John Aravosis - founder StopDrLaura web site; Andre Arthur - Canadian (Quebec) morning host; Emanuel S. Athanas - former Voice of America broadcaster under nameManos Rhodios ( deceased); Edward G. Atsinger III -(2) -President and CEO,Salem Communications, US; Mathew Bannister- former BBC Director of radio; Peter Barnard - UK Times radio columnist; Steve Barnett - Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster and UK Observer columnist: Oliver Barry - former chief executive of Century Communications Ireland (collapsed 1991); Art Bell - US overnight radio host (retired and returned); Jonathon Brandmeier - former midday host WCKG, Chicago (contract now ended); John Brier - president,COO, and founder of BroadcastAmerica.com; Michael Carroll - director of Solas AM religious radio group and former director of radio at Irish state broadcaster RTÉ; Jimmy de Castro- former AMFM Inc CEO and radio group President, now CEO of Ultimate Inc: Paul Davies - Operations Director, Capital Radio plc,UK; Paul Donovan- (5) -U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Chris Evans - British broadcaster and radio mogul; Robert Feder -(4)- Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Kenneth A. Ford - vice chairman, Pacifica Foundation, US; Eddie Fritts -(2) - President and Chief Executive Officer, US National Association of Broadcasters; Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth -(2)- Commissioner, US Federal Communications Commission; Dan Gallagher- Toronto radio host (deceased); Leslie Gold - "The Radio Chick" -WNEW-FM, New York, host; Amy Goodman - (2) -host of the US Pacifica Network's daily newsmagazine Democracy Now!; Senator Rod Grams -Republican, Minnesota(introduced bill to limit Low Power FM Bill into Senate); Al Gross - citizen's band radio pioneer and inventor of the walkie-talkie radio, the wireless pager and the cordless telephone (deceased); Tony Hall - BBC Director of News(moving on); Phil Harding - former editor of BBC Radio 4 Today programme and director designate of BBC World Service English networks and news; Richard Hooper-chairman UK Radio Authority; Valerie Van Isler - former general manager,Pacifica Corporation New York station,WBAI-FM(fired; Bob Jobbins - BBC World Service director of English networks and news (departing); Dean Johnson- Boston Herald writer; Steve Johnson - Chicago Tribune writer; Alan Jones -Sydney 2UE breakfast host; Tim Jones- Chicago Tribune media writer; David Kaplan -WGN-Chicago radio sports host; Mel Karmazin - Viacom President & Chairman and CEO Infinity Broadcasting (US); William E. Kennard -(8) former Chairman US Federal Communications Commission (Resigned as of 2001-01-19); Kraig T. Kitchin - president and chief operating officer of Premiere Radio Networks, US; Alex Langer -President, Langer Broadcasting, US; Alex Lauchlan - Chief Executive Officer, BroadcastAmerica.com; John Laws - Sydney 2UE morning host; Corey Layton -formerly "Captain Turntable" on Australian Radio Network's TT-FM, joining DMG-Radio Australia new Sydney FM station: Utrice Leid -(2) - producer and now acting general manager,Pacifica Corporation New York station,WBAI-FM; G. Gordon Liddy - US radio host and convicted Watergate conspirator;Rush Limbaugh - Conservative US talk-show host; Adam Lindemann - chairman, Mega Communications,US; Larry Lujack - Chicago veteran disc jockey; John McCain- Republican Senator for Arizona; Mike Maguire - breakfast co-host, Century FM, UK: David Margolese - chairman and Chief Executive Office,Sirius Satellite Radio; Andy Moes - Boston radio hsot (deceased); Erich "Mancow" Muller - U.S. '"shock-jock"; Susan Ness- US Federal Communications Commissioner; Eli Noam - director of Columbia University's Institute for Tele-Information;Kenneth J. O'Keefe - President and Chief Operating Office(designate) of Clear Channel Communications; Henry Owens - programme director, Virgin Radio, UK; Mike Parry - programme director and breakast co-host, TalkSport, UK: Michael Powell -(4)- chairman, US Federal Communications Commission; Thomas Prag - former Managing Director Moray Firth Radio and now member of UK Radio Authority: John Rea - BBC head of religion and ethics(retiring early; Mimi Rosenberg - host of "Building Bridges" on Pacifica New York station WBAI-FM; Greg Ruggiero -US appellant claiming rules to bar former private operators from applying for LPFM licences is anti-constitutional: Chuck Schaden -(2)- host of "Those Were the Days" old-time radio showcase in Chicago: Dr Laura Schlessinger- Conservative U.S. talk show host; Andrew Schwartzman -executive director of theUS Media Access Project public interest law firm; Mike Siegel -former weekday overnight host of "Coast to Coast AM, US"; John Singleton -- owner MacQuarie network (owns Sydney 2GB ); James Stafford - co-founder of Century Radio(Ireland); Tony Stoller - chief executive, UK Radio Authority; Linda Eder Jamieson Storrow - former New York radio host (deceased); Gloria Tristani - Commissioner, US FCC; Andria Vidler - managing director, Capital Radio, London: Richard E. (Dick) Wiley -(2) -lawyer, former chairman US Federal Communications Commission, and advisor on communications to incoming US administration: Lawrence R. Wilson - founder, Chairman, President and CEO, Citadel Communications (US):Eric Zorn -Chicago Tribune columnist;
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once
January 2001 Archive
Prime Radio Stations
2001-01-22: A collection of highlights rather than any theme in the columns this week, partly because so many of them were reviews of particular programmes rather than wider thoughts; indeed one might say mere reviews for far too many.
To take a topical column first, that from Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune deals with the future for US talk radio in the form of Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh may currently be the highest paid man in US radio but as Zorn asks, "What will Rush Limbaugh say for three hours a day, five days a week when his fellow conservatives hold the White House and have majority control of both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court?"
He partly answers from Limbaugh's own comment in December when he said on his show, "Every time we get a new president or anytime the House of Representatives changes, there's a story about `What's Limbaugh going to talk about now?' I would think that I have demonstrated that my success does not depend on who wins elections. I'm now into my 13th year, and yet the same story gets written time and time again."
Zorn took the trouble to listen and take transcripts of some of Limbaugh's gems.
One in January, which RNW suspects President Bush already agreed with, whatever the open statements, was, "This is about winning and losing. It's about defeat and victory."
"It's not about getting along, it's not about bipartisanship at all. It's about prevailing."
The same theme prevailed in other comments such as, "[Bush] won 55.6 percent of the non-African-American vote. An 11-point-plus landslide. ... What does Bush owe people who didn't vote for him? ... It cannot be said that Bush owes these people anything in the political sense. ... You take that [black] vote out of there, George W. Bush has one hell of a mandate, does he not?"
Needless to say, Limbaugh was not exactly complimentary about President Clinton in any way, calling him a "hick," a "dodo bird" and "white trash," and adding, "Bill Clinton in jail is the only way, folks, that we as a culture, country and society are not going to be subjected to whatever it is he thinks or does for the rest of his life."
Zorn has posted a list of transcripts on his web site (link from Tribune article -see below).
He concludes by being as sharp about Limbaugh as the latter is about others.
"You can draw your own conclusions," writes Zorn, "about whether or not Limbaugh playing defence--wielding his blustery arrogance and bottomless paranoia against those who are no longer in power--sounds like a marginal kook whose irresponsibly poisonous, demonising rhetoric puts him well out of the American mainstream."
"Read his defence of name calling ("it aids communication"), why he thinks advocates for the homeless and the hungry are his enemy, and why Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., if he were alive today, would be a big fan of Limbaugh in Limbaugh's opinion."
"If you're like me, you'll come away asking not what will Rush Limbaugh say now, but what won't he say?"
On a more positive and sparkling note, back to a stalwart, Paul Donovan of the UK Sunday Times.
His column, which concerns a 15-minute musical composition which was inspired by and whose title, Little Star Began to Sing, has been taken directly from a BBC radio programme.
The phrase, from BBC correspondent William Horsley, is memorable as is the opening to Donovan's column, "Radio waves - the phenomenon, not this column - come from red dwarves and crab nebulae and stars so distant they have long gone cold by the time their transmissions reach Earth."
"They bombard us constantly. Some of them are gathered by the dishes of radio telescopes and transformed by sensitive antennae into squeaks and bleeps."
"One such telescope in Latvia, 150ft high and nicknamed Little Star, was emitting these sounds on the day it was visited last May by William Horsley of the BBC."
"The former Bonn correspondent and Tokyo bureau chief was struck by the haunting metallic notes pulsating through the woods. "Little Star began to sing," was how he described the moment in a dispatch for the long-running From Our Own Correspondent."
Donovan goes on to tell how the programme was hear by composer Michael Omer, who said, "I was struck by this particular piece because of the wonderful prose, with this man talking about these strange harmonics echoing through the pine forest."
"At the time, I was trying to write something for the Guildhall, where I teach composition, and I was sufficiently inspired by what I had heard to find out William Horsley's e-mail address from the BBC and get in touch with him."
"He sent me an audio sample of what he had recorded, which of course had not been played on his dispatch, and I noticed that essentially it consisted of two notes about a tone apart. I used this to score for the violins."
The composition gets its world premiere next week; we think the story behind it could make a pretty good radio programme of its own. And finally, to use a hackneyed phrase, to a column by Donovan's Sunday Times colleague, Declan Burke, who again has a strong intro' to his column, "Some programmes are built to last, others are created as disposable entertainment, and then there are those that are simply forgettable."
A fairly sharp summary and Burke goes on to comment on various programmes (link below).
Burke UK Sunday Times:
Donovan UK Sunday Times:
Zorn Chicago Tribune:
For extra transcripts click on "Extra Info" at chicagotribune.com/go/zorn
2001-01-22: A postscript to the campaign against US radio host Dr Laura Schlessinger by groups opposed to her comments on gays and lesbians.
The organisers of the StopDrLaura.com site have now taken it down on the basis that they have achieved their aims since the Dr. Laura TV show is now looking as if it will not survive, having already been relegated to middle-of-the-night slots by the main TV stations who still air it.
The site just does not exist now but before it was folded, a farewell message from one of its founders, John Aravosis, quipped that, "Looking back on it, StopDrLaura.com may be one of the only dot-com success stories of the year 2000."
Previous Dr Laura:
2001-01-21: Licence news this week is centred on the UK and Canada, although in the US there was a last minute flurry of activity as outgoing Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman William E. Kennard tidied up, appointed members of the Consumer/Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee and said formal thanks as he left.
Radio did not feature specifically and there was nothing on the radio front in Ireland although in Australia the Australian Broadcasting Authority did release its figures for the amounts collected from broadcasting licence fees in 2000.
The fees are related to station revenues and for TV and radio combined totalled Aus $222.4 million, a small increase on 1999's Aus $222.1million; for radio the figures were $14.5M from 240 commercial radio services compared with $12.7M from 226 services in 1999.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a developmental English-language FM community radio programming undertaking at Lillooet in British Colombia. The station will focus on local news and current affairs and will also provide an emergency radio service in the area. Its output will also offer approximately 7 hours of programming in St'at'imc, the local Aboriginal language. The Commission has also renewed a large number of ethnic station licences including those of CHMB and CJVB Vancouver, the latter having to provide programming directed to a minimum of 23 cultural groups in a minimum of 23 different languages; of CHKT, CIRV-FM and CHIN-FM Toronto, the latter being refused a request to reduce the to decrease the number of cultural groups to which programs are directed from 23 to 15, and the number of different languages from 20 to 12; of CFMB Montréal; and of CIAO Brampton and CJMR Oakville, both in Ontario.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has received three applications for the North-West regional digital multiplex licence.
They were from the Digital Radio Group Ltd (DRg) whose main shareholders include The Wireless Group plc, GWR Group, Emap Digital Radio Ltd. and SMG plc; MXR Ltd whose main shareholders include Chrysalis Group plc, Capital Radio plc, Guardian Media Group plc, Jazz FM plc and UBC Digital Ltd.; and North West Digital Radio Ltd. (NWDR) whose main shareholders include Forever Broadcasting Digital Radio Ltd., Saga Regional Digital Radio Ltd., and SCORE Digital Ltd. (Scottish Radio Holdings plc.
All propose news, talk and music services and in addition DRg is proposing gay and young Asian channels in 10 planned channels; MXR is proposing a children's service in its nine planned channels and NWDR is proposing a 50 plus service within its nine planned channels.
In addition, the Authority has advertised the local digital multiplex licence for Ayr in Scotland.
The Authority has also re-awarded the St Albans and Watford Licence to the existing licence holder, St. Albans & Watford Broadcasting Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of GWR Group plc, broadcasting as Mercury 96.6 FM.
There were no other applicants for the licence, which runs for 8 years from October 2002.
The Authority also has announced the appointement of a new member who will have special responsibility for Scotland.
He is Thomas Prag, who began his career with the BBC but then moved to commercial radio to start up Moray Firth Radio, which is now owned by Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH).
He was Moray's managing director until last October when he became chairman and left his former post to develop a new consultancy and training career.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-01-21: US radio host and convicted Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy has been off the air during the past week because he's been dealing with another spat with the law.
In this case it's because of comments he made at James Madison University in 1996 and another on a Mediterranean cruise in 1997 saying that the break-in at the Watergate Complex during the Nixon presidency was about call girls.
Liddye has said that he now believed the burglars were searching for photos of scantily clad women in an attempt to conceal the fact that then White House Counsel John Dean's then-girlfriend was working for a prostitution ring run from Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters.
He also said that photographs of the call girls were kept in the desk of Ida Maxwell "Maxie" Wells, a former secretary at the DNC.
Maxwell is suing Liddy in a Baltimore Court for $5 million for defamation.
Her case was at first thrown out by the Baltimore judge who will now hear it.
It was re-instated by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999.
At the centre of Liddy's theory, also espoused by two books - "Silent Coup" and "Secret Agenda" is the suggestion that then White House counsel John Dean orchestrated the break-in to avert an embarrassing scandal by removing a compromising photograph of his girlfriend - Maureen Biner, now his wife - from a pile of photographs used as a brochure by Democrats for the alleged prostitution ring.
Dean has already settled for an undisclosed amount a $150 million libel lawsuit he had brought against St. Martin's Press, the publisher of "Silent Coup."
