I mentioned a few weeks back in my hypothetical three wishes that one such wish was to own a radio station.
Then I read this week that there is speculation that the IHeart Radio ownership group may not be able to survive another year financially.
In my area, the Tampa Bay market, IHeart owns somewhere around eight AM and FM stations. When you add Beasley, Cox, and what CBS owns, it’s about 80-90 percent of the market wrapped up in four media conglomerates.
I don’t care if it’s radio stations or any other business. When so few own so many, something has to give sooner or later. But in the business I used to be in, it only means a new wave of owners will find new ways to lose listeners, as was what happened in my era.
Speaking of eras, it was an ending of several eras in Bristol, Connecticut yesterday, home to sports cable TV giant ESPN. Some big names at the “worldwide leader” got their walking papers in a wave of layoffs said to have been around 100 employees.
It was another sad example of what happens in the media industry in general. ESPN, owned by Disney, was just another company who thought they were too big to fail, and some very able employees, not the execs, paid the price with their services no longer being needed. Some will find work at other places or on outlets locally or nationally, but I suspect many others won’t.
For the time being, their lives change dramatically. Something I can relate to.