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Alan Cross Visits Mohawk College

Long Live Radio!

Alan Cross says radio is not a dying medium, it’s simply in transition.

Canada’s popular host of The Ongoing History of New Music and the blog A Journal of Musical Things dropped by Mohawk College in January to talk about the future of radio to a group of first and second year radio students.


While the days of the days of waiting for your favourite song to play on the radio are gone, that should not be confused with the death of the medium. Radio is in transition due to the digital age we live in today. Instead, the songs you want to hear are at your fingertips immediately in a variety of different ways by using Spotify or Google Play Music.

Cross has an interesting idea. How about a radio station that throws out the old rules of radio? For example, why does a station have to be genre specific? Why not totally eliminate the formats that have worked in radio for years? Why not program a radio station that plays many genres of music, old and new?


Another reason that radio is not dying is the fact that Canada is still home to over 700 commercial radio stations that made about 1.6 billion dollars in revenue in 2015. The average Canadian listens to roughly 20 hours of radio each week. The key to radio’s future success is to build on its past triumphs and decide how to use old and new technologies to attract and hold listeners.

The future of radio is bright and is in the hands of some of the Mohawk students.

Geoff Comer