April 2000 personalities:
Jenny Abramsky -(2)- BBC Director of Radio; Frank Ahrens -Washington Post media writer; Cathy Baldazzi -morning co-host (with husband Fred Latremouille), CKKS, Vancouver (retiring); Zoe Ball - former BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ ; Peter Barnard - UK Times radio columnist; Thomas Barrett -Wisconsin Democratic Rep ; Ken Beatrice - Washington DC sports host (retiring); Art Bell -(3)- US overnight radio host (retiring) ;John Birt -(2) -former Director-General British Broadcasting Corporation ; Colin Browne- BBC corporate affairs director(departing) ; Nick Clarke - presenter BBC Radio 4, "World at One" programme ; Lynn Claudy - US National Association of Broadcasters Senior Vice President, Science & Technology ; Andrew Clements- UK Guardian writer; John Conde - -chairman 2UE, Sydney; Sara Cox -(2)- BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ; Steve Dahl -(4) -former Chicago WCKG-FM afternoon host (suspended and quit); Mike Disney -(4)- vice president and general manager, WCKG, Chicago ; Lou Dobbs- former CNN anchor due to start daily radio financial reports in July; Paul Donovan - UK Sunday Times radio columnist; Greg Dyke -(3) Director General British Broadcasting Corporation; Bob Feder - Chicago Sun-Times columnist; Professor Professor David Flint - chairman, Australian Broadcasting Authority ; Edward O. Fritts -(2) -chairman and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters(US); Ray Hadley - commentator, 2UE , Sydney; Richard Hoggart - UK Guardian columnist; Alan Jones -Sydney 2UE host; Michael Kakoyiannis -ex Big City Radio , now President and CEO of Internet audio broadcaster Stellar Networks; William Kennard -(5)- Chairman US Federal Communications Commission ; Jim Kirk -(2)- Chicago Tribune Media Columnist; Craig T.Kitchin -(2)- President and CEO Premiere Radio, US ; William Kling -Chief Executive of Minnesota Public Radio; Kevin Klose - President, US National Public Radio ; Fred Latremouille - morning co-host, CKKS, Vancouver (retiring); John Laws - Sydney 2UE host; Rush Limbaugh - US talk show host; Rafe Mair - CKNW, Vancouver, broadcaster; Robert McConochie - director of strategic research,The Arbitron Co; Michael McPherson - vice president of sales and marketing,; Peggy Miles -; Kelly Mohr - former Chicago WCKG-FM stand-in host (fired and suing) ; Tony Moltzen- general manager, 2UE, Sydney; John Myron - former Chicago WCKG-FM stand-in host (fired and suing) ; Mike Oxley -(3) - Ohio Republican Rep.; Hugh Panero - president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio ; Andy Parfitt - BBC Radio 1 Controller; James Gordon Parr - former host of "The Mad Metallurgist" on CBC radio(deceased); Gehrig Peterson -(3) -programme director, WCKG, Chicago ; Ian Punnett - WGST-AM, Atlanta, evening host -taking over from Art Bell as Sunday host on "Coast to Coast AM"; Sumner Redstone - chairman and Chief Executive,Viacom; Bobby Rush - Illinois Democratic Rep.; Laura Schlessinger- U.S. talk show host; Bob Shennan - head BBC Radio 5 live (incoming) ; Mike Siegel - Seattle talk host - to take over from Art Bell as weekday overnight host of "Coast to Coast AM": John Singleton -- Sydney 2GB owner; Jeff Smulyan - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Emmis Communications; David Spanier - British newspaper and radio correspondent (deceased); Howard Stern - US radio host; Billy Tauzin- R-La., chairman of the House Commerce telecommunications subcommittee; Mike Torcasso- researcher, New Research Group, Dallas; Peter Weissbach -afternoon drive host. KOMO-AM. Seattle -taking over as primary Saturday host of "Coast to Coast AM"; John D. Zeglis - AT&T Wireless Group president .
Numbers in brackets indicatethe number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

April 2000 Archive

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April 2000 Archive
Mar 2000 May 2000
Links- internally where there are follow-up stories we try, at the end of each story, to put a pertinent link to the top of the next relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.

April 21, 2000: Seattle-based Real Networks has announced first quarter revenues this year of $53 .5 million, more than double those for the first quarter of 1999.
It also reported a pro-forma profitof $8.8 million compared to a pro-forma loss of $0.5 million for the same period in 1999.
Real has also completed its $273 million acquisition of Netzip Inc.
The company was upbeat about the future, saying that its leadership in Internet media delivery is continuing to "widen and deepen" with significant movement towards broadband delivery.
Real says that it has grown in the global market to a point where more than 40 per cent of Real Player users are now outside North America.
They say that Real Channels and Live Stations accounted for six of the top twenty streaming media broadcasts in February according to Nielsen/Net Ratings.
Previous Real Networks

April 21, 2000: Scottish Radio Holdings has now admitted defeat in the battle for UK Border TV after Capital Radio increased its cash offer to £14 per share( or 90 Capital shares for each 100 Border shares) , valuing Border at £151 million.
Capital had bought 9.7% of Border from Edinburgh Fund Managers which has also given undertakings to sell the rest of its 15% holding to Capital.
Scottish Radio Holdings has now said it will accept the £14 offer for the 350,000 Border shares it holds, thus paying for its bid costs. Border TV shares were under £3.70 within the past 12 months.
Capital is to sell Border TV itself to UK Granada for £50 million and retain the group's three Century radio stations.
Previous bid report

April 20, 2000:US public broadcasting magazine "Current" reports on placements of officers from the US Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group (PSYOP) as interns on National Public Radio(NPR) as well as CNN.
The reports first surfaced in a Dutch newspaper and then in US media including TV guide, raising concerns about a conflict of interest.
Officials of both CNN and NPR say the networks' journalism was not influenced by the interns but both organisations have said there will be no such internships in future.
NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin, who was NPR News vice president, when the interns were employed is quoted as saying that the "No journalism was committed by the interns(sic) " and that they answered phones, filed scripts and prepared programme lists and schedules.
Maj. Jonathan Withington, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command which includes PSYOP, went a little further when he added "background research" to their task list although he stressed they did not influence reporting.
(RNW note: We remain puzzled at the worth of a news VP or ombudsman who can come up a phrase such as "commits journalism" or that of background research which does not influence reporting.
We can however agree with the decision to stop the internships, have sympathy with Maj. Withington when he expressed disappointment that such internships are now over and, more to the point, agree with his comparison with working in "an ad agency or a public relations firm." That's not journalism or reporting in our book)

Current site

April 20, 2000:Bids for the third generation UK mobile phone licences have topped £22 billion with an increase on Wednesday of just under £540 million compared with a £450 million increase on Tuesday.
BT had one brief go at licence "B", the largest for existing operators, with a bid of just under £5.8 billion in round 142.
It then moved its attention back to other licences after Vodaphone had again topped it.
At the end of round 145 the leaders were TIW who bid £4.38 billion for newcomer's licence "(no change from Tuesday), Vodaphone who bid £5.96 billion for licence "B" (£306 million up on their Tuesday bid), NTL who bid £3.97 billion for licence "C" (£117 million up on BT's bid for this on Tuesday), BT3g with £3.94 billion for licence "D" ( £58 million up on NTL's bid for this licence Tuesday) and Orange who bid £3.95 billion for licence "E" ( £58 million up on One2One's bid for this licence Tuesday.
Overall total now bid is £22.2 billion.

Previous UK Mobile bids

April 20, 2000: Vancouver expects to lose one of its great veteran voices today when Fred Latremouille, together with his wife Cathy Baldazzi, sign off from CKKS(Kiss) from Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, towhere the station has been running a holiday competition. Latremouille announced last year that the couple were to retire from the airwaves and they hosted their last morning programme from Vancouver last week.
Latremouille was a survivor of the so called 'Radio Wars' in Vancouver during the late 60s, early 70's when eight stations vied for around a million listeners in the greater Vancouver area.
He was best known for his music shows on CFUN 1410 which had gone from being a top 40 station in the mid 60s to an all news station with the call letters CKVN.
It reverted to a music format around 1969 when Latremouille joined after fronting a number of shows at different stations.
A legend in Canadian west coast broadcasting, Latremouille is one of several top broadcasters who survived the battle scarred era of the 70s.
They include talk hosts Dave Abbott of CJOR and fellow chat show presenter Charlie McLean who started his career at CFUN and hid the fact he was a top lawyer by broadcasting under the nom de plume of Cassandra. But the airwaves they now inhabit are in a different radio world to when Latremouille was at his peak. It was then small broadcasting era with few stations fighting, sometimes viciously, for a small audience; now the population and number of stations ahs increased signifantly if not the competition.
Also in Vancouver, the great and the good of the entertainment world of British Columbia honoured CKNW's Rafe Mair with a lifetime achievement award last weekend at a "roasting".
Rafe and CKNW are celebrating 15 years of airtime together and for much of that time, Mair was a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
Before joining CKNW, Mair began at the Jim Pattison-owned CJOR radio (600 AM - now CKBD).
Pattison has turned out quite a few talk show including 60s talk show prattler Chuck Cook who became an MP in the Canadian Parliament, his colleague Jim Nielsen who became the Provincial Minister of Health in the early 80s, and CFUN's Charles McLean who made a 70s bid for leadership of the Provincial Conservatives.
CKKS,Vancouver, site

April 19, 2000: Chicago WCKG-FM afternoon host Steve Dahl, who only last week was in hot water and pulled temporarily off the air by his CBS/Infinity bosses for failing to run his full quota of commercials on time, now seems to have pulled the plug out fully via his web-page.
This week he was suspended without pay for a week after he ignored a management order not to talk on air about a lawsuit being brought against him and the station by two former employees whose conversations were taped secretly.
John Myron and Kelly Mohr were fired last year after working as fill-in hosts and are seeking damages for alleged invasion of privacy and violation of wiretapping laws.
When told of the suspension by WCKG vice president and general manager Mike Disney, and program director Gehrig Peterson, Dahl said it was a breach of his contract , which has 14 months to go, and told them he was quitting.
He then put a note about his resignation on his website saying they also did not have the right to run "Best of " shows as they had done, He also stated that they had changed the locks so he couldn't pick up his belongings.
The story has been running strongly in Chicago's newspapers and Chicago Tribune media columnist, Jim Kirk, at first opined that all may not be totally over as Dahl, who has been in hot water repeatedly in his 20 plus years in Chicago, because of the loyalty of his fans which led to him running one of the most profitable shows in the city.
That may have been changed by Dahl's website follow up with a further note concerning the fate of people who worked with him and thanking people for calls and support as well as asking for server space because his site was becoming overloaded.
He concluded by burning boats even further, writing, " we are dealing with severely brain dead people here. CBS:ConstantBullShit! Gotta go soak my head. Talk to you soon. Steve."
Chicago Sun-Times site;
Chicago Tribune
Dahl Website;
Previous Kirk;

April 19, 2000: Bidding in the UK third-generation mobile phone auction has slowed down dramatically with only around £500,000,000 being added to last night's total.
This was partly due to the rules which mean that a bidder has to stand out the next round which with only six companies left bidding for five licences reduces the rate of competition.
It seems that the auction may be drawing to a close as there were no increased bids for the top "A" and "B" licences, the changes being limited to jockeying or one of the remaining three licences.
At the end of round 139, TIW and Vodaphone stay on top for licences "A" and "B" with bids of £4.38 billion and £5.66 billion (RNW April 17th ) .
BT3G topped licence "C" bidding with £3. 85 billion , only £115 million above their Monday bid for licence "E", NTL led for licence "D" with £3.89 billion, £125 million above their Monday bid for licence "C" and One2One led for licence "E" with £3.89 billion, £209 million above their Monday bid for licence"D".
The total bid is now £21.67 billion.

