First, and most obviously, today has brought devastating news for those working in local and regional commercial radio. Global is scrapping local and regional breakfast shows across its brands, and sharing the last remaining local and regional content (generally Drivetime shows) across bigger areas.
This will mean "significant changes at an operational level" as Global CEO Ashley Tabor smoothly and euphemistically puts it. Or massive redundancies, in the plain language commercial radio newsrooms have always excelled in.
Arch rival and last-contender-left-standing Bauer could well follow suit. They're not commenting on speculation. Industry website Radio Today is predicting up to two hundred and fifty jobs lost as a direct result of the changes. For a small industry, that's a huge number.
Meanwhile a lot of community radio is, objectively, poor quality. Don't take it from me. Travel broadcaster and former radio station manager Keri Jones put it far better than I could in a Facebook post:
I have been rolling my eyes skyward at some community radio people who seriously believe that this is an opportunity for them to seize the Global audience [..]
Yes, there are a FEW community stations that do pass muster. A few. And those are the stations that provide news and unique and meaningful content that people cannot get anywhere else. That's community radio. Or they use their radio setting to develop skills or make a difference to volunteers' lives [..]
For far too many CR there's no format, no plan and no quality control. For Ashley Tabor of Global that means no worry. CR- be like Global. Define your audience. Find your niche. Stand for something. Do it consistently. Don't assume you'll get listeners by default.So, amid all the gloom, is it possible to spy a silver lining? A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do some actual good for communities, for radio and for the future? Bear with me ...