My "Expert" Opinion – Radio Is Here to Stay, For Now
Expert is such a relative term. But OSU’s employee newspaper On Campus recently dubbed me an “expert” when it comes to the future of radio.
On Campus: Although many pundits have been sounding the death knell of newspapers because of new technology and people’s reading habits, it hasn’t happened yet. Does radio face a similar situation?
Mike Thompson: While every media organization is in a state of flux due to the changing ways listeners can access our services, radio probably has a little more time than the newspaper industry to adjust and take advantage of the opportunities new technology brings our way. For now nothing beats the convenience of hopping in your car and turning on the car radio to get a combination of music, news, weather, sports and traffic. But the car “radio” is definitely changing. Fairly soon every dashboard will feature a wireless Internet device that offers on-demand streaming audio from around the world. When those devices become ubiquitous and as easy to use as current over-the-air radios, if we don’t offer the unique programming that our listeners want, then we will face what newspapers competing with the web face now. We are already planning for that day by producing unique local content that will cause drivers and passengers to listen to WOSU rather than to web stream a public radio station in, say, Austin, Texas.