Previous UK Mobile bids
April 19, 2000: XM Satellite Radio's development has moved a stage further with the delivery by Alcatel Space of the first of two state-of-the-art communications modules to be incorporated into Hughes Space & Communications' 702 satellites for XM.
The second is due to be delivered in May and launches are scheduled for later this year with XM commencing a service of some 100 digital channels in the first half of next year.
XM already has a deal with General Motors to build receivers into its vehicles and another with Avis to supply them in rental vehicles in the US.
In addition, major manufacturers are lining up their production.
Alcatel has proven experience in satellite digital radio through its cooperation with WorldSpace which inaugurated the world's first operational digital audio broadcasting system in 1998. (RNW Mar 26) :
Previous XM radio deals;
Previous WorldSpace;
XM Radio website

April 19, 2000: Capital Radio's bid for UK Border TV seems to be moving ahead with rival Scottish Radio Holdings deferring any raising of its bid due to current stock market conditions and the UK Radio Authority re-iterating is preliminary view that the takeover would not be against the public interest.
Scottish Radio Holdings has not ruled out an increased bid but Capital already has 18 per cent of the shares and a deal with Granada to sell the Border's TV station.

Previous bid report

April 18, 2000: Telefonica of Spain has now pulled out of the third-generation UK mobile phone auction as total bids reached £21.2 billion and Vodaphone again took top spot in the bidding for licence "B", the largest licence for existing licencees, with a bid of £5,66 billion.
Other leading bids were £4,38 billion from TIW for newcomer's licence"A", £3.76 billion from NTL mobile for licence "C", £3.68 billion from One2One for licence "D" and £3,74 billion from BT3G, which at the end of last week led the bidding for licence "B".
In all six bidders are left in the auction, with seven having withdrawn.
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 18, 2000: Milwaukee-based Cumulus Media, which owns or operates more than 200 US radio stations, has reported in figures unqualified by its auditors, that net revenues were up more than 80%, from $98 million to $180 million for the financial year ending December 31, 1999.
On a same-station basis, net revenue for the company's 195 stations which had operated for a full year was up 16% to $152 million.
However, largely because of expansion, overall operating expenses for the same period increased by 84% to $133 million during the period and same-station operating expenses were up 14%. Following its year-end tax review, the company has decided that it no longer needed the valuation allowance it had established against deferred tax assets in 1998 and has restated its 1998 results and recorded tax benefits for 1998 and 1999 of $5.6 million and $6.9 million.
This and other adjustments have resulted in tax benefits of some $7 million and decreases in the company's previously announced losses per share for 1998 (by around $0.36 per share) and 1999 (by some $0.05 per share).
Cumulus website

April 18, 2000: The demographic changes which have led to major swings towards Spanish-language stations on the Los Angeles radio map seem to have led to some unanticipated station mixes according to the Los Angeles Times.
The stations have not only moved up the ratings and grown in number but they are serving their audience in ways which would be strange to English-language channels.
KOXR, for example. may be a home for ranchera music but it's also giving listeners answers to practical questions such as filling out tax forms or finding a lawyer.
This sense of involvement, says the paper, has helped turn Spanish-language radio from a tiny niche market into a major player, helped by a potential audience which may now be a third or more of the residents in many areas.
Those listeners have an unusually close relationship with their listeners, running not just entertainment but also politics both local and from home, mainly Mexico and also a form of free radio bulletin board where people can phone in about such essential minutiae as where to find a good babysitter or tradesman to do a job or indeed allow them to barter services.
And , for many people, radio is the ideal medium. It can be listened to whilst at work, while doing other things and create a sense of community as well as keeping people in touch with a way of life reflecting where their roots are or were as opposed to where they are now.
But the agenda of that community is changing to meet its circumstances and what effect that will have is uncertain.
Apparently second-generation listeners are less loyal and more prone to switch around the dial for entertainment like their English-speaking compatriots.
Los Angeles Times Report;

April 18. 2000: Nick Clarke, its presenter, argues in the UK Guardian that his Radio 4 programme, "The World at One", is the true flagship of the BBC Radio 4 news and talk channel, ahead of the breakfast "Today" show.
He says that the show is one people turn to for a proper review of events as opposed to the "Today" show which has to serve a changing audience over its three-hour airtime and thus has to be more episodic.
It also he says has more time to evaluate which stories deserve further cover.
All fair enough we would say, but what about the same channel's late evening news show "The World Tonight" which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
That programme could argue the same in spades and indeed recently attracted favourable comment in Peter Barnard's radio column in the Times( April 8th).
In the column, Barnard draws a revealing comparison between two editions of the programme 30 years apart as a sign of that which has changed -- or not -- over the period.
He quotes three stories from the first edition in April 1970 which could well as topics have been in a bulletin this April but which would be covered significantly differently.
The quote of 30 years ago on the issue of the state paying for vasectomies is illuminating.
Scripted in advance, checked and then broadcast, the item had the presenter saying," I suppose this sort of thing is best described as progressive. Personally, as somebody who believes that the best method of birth control is a short, short female "no", I find the borough of Hackney's plan disenchanting."
"Maybe some things have changed!" Barnard concludes.
RNW note: An issue here on which we would welcome feedback. How far do listeners to other channels feel the constraints associated with broadcast time of day override other factors, including style and presenter, in influencing the nature of a programme? Do E-mail us.
UK Guardian report;

April 18, 2000: Capital Radio's agreed bid for UK Border TV (RNW April 15) has received a boost after it reached agreement with Granada TV to sell them Border TV itself for £50.5 million.
This would recoup just over a third of the amount bid and leave Capital with the four radio stations owned by Border.
The agreement is subject to Capital's bid being accepted over that of rival Scottish Radio Holdings and will also be subject to regulatory approval.
Under the agreement Granada has a three-year call option on Border and Capital has a six-month exclusivity deal for Border which means that Granada cannot do any similar deal with rival bidders for the company in the period.

Previous Scottish Radio bid

April 17, 2000:As well as the £20 billion-plus it is to get from the current auction of third-generation mobile phone licences, the UK government could stand to gain billions more from a different part of the spectrum according to the UK Observer.
The five licences on offer now and for which bidding resumes this morning are for frequencies between 1800 and 2500 Mhz but according to the newpaper frequencies between 2500 and 3000 Mhz will be allocated for mobile phone use at next month's Radiocommunications Assembly 2000 in Turkey.
Originally, says the paper, this spectrum was to be allocated to the holders of the five licences now on offer but now the government is considering auctioning it to support another fresh entrant into the market.
Elsewhere the paper reports on another problem which conflicting uses for spectrum may cause (see also RNW Mar 25 re aviation safety fears).
This time it's in London's theatres, concert halls and gig venues where radio microphones are currently used.
These operate from 1785-1800Mhz, just next to the mobile frequencies currently being auctioned and there are fears of interference.
UK Observer on new mobile phone spectrum;
UK Observer on theatre fears.
RNW February comment "Whose Spectrum"
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 17, 2000:In his radio column entitled "Jingle Fever" in the UK Sunday Times, Paul Donovan laments the marginalizing of one of the world's best known tunes.
It's not one of the many bits of extraneous sound which clutter up so much of the airwaves but " Lilliburlero" which has since 1943 been the signal for people the world over that BBC World Service News is about to begin.
Until recently it was played at the top of the hour but some two weeks ago new schedules reduced its use.
Not only that but the tune used now is not the one which would have been used during the second World War and which was also the official march tune for REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) during that war but a new arrangement with more strings and less brass.
Donovan comments that objections to the tune centred on its origin as a Protestant marching song some 300 years ago but that it now "stands more for utter trustworthiness than it does for sectarian hatred, and the BBC's decision to downgrade it is, at the very least, rather sad."

April 16, 2000: Right-wing US talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been lobbying on air to take over the vacancy left when ABC fired Boomer Esiason from "Monday Night Football" which had been suffering declining ratings.
ABC hasn't ruled out Limbaugh who had one brief spell in the radio booth as guest announcer during a 1995 Denver Broncos game; it just says its going to go for the right people.
One wonders also how much the role pays after the New York Post report that Howard Stern was underpaid by CBS/Infinity at around $18 million a year.

April 16, 2000: Licence news for this week.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has allocated two new community radio licences, for Queanbeyan, New South Wales and Tuggeranong, Australian Capital Territory.
They go to Queanbeyan Community Radio QBN-FM Inc and Valley FM Broadcasters Association Inc both of whom had already been operating full-time cervices under temporary licences.
In Canada , the Canadian Radio and Television Commission has awarded the licence for a new pop/rock FM station in Lloydminster , Alberta, to Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., licensee of CKHL-FM High Valley and CKYL and CKKX-FM Peace River.
It has also approved changes in frequency and an increase in power from 33 watts to 520 watts for CKDU-FM in Halifax, Novia Scotia.
And in the UK, the Radio Authority has set the terms for the renewal of Virgin Radio's national analogue licence, following its commitment to a digital simulcast service. Virgin has accepted the terms -- a reduced cash bid of £1 million per annum plus inflation adjustments compared to the current sum of £2.2 million and an increased PQR (percentage of qualifying revenue) of 12% per annum compared to the current 4%.
It has also decided that it is not against the public interest for DMG Radio (owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust which publishes the national newspapers under the Mail titles) to control Medway FM Limited.
Finally the authority says it has received only one application for the digital multiplex licence for the Bristol and Bath area.
This is from Now Digital Ltd, owned by the GWR Group, which plans to broadcast a total of nine services from January 2001.
ABA site;
CRTC site;
UK Radio Authority
April 15, 2000: UK Border TV's board has recommended acceptance of a " white knight" bid from Capital Radio which followed the increase by Scottish Radio Holdings in its hostile bid. (RNW April 13th).
Capital's offer is 92 of its shares for each Border share or a cash alternative of £13. If the bid goes through it will give Capital Radio English regional commercial stations in the East Midlands, North East and North West to add to its existing strength which is mainly in London and the South East plus the West Midlands.
Capital's shares dipped after the bid and its total value is not greatly above that from Scottish Radio Holdings leaving room for them to increase their bid.
Previous Scottish Radio bid

April 16, 2000: Licence news for this week.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has allocated two new community radio licences, for Queanbeyan, New South Wales and Tuggeranong, Australian Capital Territory.
They go to Queanbeyan Community Radio QBN-FM Inc and Valley FM Broadcasters Association Inc both of whom had already been operating full-time cervices under temporary licences.
In Canada , the Canadian Radio and Television Commission has awarded the licence for a new pop/rock FM station in Lloydminster , Alberta, to Peace River Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., licensee of CKHL-FM High Valley and CKYL and CKKX-FM Peace River.
It has also approved changes in frequency and an increase in power from 33 watts to 520 watts for CKDU-FM in Halifax, Novia Scotia.
And in the UK, the Radio Authority has set the terms for the renewal of Virgin Radio's national analogue licence, following its commitment to a digital simulcast service. Virgin has accepted the terms -- a reduced cash bid of £1 million per annum plus inflation adjustments compared to the current sum of £2.2 million and an increased PQR (percentage of qualifying revenue) of 12% per annum compared to the current 4%.
It has also decided that it is not against the public interest for DMG Radio (owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust which publishes the national newspapers under the Mail titles) to control Medway FM Limited.
Finally the authority says it has received only one application for the digital multiplex licence for the Bristol and Bath area.
This is from Now Digital Ltd, owned by the GWR Group, which plans to broadcast a total of nine services from January 2001.
ABA site;
CRTC site;
UK Radio Authority
April 15, 2000: UK Border TV's board has recommended acceptance of a " white knight" bid from Capital Radio which followed the increase by Scottish Radio Holdings in its hostile bid. (RNW April 13th).
Capital's offer is 92 of its shares for each Border share or a cash alternative of £13. If the bid goes through it will give Capital Radio English regional commercial stations in the East Midlands, North East and North West to add to its existing strength which is mainly in London and the South East plus the West Midlands.
Capital's shares dipped after the bid and its total value is not greatly above that from Scottish Radio Holdings leaving room for them to increase their bid.
Previous Scottish Radio bid

April 15, 2000: The US Congress has overwhelmingly approved, by a vote of 274 to 110, legislation which would if it passes the Senate severely curtail and delay Low Power FM (LPFM) plans by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, the chief sponsor of the bill said that the FCC wanted to add everything but the kitchen sink into the nation's FM radio spectrum, creating significant interference with existing radio stations and services.
Another Republican,Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Commerce telecommunications subcommittee, accused the FCC of doing its own lobbying against the bill.
He said he had asked the Justice Department to investigate whether the federal agency had violated the law in trying to defeat the legislation but FCC officials denied that they had broken any laws.
The bill has been backed by vigorous lobbying by the National Association of Broadcasters, which has put the voting record on its website and asked members to thank Congressmen who supported it.
The supporters of the bill said its original version would have totally killed LPFM.
They felt that they had compromised by allowing the FCC to go forward with some new licensing while testing the more relaxed standards. FCC Chairman William Kennard, in a statement, predicted that the result would be to eliminate more than 80 percent of the potential low power FM stations in hundreds of communities.
He said that the FCC had set minimum separation rules for low power stations that more than protected existing broadcasters and added," Special interests triumphed over community interests."
He termed the bill " very cynical legislation" which in practice would kill LPFM. Two Democrats, Reps. Thomas Barrett, D-Wis., and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., proposed an amendment that would have allowed the FCC to go ahead with the new rules after a six-month test unless Congress specifically prohibited them, but it was defeated 245-142.The bill now has to go through the Senate where a coalition of its supporters including schools, churches, musicians and religious and labour organisations, who are supported by President Clinton, hope to be able to stop it.
NAB reaction;
Kennard statement;
Previous Kennard;
Previous FCC/LPFM;
Previous Oxley;

RNW note: The majority on this vote was less than the two -thirds required to prohibit a presidential veto so it may yet be stopped by President Clinton. if it does pass the Senate and is not vetoed the FCC will be required to test low-powered FM radio in nine radio markets to further determine what interference caused by LPFMis acceptable.
It will also restrict LPFM licenses to government, nonprofit or educational groupsand reaffirm the ban on any LPFM licences going to existing broadcasters.
It also affirms the two new categories of noncommercial radio established by the FCC on Jan. 20, that of a 3.5-mile signal radius and of a 1- to 2-mile radius, respectively.

