Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, February 16, 2021

When it comes to nonprofit broadcasting media, the audio-only action is trumping the televised fare these days. As funding-challenged PBS slowly devolves into a resemblance of other cookie-cutter television channels, NPR gains popularity by accentuating its distinctiveness within a radio wasteland.

The wide spectrum of dedicated channels that cable television provides is cited as having stolen PBS’ thunder:

If you’re the sort of traditional PBS viewer who likes extended news broadcasts, say, or cooking shows, old movies and shows about animals gnawing each other on the veld, cable now offers channels devoted just to your interest. Cable is a little like the Internet in that respect: it siphons off the die-hards. Public television, meanwhile, more and more resembles everything else on TV. Since corporate sponsors were allowed to extend their “credit” announcements to 30 seconds, commercials in all but name have been a regular feature on public television, and that’s not to mention pledge programs, the fund-raising equivalent of water-boarding.

Which makes me wonder: Are we going to be lamenting similar woes for public radio in a few years, when the endless expanse of satellite radio has become commonplace enough to siphon listeners away from NPR? The same dynamics are in place as with what developed in television over the past couple of decades.

I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing that I’ve largely abandoned both mediums at this point. Not that I never look/listen to TV and radio, but I don’t rely on much original content from either.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/16/2008 07:35 PM
Category: Radio, TV
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