Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Still Love Radio . . . But I Now Love Other Audio Appliances, Too!

Hi, radio. Feliks Banel, editor of I STILL LOVE RADIO here. I wanted to let you know, before you hear it from someone else, that I do still love you, but just not in the same way. The truth is, I’ve been using other audio appliances—mainly an iPhone (but sometimes a WiFi radio, too)—for nearly a year now. I think you understand why.

I also gave up listening to commercial radio (and especially talk radio) at the end of 2010. I don’t miss it, and my days are far less cluttered with advertising, hyperbole and polemic pseudo-debates than they used to be. Nowadays, I hear the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s weekday morning program out of Vancouver via my iPhone or the WiFi radio. The CBC is great—no commercials or even underwriting announcements, and the weather reports for Vancouver are close enough to apply for weather where I live in Seattle (and the run-up to the Stanley Cup and the unfortunate riot made for good vicarious appreciation of local winning sports culture). On Saturdays, I still rarely miss NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. But, again, I usually hear it on my iPhone. The iPhone is pretty convenient—if a little slow to “tune in”—but the sound is great and the charger means I never have to replace any batteries.

I do sometimes still listen to standard terrestrial radio in the car, but I switch around through so many different stations (mainly to miss commercials), that I don’t really listen to any one station long enough to feel connected to it. And I play a lot of CDs in the car, too, and plug in an aging iPod for longer trips.

So, I’m taking a break from the I STILL LOVE RADIO blog. I started it two years ago and kept up regular musings for about a year or so. During this time, in addition to writing about radio for the blog, I also did pieces about broadcasting for Crosscut and broadcasting articles and videos for the Seattle PI. Last year, I spent six months appearing twice weekly on KOMO Newsradio in Seattle, on the ambitious but short-lived “9-2-Noon” program with a feature called “Not Quite History.” I also became producer and host of the series This NOT Just In on KUOW, and have continued to produce and direct live radio drama broadcasts during the holidays.

Thus, I hope you can see that I still believe in what I would call "remote propagation of audio content" as a medium of expression and that I always will. And I still think that good old-fashioned, terrestrial radio did some incredible stuff in the past. I’ve got countless hours of historic recordings and a basement full of books about radio history that I’ll probably never part with, and I'll keep working on the Aircheck blog for the Western States Museum of Broadcasting and writing about broadcast history here, there and in other places, too.

But I just can’t credibly say “I STILL only LOVE RADIO” anymore. And so, this is Feliks Banel for I STILL LOVE RADIO, signing off . . . for now.