A youthful Orson Welles
A youthful Orson Welles

Have Audiences Hit the Kill Switch On Terrestrial Radio?

More and more Americans, and particularly young people, don’t tune into radio stations at all anymore. But is that the end for radio, the medium that’s survived existential threats from TV (and MTV), CD players and iPods?

If it is, it appears to be a slow and painful goodbye, as advertising dollars gradually evaporate and audiences dwindle.

The biggest indicator that terrestrial radio (the traditional broadcast) is once again at death’s door is CBS Corp.’s bid to spin off its 88-year-old radio business — once home to Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite —  in order to focus on its more profitable television and cable broadcasting segments. If CBS can’t find any buyers for its 117 stations in 29 U.S. markets, it will offer shares of CBS Radio via an initial public offering. So far, no buyers have stepped forward publicly, so the most likely scenario is an IPO that will have absolutely none of the fanfare that Facebook’s did.

 -- Angelo Young, Salon: CBS is getting out of the radio business—is this finally the end of the medium?



Leave a comment