Liddy's sources were the books and an interview he conducted with Phillip Mackin Bailley, a disbarred lawyer. Last year U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz determined that Bailley was the sole source of the prostitution ring theory and Liddy has acknowledged that he was aware Bailley had a history of mental illness.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court has set ground rules that could favour Wells, most notable that she is not a public figure, a ruling that overturns a previous decision by Motz that she involuntarily became a public figure because of her work at the DNC and the coverage of Watergate.
This means that she only has to prove Liddy negligent to win a claim for compensatory damages, for which she is seeking $2 million.
For punitive damages to apply she will have to prove malice by Liddy.
Wells also benefits from a ruling that Virginia defamation laws will apply to the Madison University comments and USA federal law concerning those made on the cruise ship: Motz had previously ruled that, because Wells lived in Louisiana, that state's less restrictive laws would apply.
In her testimony to the court on Thursday, Wells said Liddy's speeches damaged her reputation and may have ruined her hopes of becoming a university professor.
She said depression caused by the remarks and the time spent working on her lawsuit had delayed completion of her doctorate in English literature and that the taint on her reputation may have kept her from getting a university post.
She also testified that John Dean's attorneys suggested that she sue Liddy for defamation.
She said she resisted at first but then felt compelled to file the lawsuit in hopes of stopping Liddy from mentioning her name in connection with the prostitution theory.
Wells said she had not sued others who had espoused the prostitution theory because they did not link her directly to the allegations as Liddy had.
Washington Post pre-trial report:
Washington Post court report:
2001-01-20: The UK Guardian reports that British DJ Chris Evans' "infamous on-air tirades against his BBC bosses and celebrities" when he was hosting the BBC's Radio 1 breakfast show have been wiped.
It says their absence was found following a BBC TV documentary about his former Radio 1 boss, Matthew Bannister. Among the comments were descriptions of Bannister as "the Fat Controller" and attacks on other presenters and celebrities and their shows given descriptions such as "a pile of poo" and " a nightmare" as well as details of his rows with the corporation and Bannister.
UK Guardian report:
2001-01-20: Leading Australian commercial radio chain Austereo is being valued at around Aus$1 billion under plans by Village Roadshow, which absorbed it four years ago, to re-list it and offer shares under a limited public offer.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Village Roadshow could raise up to Aus$420 million from the sale of 43.75% of Austereo and that much of the money will be used towards repaying some of the company's debt of around $730 million.
It quoted Village Roadshow chairman John Kirby as saying, "At this stage our focus is on ensuring our debt is reduced and that the company has greater financial flexibility for the future."
The value being put on the company is around twice its value when it was delisted; a retail offer opens on February 5 and Austereo is expected to relist on March 5.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001-01-20: The US Federal Communications Commission has fined Clear Channel-owned WZEE-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, $7000 for playing an unexpurgated version of rapper Eminem's song "The Real Slim Shady.''
The decision, followed a complaint about the playing of the song in mid afternoon on August 24.
It came under a US law which provides criminal penalties for anyone who "utters any obscene, indecent or profane language by means of radio communication."
The FCC said that it felt "The Real Slim Shady contains indecent material and that the licensee's broadcast thereof was willful, not inadvertent."
Clear Channel had said that it had played the version, the only unedited one of several on a CD, by mistake.
It said a part-time disc jockey "cued up the edited version but due to static electricity, the CD player skipped to the unedited version and it was aired."
It also agued that the version involved only "the isolated use of offensive words, but does not contain language that clearly and inescapably describes sexual or excretory activities and organs in patently offensive terms" and did not come within the definition of broadcast indecency.
The FCC, whose website contains a transcript of the version aired, said it contained "unmistakable offensive sexual references" and that "the sexual references in conjunction with the sexual expletives appear designed to pander and shock."
It added that it was inappropriate for airing at a time when children might be listening and said that the station, which knew there were several versions on the CD "did not take sufficient care to ensure that the unedited version would not be played."
"We thus believe," said the ruling, " that the airing of the unedited version of the song, however unintentional, was still willful."
Previous Clear Channel:
FCC Notice of Liability (43kb Acrobat PDF file) .
2001-01-19: Australian radio group, Austereo, is to lodge its prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and release details today of its Aus$500 million listing according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Austereo, which owns Fox-FM, MMM-FM and 12 other metropolitan FM licences, reported a profit of some Aus$65 million last year.
The paper says that parent group Village Roadshow is expected to keep just under half of Austereo's equity.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001-01-19: The BBC has claimed widespread support for its digital plans, which include the introduction of five new digital radio channels. (RNW Sept 29)
In response to a widespread campaign some 6500 people and organisations commented on the plans for digital radio and television and another 1000 people were interviewed by independent researchers BMRB to gain a nationally representative sample.
The key findings showed that 70 per cent though the planned new channels would be a valuable addition and support for specific proposals ranged from around 45% to more than 80%.
The most support came for a speech-based service covering comedy, drama and stories including programming for adults and children with 78% of respondents in favour and 82% in the BMRB survey.
There was the same strong report in the BMRB survey for a popular music-based station although of the BBC's own respondents overall support was only 58%
Plans for a sports-based service gained 71% support in the BMRB survey and 54% of the BBC's respondents.
Of the ethnic-minority services suggested, 49% of all respondents, 66% in the BMRB survey, supported the idea of a station covering black music, news and speech aimed at a young audience; this support rose to 71% among under 25s and 84% among respondents of Afro-Caribbean ethnic origin.
There was similar support --45% of all respondents, 66% in the BMRB survey - for the expansion of the locally based BBC Asian Network into a UK-wide music and speech based service; this rose to 80% amongst Asian respondents.
Also on the digital radio front, the UK Financial Times reports that Derby County Football Club is close to agreeing a 50-50 joint venture with Radio First, the AIM -quoted (Alternative Investment Market) media company, to launch a digital radio station for the east Midlands.
The deal would be the fourth such deal if it comes to fruition as Radio First already has deals with Chelsea, Southampton, and Aston Villa. (RNW March 13)
And in London, the paper reports on the work of the Digital Radio Development Bureau (See RNW Nov 9), a joint venture between commercial companies and the BBC, to popularise digital radio.
By the end of the year the London area will have around 35 digital channels up and running, greater than in any other city.
The development has been spurred on by a regulatory policy of rolling over an operator's analogue licence automatically if it owns a corresponding digital licence.
This has offset the low number of digital listeners. The paper estimates that, although prices of digital receivers have fallen from around £1000 to around £300 ($1500 down to around $450) only around 30,000 sets have been sold so far.
However it estimates that take-up will increase as technological developments cut receiver prices further and also notes that Ford has agreed to install digital radios as standard in its new cars.(See RNW Oct 18)
Previous Radio First:
BBC News release:
Financial Times site: .
2001-01-19: Another acquisition for US giant Clear Channel, which is to spend $10 million for religious station WKOX-AM in Framingham, the last remaining station of Fairbanks Communications.
The deal includes a Construction Permit allowing a directional signal upgrade from 10,000 daytime and 1000 watts nights to 50,000 watts day and night.
Clear Channel's Radio Group President Kenneth O'Keefe told the Boston Herald that they didn't yet know what they were going to do with the station after the deal closes but speculation is that its current Christian programming will probably be replaced by a talk format.
O'Keefe also added that Clear Channel, which already owns WXKS-AN and FM and WJMN-FM, may yet buy more stations in the Boston area.
"In the long run, our plan is to continue to build our cluster (in Boston), and we still have a long way to go,'' he said.
In other US deals, Pamal Broadcasting is spending $4 million to buy WWLO-AM and WTMG-FM in Gainesville-Ocala, Florida, from Connecticut Broadcasting Media; it already has two AMs and three FMs in the market.
And in Wisconsin, the Shockley family are selling Schockley Communications in a tax-beneficial deal with Northern Communications Acquisition Corp, which will then sell the assets.
The TV stations involved are already spoken for but for the moment the Shockley's will continue to oversee the six radio stations involved in the Duluth, Minnesota-Superior, Wisconsin, market.
And in another complicated deal, Radio 1 Inc and Emmis are involved in a planned Indianapolis deal under which Radio One will buy the intellectual property of Urban AC format WTLC-FM and move the calls and format to the frequency currently used by Urban Oldies WBKS-FM.
Radio One will also buy Gospel format WTLC-AM to end up with WTLC FM and AM, WHHH-FM, and Smooth Jazz WYJZ-FM.
Emmis has not said what it is to do with the former WTLC frequency which it retains.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Radio One Inc:
Boston Herald :
2001-01-18: A US Federal Court has ruled that latest Federal Communications Authority (FCC) equality of employment opportunity rules, aimed at increasing job opportunities for women and minorities in broadcasting, are unconstitutional.
The FCC rules required broadcasters to make special efforts to seek out minority job applicants, even if they were not hired.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which found them unconstitutional, had already ruled in 1998 that former FCC rules requiring the hiring of minorities constituted an unconstitutional "race-based classification."
The case was brought by all 50 state broadcasting associations on the grounds that the rules created a large reporting burden and that they violated the Fifth Amendment by showing preference towards women and minorities.
The court ruled that there was no proof on the first count, but the second does violate the US Constitution.
The finding said "We hold that the rule does put official pressure upon broadcasters to recruit minority candidates, thus creating a race-based classification that is not narrowly tailored to support a compelling governmental interest and is therefore unconstitutional."
The ruling came as a US Commerce Department report showed that minority ownership of TV stations is at its lowest level for a decade although there has been a slight increase in the number of radio stations which are minority owned.
In all minorities owned 449 radio and TV stations, around 4% of the US total, but of these 426 were radio stations, mostly less profitable AM stations and mostly in the hands of single-station owners.
The report by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration supported the idea of re-introducing tax breaks for broadcasters who sell to minorities and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, (R-Arizona) has said he plans to introduce a bill to do this.
In a statement, US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO Eddie Fritts said they realised there was room for improvement.
He added, "That is why NAB has launched several initiatives cited by NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) Director Greg Rohde today to increase management and ownership opportunities for minorities in radio and television. "
"NAB also strongly endorses Congressional passage of legislation that would reinstate the minority tax certificate program, which proved extremely effective in attracting more minorities into the ownership ranks of broadcasting."
"Broadcasters will continue to implement creative initiatives to increase opportunity for minorities and women in the business."
Reacting to the court decision, outgoing FCC chairman, William E Kennard, said, "Today's decision is a defeat for diversity."
"At a time when many Americans are outraged at the lack of minorities in prime time and in the boardrooms of America, the broadcasters have once again used the courts to strike down even a modest outreach effort."
His fellow Democrat and commissioner Gloria Tristani said, "Today's rejection of the FCC's EEO rules will make it even more difficult to achieve a broadcast industry that reflects America's rich cultural diversity."
"I am deeply saddened that the court rejected the rules in their entirety, even those parts deemed constitutional. The court's interpretation of these rules perpetuates a disheartening reality that the federal government will not ensure fair recruitment policies in the broadcast industry."
FCC web site:
NAB web site:
NTIA web site:
2001-01-18: Hoax calls concerning soccer to and from radio stations in the UK have highlighted local rivalries and also seem to have fooled the new England coach.
Sven Goran Eriksson was telephoned at his home in Italy by impressionist Mike Maguire, who co-presents Century FM's breakfast show. Pretending to be Kevin Keegan, the former England coach, he managed to get comment about the English team and an invitation to lunch.
Maguire has around 75 voices in his repertoire and told the UK Independent that h gets, a kick out of doing Sir Alex Ferguson, but at the moment I love my Keegan."
Also in the Manchester area, Manchester United fans have been making hoax calls about Manchester City Manager Joe Royle.
They have called pretending to be City fans and then poked fun at the club.
UK Independent report:
2001-01-18: As Americans went fully back to work, Internet listening increased by 46% last week compared to the first week of the year according to the latest Internet audio ratings from Measurecast.
For the top five ranked stations Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) was up by 38%.
The ratings also showed WABC-AM holding on to its top spot, as did all the top five although third ranked Internet-only broadcaster Radio Margaritaville saw its TTSL increase the most, by 57 percent over the previous week.
In all Measurecast now reports on nearly 500 stations and its analysis shows nearly a quarter of listeners from outside the US, primarily from Canada, the UK and Japan.
The top five with previous week's TTSL and CP (an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week) in brackets where applicable were:
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 73,183 (51,677); CP 12,245 (10,672) - position unchanged.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 58,002 (49,705); CP15,332 (15,966) - position unchanged.
3). Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL 38,759 (24,690); CP 6,132 (4,823) - position unchanged.
4): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL37,415 (24,479); CP3,004 (2,532) - position unchanged.
5): Talk Radio KSFO-FM (San Francisco) TTSL 33,678 (23,990); CP6,137 (5,086) - position unchanged.
Previous Measurecast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-01-17: A big buy in US radio this time. Forstmann Little & Co. is to buy Citadel Communications, the sixth largest US radio broadcaster, in a $2 billion deal; it is to pay $26 a share in cash for all Citadel's outstanding shares.
Citadel's share price has varied in the past year between a low of $8 earlier this month and a peak of nearly $59 at the start of 2000.
The deal puts a 49% premium on Citadel's Friday closing price of $17.50 and is being financed by $1.5 billion of Forstmann Little's own capital and $500 million of bank financing.
Citadel will retain its management team headed by founder, Chairman, President and CEO Lawrence R. Wilson and Forstmann Little's senior partner Theodore J. Forstmann said in a statement, "Citadel Communications stands out as a leader in the radio broadcasting industry, with a great management team and excellent execution."
"Larry Wilson has grown the Company to over 200 stations today and has done an outstanding job of positioning Citadel for future growth based on a solid foundation of a well-managed and diversified portfolio of U.S. radio stations."
"When we search for companies to acquire," Forstmann continued, "we look for market leadership, strong growth potential and a terrific management team."
"Citadel combines all those qualities with a long-term perspective which aligns itself ideally with our investment strategy."
The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
In another big deal, Bonneville is having less luck in Chicago where its $165 million purchase of classical station WNIB (RNW Dec 1), due for completion at the beginning of February, has been delayed by the filing to the Federal Communications Commission of an objection supporting the station's classical music format.
In a letter to the commission, James J. Zarembski Jr. said the transaction should not be approved because Bonneville intends to drop classical music from WNIB but acknowledged that the FCC does not deal with issues involving program formats.
Lawyers for WNIB have described the complaint as "essentially frivolous from the FCC's standpoint," but the deal has still been held up pending a routine investigation.
In Boston, Salem Communications, which already owns WEZE-AM, is to pay Carter Broadcasting $11 million for religious station WROL-AM.
