WASHINGTON, DC - Today, a group called The Future of Music Coalition will release a report claiming music format diversity on local radio has decreased in the last decade.
The facts demonstrate a different story, according to BIA Financial Network (BIAfn), a Chantilly, VA-based firm that analyzes the media and telecommunications industries. For example:
FMC will make the claim that the 1996 Telecommunications Act has stifled diversity and led to homogenized programming. The facts demonstrate otherwise. For example:
For an example of radio program diversity in just one market -- Washington, DC -- click here to view the radio listings from a recent Washington Post.
In response to FMC's study, the following statement can be attributed to NAB Executive Vice President of Media Relations Dennis Wharton:
"FMC's long history of producing questionable research and dubious data to fulfill its agenda-driven mission is apparent for all to see. As the BIA Financial Network study indicates, free local radio has more format diversity than at any time in its rich history. Moreover, with the advent of HD Radio, local radio will be providing more news, more music formats, and more public service for the 260 million people who tune in every week."
Wharton will be available for comment following the release of FMC's study.
The following is the Executive Summary from a recent study conducted by BIA Financial Networks. The entire report can be read here.
Excerpt: Study by BIA Financial Network, October 23, 2006
OVER-THE-AIR RADIO SERVICE TO DIVERSE AUDIENCES
Radio stations in local markets battle daily to attract and retain listeners. That competition is largely driven by adjusting and improving the programming provided by these radio stations to local audiences. Consequently, local radio broadcasters are constantly examining their stations' programming and evaluating opportunities to alter that programming in order to better serve their local communities, attract larger audiences and generate greater revenues.
Following passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, radio station owners began to provide more diverse types of programming to listeners. A number of previous studies have confirmed that the post-1996 ownership changes in the radio industry resulted in this offering of more varied types of programming to audiences.
One purpose of this paper is to update those earlier studies to see whether the trend toward greater programming diversity has continued. The results of this update clearly show that the trend continues:
Another purpose of this paper is to further analyze whether the terrestrial radio industry is providing additional services for diverse audiences and the total population as a whole. That analysis demonstrates increased services to different demographic groups such as:
After updating the previous analyses on radio programming and "digging deeper" into the data, one can easily see that radio station owners are expanding their offerings to serve a broad range of demographic groups. Local broadcasters clearly see opportunities in providing expanded services with new programming to the diverse audiences in their local communities.
To read the full study, click here.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.