Big A has a short memory.
No, I have a great memory, and if I forget, I have reams and reams of documents to help me remember.
YOU exaggerate. You make it sound like radio caused the financial crisis, when it really was home mortgages. The amount of money involved in ALL media deals, including Tribune, comes to less than $50 billion. That's a fraction of the nearly trillion dollars that actually caused the meltdown. And the radio deals were a drop in the bucket compared to some of the bigger mergers and buyouts that happened during the same time. So you're wrong, radio did NOT cause the economic crisis, but it in fact caused the problem radio is having right now.
The guys who sold were greedy and bidded the prices on their sorry properties up to record high prices. When the new owners moved in, they invested millions of dollars in new equipment, because the previous owners had run their places into the ground. The real deregulation happened in the 80s. That's when the greedy race to cash out began, with dozens of longtime owners willingly selling their stations to new companies. Radio companies were going bankrupt before 1996. In Buffalo, Price Communications went belly up, making it possible for Entercom to buy KB. So don't lecture me about history.
"No local owner could have battled that?" Take a look in Dallas, where Service Broadcasting owns the #1 radio station in town. Somehow, they are beating Clear Channel and CBS. But they have a commitment to their community that most local owners didn't have. And there are lots of examples of that, where small local owners refused to sell, and are still alive. Saul Levine in LA is another.
"New locally based owners willing to put out quality product?" Don't make me laugh. The history of broadcasting, going back to the 1920s, is filled with two-bit morons who looked for ways to squeeze money out of their employees and their stations. The new generation of locally-based owners are already showing their cards in markets across the country. Ask the folks at WSEN Syracuse if they notice a difference between Buckley and their new local owner. Larry Wilson is one former owner who is buying back into radio. The first thing Larry did when he bought the CBS Portland cluster was fire talent. Even non-commercial public radio stations are firing talent and replacing local programming with network shows from Washington. For someone who considers himself knowledgeable, you really have a vivid imagination.