It is expected to retain the current format.
Finally in Texas, Clear Channel has said it is negotiating to buy Oldies station KJOI-AM (1190) from Radio One Inc and is considering changing its format to syndicated Sports-Talk.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Radio One Inc.:
Citadel web site (links to news release):
Salem web site (links to news release)
2001-01-17: A look, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, at the career and influence of Richard E. (Dick) Wiley, who was this month appointed as one of the members of an committee to advise the Republican transition team on communications and also about potential Federal Communication Commission (FCC) nominees (RNW Jan 12).
Wiley, a former FCC chairman and head of the communications law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding, is said by the paper to be referred to as the "sixth commissioner" to the five-member FCC.
Eli Noam, director of Columbia University's Institute for Tele-Information in New York is quoted as saying, "The way in which he has made himself, as well as his law firm, key players in U.S. telecommunications policy is truly remarkable." "Administrations come and go, but Dick Wiley stays."
Wiley himself, says the paper, said in an interview that his role in the Bush transition process was merely advisory and that in his discussions with Bush campaign lawyer Kevin Martin--himself a former member of Wiley's law firm--he only gave background input about the FCC and didn't make personal recommendations.
He also said of suggestions that his firm's client list took it into likely areas where there was a potential conflict of interest that he was very scrupulous about disclosing such conflicts.
However, even accepting this, Andrew Schwartzman, executive director of the Media Access Project public interest law firm, said the situation was "troubling."
Wiley is very careful about obtaining his clients' consent to accept representation with an understanding that his firm has clients" with other interests, said Schwartzman.
"He's not pushing the envelope as far as many others clearly do. Nevertheless, it is troubling."
Rivals have also commented that his hiring of former FCC officials over the years and his encouragement of junior associates to do stints at the FCC have given him an incestuous advantage when he deals with the agency but Wiley says the practice is simply the reality of life in Washington.
"It's just natural that young people who work here and see what we have done want to go over to the FCC," said Wiley.
"You do have to understand the technology. You also have to know the process inside the commission. And that is one of the things that helped me."
"Having been over there, I know how the decision-making process works."
Los Angeles Times report:
2001-01-16: Troubled BroadcastAmerica.com, the audio streaming site that at its peak streamed some 700 radio and 70 TV stations, has received a little comfort from a US Federal Court in Portland, Maine, its home base.
Judge James B. Haines Jr. gave tentative approval to a plan proposed by the company to auction it off in an attempt to pay creditors who are owed more than $4 million.
They include RealNetworks, MCI and Sprint.
Under the plan, sealed bids have to be submitted by the end of this month and the company will then select the winners and present them to the court on February 8.
BroadcastAmerica's lawyer, Roger A. Clement Jr. told the Portland Press Herald that he was "cautiously optimistic" that enough would be raised to pay the creditors, adding, "These are extremely valuable assets. This was the largest Internet broadcaster in the world and it's a very well-known company."
"A tremendous amount of money and effort went into promoting the BroadcastAmerica brand."
If the amount bid is less than $1 million, BroadcastAmerica lender and business partner, BA Funding will take over the streaming contracts but forego its claims on tangible assets such as furniture and equipment.
BA Funding, which is affiliated to SurferNETWORK.com, had promised $1million to BroadcastAmerica in November (RNW Nov 9) in a deal which the latter hoped would save their company and under which Surfer would have taken a 10% stake in BroadcastAmerica.
That deal went sour and BA Funding tried to foreclose on all BroadcastAmerica's assets.
RNW note: BroadcastAmerica's site is now back up but makes no mention of the company's problems and its Investment link just says that it is a private company.
Elsewhere in the Internet streaming business, business remains troubled with the latest cutbacks, including staff cuts, coming from targeted audio ad insertion technology provider and networker Hiwire.
Portland Press Herald report:
2001-01-16: The boom in talk radio, which the US election helped stimulate, has not only been well illustrated in Internet ratings that we have already noted but also in the Arbitron fall ratings.
They could have saved Boston talk station WTKK-FM according to the Boston Herald.
The station had its highest-ever ratings during the period and nearly doubled its audience share in the 25-54 demographic where it had a 2.1% share, triple that of a year ago and up from a 1.2% share in the summer ratings.
By comparison top placed news/talk rival WBZ-AM increased its share from 4.0% in the summer to 4.7% and the picture was similar elsewhere with News and Talk stations showing strong gains throughout the US.
Boston Herald report:
2001-01-15: An eclectic mix of what we fear are pleas for lost causes from the columnists this week.
They range from pleas for an imaginative approach for the expected format change of WNIB-FM in Chicago through memories of a late and lamented New York Jazz station to consideration of the role of religious broadcasting in the UK.
The plea first, from Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune in a column headed, "To the new owners: please consider switching WNIB to the real classics."
He accepts that classical music, as conventionally known will not remain at the station but re-defines the term as "Bruce Springsteen before "Born to Run," anything by Hank Williams, the Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong sessions for Verve Records." Speculation is, writes Johnson, "that Bonneville, which already owns three stations in town, will turn WNIB's long-coveted frequency into another Top 40 station or (gasp) still one more trying to ride listeners' puzzling wave of nostalgia for 1980s music. "
"Whatever the new format," he continues, " the change looks to be another example of the accelerating homogenisation of radio since federal deregulation of the industry in 1996."
"Giant radio station owners have feverishly snatched up independent operations like WNIB and turned the medium nationwide into a cesspool of sameness, with a handful of generic, tightly defined formats being replicated from city to city."
"News operations have been eliminated or cut to the bone, and the number of ads per hour has risen to levels that would be intolerable were it not for public radio and the ease of button pushing."
Johnson then makes a plea for "the kind of station that, excepting a few underpowered college stations, it most sorely lacks, namely one that people like me would go out of our way to listen to. Call this format-free format "Adult Radio" or just "Good Music." ... Market it to people who recognize that Lyle Lovett and Aimee Mann have a little more to say than the Backstreet Boys."
RNW Note: The idea sounds good to us but we are sceptics and noted in passing another item this time in the New York Times, from Robert Hurwitz is president of Nonesuch Records who recalls lng gone New York jazz radio station WRVR.
"When I came to live here in 1971," he writes, "I thought it was everything a great jazz station should be. But in the next few years the programming was slowly watered down."
"The playlist came to be dominated by commercial jazz recordings, which were known in those days as "fusion" and today might be called crossover jazz."
"Around the time of the station's demise in 1980," he continues, " a prominent New York concert promoter asked me to join a campaign to save it. The jazz community, he told me, was losing an important resource. Mentioning two of the dominant artists on WRVR in its last days, he argued to me: "If a kid hears a John Klemmer or Chuck Mangione record, he might one day get into jazz." That was the standard view of the day: You build an audience through crossover. You start with the easy stuff, and then suddenly one day, like magic, they are going to go for the really great music."
RNW Note: Rather too similar to WNIB in philosophy with the prospects also the same as the tendency does seem to be to go for the less demanding and avoiding anything which involves much intellectual effort or thought.
Which takes us to a stalwart in the form of Paul Donovan who, in the UK Sunday Times, devotes his column to the early retirement this week of John Rea, the BBC's head of religion and ethics.
Donovan considers the retirement does not augur well for his department.
He notes that," Like all his predecessors over the past 75 years, Rea is white, male, Christian and ordained."
Donovan goes on," It remains to be seen if his successor - and the BBC has not yet decided whether to advertise for one, which does not suggest it attaches much importance to the matter - is any of those things. Given the BBC's wish to reflect multicultural Britain, and its promise to boost the numbers of women and ethnic minority members in senior management, the new head of religion and ethics might well be a female Muslim, an Ethiopian Jew, or a Sikh from Southall."
Donovan says the background of the incumbent does not matter but what does is a fight to keep religious programmes at the heart, not just the margins. He also makes a plea that, "He or she should also try to get more serious theo-logy and teleology onto the airwaves, and a much wider range of opinion on topics such as sin, salvation, punishment, normality, retribution and reincarnation," adding, "How curious it is that "diversity" seems to mean only ethnic diversity and never intellectual."
RNW note: We again think this may be a heartfelt plea but a lost cause but would have liked to have seen some acknowledgement that the unbelieving also deserve serious intellectual consideration in this particular frame.
Donovan, UK Sunday Times:
Johnson, Chicago Tribune:
Hurwitz New York Times:
2001-01-15: A number of old-timer's obituaries over the past week.
Taking them alphabetically first was former Voice of America broadcaster Emanuel S. Athanas who has died aged 94. Athanas, who joined the VOA in 1942, used the radio name Manos Rhodios for his own programme, which was broadcast to Greece until his retirement in 1977.
Next a belated note of the December death aged 82 of Canadian-born Al Gross, who pioneered citizen's band radio as well as inventing the walkie-talkie radio, the wireless pager and the cordless telephone.
Unfortunately for his wealth by the time they became popular his patents had long expired.
His walkie-talkie was first built in 1938 and was developed before the Second World War for the US Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The the pager was a 1949 idea and the wireless telephone dated to 1951.
And finally a New York veteran Linda Eder Jamieson Storrow who has died aged 90.
She hosted for 13 years a radio programme marking what she termed "splendid seniors" and which was carried by In Touch Networks for its first six years from 1985 as "What Keeps Us Going" and then for a further seven years as "Looking Forward" by WYNE in New York.
Washington Post Athanas obituary:
Los Angeles Times Gross obituary:
New York Times Storrow obituary:
2001-01-14: Reasonably busy for licence news this week with the main news on the regulators front the announcement by US Federal Communications Commission chairman William E Kennard that he is to step down on January 19 (RNW Jan 13).
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has allocated a new community radio licence for Campbelltown, some 50 km (35 miles) from Sydney, New South Wales, to Macarthur Community Radio Association Incorporated (MCRA).
The service will use the same frequency which MCRA is currently using under a termprary licence.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a number of licence applications and amendments as well as issuing one public notice calling for comment on proposed changes.
In Alberta, the licences of the CKUA Radio Foundation have been renewed to 31 August 2007.
The network, which began as an Edmonton station in 1927, provides alternative radio programming and promotes arts and culture in Alberta through a network of transmitters re-broadcasting the output of CKUA-FM in Edmonton.
The foundation took over the assets of the station from crown corporation, The Alberta Educational Communications Corporation.
It has been broadcasting since then, apart from five weeks in 1997 when the station had to close in March because of lack of funds, and is proposing to increase its transmission hours from 135 hours a week to a full 24 hour schedule.
The CRTC has also approved a licence renewal for CHIM-FM, Timmins, which broadcasts as Celestial Sound in Ontario.
It's also being allowed to add two 1.6-watt transmitters at Iroquois Falls and Kirkland Lake.
An application to be allowed to broadcast advertising was rejected on the grounds that failure to provide information regarding the amount of money it would devote to producing news, weather and sports, as well as its plans to rely only on volunteers to produce such programming called into question its ability to carry out its proposed commitments to local spoken word programming.
On the transmitter front, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been given the go-ahead for a 3000-watt additional transmitter at Corner Brook in Newfoundland; it will be used to transmit the CBC's Radio Two service for CBN-FM St. John's.
The CRTC has also approved a small power increase for Nor-Com Electronics' proposed low-power unprotected FM station at Carrot River, Saskatchewan, from 13 to 15 watts
The CRTC has also issued a public notice calling for comment on plans by the CBC to add a 2600 watt transmitter at Shelburne, Ontario, to re-transmit the Radio One service from CBLA-FM Toronto. It also invites comment on an application to amend the licences of CJAD and CJFM-FM Montréal so that the annual Can$8000 payment they currently make to MusicAction could be directed instead to local Canadian talent development initiatives.
In the UK the Radio Authority has announced that it is to re-advertise two licences following declarations of intent to apply by other interested parties as well as the current licence holders.
Affected are the Thamesmead area of South-East London where Millennium FM Ltd. holds the current licence, and the North London area focusing upon Haringey and surrounding boroughs where the current licence is held by London Greek Radio (1987) Ltd.
In the Thamesmead area there were three declarations of intent and in North London there were two.
Each declaration of intent had been accompanied by a deposit of £20,000, refundable upon receipt of a valid application for the licence when re-advertised. In the US, the most significant action concerns the issue of Low Power FM.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dismissed the National Association of Broadcasters' case against the FCC's low-power radio decision (RNW Jan 1 ).
At the request of the NAB's and FCC, this was sent back to the FCC and the court ordered the FCC to bring its low-power FM rules into compliance with the new law Congress passed at the end of last session.
In another case, which was consolidated with the NAB action, Greg Ruggiero who wanted character qualifications, which would bar anyone who has operated a pirate station from being granted an LPFM licence, to be dropped, the court set a schedule to consider the constitutionality of the policies.
Ruggerio has 12 days to file should the FCC take action to implement the character qualifications in the Act.
The FCC then has 14 days to reply and Ruggiero would then have seven days to reply to them.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-01-14: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has again ruled against Canadian radio host André Arthur, this time over an edition of his morning show n Quebec CJMF-FM in which he criticised a family's money-raising efforts on behalf of the less fortunate.
Arthur accused the Péladeau family of being crooks with psychological and other problems and went on to criticise recipients of social assistance.
A listener complained that he had defamed and ridiculed the family and made vicious and inflammatory comments against welfare recipients as a whole.
The CBSC did not find the comments on welfare recipients in general in breach of the human rights provision of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics but it did find that Arthur breached a clause of the code in his comments concerning the family.
It commented that his language, "adds absolutely nothing remotely worthwhile to public discourse. It is petty, scurrilous and hateful. It is not full, but empty; not fair, but the most unfair use of a one-way microphone; and not proper, but improper and inappropriate."
CBSC web site:
2001-01-13: A look back at some of the business news of a week which saw radio stocks bound sharply upwards, spurred by some favourably analysts comment and strong third quarter results from Emmis Corporation. Amongst the notable increases were those of Radio 1 Inc which ranged from below $12 to above $17, Hispanic Broadcasting which ranged from below $24 to just under $32, Entercom which ranged from under $40 to $48, giant Clear Channel, which ranged from a low of $51 on Monday to above $60, and Viacom-owned Infinity which ranged from below $30 to above $34.
Even troubled Cumulus, which spent most of the week below $4.50, had a brief moment when it topped $6.50 although it then fell back a little.
Emmis itself, which had been down below $25 mid week hit $35 on Friday although it then dropped back a little.
