Another era in local broadcasting ended last week when Joe Elliot was laid off from WHAS radio. I wasn't a regular listener, but as someone who began his career in radio, I am sad to see yet another local talent being pushed aside for a cheaper syndicated show.
Radio used to be very local and very important. People were loyal to particular stations they considered their own self-contained community. But thanks to the homogenization of radio by broadcasters like Clear Channel, that's no longer the case. They've chased that loyalty away in exchange for finding cheaper ways to operate.
I'm all for increasing profit, but at what cost? Now that virtually all stations in any market are owned and controlled by no more than three or four mega-companies, radio today has been stripped of its soul. And those absentee owners have very little incentive to give much back to the local communities which make their success possible.
While AM radio stations everywhere have been dying off for years, WHAS has remained vital because of their stable of strong local talent. But they're giving that up little by little. And when it's gone completely, this entire region will finally realize what it's lost.
But by then, it'll be too late.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.