…The Great Microphone Recession
An art form is simultaneously thriving and dying. It is ubiquitous in its scope and variety. The dial is full of opinion after opinion after opinion, delivered in a multitude of styles. The death is coming in the form of the development and market for local talent. In my previous post, I went through a brief explanation of how the business gets syndicated talent for cheaper than local talent, and the dial stays full, the needles stay bouncing, and the ratings pour in.
I can think of no industry where the talent level is so stratified, but the compensation and success are so far removed.
Talk Radio is an art form, by the way. The method of delivery is so important, as is the free-thinking verse that it comes with. George Will, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, et al are fantastic with a word. They write on an intellectual level that is worthy of praise, if not always agreement.
The same can even be said for some on the left, but why can’t they successfully host a talk radio show?
Easy: the intent on paper is interpreted by the reader; but on a microphone, it is more difficult to deliver an interesting intonation and convey the importance of your message. Also, it is the “between the lines”, the subtext, where talk radio makes its money. And even though the possible interpretations and styles are varied, with so many opportunities for great talk radio to deliver an audience, there are precious few jobs in the industry.
Talk radio has become a victim of its own success.