Friday, March 30, 2012
ABC, CBS, and NBC used to have big radio divisions. CBS is still in the game, owning several stations, and providing a lot of programming-- including news.
There is ABC Radio News, but it's owned by a company that called Cumulus. ABC sold off most of its radio holdings years ago. ABC/Disney still owns ESPN Radio, the big dog in sports radio, and a scattering of local stations. By the way, FOX doesn't own FOX Sports Radio. It just licenses the name to another company.
One of the radio pioneers, NBC, was the first to bail out. It sold off its radio stations in the 80's. The company got out of the radio news biz by selling its name to another company that produced newscasts under the NBC banner. Most of those newscasts eventually went away.
NBC News Radio came back, a little. A company called Dial Global distributes a few NBC titled newscasts each day. That all changes April 1. Dial Global will produce two newscasts per hour, some voiced by NBC/MSNBC anchors. It won't be the same as it was, but it will still be nice to hear NBC have a strong presence on the radio.
To make room for NBC, Dial Global says it will no longer distribute radio news from CNN. CNN says it's looking for a new partner. It only makes sense for one of the country's TV news leaders to have a radio companion.
I should note that WNEP alumnus Bob Costantini is a Washington correspondent for CNN Radio. Bob told me the other day that he will be staying on with the new company, and that's certainly good news.
The bottom line here is a famous name in radio news is returning, and even though the network news glory days are long gone, it will be nice to hear "NBC" on the radio.
AT 12:00 AM