Isn’t this what Radio used to do?

You’ve already seen the news about ESPN creating hyper-local websites in every major American city.

Now comes news that NBC is doing the same thing, creating hyper-local information sites in a partnerships with Microsoft.


This couldn’t be happening at a worse time for Radio.

The big consolidated companies are not only unable to spend the money needed to get hyper-local initiatives started, they don’t believe in the concept.

It would be hard for any Radio executive to argue that “being local” is vital to their success. Not when they’re even replacing their local Morning Shows with voice-tracked or syndicated offerings.

Mark Ramsey blogged about the ominous trend, recently accelerated and justified by PPM results, in a posting entitled “Radio’s Fork in the Road.” It’s worth your time.

The irony is, of course, that Radio was, for generations, the local media. Our playlists reflected local music idiosyncrasies, our air talent was all live and local (and eminently approachable), able to react and respond to local issues, our contesting was local, our public affairs programming and news coverage — all local.

Not anymore.

Wouldn’t it be prudent to make a hyper-local web site for your community before ESPN and MSNBC block you out?

Isn’t there revenue to be found on these sites?

Couldn’t you celebrate local heroes and the success of local high school athletes, male and female, on your web site?

Couldn’t you recommend that fabulous new restaurant in your neighborhood, or that new flavor of ice cream in your local ice cream shop, on your web site?

Wouldn’t local listeners feel privileged to share their reviews of the latest movie, or write about a new song or artist they’ve discovered if you made it easy for them to share and start a conversation?

Don’t you hear compelling stories of struggle and redemption every week in your interactions with your neighbors, or at church? Wouldn’t these inspire those who visit your web site, who may not go to your church, or live in your neighborhood?

It’s pretty obvious this is already happening in most communities.

The only question is, will Radio be a part of this trend, or continue down the path of least expense, walking further and further away from the very towns we are supposed to serve.