One of Jeff Warshaw’s biggest issues last year — more deregulation to help battle the big, unregulated digital monsters — seemed to fizzle out.
We expected this FCC to be more aggressive for radio on that issue but it just didn’t happen. Then the pandemic hit, the economy shut down, businesses closed, and ad dollars dried up. Combine all that with a broken Washington political machine, and the topic of more deregulation seems to wither away.
2020 started out as a normal year, but, Warshaw says, “Everything changed in the middle of March, obviously. The Northeast, specifically New York and Connecticut for us, got hit brutally hard and got shut down immediately. I have never been as proud of the Connoisseur family as I was during the onset of the pandemic. Although most people were working from home, the service to our local communities was at an all-time high. We expanded news and public affairs programming. We created special broadcasts to address the needs and concerns of our communities. It was remarkable.”
And he says for the next six to 12 months, as long as the pandemic doesn’t return in full force in Connoisseur markets, he expects slow and steady improvement. “Most companies will get relief from their lenders and should be able to survive, unless we go back to a total and prolonged lockdown.”
Always a realist, Warshaw does not expect a quick bounce-back. “I’m not overly bullish on the national recovery. There are so many people that are out of work and so many businesses that will be shuttered. It will likely be a slow process. Eventually, we will get to a better place, but many things have changed. The country needs to adapt. The same goes for radio. In a big way.”
Congratulations Jeff. Your Vision and Values as a leader are always present in our companies mission to be the BEST. Thank you!Your Connoisseur Family