Growing a Pair

At least one columnist in this country isn’t buying into the hype of HD radio. In Milwaukee, writer Tim Cuprisin seems to be demonstrating the built-in bullshit detector Ernest Hemingway extolled. Not a total condemnation, but this post at least questions the wisdom of buying into the fraud. At last, a journalist with the intelligence to question “conventional wisdom”:

I’ve never been confident in the the long-term survivability of terrestrial broadcasting’s alternative to satellite, the so-called “HD” radio. It’s not high-definition, but it is digital and Milwaukee stations are offering sub-channels of programming if you buy an HD radio.

HD radio is where you’ll find smooth jazz as a sub-channel of the main classic country format at 106.9 on Milwaukee’s FM dial. It’s where you can find classical music as a sub-channel of Wisconsin Public Radio’s WHAD-FM (90.7).

But the secondary channels are mostly programmed robo-radio channels from the radio chains. And, since consumers don’t seem to have taken to HD radio, I’m still not convinced that it’s here to stay [emphasis added]. . . .

But then he continues, bringing to the fore some of the points made so succinctly by Jerry Del Colliano in the blog Inside Music Media:

Personally, I enjoy using the Internet as a radio source. The choices are endless, and when I plug my laptop into my stereo, I’ve got great sound through the main areas of my house. But the latest way of breaking the bonds with Milwaukee radio is in your hand, or in your pocket. Smart radio stations have created mobile applications that put radio stations onto your phone. . . .

You’ll have to shop around to find out what’s out there that might suit your needs better than what’s available locally, but the number of stations is growing all the time. The bottom line here is that there’s no real need to be tied to a Milwaukee radio station if you don’t like what you’re hearing.

Obviously, that’s the case in every local radio market and it’s one more sign that commercial radio has to offer entertaining local personalities and music formats that reach local audiences if it’s going to survive. It’s expensive at a time when the business still wants to cut costs. But without that kind of investment, local stations are often less-interesting versions of what’s increasingly available elsewhere.

It’s nice to see that journalists in the hinterlands might be threatening to grow a pair . . . unlike in Corpus, where the newspaper’s website won’t even allow a comment challenging HD radio.

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One Response

  1. There’s no question that the Media is on iBiquity’s payroll, just like some radio consultants, such as Fred Jabobs, who has openly admitted such. I have left many comments about HD Radio on newspaper articles that never get published, yet I see the comments of HD Radio supporters. HD Radio is nothing but a huge carny-shill to setup iBiquity’s potential IPO.

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