Jan 2002 March
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 February comment considers whether charges and regulations proposed for streaming could almost kill off the idea.
RNW January Comment takes a look at regulation and censorship in view of current US divisions concerning "indecent" broadcasts.
RNW December Comment is our wish list as the year draws to an end.
2002-02-28: More US radio results starting with the giant, San Antonio-based Clear Channel, which in 2001 had a 49% increase in revenues compared to 2000 to reach a total of USD7.97 billion but a fall in the final quarter when revenues were down 8 per cent to USD1.86 million.
It had a full-year net loss of $1.14 billion or $1.93 per share, compared with reported net income of $248.8 million, or 59 cents per share in 2000 and a fourth quarter loss of USD366 million (61 cents a share), compared to a USD192 million loss in Q4, 2000 (33 cents a share).
The company is also taking a pre-tax charge of $15 billion to $25 billion after changing accounting practices involving goodwill from acquisitions to meet new US Financial Accounting Standards Board guidelines that came into effect at the start of this year.
The losses were above analysts expectation and Clear Channel stock fell on Wednesday by some 6% despite bullish statements about prospects by CFO Randall Mays who said in a conference call after the market closed on Tuesday that the company's "radio division is currently performing better than at any point in 2001."
He predicted radio cash flow up 1% to 3% in the first quarter of 2002 on a pro forma basis.
Clear Channel President Mark Mays told analysts the company was well positioned, saying, "Even though we're starting to see a little bit of wind, you can expect us to row. We've set ourselves up for success with our programming successes and with our attention to sales focus - - you can expect us to perform."
"I think, secondarily, we have the very best management team. As I've tried to highlight to you, it's very deep, it's very talented and it's very cohesive. As I've said in the past, our assets are very synergistic and they work very well together."
"We're finding out more and more every single day. Number four is our low expense base. If there is any wind that picks up, we've done a great job in controlling costs for 2002 and we think that if the wind picks up our profits will rise faster. And finally and foremost, we're obviously focused on results for 2002 - - as everybody is throughout the company,"
Clear Channel EBITDA for the year was up 11% to USD1.92 billion but for the quarter was down 46% compared to Q4 2000 at USD1.92 billion.
Expenses in the fourth quarter included USD80 million in the radio division attributed to severance costs involved in cutting the radio division's non-sales staff by 2,000 people and hiring 600 extra sales people.
Pro forma basis, 2001 revenues were down 5 percent to US8.015 billion and for the quarter were down 11% to USD1.882 billion whilst Pro forma EBITDA was down 22 percent to $1.93 billion for the full year and down 46% for the final quarter to USD448 million.
Clear Channel's radio division, which was re-organized during 2001 into a regional structure of eight geographic divisions, increased full year revenues by 42% to USD 3.46 billion but was down in the final quarter by 7% to USD890 million; radio EBITDA was up for the year by 29% to USD1.35 billion and down 32% in the final quarter to USD344 million.
Pro-forma radio revenues were down 8% for the full year to USD3.46 billion and down 9.5% for the final quarter to USD890 million whilst pro-forma EBITDA was down 18.5% to USD1.35 billion for the full year and down 32.5% to USD299 million for the final quarter.
Commenting on the performance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lowry Mays said, "2001 was both a very exciting and very challenging year for Clear Channel."
"We had struggles with the post-September 11 environment, which was very difficult for everyone both emotionally and financially. But we've come through it all as a stronger company, well positioned for the future. I believe we are on the right track as we have integrated our divisions and are working hard to develop ways for our customers to benefit from our varied assets. Clear Channel has a very bright and promising future."
Radio CEO Randy Michaels said, "Clear Channel Radio is positioned to exploit the synergies of scale in a way no other company can duplicate."
"We reach over 110-million listeners every week, across all 50 states and through nearly every format, including branded, Clear Channel networks."
"No other company in the world can offer advertisers targeted footprints that match their trade area, whether it's local, regional or national."
"During 2001 we fine-tuned the organizational structure. During 2002 we're implementing our best practices across sales and programming functions. And most importantly, we're doing it all while we stay in touch with our local communities."
In other results, Denver-based NextMedia reported full year revenues, boosted by acquisitions, up 75% to USD73.3 million and final quarter revenues up 23.3% to USD21.2 million; On a pro-forma basis, however, full year net revenues were flat at USD86.2 million and final quarter revenues were down 9.2% to USD21.6 million.
Operating expenses were up for both the year, from USD27.7 million to USD 48.8 million, and quarter, from USD10.9 million to USD14.7 million and Broadcast cash flow (BCF), which was up 70.1% for the full year at USD24.5 million, slowed down in the final quarter when it was up 3.2% to Usd6.5 million.
Net loss for the year was up USD8.1 million on the full year 2000 figure to USD10.9 million and for the quarter net loss was up USD2.9 million to USD3.3 million.
Carl E. Hirsch, Executive Chairman and Steven Dinetz, President and CEO commented, "2001 was a landmark year in the development of NextMedia."
"Despite facing one of the most challenging economic periods in our thirty-five years in the business, we substantially improved the strategic position and operational performance of our company."
"We raised over $340.0 million in financing and completed approximately $130.0 million in acquisitions, firmly establishing NextMedia as one of the leading out-of-home media companies in the U.S.With one of the most talented management teams in the industry at the helm and a strong cash position enabling us to move quickly on acquisition opportunities, we are well positioned for strong growth when the advertising market rebounds."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Lowry Mays:
Previous Mark Mays:
Previous Randall Mays:
Clear Channel web site:
2002-02-28: To the accompaniment of a wide range of tributes from politicians, fellow broadcasters and various listeners and celebrities, Sue MacGregor ended her 18 year sting at one of the hosts of the flagship BBC Radio 4 breakfast show, Today, on Wednesday.
She maintained her calm to the end, telling sports presenter Gary Richardson that she would not be saying emotional goodbyes on air and, in response to his joking suggestion that she was just getting the hand of the programme, commented, "The great thing about the Today programme is that you never quite get the hang of it because every day is a different challenge.
There is always something going wrong as well as amazing ground-breaking interviews."
She said to listeners, "I am going to miss all of you so much I can't tell you."
Although she has end her Today sting, which followed 15 years on the Channel's Woman's Hour, she is still expected to be heard on the channel's airwaves again and Radio 4 controller, Helen Boaden, said it was a "dead cert" that MacGregor would be involved in other shows
2002-02-28: Less than three weeks after a subsidiary of a Russian state-controlled monopoly took control of the board of the Moscow Echo radio station, the editor and many of the journalists are quitting.
The Washington Post quotes Alexei Venediktov, editor in chief of the station as saying, "I am not going to work for a radio station that belongs to the state. I prefer to keep my reputation but not my job."
Moscow Echo, which broadcasts in 70 cities and has a weekly audience of between 4 and 6 million, was the first station to broadcast in Russia without state control and built a reputation for its news and analysis. In June last year Gazprom-Media, a subsidiary of the state-controlled natural gas monopoly, took 51% of its shares but until this month the board had remained autonomous.
Venediktov told the Post he thought a change in editorial policy would come soon and the only hope for objective journalism was for the station's reporters to find a new frequency.
He and 12 journalists from Moscow Echo have bid in a state auction for two FM frequencies which they say were formerly held by the Russian military and Venediktov said he believes that a change in editorial policy is not far off, and that the only hope for him and the station's reporters to practice objective journalism is to find another frequency.
Venediktov added that 58 of the station's 98 journalists have voted to go with him if he wins. Asked how many would quit if he didn't, he said, "57."
A spokesman for Gazprom-Media, said Venediktov's announcement seemed timed to attract publicity for his bid for his a radio frequency. He added that Gazprom-Media planned no editorial changes and that Gazprom, which has said it intends to sell its media assets, would not even own the station much longer.
Previous Moscow Echo:
Washington Post report:
2002-02-28: MeasureCast and Nielsen Media Research have announced a series of road shows with media directors and planning and research executives from advertising agencies about the benefits of streaming media advertising.
The first will be held in March in Los Angeles with others to follow in Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York. MeasureCast CEO Ed Hardy commented, "We want to make sure that ad industry executives responsible for making recommendations to their clients include streaming media advertising in their media planning mix."
"The Web radio audience is growing rapidly, and numerous multinational corporations already are benefiting from their purchases of in-stream advertising on Internet radio stations. With the aggregation of multiple stations, the streaming audience is becoming large enough to be included in mass media ad buys."
MeasureCast, Inc., the Nielsen companies and NetRatings, Inc. are involved in international partnership agreements to measure streaming media from commercial websites.
MeasureCast news release:
2002-02-27: US broadcasters seem likely to be in for a tougher time regarding indecency complaints according to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau Chief, David Solomon.
He told a National Association of Broadcasters conference that the FCC is likely to presume a complainant's description of a programme to be correct unless the station can refute them but denied that the stand was a backdoor route to forcing stations to keep tapes or transcripts. He also said that the commission was not tightening up its indecency enforcement regime.
RNW comment: The denials seem to fly in the face of the evidence but, as we have said before many countries already require broadcasters to keep records as part of the licence conditions.
We don't see this as a particularly onerous requirement with modern technology and would certainly much prefer this route to either presuming a complainant correct or requiring a complainant to produce a recording (how many drivers, for example, are in a position to record a broadcast or indeed how many people are there likely to be recording a broadcast before they find it offensive).
If there are to be rules, we would prefer them to be enforced on the basis of fact not supposition.
2002-02-27: After the boar killing, the Bubba Army rally and dwarf tossing likely to come soon in Florida.
The latter relates to a federal court case in which 3 foot 2 inch (just under 1 metre) tall Tampa radio personality David Flood, "Dave the Dwarf" is challenging the state's ban on dwarf tossing. The St Petersburg Times reports that the suit is likely to be thrown out on the basis that the 1989 law is not being forced.
This would leave Flood able to stage a bar "dwarf tossing" show.
In the Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) case, the army refers to his fans who staged a noisy demonstration of support outside the courthouse as jury selection was held for his trial on charges of animal cruelty relating to the February castration and killing of a wild boar as a stung in connection with his show.
Also facing animal cruelty charges are Brent Hatley, a producer at Clear Channel's WXTB-FM (98 Rock); Paul Lauterberg, a listener who brought the boar to the station and performed the castration and slaughter; and Daniel Brooks, a listener who helped hold the boar.
The paper reports that, as well as Bubba supporters, who claim that the State Attorney was bowing to political pressures from animal rights' activists in bringing the charges, there were also some of the activists demonstrating.
One of them Cynthia Harris, 49, who runs a pot-bellied pig sanctuary in Fort Myers, wore photos of the boar -- before and after its death -- on her handbag and her shirt.
She said there would have been more animal rights activists present but they were intimidated.
Some Bubba supporters called Harris a "witch," and worse and one offered to buy her a barbecue sandwich.
In an item on the scene inside the court Times Columnist Mary Jo Melone wrote that the shock jock's appearance in court "may have marked the first time Tampa's No. 1 radio slumlord kept his mouth shut and his head down."
"He looked like the Pillsbury doughboy in a suit, only much less cheerful. He hardly cracked a smile."
She notes that "the would-be jurors were asked if they were hunters, did they own handguns, had they ever lived on a farm, were they vegetarians, did they have pets, did they listen to Bubba on the radio?"
Obviously not a fan herself, she later comments, "The subject is obnoxious, offensive, distasteful, and in a way, insignificant."
"I struggled with myself over whether to go to the trial. Bigger issues are out there. A pig is only a pig. To cover the trial was to give this small, childish man more of the publicity he craves."
"But ignoring the trial would be wrong. Bubba exerts an enormous, negative influence on Tampa Bay, and you have to wonder what kind of community we are that we would find the likes of Bubba so appealing."
(She adds later that "Only a handful out of the hundred would-be jurors said they were listeners of his. The others have better taste than that".)
The jury has now been selected for the tiral to be held under Judge Ron Ficarrotta
St Petersburg Times site:
St Petersburg Times - Melone column:
2002-02-27: Two Tasmanian radio services owned by RG Capital Radio Network Pty Ltd. have each been allocated second commercial licences by the Australian Broadcasting Authority(ABA).
North East Tasmanian Radio Broadcasters Pty Ltd, licensee of 7SD Scottsdale, and Burnie Broadcasting Service Pty Ltd, licensee of 7BU Burnie each gain FM frequencies covering the same areas as existing AM ones.
ABA news release:
2002-02-27: Latest Internet audience ratings from MeasureCast show a slight dip in listening in the week to February 17 but the top networks increased their audience as did the top station, Jazz Fm, which moved up from second to push Virgin out of the top rank.
As has consistently been the case around four fifths of listening in the US was during "working hours."
For the week, the top five by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 308,508 (267,458); CP 82,583 (74,746): Up from second with listening and reach up.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 238,704 (292,186); CP 42,562 (47,560): Down from first with both listening and reach lower.
3: Classical format King FM - TTSL 121,222 (139,103); CP 22,791 (23,651): Up from third but listening and reach each down.
4: Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing - TTSL 116,890 (189,696); CP 60,412 (70,768): Down from third with lower listening and reach.
5: Sports talk ESPN - TTSL 111,256 (108,712): 19,552 (21,054): Same position but listening up and reach down.
MeasureCast's top five streaming networks the week to February 17 were (Previous week's figures in brackets):
1:WARP Radio TTSL 680,405 (611,975) hours: Cume 128,959 (121,942) - Same position:
2: StreamAudio network TTSL 673,961 (570,308) : Cume 94,209 (98,903) - Same position:
3: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 478,165 (486,689): Cume 107,923 (106,491) - Same position
4: Virgin Radio TTSL 478,165 (406,640): Cume 66,421 (73,161): - Same position
5: Jazz FM TTSL 308,508 (267,458) : Cume 82,583 (74,746)- Up from seventh, knocking RadioCentral out of the top five.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-02-27: The first independent radio station to broadcast under the current Afghan government is now on air with its only daily programme, Good Morning Afghanistan, which is modelled on US breakfast shows. (See RNW Jan 29).
The first edition of the show on Radio Kabul featured male and female co-hosts, and led with a story querying why the culture ministry was pushing plans for the restoration of Kabul museum when other issues were more pressing.
The station has been funded by the European Commission and other western Non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
2002-02-26: An Arbitron report, commissioned by the Southern California Broadcasters Association, on lifestyles in the Los Angeles area makes good reading for radio as a medium if not for the lifestyles of those concerned.
Traffic congestion it says now means that a fifth of people aged 18 or above are in their cars at 6 a.m., up from 13.7% two years ago, and as a result are changing both media and spending habits. On average Angelinos now spend some 60 to 90 minutes a day in their cars, and more than 90% of drivers travel alone.
As a result said Arbitron VP/Domestic Radio Research Dr. Ed Cohen, "People are spending less and less time with at-home media, but radio is increasingly important to them in their cars and at work."
More than four fifths of those who took part in the study rank radio listening as their prime activity whilst in their vehicle and more than a third listen to radio at work. In addition more of them are stopping to shop on their way home, making radio a good medium to reach them.
2002-02-26: The US Broadcasters' Foundation has awarded its 2002 Golden Mike awards to Radio One founder Cathy Hughes, her son and current company CEO Alfred Liggins III and "the Radio One Family."
The awards, which were presented in New York on Monday night (25 Feb), honour individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to TV and radio and Edward F, McLaughlin, chairman of the Broadcasters' Foundation commented,"The Cathy Hughes Radio One story is one of incredible personal growth, dedication, commitment, talent, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, service to the community and values."
"Everything about this remarkable woman, her son Alfred Liggins III and Radio One make us incredibly proud to present this family with the 2002 Golden Mike Award,"he added.
Cathy Hughes, who founded Radio One in 1980 by buying 1000 watt WOL-AM, made her start in radio at Howard University's WHUR-FM where she became general sales manager.
She struggled to get a bank loan for the purchase but eventually was funded by Chemical Bank. She then had further struggles after she switched from music to a talk format and was put under pressure to revert back when ratings did not develop, and had to cut back on staff and do a number of jobs including hosting and selling advertisements to keep going.
The station eventually went into the black after seven years and Hughes kept on expanding. Radio One, which went public in 1999, is now the largest African-American-owned broadcasting company, with 63 stations in 22 markets.
Previous Radio One:
Broadcasters' Foundation web site:
2002-02-26: NTL has sold its Australian Broadcasting assets, which are mainly comprised of the transmission masts used by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service, to Macquarie bank for a total of AUD850 million (around USD423 million).
The sum is made up of AUD620 million in cash and the assumption of AUD230 million of debt.
NTL's US parent bought the transmission network in 1999 for AUD 650 million and put them up for sale last year as it struggled under a debt burden of around USD17.5 billion.
2002-02-26: Susquehanna Media has reported final quarter revenues in 2001 down 8% to USD80.5 million but radio revenues were 18% down on Q4, 2000, to USD50.1 million with a particularly steep drop in San Francisco where they were down more than a third.
Radio broadcast cash flow for the quarter was down 26% to USD20.2 million and same station radio BCF was down a fifth and same station radio revenues down 13%.
2002-02-25: For our look at newspaper comment on radio this week, we have decided to concentrate on a personality who is something of an institution within an institution within an institution.
The personality is Sue MacGregor, who retires as a presenter of the BBC Radio 4 flagship breakfast programme "Today" this week after 18 years with the programme. Before that she'd spent 15 years on Woman's Hour on the same channel.
The departure has been the subject of articles in most of Britain's broadsheet newspapers, including the Sunday Times where Paul Donovan devoted his weekly radio column to her.
"The Today programme will sail on, " he writes, "for it is much more than the sum of its presenters. But it will not be as subtle a programme."
"MacGregor's equally long-serving colleague John Humphrys, a more persistent and pugnacious journalist but not someone with the same verbal delicacy, described her to me, rightly, as 'an absolutely consummate broadcaster'. "
"First, there is the voice itself - the one you would most like to hear shepherding you to higher ground if ever the Thames Barrier broke down, as someone once said. Calm, authoritative, perfectly cadenced, pleasant without being soporific, it is the acme of Radio 4 voices. "
"MacGregor's manner at the microphone," he continues, "complements it perfectly: polite but not unctuous, friendly but not familiar, smooth but not slick, inquisitive but not intrusive, sometimes sharp but cutting only when absolutely necessary. She wields a foil, not a sabre."
" And precisely because MacGregor is such a class act, she has always been in demand: not just on Today, but also Woman's Hour for 15 years, Tuesday Call and her own series of 25-minute interviews, Conversation Piece, which just withered away in the way that programmes sometimes do."
The UK Independent printed a question and answer session with her, some of which was gossipy but other parts took up more serious points.
One was the response to the question, "What is the best way to deal with a large male ego?
The response: "Large male egos are almost impossible to deflate. Clever women flatter to deceive - and get their way, which is a technique that is normally beyond my powers of patience. But there are charming male egos and dreadful ones. Most of those near me are of the former kind, stimulating to be with and not worth losing much sleep over."
And on another as to why she never moved to TV the response was, "I have done a little TV, by the way, and still do - mainly on BBC News 24. In the past, in my late twenties and well into my thirties, I was offered the chance more than once to join a television current-affairs team."
"Friends thought I was mad to turn them down. One reason was caution: shelf lives on TV are shorter than those on radio, and for much of that time I was very happy fronting a long-running and well-respected daily radio programme [Woman's Hour]. "
" Another reason was a reluctance to lose my anonymity and gain the high recognition factor of a TV face. I imagined that I would end up dodging all kinds of unwelcome attention. Probably I exaggerated the difference it would have made to my life. But (despite some of the questions and answers I've given) I have on the whole felt happier as an essentially private person."
Still in the UK, we valued Sue Arnold's radio column in the Sunday Observer in which, amongst other things, she comments on BBC Radio 3's Baltic Season.
