The Year In Radio

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David Hinkley of The Daily News sums up the tumultuous year in radio. There were, as there always are in radio, dramatic exits: the entire Free FM format (with a little help from Jacques Sternberg’s reporting), Dom Imus (for a few months, anyway), Whoopi Goldberg, Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, Air America’s Sam Greenfield and Armstrong Williams. And, this being the mercurial business of radio, there were returns: Richard Bey and Mark Green (as a President and a host) to Air America, Bob Grant and Don Imus, among others. Afternoon drive time host Randi Rhodes had an interesting moment in October. Hinkley zeros in on the two big radio sories of the year in The Daily News:

”Two important radio stories this year were less immediately visible to the average listener: the proposed merger of XM and Sirius satellite radios, which is still pending, and the arrival of Arbitron’s Personal People Meter (PPM) rating system. The first PPM numbers showed such a dramatic decline for black and ethnic stations that the resulting protest caused Arbitron to postpone full implementation of the PPM system.

”In the larger picture, New York radio and traditional radio everywhere struggled with the question of how to counter the new competition that seems to spring up daily from satellite, iPods, Internet radio and other devices.

”Traditional AM and FM still reach more than 90% of the city. But advertising revenue is down and audiences are listening for shorter stretches of time – particularly younger audiences.”