Friday, November 7, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

I spent the first 11 years of my career in radio, and the medium is still very important to me. I love radio, even though it really isn't what is used to be, and I saw something yesterday that made my blood boil.

"Radio & Records" magazine is considered one of the bibles of the industry. R&R is giving Larry King a career excellence award. Larry King-- the man who hasn't done a dedicated radio show since 1994. You can still hear King on the radio, but it's just a rebroadcast of his CNN program.

I wonder if Larry will show up for the ceremony. After all, he's been mailing in his performance for years. This is a guy who's proud that he never uses the internet and never does research. Let me tell you something. Any "journalist" who doesn't use all the tools available to him is a fool.

Is that the best R&R can do?

Maybe it is. Radio's biggest "star" was Howard Stern, but he bolted for satellite nearly three years ago. Paul Harvey was off the air for months due to health problems, and he's curtailed his duties. Syndicated shows by John Tesh and Ryan Seacrest are picking up new cities every day. It's not because these guys are enormous talents. It's just because radio station owners are trying to save a buck by eliminating local people.

Radio is losing, or has lost its giants. It's not developing new talent. If you have to honor man who hasn't done a radio show in 14 years, you're in major trouble.