June 2000 Archive
Prime Radio Stations
June 21, 2000: Some mixed predictions for the US Radio business in Duncan's American Radio where analyst James H Duncan is predicting a rise in revenues of nearly 10% this year and by around 30% over the next five years.
Last year average revenues grew by nearly 13%. The figures are better in larger markets where average growth over the past five years was 50% with top-ranked Charlotte, North Carolina, showing a revenue rise of more than 120% over the past five years.
If the predictions are fulfilled, Los Angeles will become the first billion dollar a year radio market in 2004; it's revenues last year were USD 790 million.
Duncan's has also produced a revenue listings guide for major groups.
It's topped by Clear Channel with just over USD 3 billion a year revenue, followed by CBS/Infinity with just over USD 1.75 billion and ABC Radio with USD 340 million. The others in the top ten (descending revenue order) are Entercom, Cox Radio, Cumulus, Citadel, Emmis, Hispanic, and Susquehanna.
However the analysis isn't all upbeat. A 23-year chart of mean APR (average percentage of over-twelves listening to radio in any quarter hour from 6 AM to midnight) shows a steep decline throughout the 1990s from a peak of 17.5% to a current figure of 15.4%.
June 21, 2000: Top management moves in US radio.
ABC Radio's new President following the departure of Lyn Andrews (RNW June 3) is former Executive Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Traug Keller.
Darryl Brown, former Executive Vice-President in charge of affiliate marketing, urban programming and formats, moves up to Keller's former post.
And Clear Channel Executive Vice-president Bobby Lawrence is to leave the company at the end of the month.
At the Ackerley Group, Kevin Hylton, formerly a department store director of finance, has been appointed Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.
The CFO slot was opened up when Denis Curley was promoted to become Chief Operating Officer in February.
Previous Clear Channel
Previous Lyn Andrews;
June 20, 2000: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has announced that Sue Howard, currently the head of ABC's regional stations, has been appointed Director of Radio under a number of senior staff appointments in the organisational restructuring under new Managing Director Jonathan Shier.
Howard will be responsible for all ABC radio including the existing national networks and local and regional services.
Her broadcasting career began at Radio 5UV in Adelaide and she went on to become the corporation's first female breakfast presenter in Melbourne.
She moved into her first managerial role as manager of Victoria's radio stations in 1994.
Lissa McMillan, for the past three years Network Editor of the ABC's NewsRadio network has been appointed Deputy Director.
She was a newspaper reporter and with the Macquarie Radio Network before joining the ABC in Canberra in 1988, moving to Melbourne in 1992 and amongst other roles becoming the Victorian radio news editor .
The new position of Director of New Media has gone to Lynley Marshall formerly General Manager of The Radio Bureau subsidiary of The Radio Network in New Zealand and Director of its Independent Business Units, providing services in new media and encommerce.
Howard and Marshall will be based in Melbourne.
Previous Howard ;
ABC News release
June 20, 2000: US radio host Don Imus is likely to be off the airwaves for some time following an accident in which he was thrown of a horse whilst riding at his New Mexico ranch.
Imus is reported to have received multiple injuries including a number of broken ribs, a collapsed lung and shoulder injury.
Imus, who is 59, is now said to be alert and resting comfortably in hospital.
There's no word when he'll be due back but he was already scheduled to go on two weeks vacation.
June 20, 2000: Following UK GWR Group's takeover of DMG radio (RNW June 15 ), Paul Chantler has left DMG ,where he was Essex Radio Group Programme Director, to join the Wireless Group.
There he will be Group Programme Director responsible for the output of Wireless Group flagship TalkSport as well as the group's local stations.
And in another UK radio-related flotation, Storm Radio, the UK's first 24-hour Internet broadcaster is expecting to be valued at around £30 million.
This would value disc jockey Bruno Brookes' shares at around £10 million since he's said to own around a third of the company.
Storm revenue comes from advertisements on its site.
June 19, 2000: Our look at the radio columns this weekend leads off with a humorous item by UK Independent columnist Miles Kington whose regular column frequently raises some serious points in a less than serious way.
In this case his choice is the BBC Radio 4 programme Feedback which allows listeners 15 minutes every week to voice praise, criticism or grievance with BBC programmes, more often the last two.
Kington comments ," The most enjoyable thing about Feedback, I suppose, is the contrast between the effortless indignation and carping of the listeners, always up in arms about something or other, and the infuriating silkiness of the defenders of the BBC, who very, very rarely apologise or admit wrongdoing.
There's something very restful and reassuring about the way in which the frothing surf of the listeners' wrath breaks harmlessly on the rocky shore of BBC solidarity, like one of those New Age recordings of the sea."
Kington does , having a sense of humour himself, however express sympathy with the BBC over the abuse it gets when it pokes fun or attempts satire and the listener's just don't get it, as with a mock report to satirise celebrations of the Queen Mother's 100th anniversary or the National Theatre of Brent re-enacting Prince William's proposal to Sophie Rhys-Jones.
The latest example he cites is a programme on Radio 4 called Fellah's Hour with the Cheese Shop, purporting to be for men only.
What it actually is, says Kington, "is a prolonged piss-take of men's traditional moth-eaten attitudes."
He continues, " So I should have predicted that Feedback listeners, failing to get the joke, would deluge the programme with injured naivety and puritanical protest. And so they did. It was lovely to hear."
An article worth the full read (see link below). Feedback is also dealt with by Peter Barnard in his regular UK Times column but in slightly more serious vein.
In his case Fellah's House receives a less favourable response relating to two themes in the programme which reflect his letter bag, the absence of children's programming and "smutty" humour in the 6.30 pm Radio 4 comedy slot.
Barnard's view is that Fellah's Hour was only commissioned because of the Cheeseshop's previous success and he regards it as ," a dismal follow-up, laden with lavatorial humour."
He also sees it satire as differently directed as he continues, " Woman's Hour is a brilliant programme and to parody it you have to be a lot more clever than this."
This leads him on to the question of such programming early in the evening , a result he says of the adults who switched off for good during the children's programmes.
However he considers that children in their millions do want radio but it's music radio they want and this reality has to be faced.
His conclusion is that the listeners would be best served by accepting that Radio 4 is for adults and demanding proper service for them including " adult comedy" and an end to what he terms schoolboy humour.
Which in a sense leads naturally to a Chicago Times column about the language in pop singles and whether they should be played by a radio station if they contain bad language?
The response it seems, apart from "the seven banned words" which record companies usually screen out, depends from region to region in the USA with some singles being produced by record labels in several different versions.
An example cited is of Interscope issuing different versions of Eminem's singles.
The article quotes one station director as saying that if rape or extreme violence is referred to the station may choose not to play the song.
Reason maybe to quote lyrics from Eminem in a UK Observer article not exactly expressing support of the performer. "'My little sister's birthday, she'll remember me,For a gift I had 10 of my boys take her virginity." And finally via comment on pop music and the BBC Radio 1 channel to UK Sunday Times columnist Paul Donovan on the implications of Radio 1 changes such as axing Andy Kershaw and using presenters who promote products in clear breach of BBC guidelines.
Donovan accepts that Radio 1 is not targeted at him so much as youngsters a third his age but sees the BBC's policy as breaching a trust which justified it keeping such channels rather than them being sold off.
His view is that the 1986 Peacock Committee proposal in 1986 to just that was reasonably opposed on the argument that to do so would breaks "the universality of BBC radio."
The BBC itself, he says, did that -- by dropping children's radio in 1998.
He cites Radio 1 broadcasts of gangsta rap which is associated with weapons by Eminem and others as one of its darkest aspects.
And on balance he concludes that there just isn't justification in keeping Radio 1 funded by a licence fee.
Previous Columnists report
Chicago Tribune Column;
UK Independent Kington Column;
UK Observer on Eminem
June 19, 2000: The Los Angeles Times reports on changes expected at KKBT-FM under its new owners, Maryland-based Radio One Inc. which is buying the station format and frequency 100.3 which it if swapping with Latino-targeted KCMG-FM as part of the divestiture deals needed to allow the Clear Channel takeover of AMFM.
Radio One Inc's president and Chief Executive Alfred C Liggins, sees the Beat as having lost a significant part of its African-American audience and , says the paper is likely to move away from a head-on competition with hip-hop KPWR in favour of pulling back its core audience and attracting more women listeners.
That, the paper concludes, is likely to mean a switch in emphasis to more smooth rhythm and lues with less hip-hop.
Previous Clear Channel
Previous Radio One Inc.
Los Angeles Times report
June 19, 2000: The UK Sunday Times reports that BBC Radio Scotland is to be overhauled with around 15 job losses saving the corporation some £500,000 a year.
The paper says the new station is to be modelled on BBC Radio Five live and a whole series of arts programmes are to be axed in favour of chat shows and phone-ins.
Among the shows which are said to be under a death sentence are the channel's long running Storyline, a Wednesday show of readings of short stories and novels, Lawful Business, the weekly legal affairs programme presented by lawyer Austin Lafferty and Blues and Soul, presented by Deacon Blue drummer Dougie Vipond.
The paper also carries a profile of Helen Shaw, director of radio since 1997 for Irish Broadcaster RTÉ , who is said to have gone on a charm offensive in a distinct change to her "hard" reputation.
The paper says the change has divided the station's insiders with some saying it is a genuine loosening up and others that she is simply preparing for back-stabbings to come.
It says her style was combative from the moment, indeed before, she took up her post with a clash soon coming with popular host Gay Byrne followed by clashes with others including journalist Vincent Browne whose ambitions to transfer from Tonight with Vincent Browne to flagship TV current affairs programme Prime Time were thwarted by her.
The paper says she has gloried in her reputation and has been known to beam at mention of the nickname "the midget from hell" she brought with her from the BBC.
This this tendency it concludes may prove to be one of her greatest failings since it has reduced morale to rock-bottom partly because of cutbacks but also because of "management style" which led to 50 staff writing a letter of complaint about managers' attitude and behaviour.
One of her former friends Emer Woodfull, best known as the presenter of Soundbyte, Radio 1's media programme, complained she had been bullied by the director of radio. Although the allegation was dismissed by an internal tribunal, Woodfull says she plans to appeal, and is campaigning to have the case heard by a board headed by an independent chairperson.
The paper says that she does have some supporters for her no-nonsense approach but ultimately the most damning criticism is that the upheavals of the past three years have achieved nothing in terms of changing the tone of RTÉ radio. And it surmises that the growth in her support may be due to the departure of opponents, that, as it puts it, " We can presumably take it from the spring in her step that Shaw believes her species is beginning to take over the jungle."
Previous Helen Shaw
June 18, 2000: In India, the outlook continues to be healthy for FM radio.
Following the auction of 99FM stations in 40 cities, All India Radio (AIR) has gained a revenue of some 4.2 billion rupees ( USD 100million) and is starting a major expansion of its network according to the Times of India.
Of this sum around USD 21 million will come from New Media Broadcasting, a Zee-TV associate which successfully bid for 28 stations and around USD 10 million from Bennet, Coleman and Company, the oldest private broadcaster in India, which successfully bid for 12 licences.
Licences are being issued for 10 years and each applicant can only have one licence in any area.
All applicants have to have 100 per cent Indian equity and The new stations will not, as we have reported before (RNW April 24) be allowed to broadcast news and current affairs.
In addition to its income from the licences, the paper says AIR is to auction slots on its FM channel this month with the bidding open to private broadcasters who have their own licences allocated, thus enabling them to develop programming whilst their own transmission networks are built.
The new stations will more than double India's existing FM network which covers only around a fifth of the country's population and a little less of its area.
With the expansion in sight, a three-day conference on FM radio has just been held in Delhi and it has been estimated that around 8500 new jobs and double that in indirect ones will be created by the new broadcasters.
