Thursday, June 04, 2009

Another sign of the radio apocalypse - Radio & Records folds

The radio business has been a pretty rough ride as of late, and one sure sign is the demise of the industry's 'bible' - Radio & Records magazine.

After 36 years, it's publisher has decided to axe the publication and merge much of its content with sister Billboard, which has given much more inferior coverage of the industry, concentrating mostly on the music business.

The magazine's last print issue will be this Friday, and their web page has already been shut down, with only a farewell message in its place:

Dear Radio & Records Reader:

Given the consolidation of the radio and music industries, Nielsen Business Media has determined that the best way to leverage its assets and resources in support of these industries is to consolidate its music brands.

Consequently, we have decided to consolidate R&R magazine and into Billboard magazine and and to expand their coverage of the radio industry. In particular, the R&R airplay charts, which are powered by Nielsen BDS and which have become a key tracker of industry performance, will now appear in the pages of Billboard magazine and on

If you are a subscriber to Radio & Records, the remaining value of your subscription will be automatically applied to a new subscription to Billboard magazine starting with the June 20 issue that mails on June 11. If you already receive Billboard, your subscription will be automatically extended by the remaining value of your R&R subscription.

The magazine began in 1973, and has long been a primary go-to publication for radio news, airplay charts, ratings reports and industry job listings. It's music charts, while never topping those of Billboard, were used by several radio countdown shows.

Once the internet became a force, many rivals stepped up. Some sites were all-encompassing, such as Radio Online and All Access. Others concentrated on regional industry news, job listings, industry schmoozing and whatnot. And a few years ago, R&R was purchased by its leading rival, Billboard. And now, it is no more.

When I was in the biz, before all the cool content came to the web, I often read through the pages of R&R. I checked out what other stations were playing. I scoured through the job listings, hoping to better my own position in the world, and caught up with what was happening in the world of radio. But times change, and many sites have started to eclipse R&R. Essentially, they couldn't keep up.

So, farewell to R&R, and the passing of an era in the radio industry.

P.S.: While we're on the topic of final farewells, let us tip our hats and raise our glasses to two icons of different fields. Chicago blues legend Koko Taylor passed away yesterday at the age of 80. And in a real shocker, actor David Carradine, most famous for "Kung Fu" and "Kill Bill", was found dead in a Bankok hotel room earlier today. He was 72.


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