The influence of the Internet and the reach of social media have turned the traditional broadcasting world on its head, but an advocate for your local radio station sees a bright future ahead.
Long gone are the days when you tuned into one of the “big three” networks to watch the evening news, for example, not when breaking news comes from your cell phone and any app you want.
Craig Parshall, general counsel for National Religious Broadcasters, says the new landscape can be very confusing.
“The appearance of reality,” he observes, “has been changed by the great technological disruption called the Internet.”
NRB was founded in 1944, when radio reigned and television was still gaining a foothold in America’s homes. That change would come in the early 1950s.
Parshall says radio has been especially hard hit by new competition, such as podcasts and digital communications, but there is still a bright future for networks such as American Family Radio and other Christian outlets.
“I'm seeing ultimately a fusion – a kind of hybrid – between radio and digital that will benefit existing radio stations,” he predicts.
Parshall says the coming election is critically important for Christian radio because he is concerned for a return to the “bad old days” when the powerful FCC tried to “break the back” of local radio stations in the name of regulation.
At the moment, during the Trump administration, Parshall says, leaders such as Ajit Pai, who chairs the FCC, are committed to “limited government” and “noninterference” in local radio.