April 15, 2000: Bids in the UK third-generation mobile phone auction topped £20 billion at the end of round 127 on Friday..
At the end of round 129, the week's last round, they totalled £20.44 billion with the largest single bid from British Telecom.
The bids were £4.28 billion from NTL for newcomer's licence "A", £5.25 billion from BT3G for licence "B", £3.67 billion from Telefonica for licence "C", £3.59 billion from TIW for licence "D" and £3.65 billion from Orange for licence "E".
Two more companies, One2One and Vodaphone, which kicked off the bidding today with a £5.13 billion entry which temporarily led the licence "B" race, are still in the auction
.Seven companies have now pulled out.

Previous UK Mobile bids

April 14, 2000: The benefits the Internet can bring to local stations are featured in a New York Times/AP report from this week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention in Las Vegas.
The article carried comments from station operators who see the possibilities of enhancing their local services by using the Internet as a means of reaching people from their home area wherever they are in the world.
Robert McConochie, director of strategic research at The Arbitron Co. says there is enormous opportunity for broadcasters if they " can figure out how to make it (the Internet) another outlet for their property.''
Arbitron has carried out a study on what is wanted from websites and amongst the most popular were lists of places to visit, movie schedules for local cinemas, links to retailers' sites and advertisers coupons which can be printed out.
There is concensus that a web presence it needs a proper plan not just putting out normal service with a few pictures.
Michael McPherson, vice president of sales and marketing for, which acts as a portal for hundreds of local stations from around the world. says broadcasters need a "separate strategy for (your) Internet site.'' Other station operators comment about the kind of additional information they can give to supplement the audio, the costs involved and ways other than advertising to raise revenue such as selling music that is being listened to.
Previous NAB
New York Times/AP report
Arbitron site
BroadcastAmerica site

April 14, 2000: Avis Rent-a-Car says it is to become the first rental company to offer both satellite radio and traditional AM/FM receivers in its fleet.
It is to offer XM Satellite Radio to its customers in the US.
In addition the two companies are to engage in marketing and promotional alliances.
Previous satellite radio

April 14, 2000: The US Congress vote which could seriously curtail Low Power FM (LPFM) radio plans, the Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act, is now thought to be imminent although US President Clinton has supported Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman William Kennard's calls for a delay to the vote.
The National Association of Broadcasters(NAB), currently holding its annual convention in Las Vegas, has been lobbying intensely against LPFM which it claims would cause interference with existing station.
Current plans have also been opposed by US National Public Radio, whose president Kevin Klose recently wrote to the Washington Post in support of the Act giving amongst his reasons the suggestion that music broadcast on public radio, unlike the "top 40" music heard on commercial channels, would suffer from interference because it contained both soft and loud passages." He also suggested public radio would be particularly vulnerable because of the "reserved band" they used and the threat to radio reading services for sight-impaired which many NPR members carried on subcarrier channels.
Support for LPFM has come from various community groups, US newspapers and also a number of musicians who have sent a letter Congress supporting LPFM and saying that a public resource like the radio spectrum should " made available to as great a diversity as possible.
New York Times Mar 31 editorial on LPFM.
Klose letter to Washington Post.
Previous FCC/LPFM.
Previous Kennard..

April 14, 2000: Bidding in the UK third-generation mobile phone auction is now £19.33 billion with overall bids going up by £945 million.
British Telecom (BT3G) confounded commentators such as the UK Times who had suggested they were dropping their attempt to gain licence"B", the largest for existing holders and going for a smaller licence.
At the end of round 124 on Thursday they led for this licence with a bid of just over £5 million.
The others leading were NTL for newcomer's licence "A" with £4.043 billion, Telefonica for licence "C" with £3.41 billion, One2One for licence "D" with £3.41billion and TIW for licence "E" with £3.47 billion.
One more bidder-Worldcom-- has dropped out of the auction.

Previous UK Mobile bids

April 13, 2000: US Network NBC has announced that it has struck a deal with former CNN executive and anchor Lou Dobbs which will result in daily financial broadcasts, the Lou Dobbs/NBC Financial Report, on radio around July with the programming being syndicated by United Stations Radio.
Dobbs was barred from appearing on any rival television outlet for three years as part of his departure deal with CNN last year but NBC has used him as a guest on its "Today" programme and has a deal with him for both radio and a financial newsletter.
Dobbs is also involved in a website which has just raised around another $50 million of finance.

April 13, 2000: Scottish Radio Holdings has now raised its bid for UK Border TV by around £30 million to £141 million, following talks between Border and other possible bidders (RNW April 11). The new offer is five new shares for every six Border shares, valuing Border at £13 per share on the basis of Scottish Radio's price of around £15.60; when the original bid was made Scottish Radio Holdings' shares were £18.75. The cash alternative is now £12.75.
Previous Scottish Radio Bid

April 13, 2000: US Federal Communications Commission chairman, William E. Kennard, has urged broadcasters to switch their focus to exploring the tremendous potential of the digital revolution rather than fighting Low Power FM(LPFM) radio.
Speaking to the Annual Convention of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), meeting in Las Vegas, Kennard asked," Why amidst all this opportunity for broadcasters, have you chosen to muster your considerable resources to deny churches and schools and community-based organizations just a little piece of the broadcast pie?"
He reiterated his view that interference with existing stations was not a real problem and said he would categorically protect existing all FM stations from harmful interference.
Kennard terms the current bill in congress, which would severely curtail LFPM, mere "protectionist legislation."
NAB protagonists did not agree and the organisation is continuing its fight against LPFM both in the courts and in Congress.
NAB Senior Vice President, Science & Technology Lynn Claudy speaking at one session said the FCC could not to back up its assertion that radios have improved so much that third-adjacent channel protection was unnecessary and added, "LPFM stands for Less People Get FM,"
There were also suggestions that LPFM could cause pockets of interference with digital radio and Claudy said that broadcasters were having to face the challenge of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) at the same time as LPFM, pointing out that Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio use addressable receivers, enabling them to easily target their audience.
There was also an attack on LFPM at a luncheon where NAB CEO Eddie Fritts urged broadcasters to call their Congressman about the Oxley/Dingell (RNW Mar 25) bill, which would severely curtail LPFM and is expected to come to a vote on Thursday.
Fritts said he was confident," we will be victorious on this issue."
At another session at NAB, broadcasters were told that the question for webcasting now was not whether it would work but how to make it a source of revenue.
Moderator Peggy Miles, of, said that in the five years since NAB fisrt saw Internat streaming demonstrations things had moved to a stage where there were more than 3500 Internet audio stations.
The questions were now, "How can we as broadcasters make money with it?"
Both RealNetworks and Microsoft demonstrated the possibilities for broadband using their products.
Previous NAB
Previous Dingell
Previous Kennard;
Previous FCC/LPFM

Previous Oxley;

April 13, 2000: Bidding in the UK mobile phone auction has now reached nearly £18.4 billion but the pace has slowed down with the total extra only up by just under £850,000 over the day compared to an increase of nearly £1.5 billion over Tuesday.
At the end of the day, on round 120, TIW were top bidders for newcomer's licence"A" with £3.91 billion, Vodaphone led for licence"B" with £4.55 billion.
BT3G topped licence"C" bidding at £3.28 billion, NTL headed the licence "D" bids with £3.30 billion and Orange were highest for licence "E" at £3.35 billion.
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 12, 2000: Viacom chairman and Chief Executive Sumner Redstone was upbeat about the future of broadcasters despite what he called the "dot-com commandos" in his keynote address to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas.
Meeting the challenge head on, he said, " "The claim that broadcast television is dying is nearly as old as broadcast television itself,"
"Our nation's broadcasters--our national networks and local radio and TV stations--have been intelligent enough, dynamic enough and creative enough to remain the most important, most vital and most responsive medium for disseminating news and entertainment ever invented."
Redstone also pointed out that broadcasters were way ahead of the dot.coms when it came to advertising revenues, with the Superbowl attracting as much revenue in hours as the top website collected in the whole of 1999.
"Now, I may be alone in this, but when did business stop being about making money?" he concluded. "Have we been taken over by dot-com communists?".
NAB's President and CEO Edward O. Fritts, said that broadcasters stood in front of a door that was opening, not closing, with Silicon Valley beginning to put innovation and dollars into the digital spectrum. He couldn't pass by a quick dig at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its Low Power FM (LPFM) plans (RNW April 2) but said that, "What broadcasters must realize is that what we deliver is ever more important than how we deliver it. Our programming for the local community is more important than our means of distributing it."
Previous Fritts
Previous FCC/ LPFM

April 12, 2000: The Los Angeles Times reports that veteran talk radio broadcaster Mike Siegel is to step into the shoes of US overnight host Art Bell who's retiring. (RNW April 3).
The paper says it has been told by Kraig T Kitchin, president and chief executive office of Premiere Radio Networks, who syndicate the show, that Siegel will start hosting "Coast to Coast AM" on April 27th, the night after Bell's final show.
For the past two weeks, Siegel, who is based in Seattle, has filled in for Bell on Friday nights. He did the weekend show as well.
Kitchin added that evening host Ian Punnett of WGST-AM in Atlanta, a Presbyterian seminarian, will be the permanent Sunday night host for Bell's show; the Saturday night slot will rotate among a variety of hosts with Peter Weissbach, afternoon drive host of KOMO-AM in Seattle, as primary anchor.
Los Angeles Times article
Previous Bell;
Previous Kitchin;

Next column

April 12, 2000: Bidding in the UK mobile phone auction has now topped £17.5 billion after five more rounds.
At the end of bidding for round 115, the leaders were Worldcom with £3.8 billion for newcomer's licence "B", Vodaphone with £4.6 billion for licence "B" the largest for existing licencees, BT3G with £3.05 billion for licence "C", Telefonica with £3.06 billion for licence "D" and Orange with £3.11 billion for licence "E".
The prices being bid are starting to raise questions of the value of other parts of the spectrum. (See RNW February Comment -"Whose spectrum?" )
The UK Telegraph asks in one article," What, for example, is the value now of a digital radio franchise?" It adds, A digital radio broadcast is just like any other digital stream of data, which raises the novel prospect of sending pictures down the radio, as well as all sorts of other information, encrypted if desired."
UK Telegraph article

Previous UK Mobile bids
April 12, 2000: The UK Radio Authority is this week inviting applications for its latest digital multiplex licence, this time to cover around 2.75 million people in Central Scotland, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and the areas surrounding and between them. Local multiplexes have already been awarded in the two cities themselves. It has also announced a six point initiative to make its proceedings "more open." The points include producing a series of guides and a register of interests of its members and senior staff . These and other documents will be available both at the authority's offices in London and on its website.
UK Radio authority website.

