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From Neil Best's Desk: Changing Technology & Radio

KUNC Pres. Neil Best

Dear Friends,

Recently I have shared in this space some of the many exciting new programming opportunities we are undertaking at KUNC. Today, I am writing to share my thoughts on the exciting changes taking place with technology.

It has been some time since the concept of an “app” for your smart phone was introduced, allowing you to take KUNC with you beyond the geographic limitations of our system of broadcast towers and FCC mandated signal coverage.  Phone “apps” and streaming capability have meant that you could take KUNC anywhere around the globe. In fact, a recent check found that KUNC had members on all seven continents and in 49 states (not sure what is up with Rhode Island).

As technology continues to evolve there is a new device for listening that is replacing the radio that for generations has sat in the kitchen and on the bed stand.

In 2017 the “smart speaker” is the new tabletop radio. If you have access to the internet, and a Google Home, Alexa, or other device you now have a new “tabletop radio.”  Yes, your new device can help with recipes, how to say things a foreign language, etc.  It is also a great way to connect with your favorite stations. All you have to do is tell your favorite device to “Play KUNC,” or “Play 1055 the Colorado Sound” and you will be connected and listening.

This is great news in our evolution. Radio has been an essential medium for most every household in America for nearly a hundred years. Of course, during that time there has been continuing refrains about “the death of radio.”  From the advent of motion pictures, to “talking” pictures, to television, to cable television, to the internet we have been told that radio is a “dying medium.”  History has clearly shown that radio has and continues to be a vital communications medium.

For the foreseeable future your old-fashioned table radio or clock radio will continue to work well. At the same time, you now can take the fact-based journalism, meaningful content, and great storytelling with you wherever you go, using your radio, your phone, your smart speaker, of whatever else is invented tomorrow.

Happy listening,

Neil Best
President & CEO