Den of iBiquity: The Great Taxpayer Ripoff

NPR boss Vivian Schiller got the headlines predicting “Internet-equipped cars,” but she’s making member stations nervous — and more than a few people wonder why the IBOC fraud continues. Reports radio-info.com (and passed along by Jack Hannold, who noted: “It would be nice if NPR member stations — and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — shared her vision. If they did, they wouldn’t be so eager to waste even more money on Iniquity’s destructive technology!”):

The tension between Washington-based NPR and the member stations who pay the bills may be increasing, with Schiller saying it doesn’t matter to her how NPR listeners get their Morning Edition or All Things Considered. Barron’s quotes her from the D8 “All Things Digital” conference saying she’s agnostic about the delivery platform. She says the strategy isn’t hurting terrestrial stations. The total audience for NPR stations just hit 34 million with the average listener tuning in for six hours a week. Schiller says the digital delivery methods are additive and there’s no cannibalization (stations might add “yet”). Schiller’s the former NYTimes.com executive who took over NPR last Fall, and she’s clearly tuned into digital. And she didn’t come to NPR from a public radio station. Her comments about Internet delivery will earn the most headlines in the general press. Schiller believes that all cars will have Internet capability fairly soon. And — the big worry for member stations — she thinks that over the next 5 to 10 years, Internet radio will succeed broadcast radio. NPR recently showed its faith in digital by completing re-writing its software to accommodate the iPad — and Schiller says that’s already paying off.

So cars will have access to the internet — and the hundreds of stations it offers — sez the new head of NPR. HD radio will still offer hash, lost signals, and an expensive alternative to public radio stations, effectively gutting their budgets for local production. So tell me again why NPR is pushing all its member stations into the exorbitantly expensive IBOC system? Just so they can buy the NPR canned content until the internet takes over? Buttress their bottom line while the grabbing’s good, destroying local content and draining local budgets? And why do we as taxpayers — through Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants — have to foot the bill for this stop-gap money-grub by iBiquity?

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2 Responses

  1. […] Schiller [NPR boss Vivian, who got the headlines predicting “Internet-equipped cars,” see post here] is being indelicate about how NPR programming is delivered, she is by and large correct. Look […]

  2. IBOC still exists for two reasons — Struble is desperate for an IPO, and stations running IBOC destroy their competitors with adjacent-channel interference. As IBOC destroys listening to distant, adjacent-channel stations, stations running IBOC pick up fringe listeners, and listeners are forced to listen only to their local stations, which would help with Arbitron numbers — Arbitron does not count DX listeners.

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