I'm Right Again Dot Com
A new commentary every Wednesday - May 3, 2017
The Rich People of Radio
I began my career in radio broadcasting in 1950, a time when scores of media experts were predicting that television would soon put radio out of business.
21 years later, one radio station, KLIF, Dallas, owned once by radio pioneer Gordon McClendon, one of the early promoters of "Top 40" radio, sold for $10-million.
The broadcaster who "invented the format" of repeating endlessly the most popular recordings was Todd Storz, whose father was the owner of KOWH radio station in Omaha Nebraska.
Soon, every market had its Top Jock. In Tucson, it was Frank Kalil, on KTKT. In New York it was Rick Skar, on WABC. Every reader who was a teenager in 1960 can probably tell me the name of the most popular "record spinner" of note in their areas.
The top money-makers of radio today are commentators, mostly coming from of the right and righteous wing of political persuasion, but not altogether. Even though the grand-daddy to millions of "ditto-heads," Rush Limbaugh, is said to be worth $400-million, lesser lights (and they are proliferating faster than fruit flies), such as Glenn Beck has earned as much as $250-million. Don Imus (Imus in the Morning) is reportedly struggling to get by on a paltry $35-million.
The voice of Howard Stern, arguably the most shocking "Shock Jock" of all time, is coming to us from a satellite in a geostationary orbit, 30-thousand miles from the earth. Stern, who started his career on the low-power Boston College campus station in 1972, recently signed a deal with SiriusXM Satellite radio that's worth 500 million dollars...not too shabby for a dying industry.
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