CBS sold its radio operations to Intercom after quite a few decades.
Cumulus Media is struggling with debt and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Radio is not in a good place, but in terms of journalism, it never had the respect as print and television. It was on the bottom rung of the journalism pecking order, and it was always funny when people would try to brag about knowing someone who worked in radio to try to impress people who worked in other media. The suppressed smirks said it all as the clueless and unworldly braggart tried to engage in a little puffery.
Kids, don’t try that at home. You will come off as a dweeb.
Don’t try it with me, either. I don’t get impressed or jealous. It’s a perk of being an only child raised by people with a social conscious; ergo, I was never indoctrinated into those kind of unhelpful thinking patterns. If you want me to think highly of you, be kind.
Radio journalism could have been much more useful; instead, it was the breeding ground of crude, patriarchal, and binary pseudo-political debate. A lot of hatred was spewed over the airwaves, and a lot of uninformed snark. Radio did its best in the car, where you had a captive audience who were already feeling miserable and frustrated in traffic snarls and long commutes to thankless jobs. The wavelength of the tone was in sync, and much of the social cohesion lost in North America has much of its origins on radio.
The Right was more pronounced with it, but the Left wasn’t as innocent as they thought they were, either. It was still tweaking those with a differing opinion and different life experiences — but while the Right was direct about it, the Left had more passive aggressive ways of doing it.
It never had to be that way, and in many ways, it is sad that anger took over every other emotion. It reminds me of Herbert Morrison’s emotional response when covering the Hindenburg Disaster. It’s hard to believe the emotional range in the human race has narrowed so much. Where are the journalists who can actually feel what’s happening?
Now, it reminds me of the propagandists of the Second World War, where every word and story seems to have an agenda. Where is the humanity? Did they go up in flames along with the Hindenburg?
Radio lost heart many moons ago, and the fact that radio is in steep decline should surprise no one. It could have all just happily migrated to the Internet without skipping a beat or losing a listener.
It has just become angry noise now and people are tuning out.