Why Fred Jacobs is Right About Podcasting—And Why He’s Not

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2 Responses

  1. Fred Jacobs says:

    Good piece, well considered, and the main thing is that it keeps the conversation going. So when will commercial radio truly step up? Thanks for writing this.

    • Jay Douglas says:

      I don’t know when commercial radio will truly step up. That seems to be more in your bailiwick than mine. What strikes me, though, is the way commercial radio has abandoned what made commercial radio so successful for the first 80 years or so of its existence: great storytelling and engaging characters. Even after the last soap opera departed for TV, the Top 40 jocks of the 60s created unique characters and made their shows into little stories (or at least took teenagers on an adventure called growing up).

      Yes, the Howard Sterns and the Rush Limbaughs of radio still harness the power of storytelling and character. But these talents, and that programming, are swamped by the hundreds of homogenous voices that read the same liners at the same time from market to market. If anything, Serial should be a wake-up call: great storytelling and engaging characters. It worked for 80 years. It still works today. What’s standing in commercial radio’s way?

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