Previous UK licences.
April 11, 2000: Real Networks, the Seattle-based Internet streaming audio and video company, has announced at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas that it now has more than 115 million users worldwide.
It says its latest player, RealPlayer 7, has more than 25 million users.
It also announced from Seattle the first deployment of its live internet advertisement insertion solution for TV programming, formerly available only for radio streaming on the Internet.
The system allows broadcasters to replace local advertisements carried in their on-air output with internet-only advertisements.

April 11, 2000: London-based Capital Radio is reported to be preparing to step into the battle for UK Border TV with an offer valuing Border at around £130 million.
Scottish Radio Holdings has already made a hostile bid for Border (RNW April 9) but at £10.25 per share(cash alternative) this is lower than Border's current priceof around £11.50 indicating that investors are anticipating a higher offer.
Previous Scottish Radio Bid

April 11, 2000: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ has launched a new schedule with older DJs losing out to DJs in their 20s as the station tries to grab a younger audience.
In the breakfast slot children's TV presenter Damien McCaul, replaces Gareth O'Callaghan and veteran DJ Larry Gogan is cut back to lose the last hour of his show which formerly ran from noon until 3 pm. RTÉ 's breakfast show has been lagging behind commercial opposition in Dublin although still in the lead nationally. For more on Irish radio changes, the Irish Times has a longer report.
Irish Times

April 11, 2000:There were more major jumps to a total of more than £16 billion in bidding in the UK third-generation mobile phone auction although the rules themselves have now changed slightly to allow increments of only 4% from round to the next as opposed to 5% formerly.
Vodaphone is back at the top with another major increase in its bid to £4.25 billion for licence "B", the largest available for existing licencees.
NTL topped the bids for newcomers' licence "A" with £3.25 billion.
One2One headed licence "C" bids at £2.85 billion, Telefonica who had been expected to pull out were heading licence "D" bids at £2.84 billion and Orange led for licence "E" with £2.86 billion.
Three more companies are still in the auction - BT3G, TIW and Worldcom.
Five have withdrawn -- 3GUK, Crescent, Epsilon, One.Tel and Spectrum.
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 10, 2000: Jim Kirk in his Chicago Tribune Media column raises the issue of how far departures to Internet ventures are hurting the ability of existing stations to hold on to talent.
In his case, he puts the issue in terms of Chicago station WMAQ-AM which is also straining under the pressure of rumours that they'll change to an all-sport format.
The second whammy came when WebFN, a start-up by Weigel Broadcasting Co and Bridge Information Systems raided WMAQ for producers, writers and on-air talent.
Kirk points out that the threat of talent leaving for the Internet is also hitting print media and television.with such big names as ABC Television Network President Patricia Fili-Krushel leaving, in her case to run the consumer division of Healtheon/WebMD.
Another recent appointment was that last week of Michael Kakoyiannis, former Big City Radio Chief Executive Officer (CEO) , as President and CEO of Internet audio broadcaster Stellar Networks which has its headquarters in New York..
Chicago Tribune Kirk column
Previous Kirk.

April 10, 2000: Bidding re-opens today for Britain's third-generation mobile licences with analysts predicting that a busy Monday and that a total of £20 billion could be raised.
There are now thought to be three serious contenders for the newcomers' licence "A" for which around £5 billion is predicted. They are NTL, WorldCom and TIW; Telefonica of Spain is expected to drop out of the race for this licence.
A similar large sum is expected for licence "B" the largest left for existing companies with both BT, which is currently rebranding its Cellnet mobile operation, and Vodaphone needing new capacity as well as fearing the impact on their market value if they fail to get a licence.
Orange and One2One also need capacity and are concerned about the effect on their future if they fail to get a licence. At the end of last week bidding was approaching £14.5 billion.
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 10, 2000: What is claimed to be the first all-politics Internet audio station is to be launched today (1300 Eastern ) by three former staffers for Steve Forbes in his failed presidential bid.
The station, based in Davenport, Iowa, lists programmes from 0800-1700 Eastern daily on its website and says it will keep its listeners on tops of what's happening in US politics.
As well as audio it says its website will work in tandem with the audio to provide text news and a political newsletter.
Policast site

April 9, 2000: BBC Radio 1's new breakfast presenter Sara Cox gets a write-up this weekend by Guardian columnist Richard Hoggart under a headline we just couldn't resist," More burble, less squeak on good-listening menu."
Hoggart comments on the many posters of her bearing the legend," "Going To Bed Early For Britain" as implying sacrifice by her to perform a vital public service. He then adds," Which she does, I suppose. I listened to her show a few times this week - it was good to hear the glottal stop back on national radio, as in "he were in t' basement" - and she does it very well. What she does is burble. She rabbits on about a concert, or someone she's met (of the Sun's show biz correspondent, " 'E seems ter think 'e's the celebrity," an illusion shared by many hacks), or what was on TV the other night. It's amiable, affable, background noise…………. Life gets more hectic and demanding, and there are times when we need pointless blather. It's like a sensory deprivation tank, designed to strip away our stresses and tension." Over to you on how valuable the service actually is!
UK Guardian column
And while on titles or headlines, the Toronto Globe and Mail carries an obituary of former academic, writer, politician and broadcaster James Gordon Parr who has died aged 72.
Apparently he was remembered some decades ago for hosting CBC radio programmes entitled, The Mad Metallurgist" aiming at popularising that area of science and technology.
He also wrote poetry and satire and twice tried to launch a national children's television service in Canada.

April 9, 2000: Following the release of UK Border TV's defence document against a hostile bid by Scottish Radio Holdings( RNW April 8) , the war between the two is intensifying. The UK Telegraph reports that Scottish Radio Holdings has accused Border of pushing up its audience figures by using comparisons now banned by radio audience research group RAJAR.
The paper says Border responded by saying they had checked their figures with RAJAR and suggesting that the attack was an attempt to distract attention from the fall in the value of the bid.
The offer is 10 new shares for every 17 Border shares, valuing the target at £9.26 per share with a cash alternative of £10.25 on offer. In addition to its defence document, Border is also continuing talks with potential rivals to Scottish Radio Holdings including UK radio groups Capital, Chrysalis, Scottish Media Group and the Wireless Group. It's also talking to the Guardian Media Group.

Previous Scottish Radio Bid
April 8, 2000:A little of the city's radio history is returning to Los Angeles at midnight tonight when 24-hour sports station All Sports 1540, owned by Oneon-One SportsRadio Networks changes its call letters from KCTD to KMPC. The original KMPC was broadcast on AM710 in Los Angeles for half a century. It was owned by Hollywood star Gene Autrey who was passionate about sports programming.
April 8 2000:The UK Radio Authority has announced the awards of its latest digital multiplex licences in the UK - for Greater London and Leeds --and the FM licence for South Wales.
The 12-year London licence -- the second for the area -- has gone to Switch Digital whose main shareholders are Kelvin MacKenzie's Wireless Group and Clear Channel International UK.
In all Switch will provide eight 24-hour commercial digital radio channels.
The Leeds licence goes to Emap Digital Radio, the sole applicant; It too plans to provide eight round the clock commercial radio channels.
The South Wales FM licence, for which there were seven applicants, has been awarded to Real Radio, owned by Guardian Media Group Radio Holdings.
UK Radio Authority site

April 8, 2000: The UK auction for third generation mobile phone licences has now gone into recess until Monday at the request of Spanish bidder Telefonice.
But there's still much media speculation about whether they will pull out next, whether bids are too high to be profitable for any company, who's backing whom and so on.
Vodaphone's attempt to knock out its competitors with a massively increased bid to £3.63 billion (RNW April 6) comes in for criticism in the UK Guardian from IT consultants the Smith Group which was an advisor to both the British and French groups on the sale of Universal Mobile Teleccommunications System (UMTS) licences.
The group thinks bidders are now paying too much pointing out that on top of the licence fees each bidder will have to spend around £2 billion on network infrastructure.
It puts the high bids down in part to the value placed on internet and telecommunications stocks, and also to the fear of the current big operators of the catastrophic effect that not winning a licence could have on their stockmarket valuations and customer base; Vodaphone and BT in particular have overstretched networks and need more capacity if they are to expand.
There's also widespread speculation the Telefonica of Spain, which has used up two of the three waivers permitted, is about to pull out.
In addition there's speculation about how much more can be bid by Telesystem International Wireless (TIW), which currently has top bid for newcomer's licence A at £2.87 billion; the company's capitalisation is only Canadian$3.6billion (£1.6 billion).
However the UK Telegraph reports that the company is getting behind-the-scenes backing from Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong trading empire which founded the Orange network and which last year agreed to sell its stake in the company to Germany's Mannesman which is now being taken over by Vodaphone. Hutchison is still the largest single shareholder in both Vodaphone and Orange.
UK Guardian report.
UK Independent report;
UK Telegraph report
Previous UK Mobile bids
April 8, 2000: UK Television Company Border Television has urged its shareholders to reject the hostile takeover bid from Scottish Radio Holdings (RNW Mar 28 ) because of the latter's inexperience in TV production.
Border chief executive Paul Corley says that 60 per cent of group turnover comes from its TV operations and the value they get from the share swap offer is too dependent upon Scottish Radio making a success of the TV side.
Previous Scottish Radio Bid
April 7, 2000: For any Scots among you, the UK Independent gives a boost to a small Highlands radio station which expected some 100,000 people to log onto its internet site for Tartan Day, the Scottish equivalent of St. Patrick's Day.
This is an event not born in Scotland but in Canada only a decade ago.
It's since been pushed through the US legislature in 1996 by Senator Trent Lott who claims Scottish Ancestry and is celebrated in the main by St Andrew's societies in North America as opposed to Scotland.
The station. Scottish Internet Radio, broadcasts from the village of of Strathpeffer, Ross-shire.
For those of you interested the links below take you the main site and some odd bubble-and-gurgle sounds said to be connected with the Loch Ness monster!.
UK Independent Report
Internet Radio UK (links on to Scottish Internet Radio).

"Nessie" monster sounds.

April 7, 2000: Bids for the third generation Internet-capable UK mobile phone licences are now approaching £14.5 billion with Vodaphone massively upping the stakes for the largest licence for existing companies.
However another bidder has dropped out. Australian One-Tel, backed by media magnates Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer, decided that £2.5 billion was more than a licence was worth to them; instead they will opt to purchase spectrum from one of the bidding companies as Eircom (RNW April 4 ) and Spectrum (RNW April 5) have already done.
As of Wednesday night the leapfrogging left NTL Mobile, supported by France Telecom, with the highest bid of £2.6 billion for newcomer's licence"A" and BT with the highest bid of £2.84 billion for licence "B". Telefonica of Spain had bid £2.42 billion for licence "C", Canadian TIW £2.34 billion for licence "D" and Orange £2.33 billion for licence"E".
By the end of Round 106 on Thursday afternoon , TIW were back in the lead for licence "B" with a £2.87 billion bid, Vodaphone had bid a staggering £3.63 billion for licence B" One2One were heading licence "C" bids with £2.54 billion, NTL mobile were heading licence "D" bids with £2.71 billion and Orange were heading licence "E" bids with £2.6 billion .

Previous UK Mobile bids

April 7, 2000:Internet audio on-demand channel AudioBasket , which has already agreed a number of deals for news, business and educational information, has now made a content agreement with Bloomberg Radio.
Dealso so far made by Audio basket, which has still to launch its service, include ones with ABC News,(US), the BBC, Financial Times and Associated Press. AudioBasket site

April 7, 2000: Sydney 2UE now looks as if its going to have to take on the combined might of Australian television as well as the country's National Rugby League and rival station 2GB over its calling rugby games from TV although Sydney 2GB holds the live radio rights (RNW Nov 24 ).
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, John Singleton owner of Macquarie Radio (which owns 2GB) has reached agreement with Channels Seven, Nine, Foxtel, Optus and Sky channel over taking joint action against 2UE.
Singleton is quoted by the paper as saying ," It's a case of 2UE against all the rights holders of sport……… It's no longer a case of the National Rugby League against 2UE. It's Foxtel, Optus, Sky, Seven and Nine all taking 2UE to court because 2UE chairman John Conde is demonstrably not fit to run the station and caller Ray Hadley thinks he's bigger than the law." Singleton added that he was frustrated by "UE's refusal to resolve the situation despite two meetings between 2GB representatives and 2UE, represented by chairman John Conde and general manager Tony Moltzen. 2GB lawyer Garry Charney said they had offered access to grounds, provision of score updates and even player interviews but "2ue weren't interested. "They want to be de facto broadcast rights holders, " he said.
Moltzen said he knew nothing about the consortium but remained confident they would find a peaceful solution.
Sydney Morning Herald report.
Previous rugby rights item.

