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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

No More Radio Shack, Just The Shack

As radio listening continues to erode, a familiar retail outlet jumps off the radio band wagon. Radio Shack is changing its identity on Aug. 6, 2009, to become simply The Shack. According to the press release, the rebranding will be “supported by an integrated television, print and digital media schedule, as well as a high-profile, three-day launch event taking place in New York City and San Francisco.”

I don’t see that radio is even a part of the rebranding campaign.

Radio Shack was at one time a regular stop for many radio engineers. The more seasoned engineers remember when Radio Shack stocked electronic components and the sales associates were former radio and TV repairmen. I laughed when I read this in the press release: “The Shack…reinforces Radio Shack’s…knowledgeable, helpful associates.”

Today, the common joke is a play on the Radio Shack tagline “You have questions, we have answers” to be “You have questions, we have batteries.” The press release says that customers have long referred to the store as the Shack, so the change just follwed suit. I never call it the Shack. Do you? Rat Shack is the most common nickname, and many variations on that exist.

Radio Shack is evolving with the times. Good for The Shack.

But radio seems to be fading from everything. Ads don’t show people waking up to a clock radio anymore, they show them waking up to a docked Ipod.

Radio Shack recognized that a change was needed to stay relevant. Will radio broadcasting do the same?

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