Thom Callahan: AM Radio Is Not Dead

AM Radio has reinvented itself time and time again for a changing America over 10 decades and will continue to do so.

That’s according to Southern California Broadcasters Association President Thom Callahan, responding to an article in the American Spectator called “AM Radio, Signing Off.” In the article, author Daniel Flynn uses the suicide of former AM radio host Bill Heywood last year as a metaphor in this exploration of AM radio’s supposed demise. RW included the article in its NewsBytes compilation yesterday.

In an opinion piece for LARadio, “AM Radio will Grow and Change, Just like America,” Callahan says “AM Radio is NOT dead.” Listenership for the 22 AMs in the Southern California market has shown only a slight drop over the last five years, at “3,319,400, a loss of only 466,900 listeners,” through second quarter 2013, he writes.

In Southern California, “there are eight Asian AM radio stations programming in five different dialects to over 2.5 million Asian Americans, all on the AM dial!” according to Callahan.

“Had Mr. Flynn consulted with us prior to publishing his blog, we would have urged him to focus his attention on the sweeping ethnic and demographic changes happening now in America and how AM Radio will directly benefit from those changes, as it has for the past 100 years,” Callahan writes.


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I read the same blog and nodded my head in respect. Locally, we have four Spanish stations on the AM dial. Even though the Scopes trial is over, we will have to see if evolution will win the battle in the AM band. It's too early to tell.
By Michael Payne on 8/13/2013

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