"For enthusiasm, diversity and scale," she writes, " nothing can touch these all-singing, all-dancing Radio 3 specials which make their equivalent on the Discovery Channel look like home videos."
"Musically we heard everything from massed choirs to fiddlers on the roof. This is the home of that strain of infectious folk music that transforms every listener into a swirling Terpsichore in red shoes."
Indeed so, and television pictures don't always improve things.
UK Independent on MacGregor:
UK Observer - Arnold:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
* Sunday Times requires registration.
2002-02-25: US Sports talk host Jim Rome, whose show is syndicated to some 200 markets in the US and Canada by Premiere Networks, is to pull back on his television work and concentrate on radio.
He's not dropping television and will continue with his nightly show for Fox TV until the contract runs out at the end of the year but after that will have a reduced TV presence.
Rome, who is 37, has been saying for a while that he would have to choose and wanted to spend more time with his wife and ten-month-old son. Premiere, he adds, made him an offer he "couldn't refuse."
2002-02-24: It was quiet in the US on the licence front last week, although the most momentous decision may have been the court decision that nullified the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) cross-ownership rule that prohibited ownership of a cable system and local broadcaster in the same market as well as holding that the FCC had not offered enough justification for the cap that stops a company owning TV stations that reach more than 35% of US households.
It did reject claims that the rules were inherently unconstitutional and RNW feels that thought does need to be given to ensuring diversity in media sources for the US.
To actual licence news, and Australia was quiet with nothing on the radio front whilst in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was mainly involved in amendments rather than substantive decisions.
The Commission also allowed Entreprises Radio Etchemin inc. to increase the power of CFOM-FM Lévis, Quebec, from 3,597 watts to 16,800 watts; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add a transmitter at Deer Lake for CBN-FM St. John's, Newfoundland; and the addition of a number of FM transmitters in Newfoundland and Labrador by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and the Shuswap Lakes Television Society to add a very low power FM transmitter (5 watts) to carry the CBC Radio 2 service to Scotch Creek, Sorrento, Blind Bay, Celista, Magna Bay, Eagle Bay and surrounding areas in British Columbia.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland is to hold oral hearings in April concerning the new regional licence for the South-East of Ireland.
As noted in Licence News on February 3 there were two applications: from Beat 101, which is offering a music driven station for a 15 to 34 audience, and Power FM, which is offering a chart dance and dance related music format for the same group.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has received only one declaration of intent to apply for the licence for the Shaftesbury area of north Dorset for eight years from June of next year.
This was from existing licence holder Vale FM, which is being invited to apply for the licence under the special fast track procedure that applies in such cases.
The Authority has also published its assessment of the award of the Leicester Digital multiplex to Now Digital (East Midlands) Ltd.(NDEM) against competition from Emap Digital Radio ( (See Licence News Nov 25, 2001.for details of offerings).
NDEM has been asked to address concerns about signal coverage in parts of the city of Leicester but otherwise was found to have gathered substantial local support and be offering a programme bouquet that catered reasonably well for the area and "benefited from the definite inclusion of the main existing ILR services of Leicester Sound, Sabras Radio and the regional station for the East Midlands, 106 Century FM. "
Members said they were" particularly impressed by the plans for Asian Plus, a complementary locally-sourced Asian service comprising both programming for young Asians and a platform for local Asian and other community groups."
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
BCI web site: (Has links to Beat 101 documentation - 3.6Mb PDF and Power FM - three PDF documents of 6.58 Mb, Appendix 1 of 33.8 Mb and Appendix 2 of 44.2 Mb):
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-02-24: Gavin, the San Francisco radio trade publication is to be closed at the end of the month according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The news came as radio and record company executives were gathering for the 16th annual Gavin Seminar, which had become a significant money spinner from its USD500 registration fee plus sponsorships and record label promotional spending but this year it has attracted only some 800 participants compared to some 2,800 two years ago according to the paper.
Gavin is now owned by United Business Media of Britain, which has so far failed to find buyers. Gavin has been hit by the concentration in the US radio business and amongst recording labels.
The Gavin Report was founded in 1958 by disc jockey Bill Gavin, who sold the company to some of his top executives in 1983.
United Business Media bought it in 1992 and plans to keep the Gavin name and its fax sheets and e-mail products.
San Francisco Chronicle report:
Gavin web site:
2002-02-24: The BBC has dismissed reports that agreement has been reached with Jeremy Vine, the BBC TV Newsnight presenter, to take over Sir Jimmy Young's Radio 2 programme at the beginning of next year.
Reports said that Vine, the 36-year-old favourite to take over from Young, had reached agreement with BBC2 Controller Jim Moir but both Radio 2 and the Newsnight programme deny that any final decision had been reached. Vine has already filled in successfully for Young on a number of occasions.
2002-02-23: As the implications of the US Copyright Arbitration Panel (CARP) suggestions for payments and record keeping in connection with streamed music begin to sink in, the reaction seems to indicate that many stations may pull out or, in the case of some webcasters, convert to subscription services and end free streaming.
Clear Channel Director of Technology Brian Parsons told CBS Marketwatch.com that the company is likely to pull the plug on hundreds of its radio stations that only recently came back streaming after the row over advertisement charges with AFTRA (The American Federation of TV and Radio Artists - See RNW April 11, 2001).
"We began crunching the numbers last night, and given the new royalty rates, the softness of the ad market, and the technology costs, this just isn't a viable business," he said.
The view from the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) was similar: CEO Eddie Fritts issued a statement saying, "The ruling from the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel may have the effect of unintended consequences, in that many radio broadcasters may re-evaluate their streaming strategies."
"If the powerful record company interests' goal was to strangle a fledgling new service to radio listeners, it may have succeeded beyond its own expectations."
So was that from Dan Halyburton, Susquehanna Radio SVP, who told the New York Times, "I just don't know how we could have been any more clear about how expensive and about how little-to-no money we're making in this area. You just may have witnessed the end of commercial streaming on the Internet."
There was similar reaction from webcasters: Kevin Shively, director of business development for Beethoven.com, said the data collection requirement was the real killer. In a post to RadioHorizon.com he commented, "Even with automation and database capabilities, we simply cannot do what is being asked of us."
In another comment to the Associated Press, Bob Ohlweiler, senior vice president of business development for MusicMatch, a webcaster that offers subscription and free services, said that if the rates were applied to them free radio streaming would vanish.
MusicMatch is among the organisations that currently has a separate licence with the recording industry but, said Ohlweiler, "If and when MusicMatch is affected by the rates, we certainly couldn't afford to keep free radio up and running.''
RNW note: In anticipation of the CARP ruling we had held over this month's comment. For once we don't think that the broadcasters and webcasters are crying wolf as the figures just don't add up for advertising-funded web services on this basis, never mind the record keeping requirements, which we think are unreasonable.
We will be interested to see how lobbying goes on this one -as we say we think it would be "just" if a decision was taken that if any webcaster or broadcaster can trace only one song they have used for which the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) cannot provide the information they say is reasonable, then they should lose all past royalties from the station concerned!
Previous Clear Channel:
MusicMatch web site:
NAB web site:
New York Times/AP report:
RadioHorizon web site:
RIAA web site:
2002-02-23: A slight up, a slight down, and some more significant falls in the latest US radio results, this time from Hispanic Broadcasting.
The slight up was for Hispanic's net revenues, which increased by 1.4% to USD240.8 million for the full year to the end of December 2001, and in same station net revenues for the final quarter: They were up 0.5% to USD57.5 million; the slight down was a fall of only 0.1% in net revenue for the final quarter to USD61.3million.
Other figures were down more: For the full year Hispanic broadcast cash flow (BCF) was down 12.4% to USD89.8 million, EBITDA was down 14% to USD81 million, after-tax cash flow was down 8.2% to USD77.3 million (71 cents a share compared to 76 cents a share).
For the final quarter, BCF was down 9.2% to USD23.3 million, EBITDA was down 11.2% to USD 21.0 million and ATCF was down 10.8% to USD21.4 million (20 cents a share compared to 22 cents).
CFO Jeff Hinson said Hispanic, which exceeded expectations, had been hit like everyone by he aftermath of September 11 but "the impact was less severe than originally thought."
Bucking the trend of limiting forecasts to a quarter ahead, Hispanic says it expects full-year revenue to increase 4-6% this year.
Hispanic web site:
2002-02-23: According to the UK Guardian, the Daily Mail and General Trust, is considering a plan to re-brand LBC, the AM station in London News Radio (LNR) in which DMGT has a small holding and that has been put up for sale along with sister FM station News Direct by parent group London News Network (See RNW Dec 21, 2001 ).
DMGT sold all but 1% of its stake in LNR to GWR but they have now approached GWR with a plan under which GWR would hold on to it stake and DMGT would invest in return for the station's re-branding as LBC-Metro to tie in with the free newspaper it distributes at outlets like London underground stations.
The new deal would tie in with a separate sale of the FM station to US information group Bloomberg which is also under consideration (See RNW Feb 13):
UK Guardian report:
2002-02-23: Infinity stations are now operating without Arbitron's Arbitrends data as the standoff in contract talks continues.
Infinity can currently use the Fall ratings but will have no access to the new Winter ratings when they come out.
As with a similar situation with Clear Channel last year (See RNW Aug 7, 2001), a deal is expected but probably not until the last minute.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-02-22: Internet audio channels whose content includes music, whether they are Internet-only channels or radio stations streaming their broadcast signal, seem to be facing a double-whammy from the combination of charges and details they will have to provide to the recording companies.
The US Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), which was appointed to recommend the details, has gone further towards the record labels than the broadcasters and webcasters in making their recommendations, which may lead many organisations to cease streaming.
Last year many US stations ceased to put their stations on the Internet following a dispute over fees for adverts that were made for terrestrial broadcast but then used on the Internet as well: this dispute was eventually solved, in many cases through technology that allowed different advertisements to be inserted into an Internet stream.
In December last year, the broadcasters and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA-the organisation that represents the recording companies.) had reached agreement on a deal that would set royalties for streaming radio companies' terrestrial broadcasts but that deal, no details of which were made public, was blocked by the Copyright Office.
The latest recommendations, if confirmed, will provide a much more intractable problem leading many streaming organisations to complain that the US Copyright Office has accepted too much of the testimony of the RIAA.
In charge terms, the recommendations are around a third of what the RIAA wanted and around ten times that suggested by webcasters - broadcasters argue that they should be covered by the fees they pay for airing the music terrestrially - and would leave a number of organisations liable to back-payments (to 1998, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed), amounting to hundred of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Record companies wanted 0.4 cents per song per listener and webcasters had suggested 0.15 for each hour a listener was logged onto their service.
The fees suggested by CARP are 0.14 cents per song streamed for webcasters and half that for terrestrial broadcasters.
In addition stations or webcasters would have to keep a log of 17 items of information about every song broadcast including its date and time of transmission with the location and time zone of the listener, and the
The ISRC code of the recording, release year of the album per copyright notice and in the case of compilation albums, the release year of the album and copyright date of the track, UPC code of the retail album and its catalogue number.
The suggestions were welcomed by the RIAA, although they said they had hoped for greater payments but not by the others involved and many suggested the effect would be to lead many companies to end their webcasts.
The Digital Media Association (DiMA), which represents webcasters, said it was "extremely disappointed " and that "A lower rate would more accurately reflect the marketplace for music performance rights and the uncertain business environment of the Webcast industry."
CARP on recommended rates ( 13 kb PDF):
CARP on information required (77 Kb PDF):
DIMA web site:
RIAA web site:
2002-02-22: Results from Radio One Inc and Cox Communications in the US, show the both continuing to outperform the US radio industry average in the final quarter but the general downturn and effects of September 11 hit both.
Radio One said that its earnings were hit by a "less than friendly advertising environment."
It had a loss of USD15.4 million (22 cents a share) for the final quarter of 2001 compared to a loss of USD7.9 million for Q3, 2000, partly because expenses were up by more than 25% because of the impact of acquisitions and costs associated with a partnership to launch five channels on XM Satellite Radio.
Broadcast cash flow (BCF) was up 10 percent to $32.9 million for the quarter and revenues were up 16 percent to USD 67.4 million. After-tax cash flow per share was down four cents to ten cents.
On a same station basis, revenues were up 4% and BCF up 5% and the company also reported same station cash flow margin up from 51.6% to 52%.
For the full year, including acquisitions, Radio One's 2001 revenues rose 57% to $243.8M and BCF also rose 57% to $123.3M.
Scott R. Royster, chief financial officer, told analysts that the quarter "may not have been the most difficult quarter in our industry's history, but it had to be pretty close", but then added, "Things appear to be improving and we are hopeful the worst is behind us."
Looking ahead Radio One is expecting first quarter revenues of USD56 million and BCF of USD23.5 million with same station revenue growing in the mid single-figure digits.
CEO Alfred Liggins III said, "While we certainly can't predict the future, it seems that the industry has bottomed out and we're starting to see some signs of life. It doesn't feel like a false start, but - - you know - - the false start that we had before didn't feel like one either."
"As we continue to execute on our game plan, which is staying focused on our target demographic of Urban or African-American programming, and also specializing in turnarounds, we still expect to again lead the industry in terms of revenue and BCF growth."
Cox had fourth quarter revenues down on the year before but CEO Bob Neil noted that it still beat the industry average and had record revenues and cash flow for the full year.
For the final quarter, revenues were down just over 1% to USD101.7 million and BCF was down 12.6% to USD37.7 million: Same station results for the quarter showed revenues down 2.3% and BCF down 13.5%.
For the full year, however, revenues were up 7% to USD395/3 million and BCF was up 8% to USD148.9 million although same station revenues were down 1.5% and same station BCF was down 4.9%
For the first quarter, Neil said revenues excluding the format change at WTMI-FM Miami were up nearly 4%, just over 2.5 % overall but business continued to be placed very late and February was down nearly 5%, mainly because of the shortage of TV Sweeps income.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2002-02-22: Farid Suleman has left his posts as President and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, the Viacom subsidiary that runs Infinity Radio and Infinity Outdoor and of Chief Financial Officer of Westwood One, the syndication company which is partly owned by Viacom.
He's to become a special limited partner at Forstmann Little & Co., the buyout firm that owns Citadel Communications, the radio group that was bought by them around USD 2 billion last year ( See RNW June 26 2001 and January 17 2001).
He's also taking on the post of CEO of Citadel Communications and will join the Citadel Board of Directors: Larry Wilson will continue as Citadel Chairman according to Forstmann Little's statement.
Suleman was first in contact with Forstmann when he approached them about purchases on behalf of Viacom from Citadel, which owns 143 FM stations and 66 AM stations in 44 US markets.
He was offered a post with Citadel but at first said no and then was made the offer, with the addition of the Forstmann Little role, he has accepted.
Suleman, who is 50, helped Viacom President Mel Karmazin, who will take on Suleman's duties on an interim basis, to build Infinity Broadcasting.
He has denied that the move has anything to do with suggestions of a rift between Karmazin, whose contract runs out in 2003, and Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone.
He received a warm tribute from his former boss. "I want to thank Farid for his 16 years of service and leadership at Infinity, where he was a driving force in the division's growth and expansion,'' Karmazin said in a statement. "We wish him well as he moves on to this entrepreneurial opportunity.''
Forstmann Little senior partner said that Suleman was a "first rate executive" who would strengthen the firm and made him the "ideal leader to expand and take Citadel to the next level as a premier media company."
Suleman himself in a statement said, "I am extremely pleased to partner with Forstmann Little, a firm with an outstanding reputation for integrity and an exceptional track record of success. This is a wonderful entrepreneurial opportunity for me."
RNW comment: The move seems to have come as a surprise to everyone and the tribute from Karmazin was warm. The cynic in us would also note that, if the rumoured but denied rifts at Viacom between Karmazin and chairman Sumner Redstone, ever came to a parting of the ways, the former would certainly not be in a weaker position if his former right-hand man were available for aid in negotiating finance for an Infinity buyout (and maybe merger with Citadel.).
And if they do not, Karmazin's hand won't be weakened at Viacom.
Previous Forstmann (Citadel):
Previous Westwood One:
2002-02-21: Cumulus net revenues were down 10.9% to USD 203 million for last year and down 11.5% to USD50.8 million for the final quarter of 2001, due, according to the company, to a combination of a reduction in its radio station portfolio and "the overall decline in advertising revenues" during the period.
Cumulus had a peak station portfolio of 317 stations in 2000; it had reduced these to 225 stations in 46 markets at the end of that year and taken the total down to 221 stations in 45 markets by the end of last year.
On a same station basis net revenues for the 163 stations in 32 markets operated since January 1, 2000, was down
10.2% to USD33.2 million in the final quarter of last year and down 5.4%, to $131.7 million for the full year.
Basic and diluted loss per common share was 48 cents for the final quarter of 2001 compared to 32 cents loss a year earlier and USD1.37 for the full year compared to 49 cents for the year to December 2000.
The increased loss per share came from a combination of a USD28.2 million, or 172%, increase in EBITDA to USD44.5 million offset by a USD63 million decrease in other income related primarily to station sales. Cumulus says that if the effect of this other income were removed for each of the years net of related tax effects, it would have cut its loss per share for last year to USD1.38 compared to USD1.74 in the year to the end of December 2000.
Cumulus President/CEO Lew Dickey noted that it had made an error in not allowing for a loss in TV advert revenues during the Winter Olympics and expects to take a hit of around USD700, 000because it was difficult to compete against the network with the Games. He said they had enjoyed an increase in advert sales in January and hoped that there would be a rebound in May for TV sales.
He added that Cumulus had worked hard to cut costs, had made a great deal of progress and was now poised for expansion. He said the recent deals to acquire Aurora and Dickey Brothers stations on a share basis had helped to boost Cumulus stock and ease its cash flow.
Cumulus web site:
2002-02-21: The BBC World Service has won the 2001 George Polk Award for television and radio reporting for its coverage of the September 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan. Its reports included one from a correspondent who was inside the World Trade Center when it was hit by the first airliner.
The award, sponsored by Long Island University was set up in 1949 in honour of the memory of CBS correspondent George Polk who was killed in Greece the previous year whilst trying o reach insurgent leaders for an interview. In all there are 13 categories.
Polk Awards web site:
2002-02-21:Following the rush by thousands to apply for Low Power FM licences that were supposed to put part of the US airwaves into the hands of local communities, only six stations are on the air according to a report in the Washington Post.
In all says the Post, 3400 applications were made over the past two years, many falling by the wayside for a variety of reasons from resources problems to shifting regulatory rules, most significant of which was adoption by Congress of the third-adjacent channel protection requirement for which the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and National Public Radio (NPR) had lobbied (See RNW Dec 19, 2000 ).This kept LPFM out of most cities and urban areas.
Others are failing for practical reasons: The Post quotes Richard Snyder, a retired Montgomery County Orphans' Court judge who has applied for a license to operate an educational station on Kent Island as saying, "A lot of the people applying for these licenses will fail. A lot of these people are altruistic -- they're a little more dreamers than schemers."
The article then centres on the latest, LPFM to go on air, WRYR-FM, which this week started its inaugural broadcast by transmitting the "the banjo strumming of the Good Deale Bluegrass band from a 12-by-7-foot studio in microscopic Churchton in southern Anne Arundel County."
The station's signal radiates across the Chesapeake Bay, reaching the western tip of the Eastern Shore, the southern fringes of Annapolis and parts of Calvert and St. Mary's counties and the station is run by an environmental group South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development, and its founder, Michael Shay, that is best known for its fight against a supermarket development.
Shay is being helped by former radio pirates and over the past weekend they brought, says the paper, " an eclectic mix of radio aspirants to Deale this weekend for a three-day gathering they dubbed a "Radio Barnraising."
The barn-raising's seminars had titles indicating the lack of experience of those present -- "Using a mini-disc recorder," "The fine art of deejaying," "Introduction to radio engineering
They and Shay, however, are confident that the details will take care of themselves, but that won't be for a while yet. After WRYR's first broadcast day, the station is going silent, except for periodic tests, for at least six weeks whilst Shay trains volunteers and fine-tunes equipment.
