Interesting things afoot in radio these days. Boston folks may remember talkshow host Christopher Lydon from his old show “The Connection” (which still exists, only without him). He feuded with his host station WBUR and was shown the door. He has wandered in the wilderness for a few years, maintaining a part-time blog at Harvard Law School, but now another Boston station, WGBH, has given him a new show called Open Source. The show, which embraces the blogospherical world of information tech, is naturally available as a podcast, and is featured at Apple’s iTunes site.
I learned all this from ITConversations guru Doug Kaye on his Blogarithms site. In this post he observes that, while the old-school thing to do is encourage your local NPR affiliate to pick up the show, internet podcasts mean that he doesn’t care anymore about his local radio station. It’s no longer in the loop; already it’s fading into dim obsolescence. Ouch!
I find this attitude interesting because I’m sure Lydon only got the show because of an old-school radio deal. He gets a nice studio, fancy equipment, syndicated distribution, stuff that costs real money. We haven’t yet reached the point where it’s easy to do something this elaborate from your basement. And yet the podcasts new radio proclaims are slicing through old radio’s Achille’s tendon. Still, Doug Kaye knows whereof he speaks, sitting as he does atop one of new radio’s prosperous properties. I don’t think anybody knows where the money is going to come from, but Chris Lydon is having fun on the air again, and that’s good news to me.