verdana
verdana

Robots Won't Replace Radio Jobs...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

 

When I found out that radio media guru, Fred Jacobs, wrote a post asking, "Will Robots Replace Radio Jobs?", I thought it only appropriate to respond to it. My first programming position was PD of an automated radio station: "ARKO (for WRKO-FM)...the shy but friendly robot". AM program director (Bob Henabery), chief engineer (George Capalbo) and I designed "ARKO" to play more music  and outfitted our robot with state-of-the-art automation. "ARKO" was being tested with visions of putting the format on AM (WNAC) if successful. Obviously, it was. Five months later, we hired some great disc jockeys and put the format on the former WNAC (a staid News/Talk/Information station with an ancient audience) now called WRKO. In the summer of our debut year, we were the number one station in Boston. That was over 50 years ago...

The threat of automation over the ensuing years has surfaced many times, but in 2018 it appears to be more of a threat than ever. As Jacobs says "Many Americans are actively sweating their jobs - not because of the state of the economy but because of rapid advances in robotics". Some examples of jobs already being automated include: Workers in hospitality, transportation (driver-less cars), manufacturing and retail. Add to that list: Medical employees, accountants, bank tellers, news paper reporters and on and on it goes. Are there any jobs that are safe???

Jacobs answers that question: "The human touch is an important piece of the puzzle, and that's why the prospects for radio employees look promising." A new Fast Company story - "Here Are The Few Jobs Robots Won't Take From Us" by Michael Grothaus suggests that creative types are in the safe zone. Grothaus quotes Thomas Pickersgill, CEO of Broadstone, a staffing company, who says "Humans use their life experiences, their emotions, and their creativity to bring things to life." As Jacobs notes,"Radio is rarely a work of art, but whether you're doing mornings on a Country station or news gathering at a public radio outlet, you're using your arts and craft to create compelling radio - something even H.A.L or R2D2 can't pull off". Grothaus reasons that jobs dealing in 'understanding of the human condition', as well as the skills needed to adapt to change, and the ability to connect with and empathize with others would appear to be less vulnerable to the robot workforce apocalypse...

What we did 52 years ago at "ARKO" is not recommended for today's radio programmers. That was a well thought-out plan that led to the adaption of a similar format at our AM. In that case, we added people to WRKO-AM and eventually, we staffed the FM...

I(n)M(y)H(onest)O(pinion):

  • Creativity will prove that not all jobs can be automated...
  • The "A"s have it all to themselves: (A)pple and (A)mazon...
  • Take it from someone who once had a beard: Alex Trebek has a great looking one. David Letterman's beard is scary looking...
  • We've given game officials too much power. Perfect example: the tennis umpire in the Serena Williams U.S. Open match...
  • The flu season will peak in about 6 months. The shot is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. October is a great time to be inoculated...
  • Facebook using political factchecking is long overdue but a welcome sight...
  • Couldn't Henri Bendel close shop two years from now on their 125th anniversary? Where's their sense of timing???
  • I-Phone doesn't know how to make cheap phones...
  • Cape Fear is appropriately named...
  • Presidential Alert? Makes me think it's only for presidents...

 

Print Print | Sitemap
© Mel Phillips Radio Views