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CNNRadio Farewell

March 2, 2012 8 comments


I’ve written way too many eulogies over the past year. This one is to bid a fond farewell to an American radio network. On April 1st, CNN ends its terrestrial radio newscasts in the United States, no longer distributed by Dial Global, the entity that used to be known, pre-merger, as Westwood One.

I had the great honor of leading the people of CNNRadio from 1996 to 2004. We did big things. Won an Edward R. Murrow award for Overall Excellence in 2000. First rate journalists- anchors, correspondents, producers and editors- all of whom earned a total of five Murrow awards for outstanding achievement in the radio news industry from feature and investigative reporting to best newscast. It was the first U.S. network to offer audio to its affiliates via the web 10 years ago– which sounds quaint now, but was years ahead of its competitors.

I feel very badly for the folks, many of whom I worked with, who face an uncertain future. Trust me, dear friends, you are not alone- so many of us have fallen victim through no fault of our own, to the convulsions of this radically changing media environment. Easy as it is for me to say and hard as it is to imagine, there is life after this. I am living proof of that.

CNNRadio, itself, was the sad beneficiary of the demise of the venerable Mutual network about a decade ago. Almost all of Mutual’s affiliates were directed to us and turned CNN, by sheer number of affiliates- and overnight- into the 2nd largest radio network in the nation.

So, yes, a sad day, indeed. Sad for the folks in Atlanta. Sad for the radio industry. Sad for those who gave their all to the place, including those no longer here and whose passing left us staggered and numb: Former CNN Executive, Jon Petrovich, Anchor, Stan Case, Anchor/Reporter, Ed McCarthy, Anchor/Editor, Stan Nurenberger.

To all of you over the decades who covered the wars and elections, Presidents, Congress, the courts and government, 9/11, the shuttle launches and disasters, the hurricanes, the economic upheaval- the world in all its glory and heartache – a toast for a job well done and a public well served.