As well as FM radio, the conference also covered digital audio broadcasts and entertainment software.
Previous Indian Radio.
June 18, 2000: Licence news this week. And significant expansion of various radio services seems to be on the way from new commercial and community stations in Australia, and Canada.
In Australia the Australian Broadcasting Authority has released draft licence area plans which offer a major increase in radio services, notably for Brisbane.
For Brisbane itself , it is proposing to introduce two new commercial licences, two new community licences one AM and one FM , and an AM open-narrowcasting service.
In addition it proposes increasing the power of Brisbane's two existing commercial channels 4BC, 4BH and 4KQ combined with a licence area extension to cover the shire of Beaudesert for 4TAB, and power increases for wide-coverage FM community radio services 4MBS and 4ZZZ.
It also proposes a larger licence area and conversion from AM to FM for Brisbane community radio service 4EB.
The first new commercial licence would be available soon after the finalisation of the Brisbane area plan which is expected later this year and the second one some two years later.
Also included in the Brisbane area plan are proposals for a new community radio service in Beaudesert and increases in power of local coverage community radio services 4OUR, 4BAY and 4RED in Caboolture, Logan and Redcliffe.
The other areas for which draft plans were released are Ipswich, Gold Coast, Murwillumbah, Lismore, Nambour and Gympie. In Ipswich, the ABA proposes that FM commercial service 4QFM moves its transmitter site to Mt Nebo and increases its power and on the Gold Coast it proposes one additional commercial FM service, three community FM services and one high power open narrowcasting service.
At Murwillumbah, the ABA is proposing a new FM community service and a new AM open narrowcasting service as well as making an FM channel available for rebroadcast of the existing AM commercial service, 2MW, to overcome existing reception problems.
Lismore would get one new FM open narrowcasting service and four new FM community radio services in each of Coraki, Casino, Nimbin and Byron Bay.
Nambour would get a new commercial FM service, two new community FM services and a new AM open narrowcasting service.
And in Gynmpie there would be two new community services in Gympie and Noosa and one new open narrowcasting service.
In addition to these new plans, the ABA wants to vary the licences for the Remote North East zone where it suggests a medium-powered frequency for 4SUN at Mt Cainbable to replace its two existing low-powered frequencies at Rathdowney and Mt Tamborine.
The ABA is also proposing to make a second commercial radio licence available for the licensee of 4SUN, as the market there has only one commercial service.
4SUN's licence area would be extended to include the towns of Beaudesert and Jimboomba. And its existing low-powered transmitters closed down.
In Canada Toronto's first aboriginal radio station has been approved.
It will be the second urban aboriginal radio service in the country after one at Winnepeg and further applications are in the pipeline for stations in Calgary and Vancouver.
As well as the licence for Aboriginal Voices Radio in Toronto, two other new licences have been approved for the city. They are for a black FM station Milestone Radio and an adult-standards station , PrimeTime AM, for CHWO Ontario, Inc. on the 740 AM frequency formerly used by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Aboriginal Voices radio was refused permission for an additional 50,000 watt AM transmission of its service.
All the licences run until August 2006.
In the UK , the Radio Authority is advertising a new small-scale 8 -year. Independent local radio licence for the towns of Kendal and Windermere in Cumbria.
It has also announced that it has only received one declaration of intent to apply for the Colchester area local radio licence, from existing holder East Anglian Radio.
This application is now likely to be dealt with under the authority's fast-track procedure.
Previous Licence News
UK Radio Authority website
June 17, 2000: CNN Radio has won two Edward R. Murrow awards including the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Network Radio and the broadcaster's home network at the peak of his career, CBS, has taken four.
The awards, made by the US Radio and Television News Directors' Association (RTNDA)will be presented in September at the RTNDA's annual convention in Minneapolis.
Apart from the overall award CNN Radio Network won the award for the Best News Series for Pat St Clair's A True Colours about Jasper in Texas a year after the dragging to death of a local black man by whites .
CBS won its four awards for Best Newscast for CBS World News Round Up, Spot News Coverage for Tragedy in Littleton, Continuing coverage for The President on Trial and for use of sound for the Turkey Earthquake.
ABC News Radio took three awards, Feature Reporting for Father's Day Memories, Sports Reporting for Man, Woman, Boxing Gloves and writing for The Rest of the Story.
The remaining award for News documentary went to DC Productions for The Rest of the Story
June 17, 2000: Radio Unica, the US 24-hour Spanish network, has acquired radio station KATD-990 AM in Pittsburgh, California from People's Radio, Inc.
Unica will move the station to Sacramento, thus allowing Radio Unica's San Francisco station 1010 AM to significantly increase power and coverage of the San Francisco and San Jose markets.
The acquisition and changes are subject to FCC approval and the acquisition is expected to close in approximately 90 days.
When it is completed Unica will own 17 stations in 15 of the 20 top US Hispanic markets.
And Hearst-Argyle, which recently sold its Phoenix stations to Emmis (RNW June 6) is selling two more stations. Truth Broadcasting Corporation, owned by the Epperson family who are also major shareholders in religious radio company Salem Communications, will purchase WXII-AM Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina and WLKY-AM Louisville, Kentucky.
June 16, 2000: Clear Channel, whose sale of three stations in Austin, Denver and Phoenix to Hispanic Broadcasting was blocked by the US Department of Justice (RNW June 14) , has now filed applications to sell them to new buyers.
KKFR-FM, Phoenix and KXPK-FM ,Denver, are on offer to Emmis Communications and KEYI-FM is on offer to Secret Communications.
No price details have been released but Hispanic had bid USD 127 million for the stations.
In another deal, Entravision is to but four FM-stations in the McAllen-Brownsville market in Texas from Sunburst Media for USD 55 million.
Entravision is primarily a Spanish broadcaster but it does have some English language stations.
Also in Texas, Waller Broadcasting is to buy three stations in the Tyler-Longview market from Sunburst for USD 8.5 million. It is also to take over from Sunburst as the buyer of KLIS-Fm for USD 1 million.
Sunburst will be left with just KPXI-FM in Tyler-Longview.
Previous Clear Channel/ Hispanic Broadcasting.
June 16, 2000: Former BBC Radio 4 controller James Boyle is to become a director of Wark, Clements, the UK Independent production company headed by BBC TV's Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark.
June 16, 2000: Despite the problems of Internet businesses in the UK and US, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian entrepreneurs are going ahead with the launch next Monday of Bigfatradio.com which has spent heavily on acquiring staff from radio station Triple-J.
Co-founder and former Triple- head, Barry Chapman, is quoted as saying salaries for the "talent" had been the main expense in setting up but were essential to draw the audience.
Bigfatradio plans to get its income by interspersing video of its presenters with adverts of websites being talked about on air.
Sydney Morning Herald report
June 15, 2000: The UK's GWR Radio group has agreed to acquire DMG Radio, the radio arm of the Daily Mail and General Trust for £146 million in cash and shares.
It will fund the acquisition by issuing some 12 million new shares worth just under £100 million with the balance in loan notes which can be converted into shares plus around £1.5 million in cash.
DMGT, which currently holds nearly 19% of GWR, will end up with a 26.9% stake in GWR which it can lift to 29.9% through convertible preference shares within the next three years.
The deal will bring GWR eight UK radio licences, a 53% share in Hungary's largest commercial radio station and a quarter share in some sixty Australian local licences and the new Sydney commercial licences awarded last month (RNW May 25 )with an option to buy the rest of the Australian business.
However current UK regulations on audience limits will mean that GWR will have to sell some of its local station licences although it may be hoping that lobbying to relax these restrictions may yet forestall this.
In another UK Radio company deal, Scottish Radio Holdings has bid £6 million for Title Media Ltd which owns the Ireland on Sunday newspaper. Scottish already owns the Leitrim Observer and has a 22 per cent stake in Irish radio station Today FM.
Previous Scottish Radio;
June 15, 2000: Veteran Boston broadcaster Robert J. Lurtsema, whose Morning pro Musica" aired daily on classical station WGBH for 22 years from 1971 and then moved to weekends only, has died aged 68.
He was noted for his deep voice and liking for a deliberate delivery including pauses and for the birdsong tape which opened his programmes.
He also insisted on delivering his own news.
Lurtsema was born in Cambridge, Mass., and gained early experience of radio when he ran a 200 watt radio station in Morocco whilst serving in the US Navy.
June 15, 2000: Paddy Wright , the new chairman of Irish state broadcaster RTÉ, which is financed by a combination of licence fees and advertising, has warned that it will lose a record Irish £13.5 million this year and could make even bigger losses in future unless it cuts costs.
The station, which made just under Irish £ 6 million profit in 1998 is expected to have lost some Irish 7 million when it issues its 1999 figures shortly.
In 1998 television advertising generated Irish £78 million and radio generated Irish £17.4 million but since then advertising revenue has been static with audience share declining to some 44% for television and 47 % for radio. Management is seeking to cut around a fifth of the station's 2,200 staff through voluntary redundancies and early retirement.
June 14, 2000: Mixed news for US radio giant Clear Channel Communications.
The US Department of Justice has refused permission for its planned sale of three strong FM stations, KEYI in Austin , KXPK-FM in Denver and KKFR-FM in Phoenix to Hispanic Broadcasting(HBC) .
Clear was selling the channels as a result of its takeover of AMFM but its plans to sell to Hispanic were rejected because it owns 26% of Hispanic.
Hispanic had been the highest bidder for the stations, all in areas with rapidly growing Spanish-speaking populations, and now has a particular problem with its plans in Phoenix where no other full-power FM stations are on sale.
Clear Channel may also lose out since its AMFM deal is contingent on disposals and only arch-rival CBS/Infinity is likely to bid close to the price it had been offered.
On the plus side for Clear Channel, it has announced agreement on a USD 65 million deal to acquire around 30 small stations in Arizona, Colorado , , the Dakotas,New Mexico and New York from Roberts Radio
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting;
Previous Clear Channel
June 14, 2000 : Conflicting reports on the same story from UK TalkSport and the BBC which has won a High Court Order to prevent TalkSport from describing as "live" its cover of "Euro 2000" soccer for which exclusive UK radio rights are held by BBC Radio 5 live and Capital Radio.
The BBC gives a fairly straightforward report on its website of Talksport's actions in broadcasting what it called "live" commentary from an Amsterdam studio when in fact its staff were watching matches on television and speaking over a sound-effects tape.
The order says TalkSport have to make it clear on air that their cover is not "live in the normal sense", that the commentators are watching games on television and are not in the stadia and that TalkSport does not have the broadcast rights to cove Euro 2000.
The BBC news release quotes Bob Shennan, head of BBC sport production, as saying no broadcaster is going to offer significant sums for rights if others can simply hi-jack coverage.
BBC Director of Radio Jenny Abramsky said, "TalkSport is treating its audience and the sport of football with contempt. If they had been allowed to get away with this, then listeners and sport would both be the losers. The BBC and Capital Radio have invested considerable amounts of money into the Euro 2000 competition to bring their listeners authentic and authoritative live coverage "
TalkSport had promoted its "live" cover through newspaper advertisements but says it will comply with the court order.
On its website, however, it is in no way apologetic. Instead it has two items, one attacking the BBC for hypocrisy over the rightrs issue because it was a member of a cartel which had prevented open bidding for the rights. It goes on," The nation's first national sports radio station, talkSPORT, is providing full match commentary of Euro 2000 in an alternative manner - after twice being denied the ability to bid for the broadcast rights for the tournament.
Kelvin MacKenzie, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Wireless Group which owns talkSPORT, said: "talkSPORT was unable to attempt to obtain broadcast rights for the Euro 2000 competition, as these rights were not available on the open market - having been acquired by the BBC through its membership of the European Broadcasting Union. "Membership of the EBU has been denied talkSPORT on two occasions for reasons that talkSPORT believes are anti-competitive.