Washington Post report:
2002-02-20: Austereo has come under renewed pressure from DMG Radio in the AC Nielsen McNair Australian ratings just released.
DMG's three new metropolitan stations all had good ratings with the Nova 100 Melbourne station taking a 10.5 share and Austereo's Fox and Triple M dropping large chunks of their audience although in Sydney Austereo has pulled back against DMG.
There was also some worrying news for Southern Cross with MacQuarie's 2GB, soon to take over top rated Sydney talk host Alan Jones from its own Sydney 2UE station, already seeing a boost to its breakfast audience from January when another host imported from 2UE, Ray Hadley, almost doubled the audience with the benefit of strong cover of Sydney's bushfires and helped by Jones' absence from the 2UE airwaves.
2UE's stand-in breakfast host John Stanley lost some 13,000 listeners a week but still took more than twice Hadley's audience with a 16.2 share compared to 7.1 for Hadley.
In Sydney, Austereo's 2_Day held on to the top spot with a 13.8% share, up from 10.6% helped by an aggressive marketing campaign; 2UE was second with an 11.9% share, down from 13.2% ; and Triple M was third with a 9.1% share, down from 10%. DMG's Nova FM dropped share from 9.3% to 8.6% to stay in fourth position.
In other Australian main cities, the top three were as follows (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: SAFM with 26.5(26.1); 5MM with 13.1(13.8 *14.6 in the ratings before that) 5AA with 12.3 (12.3);
*Brisbane - B105FM with 18.8 (21.1 *23.5 in the ratings before that); Triple M with 12.6 (13.0 *16.4 in the ratings before that); NEW97.3FM with 11.8 (9.1 and fourth in the previous ratings when 4KQ was in third position):
*Melbourne -3AW with 12.1(14.3 and second in the previous ratings); Fox FM with 11.6(17.6 and first in the previous ratings); 3LO with 11.1 (9.6): * New DMG station Nova was fourth with 10.5 and 3MM, which was second in the previous ratings with 12.0 fell back to fifth equal with Gold and an 8.5% share.
*Perth - 94.5FM with 22.4 (21.5); All New with 16.3 (18.9 and second in the previous ratings):; 96FM with 15.2 (13.1 and third in December):
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
2002-02-20: US radio and TV veteran Howard K Smith has died aged 87 at his home in Bethesda, Maryland.
His later career was with ABC TV but he began his broadcasting career with CBS radio in Berlin in spring 1941, joining the broadcaster after a spell there with the United Press, then one of the major news agencies.
In November that year, he was barred from broadcasting after refusing to include in his broadcasts material that Nazi officials had written and on December 6, the day before Pearl Harbour, he left for neutral Switzerland.
As a member of Edward R. Murrow's famous wartime team of CBS radio correspondents known as "the Murrow Boys," Smith broadcast from Berne for two years and then accompanied American airborne troops in the Battle of the Bulge, covered the Allied crossing of the Rhine and witnessed the Germans' surrender to the Russians in Berlin in May 1945.
In 1946 Smith took over from Murrow as the London-based chief correspondent for CBS in Europe and remained overseas until 1957. By now he was firmly ensconced in CBS but he repeatedly clashed with CBS executives over his editorial views and eventually, following a row over a 1961 broadcast after Ku Klux Klan members viciously beat a small band of Freedom Riders arriving to test new Federal laws banning segregation in interstate travel.
Smith, who had taken over from Murrow a CBS documentary "Who Speaks for Birmingham " (Birmingham, Alabama, was at the centre of segregationist violence), wanted to end the documentary with the words of the 18th-century British statesman Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
He was told he was not to do any more "editorialising" and his 20-year career ended after he had taken the matter up at a lunch with William S. Paley, CBS founder and board chairman.
Smth joined ABC and remained with them until 1979, being best known for his spell as co-anchor of the ABC evening news with Harry Reasoner. In April 197, he resigned over the curtailment of his commentary, after which he and wrote his autobiography.
In Canada, another radio and TV veteran, Harvey Kirck, has died aged 83.
Best known as a CTV news anchor, he began his broadcasting career as a news announcer at radio station CJIC, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 1948 and worked for some 12 years in radio stations before first moving into TV.
2002-02-20: The UK Wireless Group has sold yet another station having already cleared its debt by earlier dispositions (See RNW Nov 6, 2001); this time it's a fairly small deal with Capital Radio paying GBP250, 000 for the analogue and FM licences of Big AM which broadcasts to Greater Manchester.
Big AM also has a corresponding digital radio licence broadcasting on the CE Digital multiplex, Capital Radio's joint venture multiplex with Emap.
The licences will be re-branded as Capital Gold and Capital chief executive David Mansfield commented , "The acquisition of Big AM is the latest development in our strategy to build our national presence in UK radio and strengthen our brands."
"This deal allows us to build Capital Radio's presence in the lucrative North-West region and also enables us to expand our successful Capital Gold format."
Big AM currently has a format pop and rock from the last four decades, similar to that of Capital Gold and the new format will also carry local news and information supplied by Capital Radio's Century radio station in Manchester.
Capital Gold already airs in London, Birmingham, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and South Wales
Also in the UK, student radio broadcasting group Campus Media says it hopes to raise around GBP2.5 million through a listing on the Alternative Investment Market.
The listing is part of a transaction under which music entertainment group Channelfly's national student radio network, SBN, which already supplies content to some 50 analogue student radio stations, will go to Campus Media in return for a significant minority shareholding in Campus Media (See RNW Feb 3).
SBN claims to reach more than 500,000 students a month through its existing network and, as well as analogue radio, is also involved in digital radio through a contract with GWR for its programmes to be carried on some of GWR's digital multiplexes and, via SBN (London) Ltd is also part of the consortium that was awarded the third London digital multiplex.
Channelfly acquired SBN some two years ago for GBP One million and in the last financial year SBN lost around GBP 500,000 on a turnover of around GBP420, 000.
In the US, Saga Communications of New England Inc., a subsidiary of Saga Communications, is buying four stations from Tele-Media Company of Vermont LLC for USD9 million; they are WKNE-AM and FM of Keene, New Hampshire and WKVT-AM and FM of Brattleboro, Vermont. Saga already has stations nearby in Manchester, New Hampshire and Springfield, Maine.
And in another US deal, Commonwealth Communications is paying USD4.125 million for KONA-AM and FM in the Tri-Cities market from Tri-Cities Communications.
Previous Saga (US):
Previous Wireless Group:
2002-02-20: Yet another increase in internet listening has been recorded by MeasureCast whose Internet Radio Listening Index was up 2% in the week to February 10: 16 stations in the MeasureCast Top 25 ranking increased their total number hours streamed, and 17 stations saw an increase in audience size.
At the top end of the rankings, there was again no change apart from a position flip between the fourth and fifth ranked stations.
For the week, the top five by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 292,186 (277,736); CP 47,560 (47,005): Same position with both listening and reach higher.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 267,458 (244,934); CP 74,746 (71,045): Same position with listening and reach up.
3: Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing - TTSL 189,696 (182,774); CP 70,768 (66,668): Same position and listening up but reach down.
4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 139,103 (134,654); CP 23,651 (22,833): Up from fourth with listening and reach each up.
5: Sports talk ESPN - TTSL 108,712 (136,167): 21,054 (25,228) Up from fourth - listening and reach each up.
MeasureCast has also listed its top networks for the week to February 10:
The top five streaming networks were:
1:WARP Radio TTSL 611,975 hours: Cume 121,942 :
2: StreamAudio network TTSL 570,308: Cume 98,903 :
3: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 486,689: Cume 106,491
4: Virgin Radio TTSL 406,640: Cume 73,161:
5: RadioCentral Networks TTSL293,835: Cume 40,805
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast weekly ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-02-19: BBC Radio 1,the Corporation's popular music channel, has apologised over swearing by comedian and spoof-rapper Sacha Baron-Cohen (Ali G) during an interview with breakfast show presenter Sara Cox.
He was on the programme to promote a new song and the interview contained was ended abruptly when, commenting on words edited out of a radio version of the new track before the BBC would allow its broadcast, he said, "we're also not allowed to say motherfucker".
Before that Cox, whose own lewd on-air behaviour has become a trademark, had allowed him to get away with expletives and innuendos referring to genitals, lesbian sex, anal sex and the DJ's breasts.
After Sacha-Cohen was off air, Cox said, "I do apologise if you've got any children in the car with you because I know it's half term in some parts of the country. I do apologise, it is live radio."
Station controller, Andy Parfitt, ordered the presenter to apologise after the interview had been halted, and presenters and production team are to face a grilling about the matter and how to avoid such incidents in future. The BBC said it received around 20 complaints about the interview.
2002-02-19: The US National Religious Broadcasters Association (NRB) has accepted the resignation of its President and COO, Wayne Pedersen, who took up the post in October last year after the death of long-time President E. Brandt Gustavson, who died of cancer in May last year.
Pedersen had been embroiled in a month-long debate over the future of the NRB, which is an association of nearly 1500 Christian communicators. In January he was reported as having told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, in which he seemed to question whether NRB as an organization of his concerns that the association was identified too much with the right in politics, saying that when people thought of the NRB, "they think of the political right, and I think that's unfair."
"We missed our main calling with that," he added. " But what's probably more disturbing to me is that evangelicals are identified politically more than theologically. We get associated with the far Christian right and marginalized. To me the important thing is to keep the focus on what's important to us spiritually."
The comments attracted criticism from Donald Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, which is both a large radio group owner and an NRB member.
New NRB chairman, Glenn R. Plummer, who is chairman of the Christian Television Network and the first African-American chairman and CEO for the organisation, said anxieties about a change in direction for the organisation were unfounded.
Ironically the lead story still on the NRB web site is an interview with Pedersen and its latest news story is still about his selection as President.
NRB web site.
2002-02-19: UK Virgin radio will need at least six months to recover from the effects of the clash with its former breakfast host Chris Evans according to the company's managing director says a report in the UK Financial Times.
Evans, who is involved in legal actions against Scottish Media Group (SMG), which took over the station when it bought his Ginger Media Group for GBP225 million, remains a large investor. He is claiming that he is still due to receive share options which SMG say were forfeited when he was dismissed.
The paper quotes MD John Pearson, commenting on the station's audience fall in the latest UK ratings (RNW Feb 1) as saying, "The recovery of this isn't overnight "It will take six to nine months to build from now."
Pearson said part of the problem was that Evans' celebrity dominated the station and added, "The biggest mistake for us after that would have been to go out and get another celebrity. The station is more important than any single presenter."
He also said of the station's loss of market share that Virgin had, "lost more listening hours than listeners," adding," We are still unique as a national station with a 20 to 44-year-old male bias. There is no-one in the country that plays the kind of music we do in the volumes we do."
UK Financial Times report:
2002-02-19: Seattle-based Fisher Communications has reported a drop of 30% in broadcasting revenues for the final quarter of last year to USD38.4 million and a full year fall of 26% to USD145.5million.
The drop produced a loss for continuing operations in a year that was termed by CEO William Krippaehne Jr, "unprecedented in terms of change, challenges, and the need to adapt quickly." Overall Fisher lost USD7.9 million, 92 cents a share, on its continuing operations compared to a profit of USD31.9 million (USD3.71 per share, in 2000 when the company benefited form the dot.com boom.
In 2000, Fisher also had non-recurring gains totalling USD10.3 million after tax compared to a loss from discontinued operations of USD327, 000 taking the consolidated net loss for the year to December 31 up to USD8.26 million.
Fisher web site:
2002-02-19: Jonathan Shier, the former Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was paid AUD1 million (around USD500, 000) to leave his job early according to figures given to the country's Senate. Shier, who had been hired with a five-year contract and moved into his post in March 2000 (See RNW March 16, 2000), left in November after taking his accrued leave rather than staying in his post. (See RNW Nov 14, 2001).
Shier had been paid around AUD270, 000 a year excluding his car, superannuation and bonus.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2002-02-18: Taking a cue from the title of a profile in the UK Daily Telegraph, "The woman who makes things happen on Radio 4", we start this week's look at print media content on radio by looking at a couple of articles on people who have made things happen in radio.
And first the Telegraph profile by Tom Leonard of BBC Radio 4 controller, Helen Boaden.
She has he says," rolled a couple of sixes this week. First, the controller of Radio 4 basked in reports that her station had won record audiences." The second concerns an initiative to encourage "creativity" within the corporation but we look only at Radio 4.
the channel's trend, writes Leonard, "is unquestionably upwards" and he goes on to note that its soap, The Archers, was named "radio personality of the year" at the Royal Variety Club Awards.
After comments about the programme and various personalities, Boaden commented on the channel's audience which has an average age of 53.
"There's a stereotype of the Radio 4 listener that's older and more narrow-minded than any of the listeners I ever meet," says Boaden "They're people who are curious about the wider world - they love learning things."
Leonard points out that Radio 4 has been gaining listeners for its news programmes(controlled by BBC News, not Boaden) and also for magazine shows, such as Woman's Hour and You And Yours, and comedy shows such as Just A Minute and The News Quiz.
Boaden, he says, wants more comedy, though she is not sure where she can squeeze it in, and has seen old hits such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy been successfully re-broadcast. She insists that she is also "innovating", with new series touching on issues such as numbers and spirituality and Leonard notes that one of her more questionable innovations, the children's show Go4It, has been savaged by the critics. Boaden admits that they are "still struggling to find the right tone" but says it will stay.
Her current priority, she says, is to "convince those who think we only do current affairs and news that we actually do a richer mix than that. Lots of people really only hear Today, The World At One and the 6 o'clock news."
On the far side of the Atlantic, Michael Olesker in the Baltimore Sun profiled another broadcaster who has made things happen in public broadcasting, albeit with different pressures to face than Boaden.
He's Marc Steiner, formerly a talk show host on WJHU-FM and now not only a host but also one of the founders of WYPR (Your Public Radio Inc.), the new incarnation of the former John Hopkins University station.
Olesker notes Steiner's civil rights background and the contrast between him and AM talk shows in the Baltimore area " heavily populated by right-wing Rush Limbaugh imitators who have buried themselves so deeply in the back pockets of Republicans that they couldn't find their way out with a flashlight. "
"Steiner's whole history," he continues, " comes out of the left -- but here's the difference: He's brought a mix of voices, informed and insightful, to his midday shows virtually every day since taking it over several years back. They go at each other from all kinds of directions.
He then notes some of the guests who've been on the show and topics dealt with and quotes Steiner on his objectives. "What we aim for," Steiner was saying yesterday, "is a balanced conversation. We try to reach across the ethnic and racial and political spectrum."
The new station is pretty well all from National Public Radio except for Steiner's shows but it is to start adding local news bulletins and 5-minute local shows, In addition Steiner will begin turning his two-hour Friday slots over to new hosts, hoping to groom talk-show voices for their own full-time shows some time next year.
"We'll spice up the airwaves with some good local stuff," he said.
Praise also for another public broadcaster from Ireland, this time in Kevin Myers' "An Irishman's Diary" in the Irish Times.
"What a pleasure to hear that Lyric FM audiences are steadily increasing," he starts. "It was one of the scandals of Irish life that for so long we were without a classical music channel. We were paying our licence for public service broadcasting, to be sure, but little enough public service broadcasting did we get, and broadcasting classical music was as just about rare as Union Jacks in Crossmaglen."
"Lyric FM" continues Myers " changed that; it has become one of the great consolations of life in Ireland, not least because it has not gone down the Classic FM road of playing Nessan Bloody Dorma and the Bleeding Grand March from Ai-phuqqing-Eeda every five minutes. Indeed, thanks to Lyric FM, I have done what I once thought was impossible: I have fallen hopelessly in love with the music of Shostakovich."
There are more comments but that seems to us a good tribute to end on!
Baltimore Sun - Olesker:
Irish Times - Myers:
UK Telegraph - Leonard:
2002-02-18: Iowa has now joined the list of US States considering legislation to outlaw non-compete clauses in broadcasters contracts. The measure, introduced into the Iowa legislature, is being opposed by the Iowa Broadcasters Association .
So far Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maine have adopted laws banning non-compete clauses and Arizona, Washington, Missouri, and North Carolina are considering them.
2002-02-18: The interim Report on the Flood tribunal's four years of investigation of payments to Ireland's former Communications Minister Ray Burke is not now expected to be published for several months, delaying it until after the country's general election, according to the Irish Times.
The interim report will covers allegations about planning corruption; Burke's links with Century Radio, Ireland's former first national commercial radio station which ended up bankrupt ; and his alleged receipt of massive offshore payments from builders Brennan and McGowan.
So far the tribunal under Mr Justice Flood has cost some IEP 14 million (USD15.5 million) but the paper says legal costs will more than double the figure. The judge asked eight months ago for additional judges to help with the work of the tribunal but so far no appointments have been made although the Irish Attorney General says he has now found suitable candidates and expects to make an announcement soon. Flood has emphasised that the delay in making the appointments has not held up the tribunal and Burke's lawyers have demanded that the report be written by the chairman himself.
Previous Flood Tribunal:
Irish Times report:
2002-02-17: Main licence news in the past week came from Australia where the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has auctioned off the new Perth FM licence for AUD25 million to a joint venture between DMG and ARN (RNW Feb 15): Elsewhere it was quieter although the UK Radio Authority advertised a number of licences and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has come up with proposals for rule changes that would end a current block to the auction of more than 500 licences.
In Australia, as well as the Perth award, the ABA has also presented its annual report, which includes details of complaints against broadcasters, to parliament and allocated a new community licence in Queensland.
This was the licence for Gympie that has gone to Cooloola Christian Radio Association, which is currently broadcasting on the allocated frequency under a temporary licence. The Association service will provide programs that will cover a wide range of local events, council activities, tourism, children/youth programs and Christian music that will appeal to many different people across the Gympie Christian community.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has allowed extensions of time limits for the implementation of a number of radio services, transmitter changes; it has also approved applications by CHUM Limited for broadcasting licences to carry on four new transitional digital radio undertakings (DRUs) to serve Windsor, Ontario.
The transitional DRUs will simulcast the programming of CHUM's existing two AMs and two FMs in Windsor and will use the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system; this was first developed in Europe and will be the standard for digital broadcasting in Canada.
The time extensions approved include six months to June this year for a new French-language FM radio station at L'Assomption for Fabrique de la paroisse de L'Assomption-de-la-Ste-Vierge L'Assomption, Quebec; until March this year for the submission of an application predicated on the use of a radio frequency other than 90.9 MHz for the operation of a new Aboriginal-language station to serve Vancouver.
The Commission has also approved an application by Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. to amend the licence for CIFM-FM Kamloops, British Columbia, so it can move the transmitter for CIFM-FM-3 Merritt to a site on Iron Mountain, 22 km southeast of the authorized site and increasing its power from 12 watts to 40 watts and an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence for CBMT-FM Montreal so it can move its transmitter CBMT-FM-1 Trois-Rivières, Quebec, to a site 1.9 km northeast of the authorized site and by increase its power from 13,000 watts to 14,000 watts;
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), has announced the launching of the fourth of its programme initiatives for independent broadcasters.
It is putting EUR100,000 (UD87,000) into the New Adventures in Broadcasting scheme that is aimed at developing programming standards in the Irish independent radio sector through such activities as supporting the development of original programmes and also in developing a station's programming schedule. There are two awards, one for the development of one-off programming and the other for regular strands.
In the UK, the Radio Authority, as well as routine work, has launched a consultation exercise about the future of the AM band intended to help develop strategy for development of the band and regulation of services currently broadcasting on AM.
Richard Hooper, Chair of the Radio Authority, said, "With so much development in radio, and the prospect of digital radio becoming steadily more prominent, the Authority feels that the time is now right to carry out a review of its AM waveband strategy in consultation with the industry and other interested parties."
"We would like to hear views on all matters touching the future of AM, including the nature of regulation, the relevance or otherwise of networking, the use of AM for specialist, small-scale and access radio services, the financial viability of AM services, future prospects for existing AM services and audience potential."
The authority has also advertised a new Independent Local Radio licence for Barnsley, in South Yorkshire and announced the applications for its re-advertised Oxford FM licence and the South Hampshire digital multiplex.
For Oxford, where the existing licensee is Fusion FM, the applications have come from:
*Fusion -- a popular music based channel plus local news and information, presented as a local alternative to BBC Radio 1.
*Blue FM - offering a mix of music from the past 40 years plus local news and information.
*Juice FM - a youth-oriented music station with such genres as dance, r'n'b and hip hop.
*More FM - a full service station aimed at a 35 plus audience.
In the case of the South Hampshire digital multiplex, there were two applications. They were from
Capital Radio Digital Ltd, which is proposing seven services plus a channel shared between four providers and Solent Digital Radio Ltd, which is offering ten services. In addition each will carry the local BBC station, Radio Solent.
Capital Radio Digital Ltd is a subsidiary of Capital Radio and its offerings are:
*Adult contemporary -- Ocean FM (provider: Ocean Radio Group Ltd.)
*Contemporary hit radio - Power FM (provider: Ocean Radio Group Ltd.)
*Gold - Capital Gold (provider: Ocean Radio Group Ltd.)
*Soft rock, AC and speech - Wave 105.2 (provider: SRH plc, subject to agreement)
*Easy listening - Saga Radio (provider: Saga Regional Digital Radio Ltd.)
*Rock - The Storm (provider: GWR Group plc)
*AC/world music and speech - Passion for the Planet (provider: Passion for the Planet Ltd.)
a channel to be shared between
a).Student radio (18.00-06.00, every day -- SBN (provider: Channelfly plc));
b). Southampton local service (06.00-11.00, weekdays - SouthCity FM (provider: SouthCity FM Ltd.))
c). Under-10s -(12.00-18.00, weekdays and 06.00-18.00, weekends - Abracadabra (provider: Soundstart Radio Networks Ltd.) )
d). Hospital radio (11.00-12.00, weekdays - Southampton Hospital Radio (provider: Southampton Hospital Broadcasting Association) )
Solent Digital Radio, is jointly owned by Emap Digital Radio Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Emap Performance Ltd., and SCORE Digital Ltd.., a wholly owned subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings plc. It is offering:
*Music and talk - Wave 105 (provider: Wave 105.2 FM Ltd.)
Contemporary hits - Power FM (provider: Capital Radio plc)
*Adult contemporary - Ocean FM (provider: Capital Radio plc).
*Gold - Capital Gold (provider: Capital Radio plc).
*Dance - Kiss (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.).
*Popular country - Provider: SCORE Digital Ltd.
*Easy listening - Provider: to be advertised
*Rock - Provider: to be advertised
*Music and football - Providers: Angel Radio, Chaos (Digital) Media Group Ltd., and other local programme providers
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has come up with three options concerning the some 500 licences whose auction was blocked after a court ruling in July of last year against a government decision that non-commercial broadcasters had to bid for the commercial licences it requires to be auctioned.
The proposed solutions are:
*that non-commercial broadcasters be barred from holding licences on commercial parts of the waveband.
*that they may only have commercial frequencies when there are no competing commercial applications.
*or allowing new non-commercial licences only on a community-by-community basis.
The Commission is also asking Congress to amend the contradictory statutes that have caused the problem and, should it make a decision from the options put forward, is likely to face more court action from either commercial or non-commercial broadcasters, depending on the decision.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-02-17: Pacifica Radio, which has debts of some USD 4.8 million following a 3-year power battle, has dismissed its national news staff in Washington, D.C., and ended the nightly Pacifica Network News programmes it has been running for some two decades. News will now only be produced on a local basis.
The financial pressures have been cited by non-profit Pacifica as the reason for the action but the company's network news director Patricia Guadalupe told the Washington Post she thought the action was part of a purge by Pacifica's news management that is dominated by former dissidents who fought the previous board.
"It's sad," said Guadalupe. "It's very sad. It's the end of an era. We were the only ones doing stories on issues that no one else in the media was paying attention to."
"This is basically 21st-century McCarthyism here."
Verna Avery-Brown, interim deputy executive of Pacifica Radio, said the dismissals would save around USD1.3 million a year and, together with other cost-cutting measures enable the organisation to keep its network intact. She ruled out the sale of any of the five stations in the network.
Sacking the national news staff will save roughly $1.3 million annually, said.
Avery-Brown said this and other belt-tightening measures will enable Pacifica to keep its network intact. She ruled out the sale of any of its stations, located in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Berkeley, California., as well as Washington.
Sale of a station has been strongly opposed by Pacifica and recently Interim executive director Dan Coughlin told listener's to Pacifica's KPFA in Berkeley during an interview that although Pacifica was deeply in debt, it was not penniless.
"If we sold all our assets except the licenses, we would have a $1 million surplus," he said.
He that the network would conduct national fundraising efforts attached to individual station drives.
At the time of the interview no decision had then been taken concerning Pacifica Network news but he said the new regime was working to resolve differences peacefully with station staff adding that , apart from the replacement of general managers at KPFT-FM, Houston, where Duane Bradley has been hired as the new general manager, plus KPFK-FM, Los Angeles, WPFW-FM, Washington and WBAI-FM, New York (See RNW Feb 5) they had not "fired or banned one person" and were "trying to respect everyone's rights."
He also commented on attempts by members of the former Pacifica National Board majority to challenge Pacifica's licenses, saying he thought they would be unsuccessful.
Coughlin also said he strongly supported the idea of moving the national office of Pacifica back to Berkeley.
It was taken to Washington by former executive director Lynn Chadwick after the KPFA protests against the firing of Nicole Sawaya erupted three years ago. " I think it's imperative that the national office move back to Berkeley, its historic home, where Pacifica was born," Coughlin said.
Pacifica web site (has link to PDF of recent audit - 863 kb and also audio reports concerning end of Pacifica Network News):
Save Pacifica site (has links to release about debts and Coughlin interview):
Washington Post report:
2002-02-17: UK Capital Radio and UBC Media Group have announced that they are to co-operate to develop data services to create a national network that will allow transmission of broadband data over an area covering every major town in England and Wales and will, they hope, boost digital radio.
The new venture will be 70% owned by Capital, and 30% owned by UBC and controlled by a board of five directors, three from Capital and two from UBC
The two companies will combine their local and regional spectrum for the plan, aimed at complementing third-generation mobile devices. Although the system will not allow return transmission of information from recipients of the data, combining it with systems that do such as mobile phones will allow requests to be sent for large amounts of data such as transmitting images, including video and graphics such as mapsor pictures. Under UK regulations a fifth of the bandwidth on a digital license is reserved for data transmission.
David Mansfield, Capital Radio's chief executive, said: "Our aim is to establish digital radio as a mainstream medium in the UK. We strongly believe that innovative content will help drive the awareness and take-up of digital radio and help achieve this objective."
Capital Radio news release:
UBC web site (links to news release):
2002-02-16: Infinity-managed syndicator Westwood One had record free cash flow in the final quarter of 2001 despite a 12% fall in net revenues to USD136.7 million; cost cutting and the ending of traffic inventory comp payments to many large market Clear Channel stations kept the operating cash flow down to half that percentage, 6% off at USD51.5 million. Free cash flow was up 2% to a record USD31.9 million, or 29 cents a share.
For the full year, Westwood had net revenues of USD515.9 million, down 7%. It attributed the fall to a number of reasons including the non-recurrence of 2000 Summer Olympics revenues, a decline in spending by Internet companies and the advertising slowdown and effect of the September 11 attacks. Cost controls again brought up other figures, taking operating cash flow to a record USD166 million, up USD406, 000; free cash flow was up 9% to a record USD104 million, 93 cents per diluted share.
Commenting, President and CEO Joel Hollander said," I am pleased at the Company's operating results for the full year 2001. In spite of a weak advertising environment, our Company was able to deliver record Operating Cash Flow increases and record Free Cash Flow growth."
"We were able to accomplish this growth by reducing operating expenses as well as by using our Free Cash Flow to buy-back our stock."
For this year, the company expects full year Operating Cash Flow to be approximately $183 million, Free Cash Flow to approximate $112 million and Free Cash Flow per share to increase approximately 15%.
Previous Westwood One:
Westwood One site:
2002-02-16: Australian broadcasters breached the country's broadcasting regulations much less last year than in the previous financial year, though the regulator, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) completed 156 investigations in the 2000-01 financial year, 17 per cent more than in the previous year.
That year had been affected by the main period of the country's "cash-for-comment" commercial radio enquiry; of the 199 breaches that year, one licensee (2UE, Sydney) was in breach of the country's Broadcasting Act or commercial radio codes on 95 occasions. Details are in the ABA's annual report which has been presented to Australia's Parliament but not yet published on its site.
During the 2000-01 there were 142 breaches, 29% less than the year before but the total was still affected by the enquiry as 29 of the 36 breaches of codes of practice by commercial radio licensees related to the enquiry and to the withholding of relevant facts in news and current affairs, and presentation of advertisements as news and current affairs.(See RNW Feb 8, 2000 2000-02.html#cashforcomment4).
In the 2000-01 year, the breaches were made up of 123 breaches of various broadcasting codes of practice, 15 relating to licence conditions and four to the 1992 Broadcasting Services Act 1992. Of the breaches of codes of practice, commercial radio licencees were held responsible for 36 breaches, 29 of them against the two licencees who were involved in the "cash-for-comment enquiry.
There were 14 breaches of the ABC code of practice, 10 relating to television and four to radio and 15 breaches of licence conditions. Of these, four related to commercial television, one to commercial radio, one to open narrowcast radio, two to subscription television, and seven to community radio. Six of these seven breaches related to the licence condition prohibiting community licensees from broadcasting advertisements.
There were four breaches of the Broadcasting Services Act, three related to licensees being found to be providing a commercial service without a licence. The ABA issued notices to two of these licensees to cease providing the commercial service and in both cases, the licensee complied with the notice. The remaining licensee changed the format of the service following the ABA's breach finding.
ABA web site:
2002-02-16: Dealing with the Irish broadcasting authorities is more difficult than raising people from the dead or dealing with the bureaucrats of Russia according to a Christian Group seeking a licence to broadcast in the country.
Irish Christian Broadcasters (ICB), which is linked to United Christian Broadcasters, a group which claims credit for raising two people from the dead in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast, and says that one deaf and dumb man heard himself speak in tongues after one of its own broadcasts, is seeking to regularise its position in Ireland and has been making a submission to the Irish Government.
The ICB claims to broadcast to 65 million people in Europe using former Russian propaganda wavelengths 549 and 846 AM which it says it was given to it for free by the Russian Federation in what it termed a "miracle."
An ICB delegation told Ireland's Joint Committee on Public Enterprise and Transport that it had spent ten years "hopping from Billy to Jack" as it was shunted between the former Independent Radio and Television Commission then to its successor, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI ), and then to the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation. All the agencies, said the delegation, had told them the matter was not their responsibility.
The committee chairman , reports the Irish Times, said he thought there was "something sinister" and "extraordinary" in the authorities' reluctance to grant the licences and he promised to bring all the relevant agencies together to get to the bottom of the problems being encountered by "such nice people".
Irish Times report:
2002-02-15: The ratellite radio fight in the US has now begun in earnest with the launch of the Sirius service in four cities -- Phoenix, Denver, Houston and Jackson, Mississippi. First voice on the service was ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson and then Al Jarreau, who inspired the new Sirius musical signature, introduced a special musical overture performed by the National Symphony Orchestra. This was followed by a montage of entertainers,
Sirius is offering 100 channels for a monthly fee of USD12.95 including 60 commercial-free music channels and 40 news, sports and talk services, some of which have commercials.
Sirius's launch was delayed, letting rival XM get in ahead; it rolled out its service, which costs USD9.99 per month, nationwide at the end of last year (See RNW Nov 13, 2001).
XM now has more than 30,000 subscribers and says it anticipates reaching 350,000 by the end of this year. It also has the advantage of Sirius of being available for listening both in automobiles and buildings whilst the Sirius service is automobile-only at the moment although it is developing an option for use in buildings.
XM has also struck a marketing deal with leading US TV satellite company DirecTV while he was with the TV service's co-developer, Thomson Multimedia which it says should help its subscriber growth although no specifics were revealed: In Europe Sky satellite TV is a significant mode of receiving digital radio for many people.
Ironically Sirius CEO Joe Clayton worked on the launch of DirecTV while he was with the TV service's co-developer, Thomson Multimedia and is using a similar plan for the Sirius launch.
At the moment each of the satellite companies has exclusive deals with automakers, notably XM with General Motors and Sirius with Ford, BMW and DaimlerChrysler, and receivers for one service cannot handle the other's signal although that may eventually change.
Sirius web site:
XM Web site:
2002-02-15: A joint venture between DMG, the radio interests of the UK Daily Mail Group, and Australian Radio Network (ARN), whose partners are APN News & Media and US giant Clear Channel Communications, has won the bidding for the new Perth FM commercial licence in Australia.
The venture, DMG Radio (Perth) Pty Ltd, bid AUD25 million (around USD12.5 million) for the licence, the first of nine new licences planned for Perth; the others are five new community and three open narrowcasting licences.
Last May, Brisbane FM Radio Pty Ltd, another joint venture between DMG and ARN won the bidding for the new Brisbane licence for which is paid AUD7 million (See RNW May 31. 2001).
The successful bid is the latest stage of DMG's campaign to build a capital city FM network in Australia; It had already won the new Sydney and Melbourne licenses; a record AUD155 million was paid for the Sydney licence in a joint venture with GWR of Britain (See RNW May 25, 2000). It added the Melbourne licence later that year for AUD70 million (See RNW Dec 15, 2000).
Previous Clear Channel:
ABA web site:
2002-02-15: January internet ratings are now out from both Arbitron and MeasureCast and Arbitron's Webcast ratings, like those of MeasureCast, show Virgin Radio heading the station rankings,
Live 365 is the top ranked network for Arbitron whilst that for Measurecast was the WARP Radio network..
Both organisations rank by listening time, Arbitron by Actual Tuning Hours (ATH) and MeasureCast but Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL)
Arbitron shows Live 365 with an ATH of 5,702,600 hours whilst MeasureCast's figure for Warp was 2,877,453.
Roughly converted to some sort of equivalent of AQH (average quarter hour) figures as used for Arbitron's terrestrial broadcast customers there would equate to 1916 for Live 365 and 966 for Warp Radio.
For individual stations, CableMusic's Christmas Classics, which had featured in December, dropped out .
Their figures were:
Arbitron's January top five channels ranked by ATH:
1:Adult contemporary Virgin FM with ATH 958,000. First in December with ATH 874300
2: Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing with ATH 778,100. Up from December third place when ATH was 434100:
3: Classical King FM with ATH 581,400 Down from second in December when ATH was 473100
4: Classical WQXR-FM with ATH 384,200. Up from fifth in December when ATH was higher at 391600
5: Album oriented rock KNAC.Com with ATH 334,300. Not listed in December.
MeasureCast January top five channels ranked by TTSL with last month's TTSL and Cume (Cumulative Audience) in brackets were:
1): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 1,061,430 (739651); CP 122,835 (99878). Same position with listening and reach each well up.
2): Jazz format Jazz FM TTSL 1,043,490 (682224); CP 213,791 (157225) - Same position with listening and reach each well up.
3): Listener Formatted MEDIAmazing TTSL 812,164 (466349); CP 195,282 (176226) - Up from third with listening and reach each well up.
4): Classical King FM (Seattle) TTSL 585,378 (474319); CP 61,372 (65,056) - Same position, with higher listening but lower reach.
5): Sports talks ESPN TTSL 560,131 (348,073 ); CP 64,840 (47,789): Sixth in December. Listening and reach each well up.
Arbitron's top five networks were, ranked by ATH (Aggregate Tuning Hours):
1:Live 365 with ATH 5,702,600 . Position unchanged but ATH well up from December 3847,300 ATH
2: ChainCast Networks/StreamAudio with 2,124,400 ATH. New entrant to Arbitron ratings
3: SMG PLC (Virgin radio owners) with 1,336,100 ATH. Same position and listening well up from December 874300 ATH
4: Public Interactive with 867,700 ATH. Same position and listening well up from December 704400 ATH.
5: MEDIAmazing with 778,100 ATH. Up from sixth in December when it had 434,100 ATH .
Measurecast's top five networks were (Previous rank and hours in brackets where applicable):
1:WARP Radio 2,877,453 hours (First with 1627109 hours);
2: StreamAudio network 2,213,172 hours (New entrant to top five);
3: Virgin Radio1,460,181 hours (Third with 1,013,739 hours);
4: JazzFM 1,043,190 hours (Fifth with 682224 hours);
5: SurferNetwork 868,856 hours (Fourth with 904670 hours)
Previous Arbitron webcast ratings.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast monthly ratings:
Arbitron web site:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-02-15: Australian talk host Alan Jones, who is soon to move from Sydney 2UE to Macquarie's 2GB (RNW Feb 8), has defused a row about an offer of an appointment to the board of the Police and Community Youth Clubs board (PCYC) which runs 56 youth centres around New South Wales and last year threatened to sue Jones for defamation over hostile remarks he made about its management decisions.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Jones, and Campbell Reid, editor of the Murdoch-owned Daily Telegraph in Sydney, had both "reluctantly" turned down the offer.
Both men plus athlete Melinda Gainsford-Taylor and the head of investment banking at Macquarie Bank, were offered posts on the board by New South Wales Police Minister Michael Costa, who was making way for them by removing four sitting members, including Karin Sheedy, who was the director who signed sale deeds for the Newtown PCYC gym.
Jones conflict with the PCYC related to its decision to close the Newtown gym, near his home, and sell the site because repairs would have cost AUD 1 million. The board found that the site had become "a cheap, yuppie gym" used by wealthy residents"; it has put the USD3.9 million from the sale of the site aside for expansion into needy areas.
Jones has subsequently been involved in talks with the developers of the site who have told him they were prepared to reinstate a PCYC or build a youth hall into the development.
Jones said he never had any intention of accepting a position on the board because it would have compromised his position as a broadcaster when he spoke out on police issues.
PCYC chairman Denis Cleary has quit, and the Herald reports that his resignation letter says Mr Costa lacked "propriety and common courtesy" because he did not consult the board about the changes he wanted to make.
Sheedy, executive manager of the Australian Kidney Foundation, said Costa's communication skills were "unworthy of emulation"." As a former schoolteacher, I would give you a score of 3 out of 10,"she wrote.
She also wrote to the Premier about community disillusionment saying, "The perceived growing influence of the media on the processes of government is a disturbing trend."
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2002-02-14: US media giant Viacom, whose holdings include CBS TV and Infinity radio, had a fourth quarter net loss of USD42.5 million, or 2 cents a share, as it was hit by a combination of the after-effects of the September 11 attacks and general advertising slump.
A year earlier the company had posted profits of 2 cents a share for the quarter.
Revenues for Q4 2001 were down 5% from USD6.36 billion to USD6.04 billion.
For the full year 2001, figures were better: Viacom reported a 16% increase in revenues to USD23.22 billion, a 28% gain in EBITDA to USD4.55 billion and an 80% increase in free cash flow to USD3.0 billion, or USD1.70 per diluted share.
The company played down widely reported rumors of a rift between Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sumner M. Redstone, and President and Chief Operating Officer Mel Karmazin with Redstone referring to "the talent and commitment of our world-class management team, led by Mel Karmazin."
Karmazin, commenting on the performance said, "We are proud of our performance in 2001, which was not only a record year for the Company, but one in which we delivered USD3.0 billion in free cash flow, an 80% increase over t he prior year."
"Virtually every one of our business unit s used its pre-eminent posit ion and superior management t o continue to out pace it s competition and take market share in the worst economic environment in a decade. In 2002, we will continue t o drive our businesses t o out perform both creatively and financially and take full advantage of our brand and sales leadership."
For the final quarter Infinity (radio and outdoor advertising) revenues were down 12% from USD1.07 billion to USD USD938.9 million, 11% down pro-forma at USD938.4 million; Infinity EBITDA for the quarter was down 21% to USD385 million from 490 million, down 20% pr0-forma to USD385 million from USD483 million.
For the full year, Infinity revenues were up 33% to USD3.67 billion but pro-forma revenues were down 8% to USD3.668 billion; Infinity EBITDA was up 18% to USD1.517 billion but pro-forma EBITDA was down 13% to 1.516 billion.
Looking ahead Karmazin forecast improvement for radio this year, telling analysts that Infinity and radio would probably finish the year up three to four per cent.
The market took the news as in line with expectations and Viacom ended Wednesday up 25 cents, just over half a percent, at USD 43.41.
On the deals front, Emmis has sold its two Denver FMs for a total of USD135.5M: KALC-FM went to Entercom for USD88 million and for KXPK-FM to Entravision for USD47.5 million.
Emmis had been in danger of falling out of compliance with its debt covenants and needed to reduce its owings.
Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said, "Radio remains our principal focus of growth for the company." But he added, "When the Tribune Company's Denver stations became available and we saw what kinds of prices were being offered for those stations, we realized that it made more sense to be sellers than to be buyers."
Emmis bought KXPK-FM from Clear Channel/AMFM in August 2000, and acquired KALC-FM from Salem Communications Corporation in January 2001. The two stations, which were expected to produce around USD3.5 million in cash flow this year, making the purchase price 38 times that amount; they have 73 full and part-time employees at the stations.
Both deals are subject to regulatory approval, but Entercom, which took control of Tribune's three Denver stations KEZW-AM, KKHK-FM and KOSI-FM at the start of this month, is to commence operating KALC-FM under a time brokerage agreement next month.
Closure of Entercom's USD180 million Tribune deal, even when it has regulatory approval, can delayed for up to three years at Tribune's option (See RNW Dec 26 2001).
In the case of the Entravision deal, Emmis will continue to operate the station until the deal closes.
Emmis web site:
Viacom web site:
2002-02-14: Latest Irish ratings show independent radio falling back slightly last year compared to the year before with a "listenership" (reach) of 55%, down 1% to the 54% it had in 1999,
The JNLR/MRBI survey for the year also shows state broadcaster RTÉ holding its 30% reach with its top rated station RTÉ radio one, which has seven of the ten top rated shows for the country, but losing 1% for second ranked 2FM, which has the other three. Leading independent national station Today FM had an unchanged 15% reach. Although its share was up 1% to 9% and RTÉ classical arts and music station Lyric FM increased reach by 1% to 4% and share by 1% to 2%. The most popular show remains RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland with a total of 485,000 listeners, an increase of 5,000 a week.
Highest reach listed for a local station is that for Highland Radio which maintained its figure of 72%; it had a 63% share, down 3%,. Second was North West Radio, which took its reach up 7% to 68%; its share was also up 7% to 53%.
Previous Irish Ratings:
2002-02-14: Leading Australian radio group Austereo is braced for a ratings drop for its Triple-M stations when the country's ratings are issued next week according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The last Sydney ratings have already show DMG's flagship Nova FM taking bites out of Austereo: Nova was up 2.3 points into third place whilst top rated FM station Austereo's Today FM dropped almost 2 points and Triple M, in second place, was down from 10.8to a 10.5 share (See RNW Dec 6, 2001).
The company has changed its breakfast line-up in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, where newcomer DMG launched new FM stations last year and Austereo managing director Brad March predicted the changes would affect the ratings.
"Triple M will have a negative ratings impact in the short term but we expect it will do well over the longer period," said March.
The ratings challenge comes as advertising revenue for Australia remains in the doldrums at around 2% down on a year ago but the shake-up in the medium may help things according to Austereo group sales director Michael Anderson, who commented, "Radio has been a pretty boring buy for the last 10 years. Buyers are now taking a lot more interest."
Austereo, which collects more than half Australia's radio advertising revenue, has recently been expanding beyond its core radio business including the establishment of a TV arm and concert promotion (See RNW ).
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2002-02-13: US radio stocks have started the week on a high, boosted by optimism that the worst of the economic gloom is over. Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President Gary Fries has suggested at the organisation's RAB 2002 meeting that January will see a modest revenue increase of one to two per cent, led by local advertising although he dampened expectations for this month because TV promotional income, traditionally high during the Sweeps, will be reduced because of the Winter Olympics.
He's also optimistic about non traditional revenue.
The first group to report results this week, Beasley Broadcast, has reported final quarter results above its forecasts. Its shares which had dropped steeply at the start of last week to just above USD10 are now back to around USD12.
Fuelled by acquisitions final quarter net revenues were up 7.8% to USD30.4 million and Broadcast cash flow (BCF) was up 4.6% to USD9.8 million; same station figures, however were in negative territory with revenues down 3.3% on Q4 2000 and BCF down 4.9%
For the full year compared to 2000, consolidated net revenue was up 8.5% to USD115.2 million but BCF was down 6.2% to USD32.3 million from USD34.4 million. EBITDA was down 9.2% to USD27.6 million and ATCF fell 17.1% to USD14.0 million, or USD0.58 per diluted share, compared to USD16.9 million, or USD0.72 per diluted share
On a same-station basis, 2001 net revenue was down 3.6% to USD96.6 million and BCF was down 13.6% to USD29.5 million.
Overall Beasley had a net loss of USD21.8 million, or USD0.90 per share, in 2001, compared to a net loss of USD29.6 million, or USD1.26 on a per share basis, in 2000.
At the company's conference call CEO George Beasley told analysts actual revenues were more than 10% above the company's original forecast in November last year and nearly 8% more than the fourth quarter of 2000 whilst BCF was more than 27% above forecast and nearly 5% more than the year-ago quarter.
He also noted that the company has originally projected revenues down 13% and BCF off 25% and that the final results outperformed the radio industry, where revenues were down 8% for Q4, and Beasley's markets, which were down 5%.
For the first quarter of this year, Beasley is forecasting actual revenue of approximately $23.0 million, BCF of approximately $5.6 million, EBITDA of approximately $4.35 million, and ATCF of approximately $0.03 per diluted share.
Same station forecasts for the period is again negative however with each possibly down as much as 13% compared to 2001/
For the year as a whole George Beasley was more optimistic, commenting, "With an attractive portfolio of stations in good growth markets, key station turnarounds reaching critical mass in Philadelphia and Las Vegas, and the expiration or prospective re-negotiation of sports broadcast contracts pending in Miami, our company is well positioned to improve on last year's performance and return to growth in 2002."
Entravision, whose report came out after Beasley's delivered a strong same station performance with fourth quarter 2001 same station net revenues up 5% on Q4, 2002, at USD19.6 million and Broadcast cash flow (BCF) up 20% at USD8.6 million; For the full year the figures were even better with same station revenues up 11% at USD74.8 million and BCF up 24% at USD25.2 million.
Overall Entravision did well early in 2001 but was hit like all broadcasters by the fallout from September 11: Revenues, fuelled by acquisitions, rose 36% to USD209 million for the full year but were down for the quarter by 4% to USD53.6 million.
The acquisitions including the USD255 million purchase of Latin Communications Group Inc. ("LCG"), whose holdings included 17 radio stations, and the USD450 million (including assumption of around USD110 million in debt of Z-Spanish Media Corporation.
BCF was also up for the full year -by 46% to USD142.8 million but down for the quarter - by 6% to USD17.6million.
Overall EBITDA was up 15% for the year to USD50.5 million but down by 10% for the quarter to USD13.7 million. For the full year the company had a net loss of USD65.8 million, down by 29% on the loss for 2000 and again the final quarter was hit hard with net losses 68% higher at USD21.9 million. Net loss per common and diluted share was more than halved for the year at 66 cents but up 85% for the final quarter at 24 cents.
Walter F. Ulloa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said the final quarter results were driven by its television operations.
He commented, "In 2001 we executed on our growth strategy, successfully reformatting our radio stations and expanding our asset base, adding three new radio stations and four new Univision television stations as we entered three new high growth Hispanic markets."
" In addition, we are significantly strengthening our sales efforts and operating infrastructure across all our divisions, with no significant increase in our cost base. These initiatives have already started to pay dividends, as demonstrated by ratings growth across our radio division."
Entravision's stock had ended up 2% at USD12.20 on Tuesday.
Also of business note so far this week have been two filings to sell "shelf" debt securities: Entercom has filed to sell up to USD250 million worth of stock for general corporate purposes and Arbitron has filed to sell up to USD150 in debt securities, stock, depositary shares, warrants and subscription rights.
There have also been a few deals this week: In Utah, Sun Valley Radio has closed on KGNT-FM in Smithfield, from Legacy Communications for $775,000 and in Wyoming Legend Communications has paid Powell Broadcasting Inc $450,000 for KCGL-FM, Powell.
Previous Beasley Broadcasting:
Previous George Beasley:
Beasley Broadcasting site:
2002-02-13: Jonathan Adelstein, aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, is US President Bush's nomination for the open Democratic seat on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
He was actually nominated by Daschle in November last year but events and politics put progress on the nomination on hold.
The nomination was welcomed by the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) whose President and Chief Executive Eddie Fritts commented that Adelstein'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, " he added.
2002-02-13: Bloomberg, the US media and financial services group founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg , has put in a surprise bid of some GBP10 million for half of the London News Radio (LNR) operation that runs News Direct on FM and talk station LBC on AM.
LNR was put up for sale by its main shareholders, GWR, Reuters and ITN, with a price tag of some GBP20 million for the whole but interest expressed so far by Jazz FM, Chrysalis and Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) has fallen well short of this leading to consideration of the idea of splitting up the company for sale in view of the size of the bid for the FM frequency..
Bloomberg, which runs a business service on its New York flagship radio station, WBBR-FM, and also offers syndicated radio broadcasts in various languages , would transform News Direct into a similar operation, creating Britain's first business radio station. Bloomberg himself cut his ties with the company when he was elected mayor.
Scottish Radio Holdings meanwhile has been adding to its Irish newspaper portfolio with the purchase of the Longford Leader for EUR9 million (around USD 8million); it already owns the Kilkenny People, Tipperary Star and the Leitrim Observer as well as the Today FM, the Irish commercial national radio station
Previous Jazz FM:
2002-02-13: Internet listening has jumped yet again according to MeasureCast, which in its latest report says that its Listening Index for the week of January 28 to February 3 rose 10 percent to an index value of 515: this means the total time spent listening since January 2001, the base year, has increased fivefold and that for this year listening has gone up 129%.
During the last week of January, 19 of the MeasureCast Top 25 stations had an increase in the total number of hours streamed, and 16 stations saw an increase in audience size.
In the top five, measured by listening time, Jazz FM moved up to second but otherwise there were no changes.
For the week, the top five by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 277,736 (259,489); CP 47,005 (45,197): Same position with both listening and reach higher.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 244,934 (213,238); CP 71,045 (70,118): Same position with listening and reach up.
3: Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing - TTSL 182,774 (175,320); CP 66,668 (68,494): Same position and listening up but reach down.
4: Sports talk ESPN - TTSL 136,167 (118,772): 25,228 (24,430) Up from fourth - listening and reach each up.
5: Classical format King FM - TTSL 134,654 (127,714); CP 22,833 (22,734)- Down from fifth although listening and reach were each up.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-02-12: As a UK campaign to boost digital radio gets under way, a UK Independent article by Rhymer Rigby suggests that the current analogue domination of the medium may seen begin toe change.
Currently there are some 50,000 DAB (digital audio broadcast) receivers in the country as opposed to 75-100 million analogue sets according to Terry Scicluna, chief executive of the Digital Radio Development Bureau, a joint venture formed by BBC radio and commercial radio multiplex operators in April 2001.
Whilst digital technology has almost taken over in the music recording business, it has had a very low take-up in radio, something the article puts down to a combination of the need for an expensive new receiver, sound quality more like a mini-disc than a CD , and heavy power consumption that has virtually ruled out portable receivers.
Even with the limitations of technology, an exercise by the DRDB last year showed some pent up demand if the receiver price was lower, albeit the small scale of an offer of 100 sets at GBP99, all of which were sole almost immediately, could have been more a matter of bargain hunting by a small minority then a widespread interest.
A better guide may come when one manufacturer, Goodmans, later this year launches a range of digital receivers priced between GP99 and GBP199.
Scicluna notes that until recently there was a bit of a stand-off with manufacturers wanting retail promotion first and retailers wanting cheaper receivers.
David Harold, a spokesman for the UK DAB chipmakers Imagination Technologies says the ideal is to get to the point where the overall extra cost of having a digital chip is invisible to the end user and that "by the middle of this year, it should be pretty small."
There has also been technical development to reduce the size and power consumption of the chips.
Even with these developments and the fact that already in the UK many areas have more choice of stations from digital than analogue sources, more compelling reasons are needed to attract purchasers according to Simon Mays-Smith, a media analyst at J P Morgan.
He adds that the data side of the signal is more interesting, noting that each UK multiplex can deliver 1.2MBps, of which around 20 per cent [around 240KBs] is reserved for data, enough to deliver TV quality video and audio. The technology will also allow the radios to be combined with a mobile phone, allowing users to request information and personalise it.
Later generations will take the process further offering the likelihood that a receiver could not only offer extra information and maybe video but also build in facilities such as the functionality to record a certain amount of programming for later replay on demand, a little like equivalent current TV technologies such as TIVO, as well as purchase music via the phone and radio combined. In addition additional functionality will be possible by installing new software rather than changing the hardware.
For commercial radio companies, the changes could also bring additional benefits such as more advertising because a larger range of niche channels is possible and also a counterbalance to the current domination of UK radio by the BBC: whilst the BBC began with a greater share of the analogue spectrum, the situation is reversed for digital. "In digital radio, there are now around 50 stations and all but seven of these are commercial," notes Glyn Jones, operations director of Digital One - the UK's (and so the world's) largest digital broadcaster, who adds, "Overall listening share tends to follow the number of stations."
There's also cautious optimism amongst commercial radio companies. Lee Roberts, commercial development director of Scottish Media Group (SMG) says, "We've just launched our third multiplex in London, offering 11 new services. And there have been positive developments recently."
"What we've tended to do is be open about treating DR as one branch of new media. If we can create compelling new content then that will stimulate growth."
But, he adds, the technology is only one amongst a number of competing new technologies. "There's a whole range of alternative futures." He says, "We've been given incentives to support DAB and are doing it in a prudent manner. We take a very neutral position in platforms."
Even if receiver sales reach the 200,000 level that the DRDB hopes for this year, analogue radios will outnumber their digital counterparts by hundreds to one, a situation that ensures dominance of analogue for a long while so long as government doesn't take away the spectrum for other reasons.
RNW comment: And noting how much you can get for less than GBP20 in portable analogue receivers, how many people, even at GBP 100 for a digital set, will want to go digital for all their receivers - not just the one in the car or kitchen but the one to leave lying on the ground in the garden, park or on the beach or even walk around the streets with in many areas bearing in mind the level of mobile phone thefts. Digital radios cum phones make a fairly attractive proposition for a thief; a cheap "tranny" just isn't worth the hassle of stealing it.
UK Independent report:
DRDB web site:
2002-02-12: The Washington DC Court of Appeals has said that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cannot keep its policy of automatically rejecting a low-power FM applicant who has formerly been a pirate.
The ruling came in a two-to-one decision by the court after the FCC blanket-ban policy, adopted in 2000 as part of Congress's passage of low power FM legislation, had been challenged by former pirate broadcaster Greg Ruggiero who had claimed that the ban was unconstitutional (See RNW Sept 20, 2000).
The court added that former pirates may be rejected on a case-by-case basis.
2002-02-12: James Bethell, former managing director of the Ministry of Sound's media operations has joined Capital Radio as a strategy consultant.
He will advise on a wide range of issues, particularly the prospects of consolidation in the UK radio industry when regulations change and the development of Capital's digital radio strategy. Bethell quit his former post in October.
Previous Capital radio:
2002-02-11: The effects of the announcement that top-rated Sydney breakfast talk host Alan Jones is leaving Southern Cross Broadcasting and 2UE to join 2GB, owned by John Singleton's Macquarie Group are still reverberating round Australian radio.
The industry was already in something of a ferment as a round of allocating new commercial FM licences draws to a close.
On a purely financial basis, the Jones' move news led to a drop in the market value of Southern Cross Broadcasting of some AUD28 million and around the same rise in the market capitalisation of Macquarie.
In the business as a whole there is a new sense of the status of radio; according to the Sydney Morning Herald radio may have only 7.5% of Australia's AUD9.2 billion advertising spend but it "casts a larger shadow".
The paper quotes Peter Harvie, executive chairman of Austereo, Australia's biggest FM radio group, as saying that radio is "such an all-pervasive element of our lives…(it is) the most used medium in Australia and one that is still growing".
On both AM and FM, there is now a battle underway; for FM it's between Austereo, the Australian Radio Network (ARN - a joint venture of APN News & Media and US giant Clear Channel Communications) and newcomer DMG which has already spent some AUD250 million on new FM licences in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for its Nova FM network.
DMG also has more than 50 regional radio stations on which it has spent another AUD200 million.
On the AM airwaves, Southern Cross, following its takeover of 2UE( See RNW Mar 23, 2001), dominates the talk market -which, in Australia, like the US, is one area where FM has not vanquished the older AM system.
It is now under attack in its two main markets, Sydney, which has around AUD170 million in radio advertising revenues and Melbourne, where the amount is some AUD145 million.
. Its stations have audience shares of some 13%, the only serious challengers to FM in those cities, and have also been profitable, particularly 3AW.
The Jones move could potentially hit 2UE hard as Jones had nearly a fifth of the breakfast audience and was estimated to bring in around a quarter of 2UE's annual revenue of $35 million a year.
To replace Jones at 2UE, Southern Cross has drafted in Melbourne shock-jock Steve Price, the city's most bombastic afternoon drive host; he now has three weeks to overcome any sentiments favouring a "Sydneysider" amongst 2UE's listeners before he is head to head against Jones at 2GB.
Down the road is likely syndication of Jones show by Macquarie, a move that could pull back for the group most if not all of the AUD5 million a year it is paying him.
In Melbourne, the pressure on Southern Cross will come from another rival, 3AK.
There parent company Data and Commerce, which holds a third of the station and has spent around AUD11 million on the company and easy-listening AM station 3MP, has taken on former Victoria state premier Jeff Kennet as a shareholder and presenter in an attempt to tackle 3AW's dominance.
3AK only has around a 2% share and there is speculation that, as in Sydney, where 3GB has up to now failed to dent the dominance of talk "superstars" Jones and John Laws, it will have a tough fight on its hands.
But, reports the Herald, it's not necessarily a forlorn hope, quoting one media analyst as saying, "Kennett is such a strong brand in himself. It's going to be very interesting."
3AK will also be helped by the departure of Price from 3AW where he was not only top-rated drive host but also programme director.
One decision by Kennet and Data & Commerce managing director Jeff Chatfield have made that stands out is the decision that he will do no "live reads".
These spoken advertorials are the most valuable advertisements on talk radio but they were at the centre of the "cash for comment" affair, which embroiled Jones and his 2UE colleague, John Laws, in 1999, although they have never been part of 3AW's less brash Melbourne format.
The affair however still continues to taint Jones and Laws in some eyes as made clear in another Sydney Morning Herald article, this time by Richard Ackland who as the then presenter of ABC TV's Media Watch broke the "cash for comment" story.
