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Radio is still around. Operations have been streamlined and budgets have been slashed to nearly zero. But it’s still around.

Free entertainment is hard to give up.

Local TV stations have been following the radio formula of firings and consolidation, including “teaming up” with local radio stations. CBS has even grouped its owned local radio and TV websites into subsections of cbslocal.com.

Cable, on the other hand, has continued to expand for thirty years, to the point that it has become a chore, rather than a pleasure, to comb through the TV listings.

Has cable peaked?

OWN has been a money pit. ESPN’s new Longhorn Channel continues to have trouble getting carried on Pay-TV systems in Texas, including Austin itself. The Hub has done some good business — for Hasbro. Bride Central was recently shut down. Just the fact that Vince McMahon has decided to get into the business should give media companies pause.

As customers increasingly use Video on Demand, they’re going to reconsider their options, as Netflix fills the need for roughly 80% less than cable service.

Update: January 4, 2012

Hallmark’s Martha Stewart block has officially failed after two seasons. Conan has leveled off in the ratings closer to George Lopez than Jay Leno.

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