The second item concerns its broadcast practices and speaks of showing the media its Amsterdam operation so they could see how ," the station was bringing the best of Euro 2000 to its army of listeners.
BBC News release;
June 14, 2000 : Former KCBS reporter Stan Bunger is to succeed recently retired Al Hart (RNW June 3) as morning co-anchor with Susan Leigh Taylor at the San Francisco all news station.
Bunger has already succeeded Hart once at KCBS, in 1985 when he began two years on the morning newscast.
He's recently been co-hosting a syndicated hi-tech TV show " Next Step" which he will continue to work on.
KCBS has also said that Jim Taylor, who stepped into Hart's slot on his retirement, will continue to handle the 5 am slot after Bunger starts on July 10.
Previous Al Hart
June 13, 2000: The UK Guardian in its Monday media section reviews London Heart FM's psychiatric phone-in programme "Heart to Heart" which airs on the soft rock channel from 10 pm until midnight local on Sundays.
It is hosted by American Dr Pam Spurr, who was formerly at Guy's Hospital in London, and initially was a Dr Pam spot in Nigel Williams' shows, first on Monday nights and then on Sundays and Tuesdays as well.
But, says Heart's programme director Jana Rangoni ,"We found that the other elements of Nigel's show were getting between her and the listeners so we gave her a show of her own."
The show itself is partly modelled on Frazier, the US TV sitcom, - and its content is a long away from Dr Laura Schlessinger - with advice on sustaining erections for both hetero and homosexuals, and to an ex-Porn star caller who had introduced her boyfriend to the business, married him and, now she had a child, wanted him to give up the business. He was reluctant because his career was taking off.
Not that he was the strangest call detailed. Some strange facets of human life are there!
UK Guardian report
Heart FM site - links on to Heart 106.2 audio stream
June 13, 2000: The Methodist church in Ireland has deferred a decision about joining a united church bid for Dublin's last FM licence according to the Irish Times.
The Methodists and Presbyterians had been contacted about a possible by a group which includes representatives of the Jesuit, Dominican, Mercy, Vincentian and Divine Word orders, and the Church of Ireland.
Involvement in the venture would carry anticipated costs of around Irish £15,000 initially and £10,000 a year thereafter.
Irish Times report
June 12, 2000: Not a lot in the radio columns this week -- in fact they seem to have disappeared from both the UK Times and Guardian on Saturday and a quick dip into the online UK Observer on Sunday failed to find Sue Arnold's column -- a review of two BBC programmes including the first of the BBC Radio 4 Child of our Time series of dramas (RNW May 22).
The UK Independent on Sunday also has a long feature in its The Listener part of its culture section that I couldn't find on the website.
It is a trail for a BBC Radio 4 programme Between Ourselves in which two veteran correspondents--Martin Bell formerly of the BBC and Robert Fisk -formerly of the Times and now with the Independent -- recall their experiences in various wars and conflicts. Worth a listen to if you can tune in or listen on the Internet at 0800GMT (0900 CET) tomorrow, Tuesday.
Which leaves more general issues to Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times.
This week he takes up the question of BBC radio's policy on repeats if, as he suggests they do have anything so formal as a policy.
In essence BBC Radio 1 has no repeats and Radios 2, 3 and 5 have very few whereas BBC Radio 4 is awash with them.
Some are, says Donovan, part of a sensible policy of repeating flagship daytime shows in the evening or, as with Alastair Cooke's Letter from America the other way round.
However even here, as he points out there are anomalies with none of the channels three prime science programmes, Frontiers, The Material World and Leading Edge, getting repeats and drama only getting irregular and often inadequately promoted repeats.
Previous columnists report
Back as we'd note here, to our continuing hobbyhorse- the idea of getting to grips with the idea of using the internet and on-demand audio for the really top class material which at the moment when once missed has gone for ever.! .
June 12, 2000: On the topic of webcasts , the Chicago Tribune, has a report on the formation and activities of BroadcastAmerica.com which less than two years ago was just an idea in the head of John Brier. He then approached Portland, Maine, station WJBQ, with an offer to relay its top 40 programming over the Internet in return for exclusivity in putting its broadcasts online and on-air promotion of their availability. A few days later he made the same proposal to WHQM and then cast his net nationwide over the US, gaining 100 contracts within a month. Since then the company has gained contracts to stream more than 500 radio stations and nearly a hundred television stations from the US and it is now beginning to expand internationally. Brier says his site now has some 4 million visitors a month with an average online time of 18 minutes but he has eschewed expensive promotional advertising and total spend is still under USD 6 million.
Chicago Tribune report
June 12, 2000: British independent radio production company , UBC Media Group, is aiming for a stockmarket flotation which would value it at around £30 million.
The company makes radio programmes, including the weekly Pepsi Chart show for both the BBC and commercial stations and owns a third of Oneword which supplies content to internet portals.
In the 1999 financial year it made a pre-tax profit of just over £100,000 on a turnover just over £4 million.
The company hopes to raise some £5 million for expansion through the float.
June 11, 2000: Licence news this week.
Perhaps the most significant was a UK report which could allow Low Power FM stations (RNW June 9).
Activity in general was related to local licences and amendments to or re-awarding of existing licencesalthough in the US, the Federal Communications Commission has now reserved spectrum for medical telemetry services (RNW June 10)
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA)has allocated three new community licences for Canberra to Artsound Inc, Canberra Christian Broadcasters Ltd and the Ethnic Broadcasting Council of the ACT and Surrounding Areas. All three licences will commence from 15 July 2000.
In all seven applicants were assessed for the licences for Canberra which already has three community licences -- held by 2XX (general), 1RPH (radio for the print handicapped) and 1SSS (sport)-- as well as Australian Broadcasting Corporation and commercial stations.
The unsuccessful applicants were Canberra Community Radio (representing the Christian community), Country Music Collective (representing Australian country lifestyle), Radio Antenna International (representing youth and multicultural communities), and Winangana Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vocational Training Centre (representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities).
In Canada, the single most significant change was the approval by the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC ) of frequency and power changes for CKYK-FM, Alma, Quebec which moves from 95.5.Mhz to 95.7Mhz and doubles its power to 100,000 watts thus expanding its signal into Jonquière and Chicoutimi in the Saguenay region.
CYTC had been seeking to gain this expansion throughout the nineties but was denied under the Radio Market Policy then operated in Canada on the grounds that the introduction of another FM signal into the Saguenay radio market would have an undue negative impact on existing local radio stations.
Following policy changes under the 1998 Commercial Radio Policy the Commission held that circumstances had changed and permitted the application despite five objections , three from radio broadcasters in the area and two from their staff unions.
All of the objectors argued that the profitability of their stations was fragile and could be further weakened by a CKYK expansion.
Amongst other CRTC decisions were the approval for a GX Radio Partnership English-language FM station at Yorkton in Saskatchewan, for CBC French and English language FM stations at Sudbury, Ontario conversion of Rogers Broadcasting Limited's CHWK-AM station in Chilliwack, British Colombia, to FM, a new transmitter at Plaster Rock, New Brunswick for Telemedia Radio Atlantic Inc., deletion of Telemedia's authority for transmitters CJCJ-1 Perth/Andover and CJCJ-2 Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, and a decrease in power of its radiated power for CFXY-FM Fredericton, New Brunswick from 100,000 watts to 78,000 watts.
In Ontario, new low power Fm transmitters were approved for North Bay and Red Deer and in British Colombia two LPFM transmitters were approved at Campbell Road..
In the UK the Radio Authority has given details of a number areas it is adding to its working list of planned new independent local radio licences.
They are Helensburgh (Argyll & Bute),Livingston (West Lothian), Maidstone, Pembrokeshire and Reading. Other areas on the working list but for which licence advertisement dates have yet to be set are Barnsley, Buxton, Chester or South Flintshire, East Midlands (regional), North Norfolk, Omagh & Enniskillen, Rugby, Worthing and Yeovil.
These licences are to be advertised from October onwards and over the next few months advertisements will be placed for licences for Kendal/Windermere (in June), Warminster (in August), and a new regional licence for West/South Yorkshire (in September).
In addition the authority has made in principle decisions that it wants to advertise an FM licence for the Mid-Ulster (Cookstown & Magherafelt) area, where an ILR service on the AM waveband was previously provided.
It is asking possible contenders to put forward proposals for specific transmission sites. If a viable site is identified the authority would then aim for early advertisement of a new FM licence for the area.
In North London, however, the authority has decided that its tentative suggestion of a further small-scale licence would not offer any prospects of commercially viable coverage on the frequency envisaged for it. On Merseyside, the Authority has awarded the Knowsley FM licence to Kcr Fm (Knowsley Community Radio Ltd.).
The Authority has also awarded the local digital multiplex service licence for the Bristol and Bath area to Now Digital Ltd, the sole applicants.
Now Digital is owned by the GWR Group and initially plans 9 channels on the multiplex.
The Radio Authority has also agreed to extend its co-operation with the UK's Broadcasting Standards Commission, particularly in handling complaints.
An agreed Memorandum of Understanding sets out procedures for handling complaints and tries to avoid, wherever possible, double jeopardy for both complainants and licencees, and to share information about complaints relating to matters of standards.
In addition, each body will formally take account of the adjudications of the other in its decisions.
Previous Licence News
UK Radio Authority website
June 11, 2000: Time now seems to have nearly run out for Catholic Family Radio which in April started putting up the For Sale signs on its stations and website and dropped plans to buy Ken Carter's six New England stations for USD 20 million.
When it was founded as Catholic Radio Networks by a number of successful businessmen including Domino's Pizza's Tom Monaghan there were visions of becoming a major player.
The buying ended when it owned seven stations and ran two more under local management agreements.
At the end of May it effectively stopped airing its own shows and began to simulcast EWTN, Mother Angelica's Eternal World Television Network, which is owned by Monaghan.
Now CFR's web site and live audio streaming have been discontinued and merged with Monaghan's Credo weekly website and it has announced a formal reorganisation to join EWTN and sell off stations.
However expenses still exceed revenues and it may go off the air soon according to some investors.
The stations involved are all AM's -- KPLS, Los Angeles; KKYD, Denver; KCNW, Kansas City; WWTC, Minneapolis-St. Paul; WZER, Milwaukee; WAUR, Chicago; WPWA, Philadelphia and the two stations under LMA's KDIA, San Francisco and WNST, Baltimore
June 10, 2000: The Irish High Court has upheld the decision of the country's Independent Radio and Television Commission to award the Dublin youth radio licence to Spin FM.
Storm FM, one of three unsuccessful bidders had challenged the decision, alleging bias by IRTC member Dr Colum Kenny (RNW May 4 ).
In his reserved judgement Mr Justice Caoimh found there was no basis to rescind the IRTC's decision and rejected a claim that the decision contravened fair procedures.
Previous Spin FM/ Kenny
June 10, 2000: The US Federal Communications Commission has reserved part of the radio spectrum for a wireless medical telemetry service which will allow mobile and remote monitoring of such devices as heart, blood pressure and respiration monitors.
The allocation, in the 608-614 MHz, 1395-1400 MHz and 1429-1432 MHz bands was based on an assesment carried out by the American Hospital Association (AHA).
The 608-614 MHz band, which corresponds to TV channel 37, had been reserved for radio astronomy uses and the 1395-1400 MHz and 1429-1432 MHz bands are former government bands reallocated for non-government use in 1993.
The changes give medical telemetry use of spectrum protected from interference unlike the channels it has been using up to now.
The commission has also reported positively on the outcome of the month-long World Radio Conference which has concluded in Istanbul (RNW May 15)
Three particular areas are referred to -- the development of mobile phone technology, particularly for Internet use, the maximisation of spectrum use for now services and finalising of sharing arrangements to permit more effective use of satellite service spectrum.
FCC on medical telemetry
FCC on WRC
June 10, 2000 : Maryland -based African-American station owner Radio One Inc has now completed its acquisition of Davis Broadcasting Inc (RNW Mar 13). It has paid approximately USD 24 million in cash for Davis's six stations, five in Augusta, Georgia and one in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As part of the deal, Greg Davis, Davis Broadcasting President has joined Radio One's management.
The radio stations acquired are WCCJ-FM (Charlotte), and WAKB-FM, WAEG-FM, WAEJ-FM, WFXA-FM and WTHB-AM (Augusta).
Previous Radio 1
June 10, 2000: Three obituaries-- of Canadian veteran and radio personality Jan van Bruchen, of Sybil Trent, a veteran of the golden age of radio and of a totally difference character Warren Freiberg who in many was pre-dated the exploits of many of today's shock-jocks.
Jan van Bruchem, who has died aged aged 70 emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1952.
He was involved in his own show, Holland Calling and radio syndication for Radio Netherlands and others before in 1971 gambling all he had - some Canadian USD 125,00 - on the founding of CJVB, Vancouver.
This was Canada's third ethnic station and went on air in 1972 following successful launches of ethnic stations in Toronto and Montreal.
By the time van Bruchen sold the station for Canadian USD 5 million in 1993 it was broadcasting in 23 languages Sybil Trent who died aged 73 at her Manhattan home was a star of the Saturday-mornings children's show Lets Pretend on which she appeared for 20 years starting in 1935 and ending on its final broadcast in 1954.
Her career began in childhood when she was in a short film with Fatty Arbuckle at the age of three and by the age of six she was hosting her own show, Baby Sybil Elaine and Her Kiddie Revue
After her radio days she was from 1973-1994 casting director at the Young & Rubicam advertising agency in Manhattan and continued to voice commercials.
Warren Feiberg, who has died aged 60, was on the airwaves of Chicago and Indiana for some 40 flamboyant years, starting in news and talk in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana before developing his talk show in Gary, Indiana.
His comments were seen by many as racist , anti-semitic and homophobic (he called them the views of the average white American which, even if true, isn't much of a defence) and the Gary Human Relations Commission petitioned the Federal Communications Commission not to renew his station's licence.
Freiberg responded by moving to a station in Lansing.
In 1985 after an incident on an Oprah Winfrey AM Chicago show he was fired and was off the air for most of the nineties although he made a more mellow return in 1999 co-hosting a talk show in Chicago with his wife Libby Collins.
June 9, 2000: Two reports about non-commercial radio in the Sydney Morning Herald give pause for thought about the future of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio but a positive review of the impact of the country's Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) radio which marks its 25th birthday today.
The paper reports that the ABC has denied allegations made in parliament that it was in effect going to gut the radio network's three premier programmes -- AM, PM and The World Today --by devolving current affairs coverage to a regional level and reducing national current affairs to an hourly seven-minute brief after the news.
However the ABC did say a new management structure for news and current affairs is to be announced by managing director Jonathan Shier.
The second report is a feature on the SBS which broadcasts in 68 languages and which according to SBS surveys has a weekly national audience of 2.5 million.
It's in reach amongst its target audience, however, that the SBS scores most heavily.
More than three-quarters of Turks living in Australia, for example, are said to listen to the Turkish hour, broadcast six days a week.
SBS Radio's head, Tuong Quang Luu, says their lowest penetration is in the 30's with the top end around 8o per cent. The paper says that the SBS schedules are revealing about Australia's make-up. The prime time 8 am broadcasts in every major city are in Italian, for which the station gets around a thirty per cent listernership, the 9am and 10am slots in Sydney and Melbourne are in Vietnamese and Chinese, while in Adelaide it's German, Dutch and a sprinkling of others. Nationwide there is a noon aboriginal broadcast and the most recent language the station has addedto its schedules is English!
Morning Herald ABC report;
Morning Herald SBS report
June 9, 2000 : Cumulus Media Inc, the troubled US radio group, has announced executive changes and is to consolidate its headquarters and finance operations in Atlanta by October.
Lewis W. Dickey, Jr is to become President and Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media; he was formerly Executive Vice Chairman of Cumulus Media and a Director and President of Cumulus Broadcasting Inc., the Company's primary operating subsidiary.
In addition his brother John W. Dickey, formerly Director of Programming of Cumulus Media and Executive Vice President of Cumulus Broadcasting, has been promoted to become Executive Vice President of Cumulus Media with responsibility for programming, engineering, facilities, the company's software activities and information technology.
Cumulus news release
June 9, 2000 : Low-power FM (LPFM) could be coming to Britain following a report which says the UK could have a significant number of new FM radio stations with limited coverage without effect on existing stations.
The report was commissioned from AEGIS Systems by the UK Radiocommunications Agency , the BBC and the UK Radio Authority.
In London, says the report, there could be at least six new localised services with a transmission radius of up to 5 km, each coverng around half a million people.
Similar operations would also be possible in Leeds, the other city investigated.
The new stations could be located within sub-bands of national stations operated by the BBC and Classic FM.
Although the report refers to six low power stations of 50 watts erp it adds that it may be possible to introduce even more of them without impact on existing services, particularly if receiver performance in selectivity terms has improved since tests were last carried out.
The report also looked at the possibility of introducing more powerful new stations and concluded that frequencies could be found for areas of larger coverage by change of frequencies and other transmission characteristics by existing stations although in some cases stations would suffer a major loss of population coverage.
Radiocommunications Agency report
June 8, 2000: The Sydney Morning Herald reports that hopes by advertising advertising millionaire John Singleton to sell his privately held MacQuarie Radio Network into his publicly listed company Singleton Group seem over.
It quotes the group's managing director as saying they remained interested in acquiring the two stations, 2CH and 2GB, which make up MacQuarie but were not prepared to pay a price for them any way near the value that Singleton wanted.
He added that current high prices for radio assets made it impossible for them to be earnings positive.
The paper estimates that Singleton would have quadrupled his Australian USD 14 million investment had the deal gone ahead .
Sydney Morning Herald report
June 8, 2000 : The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC Radio's classical-music program Take 5 has turned down an offer to host US National Public Radio's daily two hours show, Performance Today.
She told the paper the timing wasn't right, partly for personal family reasons.
Her decision is thought to put her at top of the shortlist of candidates to succeed Michael Enright when he steps down this Autumn as host of CBC Radio's flagship Monday to Friday current affairs show, This Morning.
June 8, 2000 Following continued opposition from lesbian and gay groups to Paramount Television's decision to proceed with a TV show for radio host, Dr Laura Schlessinger, there have been increasing signs of support for her right to broadcast her views, even if few for the nature of her radio output.
Among the first to defend her, at the end of last month, was nationally syndicated US talk show host Michael Medved, who said it was time for all to stand up when a host was " attacked on a personal level with an obvious attempt at censorship in the name of political correctness."
Among the latest is Los Angeles Times columnist Howard Rosenberg, who found an attack on her by the New York chapter of the National Organisation of Women unable to cogently support the opposition to Schlessinger.
Rosenberg himself refers to her as ,"no question, a piece of work" and comments," Left to her own devices, in other words, Dr. Laura inevitably impales herself on her own spiked blather. "
This, however he says is no reason to bar her from the airwaves nor to object to fellow Americans peacefully protesting about her opinions and putting pressure on sponsors, stations and Paramount to shun her.
Rosenberg goes on to say that she and TV are perfect for each other and goes on to cite others on air, such as Howard Stern, Jerry Falwell, Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake, amongst others in his contention that," Dr. Laura belongs in this bedlam, which can always accommodate another inmate."
Previous Dr Laura
Los Angeles Times column
RNW note: How far do you have views on what should or should not be kept off air, other than through the combined effect of the "off" switch?? Let us know!
June 7, 2000: Because of reported problems with electronic filing of Low Power FM licence applications (RNW May 30 ) over the weekend, the US Federal Communications Commission has extended its deadline of June 5 by three days to 23.59 Eastern Time on June 8.
June 7, 2000: Radio Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's shortwave radio services which was severely hit by budget cut-backs in 1996 and 1997, may soon be back broadcasting from the Cox Peninsula transmitter in Darwin according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Radio Australia formerly used the facility which has been bought by a Christian group. The paper quotes ABC chairman Donald McDonald as saying they are anxious to talk to Christian Voice about subleasing broadcast facilities at the site which can support five channels.
Christian Voice has said it would be prepared to look as subleasing excess capacity at cost.
Using the transmitter would enable Radio Australia to recommence broadcasts to South-East Asia and China but the Communications Minister's spokesman would not comment on whether any funds would be made available to the ABC for this purpose.
When the service was dropped, the Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston backed the decision on the basis that shortwave technology was outdated but Radio Australia was rescued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs which provided funds to allow it to keep transmitting to the South Pacific from Victoria.
During the Timor crisis last year, the ABC boosted its reach into Indonesia by leasing two hours a day on a Taiwanese transmitter.
Another possible stumbling block reported in the paper is the question of editorial control. It says that Christian Voice indicated that they would want editorial control but McDonald says it was fundamental to any discussions that the ABC would not be ceding any control or influence on their programming.
Christian Voice was founded by a self-made millionaire from the British Midlands , Bob Edmiston , who has already put more than £30 million of his own money to Pentecostal evangelising , including missionary activities.
It broadcasts a mixture of Christian music, comment, education, health , news and entertainment in Africa and Latin America.
Sydney Morning Herald report.
Herald on Christian Voice
June 7, 2000: US Public Broadcasting magazine Current reports that Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has now reached agreement with Public Radio International (PRI) over the former's takeover of the Marketplace and Savvy Traveller programmes.
PRI has dropped a lawsuit to prevent the takeover (RNW May 2) as a result of the deal which gives PRI, whose distribution deal for Marketplace was due to expire in 2003, a ten-year-deal to distribute the programme.
It also extends PRI's deal on other MPR programmes including A Prairie Home Companion, Savvy Traveler, Sound Money, and A Splendid Table.
The two organisations have pledged themselves to contribute to Marketplace's development with MPR holding sole responsibility for editorial and productions decisions and PRI heading up distribution and sponsorship sales.
Current Magazine report
June 7, 2000: More satellite radio developments. Sirius Satellite Radio has announced that is has arranged a USD 150 million dollar credit facility with a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Inc.
The money will be used for Sirius marketing and operations. The company's first satellite Sirius-1 is currently at the former Soviet launch facility in Baikonur with its launch window running from June 28-July 3. Further launches of Sirius 2 and Sirius 3 are expected in September and October and the company expects to commence broadcasts at the end of this year with offerings of some 50 channels of commercial-free music and a further 50 channels of news, sport and entertainment for a monthly subscription of USD 9.95.
Competitor XM Satellite Radio, whose launch is due in the first half of next year, has now announced that it has selected TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles as its advertising agency of record. The company expects to spend around USD 100 million on its launch campaign.
Previous Satellite radio:
Previous XM Satellite radio
June 6, 2000: More US radio consolidation. Beasley Broadcast group has announced agreement with Centennial Broadcasting on a USD 140 million to acquire six radio stations, KKLZ-FM, KSTJ-FM, and KJUL-FM in Las Vegas and WRNO-FM, KMEZ-FM and WBYU-AM in New Orleans.
When the deal is completed, Centenial's President and CEO Allen Shaw will rejoin Beasley, where he was Chief Operating Officer in the late 80's, this time as vice-chairman and co-Chief Operating Officer.
And Emmis Communications has agreed a management deal with Hearst-Argyll Television Inc. to manage the latter's three Phoenix, Arizona, radio stations.