It was buoyed by a 51% increase to $29.4 million in After Tax Cash Flow and a 52% increase in Broadcast Cash Flow to $59.4 million compared to 1999.
On a same-station basis, domestic radio net revenue increased 4% for the quarter and broadcast cash flow increased 8%.
During the 3rd quarter, EMMIS completed the acquisition of six St. Louis radio stations for $220 million from Sinclair Broadcast Groupand the simultaneous swap with Bonneville International Corporation (RNW Oct 10) of four Emmis St. Louis radio properties for Bonneville's KZLA-FM in Los Angeles.
Emmis also announced plans to purchase KALC-FM, Denver, from Salem Communications Corporation for $98.8 million.
EMMIS is currently operating the station under a LMA and expects to close on the purchase later this month.
Emmis already owns KXPK-FM in Denver
On the deals side, no major ones for Clear Channel (are there any major deals it could still do?) but it did gobble up a few more stations in smaller markets.
They were two Vermont stations, WCFR-FM in Springfield and WMXR-FM in Woodstock for which it is paying ConnRiver Broadcasting LLC $2 million and four in Asheville, North Carolina.
The latter are WTZY-AM, WMXF-AM, WQNS-FM and WQNQ-FM for which it is paying $7.5 million. It already has the two top billing stations in the market, WWNC-AM and WKSF-FM.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Radio 1 Inc:
2001-01-13: US Federal Communications Commission chairman William E Kennard has formally set January 9 as the day he'll leave office.
He announced the move at a news conference to discuss US approval of the America Online-Time Warner deal.
In the immediate future Kennard is to be a Senior Fellow of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program in Washington, D.C.
In his resignation letter to President Clinton, Kennard wrote, "I feel very privileged that I was able to serve as Chairman of the FCC at a time when communications technologies are so dramatically changing the way the American people live, work, and learn."
During his three years in the office, the FCC came under strong attack from Republican lawmakers on various issues including his plans for Low Power FM, which have been severely cut back.
Among those tipped as his successor is Republican FCC Commissioner Michael Powell, son of Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell, who has pushed for a less interventionist FCC.
FCC News release:
2001-01-12: The BBC's Director of News Tony Hall is leaving the Corporation to head the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a departure that has been widely expected when he failed to become director-general.
Among his successes was the launch of BBC Radio 5 where he faced significant opposition and also BBC Online news.
He was also known for the rather less successful move of BBC radio journalists from broadcasting House to the TV site in White City, a move that is now being reversed (RNW Oct 31).
2001-01-12: The US Federal Communication Commission has said public farewells to its chairman William E. Kennard at its Open Agenda Meeting on Thursday.
It was the last meeting he's likely to preside over before being replaced by a Republican although he could remain a Commissioner until the end of June.
Kennard thanked the Commission workers as representing the organisation's strength and added that he had been proud to serve the public interest as Chairman.
Each Commissioner then paid their tributes to him.
Meanwhile on the political front, three men with broadcasting links have been appointed to the advisory committee to advise the Republican transition team on communications and also about potential FCC nominees.
They are former FCC chairman Richard E. (Dick) Wiley, Salem Communications Chief Executive Officer Edward Atsinger and Mega Communications chairman, Adam Lindemann.
2001-01-12:The power of prayer to influence a licence decision may be put to the test in the UK latest this month during a pray-in in Dudley Town Hall in the English West Midlands.
The prayers are due to start at 10:30 pm with a special prayer at 10:57 in favour of Christian Radio station Voice FM bid for the new FM licence for the area. (RNW Licence News, Aug. 27)
The time was chosen because the new station's most likely frequency is 105.7.
The event has been organised by a local Christian Charity, The Net.
2001-01-11: Format changes in Chicago may hit some old hands according to Robert Feder in his Chicago Sun-Times column. Highest profile potential casualty is Larry Lujack who came out of the retirement last summer (RNW May 26) to host a weekend show on WUBT-FM, the Beat.
The Clear Channel station switches from "Jammin' Oldies" to a contemporary hit format this weekend and Feder notes some speculation that Clear Channel could move Lujack to their adult-contemporary station WLIT-F.
But, he adds, Lujack said he knows nothing about this and nobody from "The Beat " had returned his calls.
"My agreement is with WUBT-FM--period," he told Feder. "It doesn't say I'll be a weekend host on any station they want to put me on. The hours and the call letters are specifically spelled out."
Lujack has six months of his contract left to run.
Another host who may be affected by format changes is Chuck Schaden whose "Those Were the Days" old-time radio showcase is currently aired Saturday afternoons on classical station WNIB-FM. The show will continue on WNIB until its sale to Bonneville International Corp. (See RNW Dec 1) is completed and Schaden hopes to keep the 25-year-old show going after then.
"We've had a number of calls from, and contacts with, Chicago area stations, and are in the process of finding a suitable place for the program," he said.
Also in Chicago, a host who seems more secure in his position in the form of WGN Radio sports-talk host David Kaplan.
According to the Chicago Tribune he was offered $100,000 plus another $100,000 to charity for a name change to "Dallas Maverick" by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Kaplan initially said OK on air but turned it down after thinking about it.
Previous Clear Channel:
Feder Sun-Times column:
Chicago Tribune report:
2001-01-11: Sea Launch has now rescheduled the launch of XM Satellite Radio's first satellite for Wednesday, February 28.
In a statement the company says that checks made after the original launch countdown, was halted when "a possible minor out-of-specification condition was detected on the satellite" in fact showed that nothing was out of specification.
The satellite will now be taken back to Sea Launch's home port in Long Beach and the 50-day launch cycle re-started.
XM's second satellite is now due to be launched in mid-April but this should still allow the company to start its service as scheduled in summer.
XM, which unveiled 24 different models of radios at the Consumer Electronics Association trade show in Las Vegas at the weekend (RNW Jan 7) has been awarded the "Best of CES" for the automotive products category at the show.
In addition the Sony-XM "Plug-n-Play" satellite radio unit that will allow reception both in the car and at home won the CES Innovations 2001 Award and was also adjudged one of the top 15 products at CES by technology magazine Popular Mechanics.
Sea Launch web site:
XM web site:
2001-01-11: Arbitron, the broadcast audience research organisation, has announced that it has now placed 50 of its Portable People Meters with 50 people for its market trial in Philadelphia.
The Portable People Meter is a pager-sized device, which is worn throughout the day and detects and logs inaudible codes included in the audio portion of broadcasts.
At the end of the day the meter is placed in a base station which transmits the data to Arbitron for information and recharges the device.
Over the next two months Arbitron expects to place 300 of the meters with people in Philadelphia for the first part of its trial and to have more than 70 broadcasters and cable networks involved in encoding their signals.
The device itself has already been tested in the UK, in trials in Manchester in 1999 and 2000 (RNW June 3).
Arbitron web site:
2001-01-10: Further to the aborting of XM Satellite Radio's first launch on Monday (RNW Jan 9), latest word is that it is likely to be several days before a new launch attempt can now be made.
The launch was aborted only seconds before lift-off due to what Sea Launch are calling the detection of an "out-of-specification condition" on the satellite.
Sea Launch says the problem was resolved within minutes but there was not enough time to re-cycle the rocket for another launch attempt within the available window of just under 40 minutes.
Sea Launch, an international consortium led by Boeing, has so far had four successful launches and one failure, due to a software problem in a ground system.
It uses 60-metre Zenit-3SL rockets launched from an ocean platform, which is taken to the equator for the launch.
Sea Launch web site:
XM web site:
2001-01-10: With the effects of the holiday period ending, Measurecast's latest Internet audio rankings show New York talk station WABC-AM back at the top as audiences increased during the week from January 1.
MediaAmazing.com, a listener-formatted Internet only channel which allows customisation of online music playlists, dropped back to Number 2 slot from its first place last week (RNW Jan 6).
ABC Radio, streaming through Real Networks Real Broadcast Network, took 13 of the top 25 places in rankings based on Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL).
Top formats were news, news/talk, and classic rock and listener-formatted.
The top five with previous week's TTSL and CP (an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week) in brackets where applicable were:
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 51,677 (30,314); CP 10,672 (7,976) - formerly second.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 49,705 (38,433); CP 15,966 (6,284) - formerly first.
3). Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL 24,690 (16,177); 4,823 CP (3,765) -formerly fourth
4): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 24,479 (19,384); CP 2,532 (2,205) -formerly third.
5): Talk Radio KSFO-FM (San Francisco) TTSL 23,990 (15,352); CP 5,086 (4,297) -formerly fifth.
In contrast with Measurecast's report, Arbitron's just released October Webcast Ratings show music stations taking four of the top five slots.
Arbitron's ratings are based on a different system of Aggregate Tuning Hours, the total time all listeners log on to a given channel.
In their ratings Internet-only Net Radio, streamed byAkamai and iBeam Broadcasting, took six of the top 10 spots.
The traditional radio measurement of Average Quarter Hour (total listeners per quarter hour averaged out) would massively reduce this.
A rough calculation is show in brackets, calculated by dividing ATH by the number of quarter-hours in October.
1: Smooth Jazz - Net Radio 289,100 (97):
2: 80s Hits - Net Radio 269,400 (90):
3: Hits - Net Radio 267,900 (90):
4: Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) 266,000(89):
5: Classical music King FM (Seattle) 242,500 (81):
Previous Arbitron Webcast ratings
Previous Measurecast ratings:
Previous Real Networks:
Arbitron web site:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-01-09: Good and bad news on the technological front for radio in the US.
On the potential downside, XM Satellite Radio's first launch, which should have taken place at 22.35 GMT Monday, has been delayed for reasons not specified on the company's launch site.
This just announces the delay with a message to check back later.
On the plus side, some good figures for digital radio in the results of field tests of Ibiquity's digital audio submitted to the US Federal Communications Commission.
The tests from KWNR-FM in Las Vegas show signal reception to be of superior quality and coverage to be comparable to analogue signals according to Ibiquity.
The company also says that analogue sub-carrier tests carried out to date show that digital AM and FM does not impair reception of traditional audio and sub-carrier services being broadcast.
Previous XM Satellite Radio:
Ibiquity web site:
XM web site:
2001-01-09: In the US radio business, there's been a dramatic fall in value for Hispanic Broadcasting after it said in a statement that its fourth quarter revenues would be around $60 million compared to analysts expectation of around $63 million.
The company also said Broadcast Cash Flow for the quarter ending December 31st, 2000, would be around $25 million, around a quarter down from figures it had earlier issued.
The revenue figures were down because of a growth slowdown from strong mid-teens in October to a decline in December, increased marketing and promotional expenses and losses from the company's Internet division.
Hispanic shares were down Monday by around a third at just under $23 ½ compared to Friday's close of $35.
Bad news as well for struggling BroadcastAmerica.com following a Bankruptcy Court decision to order it to turn over copies of its station contracts to SurferNetwork.com.
Surfer, which has invested $1 million in BroadcastAmerica, now wants a foreclosure on BroadcastAmerica's assets whilst the company itself wants the court to allow it to be auctioned as a whole.
A further hearing is due in around ten days.
In other US radio business, the big news was the decision of Viacom to delay its $12.5 billion deal to take control of Infinity Radio in which it already holds all of the Class B common stock representing nearly two thirds of the company.
The delay is to allow a full shareholders vote followed a Delaware Court verdict in an unrelated case which created uncertainty about whether such a vote might be legally required.
Infinity says Art Moreno and William Levine, its largest shareholders after Viacom, have already agreed to vote in favour of the deal.
A special shareholders' meeting is now to be held some time in the first quarter of this year.
On the take over front, Regent Communications is paying $5 million for NextMedia's WJET-Fm in Pennsylvania to add to its existing cluster of WXKC-FM, WXTA-FM plus WRIE-AM.
The deal will leave NextMedia with two AMs and three FMs.
In Louisiana, Baldridge-Dumas Communications has closed its $325,000 buy of KZBL-FM in Natchitoches from Bundrick Communications.
Finally, in the UK Westcom Media Limited, operators of Somerset-based local radio station 107.7 WFM, have bought CAT-FM, the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury local station.
No figures have been released on the price.
Previous Hispanic Broadcasting:
Previous Regent Communications:
2001-01-08: A technological start to the columns this week, with considerable US comment on satellite radio, spurred by its imminent launch, and encomiums for digital radio from the UK.
Taking satellite first, a comment from the Chicago Tribune in which media writer Tim Jones starts off with a fairly succinct summation. "The biggest development in radio since the popularisation of the FM band will launch next month, putting to the test a multibillion-dollar bet that millions of consumers will gladly spend $9.95 a month to hear what they want, when they want it and to escape the barrage of commercials they hear every day going to and from work."
He quotes David Margoles, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sirius Satellite Radio, which begins its quality tests this month, as telling analysts, "When you get used to commercial-free programming, you won't go back."
Big money is being bet on this thesis but certainly consolidation in US radio has led to advertising taking an increased fraction of broadcasting time to pay for the takeovers.
As the article says ,"While radio commercial clutter varies from station to station, with as little as 10 minutes of ads per hour on some stations to as much as 25 minutes on others, some radio and advertising industry executives say clutter is angering listeners and creating a potential market for satellite radio."
Jones also quotes some qualified support from Jimmy de Castro, the former CEO of AMFM Inc before Clear Channel took it over.
De Castro summed up by saying that it would be a "nice little business but not a big threat to broadcast radio." He added that it would need to more than remove commercial clutter to make it compelling.
This is broadly in line with comment from the US commercial broadcasters organisation, the National Association of Broadcasters, quoted in the New York Times as playing down the threat and taking the view that most people turn on the radio to find out about local information such as traffic jams, something that a national service can't provide.
However even here, XM Satellite Radio, the other US player in the field, reckons that by using Global Positioning System technology in automobiles allied with other modern technology, it could indeed deliver tailored local traffic and weather information according to the vehicles position.
Analysts say that satellite needs to take about a sixth of the US audience to succeed.
A positive approach to digital technology follows from Steve Barnett, Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster, writing in the UK Observer.
He starts off by noting his lukewarm view of digital television but continues in an entirely more enthusiastic tone about digital radio.
"I am even prepared, " he writes, "to make a reckless prediction which I hope will be forgotten in a year's time: 2001 will be the year in which digital radio takes over from television as the true broadcast technology of the future."
Barrett bases his optimism on technical quality and content.
