Running this radio news aggregation site (well, actually it kind of runs itself) I’ve been a bit shocked that in the past few days there hasn’t been more of an outcry regarding the Variety article penned by music industry analyst and critic (music biz attorney) Rob Lefsetz.
You can source the article at the Variety web-site Stolid biz loses a generation; Wi-Fi in cars could deliver a crushing blow.
Although the article has a veneer of being actual news content, make no mistake, it’s just another op-ed written to garner as much web traffic with much hyperbole and muckraking FUD as possible. It’ doesn’t take Bob long (in fact, in the first sentence he calls us “Luddites.”) to attack radio below the belt. But let’s just cut to the chase, the crux of the article is Bob’s belief that WiFi in cars will be the death-blow to commercial radio. That along with the “quality” of radio (ie: not playing the kind of music Bob likes or thinks will turn radio broadcasting back to its golden days of, I guess, Album Rock of the ‘70s when Bob was a younger man and had some passion for the medium).
Hey, I got out of music radio 20 years into my radio career, so I will be the first to admit that I don’t have any idea what “people” want to hear on the radio (when it comes to music). I do know that most teens and 20-somethings today (as they have in the past, with the exception of maybe a brief period in the late ‘60s to the mid ‘70s) really, really like, well should I say it, shitty music. Like many in the music “biz” I got into it because, man, I wanted to be around this wonderful music and share my musical opinion and great knowledge of contemporary music with the masses. 20 years of that was enough. I soon realized what I really enjoyed was shooting my big mouth off behind a mic. I would take a guess here and say that at this point what I think Bob really likes is shooting his big mouth off at Variety. I don’t blame him. Besides, everyone needs a gig. (I should note here that I am no longer in the biz, I’ve left the luddites behind and now work in tech)
I just gotta’ say that I’m really tired of articles, much like Bob’s, that chicken little radio with vitriol and lather and really just don’t bring a much to the table with facts or logic. I’ve been reading them for over a decade now (and yea, I used to even write them) and it’s really getting old. It seems to me these “sky is falling” articles, like most of the crap that presents itself as journalism on the internet, isn’t about real discussion, facts, solutions or even plain old long winded predictions. It’s about being the biggest blowhard and being proven right “in the end,” so we can all hear ourselves say, “I told you so!” Give that man a cookie already!