when looking back is still looking ahead

February 12, 2008

I stopped blogging here about the challenges and opportunities facing radio in Feb 2007.

Not because the issues changed.

Not because the challenges were being met.

Not because the opportunities were being seized.

I stopped because I began to feel like a broken record. Everything I had to say about these issues I had already said. Several times. In several ways.

Every issue that arose only provided another opportunity to repeat the same things. I wasn’t into doing that. That’s not good blogging form – I know. But that’s the decision I made. Swimming against the tide is EXTREMELY tiring. It seemed pointless to expend the energy.

That was a year ago. I left the blog up because I felt the ideas I expressed were valid even though the tide within the power structure of the industry was going in the opposite direction.

A few days ago – in preparation for an upcoming meeting that promises to approach many of these issues, I reluctantly scanned through the old posts here.

I’m a bit surprised to see that everything I said then is still stuff I would say today when talking about the same issues. In other words – these ideas are not fads. These are not flash in the pan – hot today gone tomorrow ideas of the moment. They represent a fundamental change that is clear to me. It’s undeniable. Resisting it is foolish. These are cultural changes which will occur with radio or without radio.

Unfortunately, looking back on these year old posts and finding the content is STILL very forward looking from where we are even today is a bit sad.

Now please don’t mistake this. I’m not putting myself out there as a visionary futurist or anything of the sort.

But the notion that these observations are STILL seen as “cutting edge” demonstrates how glacially SLOW the radio industry has been in taking even modest steps forward.

Granted – there are steps being taken within the industry. But little of it appears poised to usher in a new era of growth & innovation. Little of it appears to be embracing, at a holistic level, the cultural changes taking place.

Radio – at it’s best – at it’s most successful – is a reflection of the culture.

Present day radio at large is falling WAY behind the emerging culture.

I still have a lot of ideas about these issues. And I’m feeling compelled to being blogging them again.

–jeff