November 2001 Archive
Prime Radio Stations
November 2001 Archive
Previous month -
Links- internally where there are follow-up stories we try, at the end of each story, to put a pertinent link to the top of the next relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.
RNW November Comment looks at our fears for radio in recession.
RNW October Comment looks at the fight for minds element of the "War against terrorism", a war we fear the US may be incapable of winning.
RNW September Comment looks at how US media reacted to the tragic events of the attack on the US and what we think is needed in the future.
2001-11-30: Sue MacGregor, one of the BBC's best known voices, is to leave the flagship Radio 4 Today breakfast programme in February at the age of 60.
She has been the show's longest serving presenter, joining it as a part-time presenter in 1984 and concentrating on it exclusively from 1987.
Her BBC career began as a secretary on the radio features programme In Town Tonight after which worked in South Africa for the South African Broadcasting Corporation before returning to the BBC and working as a reporter for PM and The World at One on Radio 4.
She then moved to Woman's Hour on the same channel in 1972. working on it for 15 years before her move to Today full time.
Both colleagues and politicians have paid tribute to her; among them was former British Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, who is himself to become a radio 4 host for three jazz programmes- on drummer Kenny Clarke, singer Marion Montgomery and saxophonist John Coltrane.
He told the UK Guardian, "It's very sad. I am a Today addict...I'm sure she will be horrified to be described as a national institution but she is. She is a very nice woman who is also a very good interviewer."
BBC Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden commented, "She is one of those iconic figures in broadcasting who has done a great range of programmes for Radio 4 including Woman's Hour, Tuesday Call and numerous interview programmes."
"She has made a huge contribution to the network and to Today and we look forward to her making more programmes for us."
Jenny Abramsky, Director of Radio and Music (and former editor of Today) said, "From Woman's Hour to the Today programme, Sue MacGregor has been a towering figure on the radio landscape."
"She is now taking a well deserved rest from her 3.00am start and we look forward to her next radio reincarnation, which will reflect the same commitment and professionalism that distinguish her contributions."
Her fellow presenter John Humphrys said Sue MacGregor's departure from the Today programme would leave the nation without its "favourite headmistress", adding," I don't use this word lightly, but I think she is irreplaceable."
"She is impeccably professional and in terms of her skills as a broadcaster she has no equal. She can't be thrown at all. She is stunningly good at dealing with whatever problems come her way."
Another fellow Today presenter, James Naughtie said, "Sue is one of the great figures of radio. Her voice and style are part of our lives."
"We're all going to miss her on the programme - you get to know someone very well at 4am - and the Today family will seem strange without her."
"Her breadth and subtlety have made her a friend to millions of listeners over the years, because her natural intimacy makes them feel they know her."
MacGregor herself commented, "Working on Today over all these years has been enormously enjoyable, challenging, stimulating and - yes - occasionally exhausting!"
"For a presenter, it's just about the best programme on BBC radio, and it's been an great privilege to have been there for so long."
"But now it's time to move on. I shall miss it hugely."
She will be back on the channel shortly after hanging up her Today show microphone, as a castaway on its Desert Island Discs programme.
BBC news release:
UK Guardian site -has several items in Guardian and Media Guardian:
2001-11-30: Non -compete clauses, which prevent a broadcaster from moving to a competing station for a period, even when they have been laid off or fired, aresoon to be illegal in Illinois.
In his Chicago Sun-Times column, Robert Feder reports that the Illinois House voted 94-22 to override Republican state governor George Ryan's veto of a bill that outlaws such clauses.
The law only affect employees whose contracts have ended; it does not prohbit enforcement of non-compete clauses for an employee whose contract is still running or who has breached their contract.
The Illinois Senate had voted 48-10 to override the veto a fortnight ago and the Broadcast Industry Free Market Act will now become law on January 1.
The move had been passed by both houses in Illinois at the end of April (See RNW April 30 ) before it was vetoed.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the union representing broadcast talent, had strongly backed the measure and Dick Kay, president of AFTRA's Chicago local and WMAQ-Channel 5's political editor, called the passage "the most significant achievement for broadcasters in AFTRA's recent history."
"This is a day of liberation especially for broadcasters--union and non-union--on local station staffs," he told the paper.
"No longer can management in Illinois restrict competition for talent and keep wages artificially low. We moved a mountain."
Eileen Willenborg, AFTRA's executive director, said she hoped other states would follow suit and pass similar legislation.
The Illinois Broadcasters Association, which had strongly opposed the measure, did not respond to calls for comment from Feder but its President & CEO Dennis Lyle told RBR, "We're naturally disappointed with the override and remain puzzled as to why the Illinois Legislature 'singled out' the broadcast industry."
"Other Illinois industries should now be concerned that they could also become the target of selective interference in these matters that are best left in the courts."
"We stand by our argument that government should not intrude on private contracts."
RBR site -see daily news Nov 29:
Sun-Times - Feder column:
2001-11-29: A group claiming to represent Irish emigrants, Irish Overseas Broadcasting, is contesting the sale of long-wave station Atlantic 252, according to the Irish Times.
The group says it wants the channel, the only one with full coverage of Ireland, north and south, to be used as a national alert channel.
"Before it is too late, we ask for your support in having the State redirect its [the station's] use to the exclusive service of the Irish nation to which it was allocated at the signing of the Geneva Agreement in 1975," said a statement released by the group.
Irish state broadcaster RTÉ owns a fifth of Atlantic and also holds its licence; British group TEAMtalk Media, which intends to turn the station into a sports outlet TEAMtalk 252, is paying GBP2 million for 80% of Radio Tara, the organisation that operates Atlantic 252, which currently has a dance music format (See RNW Oct 10):
Previous Atlantic 252:
2001-11-29: UK Chrysalis Group, whose improved radio and television profits in the past year were wiped out by its new media losses (See RNW Nov 23) has now limited its potential losses from its main remaining Internet asset by teaming up with 365 Corporation to transfer them into a new company, Newco.
This will bring together both the Chrysalis and 365's Internet content and related assets in European digital sports field.
Chrysalis will provide operating funds of GBP1.3 million and 365 GBP500000 to the Newco and each will provide a further GBP250000 to Newco for future acquisitions.
Both Chrysalis and 365 will retain significant, but non-controlling, interests in Newco, but will have no further operational involvement or funding obligations.
Marcus Leaver, CEO of Rivals, Chrysalis's Internet content business, will become non-executive chairman of Newco whilst its managing director will be Richard Pembroke, Managing Director of 365's Internet division, which includes Football365, Planet Rugby, Cricket365 and Planet-F1.
2001-11-29: Internet radio fans are already tuning into stations streaming Christmas music according to the latest ratings from Measurecast.
It reports a significant increase in the listening to Cablemusic Network's Christmas Classic network (listening up 60% from 12000 to 19000 hours in the week to November 18) and Christmas Rock stations (listening up around 45% from 1200 to 1700 hours).
This came despite a fall in overall listening which took its Internet Radio Index, based on 100 at the start of the year, down 10% to 282.
Amongst the top five stations ranked by total time spent listening (TTSL) there was one new entrant and significant shuffling which ended up with two classical stations in the ranks but lower down.
The top five were, ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with, where applicable, previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets:
1): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 193781 (175975); CP 60400 (57966) Previously third - listening and reach up.
2): Jazz station Jazz FM TTSL 140100 (177371); CP 64831 (72929) Same position but listening and reach down.
3): Classical station WXQR-FM TTSL 130509 (213585); CP 10267 (10539) Previously first - listening and reach way down.
4): Classical music King FM TTSL 126593 (130061); CP 23493 (23439) - Same position but listening and reach down.
5): Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 106975 (104812); CP 17762 (18457) - Same position. Listening up but reach down.
Previous MeasureCast weekly ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-11-28: Politicians from all parties have pledged support for staff of Irish language station Raidió na Gaeltachta, which would have to make budget cuts of IRP370000 under cutbacks planned by Irish state broadcaster RTÉ.
Supporters staged a public protest meeting in Dublin on Tuesday evening that included speakers from Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Sinn Féin.
And in another state broadcaster dispute, technicians at English-language Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio and television stations voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike, which could start as early as today, depending upon talks that are continuing.
Their union said 86% of the 1600 technicians had voted in favour of the strike.
2001-11-28: Sirius Satellite Radio's new President and CEO is to be Joseph P Clayton, an electronics and telecommunications veteran.
He joins the company from Global Crossing, the Internet and long-distance services provider, where he was vice-chairman.
Clayton has also worked for Thomson MultiMedia, GE's Consumer Electronics Division and RCA Corp.
He succeeds David Margolese, Sirius' founder and chairman, who stepped down as CEO in October.
Clayton said that he was "very excited to take the helm of Sirius" and added that the company "offers a tremendous opportunity - a unique, branded service that will revolutionize the way people listen to radio."
He takes on a company that has problems through its delayed launch with first commercial services not now expected until a limited roll-out next February.
It's also facing around five class-action lawsuits that allege Sirius breached securities law by issuing false and misleading information regarding launch dates and thus boosting share prices. The lawsuits have been stacking up since the first was announced last month(See RNW Oct 10 ).
Sirius is not alone in facing class-action lawsuits. Amongst others still pending are:
*A suit against Radio Unica that claims that is IPO (Initial public Offering) underwriters received excessive undisclosed commissions from some investors in return for issuing them blocks of shares.
*A similar lawsuit against Radio One Inc over its IPO.
Previous Radio One Inc:
2001-11-28: The trial date for the animal cruelty case against Florida DJ Todd Clem, Bubba the Love Sponge, WXTB producer Brent Hatley and two others who were charged following the February castration and killing of a wild boar has now been set for February 11 next year.
The defendants had files motions last week to have the charges dismissed but the motions have been denied.
2001-11-28: After New York, Washington DC: News helicopters are back in the air above the US capital after the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) granted a waiver to the flight ban to Fetter Aviation, a company that flies traffic reporters for most of the major radio and television stations in the area.
Fetter's customers include two Westwood One outlets, Metro Traffic and Shadow Broadcast Services.
The US Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), which has been fighting the ban, says that the FAA is still grounding aircraft that are owned by the stations themselves.
Its President Barbara Cochran said that the FCC had now re-defined its ban to say that "no circling, loitering or unpredictable flight patterns" are allowed.
2001-11-27: US shock jock, Howard Stern, the self-styled "King of All Media" whose US ratings have been declining, has now been dumped from the Canadian airwaves.
His last show on Corus-owned Toronto station Q107 was aired on Friday and the station has returned to a Classic Rock format.
The station had been broadcasting the Howard Stern Show since 1997 and has a contract valued at around USD600000 a year running until 2003 but the show had lost around half its audience share since his debut, although he still remained in the lead in the adult male demographic.
The Toronto Star quoted Corus Radio President John P Hayes as describing the decision to drop the show as a good one and saying, "What radio does best is react instantly to the needs and interests of the local community... the Stern morning show just wasn't able to do that."
"From a ratings standpoint, and from a local marketing standpoint, we believe we can do better by making the move now."
When Stern's show was first aired by Q107, says the Globe, the station was losing listeners and advertisers and needed a shot in the arm.
The shock jock provided this, it says, but as the shock began to wane the show often came across as tedious and repetitive even though there were sill thousands of fiercely loyal fans in Toronto.
These, however, points out the Globe, could tune in to Buffalo's WBUF-FM to hear an unedited version of the show if they had a good quality receiver and the fact that many had done so helped to seal his fate.
JJ Johnston, general manager for the Corus Toronto stations told the paper that the move was a plus for advertising.
"A lot of clients refused to have commercials inside Howard Stern," he said.
"There was huge amount of business that would not go anywhere near that show."
Since Q107 announced it would be dropping Stern, he added, at least half dozen advertisers have called to get on the new format and only one existing advertiser has left.
Toronto Star site (Search for Stern):
2001-11-27: The British Government Consultation Document on Media Ownership Rules just released goes some of the way along the de-regulatory road wanted by some media owners but not enough to satisfy them.
In particular in a number of cases, rather than backing the removal of regulations it has hedged it bets and sought views on whether it should remove them.
It also proposes to retain restrictions on non-European ownership of media.
The document says that the government, noting New Zealand research suggests that" an almost completely deregulated market has led to a significant decline in the quality and diversity of programming a de-regulated market" continues to believe that content regulation of media is essential.
It adds that it wants "to ensure that citizens receive a diverse range of content from a plurality of sources" and says that diversity, the range of services available, and plurality, the ability to choose between different providers of services, are both essential.
In this light, although it says it favours de-regulation it says its task "is to find a middle ground that safeguards both competition and democracy, re-aligning ownership rules to adapt to the new market that is emerging."
"In other words, we should act to encourage a dynamic market whilst at the same time guaranteeing plurality, diversity and quality for the consumer."
Democracy, it says requires keeping a ban on political organizations from controlling TV and radio stations although it says local authorities and advertising agencies should be allowed to hold broadcasting licences.
It also proposes to keep the current ban on non-European control of media companies, noting that the US prohibits foreigners from owning more than a quarter interest in broadcasters.
As far as radio is concerned, it has disappointed some by asking for comments on whether the current "points" system should be retained rather than going directly for its abolition.
Under the system licences are awarded points according to the size of the population covered by the service and nobody can control licences accounting for more than 15% of the total number of points.
The paper has also asked for comment on whether it should lift the specific disqualification from ownership of more than one national radio licence rather than suggesting such a change.
On digital services, it says it would favour a scheme that ensured at least 3 owners of local digital sound programme service licences in each area, and also ensured plurality of ownership of multiplex licences and asks for views on whether the new OFCOM regulator should be asked to institute such a scheme.
Concerning onward sale of licences, it notes concerns about these resulting in a change in character of a station but also that in France the effect of a moratorium on all onward sales has often been that local radio stations have simply stopped broadcasting.
It therefore asks for views on whether OFCOM should be able to prevent the onward sale of licences for a two-year period after their award, where it believed a change of control would jeopardize the character of the service.
Concerning religious radio licences it proposes lifting an anomaly that allows religious organizations to have a local analogue licence but not a digital one and also asks for comment on whether it should remove all restrictions on religious organizations holding broadcasting licences, in particular a ban on holding a national licence.
Hedging its options concerning cross-media ownership, the paper suggests cross-media laws may be to secondary legislation, which would allow the new super-regulator, OFCOM, to recommend swift changes to the rules.
UK Department for Media, Culture and Sport Consultation Document (28 page 143kb PDF):
2001-11-27: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA)has now advertised the new commercial FM licence planned for Perth.
Applications have to be in by December 20 and the licence will be allocated to the highest bidder at an auction-style licence allocation exercise.
The reserve price for the licence is $1 million but forecasts are that it will fetch more like AUD70 million (around USD37 million).
Within the last two years there have been auctions of new commercial licences for Sydney, which fetched a record AUD 155 million (see RNW May 25, 2000); Melbourne, which fetched AUD70 million (see RNW Dec 15, 2000) and Brisbane, which fetched AUD67 million (See RNW May 31).
DMG, which has building up an Australian metropolitan network, has been involved in all the previous successful bids and is expected to be a leading contender in Perth.
2001-11-26: From the new to the old this week, spurred by a flowering of US articles concerning XM satellite radio and a look into the past from the newspapers in London and New York.
XM does pretty well in the write-ups, which have been following its final rollout over the US.
We hope satellite radio succeeds but, however good the product may turn out to be, the finances are also vital.
On this, we quote XM Satellite's vice president of marketing strategy, Tricia Kesling, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We've got a great product in a bad economy."
"We just have to be very strong and be very smart about what we're going to do."
XM'S 100-channel output includes 71 music channels of which 30 are commercial free, and 29 other channels including news, sports and talk and more esoteric channels such as the Hindi-language Radio Taj and Mandarin-language C-Wave and it hopes to pick up its break-even 4 million subscribers by 2002.
To do so, it will have to beat off competition from existing terrestrial stations, from its soon-to-launch competition Sirius Satellite Radio, and maybe from the advent of digital terrestrial radio broadcasting in the US.
The Chronicle spoke to John Stone, senior satellite analyst with Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., who said he recently drove from Los Angeles to New York listening to XM radio.
"From a technical perspective, the service works," Stone said.
"I had very few dropouts, typically less than one second, like in a deep canyon or in tunnels. There was no static, no hiss, no hum, no popping or cracking."
Stone believes satellite radio will eventually succeed because it provides more choices, especially in smaller radio markets but another analyst Thilo Koslowski, lead automotive industry analyst for GartnerG2, was more cautious about satellite radio's future.
He believes the market isn't big enough for both XM and Sirius, and expects one to fold or be bought by the other. "I think we'll know by the middle of next year if satellite radio will be successful or not," he told the paper.
A Baltimore Sun report, pegged to XM's unveiling in Maryland, also quotes John Stone although with a more cautious spin on the finances: "What's not resolved yet is whether people are really going to buy this. Even if they do, XM does not have enough cash to get them to break even, so they'll have to go back to the financial markets and raise more."
So why would anybody pay for a radio service? For an advertiser the answer is obvious but has a downside for the listener.
For the listener it's content and in his article in the Washington Post technology column Rob Pegoraro takes that issue head on.
" Under normal circumstances," he writes, " setting out for a drive of any duration without a stack of CDs is a dumb idea."
"It means putting up with the playlist-strangled selection of commercial FM radio, where, with depressingly few exceptions, the mainstream has gone stagnant and most things non-mainstream are being herded to extinction."
"Faced with the steady diet of nothing served up by "modern rock" stations, the most odious example of this trend, I've actually shut off the radio in favour of listening to my car's engine."
"This Sunday and Monday, however, I clocked 225 miles without the aid of a single CD or tape. What kept me from going batty was XM Satellite Radio."
After listing details of channels on offer, Pegoraro continues," individual channels show a creative independence absent from most FM stations."
"In other words, they sound as though they are run by people who actually like music."
"Playlists leave room for artists who will never show up on the likes of MTV's "Total Request Live," such as John Hiatt, Suzanne Vega and D.C. rockers Fugazi and the Dismemberment Plan."
"Shows need not stick to one market-tested genre; on an alternative-music channel, hip-hop followed hard rock, just like it does when people shuffle through their CD racks and MP3 collections."
"And longer material isn't chopped up for commercial breaks -- a classical channel played a six-movement Schubert symphony uninterrupted."
"I wholeheartedly and unreservedly applaud this."
"XM's the best way to check out new music since Napster." Content, of course, was once different on radio, a point made in a New York Times article by James Barron.
He starts by writing of "when radio was more than all news, all talk or all-pre-programmed disc jockeys, one of the biggest stars on the air was a baggy-eyed, nasal-sounding former juggler" and goes on to reminisce about the "Fred Allen Show" and the eponymous artist whose memory has been dimmed because he did not make the transition to television.
In so doing, Barron notes example after example of features on today's TV shows that were pre-dated by those in Allen's including "Mighty Allen Art Players" who preceded The "Mighty Carson Art Players" on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" and The "Jay Walking" segment on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" which he describes as the "Allen's Alley" segment of the radio show without the precision of Allen's script.
