Thursday, March 30, 2006

Podcasting and local radio

About two weeks ago, WBAL in Baltimore announced it is dropping Rush Limbaugh and replacing his show with local programming. Read about it here.

One of the reasons for Rush's original growth was he was an early adopter of Compuserv (pre-internet) and used it to access Lexis Nexis to do research to locate historical media accounts related to current events. Skillfully using an information service enabled him to leapfrog over the other talkers who merely talked about today's stories in the local newspaper.

Now Rush is distributing his programming with Podcasting and generating his own revenue from paid streaming - bypassing the local radio stations.

Some related questions:

  • Is this WBAL decision a reaction to overt competition from Rush undermining their own "over the air" revenue streams?
  • Is Rush leading the next wave of radio by bypassing the local affiliates entirely?
  • Is the future of radio going to revert to more local programming?
  • Can local programming generate enough revenue to support itself or is "over the air" radio on life support?
  • Didn't we hear the same questions 20 years ago?

So many questions, so little time. Now it is your turn to provide some opinions.


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