Disagree with me if you will: the rules of engagement on radio should be to... ENGAGE!
What exactly are you paying for when you go to the cinema? The seat? (You got one at home, probably more comfortable than this.)
You like to get the old blood flowing? Here's a vastly simplified birds-eye overview of music business models since the 50s until the present. Certain key trends are reflected and conclusions drawn.
The principle behind radio station "formating" is not a bad one at all, when you think about it a little. Some listeners definitely wish to only tune in to specific types of broadcasts, be it news or heavy metal music, etc, and not be distracted by topics or sounds they don't enjoy.
Payola is alive and well and living somewhere in... erm... everywhere! I guess you heard about the latest Univision settlement? If you haven't, no surprise there. This is but one of many of a whole series of such cases over the past many years, where the FCC and the Department of Justice (perfunctorily) go after a radio network (in this case Univision) with allegations of pay-for-play - "payola."
I've responded to Doug Erickson on AllAccess, hehe..... http://www.allaccess.com/consultant-tips/archive/6349/a-passion-play#comment-44563235 Here's what I wrote: