Who killed local radio? | radioinfo

Who killed local radio?

Sunday 10 July, 2016
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Opinion from Scott Mayman

We've already witnessed fewer local shifts at local radio stations,  thanks to networking by the big radio operators who say it's all part of "efficiencies". Most of us feel,  this is B.S.

What happened to the core values inside  a local radio station? What happened to local managers, local journos and local staffing who offered one on one "face to face" connections?  

In 2015,  I embarked on my own fact finding mission at a variety of local markets (Country, regional and metro).  Not scientific, but it got the job done.

The removal of that local connection is the reason many retailers stopped buying ads with a local station which offers more networked programs than shows.

One retailer told me, he was allowed to walk away because the station could not provide local talent to provide a live broadcast in the afternoon from his store. Another retailer told me a similar story because they didn't offer a local Saturday morning show.

Inside the station; it goes without saying: “We are passionate about our work and what we do.” But it's mostly just recognised at a local level.   How is your work evaluated if your management team is in another market place?

Once upon a time, a local News Director or a local manager made those local hiring decisions. They were always in touch with what's going on around them and who is available locally. Not anymore.  

Imagine  you're  supporting your Sydney NRL or Melbourne AFL footy team. But the Captain isn't on the field. Instead, he's calling the shots from Adelaide while the Coach is online from Perth. Club management gives direction in a phone hook up from Canberra. Where's the loyalty, dedication and trust?  How successful do you think your local footy team would be at the end of the game… of the season?  

So, what happens when the department head is in another city? Often staff feel helpless at a local level.

A leader MUST be based locally and evaluate decisions on local matters.   It's the only way for the local team to rise to the next level.  It's been proven to deliver results.  

How does it match up with your local operations?

Catch part two of this article when I look at H.R. and how matters can actually be made worse.


Scott Mayman is an award-winning Australian radio presenter who has worked professionally in both his home country and in the United States. In 2010, Scott initiated the 4BC/101FM "ready reserve" program with great success. Many radio journalists attribute their success to the program.

Scott is currently Breakfast Host at RADIO 97 - FM104.1 on the Tweed Coast and a Correspondent for CBS Radio News



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the governor
11 July 2016 - 9:25pm
Whilst I agree with you Scott, on matters involving local participation, I believe the route cause of the issues with community radio stations is centered governance.
If I was on the management committee of a community association, I would want to know and do the following:
1. What is our purpose? (know your community, and measure your performance)
2. How are we to be governed? (ensure integrity mandated and is maintained at all times)
3. How do we manage internal issues / disagreements / conflicts?
4. How do we self / internal audit ourselves and share results?

Look, I get what you are saying, but believe that the lack of integrity in the management committee's is the key.

I look forward to your next installment of your investigation.

18 July 2016 - 10:06am
I believe Scott is referring to commercial and public radio stations being centralised, the governor. This is actually a huge opportunity for community radio stations to engage local business while commercial/public are losing touch with their broadcast areas.
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