The latter includes that likely to be available from the BBC with its new planned digital channels (See RNW Sept 29), and that from the commercial broadcasters with Digital One, a package of stations which includes existing services such as Virgin, Classic and TalkSPORT with added digital-only offerings such as Life, Planet Rock and Oneword, 'the first digital channel for novels, stories, comedy and discussions'.
On technical quality Barrett remarks that it is noticeably better in terms of the audio itself and continual reception without the need for re-tuning. There's also co-operation across the industry but the main problem is cost.
Currently receivers in the UK start at around £350 ($500) and Barnett says," Manufacturers will have to produce small receivers at less than £100 a throw before it (digital radio) takes off.
A less positive response to some technology, however, from Peter Barnard in the UK Times.
He writes. Surely the inmates have taken over the asylum when we are expected to stop listening to radio shows and start looking at them."
After commenting on various web-cams he has tuned in to on the Internet, he concludes, "I have been taking these voyeuristic trips into cyberspace in the interests of research. I shall not be returning."
" I enjoy radio, and I enjoy television, but I am not impressed by some half-baked merger of the two dreamed up by people who apparently have nothing better to do with the licence payer's money."
"Indeed I am at a loss to know who actually wants to watch a radio programme. The whole point of the medium is that it employs the imagination."~
"I can understand people wanting to know what presenters look like and there are plenty of photographs available on the Web. But watching radio programmes?" "This is technology gone mad, the possible masquerading as the desirable. My new year resolution will be easy to keep. I shall stop looking at radio programmes"
. And finally to put a dose of healthy scepticism into view on technology, a quote from Barnard's Sunday Times colleague Paul Donovan. He pulls up a paragraph from his column of a year ago saying," "The most exciting event in the radio world will take place in late April, when the first portable digital radio sets go on sale - at last."
" That was exactly two years after I had offered this hot tip for 1998: 'The first digital radio sets go on sale in the shops in the spring.' Every year seems to bring not just misplaced forecasts about the imminence of these wondrous sets but fresh excuses as to why they are still not available."
" The latest position is that Roberts was going to bring out 1,000 at about £800 each, for Christmas rather than April, but that its Yorkshire factory got flooded in November."
RNW Note: We rather hope that this time digital will start getting cheap enough for mass use.
Previous de Castro:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Sirius Satellite Radio:
Previous XM Satellite Radio:
Barnard, UK Times:
Barnett, UK Observer:
Donovan, UK Sunday Times:
Jones, Chicago Tribune:
New York Times/AP on satellite radio:
2001-01-08: The UK Sunday Times reports that Ulster TV may sue in the European Court if Ireland's Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) blocks its IR£31.5million bid for County Media which owns three stations in Cork (RNW Nov 24).
Under existing Irish law, both the IRTC and Ireland's minister for enterprise, trade and employment have to agree to permit any deal which involves an existing media company taking control of more than 27% of a sound broadcasting service.
European law however allows EU companies to set up operations in EU member states without restriction and its competition rules guarantee free markets.
The IRTC does have some flexibility in developing policy, which has enabled it to allow other media deals that breach the rules.
Previous UTV/County Media:
UK Sunday Times report:
2001-01-08: Several hundred protestors demonstrated outside the offices of the Pacifica Network's New York outlet, WBAI-FM at the weekend to protest at the December dismissal of three employees.
They include general manager Valerie Van Isler who has been replaced by producer Utrice Leid (RNW Dec 30). The New York Times reports that the demonstrators included Mimi Rosenberg, the host of WBAI's "Building Bridges." It describes the demonstration as like a party at times interspersed with shouting towards the station's offices. The demonstrators were told by Carol Spooner, a plaintiff in several listener lawsuits against Pacifica and a member of a local advisory board at Pacific's KPFA-FM station in Berkeley, California, that Pacifica's national board had strayed from "its founding purposes" in interfering with local control. The paper also reports that John Riley, who has become the unofficial spokesman for Concerned Friends of WBAI, complained that Leid betrayed the WBAI staff by walking out of a meeting at which they "voted in favour of a resolution that called on WBAI staff not to accept a new general manager from Pacifica." Pacifica's management say they are trying to broaden the networks appeal.
Previous van Isler:
New York Times report:
2001-01-07: A very quiet week for licence news this week with the holiday break meaning little was posted.
The mainlicence item around was a decision by an Irish multi-denominational group to apply for the AM religious licence being advertised by the country's Independent Radio and Television Commission (RNW Jan 4).
There was also an updating by the UK Radio Authority of its Advertising and Sponsorship Code.
On the spectrum front the US Federal Communications Commission has announced plans for use of spectrum below 3 GHz for advanced wireless purposes such as third generation mobile phones.
In Australia there was nothing of note this week and in Canada only one minor item.
This was the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval of an SMCO (subsidiary communications multiplex operation) channel for CJPX-FM Montréal, which will allow it to distribute Creole and French programming.
In all there will be 168 hours of programming a week, 161 hours of it in Creole, originating from Montréal and Haiti.
In the UK, the new Advertising and Sponsorship Code results from the first major review of the code in a decade.
It tightens up rules regarding such categories as misleading an audience, good taste, decency and causing offence but also relaxes other rules.
Amongst these are rules on sponsorship and an end to prohibitions on advertisements by psychiatrists, hypnotherapists and investment bodies although these will all have to provide bona fides.
Prohibitions remain preventing advertising of some items such as firearms and weaponry, or pornographic material.
Following sponsorship relaxation, presenters will be able to voice live sponsorship messages within their own programmes and current affairs and review programmes can now be sponsored.
However news bulletins have to be clearly distinct from the sponsored programme and in all cases there has to be a clear distinction between editorial content and sponsorship.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
CRTC Web site:
FCC Web site:
UK Radio Authority site (has links to 916kb Acrobat PDF of new Advertising and Sponsorship Rules)
2001-01-07: A busy period for US XM Satellite Radio, which this weekend unveiled a range of XM-enabled receivers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and which on Monday is to launch its first satellite XM Roll (RNW Jan 3).
It's also announced a deal for the sale of its receivers at Sears stores to add to deals already announced with Best Buy Co. and Circuit City Stores Inc.
In addition, the company has declared a regular quarterly dividend, payable February 1, on its 8.25% Series B Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock; the dividend is payable in shares of the Company's Class A Common Stock at a rate of $1.0313 per share of Series B Preferred Stock owned, with fractional shares to be paid in cash.
In all 24 different models of XM-ready radios were unveiled, including a line of retail radios from Pioneer and Alpine and a Sony unit, which can be in a vehicle or home. In addition, Blaupunkt, Clarion and Delphi-Delco Electronics Systems each unveiled an XM model that will be available for factory installation in new cars beginning this year.
An XM-ready car stereo system will cost about $150 more than a conventional AM-FM system.
As well as displaying the receivers in Las Vegas, the company is staging demonstrations at the show of its channels including classic country, 60s, classic rock, jazz, comedy, children's programming, blues, classical, sports and news.
It's also staging in-car demonstrations using terrestrial broadcasts.
RNW note: For those interested the launch on Monday (14.35 PST/ 22.35 GMT) will be put out live on XM and Sea Launch web sites.
Previous Satellite Radio:
Sea Launch web site:
XM web site:
2000-01-06 :US radio personality and host, Art Bell, who in April announced his retirement from his show and public life (RNW April 3) is to return to radio and take back the reigns of live overnight syndicated radio show "Coast to Coast" from February 5.
Bell had twice retired, the first time in 1998 following the 1997 kidnapping and rape of his son by a teacher.
The teacher was subsequently jailed for life for the offence but a radio station suggested that Bell was a child molester and he took legal action against the station.
The action was settled in October (RNW Oct 27).
After he retired, Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Networks, who syndicate Coast to Coast, made Mike Siegel the show's main host but it suffered in its ratings.
It lost 11 stations, although Premiere attributes some of these to other factors.
Most important was KABC, Los Angeles, but syndication continues in the city with KFI-AM picking up the show.
When the show returns it will have a third less network advertisements at Bell's insistence.
Bell is quoted on the Coast to Coast site as saying, "The negotiation was brutal and bloody! The result... fewer commercials and back to five hours."
Kraig T. Kitchin, president and Chief Operating Officer of Premiere Radio Networks says, "I am ecstatic to welcome Art Bell back to his programme."
"It was a bloody negotiation - pulling someone out of retirement always is."
"I am wildly enthusiastic to bring the news to affiliates and listeners nationwide"
He adds thanks to Mike Siegel who has settled with Premiere and will continue to work with nework.
Previous Art Bell:
Previous Clear Channel:
Coast to Coast announcement:
2000-01-06: A slightly delayed look at Measurecast's Internet audio ratings this week so that we could also take in the organisation's first monthly report.
For the first weekly report this year which covers the period from Christmas Day to the end of 2000, the headline was the ousting from top spot of talk-radio WABC-Am by Internet-only station MediaAmazing.
Also notable was the drop to eighth position by former number 2, The Beat, Los Angeles.
It was also noticeable that online listening was down significantly during the holiday period and that music formats are again running more even with talk radio as the US presidential story calms down.
In the top ten talk and news managed only four places compared with five the previous week (RNW Dec 29) and six the week before that (RNW Dec 21).
The top five rankings below based on TTSL give the previous week's numbers in brackets where applicable: TTSL is Total Time Spent Listening and CP is cumulative persons, an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week.
1): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 38,433; CP 16,284: - new entry.
2): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 30,314 (68,040); CP 7,976 (12,687) - formerly first.
3): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 19,384 (33,747); CP 2,205 (3,078) -formerly fourth.
4): Classic Rock Internet Only Radio Margaritaville TTSL 16,177 (27,374); CP 3,765 (4,332) -formerly 5th
RNW Note: Margaritaville was formerly streamed through BroadcastAmerica.com which is now effectively out of business (RNW Jan 5) with its site showing a Light Bulb and the caption, "Time to Change the Bulbs! Please stand by while we upgrade out servers." The station itself continues -follow link below.
5): Talk Radio KSFO-AM (San Francisco) TTSL 15,352 (34,792) CP 4,297 (6,158) -formerly third:
In the first monthly report ABC Radio's terrestrial stations dominated the top 25 with 14 places including first and second.
Six stations in the list were Internet-only.
In a month where the US presidential elections dominated the headlines, Talk radio was the leading format, followed by News/Talk and Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40 plus a late spurt by listener-formatted stations (see weekly ratings above).
The top five were:
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 314,207; CP 43,214.
2): Talk Radio KSFO-AM (San Francisco) TTSL 160,177; CP 21,071.
3): Urban/R&B The Beat LA (Los Angeles) TTSL 148,955; CP 10,127.
4): News/Talk WBAP-AM (Dallas/Ft. Worth) TTSL 146,616; CP 15,777.
5): Talk Radio WLS-AM (Chicago) TTSL 125,985; CP 22,514.
Previous ABC, America:
Previous Measurecast ratings:
Measurecast weekly ratings:
Measurecast monthly ratings:
2000-01-06: A protest demonstration is planned for today at US Pacifica network's New York outlet WBAI-FM following the firing in December of station manager Valerie van Isler, Programme director Bernard White and producer Sharan Harper (RNW Dec 30.
Another Pacifica employee who has been involved in a dispute with Pacifica management (See RNW Nov 1), Amy Goodman, host of the current affairs programme "Democracy Now ", signed off her show on Wednesday of this week by saying, "From the embattled studios of WBAI, from the studios of the fired and the banned."
She told the New York Times, "Many people feel like there's a purging going on at this station, and it is very frightening, between the firings and the banning of people. It's a very chilling atmosphere.''
The paper's report compares the struggle in New York to that in 1999 in California after firings at KPFA in Berkeley.
It quotes Long Island University journalism professor Ralph Engelman as saying, "It's part of a larger pattern and a larger crisis caused by the fact that the board leadership is really opposed to Pacifica as it existed in the past and is intent on changing its culture, its way of operating, its programming."
Pacifica says it is trying to broaden its audience. Pacifica vice chairman Kenneth Ford responded, "We initiated a series of studies to see who our listeners were."
"When they did the demographics of KPFA, the profile that came back from the consultants said that the average listener was in the middle 50s, white and male." "You need younger and newer blood coming in."
Pacifica's web site does not comment on the dispute but does carry a report from consultants it hired to carry out the audience survey.
Thus says," Pacifica has lost its influence. It is a faded reflection of its proud history."
"This organization that invented public radio journalism...that brought provocative new voices and ideas to the microphone ...that advanced the art of radio, is today an anachronism on the FM band, arrested in its development by a small group of people who are similarly stuck in time."
Later the report says, "Pacifica can serve its political factions or it can serve its FM audience. It can not do both."
"Programming for the programmers rather than for the audience is dysfunctional and counter-productive."
Previous van Isler:
New York Times/AP report:
Pacifica web site:
Pacifica audience research report: .
2000-01-05: More dotcom troubles as BroadcastAmerica.com seemingly sinks fast after a potential investment offer from Bowman Transportation fell through.
The company's President and Chief Operation Officer John Brier and its Chief Executive Officer Alex Lauchlan have written to shareholders with the bad news, adding that the deal failure also prevents the transfer of property to SurferNetwork.com due to a lien on assets. They say that this exhausts the chances of a deal to keep the company out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
BroadcastAmerica had been running a minimal operation with staffing from management and former employees working for three but had been forced to cut streaming to most of its clients after its main providers MCI, Sprint and Real Networks cut their services to the company.(RNW Dec 23)
2000-01-05: Another format change from the US, this time Boston talk station WMEX-AM, which will become business-talk station WBIX-AM on Monday. The reason for the change was succinctly put by Alex Langer, president of Langer Broadcasting, in a comment to Dean Johnson in the Boston Herald.
"I'd rather be the No. 1 business station in the market rather than the No. 3 talk station, and when you boil everything down, it's that simple.''
Langer launched the talk station, using the legendary call sign, in 1999 but it has been struggling against competition from top-rated WRKO-AM and number two station WTKK-FM.
Its all-business morning show was its greatest success and the station will now be carrying business radio during the day with general talk at other times.
It is also keeping retaining its weekend programming.
The business programmes will include twice hourly ''Bloomberg Minutes" business news spots from New York-based Bloomberg Business News.
Boston Herald report:
2001-01-04: Some up and down news for the business side of radio in the US.
First the up - courtesy of a stock rebound as the Fed unexpectedly cut US interest rates and took the NASDAQ up around 14%.