He comments that the pictures of Jones and Singleton "slobbering over each other would be enough to turn the stomachs of those in more sober and reflective communities.
But not in Sydney, which is renowned for its short memory."
Ackland notes that Singleton was dismissive of the scandal despite in 1999 calling Jones "naive beyond belief". He writes of Singleton's comment on the affair as something that "came and went" by saying, "One doesn't usually associate great ethical stances with those in the world of advertising, but that one took the cake for sheer moral bankruptcy."
"…At the time, Singleton gave an interview to this newspaper and declared that at his radio stations: 'There is not one code that we breach and if anyone did so and I became aware of it they'd be sacked on the spot.'"
Ackland then goes on to cite one particular example of the nature of the superstar that 2GB is taking on.
It concerns the redevelopment of the Walsh Bay area of Sydney to the west of the Harbour Bridge where disagreements emerged between the developer and the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, with the department wanting more shore sheds and wharves restored and preserved as heritage buildings. Jones, who had taken an AUD200,000 a year retainer from the Walsh Bay developers and was briefed by the consortium just happened to "stumble" upon a column supporting the consortium and criticising government delays, describe the area as "a pigsty, an absolute eyesore" and the planned development as "magnificent".
He continued to attack the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning and support the project but, as Ackland writes, took the view that listeners were "not 'entitled' to be informed of the existence of his commercial agreements."
Of course , as Ackland points out, he also told the cash-for-comment enquiry that he was not saying anything in which he didn't believe, also saying that not "entitled" to be informed of the existence of his commercial agreements.
Ackland then writes, "The lie to this sort of speciousness was found in a fax that Jones sent in February 1998 to Harry Miller, his agent. It concerned another covert sponsor, Walker Corporation, which was paying the announcer a hidden annual amount of $250,000, plus, incredibly, an incentive fee based on the share price of Walker Corporation."
" The fax showed what Jones was all about: "I notice the press release from Walker Corporation talking about the net profit before taxation of $18.6 million, an increase of 107 per cent."
"They are boasting about all of that. Are we being paid enough!! Let's face it, they wouldn't be in the public place without moi! Tell me what you think?"
RNW comment: We would suggest that had Mr Jones been American and taken money from Enron (in which he would of course have totally believed), American regulations on share boosting and other matters might well have left him facing a chance of bankruptcy and jail rather than another profitable move.
Previous Southern Cross:
Sydney Morning Herald on Australian radio industry:
Sydney Morning Herald -Ackland:
2002-02-11: For our look at print items on radio over last week, we range from a tragic tale of radio history up to modern times.
The history first and a tragic tale from a book "2RN and the Origins of Irish Radio", one of a series of books on "Broadcasting and Irish Society" which was launched in Ireland last week.
The book describes, to use the words of Frank McNally in the Irish Times, "how the Free State government's attempts to establish a radio service were undermined by attempts to influence public policy by the use of political contributions."
Not on the Enron scale but the author Richard Pine describes the tale as one of a "very serious attempt by a businessman to use prominent politicians to gain government contracts."
The businessman in this case was English financier Andrew Belton and his front man was Darrell Figgis , a TD (Member of Parliament) from South Dublin who had been involved in gun running and was on Belton's payroll for a period.
But then the two fell out and Figgis called for an investigation of Belton when he emerged as the most likely candidate to gain the state's first broadcasting licence, he called for him to be investigated.
As a result Belton was found unfit to hold a broadcasting licence and left Ireland. Disaster the followed Figgis: His wife committed suicide, he moved to London and started to live with a dancer who died of septicaemia following an abortion and the Figgis himself committed suicide shortly afterwards on October 1925.
2RN itself went on air shortly afterwards on January 26, 1926.
More up to date but possibly harking back in time is a story from Russia courtesy of Sharon LaFraniere of the Washington Post Foreign Service who reports that journalists at radio station Moscow Echo are complaining of underhanded tactics by state- controlled major shareholder.
Editor in chief Alexei Venediktov says Gazprom Media, a subsidiary of the state-controlled Gazprom natural gas monopoly, is taking control of the board in contravention of a promise not to upset the status quo at the station.
Gazprom Media says it is only exercising its majority shareholder right to name most of the station's directors and has no desire to interfere with the station's management or editorial content although its head Boris Jordan added that he knew of no agreement to refrain from changing the board.
The move comes three weeks after Russia's last independent national TV news channel, TV6, was taken off the air.
Venediktov took on 232 journalists from TV-6.
He says their programmes cost little and have boosted Echo 's listeners from 600,000 to 1.3 million in Moscow alone, adding, "I think they are taking revenge on us for giving them jobs."
Jordan denied a connection, saying: "We are very happy that they have invited all the TV-6 people... We are very happy with the programming."
And finally a radio tale that just wouldn't have existed in the Ireland of the early days or the Russia of any time courtesy of Dan Shepherd in the UK Independent.
Headed "Going radio gaga" it starts, "The brief for the new series sounded simple: find six radio DJs from around the world to play their country's music." The series Don't Touch That Dial for BBC World Service has given DJ's from Venezuela, France, Uganda, the USA, Hungary and Japan a brief to play 30 minutes of some of the best music, old and new, from their respective countries.
This sounded simple enough but, as with all the best tales, sprang a few surprises.
In Caracas, Venezuela, the problem was getting cash to pay for studio hire and recording session but bank machine after bank machine was unable to provide the goods, and honestly came up with a message to that effect.
Then another machine produced a receipt with the amount requested but no cash. And when they eventually arrived at the studio, the re had been a system failure and the station was on a back-up, including using the studio that had been booked for the session.
The DJ, whether for fame or money, came good, though, and found another studio albeit there was little leeway to finish before departure time. In Kampala, the Ugandan capital, the studio had "just been constructed" and had the latest top of the range equipment.
But after an early arrival, system check, just before recording was to start, the power went, a routine occurrence to which the response is to switch to generator power.
The problem this time was a hum -from the generator since sound proofing hadn't been completed or was inadequate.
Again it was a case of DJ to the rescue , this time with a phone call to one of the bosses at the Electricity Board who was a friend of the DJ's mother. The message was passed that a programme was being recorded for the BBC and the producer had to fly out the next day.
And lo and behold, the power came back on. Never underestimate the power of a DJ! (The programme incidentally starts on February 18 at various times on BBC World Service.)
Previous Moscow Echo:
Irish Times - McNally:
UK Independent - Shepherd:
Washington Post - Moscow Echo report:
2002-02-10: The pace has picked up a little amongst the regulators over the last week with the UK Radio Authority receiving 15 applications for its new East Midlands regional licence (See RNW Feb 6) and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) levying a record fine and starting proceedings that could lead to an Alaskan Broadcaster losing its licences (See RNW Feb 9).
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), has invited applications for a new commercial FM licence for Gosford, New South Wales.
Applications have to be in by midnight on March 14. and the licence will be auctioned with a reserve price of AUD100, 000.
The Authority has also released details of the second year of its five-year commercial radio survey, showing in particular the increased percentage of networked and syndicated material on regional stations (RNW Feb 7).
In Canada, things have been fairly quiet for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), whose main radio actions have been to allow a number of power changes and also to extend the deadlines for implementation of new radio services at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and a new transmitter for at Corner Brook for CBN-FM St. John's. Newfoundland.
The power changes approved, all relating to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) stations in British Columbia, were
*a power increase in the power of CBRS-FM Smithers, British Columbia, from 161 to 220 watts;
*a power increase for CBXB-FM Burns Lake from 327 watts to 547 watts;
*a power increase for CBRV-FM Vanderhoof from 118 watts to 198 watts;
*a power increase for CBUR-FM Houston from 318 watts to 462 watts;
*and a power decrease for CBXR-FM Fort Fraser from 115 watts to 106 watts.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has now started re-advertising various existing local licences.
Four licences were advertises last week, those for broad-based services in Louth/Meath, and County Wicklow and two music-driven services -each for Dublin City and County.
In the UK the main announcement was of 15 applications to the UK Radio Authority for the new East Midlands licence(RNW Feb 6).
In addition, on the analogue front, the Authority has renewed for eight years the AM and FM licences for Inverness, currently held by Moray Firth Radio Ltd., a subsidiary of Scottish Radio Holdings(SRH).
The company qualified for automatic renewal of its licence because it is providing two services n the local digital multiplex for Inverness.
On the digital front the Authority has awarded the Leicester digital multiplex to Now Digital (East Midlands) Ltd whose main shareholders are Now Digital Ltd. (GWR Group plc) , Sabras Sound Ltd, Capital Radio plc and Chrysalis Radio Ltd. Now Digital had faced competition from EMAP Digital Ltd and was proposing eight commercial services as opposed to ten by EMAP (See Licence News Nov 25, 2001). It will publish its assessment of the award shortly.
The Authority also issued its latest Programming and Advertising Quarterly Review, which amongst other things carried details of complaints against UK commercial radio over 2001 (See RNW Feb 8).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a record USD140, 000 fine on Peninsula Broadcasting of Alaska and also started proceedings that could lead to it losing all its licences (See RNW Feb 7).
In addition it is also proposing to fine Entercom USD4000 for putting a caller to air without gaining permission (RNW Feb 7).
The FCC has also red-flagged for ownership concentration and revenue share reasons, Midwest Family Broadcasting's proposed purchase of WHIT-FM/De Forest-Madison, Wisconsin, from Great Dane Broadcasters.
The station is currently not operating and is listed as a construction permit. Midwest owns six stations in the area already.
The FCC also released its quarterly report on complaints and inquiries processed; this showed complaints about allegedly indecent broadcasts on radio and television had more than doubled since the previous quarter (See story below).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-02-10: British broadcaster Jonathan Ross has been publicly rebuked in the BBC's staff newspaper, Ariel, for plugging on his Saturday BBC Radio 2 show a restaurant being opened by his sister-in-law.
The broadcast led a BBC journalist from BBC Radio Stoke to write to the paper in protest and her letter was printed together with a rebuke by Stephen Whittle, BBC controller of editorial policy, who agreed that Ross should not have made the comments.
Ross himself has not commented but his producer has warned him that he must remain impartial in line with BBC Codes of conduct.
2002-02-10: The pressures on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take stronger action over broadcast "indecency" seem likely to grow stronger in the wake of its latest quarterly report on complains and inquiries.
Although the overall number of complaints, which are mostly about communications companies billings and rates and were affected by postal disruption in the wake of the US anthrax scare, fell by some 38% to 9,729 in the final quarter of 2001 to 9.729 compared to 15,599 in the third quarter, indecency complaints were more than double.
They rose from 32 in the third quarter to 71 in the final quarter, 36 in October, 24 in November and in December; 49 of the complaints were forwarded to the Commission's Enforcement Bureau for evaluation.
Even before the release, Democrat Commissioner Michael J.Copps, who seems to have taken the baton for a push against indecency offences from former Commissioner Gloria Tristani, had again launched another attack.
In an article in US Today he launched another attack on the current situation and called for a voluntary code of conduct to be adopted by broadcasters.
"A race to the bottom is never pretty, but it seems especially ugly when it involves broadcasters saying they must push the limits on decency in order to compete against the often-prurient offerings of other channels, he wrote.
After specific comments on ABC and NBC TV network output he said of radio, "Concerned about declining ad revenues at your radio station? Unleash your drive-time shock jock to troll the depths of decadence."
"That shock-jock mentality once was restricted to a few late-night talk shows."
"Now it is commandeering broadcasting's corporate suites, where the question is not whether to tolerate an occasional indecency, but how to push the envelope to fatten shareholder return - notwithstanding the statutory obligation every broadcaster has to serve the public interest."
New laws could be enacted, said Copps, but existing laws, if enforced, could remove most of the need for them.
He then went on to say that the FCC had a "dismal record" in going after offenders, adding," Our standard operating procedure for radio-indecency complaints is to place the burden on the offended listener to provide tapes or transcripts of allegedly indecent shows."
"But most of us don't keep tape recorders running as we listen to the radio."
"The best approach would be for those using the public spectrum to do what is right in the first place. Rather than pursue the usual Washington route of legislation, regulation and adjudication, let's ask the people who could fix it best to fix it now - voluntarily."
"Most radio stations do not keep tapes or transcripts of their programs. Let's ask them to do so voluntarily. If stations kept these tapes for several weeks after broadcast, the commission, upon complaint, could access those records and relieve complaining citizens of an unnecessary burden."
Copps then commented on the recent decision by Disney to keep tapes of its stations' output for 60 days, calling it "enlightened self-regulation - and responsible citizenship".
He noted that broadcasters had previously worked to a voluntary code that tempered various elements of output but was abandoned in 1983 after narrow parts of it dealing with ad restrictions were struck down on antitrust grounds.
He called for another voluntary code to be implemented by Easter, concluding, "I hear daily from Americans fed up with the patently offensive programming invading their homes. I hear from parents frustrated with the lack of choices available for their children."
"I even hear from broadcast station owners that something needs to be done."
"The industry's power brokers would be well advised to heed these calls now lest continued intransigence reaps them more drastic remedies in the future."
"The industry can fix the problem voluntarily. If it won't, government may have to halt the race to the bottom."
USA Today - Copps article:
2002-02-09: An Alaskan jury has awarded USD150, 000 in punitive damages against syndicator Westwood One for intentionally hidings or destroying a tape of a 1998 broadcast that was wanted as evidence in a civil lawsuit.
Karen Carpenter of Juneau had claimed that demeaning and sexually oriented comments about her on the Tom Leykis Show and subsequent calls and faxes to her home had traumatized her and led to serious emotional illness.
The jury cleared both Leykis and Westwood One of intentionally inflicting emotional damage on her and violating her privacy by disclosing private facts about her but Ray Brown ,one of her attorneys, told the Juneau Empire that he would appeal that decision to the Alaska Supreme Court because of the judge's instructions to the jury concerning free speech.
Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins, reports the paper, limited the jury to considering only speech on the broadcast that they believed was intended to "provoke a hostile reaction where a danger of immediate violence existed"; or speech that disclosed facts about Carpenter that weren't publicly available and that were "highly offensive."
Brown commented "When you make your money out of denigrating women ... I don't think that was what our First Amendment was meant for."
He hadn't asked for a specific amount of punitive damages but suggested they consider awarding damages equivalent to at least a week of the company's revenues in 1998, which would amount to . about $6.9 million for the parent company, Westwood One Inc., or about $329,000 for its subsidiary Westwood One Radio, which produces the Tom Leykis Show.
The Leykis show has a weekly audience of some two million listeners to 60 stations and produced revenue of about $1.6 million to nearly $2 million a year from 1998 to 2001, although its profits were not disclosed.
Defence attorney Leslie Longenbaugh has asked Judge Collins to overturn the jury's verdict that Westwood One had intentionally destroyed evidence and the judge has said she will issue a written response.
Westwood One executive Thom Ferro fold the paper he felt the jury was fair in its deliberations and upheld the First Amendment.
He apologized to Carpenter from the stand and later in a private conversation.
"It is sad that our company was not able to produce that tape," Ferro testified.
"It disheartens me. I'd like to apologize to Ms. Carpenter."
He added that he will take steps "so it will be very easy to produce a tape" if asked to in the future.
Previous Westwood One:
Juneau Empire report:
2002-02-09: The latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) show that US radio advertisement sales were down 7% for the whole of last year, with national sales down 19.2% on record 2000 figures and local sales down 4%.
December was still down but by less with overall revenues down 6% on 2000, national sales down 15% and local down 3% whilst for the final quarter revenues were down 7% overall, 16% for national and 5% for local. RAB's index, which is based on 1998 as a base 100 that pre-dated the dot.com boom, makes the figures look much better.
This shows the combined index for the year at 122.0 and for December at 113.9; the national index at 111.4 for the year and 101.4 for December and the local sales index at 123.9 for the year and 117.8 for December.
Presenting the figures at the RAB conference in Orlando, Florida, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Fries, told his audience, "Compared to other media, that is a remarkable feat."
"You people should be very proud that you accomplished that."
"Even though the economy is tough and uncertain," he added, "it presents opportunity for the Radio industry."
"Advertisers' reliance on Radio has increased over the past year as our clients tap into the relationship we have with listeners."
"By forging partnerships with our clients, we have been able to offer them a way to reach and influence consumers. Radio is well-positioned for positive growth in 2002."
Deals in US radio were down considerable more according to the latest issue of Kagan's Broadcast Banker/Broker.
This reported that the total value of broadcast deals in 2001 at USD9.4 billion was about half those of 2000; radio deals accounted for some USD4.5 billion of the 2001 total. Kagan also reports that advert pacings have picked up this year.
On the deals and company results front, the week was fairly quiet with no major transactions and Entercom being the largest company to report results: Its revenues dropped by 5%, rather better than the average (See RNW Feb 7).
Also reporting was Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), whose 2001 fourth quarter net revenues were down 9.1% on 2000 at USD33.9 million; broadcast cash flow down 14.6% at USD12.9 million and EBITDA down 16.7% at USD12.9 million.
The figures were above forecasts and Chairman and CEO Raul Alarcon said that although the advertising environment seemed weak so far this year, SBS revenues "continue to outpace general market radio in the majority of our markets, reflecting the superiority of our assets, the growing attractiveness of our audience to advertisers and our effective sales management.
2002-02-09: UK GWR is reported by the UK Guardian to be planning a major overhaul of its regional newsrooms after concern at the quality and cost of news bulletins.
An internal report is said to have put part of the blame on the staff turnover due to poor pay and morale, up from 19% to 34% a year over three years.
There is also concern over the costs of news to the company in a difficult economic climate: GWR reported same station revenues for the first quarter of its current financial year as down nearly 11% (See RNW Jan 24).
GWR owns some 30 local stations and says its focus will be to streamline its national news gathering operations to permit journalists at regional stations to concentrate on their area.
The UK regulator, the Radio Authority, normally requires local news coverage as a condition of licences, thus constraining GWR's capability to slim down its staff.
In the last quarter the authority handed out only on "yellow card" warning to a radio station -for its lack of extended news bulletins (See RNW Feb 8).
RNW comment: We are not sure how any attempt to trim staff back further will improve morale or lessen churn in GWR newsrooms and we also note that the Radio Authority includes such factors as local news output as factors in deciding to which applicant is awarded a licence.
GWR seems to be between a rock and a hard place.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Guardian report:
2002-02-09: The date for the court appearance of Clear Channel's Tampa, Florida, morning host Todd Clem, Bubba the Love Sponge, plus his producer and two listeners, to face charges in connection with the castration and slaughter of a wild boar has now been moved back.
The four were originally due to have appeared on February 6 and 11 but now jury selection has been re-scheduled for February 25 with the trial to follow.
A maximum penalty of five years in jail and fines could be levied.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-02-08: Top rated Sydney breakfast talk host Alan Jones is jumping ship from 2UE to lowly rated 2GB, which is owned by the Macquarie Group of advertising agency and radio station owner John Singleton, a long-time friend.
Jones has signed a seven-year deal, reported to be worth around AUD 5 million (USD 2.5 million) a year.
It will see him take a significant equity stake in his new station.
Jones will start his new role on March 4, having delayed his move until his agreement with former manager Harry M. Miller had expired.
Jones told The Australian, "I know it's going to sound silly to say but I am really attracted by this challenge…I think it's going to be difficult . . . all you can do is go at it and roll your sleeves up and work hard and hope your audience stays with you."
Singleton described his new star as an "unbeatable foe" and told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that he would now be "my partner in every way as we take the first step in taking 2GB back to its rightful position in Australian media."
The Telegraph says the deal will give Jones a 20% stake in Macquarie Radio, which also owns 2CH; it says that an outline of the deal was sent in error by a lawyer to the fax machine of Cafe Appetito, in Sydney by a lawyer who had dialled the wrong number.
The owners said it included details of Jones' pay but they were not revealing details.