All gone you might think, except perhaps where there is a state system, which allows broadcasters like the BBC to continue with a broad range of offerings.
Not always so it would seem if a couple of other US newspaper offerings this week were a guide
Also from the New York Times the heading "Like the BBC Without Accents, or 'NPR on Drugs'" precedes an article by Glenn Collins on the "Batchelor and Alexander" running on WABC-AM in New York.
Since September 12 it says, John Batchelor and Paul Alexander have been delivering "a content-rich circus featuring guests ranging from United States senators and representatives to think- tank warriors, Afghanistan mavens and even their own correspondent in Uzbekistan, one Timur Shakirov."
Batchelor is quoted as saying, "Our model is the BBC World Service, with music and live interviews, but without English accents" whilst his partner adds, "We're not NPR, where they do set-ups to things on tape…Well, we could be NPR on drugs."
And from the Chicago Tribune, an article by its media critic, Steve Johnson, headed "Radio documentary's roots are growing in Chicago."
In it he says, "Probably more than at any time since TV, great documentaries -- great stories because, let's face it, "documentary" is a cold sore of a word -- are being produced for radio."
"The result can be more deeply affecting than almost anything else in contemporary media. I've had tears rolling on the elevated, listening to haunting tapes made decades ago by a Vietnam War soldier who planned to go into radio if he returned."
" I've sat in my car -- and this has become the stereotypical anecdote about radio documentaries precisely because it is true -- well after turning the engine off, hoping I'll get to the end of the story before the mall security guard comes out to break the spell." The article, written in the form of a script, deals with various people and programmes involved in radio documentaries, but there is a sting in one segment: "Narrator: Be assured, this is a public radio story. Documentaries don't fit into a commitment to provide traffic and weather on the ones. But it is also a story of a medium coming into its new self, and that is what's most encouraging."
Indeed! Like whole symphonies.
But the article does provide a fitting lead to mention of forthcoming BBC programme (2000GMT on BBC Radio 4 on November 29 for anyone who cares to listen on the Internet or off air) that is the subject of Paul Donovan's radio column in the UK Sunday Times. The programme, "The Angry Brigade" is, he writes, "pithy, 30- minute account of the background to, and activities of, the group of anarchist bombers who produced that name for themselves with a John Bull printing set."
Donovan goes on to say that this documentary "manifests two great truths about radio, one of which programme- makers know full well but the other they often forget."
"First, it is quite possible to make a programme in which the subjects themselves keep si-lent, as the men and women of the Angry Brigade always have."
"Second, you frustrate listeners if you do not raise the questions they will be forming in their minds - even if you cannot answer them."
Amongst the questions, says Donovan, are "why has not a single one of them, or even a member of their support group, ever spoken to the media?"
"Have they changed their names?"
"Are they still trying to destroy capitalism or have they become like the rest of us, worried about their mortgages, pensions and children?"
Some points well made and a great pity that the programme won't be available "on demand" on the web site.
Previous Steve Johnson:
Baltimore Sun on XM:
Chicago Tribune - Johnson:
New York Times on Batchelor and Alexander::
New York Times on Fred Allen:
San Francisco Chronicle on XM:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post on XM:
2001-11-25: It's been a fairly quiet week on the licence front over the past seven days with Australia's main news concerning the High Court decision to dismiss with costs an application for a judicial review of the radio plans set out by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) for the Gosford area of New South Wales ( See RNW Nov 21).
This will now allow the auctioning of a new commercial FM licence for the area.
Elsewhere there was nothing in note in Ireland, a takeover approval in Canada and both analogue and digital activity in the UK.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Corus Radio's CAD4 million acquisition of Tri-Co Broadcasting Limited, licensee of CJUL-AM, CFLG-FM and CJSS-FM, in Cornwall Ontario.
The Commission felt that other media services available in the area, including the radio service of Radio Communautaire Cornwall-Alexandria inc., meant that the takeover was allowable in terms of preserving a diversity of voices in the area.
In line with the country's Canadian benefits policy 6% of the transaction amount, in this case a total of CAD242500, will be used for Canadian talent development.
The Commission also noted a number of Corus' commitments including those to ensure continued diversity of programming, to provide access to capital for upgrading of equipment and conversion to digital and to allow the stations to become part of the new Local Media Internet Venture (LMIV) project.
Also in Ontario, the CRTC has also approved a power increase for CIKR-FM Kingston from 42000 watts to 24000 watts.
The station had originally been granted a licence for the higher power transmissions from a new tower to be constructed on Wolfe Island but abandoned the plan and instead co-sited its transmitter at the existing CKWS-TV site on Wolfe Island.
It has, however, refused an application by CKDX-FM Newmarket to vary the conditions of its licence and allow it to broadcast more than 50% hit material.
The station has argued that as a "small station" with a "small signal" it was operating at a competitive disadvantage because the strong signals of Toronto's major stations; to compete with them it had developed a "Dancing Oldies" music format, not duplicated by its competitors, that focuses on dance music drawn from the 70's, 80's and 90's and for which it needed access to a large pool of 70's disco hits.
The rules under which the station operates do not restrict it to the selection of 80s and 90s hits and the Commission held that this gave the station sufficient flexibility for its format.
In the UK, the Radio Authority, has advertised a new licence to serve Worthing in West Sussex; it has also announced that it has received two applications for the Leicester digital multiplex.
They are from EMAP Digital Radio Ltd and Now Digital (East Midlands) Ltd.
Both have to carry BBC Radio Leicester in addition to which EMAP is proposing ten programmes and Now Digital eight.
Emap's proposed mix is:
*Chart and current hits -- Leicester Sound (provider: GWR Group plc) - subject to agreement.
*Asian programming -- Sabras Radio (provider: Sabras Radio Ltd.) -- subject to agreement.
*Adult contemporary music and speech -- Century Radio (provider: Capital Radio plc) - subject to agreement.
*East Midlands regional service II -- Format and provider not yet known.
*Local service for Loughborough area -- Oak FM (provider: CN Group Ltd.)
*Young Asian -- TAP (provider: Asian Sound Radio Ltd.)
*Gold -- Provider: to be advertised
*New rock -- Xfm (provider: Capital Radio plc) - subject to agreement.
*Dance -- Kiss (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.)
*Jazz and soul -- Provider: to be advertised.
Now Digital's proposed services are:
*Contemporary hit radio -- Leicester Sound (provider: Leicester Sound Ltd.)
*Asian music and speech -- Sabras Radio (provider: Sabras Sound Ltd.)
*Talk and predominantly adult contemporary music -- 106 Century FM (provider: Capital Radio plc)
*Adult rock -- The Arrow (provider: Chrysalis Radio Ltd.)
*Pop hits from the past four decades -- Pop Hits (provider: GWR Group plc)
*Music for today's teenagers and pre-teens -- Cube (provider: Capital Radio plc)
*New regional service (or alternative) -- Format and provider not yet known
*Young Asian and Asian communities -- Asian Plus (provider: Sabras Sound Ltd.).
Applications have to be submitted by the end of January and a decision is expected early in the New Year.
In the US , all was fairly quiet, although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now to consider a petition to bar Clear Channel from purchasing WKKJ-FM Chillicothe, Ohio (See RNW Nov 24): Clear Channel has until December 5 to respond to the petition.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site
2001-11-25: Staff at Irish State Broadcaster RTÉ's Lyric FM are claiming that regional services are being affected disproportionably as the broadcaster cuts back to save some IRP24 million (See RNW Nov 2).
Various radio services are being cut back significantly including Limerick-based Lyric Fm, which has to save IRP555000 from its annual budget of IRP 2.3 million and is planning to close its news service and TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta, both of which have headquarters in the Connemara Gaeltacht and have to save some IRP7000.
In Cork, Radio One World, the AM service for ethnic minorities disappears. Lyric FM's news staff of five full-time and three part-time journalists are lobbying politicians.
"There is a direct link between the proposed job cuts and the lack of an adequate licence fee increase,"journalist Marian Malone told the Irish Times.
"We are the first and only news staff ever to be made compulsorily redundant," she added.
If the cuts go ahead, the current news service is expected to be taken by Dublin and read by the station's music presenters.
"Even the smallest local radio station has its own news service," said Malone.
"What they are proposing is a 'rip and read' service as far as we can ascertain."
The journalists claim that the move will add to the Dublin bias of news and lose Lyric's distinctiveness.
Irish Times report:
2001-11-25: US News aircraft and helicopters, which had been banned from US airspace thus significantly affecting traffic reporting as well as news operations (See RNW Oct 2), have been back in operation in some parts of the US.
Following complaints by businesses in New York, the Federal Aviation Authority has begun granting waivers to allow flights over the city, some of which have been by news organisations.
The New York Times reports that they include a TV helicopter covering the Thanksgiving Day Parade and delivering traffic reports.
New York Times report
2001-11-24: The chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ( CRTC) , David Colville, has sounded an upbeat note in an address on the Canadian Broadcasting System to the country's Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meeting in Ottawa.
After noting that change had been the dominant theme since the country's Broadcasting Act was last updated in 1991, he said that the Act allowed flexibility to amend policies to meet changing conditions in attaining the objectives of providing a choice and diversity of services whilst maintaining a strong Canadian presence and promotion of services reflecting Canadian values.
The CRTC, said Wylie, had undertaken comprehensive reviews of all its major policies and regulations to reflect demographic and technological change and the results were now taking hold and producing positive effects.
Commenting on the renewals of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation licences, he said the Commission had taken the view that the CBC should devote its resources to existing services rather than expanding into new areas.
In its decisions, the Commission emphasized the essential role the Corporation plays in providing high-quality Canadian programming that informs and entertains.
The Commission took the view that, in a period of fiscal uncertainty, the CBC should devote all available resources to the existing radio & TV services rather than expand into new ventures.
It had encouraged CBC radio, both English and French, to extend their services so that a majority of each language group will receive these services throughout the country.
Concerning Canadian commercial radio he spoke of three objectives: pride of place for Canadian artists; a strong French-language presence in radio, and a well-financed radio industry better poised to meet the objectives of the Act.
The Commission, he said, has increased the required levels of Canadian content in popular music selections, which had been around 2% before such minimums were first introduced in 1971, to 35%.
On the question of radio industry strength, he said that in the early 90s Canadian commercial radio was in financial trouble but this had now changed as a result of the Commission developing a model that allowed consolidations whilst balancing the concerns that there should be competitions and a diversity of news voices.
To do the latter in the new regulatory regime the policy included measures to encourage new entrants into the industry and 39 of 44 licences issued had gone to smaller players or new entrants including new aboriginal and multicultural programming services.
The Canadian radio industry, Wylie added, continues to take advantage of the revised ownership guidelines and as a result transfer benefits, which are used to develop emerging Canadian talent, have totalled CAD51.4 million from the introduction of the policy in 1998 until July 2001.
2001-11-24: The suggestion that Clear Channel may be playing a "shell game" is contained in a Salon story concerning a petition by Ohio carpet dealer David Ringer who has filed a petition with the US Federal Communications Commission to deny the sale by Secret Communications of WKKJ-FM Chillicothe to Clear Channel (See RNW Oct 6).
Ringer also says that Clear Channel is illegally operating the station.
He bases this on a series of events starting with what he says was a forced divestiture of the station in 1998 following its takeover of Jacor, which had in turn agreed to sell the station following its takeover of Nationwide.
Ringer says that Concord Media entered into a time brokerage deal with the Country format station in 1999 but that Clear Channel has been the organisation paying the employees, and in effect using Concord as a front and thus gaining a monopoly on advertising in the town since Clear Channel owns the other three stations there.
Ringer's petition also notes similar CCU/Concord alliances in other parts of the country, including Pensacola, Youngstown and Jacksonville, where the website for WQIK-FM has a link to a page listing Clear Channel's Jacksonville stations.
BIA data, according to R&R Online shows that Clear Channel bought the station outright in September this year and that Secret Communications had bought it from Jacor in 1998.
The story is made even more complicated because WKKJ-FM has a construction permit to move to Ashland Ohio and is also said to be considering another to change the license to Williamsport, Ohio.
Either of these changes would enhance Clear Channel's market dominance in the area but would be within currently permitted ownership regulations.
Previous Clear Channel:
2001-11-23: A Canadian-designed telephone exchange could aid talk stations to screen out unwanted callers according to an article in the New Scientist magazine.
The exchange, designed by Mitel, builds a database of voiceprints that can then be put on an "exclusion" list that would permit the exchange to hang up on the caller almost as soon as they start speaking.
Stations already exclude some regular callers whom they consider a nuisance through caller ID systems but these rely on calls being made from a known number and leave considerable screening and weeding out to be done by comparatively expensive humans.
2001-11-23: UK media group Chrysalis has reported strong performances by its core radio and TV arms but has plunged into a GBP4.5 million loss for the year to the end of August because of losses and write-offs totalling GBP22.4 million at its now largely defunct or disposed of New Media operations.(See RNW Aug 5)
It's loss before tax was GBP16.8 million compared to a profit of GBP900000 in 2000.
The group's preliminary results which include a total of GBP9.4 million exceptional charges connected with exit losses and write-down of values of the New Media business show group turnover excluding New Media up 14% to GBP191.7 million, EDITDA up 31% to GBP12.4 million and profits before interest and tax up 54% to GBP8.2 million.
Chrysalis is the UK's fourth largest radio group and its Radio Division increased turnover by 18.3% to GBP44.0m compared with a UK radio industry decline of 0.2 % in the same period and analogue radio profits were up 45% to GBP7.24million, underpinned by strong audience growth.
Within the division, revenue growth across the company's two Heart stations, in London and the Midlands station, was up 16.6% in the financial year whilst revenue growth across its Galaxy network was 18.1% in the last twelve months.
On the digital front, Chrysalis, which holds nearly 40% of the MXR consortium, has been involved in the winning bids for all the regional licences applied for by the consortium.
MXR now has licences in four of the five regions outside London in which Chrysalis operates and is awaiting a decision on the Yorkshire regional licence.
Digital cost the company GBP570.000 over the year and it estimates costs will peak around GBP2million a year over the next few years before digital radio develops more fully.
The group says that it is aiming to continue to outperform the industry averages for revenue growth and also to achieve a 30% return on sales although it warns, "prevailing market conditions create poor visibility in the outlook for advertising led revenue."
"However," it adds, "with relatively short lead times compared to other media we expect radio to be an early beneficiary of an economic upturn when it comes."
Chrysalis results (354kb Word document):
2001-11-23: Police now say that BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Horace Pinnock, DJ Village, was shot and fatally injured (See RNW Nov 22 ) a few hours after he and a group of friends were robbed by armed of jewellery plus around USD10000 in cash.
They say the robbery took place as the DJ tried to park his car at a northwest London hotel.
Most of the money belonged to Jamaican recording artist "Elephant Man" and he, the DJ, and a friend reported the robbery to hotel staff. Several hours later the three men were involved in a dispute with a group of men who met them in the hotel lobby and Pinnock was shot after the dispute spilled outside.
The shooting is not the first to involve Radio ! personalities; in 1999 Tim Westwood presenter of the Radio 1 Rap Show was shot in the arm by a gunman who pulled alongside his vehicle in south London.
2001-11-22: Canadian broadcasters CHUM, Newfoundland Capital Corporation (Newcap), and Standard Broadcasting Corporation have teamed up in an Internet radio deal. The deal involves CHUM exchanging its Bonzaroo.com Internet radio portal and $1.5-million in radio advertising inventory for a 16.5-per-cent stake in Iceberg Media.com Inc.
Iceberg in turn is issuing 5.25 million shares to CHUM, thus giving it an equal stake in Iceberg with the other two broadcasters.
Jim Waters, president of CHUM Radio commented that he didn't think anyone had yet figured things out for Internet radio and it made sense to co-operate rather than compete in this area. The three broadcasters will work together to direct listeners and advertisers to Iceberg with a concentration of national advertisements.
Previous Standard Broadcasting:
2001-11-22: Kentucky-based Regent Communications is to raise some USD5 million through a private placement of around 900,000 newly issued shares at USD5.75 a share.
Net proceeds will be used to repay current outstanding debt and for general corporate purposes.
Regent says this will enable it to raise funds in future to pay for its pending and future acquisitions.
Regent currently has some 60 stations in 12 mid-sized and small markets.
Regent web site:
2001-11-22: BBC Radio 1 reggae disc jockey DJ Village, whose real name is Horrace Pinnock, has died in hospital after being shot outside the Plaza Hotel in Wembley, North West London.
Police said he was shot several times after an argument between a group of black males but they were keeping an open mind about the motive.
2001-11-22: David H. Fiske has been appointed Director of the Office of Media Relations for the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) having been Acting Director since January.
He joined the FCC in April 1995 as a Deputy Director of the former Office of Public Affairs, before which he covered the FCC as a reporter for Warren Publications' Communications Daily and Television Digest.
2001-11-21: Interim results for UK radio group GWR show a 70% drop in profits despite strongest ever audiences in the six months to the end of September.
Turnover was up by 6.3 % to GBP62.4 million but on a like-for-like basis excluding acquisitions this represented a fall of 3.4%.
The like for like fall compares to a drop in UK advertising revenues for GWR of 5.9% and for the UK radio industry of 9.4%.
Aain national revenues were down more - by 8% for the period but 15% in the first three month followed by a recovery to stay even in the second quarter.
GWR local revenues were down 3% for the six months. Operating profit before goodwill and exceptional items fell by more than 40% from GBP212.2 million in 2000 to GBP7.2 million this year.
For the companies analogue radio operations, profits were down by a 41% from GBP 14.9 million to GBP8.8million
Pre-tax profits for the group before exceptionals and goodwill fell even more sharply, by 70% from GBP9.4 million to GBP2.8million.
Ralph Bernard, Executive Chairman commented, "It is a difficult market but ours is a robust business strongly supported by excellent assets."
"During the period we have recorded the best ever audiences for Classic FM and The Mix. We are focussing our resources on our core radio business with the objective of achieving increasing margins."
(See RNW Nov 20 regarding reports that GWR may sell some of its holdings).
As well as its UK interests, which comprise Classic FM 38 local analogue licences, seven digital multiplexes and a 63% in the national Digital one franchise plus a 20% share in London News Radio, which owns LBC and News Direct, GWR has interests in Europe and Australia.
In Europe it says that the period has seen best-ever audience figures for its main Austrian operation, Antenne Wien, which together with Antenne Salzburg expect to "benefit competitively from a recent government ruling forbidding the state broadcaster to sell advertising time for private companies." "New, more relaxed ownership rules." it adds, "have now been introduced by the Austrian government and are expected to lead to a round of consolidation."
(RNW comment - maybe increasing likelihood of a disposal).
