Satellite Radio: A Manager's Perspective

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For 30 years, many public radio stations built their public service model by broadcasting programs purchased wholesale from national program producers. This retail broadcasting approach worked well because few markets had multiple competing public radio services.

However, because of this lack of competition, most public radio stations had little incentive to develop their local program production capabilities. It was simply too easy — and economical — to clear a national program, rather than trying to produce one in-house.

Even today, local programming at many public radio stations too often consists of announcers spinning CD's, with little production support. Satellite radio broadcasters can't wait to steal this audience away from our stations, using their high-end production values.

For terrestrial public radio to thrive in a world of satellite radio, stations must develop high-quality, listenable, local programs that cannot be heard anywhere else.

Jim Paluzzi is Professor of Broadcast Technology at Boise State University, and serves as General Manager for Boise State Radio.

This same approach applies to commercial radio stations as well. Localism will continue to be the key factor in the success of terrestrial radio.
— CS

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