The deal will run for three years and Emmis will have an option to buy the stations for USD 160million.
June 6, 2000: The BBC has appointed Nigel Pickard, formerly of Independent Television, Flextech and the Family Channel amongst other roles, as Controller of the Corporation's new Children's Department .
The post will put him in charge of all BBC in-house children's production including the Children's online site and possible development of a BBC Children's Channel.
RNW note: We can only hope that radio is significant in his thinking. On our old theme of the benefits of on-demand audio and the potential for Internet audiences listening whilst doing other things, there is surely an audience out there. On which topic a quote from the UK Times review of the Child of our Time series which began Monday on BBC Radio 4," This is a wonderful programme, from which Robin Cook would learn more about what ought to be the focus of intervention in foreign places than he could from a mountain of red boxes.". Just the kind of programme to which we'd love to be able to put up a link --except we can't!! But if we could, it would be worth the listening!
June 6, 2000: In his media column in the Chicago Tribune, Jim Kirk reviews the problems that could be in store for WCKG-FM in the city.
Kirk notes that they could be left without three of their star names, depending partially on factors outside their control.
One is Howard Stern who is still saying he hasn't commenced negotiations with Infinity Broadcasting on his new contract; Stern's old contract expires in November and there has been talk of a deal for up to USD 100 million (RNW May 18).
Next up is WCKG midday host Jonothon Brandmeier, whose contract runs out at the end of the year.
Kirk reports that Brandmeir thinks it unlikely he'll live with the current set-up where he is live in Chicago and on-air from tape in Los Angeles at midday.
And then there's Steve Dahl who had a serious run-in with the station management after his April suspension for on air comments about a lawsuit (RNW April 19).His contract ends in the spring.
Kirk says the Viacom-CBS-Infinity boss Mel Karmazin has told his managers that they need to keep top talent to win and in the case of Brandmeir this might mean him being live in Los Angeles and from tape in Chicago.
Kirk Chicago Tribune column:
June 5, 2000: Our look at the weekend radio columns is UK centred. In the UK Times, Peter Barnard focuses on the BBC's on-air promotions which some of his readers find " distasteful going on offensive."
One of them wrote to him that she felt BCB Radio 5 live had as many " commercials" as any commercial station. She added, "Those of us who like advertising-free radio no longer have a choice."
Barnard himself takes the view that he is only "mildly irritated" by the practice since he regards marketing as a kep part in selling everything but he goes on to comment that the BBC's "Music Live" event provided a classic example of hype obscuring reality. He links it to his feelings about the importance of geographical origin since he perceives the focus of the event not as its content but its geographical origins.
Here he agrees to s considerable degree with his Sunday Times colleague Paul Donovan (RNW May 22).
Barnard says that part of the reason for this is that the BBC thinks geographically disparate origins will strengthen its presence and increase its audience in the regions. He goes on," My guess would be that this belief is absolute tosh, the product of too much time spent with focus groups. Ask a focus group in, say, Falkirk, if it thinks the BBC is too focused on London and you will only get one answer and it is not "no". A different answer may be forthcoming if you ask: "Are you happy to have the licence fee spent on DJ Hank Mixer and his team spending two nights in several four-star hotel rooms so as to transmit a show that sounds the same as it would from London?"
In the UK Guardian on Saturday, two columnists leap to the defence of Andy Kershaw, whose BBC Radio 1 show has just been axed.(RNW May 26).
Simon Hoggart comments, "… I read about how Radio 1 had just sacked Andy Kershaw, one of the most thoughtful, enterprising and humane broadcasters in the country. (Now there's a scandal Gordon Brown should worry about; I bet his Rochdale accent didn't help him.) On the way home, our daughter wanted the same station on the radio. We caught Chris Moyles, a man who makes Tony Blackburn sound like Professor Joad. It was drivel. You wanted to wipe the radio with a Kleenex. There was a long discussion about Denise van Outen's breasts. There was a shorter chat about how Mr Moyles (or a sidekick) wanted to see that appalling film in which All Saints appear naked. He and his friends had a vocabulary slightly larger than an intelligent chimp, though possibly smaller than some of the smarter dolphins. Things they approved of were "nice", "good", "great" or, if really admirable, "the canine testicles". As they droned on and on about nothing, saying nothing, filling up the empty airwaves with a greater vacuum, each record came as an intense but regrettably short relief.
His colleague Jacques Peretti, who has taken over the radio column from Anne Karpf, takes up the same topic in a more roundabout way in a column headed, Depressing news: Radio 2 is cool.
He begins, " How can you tell when you are getting old? This is how: get in the car, fiddle with the radio, and see how long you can endure each station. After a barrage of shouting over Britney Spears and mobile phone ads, you'll find Fleetwood Mac. "Wow, this is actually quite good."
The Mac finish and Terry Wogan (Terry Wogan!) calmly announces, "You're listening to Radio 2."
Commenting on the changes made to the channel by Jim Moir, who took over as controller of Radio 2 in 1996, Peretti concludes he has now built a " bizarrely radical station. bizarrely radical station."
He then brings up Kershaw's fate and continues," Kershaw is rumoured to have been offered a job at Radio 2 (as has Simon Mayo).
His arrival would cement, depressingly for me, the fact that I am now officially a Radio 2 listener. It wouldn't even be an ironic thing any more. I'd simply be there.
Here was a DJ whom I grew up with. In sacking him, Radio 1 is saying that da kidz don't want to know about the Senegalese nose-flute revolution any more (not even at three in the morning).
He no longer fits Radio 1's branding as the largin' it rave station for that gold-dust 16- to 24-year-old audience. And neither (thank God) do I. " However it's not necessarily all good news for radio 2 as his column concludes, " Sitting slap bang in the middle of the YW(Young wrinkly) demographic, I should be a prime target for the Jonathan Ross show on Radio 2.
But weirdly enough, I have started listening to Chris Evans. You just can't explain these things, least of all to yourself.."
In the UK Observer, Sue Arnold reminisces over the BBC Radio 4 farming soap, The Archers, which last week celebrated fifty years on air.
Overall the comments are favourable; she says she goes through occasional periods of loathing but then a later she becomes hooked again.
And finally a very British oriented column from Roland White, standing in for the holidaying Paul Donovan, in the UK Sunday Times.
He brings up the question of accents and class via the distinctive sounds of Spectator Magazine editor Borish Johnson who was dropped from the BBC Week in Westminster because his voice was said to be "unsuitable" when it moved to a new time.
White says the Johnson voice is " designed to bellow to the butler's pantry from the west wing."
He continues,"For me, it's the voice of Tuppy Glossop, Bertie Wooster's chum. If it were a person, it would be an old-style Conservative MP, round and rich. "
White then goes on to say he's glad Johnson is not totally off the air because radio needs," more voices like Johnson. Not just posh voices, different voices. Distinctive voices."
White lists some of the current distinctive voices on the British airwaves and then pays a tribute to the late John Arlott, " the former Hampshire detective who was hired by the BBC as a poetry producer but became more famous as a cricket commentator."
" And what a voice. Like Lord Denning, Arlott never lost his Hampshire accent. As he described the game unfolding in front of him, he sounded like a finely tuned tractor ticking over in a distant field. He was once described as 'the voice of the English summer'. "
June 5, 2000: The UK Independent on Sunday has calculated that the British government, which has collected some £1 billion over the past nine years for UK radio licences could have made as much as £0.5 billion more by auctioning them.
It has done its calculation in the wake of the £22 billion UK mobile phone spectrum auction, the Australian USD 150 million (£57million) auction of the new Syndey FM licence (RNW May 25) and in advance of the awarding of another four local and three regional licences for around £200 million.
At the moment says the report there are no plans to auction UK analogue radio licences but the opposition Conservative party says a change should be considered.
The current boom in the UK radio industry has yielded very handsome returns to companies who hold licences and particularly to investors in those companies which have been taken over by larger groups.
UK Independent report.
June 4, 2000: Atlanta-based Cox Radio Inc. has made a USD 280 million offer for Midwestern Broadcasting Company to bolster its presence in the south eastern US.
Cox said the offer was in response to another bid.
Cox has also said that it has an agreed an assets exchange with Salem Communications to avoid regulatory problems.
Under the deal, Salem would get WALR-FM, Atlanta KLUP-AM San Antonio and WSUN-AM Tampa, while Cox would acquire KKHT-Fm , Houston, to add to the three Houston FM outlets which it owns, operates or to which it provides marketing services.
If the deal goes through Cox will own, operate or provide marketing services to more than 80 US stations.
June 4, 2000: Licence news this week. And the biggest news this week is from the US where the Federal Communications Commission is considering easing some of its historical restrictions on cross-ownership of broadcast and other media and also of limits to station ownership and the way in which it defines licence areas (RNW June 1).
The FCC has also held a public forum regarding developing a secondary market in radio spectrum as part of its plans to deal with a potential shortage as demand increases from new applications such as Internet-enabled cell phones.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has announced a public hearing in August in connection with the allocation of three new Sydney-wide community radio licences.
The ABA will post all applications on its website.
It's also canvassing for views on radio services in the radio markets of Murrumbidgee/Riverina, Gippsland, Western Victoria, South East South Australia, Spencer Gulf and Tasmania.
The ABA has also allocated a new non-broadcasting band commercial radio licence in Queensland to Pinceam Pty Ltd. These licences cover content but do not allocate any broadcasting spectrum.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio and Television Commission has approved an application by CBF-FM, Montreal, to increase its power from 17,000 watts to 1000,000 watts. There were objections from Metromedia CMR Broadcasting Inc. (CMR), licensee of CFQR-FM and CIEL-FM Montréal, on the basis of interference with their stations and also on the grounds of possible interference to aeronautical NAV/COM services.
In addition Groupe Radio Astral (Astral), licensee of CKMF-FM Montréal, claimed possible interference would result to its stations and asked for a delay so that the CBC request could be held in conjunction with Astral's plan to also ask for an increase in power. The objections were not accepted.
Additionally the CRTC has posted notices about licence renewals due in August. They are from Ash-Creek Television Society(Cache Creek, British Columbia.); Big West Communications Corp.(Drayton Valley, Alberta.); Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (Bruce Peninsula National Park, Tobermory, Ontario; Waterton Lakes National Park,Waterton Park, Alberta; Coquihalla Toll Plaza, British Columbia; Golden, British Columbia.); Cariboo Central Interior Radio Inc.(Williams Lake, British Columbia.); CHUM Limited, (Kitchener (Ontario); Corus Radio Company (Calgary, Alberta); Fabrique de la Paroisse du Sacré-Coeur du Diocèse d'Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario); Forvest Broadcasting Corporation (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.): Klondike Broadcasting Company Limited (Whitehorse, Yukon Territory ) ; Northwestern Radio Partnership (Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan ); Standard Broadcast Productions, Standard Radio Inc(Winnipeg,(Manitoba); Telephone City Broadcast Limited,( Brantford,Ontario).
The UK Radio Authority's activities have been in FM local radio.
By its closing date it had received one application for the new Independent Local Radio FM service for Dumbarton in West Central Scotland, from Castle Rock FM Dumbarton Limited.
The authority has also pre-advertised the local FM licence for the Scarborough area of Yorkshire for the eight years from November 7, 2001.
The licence is currently held by Yorkshire Coast Radio who will be able to use the authority's fast-track procedure if there are no competing bids.
Previous Licence News
UK Radio Authority website
June 3, 2000: Departures at the end of this week. San Francisco veteran Al Hart has now retired from KCBS, San Francisco after 34 years of straight news reporting on the city's airwaves.
Hart, who's 72, wants to spend more time with his wife who has Lou Gehrig's disease (RNW May 20).
