“Once the dust settled, these radio station group owners realized they had overpaid for the stations and immediately started making cuts and consolidating programming to save money,” said Jean Cook, director of programs for the Future of Music Coalition, an education, research and advocacy group for musicians. “Program directors and news departments were cut across the industry and the commercial dial became more homogenous.”
Then, there is the rise of the internet and on-demand outlets. As Cook noted, a recent Nielsen study showed that radio is still the dominant way that people access new music, and tapping into new listeners is increasingly important to the jazz world. Unfortunately, that same study shows that the writing may be on the wall for both commercial and community radio, because teens listen to music through YouTube more than through any other source. Furthermore, outlets like Spotify and Pandora not only allow a listener access to her favorite artists without charge, but expose her to new music at the click of a button.
“The FCC reviews its media ownership rules every four years. So every four years, there is an opportunity to make the case to the FCC why large station group owners should not get larger,” Cook explained. “It’s through massive public outcry in 2002 that consolidation stopped where it did.”