"The End of Local Radio"? Reports Say Clear Channel May Be About to Go All "Robotics."

Categories: Media
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Clear Channel owns and operates six radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth market: KDGE-FM, KDGE-FM, KEGL-FM, KFXR-AM, KHKS-FM and KZPS-FM. But several times this morning, Friends of Unfair Park have sent this piece from Time Out Chicago that says at any moment, any or all of them could lose their local voices. Because at this very moment, says here, Clear Channel has begun a massive reduction in force that will result in what one analyst calls "the end of local radio."
At its most drastic, according to Inside Music Media's Jerry Del Colliano, Clear Channel could see the elimination of all program directors and become a company "operated by robotics with nothing local, little live and everything cheap." It's all designed to shed expenses as the company faces $18 billion in debt that it cannot repay.
I've left messages for Kelly Kibler, the market manager for Dallas; I will update if and when she provides further word. But today's news follows a massive restructuring that took place only two years ago.

Update on Thursday at 4:40 p.m.: A rep from Kelly Kibler's office just called to say "there are no plans for a reduction in force in the Dallas office."

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36 comments
Guest
Guest

Clear Channel was down for an hour first thing (0600) this morning, which involved both of the local stations I listen to on the internet.  I had to GASP!!!  AURGHH!! pull up Pandora!  

Cujo
Cujo

I've got a few terabytes of converted CDs and legal bootlegs plus college radio stations for my listening pleasure. I gave up on the bean counters determining playlists and stifling anything interesting ages ago.

CC and their ilk screwed the pooch for everyone. Spotify and Pandora pushed those dinosaurs to the tar pits and that's a good thing.

Marconi
Marconi

...or they could just hook up an iPhone 4s to their transmitter and let Siri DJ.

Admonkey
Admonkey

When will artificial intelligence robotics come along far enough to replace Schutze?

I can't wait to see the mathematical formula for "snark."

Guest
Guest

And I, for one, welcome our new computerized overlords.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Not suprised, seeing that CC has been in the toliet for awhile when it comes to cheap skate managment..I feel for quite a few of the on-air folks there, The future of the business has and will always be sat/internet and mobile based, as noone save my grandfather tunes into the ol' radio anymore..

Rooster
Rooster

This might be breaking news....

....if I had listened to anything other than Sirius, Internet, RAGE, or the Ticket in the last few years.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it still make a noise?

Russp
Russp

I mostly ride a motorcycle with no radio or listen to news radio in my truck, but isn't this already what Jack FM and most of the Sirius/XM channels do? 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

What is this FM you speak of?  Its AM or CD or ipod

therrick
therrick

I can't remember the last time I listened to the radio for music. That's what my ipod is for.

james
james

they've all sucked for so long that it ain't no great loss.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

All the more reason to tune into KNON, 89.3FM Community Radio.  Voted Best Radio Station in Dallas for 2011 by both the Dallas Observer and D Magazine. 

RadioGaGa
RadioGaGa

Well that signals the end of whatever little bit of the Edge was good, i.e. Adventure Club and The Local Show. Maybe Josh can just port over to KXT.

just sayin'
just sayin'

All this new technology just blows me away. Are you telling me that someone can create a program that will allow the Eagle to play Disturbed every other song without having to have an actual person there pushing buttons? Fuck, now Ive seen it all.

Phelps
Phelps

I don't listen to music over the air anyways, everything is on pandora and spotify.  As long as Russ Martin is still on the air somewhere, it don't make me no nevermind.

ChrisU
ChrisU

good riddance. what is there to like about any of those stations listed. anyone?we still got RL Griffen and Soul 73!

Paul
Paul

And why should we be surprised by this turn of events?

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

You mean I won't be able to hear Loveline or Billy Burrito talk to high school kids about their love lives and sexual habits? 

Jason
Jason

Initial reports this morning were that it was mainly smaller markets, which means those smaller markets will get DJs from other markets doing their breaks for them via ISDN.  Kind of like Josh Venable doing shifts in both Dallas at KDGE and KYSR in L.A...  Unfortunately, local radio has been dead since the lovely Telecommunications Act back in the mid-90s.

Here's a small list of effected stations so far.  The list will sadly grow as the day goes on.  http://bit.ly/sOVEiX

Montemalone
Montemalone

Ultimately, they'll default.The stations will be sold.Maybe in the end we'll see a return to locally owned and operated stations.

Wash's ashtray
Wash's ashtray

As if FM in this town didnt already suck bad enough.

williamedia
williamedia

So basically they will be turning each of their stations into Pandora radio stations that are broadcast over old fashioned radio waves?

Sounds like ClearChannel should just turn their air space into wireless internet and sell that to people with included subscriptions to thousands of Pandora like music and talk stations.

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

Radio stations serving small communities have been doing this for decades. 

Oh Really
Oh Really

Remind us Wilsonsky, how much under the table moolah your getting from our local public radio station? You're whoring lately, is starting to get tiresome!

john262
john262

Sirius is also automated and has very few if any live dj's.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Disturbed is played on KDGE, KEGL alternates between Pink Floyd (fucking shoot me) and AC/DC (burn my corpse)

john262
john262

Due to economics, most locally owned stations are either automated or they use a satellite feed. If you're lucky you might get live dj during morning drive, but that's about it.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

You know what I don't find tiresome? Anonymous, vague comments like yours. Are you referring to a total of 10 minutes of airtime during the KERA pledge drive? Or a single blog post about people having the chance to program and DJ an hour's worth of KXT? I can see how that would be tiresome. Anything else?

Josh
Josh

The Edge hasnt played Disturbed in years just FYI-Josh

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Don't forget hearing Ozzy's voice twice an hour.

Oh Really
Oh Really

That response says it all! 

RTGolden
RTGolden

I thought KEGL had an eternal loop of beastie boys and GNR...

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