Sunday, May 11, 2008

Technology Is Forcing Change

May 10th, 1982 was the date that technology forced change...

26 years ago the technology was FM radio and it was an AM radio station forced to change. That station was WABC in New York. Music on AM was dieing and moving over to FM.

WABC's ratings had seen better days but it was still a big deal. Just like people all over the New York area I remember stopping whatever I was doing to tune in to hear the change. I had moved on (working in radio) and was listening to other stations; but this was the station that I grew up with--the station that I have credited more than a few times as being my inspiration that made me want to go into radio.

Here's a WCBS-TV news report from that day. The report says a lot.

Even back in the "dark ages," 1982, technology was a problem...
  • There's a whole lot of media out there, wired and wireless--it's getting tougher and tougher to compete
  • AM stereo launching to better compete with FM. AM what?
  • More stations, more choices, no giants. How quant.
Maybe a little slow to make the right moves, but AM did get it right. Interesting that AM's savior was human voices--you know the long list of talk radio stars that made that happen.

The music died on AM when the public had free and easy access to FM. Will the music die on FM when the public has free and easy access to music on ~~insert new medium here~~? I think you know what my answer would be. I will leave it at that.

Please give some thought to history since it has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

***photo credit: from a wonderful website called Forgotten NY

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