As my internship at 93.3 WMMR is coming to an end, I can say with confidence that I am leaving with a sense of optimism. Radio is not going anywhere anytime soon.
MMR has certainly had its share of hardships with the evolution of the internet, but business is still strong. Now, I am completely biased due to interning at a station with such rich heritage and consistency, but I see a strong future for radio. This is because radio provides something that the internet doesn’t: actual relationships with its listeners. Sure, you can pop iTunes open and choose whateversong you want to play. Moreover you don’t even have to download songs anymore, you can just stream them from a streaming station such as Spotify. The problem is, you don’t get that special connection you do when you listen to radio.
MMR boasts one of the deepest radio personality lineups in the game. Preston and Steve in the morning have consistently held the highest rated morning show for years. Pierre Robert and his iconic hair/beard combo have been helping out those hard at work in the afternoon with his “Workforce Blocks” for even longer. Then there’s Jaxon’s deep melodic voice serenading those commuters on their drive home. Finally, Jacky Bam Bam and his loyal listeners known as “Vampires” liven up the over-night segment.
These personalities have a special connection with their listeners that is impossible to replicate over the internet. People listen and take into consideration what they have to say. This is why there are so much advertising dollars keeping MMR at the top. And they don’t just do it for the money, either. Last week was Preston and Steve’s famous CampOut for Hunger event. They raised over 250 tons of food for the PhilAbundance Organization that helps feed those in need in the greater Philadelphia area.
Then there is Pierre Robert. He wrote on his blog (link):
“After hurricane Sandy hit the area a courageous crew of electricians from Alabama drove their noble trucks north to help restore power to people effected by the storm. The great company I speak of is Alabama Power! One of our listeners saw them on the highway and called it in. So I zapped them and sent “Sweet Home Alabama” out to them. The audio is in this blog. I know the people of New Jersey really appreciated their help!”
This is something that is unique to radio. In no other media platform is there so much interaction by the listeners/watchers. It simply cannot be replicated, which is why I can say with utter confidence that radio is not dead, and that it has a long, long life ahead of it.