Previous Conde
Previous Hadley.

Previous Singleton

April 6, 2000: Israeli internet technology company Geo Interactive Media, is to spin of its Web-Radio arm which allows people to tune in to some 200 stations from round the world.
It is financed by charging stations to be available on its site and has struck a deal with the US company WestWood One, one of the largest US providers of radio content. Estimates of the value of WebRadio vary from around $500 million to $2.5 billion depending how many stations sign up to its service and how hi-tech shares move in the markets. site

April 6, 2000: The UK Radio Authority which is already busy handling the UK mobile phone auction, has also been busy with local radio licences this week.
On Friday it will invite declarations of intent for applications for an eight-year FM licence for the Weymouth and Dorchester area; the current licence held by Wessex FM runs out in September next year..
In Northern Ireland it is inviting applications for a digital multiplex licence which could potentially serve the whole of the area. This is the latest advertisement for digital licences for the whole of the UK being rolled out at one per month.
The Authority t has also just closed applications for licences in two areas.
Two applications were received for the new Independent Local Radio FM licence for Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath in Mid-Sussex - from Central Sussex Radio and Dolphin FM Ltd - and only one for the North Wales Coastal Area -from the existing licence-holder Marcher Radio Group broadcasting as Coast FM. Their current licence runs out in August next year.
UK Radio authority site

April 6, 2000: Vox Radio Group of Massachusetts , which owns 17 stations in New England, has bought Pennsylvania-based Derrick Publishing Company's six radio stations in a $6.4 million deal, subject to regulatory approval.
Three are -- country-format WOWQ-FM of Du Bois, Pa., WHUG-FM of Jamestown,NY and WCQA-FM of Fredionia, NY.
The others are Oldies stations WCED-AM of Du Bois, WKSN-AM of Jamestown and WDOE-AM of Dunkirk, NY.
Vox also has in train another six-station deal which would take its ownership total to 29 stations.

April 6, 2000: Bidding in the latest round of the UK mobile phone spectrum auction has now topped £11.5 billion but two more companies have pulled out.
They are Japanese bidder Epsilon and Spectrum backed by the Virgin Group, Tesco and Finnish wireless group Sonera. Shares in Sonera have fallen by about a sixth as the analysts question the high bids.
Virgin group is now dependent upon One2One with whom it has a sharing deal if the latter wins a licence.
This leaves nine companies in the bidding and if one more drops out the rules change so that any bidder can ask for a one-day recess.

Previous UK Mobile bids

April 6, 2000: Country music stations, which have already been having a thin time over the last few years (RNW Jan 11), could be facing their greatest threat from technological changes and the internet according to a prediction made at the recent annual Country Radio Seminar held in Nashville, Tennessee.
The prediction came from Mike Torcasso of Dallas from the New Reasearch Group . In a subsequent interview Torcasso told the Chicago Tribune that this meant it was important for stations to cement ties with their local listeners.
He painted a picture of these listeners suddenly having a massively expanded choice ranging from satellite-to-car radios which might carry up to ten country stations (their audience however will not necessarily be that great to begin with --see Kassof survey RNW April 5) through to internet stations which can be received on mobile equipment or just direct downloading of chosen tracks.
Chicago Tribune report

April 5, 2000: Australian radio had a very strong 1998-99 financial year result whilst television profits slumped according to financial results for the year just released by the Australian Broadcasting Authority(ABA).
Similarly strong figures have already been reported in the US by Emmis (RNW April 1)
In all 226 radio licensees collected revenue of Australian $635.5 million, up 6.3% on the previous year, according to ABA chairman Professor David Flint.
They generated a profit of Australian $ 107.5 million, a 13.4% increase on the previous financial year.
By comparison the 48 commercial television licensees collected revenues of Australian $2,849.9 million, up 3.4% but expenses rose by more and profits fell by 35.7% to Australian $306.6 million.
Total licence fees for the period were Australian $211.1 million, up 2.1%
Commenting on the figures, the Sydney Morning Herald says that plans for new commercial FM licences in Sydney and Melbourne are expected to put pressure on radio profitability.
Previous Prof. Flint
ABA news release;
Sydney Morning Herald report;

April 5, 2000:The BBC changes announced by director-general Greg Dyke (RNW April 4) have been generally but conditionally welcomed by most British newspapers who carry detailed reports.
Apart from the points Dyke himself stressed about cutting out management layers and moving funds to programmes, amongst the points most often noted were his ending of chauffeur driven for senior executives (Dyke himself has a BBC driver for a six years old Jaguar from his previous job) and a crackdown on taxis for staff working anti-social hours.
There's also mention of his presentation in front of a backdrop of a large flower with petals.
But perhaps the best summing up is in the UK Guardian report which said," Greg Dyke must be one of the few executives in the world who can announce up to a thousand redundancies - and hear his own staff cheer. Yet such is the goodwill the new director general enjoys, that was the reaction at the BBC yesterday to the first stage of his masterplan for the organisation."
For those interested in UK newspaper reports a search for "BBC" on April 4th will yield them from the UK Guardian, UK Independent, and UK Telegraph
Previous BBC structure
Previous Dyke

April 5, 2000: Total bids in the UK third-generation mobile phone auction have now topped £11 billion but the pace continues to wane with Eircom following Crescent (RNW April 4) in pulling out of the bidding.
Instead, Eircom is putting its hopes instead on purchasing some of the spectrum from one of the winning bidders.
Three more bidders waived their bids -- Spectrum which includes Richard Branson of Virgin group, Australia's One-Tel Global Wireless and Japanese-owned Epsilon.
This is Epsilon's second waiver of the three allowed.
After 96 rounds the leading bidders were Telefonica of Spain with £2.21 billion for Licence "A", Vodaphone with £2.45 billion for licence "B", NTL Mobile with £2.18 billion for licence "C", Worldcom with £2.12 billion for licence "D" and Orange with £2.07 billion for Licence "E".
Vodaphone is also potentially involved in some massive numbers in the US where Bell Atlantic Corp and Vodaphone are planning an initial public offering (IPO)of stock in their newly-names Verizon Wireless venture, the largest mobile phone and paging company in the US.
No real details have been given of the IPO but rival AT&T is expecting to raise some $13 billion through an IPO in the next six weeks or so of new stock which will track its wireless business.

Previous UK Mobile bids
April 5, 2000: Interest in the US in planned satellite-to-car radio services is fairly limited but strongest amongst young men according to a survey by Mark Kassof & Co of potential interest amongst 18-64 years old regular car radio listeners.
Of this group 6% indicated strong interest and another 16% said they were "somewhat likely" to subscribe to it. Those left were "unlikely to be interested and nearly 60 per cent of those polled said they were "very unlikely" to subscribe.

April 4, 2000: As expected, BBC director-general Greg Dyke has slashed management levels and simplified the business structure of the Corporation .
In place of the old BBC board and 190 business units will be a structure closer to that of a commercial company with 17 members of a new executive committee reporting to Dyke --petals to the flower they were called on one BBC radio interview.
The current 190 business units will be reduced to around 50
Dyke says the changes will release some £200 million next year for programme making and increase its share of the corporation's budget from around 76% to 85%.
In phraseology which seemed like a side-swipe at the bureaucratic structures of his predecessor John Birt, he said he wanted the BBC to be " a place where people work collaboratively, enjoy their job and are inspired and united behind one common purpose -to create great television and radio programmes and online services."
In radio, music commissioning and production, he says will be re-integrated for Radios 1 (pop), 2 (light music) and 3 (classical music).No real details are given of exactly what this means except for a slightly puzzling note that all classical music for both radio and television will be "brought together in radio to create a single point of leadership for classical music within the BBC."
Radio 5 live commissioning is to be moved from News into the BBC's radio Network "to create a stronger radio division, although its news production stays with the news division."
Speech radio production will remain in the programming departments.
Amongst those in the new top jobs will be Jenny Abramsky who stays Director of Radio.
BBC news release (with link to 136 kb Adobe PDF file of plan)
Previous BBC structure

Previous Abramsky;
Previous Birt:

Previous Dyke:

April 4, 2000: Following the announcement by Art Bell that he is to retire from his overnight show (RNW April 3), Premiere Radio which syndicates the show, says it is close to naming a successor to continue the show which will retain its format.
Craig T.Kitchin, Premiere's president and chief operating officer, says he has narrowed down the field to a handful of candidates.
The list includes Mike Siegel and Peter Weissbach from Seattle, Ian Punnet from Atlanta, Hilly Rose from San Francisco and Philip Clarke frm Northridge.
The time slot left open by Bell's departure will be restructured to have a main weekday host and secondary hosts for Saturday and Sunday.
Announcement of Bell's successor is to be made in his April 13 show.
Previous Art Bell.
Previous Kitchin

April 4, 2000: The pace seems to be telling in the UK auction of spectrum for the latest generation UTMS mobile phones. One company, Crescent Wireless which is backed by US-based Global Crossing has announced its withdrawal and Irish-Telecom backs 3GUK is rumoured to be close to pulling out. In addition, no new bids were received for licences "D", for which NTL mobile has bid £2 billion and licence "E" for which Orange has bid £2.07 billion.The auction is now in its third week with bids for each of the five licences on offer at £2 billion or more Top at the end of round 94, Monday's first round, were bids of £2.21 billion from Spanish company Telefonica for the newcomer's "A" licence and £2.34 billion from British Telecom for the "B" licence. There was a four-way tie at £2.07 billion for licence "C".
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 4, 2000: Cumulus Media Inc, which operates more than 300 radio stations over the US, says it has now completed its acquisition of KYUL-FM in Harker Heights,Texas, which it bought from the Stellar Radio Group for $2.25 million.
KYUL is one of four Cumulus operated stations in the area which houses Fort Hood, the largest US military installation in terms of personnel and equipment, and two major Texas educational institutions.

April 3, 2000:An eventful day at the BBC today.
On Radio 1, DJ Sara Cox formally begins her Breakfast Show which she is taking over from Zoe Ball.
It's not the real start though as she had a run last Friday, launching that show with the Robbie Williams' single "Let me Entertain You".
Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt decided to let her present the show in place of Scott Mills who'd been filling in since Ball left.
And on a totally different note, the corporation finds out today what its new structure is to be (RNW April 2). By this time tomorrow a whole swathe of managers may be starting a job hunt as the corporation's new structure is announced.
One top-level manager, Corporate Affairs Director Colin Browne has already announced his departure.
And it's not just people where there may be changes according to the UK Sunday Telegraph which says the corporation is looking for a property partner as part of a review which it hopes would allow development of underused sites and thus finance the move of staff to more up-to-date premises. Amongst the sites it could move out of is Bush House in Aldwych, long the home of BBC World Service.
Previous BBC structure

April 3, 2000:Art Bell, whose "Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell" is the most popular overnight Radio show in the US is to retire from all public activities after his final broadcast on April 26th. The show itself, syndicated to some 400 stations by Premiere Radio Network, will continue with another host. It will be the second time Bell has retired ; the last was in October 1998 but he was then persuaded to return to the airwaves. On his website, Bell says that the 1998 decision stemmed from a traumatic year in 1997.
In that year his son was kidnapped and raped by a teacher who was subsequently jailed for life for the offence and while he was still dealing with this he was himself accused of child molestation in a broadcast by WWCR, a Nashville-based worldwide Christian short-wave radio station. Bell says he was able to continue on air thanks to support from executives of Premiere Networks and Clear Channel, but, "the pressure of having to defend myself against baseless, vile claims that I was a child molester eventually forced me to reduce my on air hours." Legal action over the allegations is proceeding and is the next major step is scheduled in a Nashville Court on April 28th. Bell says that because of this," a trial, perhaps a protracted one, may follow. It would be untrue for me to say this has not affected my air work, it has. It would be unfair to all of you, not to give you my full-time best. I can no longer do that."
Art Bell Website statement

April 3, 2000: Sydney station 2UE has today published details of sponsors agreements with its presenters as required by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in the wake of the cash-for-comment affair.
Alan Jones lists 5 sponsors paying him in the Australian $100-500,000 per annum range as well as smaller sponsors.
They are communications company Optus, Qantas Airlines, the State Bank of New South Wales, Channel 9 Television and Walsh Bay Finance.
John Laws justifies his "Golden Tonsils" nickname by significantly topping this.
He has one deal for Australian $500,000 plus with Toyota,a $500,000 plus TV presentation deal with Foxtel, and seven deals in the $100,000-500,000 bracket. These are with NRMA, Hanimex, Qantas,Valvoline, Foxtel, Norwegian Capricorn Line and Penrith Rugby League Club. All other presenters listed have deals in the Australian $10,000-100,000 band.
2UE Website (links to individual presenters pages);
Previous cash-for-comment;
Previous Jones
Previous Laws;

April 2, 2000:Queen Elizabeth 2 of England is now back en-route home after a Royal Tour of Australia which produced one first -her first "live" radio phone-in cum broadcast.
It was delivered to an audience of around 20 pupils of the Alice Springs-based School of the Air which educates children in the Australian outback using two-way radio.
The first person to ask an approved as opposed to shouted out question was nine-years old Nathan Sims from Narwietwooma Station.
The resulting exchange would seem rather dated and formal on today's talk radio. Nathan began with a formal ," Good afternoon, Your Majesty" and went on to ask if she had enjoyed her visit to Australia.
The Queen replied by reading out a formal speech about Australia but later 11 years old Sophie Leigh from Murray Downs mentioned the Internet prompting an unscripted reply and promotion of the royal website ( A first but hardly enthralling radio!

