and countering the public's notion that playlist variety and format diversity has declined".

They're kidding, aren't they?

Too many Swedish meatballs at one of the convention hospitality suites?

"Market radio's accessible technology?"

Let me guess, HD radio, right? The antiquated digital audio system. The one radio groups refuse to invest in. They're holding back quality programming for these HD channels and rightly so because listeners aren't buying HD radios. This begs the question: which comes first the programming or the listeners?

"Countering the public's notion that playlist variety and format diversity has declined?"


The NAB claims to have compiled input from more than 5,000 consumers with the results showing nearly all participants rely heavily on radio.

So they want it both ways.

Radio is just fine. Just needs to be repositioned. The "opponents" are the bad guys. Let's all fight them there so we don't have to fight them at our next meaningless convention. So much for the new ideas claim this Charlotte NAB Radio Show made in their promotional materials.

It's more of the same old-same old from radio's three blind mice.

You don't re-brand a medium to the people who already are happy with it -- and the NAB is saying everyone is happy except for the "opponents".

You don't accuse the Democrats of being unpatriotic because they -- along with most of the country -- want our troops out of Iraq.


I mean, you don't accuse the opponents of being your problem when everyone knows the NAB was instrumental in getting the 1996 Telecommunications Act passed -- the one that enabled consolidation.

And you know what consolidation has done to radio. (Check your stock prices).

The RAB has been sitting around like Mister Rogers singing to new age competitors,"won't you be my neighbor". Online advertising is growing like crazy and this is the best they can come up with. The big NAB announcement. Get the "opponents".

There are some good and honorable people at the NAB and RAB make no mistake about it, but their direction is wrong. That's what I'm saying.

The radio industry is in trouble. But it is also in denial. And that's the problem that must be overcome before there is even a small chance to turn this ship around. The NAB/RAB/iBiuity initiative is even more denial. The radio industry is so over if it doesn't spend its time, effort and resources on real problems.

This is not the time to blame it all on "opponents" of radio.

Who are they talking about, anyway? Satellite radio? I hope not because satellite radio has not made it to competitor status yet (see, the only two sat coms are merging, but that's not important right now).

Internet radio? Someday but not today.

Apple? Steve Jobs? Who?

Apparently everyone but the execs who run radio companies and their trade associations.

Hey, if broadcasters want to fund this kind of stuff -- it's their money.

They could demand real leadership from their industry associations or they could redirect their membership money to projects that are actually going to tackle real issues that threaten radio's future.

Like ... the royalty tax that stations may soon have to have to pay to the record labels.

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