How the National Association of Broadcasters is trying to kill radio


Considering I work for a company that has major broadcast radio properties, this article was interesting. Salem is a content partner for 2 satellite radio channels on XM, so they are obviously recognizing the importance in staying ahead of the learning curve.

Last year, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the lobbying group for local radio and TV stations, began running a series of truly awful advertisements attacking satellite radio. In one, for example, you hear the play-by-play for a baseball game. Just as the announcer gets to a crucial point in the action, an operator interrupts, and asks you the listener to deposit money to keep listening, as if you were on a pay phone. A voiceover then announces, “Radio. You shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

The ads were economically illiterate (as if the time you spend listening to the endless commercials on traditional radio were free), blatantly dishonest (you pay a monthly fee for satellite radio, not by the hour), and roundly criticized for their broad assault on the intelligence of the average radio listener. But the NAB stuck with them. They were part of the NAB’s longstanding, sometimes vicious attack on satellite radio, an emerging medium that the NAB clearly sees as a long-term threat. And with good reason.

Change is inevitable. Companies must adapt, or risk losing value for their shareholders or stakeholders.

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