The New Face of Radio           By Gerald David

  

The media conglomerate Berkshire Media Group, headquartered in London, UK, recently acquired one of the world’s fastest growing network of radio stations, adding to their growing portfolio of media startups. In a press release, Robert Harrison, CEO of Berkshire Media Group, promised ‘significant changes to both management and programming to restore balance to the network’, and has certainly delivered on that promise.  Before the company had acquired the stations, they had operated as a loose confederation of independent stations for many years. The network content is now managed centrally, giving Berkshire Media Group an enviable platform with which to launch new music and introduce new artists to a global listener base.

Among the stations acquired were powerhouses KMIX Radio Los Angeles, WNYR ‘The Rock’ of New York City, WCTR Chicago and others. The network also includes a collection of top stations in Tokyo, Rio De Janeiro, London, Sydney and other major cities.  The attractiveness of these stations, in addition to their fresh playlist of new artists, is the fact that there are absolutely no commercials, putting the focus solely on the music.

KMIX Radio Los Angeles has the highest listenership within the network, playing songs from new artists across the globe in a diverse range of genres, including pop, rock, hip-hop, country, folk, latin, dance and electronica. New rising stars include Seven Story Fall, Millennium, Nicky Barot, Chase Allan, Aoede, Mackadenice, Sol Romero and many others.  KMIX Radio was recently reorganized and placed under the strategic management of veteran program director Glenn Eisner, who has since revamped the playlist to include a fresh roster of the most promising new artists. “As a commercial-driven station, we were under enormous pressure from management to meet revenue targets. The quality and variety of music we could play was heading in a downward spiral. When the station re-organized, I saw this as an opportunity to once again bring great music to listeners, without the involvement of big corporate interests. I think our listeners are really going to love what we’re unveiling in 2014.”

Finding opportunity in sectors that have been hard-hit by the digital era requires patience and vision. Based upon Berkshire Media Group’s track record of successful start-up ventures, Harrison and his group appear to possess both.

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