Ownership Consolidation: The Systematic Destruction of Local Radio?

The USA radio business has seen unprecedented consolidation of ownership, with several large corporations owning thousands of local radio stations. Now there's discussions about further opening ownership limits, but even commercial operators question this direction. Mike Buxser, a former market manager was quoted in Radio Today: “Since consolidation, companies accumulated as many stations as they could in markets far and wide. Then began the cutbacks in personnel, radio-stations-in-a-box operating with little or no local programming/content".

“If holding a license for a radio station truly means serving the local public interest, then make every owner accountable for owning up to the terms of each station’s license before there is any discussion of increasing ownership limits. Anyone who’s been around the business knows it’s possible to have compelling formats, embrace and serve their local community, and make money. Consolidation has hurt the business. Allowing more is laughable.”