And Lyn Andrews has now left her post as President of ABC radio, resigning after seven years with the company, three as President. She's expected to be replaced with an internal candidate.
Previous Al Hart.
June 3, 2000: Big brothers have just taken another step in audience metering.
Two major audience metering organisations, Arbitron and Nielsen Media Research have announced an agreement which gives the latter the option to take part in deployment of Arbitron's Portable People Meter in the US.
The meter is a pager sized device which is worn by consumers and detects inaudible coded embedded in programme audio. At the end of a day it is put into a base station which recharges it and files the information to Arbitron.
It has already been successfully tested in two UK field trials in Manchester in 1998 and 1999-2000 and will now be field tested in the US, starting in Philadelphia towards the end of the year.
The meter's strengths are seen as greatest for broadcasts or cablecasts which are listened to in public places like bars or offices. But as it merely picks up signals from the broadcasts it can only show that people are in earshot, not that that they are paying attention to the broadcast.
June 3, 2000: More good radio results, this time from EMAP which owns some 18 radio stations in the UK.
The parent EMAP increased its profits for the year up the end the of March by 14% to £161.6 million. Its radio division had strongest results from London stations Kiss FM and Magic whose revenue grew by more than 40%; overall radio division were up 8% to £84 million and profits up 13% to £30.3 million. EMAP website (needs Flash player);
June 2, 2000: Vancouver's CKKS (KISS) has announced that its new morning show which, along with a new afternoon show, begins on June 5 will be hosted by Rob Christie, who was most recently heard in Toronto, Val Cole who was in Kitchener and, for sports, Barry Wall.
The show replaces Latre-Mornings following the retirement of Fred Latremouille and Cathy Baldazzi (RNW April 20) and in attempt to make it all-fresh three of LatreMorning's staff have been fired.
They are news anchor Jack Marion, weatherman Wayne Cox and traffic reporter Joanne Sutton.
The station has also fired afternoon drive host Tom Jeffries
June 2, 2000: Dallas-headquartered Hispanic Broadcasting, the largest Spanish language radio broadcaster in the US, is to buy two San Antonio stations for around USD 45 million in cash to add to its current holding of some 45 stations.
They are KBUC-FM, currently owned by Redding Enterprises, and KRNH-FM , currently owned by Radio Ranch Management.
Previous Hispanic broadcasting
Hispanic Broadcasting site:
June 2, 2000: For those of you interested in a job in the Emerald Isle, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ has released details of its staff pay but refused information on that of its highest paid presenters in response to media enquiries under the country's Freedom of Information Act.
RTÉ which is partly funded by a licence fee but gets the bulk of its income from other sources such as advertising, said that to reveal some details would be of advantage to its commercial competitors.
Top salary of (Irish) £94,000 a year goes to the Director General of RTÉ, Bob Collins.
Top radio salary goes to the director of radio, Helen Shaw, who receives between £61,000 and £77,000; by comparison journalists earn up to £32,000 a year, correspondents up to £39,000 and radio producers up to £35,000.
Previous Helen Shaw
June 1, 2000: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to consider some alterations to its rules on radio and newspaper cross-ownership and definition of radio station boundaries following completion of its biennial review of ownership rules.
Despite aggressive lobbying to drop the rules the Commission voted to retain them all in genera but consider some relaxation..
It may also relax its dual-network rule, thus potentially allowing Viacom to keep both CBS and UPN networks.
Separate notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be issued seeking public comment separately in each of the three areas.
Concerning local radio ownership the FCC concluded that current limits generally continue to serve the public interest and noted the reduction in numbers of owners and competition which had taken place over recent years.
On radio market definition, however, the Commission will issue an NPRM concerning whether it should use Arbitron market definitions rather than its current overlapping signal contours standard and also its counting methodology which it says may produce unrealistic results in some cases.
The market definition rules were written into the 1996 Telecommunications Act so amendment would require legislative changes.
In one area, that of experimental stations which are licensed to develop new technology, the FCC says rules limiting multiple ownership could be removed since existing rules requiring the station to operate for research and barring charges and regular programming provide sufficient safeguard against commercial abuse of licences.
On newspaper/broadcaster cross ownership the Commission felt that they should in general be retained despite media changes since they were introduced; new media outlets it said did not yet substitute for local newspapers or broadcasters in terms of diversity on the local level.
However it did accept that in some cases the rule might not be needed to protect diversity or competition and it should therefore consider allowing cross-ownership.
Among companies hoping that this may give them extra leeway is the Chicago Tribune Company whose recent acquisition of the Los Angeles Times-Mirror Company meant that it gained newspapers in New York and Los Angeles where it already owns TV stations.
The broadcast ownership rules were introduced in 1975 to preserve diversity but critics allege that developments like the Internet make them increasingly irrelevant.
The Commission did not accept this argument although one commissioner, Susan Ness, issued a statement saying that the FCC should "should carefully and methodically consider modifying the rule to make it more relevant to contemporary circumstances."
FCC News release;
June 1, 2000: The consolidation of the US radio industry doesn't seem to be slowing down that much yet.
Giant Clear Channel is buying more stations in Ohio in an USD 11 million dollar deal with companies controlled by David and Richard Rowley.
And in Louisiana, Access 1 Communications if paying nearly USD 8 million for KSYR-FM and KRVQ-FM to add to its existing AM and two FM stations in Shreveport.
Finally, in a USD 25 million deal Monterey-based Triad Broadcasting has agreed to acquire 15 middle market stations from Adventure Communications Inc.
Nine are in Bluefield, West Virginia, and six in Savannah, Georgia. After the deal is concluded Triad will own or operate 42 stations.
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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June 30, 2000: Sydney 2UE radio host Alan Jones and the station are being sued for damages over comments he made about a two-day land rights conference which cost taxpayers more than Australian USD 80,000.
Aboriginal leader and former chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Patrick Dodson alleges that Jones' implied that he had "grossly overcharged" for his services, had wasted taxpayers money by attending international conferences without valid reasons and was an unprincipled person who called his accusers racists to deflect attention from his own activities.
Amongst other things Jones said in the broadcasts, which were played in court, was that it was easy to claim the money because," you just sign the chit, call yourself an Aboriginal consultant and the money is paid out from the millions and millions and millions of dollars made available by hard-working taxpayers".
Mr Bruce McClintock, SC, representing Radio 2UE and Jones, denied the comments were targeted at Mr Dodson.
Jones still leads the Sydney morning ratings but suffered audience last share in the most recent figures released (RNW June 21)
Previous Alan Jones
June 30, 2000: Yet more movement towards Internet radio with an influx of funds from Internet Partnership Group to Washington DC-based Penguin Radio, which like Kerbango (RNW June 28),is developing an Internet radio allow listening to Internet audio without a personal computer.
Like Kerbango's device the Penguin radio uses a version of the Linux operating system and requires connection to the Internet via an Internet Service Provider but Penguin is also working on a car radio which can receive signals from the Ellipso satellite Internet service.
The company is also developing PhoneRadio.com, a version of PenguinRadio.com which allows users of cellphones and personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to receive streaming media through an interface which has no large graphic files or complicated pages.
Penguin's main radio should sell for around USD 250.
June 30, 2000: Sir William Glock, Controller of Music at the BBC from 1959-72, has died aged 92.
Glock was noted for broadening the range of music on BBC radio and at the annual BBC Promenade Concerts and helped make the Corporation the major commissioner of new orchestral music in Britain.
Through his commissions he had considerable influence on classical music in the later part of the 20th century.
Glock was educated at Cambridge University and after graduating studied piano for two years under Artur Schnabel in Berlin at the start of the 1930s but moved into music criticism for newspapers on his return to Britain .
This led him into giving radio talks and later Shnabel suggested he organise the 1948 Bryanston annual music summer school which later moved to Dartington
June 29, 2000: Republicans in the US Congress have introduced measures which would significantly restrict the authority of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) to review mergers in the US broadcasting industry and have also voted to trim the agency's budget by around ten per cent.
In a 214-195 vote the house passed measures which decide the budgets of the US Commerce, Justice and State Departments and related agencies, including a cut of the overall FCC budget from the amount submitted by President Clinton by USD 29 million to USD 207 million a year.
Particularly severely hit is the FCC Office of Media Relations whose budget is reduced from USD 1.1million to USD 640000 under an amendment added by Florida Republican Senator Cliff Stearns.
In addition the House Telecommunications Sub-committee passed a bill which would require the FCC to complete most merger reviews within 90 days with Ohio Republican Sen. Mike Oxley, a vociferous opponent of Low Power FM plans (RNW April 15) adding an amendment to make it clear that the FCC is limited by law in its ability to lobby Congress.
Oxley had already introduced a standalone bill to the same effect.
Stearns added another amendment which requires that if the FCC appends any conditions to a merger approval these have to be applied across the entire industry unless the merger violates existing FCC rules.
Previous FCC ;
June 29, 2000: The GWR Group, which has a controlling interest in the UK Digital One national digital audio service, has submitted proposals to the British government calling for criteria to be set up for the analogue radio to be switched-off and minimal regulation in the UK radio of the future.
In its submission in response to a government invitation to comment on the country's Communications Reform White Paper says ownership restrictions should only be governed by general competition laws , multi-station ownership should be allowed in individual markets, and there should be only a light content regulation which should also apply to the BBC.
GWR also wants BBC Radios 1 and 2 to be privatised and Parliament to define the Corporation's public service remit.
In addition it wants a Radio Fund to be set up, using funds from Independent National Radio licence fees, to support public service output on existing commercial stations and also introduce a new public access radio service.
It also wants more spectrum allocated to digital radio broadcasting and an extension of all licence terms to run for 12 years not just those for digital licences.
June 29, 2000: WorldNetDaily is to launch what it claims will be the Internet's first daily general interest national talk show in the US next Monday on its new streaming page TalkNetDaily.
It will be hosted by Geoff Metcalf, a WorldNetDaily staff writer who has also hosted a daily talk show on KSFO, San Francisco, for the last five years.
The new programme will be simulcast to air on KTKZ-AM in Sacramento and will air from 4pm to 7pm Pacific time. (2300 to 0200 gmt.)
And in another California Internet-related story , KACD-FM in Los Angeles has put an appeal on its website for people to fill in a form to put pressure on station owner's Clear Channel to keep the station alive on the Internet as Channel 1031 when it is sold off.
Clear Channel is disposing of the station as part of its AMFM takeover and the frequency will go to a Spanish-language format.
Moving further afield, BroadcastAmerica.com has now launched a new Internet radio gateway, BroadcastEurope.com.
The company has opened offices in Germany and the UK and is seeking to add stations from all over Europe to the site which in addition to the music channels it is to stream will also carry sport such as English and Scottish soccer.
Commentaries on games will be broadcast live and also archived to be available on demand.
Previous Clear Channel;
June 28, 2000: Melbourne is to get 13 new radio licences under plans for radio in the area released by the Australian Broadcasting Authority. They will include two new commercial licences, one to be in operation by the end of this year and the other in four years.
Three new Melbourne-wide community licences, two new open narrowacasting licences and six new suburban community radio licences are also to be issued.
June 28, 2000: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ has announced that journalist and barrister Vincent Browne is to leave his post as presenter of Radio One's Tonight With Vincent Browne show and move over to present the RTÉ's flagship current affairs TV show, Prime Time from September.
The move follows lobbying by RTÉ's managing director of television and by Browne whose efforts to move had been blocked by RTÉ director of radio Helen Shaw (RNW June 19).
Browne's radio show will be replaces by a new late-evening current affairs programme.
Previous Helen Shaw
June 28, 2000: Milwaukee-based Cumulus radio has announced that it has completed its USD 2.9 million acquisition of WWKZ (FM), in Tupelo, Mississippi from Broadcasters & Publishers, Inc.