Stock in the big boys Clear Channel and Viacom-Cbs subsidiary Infinity was up around 14% and 18% respectively but troubled Cumulus fared far worse adding under 2%.
Down -Canadian radio and TV group Corus which its saw stock rating cut to near-term "neutral" from near-term "accumulate" by Merrill Lynch analyst Ihor Danyliuk.
And changing call -signs is KIEV-AM in Los Angeles, which now becomes KRLA-AM, News Talk 870.
The change follows the sale of KRLA-AM by Infinity as a Viacom-related disposal.
ABC bought the station and changed the format and call letters to ESPN Sports KSPN-AM thus freeing up the original call sign.
Previous Clear Channel:
2001-01-04: Irish Interdenominational Christian group Solas AM is to apply to the country's Independent Radio and Television Commission for a religious broadcasting licence, which has been advertised by the Commission.
The decision by Solas to apply follows a pullout by an earlier interdenominational group which wanted an FM licence but was not interested in a medium wave only station (RNW Oct 13).
The Irish Times quotes Solas director, Michael Carroll, former director of radio at Irish state broadcaster RTÉ, as saying that they acknowledged the inadequacy of AM but had taken the view of "let's get on air". He also said that they intended to accommodate the interests of other religions.
The station plans studios at Blackrock, Co Dublin, on a site donated by the Disciples of the Divine Master order.
Its planned service would be three-quarters spiritual/religious speech and music combined with news and current affairs programmes and religious services.
Funding would come from "appropriate advertising", private donation and public subscription.
Irish Times --search page --Look for radio and January
2001-01-04 :UK Capital Radio has now confirmed the appointment as managing director, Capital Radio, London, of Andria Vidler, former Head of Marketing and Business Development for BBC Sport (RNW Dec 21).
In her new post she will be responsible for Capital's flagship stations Capital FM and the Capital Gold Network, for developing listener events and concerts and will work in conjunction with Capital Interactive to increase audiences.
She will report to Paul Davies, Operations Director for Capital Radio plc.
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous Capital Interactive:
Capital Radio site - links to news release.
2000-01-03: More moves on the satellite radio front in the US where XM Satellite Radio is now well on the way to its first launch.
In addition rival Sirius Satellite Radio, whose three satellites are already in orbit, has had its rating upgraded by Moodys from negative to stable.
XM's first satellite, XM Roll, is now due to be launched from the Pacific Ocean in a 40-minute launch window from 2235 GMT on January 8.
The satellite and Odyssey Launch Platform and associated Sea Launch Commander are now around 3000 miles off California on their way to the launch site at 154 degrees West on the Equator.
The second launch for XM, of XM Rock, is due later in the first quarter of this year.
Each of the Boeing-built satellites weighs just over 4500kg (10,000lb) and is to be launched by a Zenit-3SL rocket.
They have a scheduled life of 15 years, and will generate some 18 Kilowatts.
Previous Satellite Radio:
XM web site:
2000-01-03: UK sports radio station TalkSport has revamped its programming and promoted to programme director Mike Parry, a talk radio veteran who was with the station in its original incarnation as Talk Radio in 1998 for a short time.
Parry also joins Alan Brazil on the station's breakfast show.
In the drive time slot, Tom Watts is being replaced on four days of the week by Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs from the station's Thursday Night Kickabout slot.
2001-01-02: BBC Radio 4's "The Archers", the world's longest-running radio soap opera, has now celebrated its 50th anniversary with episode 13,169 which will be re-broadcast at 1400 GMT today.
It also marks 50 years in the "farming soap" for actor Norman Painting, who, as a 26-year-old actor and writer reluctantly took the role of Philip Archer on a temporary basis.
He's been there ever since, the longest time an actor has served in the same role.
The record came despite various withdrawn resignations and health problems including six heart attacks, multiple by-pass surgery, pancreatic surgery and cancer.
The latest episode of the show dealt with the future of Brookfield Farm and PhilArcher's decision as to which he is leaving it.
It followed a New Year's Eve edition in which Phil Archer's son David was crushed by a cow which had fallen down a gully into a stream and fell on him while he was attempting to rescue it.
For those who want the story follow the link below to the BBC Archers site which will carry a summary after the repeat broadcast today.
And for those who want more about the influence of the programme, the UK Guardian's media pages had an article by Clare Armistead detailing how the programme has affected her family over three generations.
UK Guardian article:
BBC Archers site:
2001-01-01: Further to the passage of the Senator Rod Grams rider concerning Low Power FM (RNW Dec 19), both the US Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of Broadcasters have asked the Federal Appeal Court in Washington to remand a court case on the matter back to the agency so that the original LPFM rules proposed can be brought in line with the new laws.
The FCC has also asked the court to dismiss a challenge to the rules on the grounds that they were too restrictive. The rules passed by Congress are even more restrictive concerning pirate broadcasters.
The FCC originally proposed to bar anyone whose equipment was seized after they had refused to close down following receipt of an FCC warning.
Now the rules would bar anyone who has operated a pirate station from receiving a licence. :
2001-01-01: A look back at 2000 through various columnists' eyes this week as we move into a year where the heady optimism of 12 months ago has been vastly deflated.
Which, if nothing else, is a cue for a quote, courtesy of Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times, from Mel Karmazin, the Viacom-CBS-Infinity boss….. "Of all the networks, you gotta admit that we suck less."
And that went for the Infinity share price fall as well as we reported at the end of 2000 (RNW Dec 30 ).
Another gem, courtesy of Feder, is a sub heading in his column, "Bear takes Cow to the cleaners" referring to Ex-Bear Keith Van Horne who won $1.6 million in a lawsuit against Chicago-based host Mancow Muller.
Muller also gets a mention after he simulated the violent rape of his female sidekick on the air and later justified it as "theatre of the mind."
The one-liners aside, though, the general year ending comment from the US was rather downbeat with Feder commenting on the admittedly exceptional Chicago scene," Just think of a bunch of big zeroes."
Included in that were the death in a plane crash of top-rated host Bob Collins (RNW Feb 9); the demise of WMAQ-AM (RNW Aug 1); the potential loss as a classical station of WNIB-FM(RNW Nov 30) ; the on-off Steve Dahl resignation (RNW April 19); and on a more upbeat note the return after 16 years off the air of "Superjock" Larry Lujack who came from retirement to join "Jammin' Oldies" WUBT-FM. (RNW May12)
And also in a semi-upbeat frame in relation to recent gloom about the threat to talk radio with the change of administration the US, comment from Dean Johnson of the Boston Herald.
He writes of the value of local talk station WTKK-FM during the recent tragic mass shooting in Wakefield.
WTTK, he points out has had its share of problems, but showed its worth at the time of the massacre when other Boston talk-stations WRKO-AM and WMEX-AM were running syndicated shows.
And upbeat comment from UK stalwart Paul Donovan of the UK Sunday Times.
In his case, he takes up the boost to children's radio in the UK, referring to 2000 as "a great year for one op-pressed minority - those aged 15 and under, who make up 20% of the population, but have so long been disenfranchised by British radio."
During the 90's, he comments, "Commercial radio ignored children altogether, as it had every right to do under ill-conceived broadcasting legislation."
"The only time anyone showed any interest in children was when their unofficial audience figures could be cynically used to boost the official ones for networks such as (BBC) Radio 1, which, under the unlamented Matthew Bannister and Chris Evans, deliberately broadcast offensive material when youngsters were likely to be listening."
This year, notes Donovan, "The resurrection of children's radio is significant because it embraces both the BBC and the commercial sector."
" Two weeks ago, the new digital licence for north-east England was won by a consortium (whose shareholders include Chrysalis, Capital and Ford, which is fitting digital radios in all its cars by 2004) whose line-up includes a station for children, called Fun. This is the first time in Britain that there will have been a dedicated children's station in the commercial sector."
Donovan details other examples and comments that the UK government should require BBC digital radio to cater for children. RNW note: and bearing in mind that they are the future audience, we agree. That way, the diet may yet be wider ranging than pop and pap.
Finally for any fans of the UK Radio 4 Archers soap, a list of 50 "facts" from the Sunday Times if you're interested (See link below).
Previous Dean Johnson:
Donovan Sunday Times column:
Feder Sun-Times column:
Johnson Boston Herald article:
Sunday Times on "Archers"
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
Back to top :
Back to top :
Dec 2000 Feb 2001
RNW December Comment - following our earlier two months on technological change, reflects on radio's benefits as an aural medium.
RNW November Comment -looks back at the radio scene in year 2000 E-mail your comments
2001-01-31: Boston station WILD-AM, which is now managed by Maryland-based Radio 1 Inc under a local agreement with Nash Communications and bills itself as the voice of the city's black community, is mired in controversy following an aggressive interview with the Mayor which led to a news director being fired.
The Boston Globe reports that the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) leadership in the city has voted to investigate the firing of Rose Arruda.
The paper quotes Bernadine Nash, who has owned WILD for 20 years, as saying that Arruda proved unable to stifle her activist passions and act as an objective journalist during her interview with Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Nash added that the firing was the culmination of several instances in which Arruda displayed lack of objectivity.
However others suggest that there was an over-reaction by the station.
Leonard Alkins, president of the Boston chapter of the NAACP, said the interview showed that Arruda needed more training, but termination was not warranted.
The Mayor himself says he had nothing to do with Arruda's firing and that Nash was so upset after the interview that he even asked his press secretary to try to prevent any repercussions against Arruda that might be attributed to him.
''She's tough. She's focused. She's aggressive,'' Menino said. ''She had some questions that maybe were out of line. That's OK.''
More also on the US Pacifica Network which is also mired in a dispute. it its case at New York outlet WBAI-FM. (see RNW Dec 30).
If nothing else, the row has garnered Pacifica wide publicity including an article in Time Magazine by Steve Lopez which opens with reference of the handling of a phone call from then President Clinton to WBAI and Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now.
"For 30 minutes," Time says, "she kept Clinton dancing and ducking, at one point accusing him of being responsible for the genocide of 5,000 Iraqi children monthly through U.S. sanctions."
"It was vintage Pacifica Radio, the hell-raising, corporate-bashing voice of the left for a half-century, with stations in Los Angeles, Houston and Washington, in addition to WBAI and the flagship KPFA in Berkeley, California."
Time then continues, " But that voice is now being muffled in a way that would embarrass the sandal-wearing founders of the non-profit Pacifica Foundation, some of whom now stage their sit-ins in the next life."
"Dreaded capitalists have commandeered the ship, speaking the bottom-line language of Arbitron ratings and floating the idea of raking in millions by selling a station."
"They literally changed the locks and barred several employees from the building at WBAI last month, after doing the same thing two years ago at KPFA."
Time then contrasts the views of the old-time Pacifica board members who it characterizes a local activists and current national board members recruited from the business world.
The article concludes, "Everything is numbers today. The weekend box office. The President's approval ratings. The quarterly profits."
"For 50 years, there was one place where numbers did not exist as a measure of success or as validation of purpose."
"Pacifica broadcasting can be tedious at times, with its tie-dyed version of truth and justice. But the voice is indignant, probing and unapologetic, and in the age of megamedia conglomerization, an alternative view is a necessity."
"And I say this as someone who went on WBAI last year knowing I'd be a punching bag."
"I'd written a screed about misguided support for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and was attacked on-air as a lazy corporate-media hack. They were wrong, of course. But they were damn good at it."
Meanwhile Utrice Leid, interim WBAI general manager and host of the afternoon "Talkback" show, told the New York Times that she was "loving" her new job.
Following the Pacifica national line, Leid says changes are long overdue, because the station needs to broaden its audience and become more relevant.
"It's best to describe what it used to be," she told the paper. "It was depressing. It was suffocating. It was frustrating. It inhibited creativity. It was badly managed and horribly organized."
"At the same time, it was also rife with great possibility and potential."
Leid concludes with a double negative,"I've never been concerned about whether people like me or don't like me but I will not allow anyone to disrespect me."
RNW Comment: On the facts take your pick from Leid or Time magazine.
On use of language we'd say Leid has earned respect for spin and mangling but the opposite for elegance and conciseness!
Previous Nash Communications:
Previous Radio 1 Inc:
Boston Globe report:
New York Times Pacifica report:
Time Magazine report:
2001-01-31: No low level actions for Sydney 2UE morning host John Laws when things don't go his way.
The New South Wales Supreme Court hearing into bans on right turns in a street near 2UE has heard how Laws, whose journey home was affected, went directly to the Transport Minister while other protestors were complaining to the local council.
The ban was imposed and barricades erected by the council, which is now fighting plans by the Road Transport Authority to lift the ban and remove barricades on the road.
2001-01-31: Changes in Chicago as country music WUSN-FM revamps its line-up and drops its morning personality Ramblin' Ray Stevens in favour of his afternoon counterpart Big John Howell.
Down the chain the new midday personality is Audra Evans from WYGY-FM in Cincinnati; Wild Bill Garcia moves from middays to afternoons; Amy Davis moves from overnights to evenings, and Mike Myers moves from evenings to overnights.
The decision to drop Stevens followed a mandate to cut costs from parent company Infinity Broadcasting according to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder.
Other changes are also on the cards for Infinity in Chicago after WCKG-FM afternoon personality Jonathon Brandmeier rejected Infinity Broadcasting's final contract offer earlier this month.
In the latest Arbitron ratings, Chicago radio veteran Brandmeier ranked No. 1 in his target audience of men between the ages of 25 and 54.
He has been off the air since his contract expired on Jan 11 and sidekick Buzz Kilman has filled his spot.
In other changes, Big City Radio-owned WXXY-FM dropped its 80's format and became Spanish-language Latin pop music format on Monday evening; last week another Big City Radio station, WKIE-FM gave up its fight to keep the "Kiss FM" slogan it had been using for three years and became "Energy 92.7".
Clear Channel, which owns the national Kiss FM trademark wanted to use it for its new contemporary-hit format on WUBT-FM.
Also now running with a new format is former oldies station WKKD-FM, which has switched to rock 'n' roll favourites and is now calling itself "The River." NextMedia is currently operating the station under a local marketing agreement whilst it awaits FCC approval of its $3.4 million deal to buy WKKD-FM and news-format WKKD-AM (RNW Dec 30).
But some good news for fans of Chuck Schaden's weekly showcase for old-time radio classics "Those Were the Days."
