Vivian Schiller: Public Radio Over in a Decade
And Vivian Schiller believes all of that will be gone in 10 years.
Yesterday at the D8, the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital conference, Vivian Schiller stated that radio towers will be gone in the next decade and that listening will move on-line, with mobile playing a key role. She also said that stations' roles will be to do what NPR can't -- provide local, regional and state coverage.
It's an incredible statement given that Schiller also said NPR is not trying to do an end run on stations.
How can that be?
NPR's strategic thinking clearly does not include radio audiences or radio revenues in 10 years. It can't. Not if the towers are gone. So what replaces the $68 million NPR now gets in station revenues? It's not all business support.
That kind of money comes from listener contributions.
With member stations out of the way, NPR has to be thinking about direct listener fundraising. There's no other model.
The implications for strategic planning are incredible. Most stations believe they still have a few good decades left in them. Vivian Schiller is betting against that.
It will be interesting to see how the NPR Board balances the interests of NPR's member stations against a corporate vision that financially requires the near-extinction of those stations and the migration of their listeners to NPR platforms.