In Hungary, it says, "Radio Danubius maintains its position as the country's leading commercial broadcaster. In fulfilment of an agreement reached last year with our local partner Wallis Group, we have increased our shareholding in Danubius."
In Australia, GWR holds 25% of DMG Radio, which has successfully bid for the new commercial FM licences in Sydney, where Nova FM launched successfully in April (See RNW April 2); in Brisbane where its joint venture station run by ARN has launched; and in Melbourne where Nova 100 is due to launch on December 3.
The group also intends to bid for the new Perth commercial FM licence, which is expected to be auctioned early next year.
Looking ahead GWR says it "is planning its business on the assumption that the present difficult trading conditions will continue some time." "Nonetheless, ours is a robust business strongly supported by excellent assets," it adds.
2001-11-21: Latest ratings from MeasureCast show New York Times classical station WXQR-FM holding on to its top ranking and with only one change in the top five where sports talk ESPN has moved back in at number five and pushed Virgin down to sixth place ranked by total time spent listening (TTSL).
The organisation also reports an - unsurprising - increase in listening to Talk and News stations when there is a big story as with the New York plane crash but an overall fall back in listening in the week to November 11 with MeasureCast's Internet Radio Listening Index dropping 4% to 315.
The top five were, ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with, where applicable, previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets:
1): Classical station WXQR-FM TTSL 213585 (290699); CP 10539 (11843) Same position but listening and reach down.
2): Jazz station Jazz FM TTSL 177371 (189948); CP 72929 (76422) Same position but listening and reach down.
3): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 175975 (153293); CP 57966 (53537) Same position but listening and reach up.
4): Classical music King FM TTSL 130061 (124682); CP 23439 (23054) - Previously fifth. Reach and listening up.
5): Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 104812 (118824); CP 18457 (20630) - Previously sixth with higher numbers.
Previous MeasureCast weekly ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-11-21: The Australian High Court has dismissed with costs an application by RG Capital Pty Limited seeking a judicial review of the plan by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) for a single new commercial service in the Gosford area of New South Wales (see Licence News Sept 10, 2000).
The Authority had to suspend the licence auction in November 2000 when the case was brought (See RNW Nov 21, 2000 ).
2001-11-20: Cumulus shares, already on a roll, have gone even higher following its announcement of a USD200 million-plus deal to buy Aurora Communications, which owns 18 stations in Bridgeport and Danbury, Connecticut plus Newburgh-Middletown, Westchester County, and Poughkeepsie, New York.
Cumulus shares had been rising since early November when they were under USD7 and ended last week at USD12, adding another 40 cents on Monday.
This compares to a 52-week high of USD14.90 and low of USD3.06.
Under the deal, Cumulus will pay around USD93 million in cash or assumed debt plus around USD127 million in Cumulus stock.
In addition Cumulus will issue warrants to Aurora's shareholders to purchase an additional 833,333 shares of Cumulus stock (worth around USD10million).
Cumulus also announced an USD84 million deal to buy three radio stations in DBBC LLC, a Nashville, Tennessee owner of three stations which is in turn owned by Cumulus Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey Jr. and other members of the Dickey family.
Under the deal, Cumulus will transfer 5.250M shares of stock to DBBC's owners and assume approximately $21M in debt.
DBBC's owners will also receiver warrants to purchase 250K additional shares of Cumulus stock.
Commenting on the deals, Lew Dickey, "The transactions we are announcing today represent another important milestone in the development of this Company."
"We are adding a total of 21 stations across six markets, and approximately $44 million of gross revenue on a trailing twelve-month basis that will increase our pro forma EBITDA by approximately 40%. "
Furthermore, we are adding great assets and talented people to our Company, and positioning Cumulus for future growth… This acquisition will increase Cumulus' presence in the Northeast Region and provide Cumulus with an entrée into the strategically vital metropolitan New York markets."
Aurora's CEO Frank Osborn, who will be joining the Cumulus Board of Directors following the completion of the transaction, said, "We believe this transaction is highly beneficial to both the stockholders of Aurora and the operations of the stations."
"Station management will remain unchanged with Vince Cremona continuing to oversee day-to-day operations of the stations."
"At the same time, the stations will have access to the resources and capital of a larger company. We look forward to working with the Cumulus team to contribute to a company at the forefront of the broadcasting industry.''
Bank of America Capital Investors is a major investor in both companies; it holds 840,000 Cumulus class A common shares and about 2 million class B nonvoting shares and also owns a majority of the equity in Aurora.
This deal gives the bank about 9 million shares of a new class of Cumulus nonvoting common stock, which will convert to voting shares when transferred to another party.
Both deals are subject to regulatory approval and that of Cumulus shareholders and are expected to be completed in the first half of next year.
The deal to acquire DBBC LLC was negotiated by a special committee of the Cumulus Board and the Cumulus letter of intent is non-binding with the acquisition subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive acquisition agreement.
Cumulus is also involved in a row over a Florida deal to sell WWLD-FM, Tallahassee, to Triad Broadcasting.
Triad has launched a lawsuit to force Cumulus to close the USD1.72 million sale, which was due on October 26.
Cumulus says the delay is because a linked USD1.5 million deal to buy WSLE-FM, Cairo is contingent on regulatory approval of a signal upgrade that would move it into the Tallahassee market.
If the deals go through, Triad will end up with four FMs in the Tallahassee market and Cumulus will still have one AM and four FMs.
If all pending acquisitions and divestitures go through, Cumulus Media will end up owning and operating 245 radio stations in 51 mid-size U.S. media markets.
That would put it second to Clear Channel in terms of number of stations owned; in revenue terms it will add about USD44 million a year through the acquisitions to move to a total of around USD280 million, thus overtaking Hispanic Broadcasting and Susquehanna and not far behind Radio One Inc.
Previous Lew Dickey:
Previous Radio One:
Cumulus news release :
2001-11-20: British radio group GWR, whose interim results are due out today, is reported to be thinking of selling its stake in the London radio stations LBC and News Direct and its European assets.
The group, which owns Classic FM and 38 local UK stations, is strapped for cash and has been hit by the advertising downturn.
It has instituted a strategic review of what are "core" and "non-core" assets and is said to have decided to concentrate on its UK operations, which would mean that European stations such as Danubius in Hungary and Antenne Wien in Austria could be up for sale.
GWR has a 20% share in London News Radio, which owns LBC and News Direct; the other shares are held by Reuters and ITN (Independent Television News).
Talk-format LBC has become more valuable after it was allowed to switch from AM to FM whilst News Direct moved the other way.
2001-11-20: Conservative US talk show host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday that he is now totally deaf and that the medication he had taken had not worked.
He added that he's now to go under the surgeon's knife and have cochlear implants soon.
If all goes to plan he hopes to have his hearing back at the start of next year; he said the implants take a month to six weeks to work and have around a 99% success rate and that they might allow him to hear radio and TV and even use the telephone.
Limbaugh's show is syndicated by Premiere Networks, which has made special arrangements for transcriptions of calls to allow him to continue his broadcasts (See RNW Oct 12).
Limbaugh web site
Premiere web site:
2001-11-19: A farewell this week, with Frank Ahren's last "Radio Listener" column in the Washington Post after three years; we can only hope that a successor is appointed but fear that the subject will be downgraded.
The fear arises from the demise of the Saturday radio columns of Peter Barnard in the London Times and the lack of a replacement when Jim Kirk moved over at the Chicago Tribune.
Maybe it's co-incidence but the UK Sunday Times this week no longer has its Irish radio column and severe cuts are feared at the Irish Times so Harry Browne's column could be at risk. The Ahrens column itself?
He starts by remembering his first column which featured a group of "pirate" radio broadcasters marching on the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of Broadcasters, pulling down the NAB's flag and hoisting a Jolly Roger in its place.
His final column looks both backwards over the three years and forwards.
In the backward looking section Ahrens notes his listening and issues a number of awards including a Worst Taste One (won unsurprisingly, perhaps, by a Clear Channel outlet) to a "You didn't think I'd forget Don and Mike, did you?" note.
That note is a good "out" for Ahrens. It reads, "For more than two years, the WJFK (106.7) duo of Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara have fragged my butt, purposefully mispronouncing my name, opining that I'm an "idiot radio reporter" and even once staging a week-long drama called 'As the A-herns Turns,' in which I was depicted as either a eunuch or a homosexual. "
"Now it's my turn: Don and Mike are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings I've ever known in my life."
"Phew! Almost brainwashed by Don and Mike! Listen -- these guys run a strong radio show, in terms of entertainment and ratings."
"They are both big-talent pros. They sometimes broadcast material that I wish I -- and kids -- never heard on the radio."
"To me, some conversations that are appropriate between guys in a bar are not suitable for broadcast. The general coarsening of radio over the past three years has been dispiriting."
"To wit, the raunch-talk of recent WJFK additions Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) make Don and Mike sound as risqué as the "Car Talk" boys."
"Bottom line with Don and Mike and me: It was all radio shtick. Good fun. Soon there will be a new idiot radio reporter, and Don and Mike won't have this Listener to kick around anymore. I bet we'll all miss it. "
We here would certainly miss Harry Browne were his column to disappear.
Although it is sometimes too closely tied to the particulars of Irish programmes to travel, he has a good way with words and a wry sense of humour.
Take this week's column which starts on the promotion of his book by former Vanity Fair journalist Toby Young. Browne writes of his interview with Eamon Dunphy , "Take any given listener - even, for the sake of argument, one who shares Eamon Dunphy's fascination with insider tales of the media."
"Better yet, take me. Here I am, listening to Dunphy start the interview with Young."
"My interest is piqued by Eamon's extravagant-even-for-Dunphy praise for the book; I like the sound of Young, master of the very English art of self-deprecating arrogance; I smilingly envy him the good fortune of having an autobiographical tale that justifies snatching one of the all-time great book titles-in-waiting off the shelf: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People."
T hen Browne continues, "Half-an-hour and more later, I'm sated. It's been great, Toby - I love your description of Vanity Fair as 'the in-flight magazine of the Gulfstream-jet-owning classes'."
"I love what happened after you offended an actor with your questions: your editor bawled you out with 'You can't ask a Hollywood star if he's Jewish and if he's gay! Just assume they're all Jewish and they're all gay!'"
"I even love the way you caused Eamon to tell us what other gossipy books he's been reading lately."
"But your book, Toby? Why bother? I've just had its entire trajectory carefully charted for me and heard its best anecdotes."
"What would I be doing buying your book? Your best hope is that someone who couldn't give a damn about this stuff switched off the interview after two minutes - but made a mental note to pick up the book as a Christmas gift for some pathetic media junkie. "
RNW comment: A good example of the efficacy of the medium and of the law of unintended consequences at the same time.
And while on "regulars", this week's column by Sunday Times stalwart Paul Donovan deals with the results of a BBC appeal for tapes of missing programmes (See RNW Nov 9).
"The best radio news of recent days is that four missing episodes of Hancock's Half Hour have just been discovered" he writes.
"The bad news is that 27 are still missing."
However he says at it's a plus whatever has turned up - and also a lesson for the future.
"The BBC has learnt an important lesson from all this. Successful series will not be wiped in future, but preserved for posterity."
RNW note: The same story of loss by companies -but in many cases preservation by individuals - also applies elsewhere, dating back to times when preservation was comparatively costly and little value was placed on archives.
Nowadays we'd like to think the same rules don't apply and, even more, that for worthy programmes the big companies could start a comprehensive on-demand system that would allow archive downloads from the Internet.
That, we feel, would be worth a subscription.
Irish Times - Browne:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Ahrens:
2001-11-19: The Pacifica Radio National Board of Directors has agreed a formula under which control of the network will be turned over to an interim board that will set up a structure for what the Save Pacifca campaigners term "the democratisation of Pacifica".
The agreement came after the Board, which was meeting in Crystal City Virginia, had heard the views of listeners and staff from round the network and then gone into closed session after.
Announcement of the deal came from dissident Tomás Moran in a statement broadcast on Pacifica Berkeley station KPFA.
Under the agreement, which is subject to legal review, dissidents and majority factions would each appoint five members to the new board with an additional five members being appointed by the heads of the five Pacifica Local Advisory Boards(LABs), although they may not appoint themselves.
The LAB elections are to be held within six months and until then board decisions will require a two thirds majority.
Current board members will resign to make way for the new board, which will oversee the transition.
The new board will be authorised among other things to hire a new national director, who will have reduced powers, to deal with the four lawsuits now pending against the board andto relax Pacifica's gag rule so that Pacifica stations can carry discussions concerning the new Pacifica.
It will also review the status of staff who have been fired or banned and of the Free Speech Radio News reporters who have struck against Pacifica Network News.
The "Democracy Now!" programme, which has been broadcast only over KPFA for many weeks, would return to its broadcast slot over the entire network, pending resolution of complaints filed against Pacifica by Democracy Now! staff.
An immediate audit of Pacifica's finances will be ordered as soon as the new board takes control.
Moran said he understood the finances were in a "very dire" condition following the expenditure by the present Pacifica board of an estimated two million dollars in legal, security, and public relations fees but, he added, a guarantee had been given that no assets are to be sold or leased.
Pacifica web site:
Save Pacifica news release:
2001-11-18: New community and short-term licences dominate this week's licence news, at least in numerical terms, although Ireland is now set for a new regional radio licence.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has allocated three new community radio licences for the Gold Coast.
They start in December and go to Christian Air Broadcasters Ltd, to serve the Christian community; to Hott FM Ltd, to serve the youth community and to Radio Hope Island Ltd, to serve the over 50s community.
In Tasmania, the ABA's revised preliminary plans for radio would make an additional five national radio services available plus two new open narrowcasting services one each in Burnie and Devonport.
The new national services would be four channels for the Burnie/Wynyard area and one channel for the Launceston area.
In addition the authority proposes extending the 7RPH Hobart service to also serve the Launceston area.
These proposals add to existing ones to make licences available for new commercial radio services in Burnie and Scottsdale; for new community radio services in George Town, the Northern Midlands, Scottsdale and Hobart and an open narrowcasting service in Hobart; and also to extend the licence areas of the 7HFC Hobart and 7RGY Geeveston community radio services.
The Authority has also proposed new conditions on three Sydney community licences that were allocated in May to Free Broadcast Incorporated (FBI), Gadigal Information Service Aboriginal Corporation (Gadigal) and Muslim Community Radio (MCR). (See Licence News May 27).
The proposal follows an investigation into the applications of two other groups for the licences, those from Sydney Youth Radio Inc and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Broadcasters Inc.
They are intended to ensure that broadcasts are clearly for community purposes and not operated for profit or as an adjunct to a profit-making enterprise; as a result of the investigation Sydney Youth Radio Inc was found to be an integral part of an enterprise relating to the production and sale of compact discs bearing the WILD name and logo and was therefore considered to have been operated as part of a profit-making enterprise.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been quite busy over the last fortnight with extensions of time limits for the implementation of licences.
They include those for
*A new transmitter for CHIM-FM Timmins, Ontario at Red Deer, Alberta.
* The implementation of the transmitter site of CKKS-FM at Whistler British Columbia.
*A new transmitter for CKGN-FM Kapuskasing, Ontario.
*A new transmitter in Fermont, Quebec, to rebroadcast the programming of CBSI-FM Sept-Îles, Quebec.
* The implementation of CJRP Saint-Nicolas, Quebec. *The implementation of CHYP-FM at Junction of Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 21, Saskatchewan.
* The implementation of CHHP-FM at Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Saskatchewan.
The Commission has also approved NewCap's acquisition of CHNO-FM, Sudbury, Ontario from the Haliburton Broadcasting Group Inc.
It expressed concern over the acquisition and sale for a profit after a short time of broadcasting undertakings and noted that Haliburton had only bought CHNO two years ago.
However in this case the CRTC said it was willing to consider the situation as a special case, noting, "Haliburton will use the proceeds from the transaction to acquire another radio station."
"The profits from the transaction will therefore remain within the broadcasting system. The benefits from the current transaction, as well as the one Haliburton is concluding in Parry Sound, will serve to increase funds for Canadian talent development and thus enrich the Canadian broadcasting system."
In an allied decision it also approved Haliburton's acquisition of CKLP-FM, Parry Sound, Ontario, but issued a shorter-term licence for the acquisition to expire at the end of August 2003.
This, it said, would allow an early assessment of measures to ensure CKLP-FM's compliance with radio regulations and conditions imposed concerning the promotion of Canadian talent and music as well as the upgrading of facilities, the expansion of its news department and provision of weekly live programming for First Nations.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has advertised a new regional FM licence to cover the South East of Ireland region comprising Counties Waterford, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary.
It is also considering Scottish Radio Holdings acquisition of the 76% it did not own of national commercial station Today FM (See RNW Nov 15).
In the UK, the Radio Authority has allowed the acquisition by the Kent Messenger newspaper group of CTFM Ltd, which holds the local radio licence for Canterbury, South East Radio Ltd, which holds the local radio licence for Dover and Folkestone and broadcasts as Neptune Radio
The Authority had to consider the application in public interest terms under cross-media ownership regulations.
( See RNW Sept 4).
It has also issued a record number of 22 restricted service licences for broadcasts associated with the Moslem Holy month of Ramadan (See RNW Nov 16)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set up a new Homelands Security Council to deal with maintaining communications in case of any threats to the US (see RNW Nov 16 ).
It has also dropped a fine of USD4000 on Infinity Broadcasting concerning the use of a phone conversation (See RNW Nov 15) but has confirmed another fine, this time of USD9,500 on Oklahoma pirate Klaus D Kramer for unauthorised operation of a radio station on Citizen's Band frequencies.
Kramer's station had been traced in February this year following complaints of a CB radio station operating with excessive power in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the fine was levied in July.
Kramer had admitted the offences and voluntarily gave up his equipment but had queried the amount of the fine.
In making its decision, the commission said," We are not persuaded by Mr. Kramer's arguments that the forfeiture amount is excessive and unfair… after inspections of similar operations by Mr. Kramer on two separate occasions in March 1998 and October 1999, Mr. Kramer voluntarily surrendered the offending equipment and on at least one occasion stated that the violations would not be repeated."
"Nonetheless, our investigation revealed that Mr. Kramer again violated our rules in February 2001."
"Thus, imposition of a forfeiture in at least the amount of $9,500 is warranted."
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site
2001-11-18: Whilst the media are ever prone to offer advice to others, publicity about internal dissent is usually unpopular and the latest warning concerning this has come from the BBC where Director General Greg Dyke has sent an e-mail to staff warning that they will not continue to get away with this. The note follows recent comments by TV reporter Kate Adie who spoke of news chiefs hiring staff with "cute faces and cute bottoms" and Radio 5 presenter Nicky Campbell who recently went public to say he had been offered the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast slot currently hosted by Jimmy Young (See RNW Nov 2).
Campbell described Young's show as "a bit about the price of lamb chops"
In his message Dyke writes," "I want to say something about some BBC on-air talent who seem to think it is fair game for them to criticise the BBC while continuing to receive its money."
"It is not acceptable for certain people to think it is OK to go on public platforms, or into the press, and criticise the organisation."
"Actions like this do enormous damage to the BBC's reputation and while this might have been tolerated as acceptable behaviour in the past, I want everyone to know that it will not be acceptable from now on."
Previous Jimmy Young:
UK Telegraph report:
2001-11-18: Jonathan Adelstein, telecommunications aide to US Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, (Democrat- South Dakota) looks set to take the Democrat position on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) left vacant by Gloria Tristani.
Daschle has written to President Bush recommending his appointment. He said in a statement, "Jonathan's expertise in telecommunications issues to seeing rural America share in the telecommunications revolution make him the perfect candidate for this job at this time."
An Adelstein nomination would be welcomed by the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) whose President/CEO Eddie Fritts said, "NAB strongly supports the nomination of Jonathan Adelstein to the FCC. "Jonathan's commitment to public service and his firm grasp of broadcasting and telecommunications issues will serve him well at the Commission. We expect a speedy confirmation and look forward to working with Jonathan at the FCC."
2001-11-17: US giant Clear Channel is on the acquisition path again. This time it is adding the radio network division of Agri Broadcast Network (ABN) to its portfolio.
ABN, based in Columbus, Ohio, is the leading farm programming provider in the State of Ohio and has 72 radio affiliates.
The deal was signed at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters' annual convention in Kansas City and after completion before the year's end ABN will be merged with Clear Channel's own Ohio agri-network.
Announcing the deal, Clear Channel said the network merger was "the first step toward a national build out in farm programming" under which Clear Channel would have a national operation.
It already has farm networks in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.
For Emmis the tale is different. It's slimming down because of the continuing soft market-- not stations, but salaries although it's cushioning the blow with a stock award.
All employees will have to take a 10% pay cut and in its place will be allocated a corresponding stock award.
As well as the basic plan, under which staff can take control of the shares or sell them every two-weeks, Emmis is also offering a restricted stock plan under which the shares have to be held for a year but are purchased at a 10% discount on the market price.
CEO Jeff Smulyan said the announcement "asks all of us to draw from our early Emmis days when everyone, by necessity, carried an entrepreneurial spirit."
"This plan not only provides an immediate cut in our expenses," he added, "but also gives our employees a great opportunity to invest in the company's future success while aligning their interests with that of our stockholders."
Earlier in the week, Emmis announced the resignation from March next year of its Radio President Doyle Rose, although he has signed a deal to continue working for the company for four years.
His successor will be Executive Vice President (Programming) Rick Cummings.
The Emmis action follows on the heels of a 5% pay cut for 140 top managers announced by the Tribune Company.
Tribune also froze pay for employees not covered by union contracts.
Previous Clear Channel:
Clear Channel site:
2001-11-17: Britain now has 22 new radio stations for broadcasts focussing on the observance of Ramadan, the annual Moslem period of abstinence that has now begun.
All have been issued by the UK Radio Authority with short-term restricted service licences (RSL's), the highest number of such Ramadan licences yet issued.
The stations involved are in locations that include Bolton, Bradford, Cardiff, Derby, Dudley in the West Midlands, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Keighley in Yorkshire, Leeds, Leicester, London, Luton, Middlesborough, Nelson in Lancashire, Nottingham, Odham, Rochdale in Lancashire Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, and Sutton in Surrey.
Last year the UK Radio Authority licensed 74 RSLs for religious purposes including RSLs for Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh cultural and religious events and it expects to issue a similar number this year.
Normally RSLs are issued for a maximum 28 days but in the case of these licences they run a few days longer so as to also include the Festival of Eid at the end of the period.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Radio Authority news release:
2001-11-17: Today sees the last edition of US radio shock-jock Howard Stern's Saturday night TV programme, the Howard Stern Radio Show.
It was launched in 1998 on a number of CBS owned and operated stations and made up of highlights from Stern's daily morning radio show.
At that time it was seen as a vehicle to trim the audience of NBC's Saturday Night Live but some stations dropped it fairly soon on content grounds although it improved ratings in the 11.30 PM Saturday slot in which most aired it.
Syndication was later taken over by King World Productions from CBS' Eyemark and it has recently been faring poorly in ratings and income.
King World is said to be considering the development of a replacement late night weekend series to replace the show.
Broadcasting and Cable reports that the replacement may be another Stern show, syndicated sitcom "Kane" based around an off-the-wall Southern family that Stern and King World Productions are developing and for which Stern would be an executive producer.
Broadcasting and Cable site:
2001-11-16: A number of former BBC employees have become millionaires from the saleto warship and support services group Vosper Thorneycroft of Merlyn Communications for GBP95 million.
Merlyn, which still operates from World Service Headquarters at Bush House, operates the radio transmission business bought from the BBC World Service, for GBP13 million four years ago.
It has now expanded to include defence business.
Merlin has a 10-year contract to operate and maintain the BBC World Service's short and medium-wave transmitters.
It has some 400 staff, many of whom are former World Service employees and most of whom have a basic shareholding worth around GBP34000.
2001-11-16: Another UK warning about the advertising slump has come from Britain's largest radio group, Capital Radio.
Its full year results to the end of September show pre-tax profits down 8% to GBP27.9 million and revenues down 6% to GBP123 million despite record audiences and listening.
The group also says that the new financial year has begun badly with October and November revenues likely to be around 7% below those of a year ago.
Group underlying profit at GBP30.1m was down 27%, revenue from continuing operations of GBP123.2m was down 1% and analogue radio operating profit at GBP36.5m was down 20%.
Revenue from established stations at GBP106.8m was down 9%, with the result that operating profit from them was down 16% to GBP39.6m.
On a more positive note, revenue from development stations -- Xfm, the Century Group and Beat - at GBP15.3m was up 27% on like for like basis.
Losses from these were GBP3.0m compared to a GBP1.9m charge in the previous financial year when the majority of these stations were acquired; this is GBP1m less than forecast in May due to a better than anticipated revenue performance and cost efficiencies.
Capital lost GBP3.0million compared to GBP1.3million on 2000 in its digital radio operations and its interactive business had an operating loss before restructuring costs of GBP3.6million compared to GBP4.2million in 2000.
In audience terms data for the three months to September 2001 showed 19 analogue radio stations achieved a record audience of 8.3m adults, up 5% on the previous year; they listened for a total of 85.5m hours each week, up 2%.
Chief Executive David Mansfield said the year" been challenging for Capital Radio as the media industry faced difficult trading conditions resulting from the economic slowdown."
"Though the current market conditions may continue for some time," he continued, "with our strong brands, healthy balance sheet and focused management team we will weather the downturn."
"We are confident of the long-term prospects for radio advertising and retain our belief in the importance of aggressively expanding our national presence."
Under current UK media ownership regulations Capital can only add one more UK regional station to its holdings and it is pushing for a relaxation.
"We anticipate that the new broadcasting legislation, which we now do not expect to become law before mid/late 2003, will relax the current media ownership rules, allowing consolidation to take place within the media industry," it said.
"The Radio Authority has agreed a set of new ownership rules that would allow Capital Radio to own up to 45% of the licences in a local market, subject to competition regulations."
"This gives us the opportunity, for example, to own up to 6 FM licences in London and 3 FM licences in Manchester."
Amongst UK stations of interest would be Emap's radio interests whose Magic and Kiss stations in London and Piccadilly in Manchester would complement Capital's London stations Capital FM, Capital Gold and Xfm plus Century in Manchester.
These are valued by analysts at around GBP 500 million compared to Capital's stock market value of around GBP625 million.
Mansfield also said the group wanted to expand in Europe and had narrowly missed a German acquisition.
In the US, beleaguered Big City Radio reported third quarter revenues down 12.6% to USD 6 million but it slashed costs by nearly a quarter and ended up with broadcast cash flow of USD580000 compared to a BCF loss of USD2.75 million for the third quarter last year.
EBITDA remained negative by around USD500000 because of corporate expenses of more than USD1million.
Big City earlier this month completed the sale of its Phoenix stations to Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation for USD34 million (See RNW Sept 8), thus relieving its immediate cash flow and bond payment problems.
For Sirius Satellite Radio, which has just announced its rollout plans, its third Quarter results were mixed.
Net loss was 50% higher at USD46.9 million and net loss applicable to common shareholders up 40%, to USD57.4 million, up from 97 cents to USD1.06 per share.
Its operating loss was lower by 3.5% at USD30.7 million including a USD9.2 million non-cash benefit resulting from the re-pricing of certain employee stock options.
Previous Big City:
Previous Capital Radio:
Capital web site (links to full results in MS Word - 480 kb or PDF -112kb):
Sirius web site:
2001-11-16: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created a Homeland Security Policy Council to assist it in "evaluating and strengthening measures for protecting U.S. communications services" and in "ensuring rapid restoration of communications services and facilities that have been disrupted as the result of threats to, or actions against" the US.
It is to be headed by FCC Chief of Staff Marsha MacBride with two deputy directors --Linda Blair, who has just been promoted to Deputy Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, and Brad Berry, another Enforcement Bureau Deputy Chief.
The commission has also announced security changes for documentation to be delivered to it.
Its Gettysburg office's filing counter will not accept documents enclosed in envelopes; instead filings and documents must be held together by rubber bands.
"Confidential" documents will be put by commission staff into envelopes on delivery.
In addition the Gettysburg Office has moved its mailroom off-site to the rear entrance of 35 York Street, Gettysburg, which is the address for delivery by overnight mail couriers.
FCC notice re new Council:
2001-11-15: Sirius Satellite Radio has now announced that it is to begin commercial operations early next year and have its full national service running by the end of the third quarter.
The initial rollouts are planned for February 14 in Phoenix, Houston and Denver.
According to SVP/CFO John Scelfo there will be enough receivers in retail outlets before the launch, which will be combined with a multi-pronged marketing campaign to attract subscribers to the USD12.95 per month subscription service.
This is USD3 per month more than rival XM but Sirius says its research shows that consumers will be prepared this to do without commercials. Sirius will have 60 music channels, all commercial free, in its service compared to only 30 commercial free music channels in XM's 71 music channels.
Sirius says it has USD375 million in the bank and will comfortably operate to the end of 2002 at its current spending rate of some USD15 a month.
Rival XM, which began its service in September and started its final national rollout campaign earlier this week (RNW Nov 13) has been named a "2001 Invention Of The Year" by Time magazine in its annual inventions issue, dated Nov. 19.
Shares in both satellite companies have risen steeply this week.
Sirius began the week around USD2.75 then rose steadily until half way through Tuesday when it rose sharply to end the day 25% up at USD3.60.
On Wednesday it was approaching USD4.10; its 52 week range is USD2.2 to USD38.25.
XM had a similar week. It began around 6.7 and rose gently until a sharp rise on Tuesday to end that day 26% up at USD8.55.
On Wednesday it opened at USD9.84 but then dropped back a little to end around USD9.20. XM's 52-week range is USD3.87 to USD28.56.
Sirius web site:
XM Web site:
2001-11-15: Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) has reported turnover for the year to the end of September up 11% to GBP7.8 million but profits were down as the advertising slump takes its toll.
Pre-tax profit was GBP11.1 million compared to GBP16.3 million in 2000 and corresponding underlying profits was GBP16.1 million compared to GBP18.6 million.
SRH had an operating loss from discontinued activities of GBP1.3m but made an exceptional gain on disposals of GBP1.1m.
EBITDA from continuing activities was GBP17.5 million with a 23% margin.
SRH is regarded as a takeover target if regulations are changed to permit further consolidation in UK media and its rival Scottish Media Group (SMG) already holds the maximum permitted 29% of the company; this holding was cleared by Britain's Office of Fair Trading (See RNW Aug 6).
Takeover fears, which have led SRH - so far unsuccessfully - to look for a "white knight" to rescue it - not stopped SRH's own takeover activities.
It has also announced that it is paying £36.4million to take complete control of Irish Radio Ireland, the owner of Today FM.
Earlier this month it paid GBP18.5 million for Southampton-based Wave 105 for £18m from the Wireless Group ( See RNW Nov 6).
SRH already held a 24% stake in the Irish company and had long flagged its interest in taking control.
Its purchase is subject to approval by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
SRH owns Internet, print and poster media as well as its radio companies but analogue radio with turnover of GBP 34.2 million is the largest single division.
Radio revenues were down 2% overall but within this the figures showed a decrease of 12% in national revenues and a 7% increase in local.
Internet and digital activities lost GBP700000 in the year, compared to a loss of GBP400000 in 2000 but the company says these are proceeding to plan.
SRH currently operates three digital multiplexes - Glasgow, Edinburgh and Northern Ireland- and has several more in the pipeline.
Its digital-only radio service, 3C, which is broadcast on its own multiplexes and a number of EMAP multiplexes, recently won the award for best country service at the New York International Radio Festival.
SRH web site:
2001-11-15: The US Federal Communications Commission has withdrawn a USD4000 fine on Infinity for the use by WJFK-FM of a phone conversation with a caller without properly informing the caller.
The issue hinged on a call to the Don and Mike Show in which the caller was taped while the programme was on a digital delay system and was only informed of the intention to air the tape after the call but before the broadcast.
Infinity had cited three other cases, all involving the Don and Mike Show, in which the FCC had allowed it to follow a practice, because of its call-delay system, of notifying callers after the call began that it was going to be aired rather than at the beginning of the conversation.
It says that the delay system enables it to "dump a conversation if the person called had objected to the conversation or terminated it after receipt of Infinity's notice."
The FCC ruling says the background of previous cases," persuades us that Infinity could have reasonably believed that, at the least, the Commission's staff had tacitly approved its procedures for broadcasting telephone conversations."
"Thus, as applied to Infinity, we believe the rule was not sufficiently clear to justify a forfeiture."
Infinity says it is now to ask for a declaratory ruling on the practice.
RNW comment: We may be simple people but if the intent of the ruling is to let people know, before they get into deep water or embarrassing situations, that their call may be broadcast, Infinity is simply weaselling out and the FCC is being pusillanimous.
We cannot see that the use of delay devices under a stations control to enable the station to decide what is or is not to be aired should have any bearing.
And if it is only a matter of the caller being told they will be broadcast but with no advance information giving a right to refuse, a letter could be sent a month later or, even more sensibly, the rule dropped as of no practical value.
2001-11-14: More results, this time from the UK as well as the US: In the UK, radio and magazine group EMAP has been hit by the advertising slowdown although overall its revenues and pre-tax profits in the six months to the end of September rose by 3% and 8% respectively to GBP456 million and GBP55 million.
Its "Performance division", which includes 18 radio stations, saw an underlying revenue decline of 2% although absolute numbers were static at GBP69 million.
Profits were down 12% in underlying terms and 13% in absolute terms to GBP20million.
Underlying radio revenues declined by 7% compared with a fall of 9% across the UK radio sector as a whole, but its Kiss operation performed better.
In the first half Kiss 100 enjoyed a 16% growth in revenues, and now accounts for 12% of Emap's total radio revenues.
The group says that it has developed a strong position in digital radio, "providing a guaranteed future for Performance's analogue radio stations, and the opportunity to create new digital formats."
"By leasing out surplus spectrum," it adds, "Emap's digital radio activities have now reached breakeven, and are expected to deliver a small contribution to profits this year."
In the US, Cox Radio had Q3 net revenues up 4.4% to $99.2million, but Broadcast Cash Flow was down 5.6% to $38.3million.
Same station revenues were down 3.8% and same station BCF was down 12.4%.
CEO Robert Neil said the September 11 attacks had affected its finances but added, "''However, when we look at our operational performance during the quarter, this may have been Cox Radio's best quarter ever."
"Our stations focused on serving their communities, providing listeners with non-stop commercial-free programming for days following the attacks."
"While we often speak of the value that radio holds as an advertising medium, the days surrounding the attacks showcased the value that radio holds as an information platform as well."
Cox is now forecasting final quarter revenues around USD95 million and BCF around USD36million.
Jones Media Networks, which includes Jones Radio Networks, reported revenues down 9% for the quarter to USD18.3million and EBITDA from continuing operations, which excludes its former Internet division, down 44% to USD3.7 million.
It had a net loss of USD5 million, up from USD2.6 million in Q3 2000.
Its radio division, Jones Radio Networks, reported revenues for the quarter down 19% to USD8.6 million and EBITDA down 59% to just under USD1million.
President Ron Hartenbaum says he expects the final quarter to remain tough for network advertisements but to improve on the third quarter.
He said that they were taking necessary steps to position the company for the future, indicating that it may drop some programmes.
Cox web site:
EMAP web site:
2001-11-14: Julian Holland, whose BBC career included working on Radio Newsreel during the second world war and much later spells as editor of the Radio 4 news and current affairs programmes Today and The World at One, has died aged 76
He joined the BBC straight from school during the war but later left to work on Fleet Street before returning to the BBC and the World at One in 1971.
He later became its editor, before moving on to edit the Today programme from 1981-1986, receiving a Sony award in 1985.
2001-11-14: New York Times classical station WXQR-FM has leapt from nowhere to lead the MeasureCast Internet rankings for the week to November 4.
WQXR-FM was the first commercial classical music radio station in the United States when it was founded in 1936.
The week also saw another increase in listening, taking the organisation's Internet Radio Index, which started from a base of 100 in January, to 329.
At the top of the rankings UK-based Jazz FM, which has been at the top, slipped to second place; Classical station King FM was pushed down to fifth place, and sports station ESPN slipped down to sixth position.
The week marked the first time there have been two classical stations in the top 5.
The top five were, ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with, where applicable, previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets:
1): Classical station WXQR-FM TTSL 290699; CP 11843 Previously unlisted.
2): Jazz station Jazz FM TTSL 189948 (210152); CP 76422 (70914) Previously first. Listening down, reach up.
3): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 153293 (144996); CP 53537 (56048) Previously second - listening down, reach up.
4): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 133052 (143675); CP 29336 (31677)- Previously third, reach and listening down.
5): Classical music King FM TTSL 124682 (135666); CP 23054 (23862) - Previously fourth. Reach and listening down.
Previous Measurecast monthly ratings:
Previous MeasureCast weekly ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-11-14: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Director of Funding Finance & Support Services, Russell Balding, has been appointed Acting Managing Director following the agreement that outgoing Managing Director Jonathon Shier should take his accrued holiday entitlement and leave the Corporation rather than remaining until the end of the year. The ABC is to appoint an executive search firm and advertise the permanent post in the near future.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2001-11-13: XM Satellite Radio has now launched nationwide in the US.
The announcement came at a Chicago news conference by XM President and CEO Hugh Panero.
Its 100-channel subscription service (USD9.99 a month) includes 71 music channels, 30 of which are commercial-free, 13 news and information channels and 16 others including children's and entertainment.
More than 20 receivers are now available in the US.
XM Web site:
2001-11-13: .A feature on radio, specifically the idea that digital audio will replace analogue, in the UK Guardian has some impressive figures about listening in Britain.
In all the country's 24 million households possess between 120 million and 150 million sets, with a few more from work locations to be added for the grand total.
They're virtually all analogue sets, ranging from the cheap and cheerful for a few pounds to hundreds of pounds for top range receivers but the digital receivers start at around GBP200.
So, apart from any other factors that may influence the decision - audio quality, extra channels, maybe easier tuning - a move to digital could cost each household anywhere from GBP200 (around 300 USD) even if prices halve and only half the sets are replaced to a above a thousand pounds (around 1500USD).
RNW comment: There hasn't been a very large take-up of digital TV either. Maybe the low take-up of digital is connected with the figures rather than the technology as such.
UK Guardian report:
2001-11-13: Sixteen Indian companies have now been issued with licences to operate the country's first privatised M radio stations, but another 14 companies defaulted in their payments of the fees.
The companies that now have licences are Entertainment Network (India), Verted Broadcasting, India FM Radio (Delhi), Radio Today (Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata each), Music Broadcast, M/s Sun TV, Millennium Broadcast (Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai each), Udaya TV, Hitz FM Radio India, Radio Mid-Day West India (Mumbai), Mid-Day Radio North (India) and Mid-day Broadcasting South (India).
Mid-Day had already broadcast slots on the government-run All India Radio (AIR) network in the mid-1990s.
In all 66 companies had made licence offers, 58 of these being subsequently held eligible.
Licensees have to complete the installation of broadcast facilities and commission the service within 12 months from the date they are allocated a frequency.
Some companies are already on air, the first being Music Broadcasting, which began to broadcast from Bangalore in July.
Another is Radio Mirchi, the FM channel of Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Times of India Group.
This began its broadcasts -mostly of Bollywood and Hindi music - earlier this month with a station at Indore, the first of twelve Radio Mirchi stations planned by ENIL.
They are successors to Times FM, which broadcast to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Goa from 1993-1998.
Previous Indian Radio report:
2001-11-13: MeasureCast's latest monthly ratings continue to show four fifths of Internet listening taking place during work hours, with the clear implication that it's taking place at work.
They also show a jump in listening in October with even those who have dropped down in the top five having significantly higher listening than in September.
There are also some intriguing differences, presumably from their customer base, in the stations in the top ranks and also with the numbers listed with the October Arbitron webcast figures.
In particular Jazz FM is not listed by Arbitron but Virgin, which is ranked top by Arbitron has a listening total (ATH -aggregate tuning hours of 567800 compared to TTSLof 577006 and Arbitron lists King FM second with ATH 517900 compared to fourth and TTSL of 538999 (see RNW Nov 11)
The top 5 stations ranked by Total Time Spent listening (TTSL), with last month's TTSL and Cume (Cumulative Audience) in brackets were:
1): Jazz format Jazz FM TTSL 934979 (672995), CP 226675 (191,008) - Position unchanged, listening significantly up.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 689695 (358091); CP 164431 (108495) - Up from fourth. Listening way up and not topping July figures again.
3): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 577006 (426716); CP 73396 (52491) - Down from second but with more listening.
4): Classical King FM (Seattle) TTSL 538999 (388176); CP 59308 (46712) - Down from third, but listening higher.
5): Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 505332 (306718); CP 50773 (40030) - Position unchanged but listening higher:
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast monthly ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-11-12: Taste or standards in various forms in this week's look at articles on radio; and first a stunt on WKSC-FM, "Kiss-FM", in Chicago which drew the attention of its columnist Robert Feder and follow-up comments from his readers.
In conjunction with a release of Britney Spears' new album, the Clear Channel station launched a contest with a prize offer of USD5000, described as a chance to win "Boobies Like Britney."
Promos from the station had such felicitous phrases as, "You first met her on 'The Mickey Mouse Club.' You've watched her GROW into every guy's fantasy slave. Now you want what she's got! Enter to win 'Boobies Like Britney' and the $5,000 grand prize!"
Contestants were invited to submit photographs as well as a fifty-word maximum essay on why they should win.
Apparently protests ere not long in following and station chief Kathy Stinehour went on the air went on air to say, "Some have indicated that the title of the promotion sends the wrong message to young women in Chicago."
"I agree…In the interests of making the promotion exciting, our programmers crossed the line."
"We will immediately change the direction of the Britney promotion and ask you to keep listening and keep giving us feedback."
So Clear Channel took decisive action. It changed the title to "Body Like Britney" and Stinehour later said in an interview, "This was never about a boob job, although I know it appears that way," Stinehour later said in an interview. "We were not giving away breast augmentation in any way, shape or form."
"We're giving away $5,000 in cash for whatever the person chooses to do with it."
"Britney's breasts are really only one part of her whole package anyway."
(RNW question - but what about Kathy's?)
"There are lots of moving parts to her--her clothes, her hair, her makeup, all that stuff. "
(RNW comment 2 - unlike Kathy who is bald and goes around naked and doen't have stuff?)
"The intent was that this would get a lot of talk and attention and discussion for the radio station. That's just what it's doing."
(RNW comment 3: In terms of getting attention the promotion worked- as indeed did Bubba "The Love Sponge's" wild boar killing.
Clear Channel obviously believes that pretty well any publicity is good publicity.) That would not necessarily seem the case, however, for a station financed from public funds, or at least not if the publicity is about getting a journalistic scoop.
The case here, noted in a Frank Ahrens column in the Washington Post about Voice of America (VOA) operations was an interview with Taliban leader Mullah Omar by Spozhmai Maiwandi.(See RNW Sept 25).
She is among a number of Afghan refugees who fled the country -- her family fled the Soviets in June 1982, in three parts -- first her 7-year-old son, alone, on top of a truck; then she and her daughter in disguise; then her husband, through the mountains, hunted by Russians.
In a sense her reaction could be that of someone who swallowed American propaganda too much, at least that part of it enunciated in VOA's first broadcast from New York in 1942 to Germany.
The sign-on in German by announcer William Hale was, "Here speaks a voice from America. Every day at this time we will bring you the news of the war. The news may be good. The news may be bad. We shall tell you the truth."
That of course is not good enough for some modern 'patriotic' Americans like columnist William Safire, who has attacked VOA for putting "credibility" first and "never getting its hands dirty by stressing messages that would advance our military's cause."
Commenting on her interview Maiwandi said when she got Omar on the phone, his first question was: "Why are you interviewing me?"
"I told him, 'We would like to know what you think about these situations,' " Maiwandi says.
" 'You will not air it,' he said. I told him we would. This is a free country. We will not air the whole thing, but we will use it in news reports."
"If anyone except the Pashto service had interviewed Omar, they would have been rewarded," she says.
"They would have been rewarded for finding a man who never talks to women, who never talks to the media, anyway. Instead, we keep getting hit for it."
In one view of American standards, she may be doing a better job than her President!
On then to a columnist who would have Mr Safire in apoplexy, maybe even dumbstruck.
He's Harry Browne pf the Irish Times who had an eclectic selection of reviews in his column last week. One concerned a fascinating look at Alaska courtesy of BBC World Service's Heritage programme, which among other things detailed the colonisation of the area by the Russians in the 18th and 19th century-the programme included a visit to the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Anchorage.
It also included much earlier history, some of which was turned up in the clean-up after the 1989 Exon Valdez oil spill.
Regrettably the programme is not amongst the growing list that can be accessed on-demand from the World Service web site
(RNW note for one part of the site with audio clips worth a visit try its series on the English language, Routes of English -- -- this has clips in Real audio.) After talking of the series in terms of "adventure", Browne goes on toe comment - or rather, in Irish terms take, the mickey out of some of the war-hungry media types currently on the airwaves.
"We all have our own ideas about adventure. " he writes. "Alas," he continues, "poor General Gerry Ryan (2FM, Monday to Friday) can't be "in-country" (he loves that 'Namspeak) with Bush's boys."
"But on Wednesday's show, he dropped a few daisy-cutters on those whingeing anti-Americans who have dared to question the War on Bad Guys. "
"Oh, let me tell you, Gerry was angry. It was mainly the Taliban's truly degrading treatment of women - Gerry's favourite gender - that had him so exercised, and rightly so: distressed callers who had watched Tuesday's Dispatches documentary (About Afghanistan on UK Channel 4 TV )joined him in outrage."
"Gerry's vernacular conclusion: 'we gotta take these Taliban guys out. '"
"As of this column going to press, Gerry had yet to secure an interview with an Afghan woman in which she says: 'Good morning, Gerry. Please rescue me and my children from this barbaric treatment by dropping bombs on our country, destroying hospitals and food depots and cutting off the flow of humanitarian aid so that thousands of us die. And, oh yes, while you're at it, please ensure that the Northern Alliance, with their documented record of systematic rape, are the front-line troops of our liberation.'"
"But it can only be a matter of time before she's on the Ryanline."
Perhaps a two-way with Voice of America's Afghan women could be in order for General Gerry?
Chicago Sun Times - Feder:
Irish Times - Browne:
Washington Post - Ahrens:
2001-11-11: The main issue of importance in licence news this week came from the US where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has commenced looking at ownership rules; elsewhere, Canadian activity was notable for a run of short-term renewals because of breaches of licence conditions.
In Australia, ten new open narrowcasting services have been proposed for Western Victoria by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) under a revised draft radio plan for the region.
They would be at Ararat, Casterton, Hamilton, Horsham, Portland, St Arnaud, Stawell, Terang, Warracknabeal and Warrnambool in the Warrnambool, Hamilton and Horsham radio markets.
The Authority is also proposing to make six extra channels available for national radio services, three for Horsham, one for Warrnambool and two for Western Victoria.
These are in addition to four channels -one for Horsham, two for Nhill and one for Portland - already announced in the ABA's preliminary draft plan for the region (See Licence News July 22).
The ABA is also maintaining its earlier plans for additional community and commercial FM services - one each of the latter in Warrnambool and Hamilton.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has issued one new licence and renewed a number of licences on a short-term basis rather than longer because of various regulation breaches at the stations concerned.
If the mandatory orders are breached, stations can be fined for contempt of court.
The new licence is for a French-language ethnic AM radio station in Montréal for CPAM Radio Union.com inc., to be targeted at Haitians, Latin Americans, and francophone Africans.
Its primary output will be music for these groups and a condition of the licence is that content of French-language and English-language popular music must each not exceed 15%.
The short-term renewals are:
*A 15-month renewal f the licence of CKBY-FM, Ottawa, Ontario, for Rogers Broadcasting Limited, subject to a mandatory order limiting the percentage of hits to be broadcast to less than 50%.
The renewal follows a four-year short-term renewal of the station licence for the same reasons in 1997.
A subsequent check in 1999 showed the hits level during the week checked to be 51.3% and a public hearing was held in June this year.
At the hearing, the licensee explained that the non-compliance came about because, in compiling the play lists for the week in question, it had not taken into account the chart produced by RPM 100 Country Tracks and had, therefore, failed to identify some musical selections as hits.
It had also outlined measures taken to ensure compliance in future.
*A renewal of the licence of CKVM and its transmitter CKVM-FM-1 for Radio Témiscamingue inc.
Ville-Marie and Témiscaming, Quebec, until February 2003 subject to mandatory conditions concerning compliance.
The conditions require self-assessment every three months of a week of broadcasts, to be selected by the commission, and also concern measures to ensure that new staff are aware of regulatory requirements.
In the case of this station, the Commission noted that this was the fourth decision dealing with short-term licence renewals for compliance reasons.
The first was in 1989 because of non compliance regarding logger tapes.
The second was in 1992 for two years for the same reason,and the third in 1997 because of non-compliance regarding Canadian content and French-language vocal music.
The final time concerned the station's inability to provide logger tapes for a week in May 1999 because its equipment was not working.
This last was the subject of a public hearing in June 2001 at which the station said it had purchased new logging equipment to ensure future compliance.
The station general manager was not aware that it was the fourth time the station had been found guilty of non-compliance.
In addition to non-compliance, she had also found out that the station had been broadcasting without a Broadcasting Certificate and had hired an engineer to find solutions to technical problems concerning its application.
The Commission said it would only issue the new licence when the Canadian Department of Industry certifies that it has issued or will issue a Broadcasting Certificate to the station.
*A 15-month renewal of the licence of CFCR-FM for Community Radio Society of Saskatoon Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, subject to the conditions of a mandatory order concerning Canadian content of category 2 (pop) music.
The station is a type B community station, which under Canada's new Community Radio Policy no longer has to submit a Promise of Performance, nor is subject to advertising limits.
The short renewal relates to checks in 2000 and a June 2001 public hearing before the Commission, the second in two years, concerning the amount of Canadian popular music broadcast.
At the time of the first hearing the station had to broadcast a content of at least 33% such music and the Commission had at a public hearing in June 1999 issued only an 18-month renewal together with re-imposition of this condition until the new regulations, which require a 35% level of such content, came into force.
The checks in 2000 showed only a 28% level and renewal of the licence this time has been made subject to a mandatory order concerning Canadian content level.
Ireland was quiet and in the UK main attention by the Radio Authority concerned analogue licences.
It has re-awarded the Sunderland FM licence to existing holder Sun FM after it received no competing applications in response to its pre-advert of the licence.(See Licence News July 15)
It has also re-awarded the licence for the Stockport area of Cheshire to the existing licence holder:
Imagine Fm Ltd, which was one of three applicants.
The other two were Raka Asian Radio Ltd and Stock FM (See Licence news RNW June 17).
Imagine is a full-service local radio service broadcasting to Stockport and South Manchester, playing popular songs from today's charts and the last 30 years with focused local news, sport and community information.
In West Wales, the new FM licence for Pembrokeshire has been awarded to Haven Fm (Pembrokeshire) Ltd. which will provide a full-service, community-focused radio station combined with pop hits from the 1960's onwards.
Haven was competing with applications from More 102 (Radio Pendragon Ltd.) and Real Radio (Pembrokeshire) Ltd (See Licence News July 8)
On the digital front, the Authority has awarded the digital multiplex for the Peterborough area to the sole applicant, Now Digital Ltd.
Now is proposing an initial six commercial services to start with plus an additional one within two years in addition to carrying the local BBC station, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (see Licence News September 16)
In the US, the main news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the decision to re-examine its rules concerning ownership (See RNW Nov 9).
As well as the re-examination, the FCC is also setting up procedures to clear up the backlog of red-flagged decisions.
In particular, the FCC has set a 90-day deadline for the review of all decisions that have been held by the Commission for a year or more.
In looking at the rules, the FCC is asking for comments on asked for comments on whether it should be guided in its public interest consideration by the three traditional aspects of diversity, viewpoint, outlet and source.
On the first, the Commission says, "Diversity is one of the guiding principles of the Commission's local radio ownership rule."
"This principle is intended to advance the values of the First Amendment, which, as the Supreme Court stated, 'rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public.'"
"The Commission has elaborated on the Supreme Court's view, positing that 'the greater the diversity of ownership in a particular area, the less chance there is that a single person or group can have an inordinate effect, in a political, editorial, or similar programming sense, on public opinion at the regional level.'"
It is also considering such issues of diversity as the geographic areas in which it should be considered and differences "among different demographic or income groups."
The Commission also says that "To assist us in formulating our radio rules and policies, we seek not only theoretical arguments but specific empirical data on the effect that consolidation will have on the public interest."
To gather data, it has chosen three Arbitron markets. Syracuse, New York, which consists of three New York counties: Madison, Onondaga and Oswego; Rockford, Illinois, which consists of Boone and Winnebago counties; and Florence, South Carolina, which consists of Darlington and Florence counties.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-11-11: Arbitron's October Webcast ratings show a general increase in listening with Virgin Radio as the top radio channel followed by classical station King FM and listener formatted MediaAmazing whilst the top network was Live365 followed by Public Interactive and the Clear Channel Internet Group.
In the individual station rankings, only top ranked Virgin held its spot from September. The top stations in October were, ranked by ATH (Aggregate Tuning Hours):
1:Adult contemporary Virgin FM Same position with ATH up from 342600 to 567800
2:Classical King FM with ATH 517900. Previously unlisted.
3:Listener-formatted MediaAmazing with ATH 501500. Previously unlisted.
4:Electronica Groove Radio with ATH 346900. Previously unlisted.
5:Album rock KNAC Pure Rock with ATH 344700. Previously unlisted.
In the network ratings, there was only one newcomer to the top 5, Clear Channel. The top five were, ranked by ATH (Aggregate Tuning Hours):
1: Live 365 Position unchanged but ATH 4906000, up from 4743300
2:Public Interactive. Up from third with ATH of 1178400, up from 759200
3: Clear Channel Internet Group. ATH 787300 and previously unlisted.
4:CableMusic Networks Inc. Same position but ATH up to 755300 from 500600
5:RadioWave. Down from second with ATH of 607100, down from 900200
Previous Arbitron webcast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2001-11-10: In more third quarter results in the US, Spanish language network Radio Unica reported revenues, which included those for recently acquired MASS Productions, up 31% compared to 2000 to USD 11.4 million.
Of this broadcasting revenue was up 5% to USD9.1 million.
Negative EBITDA, however, increased by more - it amounted to a loss of USD2.3 million before stock option compensation compared to a loss of USD1.2 million in 2000.
Net loss applicable to common stockholders was USD6.5 million for the quarter, amounting to 31 cents per share.
For the year to date, total revenues were up 31% to USD27 million but broadcasting revenue was only up 3%, to USD23.4 million and EBITDA before stock option compensation moved 35% further into the red with a loss in 2000 of USD7.1 million becoming a loss of USD9.6 million.
The net loss applicable to common shareholders for the nine months was $31.5 million, or $1.51 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $22.2 million, or $1.05 per basic and diluted share for the comparable period in the prior year.
Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joaquin F. Blaya, told analysts at the company's conference call, "The bottom line is that ratings eventually lead to revenues and we are building momentum here."
For the final quarter, Unica said, "Looking ahead, our fourth quarter broadcasting revenue is expected to increase in the low-single digits, even as the overall advertising market remains very weak."
"We remain focused on consolidating our ratings gains, increasing our revenue and generating positive cash flow."
In more quarterly results the Walt Disney Company, whose financial years ends on September 30, reported pro-forma revenues down some 5% for the quarter at USD5.58 billion and flat for the year at USD25.3 billion.
Its Media Networks Division, which includes ABC radio and television, saw a revenue of decline of around 5% for the final quarter to USD2.28 billion and 13% down for the year at USD9.6 billion.
Most of the shortfall was blamed on ABC TV but Disney also noted that its radio sales had been hit by the poor adverts market.
Previous ABC (US):
Unica web site:
2001-11-10: Sirius Satellite Radio is to hold a conference call on November 14 to inform investors about its latest launch plans.
The launch has now been delayed from the final quarter of this year until some time next year, prompting a number of class-action suits alleging that the company made false claims about when its commercial service would commence.
The latest two suits were filed earlier this week in Vermont by the law firms of Schiffrin & Barroway and Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates.
The first was filed in October by investor Paul Sterbenk (See RNW Oct 10 ).
Sirius and rival XM Satellite Radio have been named a "Best of What's New" Grand Prize winner for 2001 in the electronics category by Popular Science magazine for their services, albeit Sirius's isn't on air yet.
While Sirius still has to launch its service, despite successful satellite launches, because of transmission technical problems, XM, whose launches were delayed, is expanding its service.
Following its initial commercial rollout in September in Dallas-Forth Worth and San Diego, itself held up by the September 11 attacks (See RNW Sept 25), XM has now expanded its rollout to Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
It has also announced that General Motors has begun production of XM-equipped Cadillacs.
In addition Sony has put on the market its DRN-XM01 model that can be usedto receive XM in an automobile or at home.
Sirius web site:
XM Web site:
2001-11-10: The settlement of lawsuits against the board of Pacifica Radio (see RNW Nov 6) seems to be coming unpicked after details of the settlement, which were under a gag order, were leaked and broadcast by KPFA radio host Larry Bensky.
There was also a picket of the studios of Pacifica's KPFK-AM on Thursday by donors who say they will withhold contributions until the lawsuits are settled.
"They think their funds are going to the destruction of the station, not rebuilding it," Farah Davari of Los Angeles, one of the organizers of the protest, told the Los Angeles Times.
Another protestor, attorney Jan Goodman, who last summer with her husband held a fundraiser that raised Usd20000 for the Pacifa dissidents, said, "Our funds are just going to the lawyers and security measures designed to thwart the desires of the listeners."
The leaked details of the settlement upset the parties involved and Carol Spooner, the moving force behind the so-called listener lawsuit told the San Francisco Examiner, "This could endanger the entire mediation. We're in very grave danger."
Under the agreement, which came from an E-mail to clients of the attorney representing Pacifica's Local Area Boards (LABs) in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., Pacifica was to appoint an interim 19-member board.
Six members would be appointed by the plaintiffs, eight by the defendants (the Pacifica Board) plus one member each to be appointed by the Local Area Boards.
The interim board would then appoint its own officers and executive committee, search committee for staff and interim national staff.
Further along the California Coast, public broadcasting has lost another executive.
Mary Bitterman, president of KQED-TV and KQED-FM who was instrumental in pulling the operation out of a financial tailspin has resigned to become president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based James Irvine Foundation.
Bitterman, who has been KQED chief executive since 1993, will stay at her post until February before joining the foundation, which was established in 1937 by Irvine, a major landowner and rancher in Southern California.
It is a grant- making foundation that seeks to enhance the social, cultural and intellectual lives of Californians and awards around USD70 million in grants every year.
Among its beneficiaries has been KQED, which has received some USD 5 million since 1995.
Los Angeles Times report:
San Francisco Chronicle re KQED:
San Francisco Examiner report re Pacifica:
2001-11-10: The Flood Tribunal into which is looking into the circumstances concerning the granting of Ireland's first commercial radio licence to Century Radio, which subsequently collapsed, has been told that bribery allegations against former communications minister Ray Burke and former Government press secretary P.J. Mara, have been withdrawn.
The claim was made by Mara's lawyer John McMenamin SC who said during final submissions by lawyers in the Century "module" of the tribunal's investigations that the contrast between what Century co-founder James Stafford said in evidence and what he was now saying meant he had effectively withdrawn his "cash for licences" allegations.
Stafford had said there was such a list in earlier evidence but in a closing written statement said the list's existence was a "rumour".
McMenamin also pointed out that Stafford had additionally changed his evidence with regard to a meeting about Mara's involvement in Century which had been chaired by financier Dermot Desmond in his office.
Stafford said that meeting was told another Century co-founder Oliver Barry was owed money by Century but Mara and others present gave evidence that the meeting was about Mr Mara's possible employment as a consultant to the station and in his closing submission Stafford now says he may have left the meeting "before any proper explanation could be imparted" to him.
Mr Justice Flood's report on a 1989 IEP35,000 payment by Century's other co-founder, Oliver Barry, to Burke is expected shortly.
Barry says this payment was a genuine political donation which was not intended to influence any decision by the minister.
Previous Century Radio:
Previous Flood Tribunal:
Irish Times report:
2001-11-10: New York public radio station WNYC, which lost two of its three transmitters in the attack on the World Trade Centre (See RNW Oct 20), has raised more than USD3 million in its latest pledge drive.
That's more than double its previous best of USD1.4 million, pledged in 1994 when it was setting out to buy its licences from New York City.
The attacks cost the station some USD4 million in terms of additional costs and lost revenues including around USD2.5 million for the erection of a new antenna and transmitter at the Empire State Building.
In addition it has to find USD3.3 million by January 7 to make the last of six instalments due under its 1995 agreement to purchase the station for USD20 million from New York City.
WNYC's president Laura Walker said that the pledges came from more than 27000 people and would, when combined with insurance cover of a few hundred thousand dollars plus corporate grants, notably USD 1 million from the Ford Foundation, cover immediate expenses.
However it still leaves the station, which has an annual budget of USD22 million, still to raise most of the final instalment on the purchase.
WNYC is also benefiting from national support by public radio station, a number of whom are asking their supporters if they will add a little extra for WNYC.
So far these efforts have raised some USD250000; they were only made possible when the Federal Communications Commission issued a waiver to its rules that normally prohibit such activities.
In California, the Los Angeles Times reports that listeners to KPCC-FM have pledged USD25000 for WNYC in addition to the USD625000 for their own station.
KPCC is run by non-profit Southern California Public Radio, which is itself a subsidiary of the same non-profit that runs Minnesota Public Radio whose president Bill Kling launched the national campaign to help WNYC.
KPCC general manager Cindy Young said some listeners donated as thanks for the Sept. 11 coverage from WYNC, which KPCC aired, starting moments after the attack.
"The way we're talking about it on the air is, public radio is this national community,"said Young.
Bill Davis, president of Southern California Public Radio commented,"For us, this was really an expression of solidarity with the people at WNYC."
"For most of our listeners, it's an expression of solidarity with the people of New York."
Los Angeles Times report:
WNYC web site:
2001-11-09: In contrast to the general gloom in the radio, Australian radiogroup Austereo says it is expecting strong earnings growth in the first half of its 2001-2002 financial year which runs to the end of June next year.
The company was listed in March and its inaugural annual general meeting this week heard executive chairman Peter Harvie say that despite the "distressing world events and a softening Australian economy" that had affected all media companies, Austereo had exceeded its prospectus promises.
It returned a net profit of AUD50.5 million. 1.2% above the prospectus, for the financial year to the end of June.
The group, which controls Australia's two leading FM networks -Triple-M and Today -posted an increase in revenues from AUD232.9 million to AUD260/9 million whilst earnings before interest and tax was up from AUD80.4 million to AUD 91.4 million.
Radio revenues were up 10.6% from AUD 222.5million to AUD246 million and non-radio revenues were up 43.3% from AUD10.4 million to AUD14.9million.
Sales revenue was up 10.9% compared to an Australian radio industry average of 2.9%.
In Australia it has consistently led the ratings in every city where it has a station (RNW note- apart from a blip in Sydney in September this year --see RNW Nov 1 -when a talk station topped the ratings) and had a 56% share of the under-40 audience; it also operates the leading radio network in Malaysia.
The group was positive about its prospects and Harvie said that "after weathering a tough July, the firmer sales in August, September and October combined with tight cost controls has placed the company in a sound position."
"In the first quarter of the new year, there was a decline, year on year, in radio advertising. Austereo's share of radio advertising, however, grew in each of the first three months… This is an outstanding effort given that this is one of the most unusual environments I have experienced and is further testament to the strength of our brands and the quality and depth of our team, both in Australia and offshore."
Austereo site -carries links to AGM statement (17kb PDF) and Annual Report (615kb PDF):
2001-11-09: Yet more US third quarter results are out, this time including the big one, Clear Channel, which reported as the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) added to the gloom by reporting that radio revenues in September were down 14% on those for September 2000.
National business was down 23% and local was down 12%.
For the third quarter, overall numbers were down 8% with national ones down 19% and local down 4%.
Clear Channel did not do much to lighten the day, despite a bullish presentation: for the quarter ended Sept. 30, it reported a net loss of some USD232 million, or 39 cents a share, compared with net income of USD449 million, or 96 cents a share, for Q3, 2000.
Both Clear Channel's radio and billboard revenues were down on a pro-forma basis, by 8% for radio whose pro-forma EBITDA was down by 19%.
Its entertainment division was in positive territory with net revenues and EDBITDA up 15% compared to Q3, 2000.
Overall, boosted by acquisitions, Clear Channel net revenues increased 46 percent to USD2.3 billion and EBITDA (defined as operating cash flow less corporate expenses) was up 17 percent to USD556 million.
After tax cash flow for the quarter was up 31% to USD443 million, but after tax cash flow (ATCF) per share fell by a cent to 71cents.
On a pro forma basis, net revenues were approximately flat at USD2.3 billion but pro forma EBITDA fell 17 percent to USD558 million.
Overall radio revenues were up 45% to USD866,106 and radio EBITDA was up 32.3% to USD353,537. For the year to date, net revenues were 84% up at USD6.1 billion, and EBITDA was up 44% to USD1.6 billion, but ATCF per share fell by one cent to USD1.97 per share.
Clear Channel says that currently things are improving month by month and it expects whole year EBITDA of around USD2 billion.
President and CEO Mark Mays said, "Historically, during periods of slowing economic conditions like these, Clear Channel outperforms the industry and gains market share through sound strategies and prudent financial management."
"And we're doing it again. Clear Channel's unique collection of local media outlets with national coverage allows us to better serve our advertising clients."
Mays was asked at the company's conference call about suggestions that Clear Channel was dropping rates to take market share; these were made particularly strongly by Radio One Inc CEO Alfred Liggins at its call earlier in the week when he said, "everybody is capitulating in terms of pricing to get more share."
"The cluster guys are doing it more. They have this theory that they have these big clusters now, so they want to try and snatch 100% of the buy in certain markets, and they are willing to give away the store in order to make that happen."
Mays was not clear in his answer but he did allow, "We obviously have a strategic advantage of having a large number of stations - - and we can move our inventory, whether that's into national sales or network sales or local sales - - whereby we take the demand and we can get the best price for the inventory in those different markets in which we serve."
"So you're going to see us continually moving those pricing trends around. Are we going to take unsold inventory where we can help our customers move their goods and services."
"Certainly we're going to be opportunistic in those times." Cumulus Media, which has been dropping stations and was down to 224 in 45 markets at the start of the third quarter compared to 317 stations in 64 markets at the same date in 2000, emphasized BCF growth in the presentation of its figures.
Its Q3 revenues fell 12.6% to USD50.8million, but broadcast cash flow was up by USD20.1 million to USD15.6million, compared to a negative USD4.5million a year ago and EBITDA was up USD19.7 million to USD11.4 million from negative EBITDA of USD8.3 million for the same period in 2000.
The increases in Broadcast Cash Flow and EBITDA were primarily attributable to an unusually high charge to bad debt expense taken in the three month period ended September 30, 2000.
ATCF was a negative USD1.1million or a loss of 3 cents a share compared to a loss of USD 20.2 million or 57 cents a share for Q3. 2000
On a same station basis, Q3 revenues were down 4.3% to USD33.9 million, while BCF was up 16.7% to USD10 million.
For the year to date Cumulus net revenues were down 10.7% to USD150.5million, largely because of station disposals, but BFC was up 148.6% to USD43.1 million and EBITDA was up 545.7% to USD31.5 million.
ATCF loss was USD5.7 million or 16 cents a share compared to USD27.8 million loss, or 79 cents a share, in the first nine months of 2000.
Same station results for the year showed net revenues down 3.7% to USD98.8 million but BCF was up 32.6% to USD26.5 million.
Cumulus Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey said, "We, along with all other media companies, experienced a premature end to our quarter following the well documented events on, and since, September 11th and although our revenue was cut short, we did an exceptionally good job of managing our expenses."
At his conference call, Dickey was also critical of rate cutting, commenting," It makes it very challenging when you have competitors basically rolling prices out that would be 50 cents on the dollar to try and stimulate demand to lock up some share. I think it's the wrong move."
Spanish-language group Entravision reported radio revenues down although its TV revenues were up.
Overall revenue was up 21% to USD54.5 million although BCF was 2% down at USD17.2 million.
While pro forma TV revenues were up 9%, pro forma radio revenues were down 7% to USD17.8 million and radio BCF was down 12% to USD 6.1 million.
For the final quarter, the company is forecasting a radio revenue fall of 7-9%.
Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walter F. Ulloa, said, "The terrorist acts have obviously impacted our financial results for the third quarter, which were once again led by our television group posting industry-leading gains in revenue and BCF."
"Prior to the tragic events of September 11th all of our divisions were on track to report results in-line with our guidance."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
Previous Radio One Inc:
Previous RAB (US):
Clear Channel web site:
Cumulus Web site:
Entravision web site:
RAB (US) web site:
2001-11-09: An appeal by the BBC has turned up more than a hundred missing British radio and TV programmes dating back to the 1930s from collectors, former producers, overseas broadcasters and members of the public.
The appeal was launched six months ago to fill gaps in the archives, some because programmes had not been recorded and others because they had been wiped.
Although some TV shows from the 60s and 70s also turned up, some from the Australian censor's office, the majority of the shows saved are from radio.
They include a 1931 adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the first edition of the panel game "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue", which was broadcast in 1972, editions of the Hancock's Half Hour comedy show from 1956 and 1958, more than 20 classic dramas recorded in the 1960s and some 40 recordings made by a fan of Music While You Work.
The last show aired live from 1940 to 1957 but the BBC had no recordings of any of the thousands of editions broadcast.
2001-11-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has commenced a comprehensive examination of its rules concerning radio ownership concentration in local markets and also adopted an interim policy to resolve applications that re still pending.
All the Commissioners voted for the move, a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that it says will make it "more responsive to current marketplace realities while continuing to address its core public interest concerns of promoting diversity and competition."
However, despite the unanimity, there are already signs of divergence about the rules that should be adopted.
Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin, who favours less regulation, said he that he would have moved farther than the action approved and conditionally grant all long-pending deals.
On the other side, lone Democrat on the Commission, Michael Copps, issued a statement stressing that in local radio transactions, as in all broadcast transactions, the public interest requires diversity and competition in the local market.
Although he said," the criteria used to evaluate proposed transfers and mergers " cry out for sunshine and clarity" and it was necessary for the private sector to have "clear and transparent rules of the road, and expeditious procedures for implementing them" he also issued a cautionary note.
I am, however, concerned," he wrote, "that certain questions in the NPRM raise issues about our clear statutory obligation to conduct a comprehensive public interest analysis."
"I am troubled by the implication that the local radio station ownership limits could obviate our public interest obligation."
"In establishing the local radio station limits, Congress made clear in Section 601(c)(1) of the 1996 Act that these limits were to exist in addition to and not in place of the Commission's obligation to grant station transfers and mergers only if they serve the public interest."
The FCC notes in its release that when the 1996 US Communications Act became law, there were approximately 5,100 owners of commercial radio stations nationwide; today there are approximately 3,800 owners, a decrease of 25%.
Local markets have seen similar consolidation. In March 1996, an Arbitron metro market had an average of 13.5 owners; in March 2001, the average was 10.3, a decrease of 22%.
The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), welcomed the moves with reservations.
It issued a statement that said, "Chairman Powell and the FCC have done the right thing today in trying to bring an end to the Commission's confusing and uncertain standards for dealing with radio mergers."
"It is disappointing, however, that the FCC plans to keep in the interim the 'flagging' process that has resulted in long delays for hundreds of transfer application that meet all applicable standards."
"We hope the Commission acts quickly to eliminate this unjustified procedure."
FCC News release:
NAB web site:
2001-11-08: In more third quarter results from the US, Regent Communications has done better than it predicted after September 11 with net revenues up 20% compared to 2000 to USD14 million and broadcast cash flow up 11.7% to USD4.2 million.
On a same station basis, however, revenues were up a tiny 0.2% to USD7.5 million and with operating expenses, excluding barter, up 10.5% to USD5.4 million same station broadcast cash flow was down 19.4% to USD2.1 million.
For the year to date net broadcast revenues increased 34.2% to USD40.0 million and BCF was up 29.2% to USD11.9 million.
Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs, "We are pleased to report results slightly ahead of our previous guidance.
Like the rest of the radio industry, our results were impacted by the September 11th tragedy and continued advertising slowdown. Despite the near-term impact of these events, we have never been more confident in our long-term operating strategy."
Regent has 60 stations in middle and smaller markets and for the full year is predicting revenues and broadcast cash flow of approximately USD52.8 - USD53.1 million and USD15.2 - USD15.4 million, respectively and after-tax cash flow per share of approximately 20 cents.
On a same station basis, Regent expects 2001 revenue growth in the 5 - 6% range and flat broadcast cash flow.
Regent web site:
2001-11-08: The US Congress has voted 405-2 to create Radio Free Afghanistan.
It overrode objections from the State Department, which had earlier told the House International Relations Committee it agreed with the need for radio broadcasting into Afghanistan and had increased Voice of America broadcasts in the region but was "not ready at this time to commit to the concept of a Radio Free Afghanistan."
Californian Republican Ed Royce, the chief sponsor of the measure, said, "If done right, these broadcasts would make a profound difference in our war on terrorism."
His fellow Californian, Democrat Tom Lantos, said the broadcast were essential to present the case for "freedom and truth" to otherwise inaccessible young people.
"Marginalized youth who live without hope and without opportunity grow up into hate-filled men and women who choose to bring death and destruction to themselves and to those around them," he said.
The move to create the station, to be run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has bi-partisan support and had already been unanimously supported by the House International Relations Committee (See RNW Nov 3); it now goes to the Senate where, despite some support, it has no sponsor so far.
Previous Radio Free Afghanistan:
"Thomas" web site for text of Bill - - Bill is HR2998
2001-11-08: UK broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) has upheld no complaints against the country's radio output in its latest bulletin.
In the previous bulletin it upheld three (see RNW Sept 28).
In all the Commission lists 111 complaints in its latest bulletin' of these 12 concerned with radio and the rest with television including adverts and some dealing with the same matter on different transmissions.
Three of the radio complaints were resolved, the rest not upheld.
Those resolved were:
*A complaint about an offensive prank call in the Steve Penk show on Capital FM. He had been advised of the complaint and told to avoid future offences. Penk has since moved to Virgin FM as Breakfast host.
*A complaint about a racist remark on the Julia Hankin Radio Show on BBC Radio Newcastle. A verbal and written apology had been made to the listener and the question of acceptable language addressed.
*A complaint about swearing on One Big Sunday on BBC Radio 1. The BBC said it had tried to guard against swearing in this live broadcast and it had apologised.