It has now found a new home at WDCB-FM, the suburban public radio station operated by the College of DuPage, and will be simulcast there and its old home WNIB-FM until Bonneville International completes its deal to take over the latter.
Previous Clear Channel:
Feder Sun-Times report:
2001-01-30: While the mainstream US broadcasters continue their fight against extra payments for streaming their signals over the Internet (RNW Jan 29), US StreamAudio, which says it is the world's largest audio streaming organisation, has announced that it will obtain and pay for sound recording digital performance rights for them.
Stations will, however, continue to have to obtain their own musical work copyright licences, which cover the authors and composers of the works as opposed to a particular recording of a work. StreamAudio handles streaming for more than 600 radio stations and its contracts include ones with Cox and Entercom who are involved in the legal action against the payments.
The payments are due under a ruling from the US Copyright Office that extra payments for streaming are due under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Stream Audio web site (has link to details about licences).
2001-01-30: BBC radio veteran Phil Harding, a former editor of the Radio 4 Today programme and founding chief of Radio 5 Live's news programmes department is to take over as BBC World Service director of English networks and news when Bob Jobbins leaves this spring (see RNW Nov 8), he told the UK Guardian that he was delighted to take command of a BBC division which may have the largest audience in the world.
"This is a terrific job," Harding said, "literally one of the best in the world - and it offers the unrivalled opportunity to broadcast to and build on the 40m strong audience who listen to and rightly value the World Service in English."
Jobbins is to become director of the Rory Peck Trust, which was set up in 1992. It is named after the late freelance cameraman Rory Peck and aims to promote the safety and financial security of freelance camera operators.
And for fans of long running Radio 4 programme "Any Questions" a diary date for March 9 when veteran English politician Tony Benn marks the 50th anniversary of his first appearance on the show.
The programme itself began in 1948; Benn's first appearance was on March 9, 1951 at a time when the who garnered audiences of some 10 million.
UK Guardian report:
2001-01-30: Another manufacturing tie-up for XM Satellite Radio of the US; It's signed an agreement with US Matsushita Communication Industrial Corporation, best known for its Panasonic brand name.
Under the deal, Matsuchita will design, develop, produce and market XM-capable radios for factory installation in new vehicles.
XM web site:
2001-01-29: A look this week through the eyes of various columnists at ratings, their meaning, or performances and potentials, spurred in part by the effects of one big story on US ratings in part by comment about potential changes and very much by the UK Sunday Times columnist Paul Donovan.
In his column, he looks forward to the release of the latest UK RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) figures later this week and particularly to how the facts contained in them will be spun into different meanings.
"Thus it is, " he writes, "that Radio 1 is always Britain's "most popular station" (true), and Radio 2 is always Britain's "most listened- to station" (also true), and why Classic FM is always doing so well (so many more of those coveted 25- to 44-year-olds) even though its overall audience shrank last year."
"Stations whose share of the total listening cake has fallen will ignore that and emphasise reach - how many adults tune in each week."
"Stations whose reach has fallen will ignore that and emphasise share."
"Stations whose adult listeners are deserting them will ignore that and stress how many children are listening. And so on."
Donovan comments that the RAJAR figures are statistically sound and notes that the organisation producing them is jointly funded by the BBC and commercial companies, with both sides accepting them.
(RNW Note :Not always see RNW Sept 5 for comments by UK TalkSport chief Kelvin Mackenzie).
Donovan compares the RAJAR figures with figures released concerning the audience for the 8-horu marathon Harry Potter reading on BBC Radio 4 on Boxing Day (See RNW Dec 28), calling the survey that produced these figures "a stunt."
"This 'specially commissioned' survey of 2,000 adults, he writes," is stated to have been carried out over six days earlier this month."
"It purports to show that more than 1m children tuned in, plus 2m adults, and that 11% of this total audience listened to the eight-hour epic in its entirety (the only person I know who did was Tony Stoller, the chief executive of the Radio Authority, who was confined to his home with a bad cold)."
"This enabled the BBC spinners to put out a communiqué titled "Wizard Audiences for Harry Potter".
In the US, pretty well everyone is reporting the sameeffects on the Arbitron ratings during the US elections where news and talk gained from the drama of the story.
Spin is not totally absent there, however, as noted by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder who starts off by noting the news and talk gains.
He then goes on to consider the ratings drop for WKQX-FM morning personality Mancow Muller.
His Arbitron ratings for the fall were down 28% to a 3.4 share and eighth place from a 4.7 and fourth place in the summer.
Feder quotes WKQX's programme director as saying the fall was expected and that the decline was among "fringe" listeners, those not in the 25- to 34-year-old male demographic that Muller focuses on.Muller
Muller incidentally has another problem in terms of a lawsuit by the Janet Dahl, wife of rival WCKG-FM afternoon host Steve Dahl.
She is suing Muller and seven takers of his show for $100 million in a defamation suit filed in 1999.
Janet Dahl says that Muller "repeatedly and falsely referred to [her] as engaging in adultery, fornication and sexual promiscuity in the vilest of terms" on his morning show."
An application by the six WKQX affiliates who take the show to be dropped from the suit because their lawyers claimed they were outside of the jurisdiction of Illinois courts was turned down earlier this month.
And finally an area where the ratings have problems, predicting the likely impact of a new player
. The location in question is Sydney where the AM line-up is changing as 2GB goes upmarket (RNW Jan 25) to challenge 2UE but the FM field is soon to gain the first new station for 20 years when DMG 's new station goes on air.
The chances of it seriously affecting breakfast-time leader Alan Jones are slim but it could shake things up for everyone, even if only because it is expecting to hire some 80 people in Sydney and an equal number in Melbourne.
Donovan UK Sunday Times:
Feder on ratings:
Feder on Dahl lawsuit:
Sydney Morning Herald (on Sydney competition stakes.)
2001-01-29: US broadcasters including Bonneville, Cox, Emmis, Entercom and Viacom-CBS subsidiary Infinity have joined suit with the National Association of Broadcasters to try and overturn the US copyright Office ruling that requires copyright payments for streaming their output on the Internet. (RNW Dec 12).
The suit before a U.S. District Court in Philadelphia charges that the new royalty scheme is illegal.
It also says that it changes the relationship between radio stations and record companies "in a manner that could wreak havoc with over-the-air broadcast radio formats and stifle the offer of streamed over-the-air radio broadcast programming over the Internet" and "could profoundly affect the ability of the radio industry to keep abreast of modern technology."
The radio stations say that they are covered by the $350 million a year royalty payments they already make for over-the-air broadcasts and that they are exempt from further payments for Internet use.
The Copyright Office ruled that additional payments were due, backdated to 1998 when the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act came into force.
Before the December ruling. NAB had already filed a separate suit in March in a federal court in New York.
Previous Internet copyright: Previous NAB:
2001-01-28: Licence news this week and all quiet in Australia except for the ABA releasing its new guidelines for International Broadcasts originating in Australia.
There was also more on the community radio front in Canada, and in Ireland Dublin licence applications including nine for a special interest music licence and four (RNW Jan 24) for the Dublin Religious licence.
In the UK there was success for Saga's over-50's mix in gaining the new West Midlands FM licence in the UK. (RNW Jan 24)
In the US, the main news was the appointment of Michael Powell as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to succeed William E Kennard (RNW Jan 24) as well as the latest spectrum auction(see report below); the Commission also released its 2000 Biennial Regulatory Review.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has received licence application amendments concerning stations in Edmunston, New Brunswick, Sully in Quebec and Kamloops in British Columbia.
In Edmunston, La Coopérative Des Montagnes Ltée has applied to remove from its Community licence the condition restricting advertising and change the conditions concerning the content conditions relating to the maximum amount of pop music and minimum amounts of Special Interest Music and Spokent Word to be broadcast.
It would keep a condition prohibiting soliciting of advertising in Quebec.
In Sully, two stations, CIBM-FM Mont-Bleu Ltée and Radio CJFP (1986) Ltée have applied to add transmitters "to offer the programming of CIBM-FM Rivière-du-Loup to adequately serve the population of the villages of Estcourt and Sully in Témiscouata."
And in British Columbia, the Lillooet-Camelsfoot T.V. Association has applied to distribute in a non-encrypted mode the programming service of CIFM-FM Kamloops. The CRTC has also approved a number of licence amendments.
These include an Alberta application by Rogers Broadcasting to relocate its transmitter site for CFRV-FM Lethbridge, thus co-siting transmitters for Roger's two Lethbridge stations, CFRV-FM and CJOC-FM.
The amendment would reduce coverage to the West but significantly increase it to the east, thus reaching the outskirts of Taber in Alberta. Objections had been raised by Monarch Broadcasting Limited licensee of CHLB-FM Lethbridge and of CHHK-FM Taber, which had made a similar - and refused - earlier application for CHHK-FM's predecessor CKTA-AM.
Although the Commission felt the two cases differed significantly, it imposed a condition on its approval in saying that Rogers has to ensure that signal coverage to the east of Lethbridge will not extend beyond the current coverage of CFRV-FM.
Other approvals were for low power stations. They included an increase in power from 1.3 watts to 51 watts for tourism information station CHQI-FM Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; a frequency change, increase in broadcast hours and power increase from 6.8 to 350 watts for Radio Basse-Ville's CKIA-FM Québec; additional transmitters at Les Méchins and La Martre and a frequency change for the Mont-Louis transmitter of CJMC Radio du Golfe's CJMC-FM Sainte-Anne-des-Monts thus extending its coverage.
There were also two approvals for Celestial Sound in Ontario. These would allow Celestial to add transmitters at New Liskeard and Sault Ste. Marie to rebroadcast the programming of the output of CHIM-FM Timmins.
In Ireland, as reported (RNW Jan 24), the Independent Radio and Television Commission (IRTC), has received four applications for the Dublin AM religious licence.
It has also received nine applications to run a Dublin Special Interest Music station.
They are country music applications from the Country 106.8FM and Star Broadcasting consortia; rock station applications from Classic Rock 106.8 FM, FM 108.8 the City and X106.8; a Jazz application from Jazz FM and alternative music applications from Phantom FM and zero 106.8.
In the UK, as already reported (RNW Jan 24), the Radio Authority has awarded the new West Midlands licence covering a 15 plus audience of some 2.3million to Saga FM and the South Wales/Severn Estuary local digital multiplex service licence to MXR Ltd.
Saga is proposing a format of melodic music and lifestyle oriented speech targeted at the over-50's and Radio Authority chair Richard Hooper said that the " clinching factor" in choosing Saga from 12 applicants was, "the extent to which Saga Radio broadened choice locally."
He added, "The proposed service is targeted at the over 50s, a less well served audience in the West Midlands which currently make up over 40% of the adult population in the area."
Heart FM holds the first licence for the area.
The assessment of the MXR licence award is still to be published. MXR plan to be on air in July this year with nine channels ; the licence runs for 12 years and covers an area with a 15 plus population of some 2.45 million.
The other UK licence award was for the High Wycombe area where the licence has gone to existing holder Radio Wye Ltd. Wye currently broadcasts on AM as Eleven Seventy but opted to switch to FM on two frequencies offered to cover serve High Wycombe and the surrounding area, and also to cover of Amersham and Chesham
It will re-launch its service under the name Swan FM.
The authority has also announced that it is to re-advertise the Stockport licence in Northwest England after receiving a competing application to that from existing holder, KFM Radio Ltd., broadcasting as Imagine FM.
In the Stirling & Falkirk area of Scotland, it received only one application. This was from the existing holder, Central FM Ltd.
In the US, the FCC's 2000 Biennial Regulatory Review stresses continuing movements to less regulation and the advance of new technology.
Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth issued a separte statement which in effect called for even more moves to reduce regulation, saying among other things that "Private parties are in the best position to judge the impact of meaningful economic competition."
He also said," the FCC must review its regulations on a rule-by-rule basis. Thus future biennial reviews should provide the public with a rule-by-rule rationale for the continued utility of each individual regulation."
Previous Licence News:
Previous Rogers Broadcasting:
Previous Saga, UK:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site (has links to PDF of new International Regulations):
CRTC Web site:
FCC web site:
IRTC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-01-28: Internet streaming company, Portland, Maine, based BroadcastAmerica.com has reached agreement with one of its major creditors.
It is to to accept a bid of $1 million from BA Funding for its streaming contracts with some 750 radio and 70 television stations as part of the disposal of its assets under an auction being supervised by a US federal bankruptcy court.
Under the agreement, the Portland Press Herald reports, BA Funding has agreed not to use the courts to pursue BroadcastAmerica.com for its tangible assets such as furniture or equipment. Nor will it pursue subsidiary Broadcast Europe.com.
BA Funding had originally agreed to put the $1 million into BroadcastAmerica.com under a deal which gave BA Funding affiliate, SurferNETWORK a 10 percent stake in Broadcast America.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James B. Haines Jr. approved the compromise during a brief hearing in his Portland courtroom on Friday.
BroadcastAmerica lawyer Roger A. Clement Jr. told the Press Herald that he was pleased with the agreement.
"This is a very good result for the bankruptcy estate of Broadcast America because it avoids what could have been years of litigation and it ensures that the estate will receive the cash from the sale of at least a portion of the company's assets," he said.
Previous BroadcastAmerica: Previous SurferNetwork:
Portland Press Herald report.
2001-01-28: Success and problems in spectrum sales this week: $18.6 billions has been raised by the US Federal Communication Commission's C and F Block broadband Personal Communications Service spectrum auction after 101 round of bidding.
But in France the the sale of four third-generation mobile phone licences seems close to collapse after two of four bidders withdrew from a third-generation mobile spectrum auction.
In the US auction, Verizon Wireless, 45% owned by UK Vodafone, paid $5.5 billion for three licences in New York alone.
In France, the government had hoped to raise up to $19 billion from its saleof four fixed-price licence in a "beauty-contest" but these hopes seem to have been dashed by the withdrawal of French phone company Bouygues Telecom and a consortium of the French utility Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and Telefónica of Spain.
The sale will continue with the remaining bidders, France Télécom, and the Cegetel phone business of the conglomerate Vivendi Universal.
The bidding is to close at the end of this month and the French authorities say it will then "examine the situation in the light of the candidacies that have been submitted."
Although both the UK (RNW April 28) and German (RNW Aug 8) were successful with their mobile spectrum auctions, there have been problems with other European spectrum auctions.
In Switzerland, after an original list of 10 contenders was reduced to 4, officials postponed indefinitely a sale of licenses which the government hoped would raise $3.4 billion(RNW Nov 15.
