Beat Radio

Minneapolis Listeners Get Jacked Around Again
The latest upheaval in less than 12 months of a wild media rollercoaster ride in the Twin Cities

September 19, 1997

The recent ABC/Disney station and format shuffle illustrates two things.

One: Giant media corporations have no real interest in music or quality radio content. Rather, their sole aim is to simply shift formats in ways they believe steal audience from their competitors. Nowhere in the recent press discussions was there talk of trying to provide innovative programming or better serving the public. The moves were simply business strategy and bean counting. ARD believes that the radio medium should be about more than numbers on a balance sheet.

Two: The Twin Cities market has too few radio stations controlled by too few owners. So long as two or three out-of-state companies control the vast majority of the radio spectrum local community interests will not be served. For this reason ARD advocates breaking up the broadcast monopolies made possible by the 1996 Telecommunications Act and expanding the radio market by allowing the licensing of microbroadcast radio stations.

While being rid of some of the more infantile inanities broadcast by the EDGE might be a welcome change, the prospect of yet another station overplaying the Wallflowers and Counting Crows does nothing for real radio diversity. The problem, however, is not format, but ownership. ARD believes that it is time for this issue to be addressed by both the public and our elected officials as well as the mainstream press, who to this point have covered radio issues in the typical "horse-race" fashion of who's winning and who's losing in a battle between homogenous corporate players.

ARD welcomes your input. Call 612-874-6521 with your comments, ideas or criticism.

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