Dead Air

Automation put a bunch of talented folk on the street, looking for work. Radio broadcasting got the biggest hit. Even though there were programs ‘pre-recorded’, up until the introduction of ‘automation’, there was a continued need for a live person to run the thing. AM radio stations were the first to utilize it when they added an FM station. In the early 80’s most salesmen offered ‘packages’ of commercials that included FM. Automation made it possible to ‘air’ two separate programs without doubling the cost of live personnel. Back then, the ‘on-air’ personality on AM also ‘supervised’ the FM, for the same amount of money. The sound of grumbling accompanied each of these tasks. Then came ‘satellite radio’ and out-the-door went a bunch of talent. Other than a transmitter and tower, all that is required for commercial broadcasting is recording equipment and a cellphone. FM transmission of up to 150 feet is for sale on the internet and an engineer with a sync generator can set up FM broadcasts to cover several blocks. When you listen to commercial radio today, you are being entertained by the least expensive method. It’s all simply good business, donchaknow, really.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

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