Dear Readers and Listeners:
Many of the readers of this column also listen to my radio show, The Len Tillem Show, which was broadcast live each weekday at 3 p.m. in San Francisco on KKSF until Thursday, March 28, which was my last day. They let me go in a telephone call 15 minutes after the program was over. Thatís how it works in radio. The last thing they want is for an outgoing radio host to tell listeners to open their windows, stick their heads out, and yell ďIím as mad as Hell, and Iím not going to take it any more!Ē That line is from the 1976 Academy Award winning film Network, by the way.
But itís OK. Radio is pretty much a doomed medium. The beginning of the end happened when the FCC loosened up the rules in 1996 allowing radio networks to own more than 40 stations. Today Clear Channel owns more than 1,200. Local stations everywhere were consumed by Citadel, Cumulus, and Clear Channel. These networks decided that the best way to make money was to stop spending money on talk show hosts, news reporters, traffic helicopters, meteorologists and the like, and to replace local programs with nationally syndicated content.
Radio has also changed because Arbitron changed its ratings system. Instead of mailing out diaries for random listeners to fill out, Arbitron issued people meters. Advertisers learned that most people listen to radio for only a few minutes at a time. Most stationsí actual ratings were less than what they were once thought to be. That caused a massive shift in advertising dollars, forcing stations to spend less money than ever before when they were already cutting back.
The final nail in the coffin? Podcasting. Almost everyone has access to either the Internet or a smart phone capable of playing podcasted programs. Instead of listening to music or whatever happens to be on your favorite station when you turn on the radio, you can download a podcast and listen to it wherever and whenever you want, commercial-free.
Thatís what Iím doing now. The Len Tillem Show has been available as a podcast since last year. The program will continue as a daily podcast. Iím excited that I can do my program, the way I want, without having to deal with the demands of corporate management or complaints to FCC every time someone says a bad word.
Hereís where you can find The Len Tillem Show:
www.lentillem.com/podcasts/ or itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/len-tillem/id535550590 or www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem.
You can also listen to my program each day on www.facebook.com. If you want to help out, the best thing you can do is to subscribe to my iTunes podcast, rate it, and post a review, and keep spreading the word.
Thank you for your support.