April 2, 2000: Speculation at the BBC is running high in advance of Monday's unveiling by new Director-General Greg Dyke of his planned new structure for the corporation.
He has already strongly attacked the structure left by predecessor John (now Lord) Birt as making the Corporation "overmanaged" and "underled."
Dyke is expected to introduce a flatter management structure with five top people reporting directly to him.
Current head of BBC Radio, Jenny Abramsky, is expected to become one of them as the new Director of Radio.
Previous Dyke:

April 2, 2000: Whilst the US is mired in controversy about Low Power FM stations, other countries continue to support community LPFM as well as look towards the possibility of new technology.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio and Television Commission has recently approved a 36-watt Type A licence for a French-language community station at Matagami in Quebec province.
The licence conditions require the station to include in its programming local and spoken word information and music by new and local talent and not generally broadcast by commercial station.
And in Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) is inviting applications for three new narrowcast radio licences, two for Sydney and one for Penrith.
A reserve price has been set for each licence of Australian $10,000 and there will be an auction in the case of multiple bids for a licence.
The term narrowcasting as used in Australia means broadcasting licences are restricted, in duration of a for a special event, in target where they are for a special interest group or in location such as covering sporting arenas or shopping centres.
The ABA has also allocated a non-broadcasting services bands commercial radio licence for the Brusselton/Margaret River area of Western Australia to South West Broadcasting Pty Ltd. Such licences prohibit use of the spectrum allocated to normal television and AM and FM radio services and cover only the content of the service.
They do not allocate any carriage rights for the service , leaving the licensees to make their own arrangements. Such licences are being used by the ABA to encourage the introduction of new services and technology as they do not bring up questions of spectrum scarcity.
In the US itself, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman William Kennard, has issued a statement attacking the House Commerce Committee's decision to restrict LPFM.(RNW Mar 31)
He says the decision would, "eliminate 75% of the opportunities for schools, churches, transit authorities, local governments, volunteer fire departments and other community and civic groups to have access to the public's airwaves."
Kennard adds that he would never approve or authorise a radio service that causes harmful interference to existing broadcasters and says," Those who want to silence Low Power FM radio are ignoring a strong, substantive, methodically-developed, two-year public record replete with solid engineering analysis. …. The only real interference to Low Power FM radio is from high priced Washington lobbyists."
Kennard statement .
Previous FCC/LPFM;
Previous Kennard

April 2, 2000: SAIT-RadioHolland has launched a shares-only bid to take over Norwegian software provider Stento.
The new company would be a leading independent European provider of professional wireless communication systems and services.
The bid consists of two new SAIT-RadioHolland shares for 19 Stento shares.
This means former Stento and SAIT-RadioHolland shareholders will each hold 50% of the total shares in the new company.

April 1, 2000: Emmis Communications, which is often regarded as a bellwether for the US radio industry because its fiscal periods come a month before most companies, has reported very healthy results for 1999.
Full year net revenues were $325 million, up nearly forty per cent and for the last quarter were up were up by 36.5% to £80 million.
Revenues on a same-station basis were up 19.1% for the full year, 15.4% for the final quarter.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smulyan said growth had again exceed expectations and the company's radio performance shows that " that the sector has gone to a new level for advertiser preference, and all indications are that next year will be another remarkable year for the medium."
He added that Emmis was poised to grow dramatically and looked forward to an exciting year, especially in radio.

April 1, 2000: The US National Association of Black Broadcasters(NABOB) has endorsed efforts by and to bring urban radio to the Internet.
Radio Ink reports that the two organisations have committed $25 million to a project to connect hundreds of R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Gospel and other urban format stations to the Internet.
The capital will be used to provide up to 125 NABOB member stations with everything they need to connect at no cost to the stations themselves. In exchange the stations will give on-air promotion to their sites and BroadcastUrban.Com, which is due to launch mid-April. Signals will be streamed in both Real and Windows Media formats.
Broadcast Urban site
Radio Ink report
For a colour item in the Washington Post about the NABOB fete click on this link

April 1, 2000: The value of UK spectrum continues to power ahead with the UK Independent now forecasting that the auction for the next generation of mobile phone licences will raise £15 billion pounds, around five times the initial estimate.
The bids have soared this week , jumping by nearly £1.3 billion on Thursday.
Highest bid then was £1.92 billion from BT Cellnet for the "B" licence which offers most spectrum to an existing licence holder.
By Friday, total bids topped £10 billion, the highest bid for new entrant licence "A" was for £2.1 billion from SpectrumCo, and Vodaphone had overall top bid (licence "B") of £2.29 billion; they now have to sit out the next round on Monday under the rules of the auction.
To be considered for the next stage, a rival bidder will have to up the stakes by 5%,making it £2.4 billion to bid for licence "B".
Some observers think the bidding is being fuelled by a fear of being seen as the first to pull out and concern has been expressed that there is a risk that one of the winning bidders could default.
This happened in the US a year ago when one auction of mobile phone licences raised $4 billion but had to be re-run after defaulting.
When the auction was re-run it raised just over a tenth of the original winning bid.
UK Independent article

Previous UK Mobile bids
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem. Regarding external links, we give links where we can but some newspapers and stations only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA). Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access.See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
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April 30, 2000:Following the release of Irish JNLR (Joint National Listenership Research) ratings the Irish Times features a report on Limerick-based classical music station Lyric FM.
Lyric, which just marked its first birthday, has reached a countrywide daily audience of more than 100,000, around a 4% share.
It does particularly well in Dublin (RNW April 29) and in the high-earner ABC1 audience where its share is 8%.
The article quotes morning host Tom Crann, who moved to Lyric from Minnesota, as crediting part of its success from the location in Limerick, away from state broadcaster RTÉ's headquarters in the Donnybrook suburb of Dublin and the pressures of the capital.
"At the start, it had a real sense of individuality. Being in Limerick was part of that," says Crann.
Another presenter quoted as appreciating the location is P.J. Curtis, who presents Reels to Raga, about traditional music from around the world and who is quoted as saying, "I am just not going to live in Dublin under any circumstances so, for me, this is an absolute godsend,"
Irish Times link

April 30, 2000: Washington's top three, black stations WHUR, WKYS and WPGC retained their rankings in the latest Arbitron winter ratings ( to March 31).
Leader WHUR lost share slightly with a 5% share (6.5% in Fall 1999) but black-hits WKYS moved up to 5.8% ( 4.8% in Fall 1999)whilst third ranked black hits station WPGC fell back from a 5.8% fall share to 5.7% now.
Looking further into the figures, Washington Post columnist Frank Ahrens notes that the big winners in the " 25-54 'money' demogaphic" the winners were guy-talk WJFK (106.7), black adult contemporary WHUR (96.3), black hits WKYS (93.9) and sports talk WTEM (980 AM).
For this group the top-rated morning shows was Tom Joyner (heard locally on WHUR) who was followed by Howard Stern(locally on WJFK).
Afternoon drive was topped by WJFK's Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara.
Washington Post report

Previous Ahrens

April 30, 2000: Licence news this week.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA)has announced that it will auction two new commercial licences, on for Sydney and one for Campbelltown, (RNW March 20) on May 24th.
It has received 13 applications for the Sydney licence which has a reserve price of Australian $500,000 and none for Campbelltown where the reserve is Australian $100,000.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio and Television Commission has approved a commercial station switch from AM to Fm,a new 100,000 watt FM channel and two Low Power FM (LPFM) community licences.
In Rimouski, Quebec, it has given the go-ahead for a 33,600 watt French-language FM station to replace AM station CFLP. The successful applicant is Power Broadcasting Inc. but since the application was made, the CTRTC has approved a takeover of CFLP by a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment.
The licence will only be issued when the new station is ready to go to air and among conditions attached is one relating to a three-month simulcast (Power had requested six months) after which CFLP's licence must be surrendered for cancellation and issue of a new licence.
The CRTC has also approved a 100,000 watt commercial FM English language licence for North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Successful applicants are Northwestern Radio Partnership who already operate CJNB North Battleford, the only commercial station in the area. The new station will carry popular music targeted at a younger audience.
LPFM licences are for a 46 watt station to carry Native- and English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas, Manitoba, and a 164-watt station to carry French-language FM community radio programming undertaking at Yellowknife, Northern Territories.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has re-awarded three local radio licences.
The Harlow (Essex) local radio licence goes to Harlow FM Ltd which broadcasts as Ten-17 FM, the Montgomeryshire local radio licence to Radio Maldwyn Ltd and the Slough, Maidenhead & Windsor to Tristar Broadcasting Ltd., which broadcasts as 106.6 Star FM.
Previous Licence News
ABA website;
CRTC Website;
UK Radio Authority

April 29, 2000: The UK third generation mobile phone auction may now be over (RNW April 28) having attracted bids of £22.5 billion, but the first US third generation spectrum sale looks set to be delayed as Federal Communications Commission (FCC)chairman William E. Kennard has suggested that a planned June auction of spectrum be delayed until September.
In a letter to the chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations and Commerce committees, Kennard suggests that the delay would allow interested parties to develop their business plans and bidding strategies whilst to go ahead on schedule "would jeopardize the efficient assignment of this valuable resource."
The delay would need congressional approval as the FCC has been mandated to have the monies deposited by September 30th, the end of the financial year, and Congress has already budgeted for $2.6 billion from the sale (RNW April 28).
And whatever the gloomy prognostications in Britain's broadsheet newpapers (See RNW Links page), in the US there have been no problems for AT&T with its sale of new stock tracking the corporation's wireless interest.
It raised more than $10 billion in what is the largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) so far.
AT&T Wireless Group president John D. Zeglis said they'd received a " great affirmation" for the future of wireless. Most of the money is to be devoted to developing the company's mobile communications.
UK Mobile phone auction;
Previous Kennard
Previous FCC.

April 29, 2000: Latest ratings for Dublin show state broadcaster RTÉ's Radio 1, still has the largest share of the Irish Capital's audience.
It has retained a share of 34%. FM104 topped the music station's rankings with 27%, a fall of 2%.
Classical newcomer Lyric FM had a strong debut with 6% audience share and Today Fm broke the 100,000 listeners barrier with a 12 % share.
98FM fell by 4% to 24% but 2FM crept up by 1% to approach 20%.

