At Venture Capital showcase, Valpo U
Good morning. It's 454 am and I know that I haven't written to you lately. But you haven't written to me, either, so we're even.
In the past nine days since I last told you something, I've
- announced a Regional football game
- did a live broadcast to open a big restaurant
- attended a venture capital showcase
- started the design of a new studio
- done a zillion live radio shows
- recorded a zillion commercials
- edited a zillion flashbacks
- and more
It's local radio. And to own the station (with your wife) and host the morning show and to somehow find enough clients and supporters and to keep the logs straight and do some reading for prep material and move money around in accounts to keep checks from bouncing and to clean out your old studio and to keep up this website and you get the picture. Part of the reason I even keep this blog is to somehow chronicl what it's like to be local radio guy. One day there won't be any local radio guys like me and it would be nice to at least see how one lived.
Like Neanderthal man. Don't you wish at least one Neanderthal man had kept a journal, blog, a few notes? He's not around anymore and I just wonder if when he woke in the morning if he hunted first or decorated his cave, how high he could jump, did he pair off with one Neanderthal woman or did they just rotate like at a party at a Berkeley co-op?
With local radio, there's one consistent answer from all the pundits - local radio is dying. One of the sadder moments of the year came in San Jose, California, at the Radio Convergence Conference. Radio geeks from all over the country and Europe and Australia and Asia and one from South America... we all listened to these great ideas for radio to move into the digital age and everyone make a ton of money.
And then out by the pool I got into a conversation with a guy who referenced that he'd been coming to this same conference for 15 years and they hadn't figured out the next big thing yet.
That saddened me for a while. But then I just figured that I would forget all about finding the next big thing for radio... and instead I'd just try to find the next big thing for me. At least at the end of 15 years when I admit to some guy by the pool that I'd been doing this thing for 15 years and I'm still struggling... then I could look back and sing a Frank Sinatra song about doing it my way or reference a Grateful Dead song about enjoying the ride, at least.
In the end, local radio is a huge struggle. At that Radio Convergence Conference, some guy got up there and put up a chart that showed that terrestrial radio is losing about 6 percent of Total Listening Hours a year. That's a lot. It's not a growth industry. And that's something you feel after working 40 hours by a Thursday morning in November when it's 14 degrees outside and you don't have much to talk about for the next four hours. So there.