Before the first round of deregulation, we had three TV networks and a few local stations in each market. That’s where the liberal monopoly existed, my friends, ABC, NBC, CBS, and then eventually PBS. In radio, before deregulation, there were three major radio networks, and local stations in each market. When I was young, there was National Public Radio, and, three radio stations in the little town where I grew up. Now there are eight, and the population has grown by 10,000 people. There are some other interesting stats from a recent story in Radio Business Report, which you can hear me read in the audio link below.
For example, radio is significantly less concentrated than most other information and entertainment industries in terms of total industry revenue. Did you know that the ten largest movie studio owners account for 99% of total revenue? I bet you didn’t, and Tim Robbins doesn’t think that’s dangerous. Clear Channel, the largest owner of radio stations in the country owns only 11% of all radio stations. And people are worried? If you listen to Tim Robbins complain, you’d think Clear Channel owned everything. They own just 11%!
Young El Rushbo Figured It Out, and Beat the System
We took a couple of calls complaining about the loss of jobs for local radio talent, because of syndicated shows like mine. In the audio link below, I tell you a story which illustrates why this phenomenon is not new. I realized back in 1969, when I was first starting out in radio, that every time a rating book came out and it was good, the station management was going to credit a contest, promotion, the record rotation or the format, and not me. I said, “Whoa, there’s no future here in terms of making a living. I may get my ego thrill for the day, but I’m not going to make any money doing this. I want to go where I am the reason people turn on the radio, not the records, the contests, the weather, the giveaways and the format because I don’t want there to be a format.”
Now, if you’re sitting around in 2003 and have just now figured this out, understand that this phenomenon is 40 years old, and it’s taken 40 years for management to realize that they don’t have to pay somebody $250,000 a year to speak for five minutes an hour saying, “And here come The Stones, get your rocks off,” and then wait three minutes and give the time, temperature, and announce the next giveaway. Why pay somebody $250,000 to do that? You save the $250 grand and pay it to the morning guy who has to do more to get audiences in the morning because they’re driving to work in the precious drive time. That’s another reason we’re proud of what we’ve done here from noon to three because it isn’t drive time and we have a larger audience here than most stations have in drive time. So we’ve nuked a whole bunch of theories. Deregulation had nothing to do with it. People who are today complaining about the loss of local jobs are 40 years behind times. Those jobs were a lost cause years ago.
<span id=”Par_0008_col” style=”font-family:arial; font-size:12px; color:003399; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none;”>Read More of Rush’s Brilliance…</span></td></tr>
<tr> <td><img src=”/0.gif” width=”1″ height=”0″></td></tr><tr width=”484″><td width=”484″ valign=”top”><span id=”Par_0008″ style=”font-family:arial; font-size:12px; color:000000;”><a target=new href=”/home/eibessential.member.html”>(…right here in Rush 24/7’s EIB Essential Stack of Stuff)</a></span></td></tr>