Fans across America bade farewell (or good riddance for those who weren’t fans) to Neal Boortz last Friday. Galloway has a thought-provoking piece on the talk radio format that you can read. He’s probably right that we won’t see another Neal Boortz. Boortz talks about the radio biz in his latest book. His job was to keep you, the listener, to hang around long enough for him to play commercials, and he did a good job. He was crass, rude, and insensitive a lot of times, but he was entertaining and was able to keep listeners glued to the radio.
Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity do a good job of keeping the VU meters popping, and I’m sure that Herman Cain will do a great job in Boortz’s old time slot, but will the format hold up in the future? I don’t have numbers to prove it, but it would be my best guess to say that folks around my age (I’m 26) are probably listening to the radio less than older generations, and probably even less talk radio.
We’re living in an age of new media. Blogs, podcasts, and YouTube are eating away at newspapers, radio, and the nightly news. Heck, at least the Atlanta Press Club recognizes the impact of new media as evidenced by their acceptance of my colleague Bridget Cantrell (Bridget, don’t get tainted by all the lib’rals there). Frankly, I don’t listen to syndicated talk radio any more (well, except for Phil Hendrie, but I think he’s hilarious). I normally listen to local talk radio in the mornings when I’m getting ready to go into the office, but beyond that, I just keep track of what’s going on by checking Drudge, Jim Galloway’s blog, a handful of other site covering national, state, and local news, and, of course, Peach Pundit online.
Now, I’m not saying that Rush, Sean, Herman, and our own Erick Erickson will be fading away any time soon. I hope they’re on the air for many years to come, but it will be interesting to see how the format adapts to capture a new generation of listeners.
What say you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.