The Small Market Radio Newsletter was started in 1983 by Bob Doll, a prominent radio man who by that time had owned several small market properties in the Midwest. In thinking about the industry and how he could contribute to it, he realized there was no publication that specialized in the concerns of the small market radio broadcaster.
Before he published the first issue, Bob decided to visit small market operators across the country to get a better feel for what some of those concerns were. Not only did he get a feel for what was going on in small market radio all over the United States, but he began gathering the profiles of fascinating small market broadcasters that have been an important and popular part of the newsletter from the very beginning.
The first issue of the Small Market Radio Newsletter came out in May of 1983. It was composed on a rusty old typewriter and duplicated by a discount printer in Bob’s home town of Otsego, Michigan. It may have looked funky, but the content struck a chord with small market radio people everywhere; the newsletter was off and running.
As time went on, vendors to the radio industry approached Bob about advertising in the publication. He wanted to keep the editorial pages free of advertising, so the Ad Pages were born–a front-and-back center sheet containing a mix of display and classified ads from stations looking for people to equipment manufacturers selling their wares.
In 1993, Bob approached Jay Mitchell with the idea of Jay taking over publication of the newsletter. At that time Jay had been in the consulting business for over 15 years, and saw the advantages of spending less time on the road and more time with his family – and talking to small market broadcasters all over the country every week. So, nearly ten years to the issue from Bob’s first edition, Jay took over publication of SMRN.
Currently the newsletter goes to small market broadcasters in the U.S., Canada and even the Pacific Rim … to vendors to the industry … to music licensing firms … and to state and national broadcast associations.