April 29, 2000: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new procedures for selecting licencees from competing applicants for non-commercial educational (NCE) broadcast channels.
In place of the comparative hearing process that has been used for some 30 years, it will use a points system to rank the applicants.
The FCC divides spectrum into "reserved" channels which are solely for NCE use and "non-reserved" ones which can be used for all kinds of broadcasting and the points system will normally apply only to reserved channels.
Non-reserved ones will generally be apportioned by auction, even if an NCE applicant is amongst those competing for the licence but NCE applicants will be given a chance to demonstrate before they file an application that there is a greater need for permanent NCE services in the transmission area than for commercial services.
If they demonstrate this, the licence can be moved into the " reserved" category. Where radio licences would rule out another applicant in a different locality, the FCC will first look at the question of whether awarding the licence to one locality rather than another would best achieve its goal of "fair distribution" of frequencies and only if this does not decide the matter will it move to a points process.
For further details use the link below to the FCC site. (it links on to MS Word, text and PDF versions of the announcement).
Previous FCC:
FCC site

April 28, 2000:Yet another set of sparkling business results have been reported for the first quarter, this time by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications whose consolidated net revenues at $782.5 million more than doubled since the first quarter of 1999. After tax cash flow for the period was $192 million, up 85% Clear Channel is in the process of taking over AMFM, which operated close to 400 radio stations in the US, and shareholders of both companies have now voted in support of the deal which should be completed by the end of September. When this and other transactions are completed the group will operate 874 radio and 19 television stations in the United States with equity interests in more than 240 radio stations internationally . Other major deals in the first quarter were the acquisition of the Ackerley Group's southern Florida outdoor advertising division and the takeover of SFX Entertainment. Net loss for the quarter at $39.4 million was $0.12 per share compared with $12.7 million and $0.05 per share for the first quarter of 1999. Doing even better in the percentage-increases stakes, if a minnow by comparison, is Minneapolis-based Internet music company, Its net revenues for the first quarter of 2000 of $565,000 up 228% from 1999's $172,000. It now supplies more than a hundred streaming audio services and says its "unique listenership" grw by nearly 90 per cent to 2.5 million.
Clear Channel site

April 28, 2000: And after the business side it's relief to review a radio and book review in the UK Guardian which takes a thoughtful look at commercial classical radio output in the UK.
Andrew Clements starts with, " Where does one start with Classic FM's Hall of Fame, already unveiled in a 45-hour radio marathon over Easter, and now sanctified in book form as A Buyer's Guide to the Best Classical CDs?"
He goes on to suggest that you consider things in the light of self-fulfilling prophecies.
If you want the winners go to the link below; otherwise the next sentence sums it up if you like to listen to the whole of a piece of music or get a bit of meat in your sandwich!

" Asking Classic FM's listeners to vote for their favourite pieces based upon the music that has been broadcast on the network over the past year is the kind of election process New Labour (the current British government party ) ought to admire.
If you spoonfeed your audience a pappy diet of light classics and bite-sized chunks of larger works, all seasoned with the odd bit of cross-over, and then get them to vote for their favourites, the result is more or less a foregone conclusion.
Pavlov couldn't have conditioned his salivating dogs any more effectively."
UK Guardian review

April 28, 2000: The UK third generation mobile phone auction is now over after NTL withdraw from the auction. Total bids were £22.48 billion with Vodaphone securing licence "B" for £5.96 billion and TIW of Canada taking the newcomer's licence for just under $4.39 billion.
The other three existing UK licence holders , BT ,Orange and One-2-One took licences "C", "D" and "E" respectively with bids of just over £4 billion each.
The British government is expected to use the money to reduce national debt.
The massive bids have led to suggestions that the companies may be subject to a "winner's curse" because they cannot recoup the investment and already the credit-ratings agency Standard and Poore's has suggested that it might have to consider re-rating the companies.
This would mean they have to pay higher interest rates.
Current ratings for the companies rate from BBBplus for Orange, the smallest, to A for Vodaphone, the largest.
In addition there is also the possibility that further spectrum will be released as a result of decisions at next month's World Radio Conference meeting in Istanbul (RNW March 25)which could of itself reduce the scarcity value of these licences.
Other countries are also involved in the battle for spectrum. The US is budgeting to raise billions from sales of further spectrum (RNW Feb 18) .
But, as reported in the Washington Post, the plans may be hit by a mixture of politics, profits and physics.
The physics come in because of fears that there could be problems of interference and overlap with television broadcasters.
Some potential bidders have expressed fears that this could affect them not just in the US but through cross-border interference from channels in Canada and Mexico, leading to even more complicated negotiations.
There is also concern in the US about overbidding following legal problems over spectrum for which NextWave bid $4.7 billion five years ago in an auction restricted to small companies. It then went bust as did eight other companies involved in bids and there is dispute over who should be allowed to bid in a re-auction.
And then there's the subject of value since, in pushing the move to digital TV, Congress mandated the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to sell off spectrum for channels 60-69 this year and move broadcasters off it by 2006.
The money problem is that if the broadcasters don't move the value could be a tenth of what it is worth as unencumbered spectrum.
And in yet another part of the spectrum there could be different problems says the New York Times.
This is the 2.4 to 2.48gigaherz band which is currently unregulated but is sued by wirless LANs (Local Area Networks), cordless phones, and the new "Bluetooth" devices which can communicate with each other without using wires.
However in this area technology to allow frequency hopping when other devices are in use and so on could remove much of the problem.
Washington Post report;
New York Times report

Previous UK Mobile bids

April 27, 2000: First quarter Arbitron ratings show KSCA-FM (Mexican regional music) and KIIS-Fm (top 40's) holding onto the top two slots in the Los Angeles-Orange County area with a 6.1% and 5/5% share respectively.
KSCA dropped from a 6.8 share but KIIS, which took over second place from KSCA sister Spanish language station KLVE-FM in the last quarter of 1999 has increased its share by half a point. KIIS has been active with prize programmes, giving away some $3 million over the last nine months.
KLVE is now third in the market with a 5.1 followed by KROQ in fourth place with 4.3 and fifth is KPWR-FM with a 4.2 % share.
In its report on the ratings, the Los Angeles Times, singles out a fall at KABC-AM to 1.9%, its lowest level for 40 years, as the most significant lower down the ratings with suggestions that program director Drew Hayes may be on his way out. He joined the station in 1998 when the ratings had dropped to 2.6%.
Los Angeles Times report.

April 27, 2000:The new head of BBC Radio 5 Live is to be Bob Shennan, currently head of BBC sport, who will move to his new duties in July.
Shennan was one of the founders of the news and sport channel and replaces Roger Mosey who became head of TV news last year.
Shennan joined the BBC as a trainee radio sport producer and became head of radio sport and outside broadcasts in 1994 when Radio 5 was being set up.

April 27, 2000:The UK third generation mobile phone auction went into recess Wednesday at the request of NTL, fuelling speculation that it may pull out of the race.
Should NTL not bid on Thursday, the whole process will come to an end with total bids approaching £22.5 billion (RNW April 26).
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 27, 2000:Another strong radio company performance in the US this year has been reported by Las Vegas-based Citadel Communications Corporation, which upon completion of pending transactions, will own or operate 138 FM and 61 AM stations in the US.
Its first quarter net revenues were up by nearly 50% to $46 million compared to $31 million in the first quarter of 1999.
Broadcasting income was up more than 70% to $13 million compared to just under $8 million for the same period in 1999.
On a same-station basis net revenue was up 18.7% to $31.1 million and broadcasting income by a third to $9.6 million.
Net losses for the period were $0.41 per share.
Citadel completed its purchase of Broadcasting Partners Holdings on April 15th and is still involved in taking over nine stations from Ligget Broadcasting, a station in Worcester,Massachusetts from WBA Inc, and 20 stations from Bloomington Broadcasting.

April 26, 2000: Chicago WCKG host Steve Dahl seems to have switched his website attacks to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bob Feder now that he has returned to duties following his "quitting" when he was suspended.
Feder had written ," Backpedaling furiously, Steve Dahl returned to his WCKG-FM (105.9) afternoon show Monday--one week after he was suspended and announced that he was quitting.
In fact, Dahl not only rescinded his resignation but bowed to tighter controls by management.
From now on, his show will be monitored minute-to-minute by his bosses, who will have the power to cut him off the air without notice. Poised with his finger on the "dump button" is Mike Disney, vice president and general manager of WCKG.
When he's not around, program director Gehrig Peterson will make the call."
On his website Dahl re-iterates his view that he had no financial options to fight the station and then continues, ". I don't like anyone having control over my show by adding a "dump button" in Mike Disney's office, and I don't think that my contract allows them to put one in, but they did (see former lawsuit math for reason I did not fight this).
I bet Rob Feder doesn't like having his column edited by someone every day or not having control over his own headline, but he doesn't.
At least I made an effort to stop them from exercising control over me. I didn't back pedal on the air on Monday, I spoke the plain honest truth, which is: I wanted to quit, they wouldn't let me and threatened to use their 5000 lawyers against me while not paying me, and I had to back down.
That's not the same as backpedalling. Backing down means that at least you tried to put up a fight."
Dahl website;
Chicago Sun-Times ;
Previous WCKG

April 26, 2000: Bidding in the UK third generation mobile phone auction crept up by only around £266 million to end at a total of £22.48 billion when the auction resumed Tuesday after an Easter recess.
TIW and Vodaphone seem likely to have won the newcomer's "A" licence and largest existing operator's "B licence with unchanged bids from last week of £4.38 billion and £5.96 billion.
Existing Operator One2One came back into the bidding and ended the day topping the offers for licence "D" with £4 billion.
BT3G seemed to have decided to settle for a smaller licence and was leading bidding for licence "C" at £4.03 billion whilst Orange is now at the top for licence "E" at just under £4.1 billion.
All now hinges on NTL when bidding resumes on Wednesday.
Previous UK Mobile bids
April 26, 2000: Milwaukee-based Cumulus media's auditors have resigned following the company's issuing of an unqualified audit report on its 1999 financial statements. (RNW April 18). In a statement Milwaukee-based Cumulus says this is not the result of any disagreement between them and the company's auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on any matters of accounting principles or prac'tice or financial statement disclosures nor of audit scope and procedure.
Cumulus reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that PWC had told its audit committee of weaknesses in terms of internal controls failing to detect advance recording of certain revenues and of failing to insure that of amendments to service agreements were appropriately reviewed and approved before being recorded.
Previous Cumulus report;
April 26, 2000:US Network CBS and its Infinity Radio subsidiary have reported strong first quarter results, resulting in a smaller overall loss of $0.05 per share compared to an expected $0.07 per share.
Both radio and TV revenues rose substantially and excluding non-cash Internet losses the company says its income would have been up 40% compared to the first quarter of 1999.
Radio revenues rose by a quarter to $457 million with operating cash flow up nearly 40 per cent to $212 million.