The Sydney Morning Herald notes that shares in Southern Cross Broadcasting, 2UE's parent company, dropped from $11.87 to $11.35 on the news, which also led 2GB to raise its top advertising rate for a "live read" during the breakfast slot from $400 to $1800 a hit.
The paper also reports Jones as saying that disgruntlement with 2UE was not the factor that drove him to 2GB, although in another article it speculates that a significant factor was his fury when Southern Cross paid 2UE's former owners, the Lamb Family, AUD90 million for the station where Jones was the money spinner but gained nothing because he held no equity in the station.
It also notes that former 2UE station manager John Brennan was ridiculed for telling the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) cash-for-questions enquiry that his job was to keep 2UE's stars "psychologically number one", an approach in marked contract to that of Southern Cross managing director Tony Bell, the paper says, felt the Sydney stars were pampered and wanted to run 2UE along the same lines as Melbourne 3AW, believing the station's name should hang on the brand, not the personalities.
Bell got rid of 2UE general manager Tony Moltzen and Brennan, who had nurtured Jones's radio career for 17 years, putting 2UE under the control of David Bacon, a former tobacco public relations man, whose relations with Jones got off to a poor start.
In addition Bell then lauded Jones' perceived rival, afternoon-drive host John Laws, whom he called "the superstar of Australian radio."
2UE also ran full-page newspaper ads describing Laws as "the most trusted broadcaster in the country" and later Bacon at a lunch said "it would be a breath of fresh air" if Jones and football commentator Ray Hadley went to 2GB, as rumoured.
At the last minute Bell offered Jones an AUD5 million salary package but still no equity in the company; he now says 2UE will "react aggressively" to keep the audience with 2UE and that he thinks the departure will have a negligible impact on Southern Cross's earnings.
Melbourne 3AW drive presenter Steve Price has already been named as Jones' replacement.
The question now is how many of Jones' listeners will move with him.
He had a dominating 19.2% share of the breakfast audience in the latest Australian ratings (See RNW Dec 6, 2001) and one media consultant suggested that half of his listeners could move with him.
Previous Southern Cross:
The Australian report:
Sydney Daily Telegraph report:
Sydney Morning Herald on Jones departure:
Sydney Morning Herald on background:
2002-02-08: In its latest Programming and Advertising Review, which has just been released, the UK Radio Authority headlines its stance on daytime automation.
An article by Martin Campbell, its Director of Programming and Advertising, says that automation can be of great use in freeing up resources to create versions of show and be a lifeline for smaller stations in providing overnight and specialised shows.
But, he continues, although there is no suggestion of an "automation bad/live good" policy, most stations have obligations to produce a certain number of "locally produced and presented" hours.
This means that totally automated stations cannot be the "norm" and it was against this background that the Authority decided that, unless they had agreed exemption, stations would be limited in the automation they could institute.
The Authority, Martin writes, " wants to protect the localness of station, the spirit of the licences and the trust between radio and its listeners."
"What commercial radio's regulator has done," he continues, " is to retain a grip on the extent to which stations should be allowed to dispense with live presenters and programming during the day."
He also says that most applicants have had to indicate what level of automation they might use and that this might have been a factor in the award of a licence; thus it would be wrong to now ignore that promise or to insist in automation be reined back from levels that were in a licence application.
In awarding licences, Martin says, the levels of automation and the content and nature of automated programming will be a major factor together with other factors such as the commercial environment within which a station operates and the number of potential listeners within its licence area.
The review also contains summaries of other matters including complaints dealt with in 2001 and issues arising and the Authority has also released its full complaints bulletin for the quarter.
For the year as a whole there were significantly less complaints and less were upheld.
For the 2001 year, the Authority dealt with 439 complaints (compared to 537 in 2000) as follows (2000 figures are in brackets):
*26 (36) concerning accuracy over 25 (32) issues of which ten (seven) were upheld.
*23 (29) concerning balance and fairness over 20 (24) issues of which three (seven) were upheld.
*132 (169) concerning taste and decency over 121 (102) issues of which 37 (87) were upheld.
*20 (18) of promise of performance or format over 13 (13) issues of which none (two) were upheld.
*36 (49) other over 33 (49) issues of which seven (5) were upheld
*15 (15) harmful over 13 (13) issues of which none (two) were upheld.
*98 (103) misleading over 73 (97) issues of which 13 (28) were upheld.
*78 (99) offensive over 56 (68) issues of which eight (six) were upheld.
*11 (19) other over 9 (19) issues of which none (four) were upheld.
For the quarter to Decenber, 2001, the Authority issued one Yellow Card warning - to Bridge FM, the locally-focused music and information station for Bridgend: it had been found to lack extended news bulletins, which are a format requirement, and the matter was resolved after talks with the station.
Complaints dealt with were as follows (2000 figures in brackets): Total complaints 120 (124) of which 19 (30) were upheld; 53 (65) were programming complaints, 11 (14) being upheld and 67 (59) were advertising related, 8 (16) of these being upheld.
Of programming complaints upheld, one concerned accuracy; nine concerned taste and decency; and one related to no clear separation between programming and advertising.
Within the programming complaints the breakdown was
* 5 (13) of accuracy of which one (four) was upheld;
* four (10) of balance/bias and fairness of which none (none) were upheld;
* 29 (23) of taste and decency, two on one matter, of which *nine (seven) were upheld;
* six (seven) of promise of performance format of which four were one matter and none (two) was upheld and
* other matters - nine (12) of which one (one) was upheld.
Within the advertising complaints, there were
* 5 (3) harmful complaints of which none (One) was upheld;
* 34 (28) misleading --one case getting four complaints and five more two each -- with three (11) being upheld;
* 23 (22) offensive with 5 (2) being upheld and five (six) other of which none (two) was upheld.
Amongst the programming complaints upheld were two upheld against TalkSport, which was again the most complained about station; in all seven complaints were filed against the station.
In a case where a TalkSport commentator had made comments about gypsies which a complainant felt were racist, the Authority said it did not think he set out to promote racist views but some of his comments were ill-judged.
TalkSpot was also taken to task for an exchange between the presenter and a caller to a discussion on church worship in which the presenter became frustrated by the callers attitude and amongst other things called him a "dickhead."
Other upheld complaints included :
*The airing by Galaxy 105, Yorkshire, of two tracks of a recording that contained repeated use of the word "fucking".
*The airing of a broadcast by Galaxy 102, Manchester, where a caller had been allowed to say "fucking" on air. *
A broadcast by Century 106 (East Midlands) of a song parody including references to bombing the Taliban that was held to have been delivered in "an insensitive and offensive manner" and for which the presenter and producer had been disciplined when they repeated the song after being told not to use it again.
* A broadcast by QFM, Paisley, where the complaint was partially upheld. It concerned a complaint both about a song making reference to the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and treatment of callers who phoned to object. In this case the Authority felt abuse of one "particular caller crossed the line of acceptability about this sensitive subject."
*A broadcast by QFM, Paislet, of a "joke" about an ethnic blow-up doll.
* A broadcast by Virgin, Greater London, where a presenter, who had commented on the rights of parents to chastise their children, was held to have handled things inappropriately and particularly to have over reacted to the caller with whom he had an ill-tempered exchange.
* A complaint against Century Radio (North East) concerning a hoax call that the complainant was distressed by and for whose broadcast she had not given permission.
This case was felt serious enough to warn the station that repetition could incur regulatory penalties.
* In the "other" category, a complaint was upheld against Wave FM, Solent, about the lack of clear separation between programming and advertising in a business bulletin.
Advertising complaints upheld included "misleading" ones in which a company that mainly hired out cars claimed to have "the largest fleet of taxis" in an area; in which another company implied laser surgery was available at a clinic that only handled initial consultations, and another case where an advertisement for the New of the World newspaper was held to have been inappropriate because of its sexual content for broadcast at a time when children were listening.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
Previous UK Radio Authority Quarterly report:
UK Radio Authority news release (links to quarterly bulletin 1.5Mb PDF and Complaints Bulletin -230Kb PDF) :
2002-02-08: The Voice of America (VOA) journalist, whose September exclusive interview with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed was controversially held off the air (See RNW Sept 25) for a while after criticism from the State Department, has now been taken off the air and assigned to what she and the VOA news director term a "useless job" according to the Chicago Tribune.
Both Spozhmai Maiwandi, an Afghanistan native who has worked for the VOA in Washington for 20 years, the last 10 as head of the agency's Pashtu language service, and news director Andre de Nesnera allege that the job change resulted from outside pressure that prompted the VOA chief Bob Reilly to impose a ban on interviews "with any official from nations that sponsor terrorism."
De Nesnera said that Maiwandi, who technically has been promoted but is now in a post with little to do and not allowed on air, had been sent "to Siberia" because she got a big interview because of her contacts.
Maiwandi herself told the paper, "I am being punished for the fact that I did a good job, that I did my job,"
Reilly has been accused in the past of bowing to political criticism although he says he has not done so despite the fears of many staff. In the case of the Voice of America's Pashtu service, a six-month investigation of its programming that was triggered by claims that it was pro-Taliban found no pattern of bias.
Chicago Tribune report:
2002-02-07: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has started the process of potentially revoking all the licences held by Alaskan broadcaster Peninsular Communication, Inc. following the company's continued operation of translator operations in various Alaskan communities in defiance of an FCC order.
The action is a last of a series in which each side is digging in its heels, with the company relying on a different interpretation of a September 2001 Washington DC Circuit Court ruling.
Peninsula contends that the Court's Order, 11 raises questions about the finality of a May 2001 Order that the FCC says merely requests a status report and does not purport to find that the May 2001 Order was not a final decision as to the status of the seven FM translators whose continued operation was at issue.
The action follows the issuance in August last year of a proposed fine of USD140, 000 on Peninsula for operating seven translators without a licence despite an order to stop doing so: At the time the FCC gave the company ten days to cease the operations or lose its other licences (See RNW Aug 31, 2001).
In a notice concerning the fine, the FCC now describes the company as the "former licensee" of Alaska FM translator stations K285EF, Kenai; K283AB, Kenai/ Soldotna; K257DB, Anchor Point; K265CK, Kachemak City; K272CN, Homer; and K274AB and K285AA, Kodiak.
It then goes on to say that after considering Peninsula's response, it is not only enforcing the fine but also starting the hearing to revoke Peninsula's other licences; it also emphasises that payment of the fine bears no relation to the hearing about revocation of the licences.
The notice concerning licence revocations refers to the "former" licences and then to current licences for radio stations KGTL, Homer'; KXBA( FM), Nikiski; KWVV- FM, Homer; KPEN- FM, Soldotna; plus FM translator stations K292ED, Kachemak City; K285DU, Homer; and K285EG and K272DG, Seward.
The former licences, it says, are included in case a judicial hearing should re-instate them in response to an appeal lodged by Peninsula in May, 2001.
Even if it does, contends the FCC, the conduct of Peninsula raises doubts as to whether it should be allowed to continue as a licensee in view of its decision to continue operations until the court has ruled on its appeal, despite the fact that the US Communications Act specifically gives the FCC authority for the actions it has taken. Peninsula now has 30 days to respond and " show cause" why the licences should not be revoked.
The FCC has also fined Entercom in New Orleans USD4,000 for recording a telephone conversation for broadcast without informing the other party of its intention to do so.
The incident involved a caller who got the station in mistake and was kept on the line by an on-air personality who recorded the conversation, thinking it obvious the conversation was being recorded for use but not saying so.
The FCC says, "We believe that the complaint clearly shows that the complainant was understandably confused during most of the call and she did not intend to call a broadcast station."
" Moreover, we find that this should have been evident to the on-air personality by the time he finished the call and broadcast the recording."
FCC on fine:
FCC on licence revocation:
2002-02-07:Nearly half of the programming on Australian regional commercial stations is syndicated or networked material compared to only around 6% in Australian capital cities according to a new survey just released by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA).
The survey encompasses the first two years of a five-year study that was begun in 1999; it indicates that station formats have not changed significantly in the country over the survey period but that there is considerable variation within formats, particularly when comparing city stations with regional ones.
Within formats, music format stations had an average 76% musical output , sports stations an average 66% of sports and "talk"(speech, news and talk stations) only 49% talk.
There was a distinction between city stations, which tended to be more specialised outlets, and regional ones and also a regional variation within the formats with, for example, city-based sports stations carrying 67% of sport and regional ones only 64% on average.
Talk formats being even more varied ; the ABA says that capital city "talk" stations carried an average 17% music, large regional ones 25% music, medium sized regional talk stations 42% music and small region talk stations 34% music.
ABA report (2.1Mb PDF):
2002-02-07: Another fall in revenues for a US broadcaster is reported by Entercom in its final figures for 2001 but it is fairly upbeat, saying that it contained the damage and adds that some markets are already firming this year.
For the full year, Entercom recorded its second best ever year with net revenues of USD332.9 million, down 5% on the record of 2000.
BCF was down 9% for the year to USD131.6 million and net income per basic share was 38cents; in 2000 it had been USD1.05, but was then boosted by a gain of USD41.5 million from station sales.
ATCF and ATCF per share were each down 3% for the year and on a pro-forma basis net income per share was down to 49 cents compared to 59 cents in 2000.
For the final quarter, net revenues were USD83.7 million, BCF was USD35.5 million and ATCF was USD24.1 million, 53 cents per basic share.
On a same-station basis, net revenues for the quarter were down 9% on 200 and BCF was down 14% but operating expenses were also cut - by 4%; ATCF for the quarter was down 5%.
President and Chief Operating Officer David Field said Entercom was pleased that it had its "second best year ever in 2001, recording a decline of only 3% in after-tax cash flow per share for the year in the midst of the worst advertising economy in a decade."
" We are also proud to report that we continued to consistently outpace the industry in the fourth quarter as we have throughout the year, gaining significant market share," he added.
For Q1 this year, Entercom says it expects net revenues of $72.5 million, broadcast cash flow of $25 million, and ATCF per basic share of $0.35m which would represent same-station revenue results between static and 1% up for the quarter compared to 2001
Entercom has also announced that it is ending its Joint Sales Agreement with Beethoven, the non-profit that owns classical station KING-FM, Seattle. Entercom said that the agreement was taking up staff time for no return. KING has come to a new deal with Fisher Communications, another owner of Seattle radio stations.
2002-02-07: UK Virgin Radio, which is owned by Scottish Media Group (SMG), has hired a PR agency to promote its breakfast show, whose host Steve Penk walked out at the end of last month (See RNW Jan 26); he had been appointed to replace former host Chris Evans who left in June last year (See RNW June 29, 2001).
The breakfast show is now hosted by Virgin's former afternoon drive host Daryl Denham and Penk, who turned down the afternoon drive slot, has left.
Taylor Herring Communications, which has been hired to promote the show, has not only to gain favourable publicity for the new host, who is little known, but also help a comeback for Virgin which has lost around 300, 000 listeners over the past year and even more in the past quarter when the breakfast show, which had initially gained around 350,000 listeners when Penk took it over, lost them again (See RNW Feb 1 for latest UK ratings).
Taylor Herring is expected to make its play on Denham's new and fresh approach rather than trying to play down the fact that he is a little-known newcomer, despite having won a Sony Gold Award last year for hosting Heart's breakfast show; he was described by the Sony panel as "a blast of fresh air."
2002-02-07: New York public radio station WNYC-FM, which was formerly a classic music output but has since September 11 broadcast mainly news and talk shows , is considering a permanent cut back on classical music according to the New York Times.
If the move goes ahead, New York will be left with only one station mainly devoted to classical music, the New York Times station WXQR-FM.
WNYC, which lost two transmitters in the attacks on the World Trade Centre, reduced its music output after the attack, partly because of its weaker signal and partly because managers wanted to devote more time to news about the events.
Since then it has been simulcasting on its own AM and FM transmitters and also until the end of January on the frequency of New York City Board of Education station WNYE-FM, which usually broadcasts ethnic and community programming.
A new transmitter should be in operation by the end of the month and no programming changes will be instituted until then according to WNYC president and chief executive Laura Walker.
She is scheduled to present possible changes to the station's programming committee on February 26.
"We are looking at options that have more music and that have less music," she told the paper, "but under no circumstances will we become a news-talk show station."
"Our commitment to classical music and cultural programming remains strong."
Before Sept. 11, classical music was broadcast from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Now regular classical music broadcasting does not begin until 8 p.m., and it lasts until midnight, with occasional special programs.
One way forward would be find another frequency on which to broadcast classical output and keep news on WNYC's existing frequencies and WNYC has made an unsuccessful effort in recent months to get a long-term lease on WNYE and to turn it into a third WNYC station, devoted primarily to classical music.
Walker said WNYC was still exploring the possibility of another, mostly classical music station. "That remains a key and strong priority of WNYC," she said. "I am a music lover. And we're still hoping to have this."
If this proves impossible, the station has a dilemma.
In October, when its output was mainly news, the station had a record fund-raising drive (See RNW Nov 10, 2001), although this may in part have been due to reaction to the damage caused by the September 11 attack rather than programming changes.
Meanwhile there is an insistence that the station will not just drop its former programming.
Whatever happens, Billie Tisch, who is chairwoman emeritus of the WNYC board and remains a board member, told the Times, "we will do it with the greatest attention to our core mission, which has to do with presenting news, information, music and culture in all its forms as appropriate to radio."
New York Times report:
2002-02-06: The US Federal Communications Commission's fiscal 2003 budget has been increased by USD33 million to USD278.1 million in proposals submitted by President Bush to the US congress. Nearly a quarter of the increase (USD8.2 million) would cover mandatory salary and benefits increases for the proposed full-time staff of 1,975 plus outside contractors. Another USD9.8 million is then taken up in funding to support proposed changes in the funding of retirement costs. The rest of the increase (USD15.1 million) covers other areas such as improving the Commission's electronic filing system, improving staff expertise, various equipment-related costs and activities related to US homeland security measures.
FCC news release:
2002-02-06: The UK Radio Authority says it has received 15 applications for the new East Midlands regional licence.
They are from:
* Capital Disney (Teenager and pre-teens channel);
* Fire (contemporary music for 15-30 audience);
* Galaxy (Chrysalis' dance and rhythm and blues format for 15-29 audience);
*Juice (youth rhythmic genres and new music for 15-34 audience); Jump (new music with speech and humour for under-30s);
* K Radio (new rock and dance music and features for young people); Liquid (SMG youth culture offering for 15-24 audience);
* Play (Ministry of Sound music format for 15 -29 audience); Route (Country music);
* Saga ( full service of music and speech for over-50s);
* Smooth FM ("commercial-free" music, news and information for 45-64 audience);
* The Storm (rock music format for 15-34);
* Sonic (rhythmic dance and dance related youth station);
* Vibe (new and contemporary dance format for 15-24 audience);
* The Wall (chart and rock format for 15-35 audience).
Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Radio Authority news release (for those who want "credible" or "compelling" adjectives).
2002-02-06: Traces of anthrax discovered at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Capitol Heights (See RNW Feb 4) facility arose from cross contamination according to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC says the trace shows "very slow platelet growth which indicates a weak or very scant amount of anthrax consistent with cross-contamination" and is advising mail processors that they should not take preventative antibiotics, which are recommended when there is thought to be a danger of contracting the inhalation form of the disease.
2002-02-06: Yet again more confirmation that Internet listening tends to be an office pastime where the employer is paying rather than a home one comes from MeasureCast in its latest weekly report.
In the week to January 27, its Internet Listening Index dipped 3% to 469 (based on an index of 100 at the start of 2001); MeasureCast puts this down to the Martin Luther King Jr holiday in the US where listening for the day was down more than a fifth on the previous Monday.
Traditionally says Measurecast fewer people listen to Internet radio during holidays but it notes that top ranked Virgin FM was not affected by the fall.
In the top five, measured by listening time, Jazz FM moved up to second but otherwise there were no changes.
