During the proposed merger of Sirius and XM, the National Association of Broadcasters made point after point that they were all about local content. So strong was the feeling that they lobbied strongly to ensure that satellite radio not be allowed to broadcast local content through their repeaters. There have even been times where the NAB has argued against traffic services broadcast on satellite, and even more specifically against an auto dealer advertisement that seemed geared to only one regional area.

Prior to the new Media Ownership rules established by the FCC, the general public expressed many concerns with the lack of localism. Now, NPR seems to be echoing those concerns.

According to an article published on FMBQ, NPR President Kevin Klose speaking at a media conference stated, "...commercial radio lacks authenticity and has lost its local voice."

Klose also noted, "What we have seen in the mass media is a consolidation followed by reconsolidation and reconsolidation. You end up with these hidden conglomerates that own the local voices. Then they do away with those local voices."

Klose attributes the audience growth of NPR to consumers seeking to escape from the a lack of impartial information on the airwaves, and that for many NPR represents some sort of safe haven for listeners. Whether this is the case or not is a matter of opinion, but what is telling is that NPR was heavily involved in fighting against the merger, citing that a merged Sirius and XM would carry an impact on localized radio. The latest statements by Klose would seem to indicate that localism has been gone for quite some time.

Thanks Rulon!

Position - Long SIRI