NPR's Vivian Schiller: Net Will Replace Broadcast In 5-10 Years
June 3, 2010 at 5:08 AM (PT)
At the D8 (D: ALL THINGS DIGITAL) conference in RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA on WEDNESDAY, NPR CEO VIVIAN SCHILLER said that she expects that Internet-delivered radio will replace broadcast radio in the next five to ten years. SCHILLER, suggesting that radio towers "are going away in ten years," said that NPR is seeing digital radio adding to its audience size rather than cannibalizing the audience, and stressed that the programming will remain free to the end user, however it is delivered.
SCHILLER discussed the difficulties journalists are having monetizing their work on the Web, especially the startups doing local and regional work, and said that NPR can create partnerships with those parties and smaller regional stations to help them reach a larger audience. She responded to moderator KARA SWISHER's characterization of NPR.ORG's role in those partnerships as a "supersite" by countering, "it's not a supersite, it's a super network. I think the day of a supersite, if there ever was one, is long over. We're not trying to create some megaportal. What we're trying to create is a network of information that can be shared, that is publicly supported, that is quality journalism, that involves partnership, not acquisitions or merger but partnership between the smaller regional startups, the regional stations.... This is not a top-down, world domination thing. This is a network."
Asked whether NPR could be supported without its local affiliates, SCHILLER said that the "lifeblood of NPR is the local station."
Genachowski Talks Broadband
FCC Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI also appeared at the conference to discuss the Commission's broadband proposal, telling moderator WALT MOSSBERG that the country can manage the increased demand for mobile broadband if the "right policies" are in place. He lamented that parts of the nation's broadband infrastructure are "broken" and said that the system needs "dramatic investment" and innovation.