All forms of media are undergoing changes in this world of change and technology. Newspapers are becoming digital and going towards an online presence, TV shows are becoming digital and going towards an online presence, and radio, not to be left out, is also becoming digital. New media in the radio industry include satellite radio, Internet radio, and podcasting. All of the changes are affecting the way the radio industry works. In particular, they are affecting the role of the DJ.
The glory days of the DJ was in the 50s and 60s where strong radio
personalities filled the airwaves and defined stations
identities. Nowadays, however, the DJ isn't as vibrant and
flamboyant at it once was. Their role however, to provide the
radio with personality, has not changed much. But the demand
for them has. According to the Labor of Bureau Statistics, the
employment of announcers (radio DJs included) is expected to decline
by 4% from 2008-2018. More and more DJs are getting laid off or
are simply switching to other jobs or other forms of media.
However, those DJs that do have jobs work both in new media and old
In new media, DJs find jobs in some satellite radio stations. In old
media, there are both local DJs and (what I have been calling)
“centralized” DJs. Local DJs are of course DJs that work in the
physical location of the local radio station. They are part of the
community, they know about local events that are going on, they know
the personality of the community, and they can give up-to-date
weather and traffic reports. Centralized DJs are not part of the
community which they serve. Centralized DJs work for network
stations and their broadcasts can go out to several different radio
stations in several different communities. These DJs do not know the
personalities of the communities they serve.
Lastly, Howard Stern is an example of a strong radio personality
who has recently, like other radio DJs and personalities, made the
switch from traditional broadcast radio to new satellite radio. He
has been in radio for many years and has his own show on Infinity
Broadcasting. He has gotten in trouble numerous times with the FCC
for the indecent and controversial content on his shows, however,
despite all of this, he still has millions of followers. In 2006,
Sirius Satellite radio made a 5 year contract with him for
$500million, hoping to increase their number of subscribers (which
they desperately needed to do).