April 25, 2000: XM Satellite Radio Holdings, which last week took delivery of two of its communications modules from Alcatel Space (RNW April 19th), has reported raising $565 million during the first quarter of this year.
It has also signed a number of strategic deals with corporations including Freightliner, SFX entertainment and Avis Rent-a-Car (RNW April 14).
In addition It has formed an alliance with Sirius Satellite Radio to develop a common standard for satellite radios.
During the quarter the company made a net loss of $12.7 million ($0.30 per share) compared with a net loss of $4.4 million ($0.65 per share) in the first quarter of 1999. Overall XM has now raised $865 million towards the launch of its commercial service in the first half of next year.
XM's president and CEO, Hugh Panero, said the company's continued success in its fundraising " validates the strength of our innovative business model and the tremendous potential of our market opportunity.
At the same time, the range of powerful distribution and marketing alliances we've established ensures XM Radio exposure to listeners everywhere: where they play, work and travel; in concert halls, theaters and sporting venues; and in trucks, airplanes, rental cars and boats."
XM Website
Previous XM Satellite Radio
Previous Sirius Radio

April 25, 2000: Chicago radio host Steve Dahl's row with WCKG following his suspension and "quitting|" seems to have petered out with both he and his wife Janet posting more positive notices on his website and removing the older more inflammatory ones.
In one note " Happy Easter & Pass Me Over Some Of That Matzo!", Dahl says ," I sat down and spoke with Mike Disney (RNW note - WCKG general manager)at length on Saturday, and with Mike's help (I know, that does sound a little weird), I'm going to give it another shot.
After my meeting with Mike, I hooked up with Dave, Joy and the rest of the gang in Greektown (Dave's valet parking!) and we all agreed that the best thing to do is wipe the slate clean and just go back and do the best shows we can for the fourteen months.
That's when my contract is up, and then we can try and make whatever changes we feel are necessary to improve the show and our working conditions.
Mike Disney and I both feel that we can make a lot of progress in this area immediately by the two of us sitting down somewhere off site every week to clear the air, so to speak. ………
(it's not easy for me to back down but)…................
after considering all of the different scenarios that could be played out over this whole mess, it came down to this: I've only got a year and some change on my contract with CBS, and I really so think (at least on the local level) that they value my services. So, I can either lose Dave, Joy, Pete and Joe's jobs for them, a year of income for me, spend half of what I have in the bank trying to prove I'm right, or go back, keep my head down, work my ass off and put all of us in a position to better our situations in a year.
Doesn't seem like there's any other way to look at it."
Dahl goes on to thank his fans for their loyalty.
His wife Janet also seems to have accepted developments.
Her page starts with, " Here's the truth- I am sending Steve back to work. I love him as much as I love life itself- but this 24/7 stuff is for the birds. He is sick of me too! "
Dahl website;
WCGK website

Previous WCKG
Previous Dahl

April 25, 2000:Britain's third generation mobile phone licence auction starts again today with £22 billion already on the table and One2One, the Deutsche Telecom-owned company, having to decide whether to rejoin the bidding.
Before the Easter recess (RNW April 21) it was the only one of the six bidders left in the race not to be leading the bidding for a licence and under the auction rules is the only one which can make a bid in the next round.
Many analysts already think some of the bids already made will leave the successful companies with a "bidder's curse" meaning that they cannot recoup their money but despite this the betting is that all four of the existing UK operators still feel they cannot afford to drop out because of the fear of losing existing customers.
Previous UK Mobile bids

April 24, 2000: US radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger (Dr Laura) has agreed to a settlement in a slander lawsuit brought against her by the owner of a surf shop at South Coast Plaza, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The talk show host had accused Moore of displaying a pornographic magazine in his store.
When Moore called Schlessinger a liar in response to the charges, Schlessinger went to court.
Her lawsuit was dismissed by a Superior Court judge in December and Moore eventually filed a counter-suit against Schlessinger after she said Beach Access was displaying copies of Hustler Magazine disguised as Big Brother.
Moore had sued for $4 million but the terms of the settlement have not been revealed.
Los Angeles Times report.
Previous Dr Laura

April 24, 2000:Indian radio looks set to continue developing with FM licence awards being to be made to some of the 300 plus applicants for the 108 commercial licences being offered by the Indian government.
There has been high bidding for the licences with reports of sums approaching 100 million rupees per annum ($2.4 million) each for licences in Mumbai, India's commercial capital. those awarded in Pune , where there were 15 bidders for six licences, fetching some 50 million rupees ($1.2 million) per annum, on top of which there will be annual increases. Overall the first tranche of commercial licence auctions raised 4.3 billion rupees (around $104 million). Programming on the new commercial channels is expected to lean heavily towards a mix of film and music in various languages as the stations are prohibited from broadcasting news or current affairs.
In addition the licences do not cover much of the country which has meant that that suggestions are being made for ways round them.
These include a suggestion that radio channels could be carried using the existing satellite-cable TV network to reach rural India.
Since the TV signal can carry several audio channels, some of these could be used for radio. ~
One ingenious suggestion is to use the cable itself as the transmitter for FM signals which would potentially create a low power signal, which could be tuned into with radios within some 30 metres of the cable, and under current legislation not need a transmission licence.
There is also the suggestion of using Internet audio streaming but this is severely limited by infrastucture and cost.
However News Corporation's Star TV is finalising plans to become a multi-media service centre and provider of content for non-print media including FM radio.
So far it is not clear what content will be offered for radio and TV although James Murdoch, Star's co-chairman and son of Rupert Murdoch has spent some $120 million on acquisitions and was reported to have been in Mumbai finalising content plans which include Tv and radio media, the Internet, mobile phones and general data capture, broadcast and encryption.
Previous Indian radio report

April 23, 2000:Entravision Communications Corporation, one of the largest Spanish-language media companies in the US, is preparing for an initial public operation (IPO) to raise some $600 million. The company, which was formed in 1996, owns six radio stations in the south western US as well as owning an operating 15 TV stations in co-operation with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision which is a major shareholder. Entravision also owns as print and publicity media. Recently it agreed to take over Z-Spanish Media Corporation which operates 13 radio stations as well as running a large outdoor advertising company aimed at Spanish speakers. Entravision plans to use the proceeds of its IPO in connection with the $475 million cost of the Z-Media deal plus further purchases and reducing its debt.
Entravision site

April 23, 2000:Licence news this week.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) has approved two low-power English FM stations to carry announcements concerning tourist attractions, community events and special activities.
Both licences - in Sudbury and Timmins in Ontario, are limited to 32 watts and carry restrictions concerning the amount of advertising they can carry as well as being prohibited from broadcasting music except where it is incidental background.
Interestingly in view of the Low Power FM (LPFM) issue in the US and value of spectrum in the UK these are unprotected LPFM licences meaning there is a further condition that they would have to change frequency if this is necessary for optimum use of spectrum.
They will also only be allowed to broadcast when it is shown the broadcasts will not create unacceptable interference with aeronautical navigation and communications.
In a higher power league, the CRTC has also allowed CIRV-FM in Toronto to up its power from 1000 to 1880 watts.
It has also approved the change of control of Blackburn Radio Inc and Samia Broadcasters to Radiont Inc's Afinity Radio. The stations involved are CHYR-FM in Leamington, CFGX-FM, CHKS-FM and CHOK in Sarnia, CKNX and CKNX-FM in Wingham and the transmitter CKNX-FM-2 in Centreville.
The purchasers will have to contribute 6% of the value of the transaction, some Can$1.1 million , to "tangible benefits" over 7 years.
This will go to the Canadian Music Marketing and Promotion Fund (3%), as a FACTOR contribution (2%) and for local talent development (1%).
In India, the Times of India reports that licences have now been awarded for the Pune area.
The six successful companies are Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL) group, which runs Times FM, New Media B'Casting Company Private Limited of the Essel group, Observer Network Private Limited of the Reliance group, Hindustan Broadcasting, Modi Entertainment and Dhun Radio.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has published its assessment of the awards of London's second digital multiplex licence to Switch Digital, of the Leeds digital multiplex to EMAP) and of the South Wales regional commercial licence to Real Radio (RWN April 8 ).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has amongst other things published notice of its intention to hold a public forum in Washington on May 31 relating to the development of secondary markets for radio spectrum (RNW Mar 13)
Previous licence news.

Previous FCC
April 23, 2000:The Vatican is reported to be using its diplomatic immunity to hinder investigations of claims that Vatican radio transmitters are causing cancer in the a northern suburb of Rome.
Residents of Cesano, which is near the Vatican's antennae at Santa Maria de Galera, have complained about the transmissions. Investigations have shown an incidence of tumours around a third higher than the national average and electromagnetic energy in the area was three times the legal limit.
The Vatican is reported to have returned paperwork sent to them by investigating magistrates on the grounds that the antennae complex has extra-territorial status.

April 22, 2000: Chicago WCKG host Steve Dahl is now making more emollient comments on his website about his row with managent at the CBS/Infinity owned station.
Dahl announced that he had quit after being suspended on Monday (Day 1) and followed this up with a Day 2 comment on the site referring to CBS as "constant bullshit".
By Day 3 the tone had changed with him saying he had handed the matter over to his wife Janet who had spoken to WCGK general manager Mike Disney.
Dahl adding that he hoped "they can get something reasonable worked out, but I wouldn't hold my breath." Even then there was a sting in the tail as he continued, "Even Janet can only stand to see me take so much crap! So far, there's a lot of talk about respect, control and the breaching of a contract (either materially by them or anticipatorily by me) and a security lockdown by Checkpoint Charlie extraordinaire, Gehrig Peterson (WCKG programme directorlisted as "Peterman" by Dahl), formerly known as Alexander Haig."
By Day 4, the tone was more conciliatory with a website comment, "I probably shouldn't have talked about pending litigation on the air, but the fact of the matter is that no one told me not to. CBS says I should have known better, and maybe I should have, but when you wear your life on your sleeve as much as I do, sometimes the wrong things just come out".
Dahl still takes a swipe at Peterson but goes on that "The point is that I don't have a lot of viable options here. I'm down a week's pay, my people are constantly being hassled by management at the station: they are checking all of my outgoing mail (Gehrig even checked the boxes of stuff we were sending out from our charity auction), Joe and Pete have been given only restricted access to the studios and monitored access to my offices. They weren't even allowed to bring my own personal digital camera down to me, so that I could take some shots yesterday at the HDPlanet set up.
My entire staff (interns included) is being searched everyday on their way out of the building.
I have encouraged everyone who works for me to fully co-operate with management, and since most of the stuff in my office belongs to me, I feel that this kind of behavior is way over the line.
Dahl then goes on ,"CBS says that they value my services, and that they want me back. I can't afford a protracted legal battle with them (especially without income) and I really miss being on the air............Ive got to sit down and have a re-think on this one. I have until Monday afternoon at 2:00 before the next load of shit hits the fans."
On Day 5, Dahl himself added no further comment but his wife Janet on her page included the comment, "I have tried twice this week to sculpt a non-legal, common sense solution to the current situation. It is a devastating blow to have to report that I have been 100% unsuccessful, but at least I am now an equal partner with Steve in the stalemate. And I have been treated with patience and dignity with CBS legal and Mike Disney, and that is a nice turn of events. "So at week's end the matter was looking less cut and dried.
Dahl is still listed on the station's website and it makes no comment on the row.
Previous Dahl/Disney /Peterson

Dahl website;
WCGK website

April 22, 2000: British correspondent, broadcaster and writer David Spanier has died of a stroke aged 67.
His journalistic career began on the UK Yorkshire Post. After this he spent many years at the UK Times as a foreign and diplomatic correspondent until moving to radio where he was diplomatic correspondent for London radio station LBC and then Independent Radio News.
A lifelong fascination with gambling , especially poker, led him to not only gamble extensively but also to write a number of books connected with it including the titles "Total Poker" and "Easy Money".
He had just finished a memoir, "The Hand I Played", when he died.

April 22, 2000: Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) which in January took over the running of KPCC, Pasadena has now added Marketplace Productions to its strength in California.
MarketPlace , based at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, makes National Public Radio programmes, "Marketplace Morning Report" which airs weekdays about business and finance, and "The Savvy Traveller" weekly travel magazine.
MPR President Bill Kling described the acquisition as a strategic partnership as part of MPR's aim to develop more national programming.
MPR is already the most successful producer of nationally distributed programmes amongst USD public radio stations. Previous Kling;
Previous KPCC/MPR;
MPR website

April 22, 2000: Washington DC sports veteran Ken Beatrice, whose last show ran on WTEM on April 20th (see link below for audio), gets two tributes in the Washington Post, from writer Ken Nakamura and sports columnist Leonard Shapiro.
Beatrice, who has been prominent on the Washington sports radio scene for nearly a quarter of a century is retiring aged 56. He moved to the US capital from WBZ, Boston. Nakamura tribute;
Shapiro tribute;
Link to Beatrice audio archives

April 21, 2000: The UK third-generation mobile phone spectrum auction, which has now topped £22 billion in total, has now gone into recess until April 25 when round 146 will begin.
There was no further bidding on Thursday but the British government did announce that in the fall it would sell off more airwave spectrum to allow fast telephone services to be beamed to subscribers rather than channelled along landlines.
This is seen as a way of breaking British Telecom's domination of the last-link to customers with 40-60 ten-year-licences to be sold on a regional basis using the 28 gigahertz band. .
In theory using this, and possibly 40 gigahertz wireless linkswhich may be auctioned later could provide internet access many thousand of times faster than current 56kbps modems, although this would depend upon the number of users.
It would have the advantage over ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) alternatives using existing copper wires of allowing high-speed 2-way traffic rather than just high speed to the customer.
A number of European countries including Finland, Germany Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland have already licenced their broadband spectrum.
The UK auction is expected to raise some £2 billion -- a far cry from the days in 1997 when the Queen's speech to Parliament contained the Radio Spectrum Pricing Bill which was then expected to raise some £1 billion -- from all users not just mobile phone services.

Previous UK Mobile bids
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