Previous BSC Complaints Bulletin:
BSC web site (Note: This is a Flash 5 site: It links to the report in PDF format-102 kb).
2001-11-08: There are causes for concern abut the news coverage plans of the successor station to John Hopkins University's WJHU-FM, the soon-to-be WYPR-FM, according to the Baltimore Sun.
It carries a report noting that a study of local news reports on National Public Radio (NPR) stations showed that listeners resented it when these reports failed to match up to the quality of network items.
A Baltimore group headed by WJHU talk host Mark Steiner has agreement to buy the station for around USD5 million and the paper says Steiner is speaking of a news desk mainly of freelance reporters with perhaps a few full-timers who would provide news plus a steady increase of local feature stories and in-depth political pieces that could be integrated into NPR news broadcasts.
The plan does not seem to align well with the study which was based on focus groups conducted in collaboration with NPR stations in Connecticut, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco.
Marcia Alvar, head of the programming directors' group, said that they found no evidence that spot news was particularly valued by NPR listeners.
"There is no advantage to doing local programming if the presentation is below the standards our listeners have come to expect", she wrote, adding that listeners "draw a clear line between local information like headline news that they can get from other sources and coverage that gives them knowledge [and] understanding and makes them think."
Baltimore Sun report:
2001-11-07: Following on the heels of Salem in bucking the trend of falling numbers (RNW Nov 6) but with a warning about the final quarter, Radio One Inc has reported a leap in third quarter earnings this year compared to last year.
Fuelled by acquisitions they rose 54% to USD66.2 million, broadcast flow was up some 19% from USD18.5 million to USD22 million and after tax cash flow was USD12.2 million or 13 cents a share.
Overall, despite the strong performance, it still lost USD 15.1 million, 16 cents a share, in the quarter compared to a loss in Q3, 2000 of USD8.2 million, 10 cents a share.
On a same station basis Radio One still maintained a healthy 7% increase in net broadcast revenue and broadcast cash flow, despite losing some USD2million of advertising as a result of the September 11 attacks.
On a year to date business, Radio One, which now owns 65 stations, has YTD, Radio One has taken increased net broadcast revenue by 81% over 2000 to USD176.4 million whilst BCF was up 87% to USD90.4 million.
Overall the company has lost USD55 million, 62 cents a share, so far this year compared with a loss of $581,000, 1 cent a share, last year.
For the final quarter, Radio One has reduced forecasts to net revenue in the USD62-64 million range, BCF in the USD31M-32 million range and ATCF between 8 and 9 cents per share.
The company has also announced a deal with ABC Radio Networks (ABCRN) to create a partnership that will create a radio network that will reach some 93% of African-Americans.
Under the arrangement, Radio One stations will affiliate to ABCRN's Urban Advantage Network (UAN). Thus putting some of Radio One's commercial inventory to UAN.
Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins said the agreement was the most cost-efficient and rational way to leverage its radio station platform.
In comparison, Susquehanna Media's third quarter results followed the lower trends general in US Radio; it had a 2% increase in revenues, mainly from its cable business, but radio revenues were down 5% on 2000 to USD54.8 million. Overall broadcast cash flow was down 16% to USD20.5million and EBITDA was down 17% to USD17.7million.
On the deals side, Tribune is reported to have hired Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown to help it dispose of its three Denver radio properties: KOSI-FM, KKHK-FM and KEZW-AM.
Previous ABC Radio, US:
Previous Radio One:
2001-11-07: The future of veteran BBC Radio 2 DJ Jimmy Young now looks more secure although there is still a marked lack of clarity with the Corporation denying a report in the UK Daily Mail that it was to sign a two-year contract with him to avoid further speculation in a few months about his career prospects.
Waveguide Magazine has quoted a spokeswoman as saying, "Decisions are ongoing. Jimmy Young's contract is not discussed until November. Hopefully we'll have an outcome soon."
Young, who is aged 80, is currently on a one-year rolling contract that expires in April but is renegotiated in November.
Reports do not make it clear whether discussions are about a contract to continue his current weekday show or a new one to present another show, possibly weekly or at weekends.
2001-11-07: Jazz FM retains its number one position in the latest Measurecast ratings, one of three Jazz stations - the others are Cablemusic Networks' Smooth Jazz at number 8 and KNIK at 24 - in the Measurecast top 25.
MeasureCast also reports another six per cent rise in listening in the week to October 28, taking its Internet Radio Index to 326 from a base of 100 at the start of this year.
At the top five level it was another case of moving chairs with ESPN dropping one and classical music King FM moving up one.
The top five were, ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with, where applicable, previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets:
1): Jazz station Jazz FM TTSL 210152 (208530); CP 70914 (71315) Position unchanged, listening up but audience down, the reverse of the previous week.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 144996 (165290); CP 56048 (50281) Position unchanged, listening down, audience up.
3): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 143675 (132978); CP 31677 (24221)- Position unchanged, audience and listening significantly up.
4): Classical music King FM TTSL 135666 (111631); CP 23862 (20069) - Previously fifth
5):. Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 118498 (113691); CP 19647 (18673) - Previously fourth with lower numbers.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-11-06: As Merrill Lynch analysts predict a fall in US Q3 radio revenues of between 7.5%-9.5%, comes a result that maybe an example of the exception proving the rule; religious broadcasting group Salem Communications Corporation has reported record results for the quarter.
It had net broadcasting revenues of USD33.9 million, up 22.4% from Q3, 2000 and even broadcasting cash flow (BCF) was up, albeit by a small 1.7% from USD12.0 million in 2000 to UD12.2 million this year.
EBITDA, including the company's non-broadcast media businesses, increased 6.1% to $8.7 million in the third quarter of 2001 compared to $8.2 million in 2000.
After tax cash flow was also up slightly at USD4.9 million compared to $4.8 million for Q3, 2000, although the per share figure was static at 21
cents per share.
Salem put the slip in BCF as a percentage of net revenues from 43.3% to 36.0% down to the "impact of recently acquired radio stations that are currently operating at lower profit margins than pre-existing stations."
On a same station basis, net broadcasting revenue and broadcast cash flow increased 6.1 % and 6.3 % respectively in the quarter.
For the year to date, net broadcasting revenue increased 30.4% to $97.9 million from $75.1 million and BCF increased 5.7 % to $35.1 million from $33.2 million; same station net broadcasting revenue and broadcast cash flow increased 9.5% and 8.4%, respectively.
Commenting on the results, President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III said," Salem's solid third quarter performance is a direct result of our focus on religious and family issues programming."
"This programming is proving to be especially relevant as we recover from the September 11th attacks."
"Our strategy of focusing on religious and family issues radio programming not only provides a great service to our listeners, at times like these, but also provides a stable revenue base."
For the whole of 2001, Salem is now projecting net broadcasting revenue up 21.7% to USD$134.million but it says BCF will be down 3.4% to USD47.7 million, a 3.4% because of the start-up costs associated our recently acquired stations, the launch of music formatted stations, and the impact of the September 11th attacks.
Acquisition activity in the quarter included completion of the US8.5 million purchase of KSFB-AM (formerly KBZS-AM) in Palo Alto, California; the USD735, 000 purchase of WBTK-AM (formerly WVBB-AM) in Richmond, Virginia, the USD6.75 million purchase of WTBN-AM in Tampa, Florida and the USD 6.5million acquisition of the broadcast license for 105.3 FM in the Milwaukee market.
In addition Salem has completed a deal involving the acquisition of WFHM-FM (formerly WCLV-FM) in Cleveland, OH from Radio Seaway and the sale of WHK-FM in Canton, OH and WHK-AM in Cleveland, OH to Clear Channel Communications and Radio Seaway, respectively.
It is also in the USD35.8 million acquisition of KFIS-FM (formerly KJUN-FM) in Portland, Oregon and the USD7.0 million acquisition of KSZZ-AM in San Bernardino, California.
Pending sales are those of KEZY-AM in San Bernardino, California for USD4.0 million and of WHLO-AM in Akron, Ohio, for $4.5 million.
More in line with the general trend were the results for Beasley Broadcasting Group, whose third quarter net revenue was up 2.4% to USD28.7 million because of acquisitions but whose BCF was down 17.9% to USD7.6 million.
EBITDA was down 20.9% at USD6.5 million and ATCF fell 37.5% to USD3.2 million, 13 cents per diluted share compared to 21cents per diluted share for Q3, 2000.
On a same-station basis, excluding WPTP-FM in Philadelphia, which was reformatted in November 2000, net revenues for the quarter were down 9.6% to USD23.4 million and BCF was down 24.3% to USD6.7 million.
Beasley had a net loss for the quarter of USD11.5 million, 48 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of USD0.8 million, or 3cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2000.
"Like most of our peers, Beasley experienced a very tough third quarter," said CEO George Beasley at a conference call.
"The radio industry and Beasley continued," he said in a statement, "to face a challenging economic climate in the third quarter of 2001."
"The advertising slump combined with the unforeseen events of September 11th impacted our ability to grow revenues during the period."
For the year to date Beasley net revenue increased 8.8% to USD84.8 but BCF was down 10.2% to USD22.5 million.
The company is forecasting final quarter revenues of around USD27.5 million and BCF of around USD7.7million with same station revenues down by up to 13% and BCF down as much as 25% compared to 2000.
Still in the US but on the deals side, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has red-flagged on ownership and revenue concentration grounds the Cumulus purchase undr a put option of WDUZ-AM & WQLH-FM/Green Bay, Wisconsin from Green Bay Broadcasting (See RNW Oct 25).
Cumulus is already operating the stations under an LMA: it already owns Classic Rock WJLW-FM and Oldies WOGB-FM in the market.
And in the UK, the Wireless Group, whose flagship TalkSport lost some GBP34 million last year, has now cleared its debts and has around GBP1million in the bank. The cash boost follows the GBP18 million sale of Southampton-based Wave 105 to Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH).
SRH also bought TWG's 25 per cent stake in Fife-based Kingdom FM for GBP 1 million.
Wireless Group chairman and chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie said that although they were not happy with such sales the group had to sell assets because it was proving difficult to raise finance.
Earlier this year it sold Scot FM to the Guardian Media Group for GBP25.5 million (see RNW June 12).
SRH Chief Executive Richard Findlay said the deal had given the group one of the most desirable UK regional licences that covered an area with a "rich mixture of wealthy rural, coastal towns and significant cities" which was popular with advertisers.
Previous George Beasley:
Previous Wireless Group:
Beasley Q3 figures:
Salem Q3 figures:.
2001-11-06: The conflict at Pacifica Radio could be drawing to a close following a mediated settlement with plaintiffs who sued the board.
Current Magazine quotes new Pacifica chairman Robert Farrell as saying the mediation was "a stunning success" and that a deal had been done pending approval of some details.
He and the plaintiffs said they could not give details until final agreement has been reached but Farrell indicated that said an interim board with much greater representation from local boards would be established "to chart Pacifica's future."
At the end of last month, Pacifica's executive director Bessie Wash left (See RNW Oct 28) and board vice-chairman Ken Ford also resigned.
It was Pacifica's fifth board resignation since the spring.
"We truly believe this is the best arrangement we could come to, to preserve and promote the Pacifica Network and each of the stations," Leslie Cagan, a plaintiff and Pacifica board member from radio station WBAI in New York told the San Francisco Examiner.
"Central to our agreement is a commitment to accountability, diversity and democracy. Whatever the details, we have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us."
If settlement is not reached, Pacifica may have a new board forced on it as a result of lawsuits to remove the present board that are due to go to trial in January.
In addition one of the plaintiffs said an Alameda County Superior Court judge is scheduled to rule Nov. 19 on the key issue of whether the Pacifica Foundation, which still has nearly three times that number of board members after the resignations, must by bound by wording in its Articles of Incorporation limiting it to a five-member board.
Current Magazine report;
San Francisco Examiner report:
2001-11-06: BBC Radio 5 presenter Nicky Campbell's statement that he had been offered the DJ Jimmy Young's BBC Radio 2 job continue to reverberate round the UK radio world.
BBC Radio 2 now says that neither Campbell nor anyone else was formally offered the post and "sources" are saying that he was not even the favourite amongst those sounded out.
It's also being said that a visit to Campbell's home by BBC2 controller Jim Moir and his deputy was not made by them to persuade him to move but at the presenter's invitation.
According to the UK Guardian, Campbell has either angered or amazed executives and colleagues at the Corporation in going public and burning his bridges with Moir.
The paper speculates that the move may have been a negotiating ploy as Campbell's Radio 5 contract is being renegotiated.
It, suggests that, if so, it may backfire and cost him not only with Radio 5 but also with his BBC television ambitions.
The paper then continues, "Amid this mess, the more immediate problem for the BBC is what to do about Young."
"The cat is now out of the bag: Radio 2 has been touting for a successor. Moir must now manage the succession without spilling any more blood. "
The spat and publicity, says the paper, "is swamping the wider story, that Radio 2, the UK's most popular radio station, attracted 2m more regular listeners in the past year: at 12.2m, it is soundly beating Radio 1."
"The network is also giving the commercial sector nightmares: its audience is larger than all the national stations, Classic FM, TalkSport, Virgin and Atlantic 252, combined. "
"It has achieved this position of supremacy by smoothly but ruthlessly changing its music policy, adding new, trendier presenters (Steve Wright, Jonathan Ross) while retaining the old names."
"Radio 2's success lies in holding on to old audiences while at the same time bringing in new listeners."
" This is a key aspect of the Young dilemma. Does Radio 2 risk destabilising the schedule by annoying his fans? Or are they so loyal that their radios are pretty much glued to the left of the FM dial? " "Opinions," it says, "are split on whether Young is bringing in new converts to Radio 2, or putting them off."
"One (JY) supporter says: 'If audiences are falling, there's a reason to act. They're not. It's still a good show. And it's one of the key public service broadcasting fig leaves for Radio 2. Young also hosts its five-hour election night show and regularly interviews party leaders.'"
Overall the Guardian report concludes that something will now have to happen fairly soon.
It says BBC TV's Newsnight presenter Jeremy Vine, who was one of a number of presenters who have stood in for Young, is now Radio 2's favourite choice if Young is to go.
UK Guardian report:
2001-11-06: Connemara Community Radio,which has now been on the air for six years, has just opened the Irish state's first studio on an offshore island.
It's in the Community Centre on Inishbofin, Co Galway ,and will be used for a weekly one-hour live programme by volunteers to be broadcast by the station, with longer broadcasts during the island's annual arts festival. Connemara Community Radio broadcasts from Letterfrack and its signal covers north-west Connemara plus islands such as Inishbofin, Inishturk and Clare Island.
Irish Times report:
2001-11-05: Personalities and politics from the columns this week, spurred on by the induction into the Radio Hall of Fame of a third member of the Harvey family (RNW Nov 4), the rather differing treatment of British veteran DJ Jimmy Young (See RNW Oct 2), a UK profile of US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman William Powell, and other bits and bobs.
First personalities under the last heading, courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder.
His columns last week included a short item on a meeting and handshake in a restaurant between erstwhile colleagues and now rather less friendly. Chicago radio competitors Steve Dahl and Garry Meir. The two had a bitter parting in 1993 after 14 years as a duo.
They met at a pre-opening of a restaurant being bankrolled among others by former AMFM chief Jimmy de Castro and Larry Wert who were the duo's former bosses at WLUP.
Dahl approached Meir and his wife, who were seated at a table, and there was a brief exchange in which Dahl joked about not standing too long for fear of spoiling their appetite.
The follow up said something about the two personalities.
Dahl commented next day, "There was a lot of silence and awkwardness, broken only by the sound of my voice--kind of like our radio show used to be."
Meier's response? "Steve has perfected stabbing you in the back while he's shaking your hand."
Perhaps that was a bit of personalities and politics of a particular kind?
Next Jimmy Young, subject of a radio column in the UK Guardian by Elisabeth Mahoney, and involved, albeit not by his own choice, in some unsavoury politicking at the BBC about his future.
Headed "Out with the old", it starts by noting some of the compliments paid to Nicky Campbell, the Radio 5 presenter, by Radio 2 controller Jim Moir.
"'You're the anointed one," Moir is said to have told Campbell,' the one who can interview Gordon Brown and play Golden Brown."
"Young, by contrast," Mahoney writes, " is the one who can field calls about 'cooking raw chicken in the microwave' (his on-air topic as I write) and the scandal of 'dried-up oranges and bruised apples' in supermarkets."
She then continues, "Despite assurances from Moir that ageism wouldn't guide changes at Radio 2 as the station repositions itself to attract a younger demographic, many see the sidelining of Young, 80 - he waits to hear if his contract will be renewed - as motivated purely by questions of age."
"Two things strike me in this sorry saga. Firstly, that nobody should have to learn their fate in the press. Secondly, that to allow the story to spill out in this way does the station's image no good. "
RNW comment - Quite so!. Politics on a grander scale and personalities are separable as evinced in a UK Guardian profile of FCC chairman Michael Powell by journalism lecturer Rob Brown, which starts by describing him as "a friend to fat cat conglomerates" and says "diversity could be a casualty."
Although the profile does carry details of his horrific 1987 accident when he was a major in the US Army in German, an accident which nearly ended his life and did end his army career but led to his current one, the emphasis is on the power and politics of his appointment.
"Few people," says the article," have as much power to influence American popular culture and its (suddenly fragile) new economy as the FCC chief."
Considering how he will use it, the article goes on," One of Powell's first acts as FCC chairman was to slap a $7,000 (£4,900) fine on a local radio station for playing Eminem's The Real Slim Shady, a track laced with sexually explicit profanities.
The fact that KKMG was punished for transmitting a cleaned-up version of this number brought back scary memories of the last time a Republican led the FCC.
In the early 90s shock jock Howard Stern was hit with $1.2m in fines for his offensive utterances.
Powell has told rappers not to read too much into this one ruling, insisting that he has a steadfast commitment to upholding the cherished First Amendment, the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech."
(RNW note: Powell himself does not levy such fines and we would note that former Democrat Commissioner Gloria Tristani was in the vanguard of a campaign on indecency on the airwaves.)
The article also notes comparisons made between Powell and his predecessor William Kennard by "progressives" especially concerning the position of minorities in US media, citing Jesse Jackson comments that a laissez faire approach would reduce black voices in broadcasting.
"After nine months in office," Brown writes, "Powell does appear hell-bent on pursuing a corporate-friendly agenda that can only result in a further torrent of mergers in the media industries."
"Entertainment industry fat cats purred when this barrel-chested Republican, with a penchant for pinstripe suits and every technological gizmo on the market, became one of the first beneficiaries of George W Bush's presidential patronage.
"They love Powell for a reason," said Robert McChesney, of the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois.
"He has a record of advancing their interests, not ours. As a result of Powell's tenure, their firms will grow much larger, much more powerful and operate in less competitive markets."
