For 30 years, many public radio stations built their public
service model by broadcasting programs purchased wholesale from
national program producers. This retail broadcasting approach worked
well because few markets had multiple competing public radio
However, because of this lack of competition, most public radio
stations had little incentive to develop their local program production
capabilities. It was simply too easy — and economical — to
clear a national program, rather than trying to produce one
Even today, local programming at many public radio stations too
often consists of announcers spinning CD's, with little production
support. Satellite radio broadcasters can't wait to steal this audience
away from our stations, using their high-end production values.
For terrestrial public radio to thrive in a world of satellite
radio, stations must develop high-quality, listenable, local
programs that cannot be heard anywhere else.
Jim Paluzzi is Professor of Broadcast Technology at Boise State
University, and serves as General Manager for Boise State
This same approach applies to commercial radio stations as well.
Localism will continue to be the key factor in the success of