Former President and CEO at CBS Radio, Dan Mason, recently posted a blog on his thoughts on the importance of “Local” in broadcasting.
If you are a broadcaster, hold onto the concept of local for dear life! Local is our lifeline, our purpose, and our living. It’s the means by which we serve our listeners, our viewers, and our advertisers. No local…no life. With local, what we know as radio and television broadcasting fades away into a generic wasteland of channel something or another.
Years back, I saw the most amazing speech given by Eddie Fritts, who was then Chairman of the NAB. I hung onto every word of his speech that day and still think of it often. Today, I felt some sense of need to share excerpts of Eddie Fritts’ wise words with my fellow broadcasters:
Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to imagine for a moment that you lived in a country where you had cable TV, satellite TV, satellite radio; you had Internet, broadband, Wi-Fi, and so forth…but imagine that local radio and TV broadcasting did not exist. Imagine a country where all the households had to pay $75 a month or more for TV entertainment, $10 a month for their radio and $50 a month for their high-speed Internet service.
Imagine that, other than the morning newspaper, news of the local community was limited and outsourced from someplace far away with no direct connection to the local community.
Now..imagine that a new wireless technology come along and said: We can give you FREE television. We can give you FREE radio. We can give you LOCAL news, LOCAL weather and school closings as they happen.
What is more, we will be a contributing member of the of the local community. We will be as local as the bakery, the car dealership, the church or synagogue.
We will be the first responders in getting out information on local emergencies, such as tornadoes and terrorist attacks.
We will even bring you emergency alerts, called Amber Alerts, when a child has been kidnapped–and we will save 150 children a year this way.
We will be the community’s local lifeline.
My friends, if this new technology called broadcasting came along today, it would be viewed as a miracle technology. It would be the darling of legislators and regulators. They would herald it as an amazing addition to public and political disclosure. They would declare it a tremendous advance in public safety in this era of concern over homeland security. — Eddie Fritts, former Chairman NAB
The moral of the story is to cherish your purpose as a broadcaster. That tower in the air is a delivery system for television and radio to communicate information, entertain but foremost be a friend to the communities they serve, which is why people look to local radio and local television…..companionship.
Guaranty Media is Baton Rouge’s only locally owned radio company. For more information, please contact TJ Solis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 6th, 2016