In Italy, the last-minute withdrawal by one group forced a premature close to the auction and cut the amount raised by about half, to $10.5 billion.(RNW Nov 12).
FCC Auction web site:
FCC News Release:
2001-01-27: Virgin Radio in the UK is to cut the playing of bland teen pop from groups such as All Saints and Boyzone in favour of classic pop and rock.
It says its market research shows that listeners above 30 are being badly served by the teen material and that many listeners want classic rock and pop from the past as well as today's classics.
Virgin's programme director, Henry Owens, told the UK Guardian that the amount of chart music currently being aired was "incompatible with what a large percentage of adults want from their radio station."
He added that, "The majority of radio stations have responded to the trend for manufactured music, competing for a younger age profile of 15-24 and cluttering the market with stations with little point of differentiation."
UK Guardian report:
2001-01-27: New US Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael K. Powell has announced details of appointments he is making including the agency's new Chief of Staff and members of a core FCC transition team and his personal staff. The Chief of Staff is Marsha J. MacBride who replaces Kathryn C. Brown, Chief of the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau before being appointed Chief of Staff by then FCC chairman William E Kennard.
MacBride was recently a Vice President in the Washington, D.C., office of The Walt Disney Company but before that was with the FCC for nearly ten years.
She joined the commission in 1991 as an attorney in the Political Programming Branch of the Mass Media Bureau's Enforcement Division.
Amongst the posts she subsequently held were those of Legal Advisor to then-Commissioner Powell for mass media and cable television matters and Executive Director of the FCC's Task Force on Year 2000 Conversion.
The transition team of FCC officials comprises Jane E. Mago, a Deputy Bureau Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau; David H. Fiske, a Deputy Director of the FCC's Office of Media Relations and Paul A. Jackson, Special Assistant to the Chairman.
Powell's personal staff, including Jackson, will move to the chairman's office.
FCC News Release:
2001-01-27: Two early deaths in North American radio this week. Youngest was Toronto CFRB talk-show host, Dan Gallagher, who was found dead at his home.
Gallagher, who was 43, died of natural causes.
The other was Boston WRKO morning co-host Andy Moes who died of heart failure aged 50.
He had been in radio in Boston for more than 20 years, co-hosting a WROR morning show for 12 years before he moved to WEEI in 1991 and then back to WRKO in 1999.
2001-01-26: A little more freedom for private radio stations in Nepal is reported by the UK Independent.
A parliamentary committee in Kathmandu has ordered the government to lift a ban on private radio stations broadcasting their own news.
The government had told the country's six private FM radio stations to use only news supplied by the official state-run media, but they had been getting around the order by giving out news without calling it news. A few days ago the Communications Ministry issued fresh orders to stop this.
Nepal decided to allow private companies to run FM radio stations in 1998 with the understanding that they would not air news.
Similar restrictions still apply to private Indian radio stations.(RNW Mar 26)
UK Independent report:
2001-01-26: In Ireland, the Flood Tribunal into the award of Ireland's first national commercial radio licence to Century Radio has been hearing more testimony from Century co-founder James Stafford.
Most of his testimony concerned a £35000 cash payment made in 1989 by another co-founder Oliver Barry to then communications minister Ray Burke.
Stafford says he did not know of this payment until 1991, well after the event, but evidence has been given that he challenged Barry about the matter earlier than this because Barry was short of this sum in his overall investment in the station.
Stafford says that the shortfall "escaped his attention" and the matter was not disclosed to Century's solicitor or new investors because it was "overlooked".
Another sum not disclosed to investor UK Capital Radio was a claim by Barry for $40,000 for management services.
Previous Ray Burke:
Previous Capital Radio:
Previous Century Radio:
Previous Flood Tribunal:
RNW note: Most of our report is culled from The Irish Times which has been carrying full reports on the Flood Tribunal. For their reports follow the link below: Look for Flood Tribunal .
Irish Times --search page
2001-01-26: The price for shares in Austereo, the Australian national FM network being spun off by Village Roadshow, is likely to be towards the bottom of the range of between Aus$2and Aus$2.40 according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Village Roadshow is to sell 43.7% of the business, which the paper says would raise just over Aus $380 million at $2, compared to nearly Aus$460 million at the top end of the range.
The retail offer to clients of the lead managers open on February 5, and the institutional bookbuild process begins on February 28.
Among the factors, which will influence the price is the perceived threat from DMG Radio Australia which is building up its own network.
The Herald reports that it has now signed up Corey Layton, for its new Sydney station; Layton is known as "Captain Turntable" on the Australian Radio Network's TT-FM
Whatever the price, Austereo's top executives will do well out of the float.
Executive chair Peter Harvie, group managing director Brad March, numbers man Brian Bickmore and sales head Michael Anderson will each get a cheque for $475,000 after the float.
In addition all four will be offered share options. Harvie and March will each be offered 1.05 million shares and Bickmore and Anderson 700,000 shares at a price based on the mid-price of the indicative institutional offer indicative offer range.
Sydney Morning Herald on Austereo:
Sydney Morning Herald on Layton:
2001-01-25: UK Capital Radio has reported revenues from October to December last year up by 12% compared to 1999 reflecting acquisitions; same basis revenue was up 4%.
The company in its statement said it expected similar revenue increases for the first quarter of 2001 but added it was "cautious regarding current trends in the advertising market" although it believed "the longer term prospects for radio advertising are very positive."
Reacting to the caution, the market cut the company's shares value by around 8% to £10.25 after the announcement.
Capital is to spend around £3 million on digital radio in the current year and use digital licences to gain a national platform for its Xfm stations.
It is also expected to continue to build a stake in smaller stations in anticipation of a relaxation in ownership regulations, which currently prevent it from further full-scale acquisitions.
Previous Capital Radio:
Capital Radio news release:
2001-01-25: Internet listening increased again in the week to January 21 compared to earlier weeks of the year according to the latest Internet audio ratings from Measurecast.
It says that 22 of its top 25 stations had larger audiences, although the figures seem to show they listened less.
A particularly strong gain was reported for Los Angeles' CyberAxis oldies station, Mega 92.3, which made its debut in the top 25 at number 20.
The latest reports covers just over 400 stations, down from nearly 500 in the previous report (RNW Jan 18 ) but the popular formats were pretty well as before.
In the top five there was one newcomer, ABC radio's Classic Rock KQRS-FM (Minneapolis), which took the fifth place; dropping out down from third to sixth was Internet only station Radio Margaritaville.
The top five with previous week's Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and Cume persons (CP- an estimate of the total number of unique listeners who were listening for five minutes or more during the week) in brackets where applicable were:
1): Talk Radio WABC-AM (New York) TTSL 71,975 (73,183); CP 14,146 (12,245) - position unchanged.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 52,055 (58,002); CP 16,331 (15,332) - position unchanged.
3): CHR Top 40 WPLJ-FM (New York) TTSL 34,531 (37,415); CP 3,144 (3,004) - formerly 4th.
4): Talk Radio KSFO-FM (San Francisco) TTSL 33,729 (33,678); CP 7,019 (6,137) - formerly 5th.
5): Classic Rock KQRS-FM (Minneapolis)TTSL 32,712 (32,313); CP 3,880 (3,430) - formerly 6th.
Previous Measurecast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-01-25: The acquisition of a third announcer from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is part of a plan by Sydney radio station 2GB to go upmarket according to the station's owner, John Singleton.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald that the station had been "dumbed down" over the past years and has lost audiences as a result.
The new line-up, he added, was about taking the station "back to where it should never have left".
The three who have left the ABC are announcer Peter Wilkins, the latest to go, commentator and Parramatta rugby league coach Brian Smith, and breakfast host Phillip Clark, who left the ABC in December.
The Herald quotes 702 ABC Sydney manager Roger Summerill as saying the developments at 2GB were a "tremendous compliment" to his station.
Of the Wilkins departure he said , "I'm disappointed when anyone leaves as Peter has, [but] it gives us the opportunity to find and grow someone else..."
He added, "I think the experience of Phillip going is if anyone wants to go to 2GB let them go. Phillip going has given us a good opportunity to see what worked in breakfast, and what didn't."
Sydney Morning Herald report.
2001-01-24: US President Bush has appointed Michael K. Powell as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Powell, who is the oldest child of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, was already a Republican member of the 5-member FCC.
He has taken a markedly less interventionist stance than his predecessor William E. Kennard.
In particular he has spoken against regulation of communications industry giants.
He and fellow Republican commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth both argued against imposing any conditions on the America Online Inc take over of Time Warner.
This led to some criticism from some consumer groups as his father sat on AOL's board at the time and owned stock options worth more than $7 million, according to disclosure statements.
Powell followed his father into the army but received serious injuries in an automobile accident in Germany, where he spent the majority of his active service with the 3/2 Armoured Cavalry Regiment as a cavalry platoon leader and troop executive officer.
AFter his enforced reirement from the army, he switched to becoming a lawyer.
He worked for the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers LLP and then as the Chief of Staff of the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice.
He was appointed to the FCC by President Clinton in 1997 and served as the FCC's Defence Commissioner, being responsible for overseeing all National Security Emergency Preparedness functions for the Commission.
His appointment was widely approved and the FCC web site carries encomiums from Democrat FCC Commissioner Susan Ness and Republican colleague Harold Furchtgott-Roth.
Ness commented, "His leadership, intelligence, character, and sense of humour are qualities that will serve him, and the American public, well as he guides the FCC during this dynamic time of progress and change."
In similar vein, Furchtgott-Roth said, "Commissioner Powell is a proven leader in the communications industry and will bring his sharp intellect and substantial energy to the Chairmanship."
There was also welcome from the US commercial broadcasters' organisations, the National Association of Broadcasters.
Its President and CEO Eddie Fritts said, "President Bush has made an outstanding choice for FCC chairman."
"Michael Powell has demonstrated a keen intellect and a firm grasp on public policy issues. We look forward to working with him."
Powell himself was more reticent, refusing comment and issued a statement which said," I am deeply honoured and privileged to have received President Bush's designation to be Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission."
"I look forward to working with the new administration, Congress, my fellow Commissioners and the very talented FCC staff on the important and challenging communications issues facing our nation.
There was a less effusive welcome from some consumer groups.
The Washington Post quoted Gene Kimmelman, co-director of the Washington office of Consumers Union as saying, "He comes with a reticence to regulate in the face of market failure for both cable competition and local telephone competition."
FCC web site (links to statements from Commissioners):
Washington Post Article:
2001-01-24: Despite early reluctance to bid by some organisations because it is on AM only, there have been four applications for the Dublin religious radio licence.
They are from Radio Maria (Ireland); Solas AM Ltd; United Christian Broadcasters Ltd; and the "People into God".
Of the last, the Irish Times reports that it gave an address in County Dublin and a contact number which turned out to be a pensioner at a different address who did not know of the group or anybody with the contact name.
Radio Maria, reports the paper, says it is an Italian-based group with radio stations in 26 countries.
It says it proposes programming to include programming would include prayers, Bible readings, open-line advice programmes, spiritual and Irish music, lives of the saints and programmes aimed at refugees, prisoners and minority groups.
Solas AM, whose directors include former executives of Irish state broadcaster RTÉ (RNW Jan 4) would feature news and current affairs programmes, including activities in churches, parishes and local communities, as well as religious services.
It would broadcast from a predominantly Christian perspective, also involving people of other faiths.
United Christian Broadcasters (UCB), is a British based company, which already broadcasts from Stoke-on-Trent by satellite.
And some licence news from the UK where MXR has been awarded the digital multiplex service licence for the South Wales/Severn Estuary region (See licence news July 30) and Saga has been awarded the new West Midlands FM licence: More in Sunday's licence news.
Previous Licence News:
Previous Solas AM:
Previous United Christian Broadcasters:
Irish Times --search page (Look for radio and January 23) .
2001-01-23:A strange story from New York, which, if websites are to be believed, shows the saving of a New York radio show due to pressure from fans and advertisers.
It concerns "The Radio Chick" aka Leslie Gold, host of Viacom-CBS-Infinity-owned New York station WNEW-FM's late morning show who was fired without warning on Wednesday, January 3 as part of a line-up change.
Gold went on air on the Friday to say farewell and the station was bombarded with calls about why the show had been canned. In addition web sites, notably savetheradiochick.com and grouchyabe.com were set up as part of a campaign to save the show.
General media attention together with pressure from advertisers led to the new line-up being put on hold and "Best-of" tapes being run in the show's slot.
Then the Fall Arbitron audience ratings showed that the show had risen to from No 5 to No 3 among Men 25-44, taking a 6.1% audience share.
Whatever the reason for a changed decision, the show returned today with a longer 9 AM to noon slot, the websites celebrated, "Save the Chick" has become "We Saved the Chick", and someone's bacon is saved!
Save the Radio Chick site:
2001-01-23: A few radio business shorts: First more exposure for Bloomberg's financial news on UK radio.
The organisation has announced a tie-up with UBC Media, to provide business news reports across UBC's radio output.
In all Bloomberg's now supplies business news to some 70 UK radio stations.
And in the US, Salem Communications, the US Christian-oriented media group, has announced the completion of its $98 million sale of KALC-FM in Denver to Emmis Communications.(RNW Sept 20)
(RNW Note- KALC was one of the stations acquired from Clear Channel which had to divest it because of the AMFM takeover - see RNW Aug 26)
Commenting on the transaction, Edward G. Atsinger III, Salem President and CEO said the sale completed strategic moves that began with the purchase of eight stations from Clear Channel, which allowed Salem's business to move up a level.
The sale of KALC, he said, significantly strengthened Salem's balance sheet by reducing our debt back to a more comfortable level and would also allow continued expansion into new music formats, especially that of Contemporary Christian Music.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous UBC Media:
Salem web site (links to news release)
2001-01-23: XM Satellite Radio has announced more programming and manufacturing deals including an agreement with Visteon to develop radio receivers.
On the programme side the deals are with The Associated Press' All News Radio (ANR), with comedy suppliers National Lampoon and Firesign Theatre and with the Discovery Channel.
The latter will create a new radio channel featuring content from its cable networks, including the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel and the Discovery Health Channel.
XM web site:
|Next columnBack to top||Previous month|
|Site audio files||Radio Stations||Other links||Story Archives||Comment Index||
Radionewsweb.com, 38 Creswick Road, Acton, London W3 9HF, UK: