John Sutton offers a reassuring view of the future of public radio in a post with this title at RadioSutton, using phrases like "they will be vital sources," "will remain a focal point," "[t]he number of listeners...will continue to grow," "[l]isteners will continue [to] value," [big craft from NPR/PRI/APM] "will compel listeners to continue to choose radio," the "'currency of live' will bring even more listeners to...discussion programs," "new technologies and applications...will not kill public radio[, t]hey will enhance it," and "some listeners will engage more deeply."
I want very much for that future to be realized, but don't get the impression that we can just sit back and it will happen naturally without much effort on our part if we just keep doing what we're doing. John probably didn't intend to leave that impression either. In my opinion, it will require a profound rethinking of how we do business, adapting to the emerging many-to-many realities, and learning to become competitive on multiple platforms. There will be casualties along the way from stations that choose sit back and let the future happen to them rather than proactively shape it, and their communities will be the losers. --Dennis