SEACREST HEARTS RADIO: Radio’s relevance today was up for discussion at the International CES trade show in Las Vegas Wednesday.

Celebrity radio and TV host and producer Ryan Seacrest and Bob Pittman, chief executive officer of iHeartMedia Inc. under which is the popular internet radio platform iHeartRadio, shared their perspectives on radio’s role amid shifts in content programming and media distribution that increasingly caters to a new breed of consumer comfortable turning to bloggers and social media for news and inspiration.

Technology may have shaken the traditional definitions of mass media, but it hasn’t made them irrelevant.

“What’s great about the technology is it’s enabling radio to serve the listener even better,” Pittman said during the talk.

That the source of information is no longer the traditional reporter or editor is a wake up call to what consumers want.

“That’s what worries me when people say ‘Well, we need experts,’” Pittman said. “Well, who are you to say what an expert should be? I think the citizens should say who the experts are and they have a chance to do it now in this new world. You get a chance to see artists…. You get a chance to hear news that didn’t get filtered by an editor or an assignment desk….”

The new normal that integrates social media into everyday life is now being woven into radio rather than extinguishing it, Seacrest said.

“It’s funny because when a movie star comes in or a musical artist comes in, it used to be they would come in and they would do the interview and they would leave,” he said. “But they come in. They do the interview. We’re shooting. We’re taking still pictures. We’re doing selfies while we’re talking. They go to commercial break, we ask them to do something. We ask them to record something and send something out there…”

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