Local Broadcasting is Still the Most Dominant Medium

Why Local Broadcasting Is Still the Most Dominant Medium

Will Payne


By Will Payne, OAB Chairman, Payne Radio Group

As Broadcasters near the century mark of “Public Service” to our communities, we should reflect on why we are so critical to society and why we will continue to thrive in a very fluid media landscape.

1920 was the start of the radio era, and the late 1940’s saw the advent of television. Both business models became wildly successful and continue to be for one simple reason: Broadcasting is by definition a ONE-TO-MANY medium. In its purest form; we are Local, Immediate, and Meaningful. So, while the digital world and new technology has brought on rapid changes in distribution and content with numerous new competitors, let us not forget that we still command the largest audiences, the most respect, and ultimately the power to be the most effective form of communication.

Now; we would be naïve to not adapt to changing audience expectations and new forms of delivery. Historically our greatest strength has been our ability to adapt to new trends in society and new technologies. That creativity and enthusiasm for our craft will lead us down new paths and new opportunities. Witness the historical evolution of radio and its unique ability to grow and innovate with constant competition. But, as with any successful long-term industry we need to be true to our core principles. We must remember what made us successful and why we will continue to be the dominant form of media. To that end please contemplate the following three principles:

1. Credibility: It is ingrained in our audiences that we are the most trusted form of information. A perfect Oklahoma example is severe weather. “When It Really Matters, People Trust Their Local Broadcasters.”

2. Entrepreneurial Excellence: Our ability to MONETIZE our content is second to none. Our form of advertising is emotional and immediate. Businesses advertise with winners and quite frankly we WIN.

3. Meaningful Impact: We are credible, we are immediate, and we make a difference in Oklahomans’ lives. It is the reason we exist, and it is the most rewarding aspect of our business.

So, now is a time to reflect on our past and examine the challenges of our future. As our industry moves forward, we ask that broadcaster commit themselves to Excellence, Public Service, and being the Leader in Communication. Our ONE-TO-MANY advantage is one hundred years new and will sustain us for another one hundred years to come.