Tuesday, October 5, 2010

As The Radio World Turns

Bayerischer Rundfunk had Shortwave Operations until October 1st, 2010 and SW Radio Africa ended their news via SMS on the same date, while Voice of Russia has expanded their programming into New York City on the FM dial. It seems that as we say goodbye to some stations or station formats, we say hello to stations doing new things as part of an expansion effort in regards to their world reach.

Shortwave Central gets the credit for offering these news developments to the listening world. While the doom and gloomers of radio may be tempted to say "I told you so", they should not speak prematurely. Radio is a changing thing, never staying the same. Let's not forget that just because a station shuts down or stops a certain mode of communications does not mean that the station won't ever come back or re-start the previously stopped mode of communications.

As the radio world turns, each station and mode of communications tends to have it's time in the spotlight. What we are seeing here sort of mirrors the Depression of the 1930s and the days of WW-II. Radio eventually rose again. This author is sure that there are those people who will remember the rise of radio in the 1980s and then the lull that again followed in the 1990s.

What we saw then was a mix of newer issues having mainly to do with the "obnoxious"   age of radio when everyone wanted to be Steve Dahl, Garry Meir, Kevin Matthews, Howard Stern, or some other big name. Can anyone forget Mancow or Brandmeier? In this age being referenced, obnoxiousness equaled ratings, and a chance for well established radio personalities to show how cool it was to challenge station management, the FCC, and pushing the envelope was the thing to do.

BBC once pulled their BBC World Service from the radio waves only to have it re-appear on other frequencies on both the Medium Wave AM Dial and the FM Satellite feeds to local stations across the world. Radio tends to logically follow the trends in listener desire and demand as well as reinventing itself. Everyone is sorry to see SW stations go, but that sweetens the experience of hearing them again one day. 

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