What if LL was wrong? What if I can live without my radio? Cathy Hughes made the rounds over the last week protesting HR 848, which would increase how much radio stations have to pay the record companies to play music. She’s been pretty doom-and-gloom about the fact that, with business down anyway, a bunch of black stations will go away if they have to pay additional fees.
But seriously-how much would that affect your life?
I mean, Hughes was talking about how it could affect how much music her Radio One stations would play but, uh, I cant’ remember the last time I heard something new and exciting on the radio. Perhaps it would mean something in the smaller markets but, everywhere I go, it seems like the stations are playing the same ol’ playlists. If DJ’s had more autonomy, that argument might fly but, the way it is…well, I think the nine different Beyonce, Usher and Ne-Yo songs they play will be okay.
As far as a venue for information…I question that too. Between my laptop and my friggin’ phone, I’m more tapped into newpapers, info dumps, blogs, etc. than anytime in my life. Seriously, for all the talk of the radio’s role in the GOTV for the last election, how much did it really affect things? I’m not saying it hurt but I do question how crucial it was. And, frankly, if you discount the role of the syndicated dudes like Michael Baisden, Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, etc.-folks that would probably survive-what was left? Again, to my earlier point about DJ autonomy, how much pull does the local DJ have in 2009?
I’m not saying I want radio to go. Hell, I would love to find an R&B station that plays a variety of music, introduces me to stuff I don’t know about AND keeps me informed about what’s going on in the local community. Unfortunately, I don’t know if that kind of station exists anymore. And I’m damn sure not going to get worked up over what we have.