Radio Suffering Through Worst Year Since 1954

November 26, 2008 2:39 PM ET

Like pretty much every other industry during a recession (except maybe the alcohol and fast food sectors), terrestrial radio is seeing record declines in 2008, with the entire industry having its worst year financially since 1954. Revenues are off seven percent from last year's numbers, and 2008 marks the eighth consecutive struggling year for the industry. To put things in perspective, things haven't been this bad since the main attraction beaming to antennas was The Lone Ranger and Joseph McCarthy's hearings against supposed Communists and the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. Things are somewhat more optimistic in the small markets, where radio has seen their revenues grow by 0.6% over the last 20 months. In the bigger markets, however, the market has lost 4 percent of revenue monthly. One can't fully blame satellite radio for the downturn, as SiriusXM has its own struggles as its stock currently hovers at the 17 cents mark at press time.

Related Stories:
Satellite Radio Listeners Rankled By XM-Sirius Merger
Widget Hopes To Save Pandora, Internet Radio
Sirius and XM Finally Merge, Become Sirius XM Radio

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »