CEA's Wilson: Radio Committed Suicide

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Washington - Aug 12, 2008 - Dave Wilson, senior director, technology and standards at the Consumers Electronics Association, penned an editorial that points to radio's demise. He says the Buggles got it wrong -- video did not kill the radio star -- and satellite radio and the music industry are not to blame, but rather radio's real demise could be attributed to suicide.

Wilson does not believe that radio is dead yet, but he says that CEA research has shown that interest in free, local radio is waning. In CEA studies, respondents have indicated a desire to have a portable media player, a satellite radio receiver and other personal electronics. No one hopes to receive an AM/FM radio receiver of any kind. Not digital, not analog.

Wilson says that radio is traditionally afraid of expansion and terrified of new competition. He notes the tendency for radio to request regulatory roadblocks to limit competition and recaps radio's reluctance to consider new broadcast bands for digital use. In 1990, radio broadcasters rejected the idea to allocate new spectrum for digital use. More recently, the NAB radio board opposed the idea of using TV channels 5 and 6 for new radio services.

Wilson writes, "Radio tends to oppose improvements in its own service that would enable stations with poorer coverage to gain too much competitive ground on stations with great coverage."

"Radio needs to focus more on serving today's modern consumers -- no one wants to read its obituary any time soon."

Read his entire entry at this link.

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