Bob Garfield, co-host of the reliably superb “On the Media” (which airs Sundays on 90.9) peers into the media horizon and divines signs that bode ill for those of us in the content biz … bode very ill indeed … apocalyptically so.
So what does Garfield see?
“…between the obsolescence of the technology and the means of distribution and the supply/demand problem on the advertising side, broadcasters may face a very bleak future.”
It’s hard to dismiss the source. Bob Garfield is not some preening, Web-Point-Two-O poser or Kool-Aid-drinking dot.com “visionary.” He comes from good old-fashioned, meat and potatoes media stock. This is no crank. He is a public radio guy. One of our own.
And what to do?
Garfield references his own program, from which we can draw some prescriptions for action:
We have to completely re-imagine what we mean to our audience, and the longer we think of ourselves as a program, and not as a source of all things that our community of listeners care about, we walk ever closer to our own doom.
Sadly, public broadcasting is not the supplest moving ship. In fact, change in this biz can be measured on a geologic scale.
Garfield expounds on his prognostications and prescriptions in his new book, The Chaos Scenario, which Ramsey calls “one of the most important pieces you will read this year if you are in the radio trenches – or in its corporate boardrooms.”
I am going to run out and get me a copy.