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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Radio

Something happened last week that didn't get a lot of attention.  It made me sad nonetheless.

CNN got rid of its radio division.

CNN Radio News took a major hit about a year ago when it lost its distribution deal.  It became an "internet only" service, and now that is gone.

To get you up to speed, I spent more than ten years in radio news, and I loved it.  It's a great medium.  I moved on when I noticed the industry beginning to slide.  It kept sliding after I left.  There's very little "live and local" radio news these days.

I always enjoyed a solid network product.  Growing up, WEJL 630 always had ABC Radio news, for five minutes, at the top of the hour-- everything you needed to know, in one small package.

FOX News started a radio operation several years ago.  An FM talk station carries the first couple minutes of a longer radio newscast on the hour.  It's about the best you can get these days.  Unfortunately, the signal isn't the greatest, and the station chooses to cut off the newscast after the first two minutes.  Pity.

It made so much sense for CNN to have a radio division.  It's one of THE news brands in the industry.  The news gathering infrastructure is there.  Find yourself some satellite channels and a distributor and you're good to go.  I don't know why CNN pulled the plug.

Times change.  It's a satellite and internet world.  You can get tons of audio news any time you want.  The only thing that's different is the delivery method.

Still, I can't help but feel there's a major need for radio news that's being ignored.