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AG News: 11/28/2006

But Santa, the HD Radio Commercials Say...

Could the radio industry be on Santa's list? Not the one for "Good Little Boys and Girls," but the one for product lines that don't meet holiday distribution deadlines. That question popped into my head while standing in line at Best Buy. It was 1:50am and there I stood, one of the 150+ million Americans who were making Black Friday the most heavily shopped day of the year.

I was there to bond with my son, who's home from college and full of all the nocturnal energy that left me in my late 40s. Jeff also works at this Best Buy, the one that now had 400-500 persons waiting in line for its 5am opening. So, holding the store's holiday flyer in my hand I asked him, "Where are the HD Radios? They aren't mentioned." He just laughed. "What a farce," he said. "We don't have any."

"What can you tell me about HD Radio?" I asked him. "Not much," he replied. (That Jeff is a tech head needs to be mentioned.)

We can end the story here because you get the gist of where this is going. Since September, your town, like mine, has been pounded by redundant messages from each of its radio stations regarding HD Radio: "stations between stations"; "more talk, news, and music"; "get HD Radio at...."

The holiday frenzy has started and there is no talk about buying an HD Radio for under the Christmas tree, to stuff in a stocking, or as a gift for dad.

HD Radio, despite a $200 million advertising campaign, is nothing more than the product that didn't show for Christmas.

So, I'll ask this again: At what point will the radio industry put energy into improving its product, and stop wasting time and money on a product nobody can find (even if they were looking for it)?

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Ken Dardis
Online Since January 1997

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