Finally courtesy of Harry Browne of the Irish Times, a promotion from us for a personality whose views on the Middle East in particular and conflicts in general are certainly not to everybody's taste but whose humanity and integrity are beyond doubt.
He's UK Independent reporter Robert Fisk whose documentary on the Lebanese capital, Robert Fisk's Beirut, was broadcast by RTÉ Radio 1 last week. Fisk has been acquainted with the city from its days as a tourist location before the civil war and through its dark periods such as the Sabra and Chatila massacres which helped make current Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon infamous throughout the Middle East. "So." To quota Browne," he could help us soak up the atmosphere not only in the dismal refugee camp, where he reminisced about the bodies he saw on that terrible day in September, 1982, but in all sorts of other places, including the city's Jewish cemetery. Although he insisted the affection he feels for Beirut shouldn't be called "love", we certainly heard plenty of warmth being directed at him from its citizens. It wasn't all politics, by any means; and what there was he presented through telling detail and anecdote, a bit like a good journalist. "The church here, which is the Maronite cathedral, has got these extraordinary loudspeakers on its bells - and the purpose is to make the largest ecclesiastical noise."
Previous de Castro:
Irish Times - Browne:
Chicago Sun Times - Feder:
UK Guardian -Mahoney:
UK Guardian on Powell:
2001-11-04: Paul Harvey Jr. has now followed his in parents' footsteps to set a family first.
He was inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame at Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications by ABC Radio president Traug Keller, for his 25 years work writing "The Rest of the Story," the syndicated surprise-ending historical features delivered by his father, Paul Harvey.
Paul Harvey joined the Hall of Fame in 1990 and his wife Lynne, executive producer of her husband's broadcasts, was inducted in 1997.
Previous Paul Harvey Jr.
Previous Harvey Sr.
2001-11-04: Main licence activity this week centred on local, low power and community licences.
In Australia, main attention has been centred on community licences.
The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA)has now awarded the new community licence for Colac in Victoria to Otway FM Community Radio Group Inc..
It is already broadcasting on the frequency now allocated permanently to it under a temporary community licence that expires on 30 November 2001.
As well as the successful bid there was a bid from Vision Australia Foundation which said it represented the print-handicapped community of Colac; Otway, says it will now provide some programming for the print-handicapped as well as its existing talk and music programmes.
In Canada main licence action concerned low power stations and power changes for existing ones.
Approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was a new low power English-language Christian music FM at Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, for Bethany Pentecostal Tabernacle; the station will also produce local programmes including news and weather plus recordings of sermons, local church functions, and personal testimonies.
In British Colombia the CRTC has approved a request by Rogers Radio to increase the power of CKVX-FM Chilliwack from its Abbotsford transmitter from 290 watts to 540 watts whilst in Alberta it has approved a Rogers request to reduce the power of CHFM-FM Calgary from 74,000 watts to 48,000 watts.
This latter request was made because the owner of the transmission tower has decided to replace it
In addition the Commission has issued a report on the country's broadcasting industry, calling it "healthy and dynamic." The report says that commercial radio in the country is now a "billion dollar a year business"(CAD - approximately USD 625 million).
It also notes that since the introduction of the Commercial Radio Policy in April 1998, commitments to Canadian talent development from the licensing of new stations and ownership changes have totalled CAD68 million.
Ireland was quiet and in the UK, the Radio Authority has been dealing mainly with analogue licences.
It has received five applications a new local station to serve either the city of Chester or the towns in the southern part of Flintshire
. They are from:
*Chester Broadcasting Ltd. - proposing full service station.
* Chester Fm Ltd - proposing a news, information and popular music format.
*Chester Radio Ltd. - proposing a news, information and contemporary and classic hits format.
* Dee Fm Ltd. - proposing music of the past forty years plus news and information.
*Deva Fm Ltd. - proposing news, information and melodic, popular music aimed predominantly at an audience aged 25-54.
The Authority has also re-advertised the local radio licence for the city of Oxford and the immediately surrounding area, currently held by Fusion 107.9 FM.
The station, initially known as Oxygen FM, first went on air in February 1997 and its 8-year licence was shortened by two years in September 1999, as part of a regulatory sanction imposed upon he station under its previous ownership.
The Authority has also published its assessment of the re-award of the licence for Thamesmead in South East London to Millennium FM Ltd., the existing licence holder against competition from Starmela.co.uk Ltd. and Unity FM Ltd.
It says members thought Millennium FM, which was acquired by the Fusion Radio Group last November and has since benefited from substantial investment, was "the only applicant that was genuinely seeking to provide a service that had the area which had been advertised as its primary focus."
Members also commented that Millennium's proposals catered particularly well for the tastes and interests of radio listeners living in the designated licence area.
On the digital front, next week it is to advertise the digital multiplex licence for the South Hampshire area, including Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester.
In the US, all was fairly quiet although Federal Communication Commission (FCC) moves to set up an Media Ownership Working Group to develop a foundation for US media ownership regulation (RNW Oct 30) seem likely to presage a fight about even more loosening of restrictions.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2001-11-03: More third quarter results from the US have shown impressive figures for Viacom/Infinity syndication company Westwood One but less impressive ones for Interrep, which is dependent on US national advertising.
Westwood revenues fell by 11% from 2000's USD139 million to USD124 million but it had a 9% increase in net free cash flow, up to USD25.3million from USD 23.2million.
This was a 15% increase per diluted share from 20 cents to 23 cents. EBITDA was also up a little from USD 40.126 million to USD 40.140 million.
Joel Hollander, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westwood One said Westwood "achieved its record free cash flow results in spite of a slowing economy and the events of September 11."
He added "The Company was able to achieve these results primarily by controlling costs and attracting new advertisers to the Company's comprehensive traffic information and network platforms represented by its affiliate base of over 7500 stations."
For the full year, Westwood says it expects EBITDA to be comparable to full year 2000 EBITDA of USD165 million and Free Cash Flow of approximately USD100 million as compared with USD95 million in 2000, making Free cash flow per share 90cents per diluted share compared with t$.82 per diluted share in 2000.
The picture for Interrep was less rosy; it reported a 20% drop in radio commission revenue $21.6 million compared to $27.0 million for Q3 2000.
The decline, it said, due to the overall weakness in national advertising caused by the slowdown in the economy with the events of September 11th pushing already weak advertising market even lower.
Interrep's EBITDA was down from USD6.8 million to USD2.6 million, its after tax cash flow (ATCF) per share was down massively from 45cents to 3 cents and earnings per share went from a profit of 8 cents to a loss of 62 cents.
It is now forecasting radio commission revenue for the year in a range of $80 to $82 million compared to $100 million in 2000 and operating EBITDA in a range of $10 to $11 million compared to $25 million in 2000.
Ackerley Broadcasting, currently being bought by Clear Channel (See RNW Oct 9) also saw its broadcasting revenues down.
Compared to 2000, they fell 7% to USD6.7 in the quarter and operating cash flow was down 19% to USD1.7 million.
Overall Ackerley net revenue was down 16% to USD48.5 million, EBITDA was down 40% to USD6.7 million and after tax cash flow from continuing operations was down 58% to USD2.7 million. Ackerley's net loss was 28% greater at USD8.6 million, 25 cents a share compared to 18cents in 2000.
President Chris Ackerley says the USD800 million Clear Channel deal is proceeding on schedule and should close in the first half of next year.
Also on the deals side in the US, Beasley Broadcasting has announced that it is to sell two of the six stations it bought for USD113.5 million from Centennial at the start of the year.
It's getting some USD23 million for New Orleans stations Classic Rock WRNO-FM and Urban Oldies KMEZ-FM from Wilks Broadcasting, LLC.
Beasley expects the deal to close in the second quarter of next year and says it intends to use the funds to reduce its borrowing.
It is keeping WBYU-AM, its New Orleans station that airs brokered programming.
In Illinois, Midwest Broadcasting has purchased WAUR-AM, which broadcasts from Sandwich, west of Chicago, for USD 4 million from the Catholic Radio Network.
It had been running the station through an LMA since May.
Previous Catholic Radio Network:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Westwood One:
2001-11-03: The creation by the BBC of a single international news and information division, combining BBC World Service radio and BBC World Television, which is a commercial service, is causing alarm amongst a number of potential commercial competitors.
It will be headed by current director of BBC World Service Mark Byford, who will get the new title of Director, World Service and Global News.
The BBC says the aim is to "create a clearer, co-ordinated presence in the international media marketplace" but insists, "The separate identities of the two services and their different funding streams will be respected."
BBC World Service radio is funded by an annual grant from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office that will amount to GBP183 million in the current financial year; it was consulted about the plan and is supporting it.
2001-11-03: The US House International Relations Committee has unanimously approved plans to create "Radio Free Afghanistan" to be run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Sponsor, Californian Republican Ed Royce, says the station is "essential to winning the information war" in the fight against Afghanistan's Taliban government.
Under his bill, introduced on October 2, the US would allocate USD19.5 million years to set up and operate the station in the 2002 fiscal year, which began on October 1, and USD8 million for the next fiscal year.
USD1.5 million of the first year's budget would be for construction of a new transmitter for the station. which would be operated by RFE/RL, Incorporated (formerly known as Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty).
It is mandated to make " surrogate radio" broadcasts to "the people of Afghanistan in languages spoken in Afghanistan for some 12 hours daily.
The bill now has to go to the full House for consideration and voting and then to the US Senate.
Previous Radio Free Afghanistan:
"Thomas" web site for text of Bill - - Bill is HR2998 .
2001-11-03: Bessie Wash, the former executive director of Pacifica Radio, has told the Washington Post that she quit her job last week (See RNW Oct 28) after being asked to stand down by the station's new chairman, Robert Farrell.
She added that she was not fired because in late September she had already submitter her resignation to take effect at the end of the year.
Wash said there was no animosity between her and the Pacifica board.
"I had done everything I had set out to do," said Wash, a former general manager of WPFW, Washington's Pacifica station.
"I had a five-year plan; everything was done, and it was just time."
Washington Post report:
2001-11-02: BBC Radio 2 has now admitted that it had been trying to replace veteran disc jockey Jimmy Young with BBC Radio5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell after the latter rejected the offer in an e-mail to Radio 2 Controller Jim Moir. Campbell.
In his rejection said he preferred Radio 5's "cutting edge of current affairs" to Radio 2's "green pastures"
He told the UK Daily Telegraph, "They first came to me 18 months ago and asked me if I would consider moving. I said I would, and we have been talking ever since."
"They wanted me to take my show over to Radio 2, and they have formally offered me the job."
"Everything has been discussed except the salary. They said that was the one thing they couldn't talk about until I said yes."
Campbell said he felt a "bit sorry" over the way Young had been treated, telling the paper "He's not really been told what's going on - but the BBC is like that. I'll be the one that is s*** on in five years' time."
"We're under no illusions here. The BBC is a wonderful organization, but it's a ruthless one."
A Radio 2 spokesman told the UK Guardian," It's important to appraise the editorial direction of our programmes and our discussions about the Jimmy Young programme are a part of the process. "
"As a matter of course, a number of soundings have been made to leading presenters, one of whom was Nicky Campbell."
Young, has said he does not intend to retire (See RNW Oct 23 ) and his plight was brought up in the British Parliament (See RNW Oct 30).
Previous Jimmy Young:
UK Guardian report:
UK Telegraph site (search for Jimmy Young and Nov 1):
2001-11-02: Yet more gloom is emerging as economic downturns bite round the world.
Further job cuts now seem likely at Irish state broadcaster Radio Television Éirann (RTÉ).
It had already indicated some 150 posts were to go and has now announced that it is having to cut its 2002 budget by some IEP 24million (around USD30 million) in order to reduce its budget deficit by a third next year.
The broadcaster has been hit by a sharp fall in advertising revenues but says its core of two TV channels and four radio ones will be maintained.
Radio will have its budget cut by IEP 1 million compared to a IEP6 million TV budget cut, a IEP2 million cut in the freelance budget and a IEP1.3 million cut in news spending.
RTÉ also plans to defer a 5.5 per cent pay rise due in December.
Unions are likely to oppose both the pay freeze and any compulsory job losses. In the US, the general and dot.com doom also continues. RadioWave.com has now finally folded after warnings last month ( (See RNW Oct 20)).
Its site says goodbye and thanks as well as posting details of staff should anyone wish to hire them.
Another casualty is Chicago-based Strategic Media Research, one of the oldest independent research companies in the US radio business.
It has fired its staff and suspended operations, blaming "current economic trends and the events of Sept. 11."
It faced a cash flow crisis when the cancellation of fall promotional plans by radio stations hit its Touch Direct Marketing subsidiary on whose revenues it was depending.
Strategic Media nearly went under at the start of this year but was rescued by investment from a group of US radio industry veterans.
In Los Angeles, RadioFree Virgin has dumped 11 of its 26 employees as it cuts costs.
The lay offs involve people working on content programming and the company will use employees from sister company Virgin Entertainment Group to keep its services running although it may use some of the former staff on a contract basis when needed.
RadioFree Virgin's service allows fans to listen to streamed audio via a free digital player that at one time used to allow recording of files.
2001-11-01:The latest BBC Programme Complaints Bulletin covering July to September 2001 shows that the Corporation dealt with 131 complaints concerning 100 items compared to 212 complaints concerning 144 items in the previous quarter period.
32 complaints were upheld (four of them partly) compared to 39 upheld in the previous quarter.
They concerned 12 different items (12% of the total number of items).
In addition, The Governors' Programme Complaints Committee considered six appeals, three relating to radio: Of the total appeals only one relating to TV and BBC News online was upheld.
Of the items where complaints were upheld, seven concerned fairness, accuracy, or bias, of which two involving radio were upheld.
One concerned a BBC Radio 2 programme in which Jonathon Ross and his guest, the producer of the TV Top of the Pops show, discussed in derogatory terms identifiable members of the TV show studio audience who had posed for a photograph alongside the guest.
The other concerned a BBC Radio 4 Today and BBC News Online report linked to pre-transmission publicity for a documentary on salmon farming.
It was held to have been inaccurate in its reporting of the levels of toxin accumulation in farmed and wild salmon about which no on-air correction had been made.
In addition four complaints were upheld concerning matters of taste and standards.
Of one of these one involved radio: this was a spoof news bulletin starting the BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends programme on July 28 in which it was held that the joke had no purpose beyond the fact that a particular celebrity was Welsh.
A listener had complained that the joke was gratuitously offensive to Welsh people.
Previous BBC Complaints Bulletin report:
BBC News release (links to Bulletin):
Until he leaves, he is to work on the launch of the new international service, ABC Asia Pacific and the introduction of a new digital TV channel as well as seeing his successor into the job.
Shier's reign has been marked by the departure of a number of senior management figures at the ABC and divisions within it.
In a statement the ABC says," Mr Shier said it was important for the Managing Director to lead a united Corporation. As this was no longer the case, he advised the Board that the Corporation's long-term interests would be best served by a new Managing Director."
Leading the contenders to replace him, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, is Malcolm Long, a former managing director of Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, which serves ethnic minorities.
Internally it suggests two contenders,television head Sandra Levy, and radio head Sue Howard, a close confidant of the chairman, Donald McDonald.
Previous ABC, Australia:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2001-11-01: After creeping up over the past few weeks, Measurecast's Internet Radio Index is now at 306 compared to a January base of 100, meaning that listening measured by the organisation has more than tripled this year.
In the week to October 21, listening rose by 3%.
14 streaming radio stations in the 25 ranked by total time spent listening (TTSL) saw listening rises and 14 had larger audiences.
Yet again, however, there no changes to the stations in the top five, just jostling for position.
Although classical music King FM is now down to fifth place; it is still quite a way above sixth ranked Radio Margaritaville.
The top five were, ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with, where applicable, previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets:
1): Jazz station Jazz FM TTSL 208530 (227715); CP 71315 (67841) Position unchanged, listening down but audience up.
2): Listener Formatted MediaAmazing TTSL 165290 (137159); CP50281 (49672) Position unchanged, audience and listening up.
3): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 132978 (115248); CP 24221 (21799)- Position unchanged, audience and listening up.
4): Sports-talk ESPN Radio TTSL 113691 (99051); CP 18673 (17877) - Previously fourth
5): Classical music King FM TTSL 111631 (104430); CP 20069 (18958) - Previously fifth.
RNW note: The listening may have tripled but to compare it to terrestrial radio AQH numbers, the top ranked station only has around 1250 listeners (calculated by dividing the TTSL by the number of quarter hours in a week).
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2001-11-01: The US now has more than 13000 radio stations according to the latest figures from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), having added 80 new stations since it released its last count in July.
The actual count is 4727 AM stations, 6051 Commercial FMs and 2234 Educational FMs, making a grand total of 13012.
The new stations comprised 51 new commercial FMs, 11 new commercial AMs and 18 Educational FMs.
FCC web site:
2001-11-01: Talk shows in Australia, as elsewhere, benefited from the changed situation after September 11 according to latest Australian ratings from AC Nielsen McNair.
In Sydney that meant 2UE, now owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting, and talk hosts Alan Jones and John Laws.
It went to the top spot, overtaking long time leader, Austereo's 2-Day FM.
2UE's talk rivals in the city, commercial channel 2GB and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 702 ABC fared badly as listeners stayed with the leader.
Some commentators have attributed this to the populist anti-refugee views of Jones and Laws.
The end result was a 13.1 share for 2UE, up from 12.7 in August compared to a 3.5 share for 2GB, down from 3.8, and a 6.6 share for 702 compared to 7.5, indicating a weekly loss of some 40000 listeners.
ABC NewsRadio, however, gained some 30,000 weekly listeners to record its best ever share of 2.3.
Amongst other formats the big players were all down in Sydney with Austereo's other leading stations, second ranked 2-Day FM's share dropping from 14.4 to 12.5, and third ranked triple-M falling back from 12.0 to 10.8.
Newest commercial entrant Nova FM dropped from a 7.4 share to 7.0 but classic hits station 2WS again gained share, up from an 8.0 share to 8.2.
In the breakfast slot, Alan Jones increased his lead, taking a 17.8 share compared to 16.3.
The figures could hardly come at a better time for Jones whose contract with 2UE expires at the end of the year and who says he still has not yet received a firm offer from the station.
In afternoon drive, 2GB's Graham Richardson, bucked his station's losing trend to increase his share from 2.5 to 3.7
In other Australian main cities, the top three were as follows (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: SAFM with 23.7 (25.6); 5MM 14.6 (up from a third place 12.5) 5AA with 13.7 (down from second place 14.8);
*Brisbane - B105FM with 23.5 (25.5); Triple M with 16.4 (17.5); 4KQ with 12.5 (11.9):
*Melbourne - Fox FM with 17.1 (17.2); 3AW with 14.6 (13.2); 3MM with 12.4(11.2):
*Perth - 94.5FM with 22.7 (22.0); All New with 17.0 up from third place (14.3); 96FM with 14.6 (down from second place 16.5):
Previous Southern Cross:
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