SOAPBOX – Radio Stations Across America

Although I listen to XM radio most of my radio-hours, I have noted a change in small town radio service in my travels.

Corporate America has created homogenization of radio stations. Mostly absent are the small town stations that I remember from my childhood. You know the ones. They had local news about Ned’s barber shop specials; closings of schools due to snow; lost dog notices; buy and sell of items ( a free local Ebay); local talk show content, with local guests.

You know the stations I am talking about if you are over 50. When it snowed, everybody was up preparing for school, with the radio in the background. Parents praying that schools were open, kids crossing their fingers that schools were closed.

All gone for the most part. Today, even on the small town stations, the content all day is Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Regan, and syndicated national news. All programs provided by satellite feed. And all automated. Sometimes the station operators screw up the programming of the automation system, and two programs come in at the same time. And when that happens at night, it is not fixed until the next morning, because the station is running completely unattended.

What is the problem with this picture? It is more than the loss of an era. It means that powerful corporations are controlling the content of what America hears across the entire country. This tends to wipe out the self-thinking of rural and small-town America, brainwashing them with the same content as major metropoli. This leads to small-towner’s lethargy regarding important issues as they are immersed in big-city rhetoric.

Hemogenization. Small towns are becoming remote suburbia, not individual communities with an opinion.

OK, I will now climb down from the soapbox. I need another cup of coffee. And I may be missing something on XM!

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