The station is one of five programmed by Cumulus in the Tupelo market. Cumulus which has recently run into various problems (RNW June 9 ) will own more than 300 in some 60 markets in the US when all its pending deals are completed. It was recently ranked sixth in US radio billing by Duncan's (RNW June 21).
June 28, 2000: In a potentially significant boost for Internet audio, computer equipment maker 3-Com is to buy Internet radio company Kerbango for around USD 80 million as part of a move into offering a wider range of internet consumer products.
Kerbango, which is based in Cupertino, California, has developed Kerbango's Tuning Service, an easy-to-use directory for access to Internet audio from around the world a website which acts as a portal for internet radio stations and a receiver which looks similar to a radio but "tunes in" to Internet audio through an Internet service provider but without any need for a personal computer.
In a separate arrangement just announced, Thomson multimedia signed alLetter of Intent with Kerbango to brand and distribute an RCA brand Internet Radio that utilizes the Kerbango Internet Radio Tuning Service.
When it has completed its purchase of Kerbango, 3Com intends to follow a similar licensing strategy of forming alliances with key distribution partners to increase distribution of the Kerbango product and services.
3-Com news release;
June 27, 2000: US Radio Talk show host Dr Laura Schlessinger has told Time magazine that efforts by gay and lesbian groups to halt her television show have due to go on air in September made her cry "more at times than I would like to admit."
But despite that she has not backed down on her remarks concerning homosexuality, saying, "Not being able to relate normally to a member of the opposite sex is some kind of error. We were biologically meant to give birth to more people."
Schlessinger added, in the current issue, that Paramount TV , who are to syndicate the show, have not asked her to tone down her approach.
Schlessinger is due in Washington tomorrow when Gary Bauer, President of Washington-based American Values and former Republican presidential candidate, will conduct her through a series of meetings with various lawmakers.
They include Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, House Majority Leader Dick Armey and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay as well as conservative members of Congress belonging to the Conservative Action Team.
Previous Dr Laura Schlessinger
June 27, 2000: US ABC Radio is to exercise its purchase option and spend USD 8 million on converting convert KEMM-FM Dallas which it already manages under an LMA, into an owned and operated station.
It's also announced the appointment of Eric Braverman as Programme Director at KABC Los Angeles . Bravrman had been in the post on an interim basis since the departure of Drew Hayes.
June 27, 2000: The Australian government has ruled out a suggestion by Australian Broadcasting Corporation managing director Jonathan Shier that it should take over the country's Special Broadcasting Service according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Shier had said on Friday that the idea of a separate multicultural broadcaster was patronising and that he'd be happier" if SBS was ABC 2."
However, according to the paper, a spokesman for the Communications Minister said that SBS was doing a very good job and the government was, "committed to extending SBS to more than 1.2 million new viewers in regional areas."
he also said there was no chance of it becoming part of the ABC.
Sydney Morning Herald report.
June 27, 2000: The US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has announced details of more than USD 3 million of investment to support US public radio in its development of internet public services.
Amongst the grants being made the largest is one of USD 1.2 million to Minnesota Public Radio(MPR) to develop internet services for local and regional news and information.
Others include USD 330,000 to the Tundra Club of Bozeman, Montana for a "Hearing Voices" project in which a consortium of independent producers will create features exploring the US through the voices of ordinary citizens and USD 300,000 to MBK Productions of Santa Monica, California, as final funding for American Routes" a weekly two-hour programme featuring music of various genres with American "roots" interspersed with artist interviews.
USD 250,000 will go to the Inter-Tribal Native Radio Summit, Native Media Resource Center, Bodega Bay, California, to develop services for native Americans all over the country, not just those who have access to radio stations on reserves, and another USD 40,000 in a related project to make native American programming available through direct broadcast satellite.. Other projects being supported are various audio documentaries and a new Afropop audio service.
CPB News release
June 26, 2000: Many of the columnists this week have gone for comments which are either reviews of particular programmes or about particular personalities but a few make more general points or ones of wider interest.
To lead off, a worthwhile reminder from Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times on how far television, or at least, British television is indebted to radio.
Donovan points out how vast it is, giving examples from comedy to game shows which have moved from BBC radio to television, both BBC and commercial.
Yet, as he also points out, it is not often acknowledged for which he suggests two reasons; wounded pride in the BBC over a period when a large number of BBC Radio 4 hits went to commercial television and deference to the sensitivities of the programme makers with TV people not wanting to admit they couldn't come up with the idea and radio ones not wanting to feel that they are there to create hits for TV.
Donovan then comments on why some shows do not translate but says that they can succeed in both media with sufficiently good writing and able people.
he adds that it is crucial that the programme ethos is "maintained and not diluted or destroyed." Donovan concludes, "Programmes, like people, have souls.".
In the UK Times, his colleague Peter Barnard takes up the question of TalkSport doing their Euro 2000 soccer commentary from a studio in Amsterdam, with the commentators watching TV and dubbing on audio effects.
He also takes up the fact that he works for a newspaper whose owner Rupert Murdoch has a significant stake in TalkSport.
Barnard writes that nobody in News International has ever suggested how he write about TalkSport.
He then goes on that of course the BBC was entitled to take court action and adds, " TalkSport did its image no favours by behaving as it did."
" Transmitting a commentary derived from watching a television set in Amsterdam would make for splendid satire but it ain't serious radio."
Barnard praises BBC commentary of the games, writing, "I admire Radio 5 Live's coverage of football and Euro 2000 has been magnificent on the network: the closing minutes of Mike Ingham's commentary from the England-Germany game last weekend was breathtaking." He then picks up TalkSport head Kelvin MacKenzie's claim that he is not competing with the BBC on a level pitch since TalkSport was locked out of the bidding for the broadcasting rights which were negotiated by the European Broadcasting Union.
Barnard says the EBU is essentially a cartel consisting mostly of large national broadcasters and MacKenzie says his station has twice been refused membership and has succeeded in getting a European Union investigation into the EBU on competitive grounds.
The rules says Barnard are complicated but it does appear that TalkSport could only gain access by asking the EBU member in their country which in this case is the BBC, TalkSport's main competitor.
And finally to the US for a comment which could certainly apply to much of British radio as well,
This comes in a Chicago Tribune column by Ted Z. Manuel in which he asks, "Whatever became of coherent, articulate everyday speech?" Manuel goes on to comment that judging from much of TV and Talk radio the US is beset with a verbal disease best described as "dysfunctional discourse".
He lists some of the words he doesn't like such as "aint", standard distractions which are so common such as "I mean", "like", "sort of" and "you know" and then goes on to list some examples of what he calls "speech violations."
These vary from the tautologous "and also" through to the confused such as using "style" to mean "fashion" , "can" to mean "may", "will" to mean "shall" and "fertile" to mean "fecund",
Then there's the ugly sounding and incorrect "different than" instead of "different from" or the plain incorrect "presently" to mean "at present" rather than "soon". His particular bugbear is "ain't."
RNW note -whilst we agree with much of the tenor of the above and think it raises issues worthy of debate we see it as too narrow in its focus. Within radio for example, never mind talk shows, are disc jockeys expected to incoherent and incapable of giving meaning what they say or saying what they mean?" Within all audio there is the question of euphony and harmony but at times a place for cacophony. As any translator will know, there is the issue of literal meaning or what we might call poetic justice to the original. With speech "mere wind" to use Dr Johnson's phrase may occasionally have a place in altering pace but if its just putting in word thoughtlessly merely detracts in our view. A good example here is the use of the word "fraction" which is in vogue in some parts of the UK media as a word to mean a small part and, presumably, as a cover up for laziness in assessing how small a part. We can't justify its use this way in either speech or text. For those of you who appreciate looking at grammar as an exercise in how t get precise meaning over may we recommend a read through William Cobbet's "English Grammar" if you can find a copy; the English may be old fashioned but the thought behind it sparkles. In the meantime, in the spoken language, Mr Manuel may hate "ain't" but there are times when a suitable reaction to its condemnation would be quite appropriately to say ,"that ain't necessarily so!"
Your views? E-mail us.
Previous Columnists report
Chicago Tribune article
June 26, 2000: The growth of Spanish stations across the US, nearly tenfold from a total of less than 70 in 1980 to getting on for 600 now, is featured in the Los Angeles Times.
Its article concentrates on the smaller stations, many independently-owned, which broadcast in America's heartland.
Spanish stations may still be only around a twentieth of the total of getting on for 13000 stations in the USA but the trend must be heartening for the Spanish networks.
Amongst the latest additions is 1000-watt Ranchera station KYUU in Liberal, Kansas, where the Friday afternoon DJ makes his living on a construction site and the newscaster sells jewellery.
In all, Spanish-language radio can now be heard off-air in 44 states with Internet channels also mopping up audience elsewhere.
But says the paper, there's a world of difference between the slick output of big city Spanish radio and the smaller channels which reflect the communities which gave birth to them.
Their income is boosted by the small stores whose own growth is often intimately linked with that of the station and the community.
And they have also provided opportunity for entrepreneurs who syndicate programming by satellite such as Sacramento-based Zspanish which has some 70 customers, many independently-owned small operations.
They stand in marked contrast to the big battalions such as Dallas-based Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., who target the large cities.
As much as anything though, the small stations' strength appears to lie in commitment by local staff, many part time, who enjoy the involvement.
Los Angeles Times article
June 25, 2000: Licence news this week. And it was very quiet with the main announcement being from the US Federal Communications Commission who announced that they had received more than 750 applications for Low Power FM licences following their first filing window ( RNW June 23).
No significant announcements were made in Australia, Canada or Ireland and those in the UK were generally minor although the UK Radio Authority did also announce that it has implemented the first batch of its initiatives on openness and transparency.
These cover publication of agendas and accounts of Authority meetings and a register of disclosable interests.
Licence related item included two related to digital multiplex licences.
They were the advertising of one new licence, the digital multiplex licence for the North-East of England and an announcement that only one application was received for the Central Lancashire digital multiplex - from EMAP who are proposing an 8 channel service.
In addition assessments were published of local licence awards already made, of the Knowsley licence on Merseyside to KCR FM (Knowsley Community Radio Ltd.) and of the re-award of the Morecambe Bay local licence to existing holder Bay radio.
Previous Licence News
UK Radio Authority website:
June 25, 2000: Conservative US radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who was openly bidding for a role on was among people auditioned for ABC's "Monday Night Football" programme (RNW May 24) has lost out to comedian Dennis Miller.
It was confirmed that he was auditioned for the role in a team which will now comprise Miller, Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts and veteran play-by-play announcer Al Michaels. Previous Limbaugh
June 25, 2000: Canada's broadcasting standards watchdog, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which last month rapped US host Dr Laura Schlessinger over the knuckles(RNW May 12) has just come out with another trio of judgements.
Two of them let Winnipeg broadcasters off the hook and the third condemns a Montreal station.
Montreal station CKVL-AM had jokingly compared a murder of a black man by a Hindu to biker gang killings.
The comment were made on the André Arthur and Martin Paquette morning show and the Council found that they had been abusively discriminatory in comparing the killing to biker gang killings as a settling of accounts.
It ruled that the comments were not only tasteless but also contravened broadcasters' codes of ethics and rejected the "only-joking" defence put forward by the show hosts.
However the council rejected a complaint about comments made on the Adler on Line and Afternoons with Larry Updike talk shows broadcast on CJOB-AM in which comments were made on the role of of First Nations Chiefs in a demonstration at the Manitoba Legislature, as well as on other general issues relating to the First Nations.
The the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs wrote and complained that certain statements made by the hosts and the callers promoted hatred.
The Council concluded that the complaints were "exaggerated, isolated and overstated" although there had been occasions when a news reporter did not just report the news but also gave personal opinions without saying that was what they were.
