Ratings at black owned radio stations are on a downward spiral and listeners have tuned out and turned off traditional radio. Advertisers aren’t buying it and sales people can’t sell it. Urban radio hasn’t changed its pitch since it was called “black radio” because they believe what they’ve been doing for the past 20 years still works. News flash my friend, it doesn’t. That method of playing oldies, traditional gospel, old school and throwback music, with legendary jocks is no longer relevant radio. How many times does a jock have to be fired, rehired, only to be fired again, before they realize it’s time to move on to the next and make room for Generation X?
Wake up people! You can’t stay relevant in the present and connect with the future if everything you do represents the past. If radio execs used the word transition as much as they use the word throwback, they just might see the bigger picture. Stop diggin’ in the crates pulling out washed up jocks and scratched up DJ’s and calling it Throwback. This throwback era is nothing but a hold back era keeping music lovers slaves to the 80”s. Here’s a little throwback for you, black owned radio stations are “stuck on stupid”.
Stations in the same cluster competing against each other, syndicated and local shows with no ratings, flipping stations as often as you flip channels on your TV and leadership with no relationships is a recipe for radio disaster. Urban radio continues to send listeners and communities mixed messages by calling themselves the “the urban specialist” (that means black folks) while the leadership for black radio are “suburban specialist” (that means white folks). White folks leading the pact on urban radio; how does that work? Surveys, polls, and portable people meters can’t tell you what the people want better than the people can tell what they want and how they want it. Survey says, black owned urban radio stations are headed for its demise and the powers that think they be, have been sitting in their high chairs too long and can’t see the future of or need for radio. I know it sounds like a cliché, but if you keep doing the same OLD thing, you’ll keep getting the same OLD results.
Here is the chance for urban radio to do something new and innovative, a chance to change the face, the sound and the state of radio. No more urban specialist, just radio specialist who can identify premier talent that delivers good content and can program great music. Stop wasting time trying to reinvent the old and invest in the new. The fact is the world is full of young, smart, talented, social media, Generation X innovators waiting for a chance to reinvent radio. Open the doors and the mics and hear what they have to say. Give them a chance to put urban radio back in the black!
by Kay Karmel