"They used to have the 'seven plus seven' rule, which meant you couldn't own more than seven radio and seven television stations," he said. "That meant there were thousands of independent broadcasters who owned stations — not banks and not investment firms. You also had to hold on to a station for at least three years, which meant you had to be serving the community."
"In the 21st century, it's just gotten worse," he said.
Ladd likes the wide-ranging content that has come with the advent of satellite radio and thinks it may represent the future of the kind of freedom he's managed to hold on to throughout his career.
Ladd presents an image considerably younger than his chronological age. It's a combination of his rebel-with-a-cause attitude and his rock attire: a brown suede jacket over a black mock turtleneck shirt, faded blue jeans, alligator boots and dark aviator sunglasses framed by collar-length hair.
By now, Ladd well knows that layoffs are one of the occupational hazards of his chosen profession, especially as terrestrial radio's audience shrinks with the advent of satellite and more personalized online choices such as Pandora and Spotify.