In another Winnipeg case, it rejected a complaint made about a broadcast on CJKR-FM's morning show.
The announcer had commented on an historical Chinese government decision to eliminate domestic animals and this was followed by a parody song about Chinese restaurants serving cat rather than chicken, beef, fish or pork..
A listener complained that the broadcast was "culturally insensitive and also served to dehumanize and perpetuate stereotypes" but the Council held that the broadcast was not in breach of its code because it was not about Chinese people in general but rather about the Chinese government and Chinese restaurants.
June 24, 2000: A busy week for Indianapolis-headquartered Emmis Communications which was recently ranked the 8th US radio player by revenue in Duncan's (RNW June 21).
Apart from the success of its Buenos Aires start-up Mega 98.3 (RNW June 23), it has announced record first quarter results and another major deal.
In the quarter After Tax Cash Flow (ATCF) grew by 80% to USD 22million, ATCG per share was up 21% to USD 0.46, Broadcast cash flow (BCF) on a same station basis was up 22.3% and overall up 43.8% to a total USD 38.7 million (all compared to 1999 Q1 ).
Total net revenues grew to USD 100.5 million from USD 72.4 millio, a 38.9% increase.
During the quarter Emmis announced a USD 562.5 million TV deal which led to it considering splitting its radio and television arms (RNW May 9 ) , a USD 160 million Phoenix radio deal with Hearst-Argyle (RNW June 6 ) and a USD 108 million Denver and Phoenix deal with Clear Channel/AMFM (RNW June 16) which became available after a planned USD 127 million disposal to Hispanic Broadcasting was blocked by the US Justice Department.
This week Emmis added another significant deal, subject to regulatory approval, when it settled a lawsuit with Sinclair Broadcast Group and agreed to acquire Sinclair's six St Louis radio stations for USD 220 million.
It then announced that it had signed a letter of intent to swap four of its St Louis stations with Bonneville International Corporation in exchange for KZLA-FM , Los Angeles.
Under the swap Emmis will give up WKKX-FM, which it already owned plus three stations being acquired from Sinclair -- WIL-FM, WVRV-FM and WRTH-AM.
However Emmis will keep the syndicated Steve and DC Morning show, which currently airs on WKKX and move it to one of the five stations it is retaining, KSHE-FM, WXTM-FM which it already owned and KPNT-FM, KXOK-FM, and KIHT-FM. which it is getting from Sinclair.
The Sinclair deal had originally followed a June 1999 purchase by Emmis of an option to acquire Sinclair's St Louis radio and TV operations from former Sinclair executive Barry Baker who had the right to purchase them under his employment agreement.
It stalled after a valuation of USD 366.5 million for the TV and radio stations, Emmis suggesting a valuation of USD 216.5 million for the radio stations and Sinclair claiming that Baker's option could not be passed on to Emmis and suing for damages.
And two smaller deals in the US. Regent Communications is to purchase three FM stations in St Cloud, Minnesota, from StarCom for five million.
The deal will add KXSS-AM, KLZZ-FM & KKSR-FM to Regent's existing St Cloud holdings of one Am and two FM stations.
Finally, in Galveston a momma and poppa deal. KGBC-AM is being sold by Harbor Broadcasting to Prets/Blum media for USD 745,000.
June 24, 2000: A little illumination from the Chicago Sun-Times on the pay levels in Chicago radio.
Columnist Robert Feder lists results of a survey of average pay levels from top to bottom in some 20 of the city's top radio staions although he associates it with a warning that some figures may be misleading.
This is because it is not made clear whether they include some of the stars such as Mancow Muller, reputed to make some USD 3milion a year from his syndicated morning show, and Jonathon Brandmeier on around USD 2 million a year for his midday show.
The range with larger figures in brackets including bonuses and incentives starts at USD 20,600 (USD 20,867) for the bottom end roles lumped together under "receptionists" and goes up to USD 214,510 (USD 286,809) for general managers.
Second ranked are general sales managers at USD 159,319 (USD 187,949) pretty well alongside morning talent at USD 159,793 (USD 166,229).
After that, salaries run -- programme directors at USD 116,691 (USD 141,991), then a significant drop to USD 80,530 (USD 84,215) for afternoon talent, news director at USD 78,873 (USD 81,292),midday talent at USD 63,738 (USD 66,911), news reporter at USD 69,116 (USD 69,116), evening talent at USD 56,917 (USD 58,851), sportscaster at USD 51,061(USD 53,311), traffic reporter at USD 42,625(USD 42,625), overnight talent at USD 39,283 (USD 39,451), and not much above receptions, weekend talent at USD 27,381 (USD 27,405).
June 23, 2000:The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it has received 769 applications for Low Power FM Licences.
States covered are Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Mariana Islands, Maryland, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Utah.
The FCC's second filing period for LPFM licences will be announced next month and will open in Augustr to cover applications from Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Wyoming. Application details will be posted at the FCC website but already some appear to break the FCC's rules for LPFM
June 23, 2000: Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications has announced what seems nearly the ultimate success story for one of their overseas FM stations.
They say that their Mega 98.3 FM station, launched on April 24, has risen from bottom of the Buenos Aires market to number two station overall and number one in the 20-54 demographic.
The station had only been on air a week when the latest ratings period began and now has a 13.1 share of the FM market according to Emmis International President, Randall Bongarten.
Emmis also owns Radio 10, the top rated AM station in Buenos Aires with a 31.9% share of the AM market.
June 23, 2000: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Gloria Tristani has again attacked the FCC for failing to do its job in protecting the public interest, this time over broadcasters involvement in political campaigning.
This, she said, was now often more through economic self interest selling political adverts than in the public interest through news coverage.
She told the Alliance for Better Campaigns that , although she supported all that was being done to bring political discourse back to the airwaves, she could but wish such groups had no reason to exist since they only existed because not all broadcasters took their civic and legal responsibilities seriously enough.
Tristani added that " those of us in public life are not fulfilling our responsibility to hold those broadcasters accountable. The sad reality is that we wouldn't be here unless it was "news" that some broadcasters are doing what all broadcasters ought to be doing as a matter of course. "
Continuing the theme she went on," Let me state the problem as clearly and simply as I can. Broadcasters have entered into a deal with the public. Broadcasters receive free and exclusive use of a valuable chunk of public property - the spectrum. In exchange, broadcasters agree to serve the 'public interest.'
"The minute a broadcaster wants out of that deal, they can turn in their spectrum and we'll find someone else to take it."
Tristani continued ," some broadcasters say that they're just giving people what they want. They say that they would provide more political coverage, but that no one watches it. Let me respond. First, it misses the point. As I said earlier, broadcasters are not like other businesses. They have agreed to serve not just their private interest, but to serve the public interest. Those interests are not the same."
" There are certain public goods that can't be measured by simply adding up the choices of private individuals. As Professor Cass Sunstein has pointed out, political discourse is one of those public goods. Once one person knows something, the benefits of that knowledge will probably accrue to others, and to society as a whole, because the electorate will make better decisions."
" That's where the public interest standard comes in - to capture those public benefits that a broadcaster would not capture if it were allowed to simply pursue its own economic self-interest."
Although her speech was in the main concentrated on television, she pointed out that broadcasters overall were doing very nicely out of the election process, standing to make around USD 600 million from it , also noting that in the recent U.S. Senate race in New Jersey, viewers were ten times more likely to see a campaign ad than a campaign story on the local news.
Tristani concluded, " Sometimes we recognize that there are market failures that require government intervention. In 1990, for instance, Congress recognized that the marketplace was not satisfying our need for quality children's programming, and passed the Children's Television Act. We may be reaching the same place regarding political discourse. If the marketplace is not working, it may be time for government to step in. . After all, we are not talking about soda pop or toaster-ovens. We are talking about our democracy."
FCC News release
June 22, 2000: The US Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), has awarded its 2000 RTNDA/Unity awards for radio to WMNF-FM Tampa , Florida and Public Radio International.
The awards were developed by RTNDA and Unity Journalists of Color as part of a commitment to to newsroom diversity through "developing editorial staff and content to reflect the changing face of the US."
WMNF won its award for White Protestant Nation , part of a project When Terrorism won in America which documents racial violence in the US since the abolition of slavery and its effects on society.
Public Radio International won its award for the Global Hits segment of "The World", co-produced with BBC World Service and WGBH in Boston.
This programme gives listeners a chance to learn about people in various regions of the world through their popular music.
The awards, together with two associated TV awards, will be presented at RTNDA's annual conference in Minneapolis in September.
At its last quarterly meeting, the RTNDA Board fo Directors passed a resolution calling for broadcasters to be pro-active in recruiting, training and promoting minorities in news management roles.
June 22, 2000: The BBC's annual report and accounts just issues show a strong performance during a difficult year according to the Board of Governors.
Chairman Sir Christopher Bland stressing that the Corporation needs to provide a "distinctive public service alternative" in a world of ever increasing choice.
Licence fee revenue for the year was £2,285 million and commercial exploitation of programmes generated £513.8 million.
Among the radio highlights singled out were the winning of 17 of 24 Sony awards (RNW May 4), the completion of "The Century Speaks " radio project (RNW May 18) and a record audience for BBC World Service of 151 million listeners per week.
World Service can now be received on FM in 110 capital cities although short wave still accounts for some 70% of the audience.
There's also been significant development of the World Service web site which now has online audio in 32 languages and is getting nearly 8 million page impressions a month.
Domestic radio services also performed well with an overall audience share of 51 per cent, reaching more people, for more time, than commercial radio.
One award not mentioned in the report is that of a "blue" - or rather " green" plaque to a radio programme. Blue plaques on buildings with distinguished former inhabitants have long been a feature in London but the award to Gardener's Question Time, a BBC radio programme since 1947 , is a first.
BBC Annual Report:
World Service section;
June 22, 2000: US AMFM Radio Networks President David Kantor has said he will leave the organisation when the Clear Channel merger is completed although he may still work as a consultant for them.
The future of the combined organisation still remains unclear although it seems likely that Premiere and AMFM Networks will be combined.
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June 21, 2000: In the latest round of the battle between UK TalkSport and the BBC over Euro 2000 soccer rights, High Court judge Mr Justice Blackburne has refused to grant the BBC an injunction that would stop talkSport from dubbing sound-effects from other football matches to provide a "live ambience" to its commentaries.
These are coming from an Amsterdam studio where the commentary team is reporting on Euro 2000 games watched on television.
Although he found that the dubbing was deceptive, the judge ruled that the BBC had not shown that it had "goodwill" value in its live coverage which it was losing.
The BBC has sought leave to appeal but has not issued any formal news release about the decision as it did when it won an earlier round (RNW June 14).
TalkSport has been gloating about the decision on its website. Kelvin MacKenzie, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Wireless Group, which owns talkSPORT, said: "This court judgement shows the BBC that the alternative manner in which talkSPORT is covering the Euro 2000 tournament is perfectly legal and proper and vindicates the approach that we have taken to serve our listeners.
If the judgement is ultimately upheld there may be serious financial implications for sports rights holders as stations are unlikely to bid high when competitors can effectively compete without holding any rights at all.
June 21, 2000: Latest Australian ratings have produced a shock for Alan Jones at Sydney 2UE where, although still top in the breakfast shows, his show lost audience share heavily as he went down from 18.2% to 15.4% with 2-Day FM closing up the gap with a 16% share. In third place Triple-M had 15.9%.
Other rating toppers were Triple-M's Stuart Cranmey in the mornings, Triple M's Brendan Jones in the afternoons, 2-Day's Keith Williams at \drive time and 2UE's Pru MacSween at nights.
At the weekends, 2UE's sports team under Ray Hadley remained ahead of 2GB and ABC 702.
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