Radio formats must be salable

I live in Johnstown and listen to the radio almost all of the time, as I travel from place to place. I have read the letter on the Mirror’s Opinion page about today’s radio (“Senior citizen’s request: more easy listening radio,” April 5).

As a retired broadcaster and air DJ of the 1950s and ’60s era, I’m not completely fond of the kind of music I hear, either.

However, the radio market is completely different today, compared to when I cruised the airwaves. We played 33, 45 and even some 78 vinyl records and DJs moved from station to station. I played country, rock and roll, soul, polkas and hits of many kinds.

The goal of a radio station is to find a format of music that most people in the area accept and listen to, and play that music. If it works, people will listen, and you can sell it, and that means you can survive money-wise.

You want to sell spots to banks, savings and loans, new car dealers, pizza shops, fast food places, anywhere your target listeners might shop.

What I’m trying to say is that, as a retired DJ, we retired folks don’t do a lot of that stuff any more. So, like our music taste from those years, we love it, but it is no longer salable on the air, slipping away like 8-tracks, vinyl records, cassettes, etc.

And if you can’t sell it, you can’t play it.

So, may I suggest you dig out your old vinyl records, 8-tracks and cassettes and enjoy them like I do.

In broadcast media or any other media, you have to sell it or go broke. Radio is free to you, but not to the owners.

As always, radio is a tough business.

Lee Mack