We all know that traditional media (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines) are facing tough times. Whether it's due to overpaying for properties, unrealistic profit projections, living in the past or cutting staff to remain profitable, these are the toughest of times for traditional media outlets.
Just this morning, KFAN radio's (KFXN-FM, 100.3) Mike Morris "The Superstar" was "let go" from his job as host of the stations Power Trip morning show. That leaves the show in the hands, for the time being, of the sidekicks/co-hosts of Chris Hawkey, Sludge (Cory Cove) and Paul Lambert, aka Meatsauce. While I rarely listened, I do know that Mike Morris was the host for a reason. While the show came off as juvenile at best, they covered sports and topics related to their core audience of 18-49 year-old men. Morris was the adult of the team, if nothing else, by age.
The same thing happened last week to the Half-Assed Morning Show on rocker 93X. Longtime host Weasel was let go (again, due to cost-cutting measures) after helming the morning show on KXXR-FM 93.7 for well over a decade. That move leaves the overly juvenile Nick in charge with the other sidekick Josh playing second fiddle along with a new guy, Ben. It's a rudderless ship. While Weasel's input had diminished in the last 18 months of his time on the show, he still provided direction, reigned in the kids and was at least an experienced DJ.
How far, though, can the cost-cutting go? Will listeners still tune in for what is obviously a lesser-quality product? It's a vicious cycle. When you cut the costs of an experienced staffer (regardless of the medium), that experienced voice/talent, if replaced, is replaced by someone less-experienced who is less likely to produce a high-quality product. In turn, listeners/readers (depending on the medium) look elsewhere -- many never return. In happens in radio and it happens in print media and it happens on TV. When those talented faces of their respected medium leave or are cut, advertisers may also leave -- unhappy to have their business appear within/alongside an inferior product.
It never ends. Remember when Tony Fly was relevant and maybe even a recognizable name? Up until a few months ago, he was actually still on the air -- right here in the Twin Cities. Saddled with moronic programming choices, 96.3 KTWN-FM was quite obviously a piss-poor fit for Tony Fly and management saw the opportunity to axe a talented host to save money while retaining an inferior on-air product.
With the combination of the recognizable faces of media organizations leaving for more stable pastures or being unceremoniously axed to cut costs and talented behind-the-scenes staff leaving in droves for alternative, stable careers; traditional media as we know it is becoming a shell of its former self. What they fail to remember is that the most talented individuals are often the highest paid (rightfully so) and when they leave, they leave with the talent and skills which could make the company viable in some form in the future. It's like looking at someone whose dark fate has already been decided.