For the week, the top five by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) and with previous week's TTSL and Cume persons (CP), a measure of the cumulative audience, in brackets, were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 259,489 (243,512); CP 45,197 (43,958): Same position with both listening and reach higher.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 213,238 (177,571); CP 70,118 (63,563): Up from second with listening up but reach down
3: Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing - TTSL 175,320 (210,707); CP 68,494 (70,024): Down from second. 4: Classical format King FM - TTSL 127,714 (141,510); CP 22,734 (22,289)- Position unchanged, listening down but reach up slightly.
5: Sports talk ESPN - TTSL 118,772 (135,936): 24,430 (25,055) Position unchanged- listening and reach down.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-02-05: Capital Radio has teamed up with Disney to launch a children's radio network, Capital Disney, in the UK using Capital's digital platform that currently broadcasts Capital's Cube service.
This is was aimed at 10-16 year olds and covers half of the UK.
Capital will control the play list of the station, which is expected to be launches in a few months and oriented towards teen favourites.
The two companies have also agreed that the joint venture will bid for the new East Midlands analogue commercial licence in England.
Capital's Chief Executive David Mansfield said the two were a perfect match and the alliance would give "great momentum to the achievement of two of our long-term aims: building the UK's leading kids radio network for future generations of radio listeners and establishing digital radio as a mainstream medium."
The announcement comes as both the BBC and commercial radio companies in the UK are stepping up publicity for digital channels.
The UK's national commercial digital multiplex, "Digital One" will launch a "lovemyradio.com promotion" next week using analogue radio commercials to encourage stores to stock digital receivers.
Some 80 stores have signed up for the promotion under which listeners will be directed to the website to find details of participating retailers.
There is also a draw with two cash prizes, one for the consumer and the other for the sales person who demonstrated digital radio to the winning customer.
The BBC is also pushing its launch of new digital radio channels including its first new national music radio station in 32 years, 6 Music, which will launch at 0700 GMT on March 11.
Formerly called Network Y, 6 Music will begin with alternative comedian Phill Jupitus's breakfast show and the BBC says it will feature contemporary and classic artists as well as championing emerging music talent and also carry strong editorial opinions and breaking music news from its own journalistic team.
The weekday line-up will see Jupitus followed by Gideon Coe's lunchtime slot and then former Radio 1 presenter Liz Kershaw hosts the early afternoon slot.
Amongst other names who will have shows are Craig Charles, comedian Sean Hughes, Radio 2 DJ Stuart Maconie, former Madness frontman Suggs, Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson and former Radio 1 host "Whispering" Bob Harris.
The station will be the one of five new BBC digital radio channels, the first of which Five Live Sports Extra launched last month (See RNW Jan 19).
UK Digital Radio site:
2002-02-05: Although at board level the row at the US Pacifica network seems over, with the former "dissident" faction having seemingly won most of what they wanted, the after-effects are still continuing.
Now those who had been backed by the former board are the ones having to bite the bullet and debt problems are causing concern for the network.
Amongst those who have gone are former Executive Director Bessie Wash, who resigned in October last year (See RNW Oct 28, 2001); Robert Daughtry, General Manager of WBAI-FM in New York station; Garland Ganter, General Manager of KPFT-FM in Houston; Lou Hankins, General Manager of WPFW-FM in Washington; and Mark Schubb, General Manager of KPFK-FM in Los Angeles station.
Jim Bennett, general manager at KPFA-FM, Berkeley, where the station manager was fired in 1999, leading to protests, is the only station manager still in his post.
Daughtry was fired when he refused to re-instate the Pacifica Now programme and Schubb was placed on administrative leave and told not to return after he criticised what he called the board's unprecedented meddling in local programming and re-instated only the 6a.m. live broadcast of the show but not its 9a.m. replay.
Hankins was relieved of his duties at the same time as Schwab and Ganter took a severance package before the newly formed board met in New York in January.
Their replacements are supporters of the dissident faction including Dan Coughlin, formerly a leader of the dissidents' Pacifica Campaign, who is now interim Executive Director, his deputy Verna Avery-Brown, the former host of Pacifica Network News who left the network to protest Coughlin's firing as news director, and former WBAI station manager Valerie Van Isler who is now back; she was fired in the so-called "Christmas Coup" in 1999 (See RNW Dec 30, 2000) along with numerous other employees who are now being re-instated.
Accusations are being made of a purge by some of those ousted; Schubb told the Los Angeles Times, "They're clearly on a jihad to purge people not loyal to their faction."
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm an employee in good standing."
There was disagreement from Pacifica Local Advisory Board chairman David Adelson, and one of three dissidents who had launched lawsuits against Pacifica.
He told the paper Schubb lied to listeners about the causes of problems within the network and was disdainful of input from the public via the advisory board.
Pacifica also has serious debt problems according to the Pacifica Campaign, which says the network owes around USD4 million and can hardly pay its staff and operating costs.
It says half the costs are debts to law firms, public relations firms, and security firms including legal costs of USD460,000 to Williams & Connolly and USD410,000 to Epstein, Becker & Green (EB&G).
At least USD700,000 has already been paid to EB&G. Another firm in Pacifica's employ, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, is seeking about USD300,000 in addition to USD250,000 paid out already.
Fulbright and Jaworski is asking about USD200,000, the Campaign report says. Westhill Partners, a public relations firm, wants USD250,000 and may be planning to go to a judge to force Pacifica into involuntary bankruptcy. The Campaign also says that Decision Strategies, a security and 'intelligence' firm, has a bill due for USD230,000.
The campaign alleges that that former Executive Director Bessie Wash sponsored a "bonanza" of severance packages for over 20 employees with pledges of up to 9 months pay, 6 months vacation pay and continued health insurance and says that it understands Pacifica's new management has stopped payment and will challenge most of these agreements.
As a result of the financial problems, KPFK has been transmitting at a quarter of its power for months, while a new transmitter sits in storage at the foot of Mt. Wilson, waiting to be activated; the station raised about USD800,000 in the last three years to replace aging equipment, but that money disappeared after KPFK sent it to Pacifica's financial office early in 2001.
Schubb told the Los Angeles Times, referring to USD533,000 raised by the KPFK-FM in November, "We have the most successful fund drive in the history of our station, and we can't pay the bills," and added," I'm very concerned about the financial future."
"I think they're facing bankruptcy," he said. "This is not a time to have amateurs learning how to play public radio. They are very likely to lose it all and be forced to sell a station to stay solvent."
Coughlin and others say they hope to pay the bills with renewed support from listeners who had formerly withheld their pledges in protest at the situation in Pacifica.
One result of the financial problems has been a decision by the new board to reject a resolution to move Pacifica's national offices back to Berkeley, where the network was born more than 50 years ago.
The former management had moved its headquarters to Washington, DC, after the protests at Berkeley (See RNW Jan 9, 2000) and the current board say they may consider moving back to Berkeley in future
Previous van Isler:
Current Magazine report:
Los Angeles Times report:
Pacifica web site:
Save Pacifica web site:
2002-02-05: Two stories from the UK Guardian cast an intriguing perspective on the world of UK sports radio.
One involves an interview with Bill Wilson, chairman and chief executive of TEAMtalk, which bought Irish-licensed medium wave Atlantic 252 and has converted it to a sports-talk format.
TEAMtalk is best known for its sports news and services including premium sports phone lines, text messages and websites; it is losing money but has some GBP28 million in the bank and has allocated some GBP6 million to its TEAMtalk radio venture.
Wilson, who only paid GBP2 million for the station, told the Guardian, "Radio is very understandable."
"We had already built ourselves a pretty interesting platform. It occurred to me we had quite a lot of the equipment we might require and certainly we had the editorial and audio skills. I realised if we cherry-picked a number of people out of other organisations [he's recruited from Sky Sports and local radio] we could very easily put this together."
"It surprised me we were able to get hold of a national licence, but no one wanted another music station."
"If you've got a music station you compete with another 260 stations in this country, if you've got a sports licence, you're only competing against two"
His competitors have reacted differently. TEAMtalk does not have rights to events and BBC Radio 5 controller Bob Shennan was fairly relaxed, commenting that the main deliverer of audiences was live sport, not sports news.
Kelvin MacKenzie, who heads commercial rival, TalkSport, said more acerbically, "They are competition, we take them seriously."
MacKenzie also features in the paper for another reason - trials of a Swiss-developed digital wristwatch device to measure radio audiences being carried out by his Wireless Group.
MacKenzie has made no secret of his dissatisfaction with the diary-based RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) ratings in the UK (See RNW Sept 5, 2000).
He says the diary system is biased and inaccurate whilst the meters show the real situation with reach up but listening down.
RAJAR, which is also testing the wristwatch device and portable people meter, says its own system is one of the world's most reliable and points out concerns it has already expressed about potential weaknesses of meter systems despite its trials (See RNW Dec 18, 2001).
RNW comment: If nothing else, we think MacKenzie would love to have his own independent ratings system.
Whether it was statistically more or less accurate than any other system, we're sure he'd wring the last drop of positive publicity from it.
Previous Wireless Group:
UK Guardian on Mackenzie/ratings:
UK Guardian on TEAMtalk:
2002-02-04: A varied mix from our weekly look at newspaper comment on radio this week: we start with praise for the medium -and particularly for the BBC -in the UK Sunday Times.
It came from Brian Eno, a former member of Roxy Music, in an item headed "Television is dead, long live the radio renaissance" and pegged to the continued success of radio in the UK (See RAJAR report, RNW Feb 1) and last week's Radio 3 Awards for World Music.
Eno starts with the negative about television:" I don't watch television. In fact, I no longer even own one, which I suppose makes me a rather unusual creature."
"It isn't that I hate the medium; on the contrary, I am a potential addict. Television is so glossy, the programmes so glamorised, that it is too easy to be seduced."
"After watching for a few hours I often find myself thinking: 'What do I remember of that? What was the point?' I am entranced by the medium, but not, apparently, deeply changed by it."
He then goes on to extol the virtues of radio: "Radio's popularity stems from the fact that it can offer much more variety than television."
"Making radio programmes is cheap, which means that stations can afford to be experimental. The fact that there are so many channels also means that programmers can cater for niche audiences."
Eno then puts the knife into the commercial variety,"… When I refer to experimental radio I'm really talking about the BBC rather than the commercial stations. Commercial radio seems increasingly to have the same problem as television, the need to attract huge mainstream audiences for all its output."
"Everybody thought that if you privatised the radio network there would be plenty of room for niche programming, but that hasn't happened."
"Everyone seems to be aiming for the same audience."
Eno then comments on the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards last week and in particular awards to people he had not heard of as opposed to most ceremonies, which merely pile more onto the already well known and rewarded.
He argues that the lower programming cost of radio allows individual DJs to make decisions without having to be filtered through layers of budget and bureaucracy, and then comments on the differences between radio and TV.
TV he says makes some "amazing uses of imagery" but goes on to say that. "by and large - and particularly with the news - the emphasis on visuals is often driven not by a desire to inform, but by the fear of being "unentertaining"."
"If you compare television news with World Service reports, the radio version is streets ahead in terms of communicating ideas."
"News cannot ever be glossy on the radio, it cannot have that sheen of light entertainment. Instead, the presenters have to rely on thought and speech. They have to communicate articulately."
"The appeal of this approach is evident again in the listening figures, with the BBC's Today programme having added 1m to its audience in the past year."
"Excluding the visual element can make something far more engaging."
"To me, the relationship between radio and television is a bit like the relationship between a book and the film of the book. "
"The film might be wonderful, but the book has a different kind of grip. This is because we engage much more with material to which we bring our own imagination."
"With television drama we can be passive because we are presented with a narrative and the visual images that illustrate it."
"Radio forces us to invest more, dramatising the action in our heads."
(RNW comment - a point made well by BBC Radio 4's recent dramatisation of Les Miserables, which benefited greatly by not being encumbered by the need for visuals!).
Which forms a natural cue into another facet of the commercial, this time on the BBC and pegged to comments by the BBC in its latest Quarterly Complaints Bulletin when it upheld a complaint against BBC Radio Merseyside (See RNW Feb 2).
Sunday Times radio columnist Paul Donovan took up the issue in his Radio Waves column in which, after commenting about various well-known broadcasters who are not allowed to plug their other work such as columns and books, he says," Quite right, too - it is clearly wrong, as well as a breach of the BBC's own guidelines, for broadcasters who are paid out of public funds to use their position to promote their outside interests."
But then, he goes one, "That simple principle may be universally understood, but it is not universally observed."
He backs up his contention by reporting on three presenters on BBC WM, which covers Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton area and "has three presenters whose regular flow of comments about the columns they write, books they produce, restaurants they enjoy eating at, shops they open and shows they are paid to appear in have drawn complaints to me, local papers and the BBC."
After detailing various incidents and speculating about why it is allowed to continue, Donovan writes, "This is not the Midlands equivalent of the John Laws cash-for-comment scandal that engulfed Australian radio (See RNW April 3, 2000)."
"But it does suggest that the BBC's guidelines are not always enforced with due rigour. Some may think it a good idea, especially after the Roger Scruton (A British professor, right-wing columnist and public moralist) secret tobacco money outrage, to set up a register of presenters' and journalists' interests, just as there are registers of the interests of Radio Authority members and senior employees, and, of course, of MPs. "
RNW comment: The BBC, of course, says that it is confident there has been no breach of BBC guidelines but then we note that most of the accountancy business(why dignify it with the term "Profession?) is still arguing that there was no breach by them of rules in activities at Enron even if they accept that what happened wasn't desirable.
And even without commercial links, the imperatives of gaining an audience can produce their own downside as evinced in a New York Times article by Mireya Navarro about Puerto Rican radio host Juan Manuel García-Passalacqua.
He is, writes Navarro, "is a political analyst, a newspaper columnist and a professor. He graduated from Harvard Law School, has written more than a dozen books on politics and was an adviser on Latin America and the Caribbean in the Carter White House."
"But every morning this 65-year-old grandfather of six turns into a no- holds-barred radio talk show host so foul-mouthed, so crude, that objection comes even from his wife of four decades, Ivonne Acosta, who says she has not listened to the show for over a year."
The show, Analyzing With Juanma, on the Noti-Uno radio network, beats all AM competitors in weekday morning slot and Navarro comments that , "While many disapprove and tune out, many more keep listening, even if that means blushing."
"…Some defend Mr. García-Passalacqua's regular use of obscenities, agreeing with him that the end justifies what he sees as effective means."
"Others say a creeping intrusion of foul language, not only on radio but occasionally on television and in newspapers as well, reflects a general deterioration of standards."
RNW comment: So far the FCC hasn't taken up any complaints with the station; maybe the wider publicity and growth of the Spanish audience in the US may yet change that.)
After which it seems fitting to end with a final tribute to a Canadian broadcaster who seems to have managed to keep up his reputation for integrity.
In a tribute in the Toronto Globe and Mail, John Maclachlan Gray writes of dealings with the late Peter Gzowski who died in January (RNW Jan 26) , dealing with his failure on TV and success on radio where, "On-air, he was all curious energy, utterly in the present tense, literally all there."
It's the end of the tribute though that is one to remember:
"As a broadcaster, he maintained an attitude most listeners interpreted as humility but which was nothing of the sort."
"It was the ego of a natural, authentic craftsman whose standards are higher than those of his employer, and whose primary motive is to satisfy himself. "
" When Mordechai Richler died last year, Gzowski described the author as 'the last honest man.' The same could be said about him."
New York Times - Navarro:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Gray:
UK Sunday Times -Donovan:
UK Sunday Times - Eno:
*UK Sunday Times requires registration.
2002-02-04: Final results of anthrax tests, which showed a small amount of contamination at the US Federal Communications Commission off-site mail facility in Capitol Heights, Maryland,are expected in today.
The preliminary tests by the US Public Health Service indicated contamination that the Service thought was a residual trace not enough to deliver an infectious dose.
As as a precaution the site is being decontaminated and deliveries are being stopped to the site until final tests results, are in.
Hand or messenger delivered filings at Massachusetts Avenue are not affected.
Staff at the facility are to be offered preventative antibiotics.
Similar precautions were taken when traces of anthrax were found at the mailroom of the Commission's Office of Personnel Management in January.
2002-02-03: Last week was again fairly quiet for the regulators with main interest centring again on more fines and contested fines in the US.
Australia had nothing of interest posted.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved one significant deal, a CAD million re-structuring an acquisition package which Craig Wireless International Inc acquires CKMM-FM Winnipeg, CFQX-FM Selkirk, CKXA-FM and CKX-FM Brandon from Craig Music & Entertainment Inc. and Standard Radio Inc. subsequently acquires the assets of the four Craig stations.
Under Canada's Commercial Radio Policy, 1998 purchasers of profitable radio stations have to make commitments to contribute at least 6$% of the value of a transaction to Canadian talent development.
In this case Standard is to pa CAD1/2 million, half of it to the Radio Starmaker Fund and the Fonds Radiostar, another third to FACTOR and the remaining sixth to VoicePrint, a service whose programming consists of a selection of articles from daily newspapers and magazines read in their entirety by volunteers.
The CRTC also approved a licence condition change to permit Eternacom Inc. to broadcast a maximum of 4 minutes of commercial messages per broadcast hour on CJTK-FM Sudbury, Ontario and a re-location of the transmitter of Focus Entertainment Group Inc.'s transmitter for CFBT-FM Vancouver on Mount Seymour by some 200 metres (yards).
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) says it has received two applications for the country's first regional broadcasting licence for the South East of Ireland region.
They are from WKW FM Ltd. (BEAT 101) and South East Regional Radio Ltd. (Power FM), both based in Waterford.
In the UK, the Radio Authority's sole action was to pre-advertise the Tunbridge Wells/Sevenoaks licence currently held by GWR Group's Kent and Sussex Radio Ltd., which broadcasts as Mercury FM and whose licence expires in July next year.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD14,000 indecency fine on Entercom (See RNW Jan 30) and has also upheld a USD21,500 fine it imposed in August on Radio One Inc for a list of violations that included failure to install emergency alert system equipment and failing to maintain a station log and public inspection file at WBOT-AM, Boston (See RNW Aug 16, 2001).
Radio One had asked for more lenient treatment because it had only owned the station for less than six months at the time but the FCC commented that with two decades of radio experience, Radio One should have been well aware of its responsibilities to obey FCC rules.
In Texas the Commission has issued a fine of USD3000 on Groveton Broadcasting Group for failure to register the antenna structure of KYCX-FM, Mexia.
The story began in October 2000 when a visit showed that the antenna was not registered; it was followed by a follow up phone call in April 2001 and visit in September 2001, at which stage the structure had still not been registered. Groveton had sought a cancellation on the grounds of inability to pay but this was rejected.
The FCC is also facing action over another fine, this time a lawsuit against it by poetess and performance artist Sarah Jones (See RNW Jan 31).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-02-03: British music and media company Channelfly is planning to sell student radio subsidiary SBN to Campus Media, a radio start-up that is hoping to list on the Alternative Investment Market according to UK Citywire.
Shares in Channelfly have now been suspended until the transaction is completed.
The deal will involve Channelfly taking a minority shareholding in Campus Media. In addition SBN will pay off some of its debts to Channelfly should the float be successful.
2002-02-02: According to the Sydney Morning Herald, top rated Sydney breakfast presenter Alan Jones is likely to reject a "final take-it-or-leave-it offer" from 2UE , his current station, next week and start talks with rival station 2GB, which is waiting in the wings.
The paper reports that Jones, whose contract ran out in December, had stalled negotiations with 2UE until a contract with his manager, Harry M. Miller, expired last week and has now been made a final offer of some AUD3 million a year.
It adds that 2UE is keen for a decision so that it can look for a new breakfast host if necessary.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2002-02-02: Only one complaint against UK radio was upheld by broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) in its January bulletin compared to two in December last year.
In all the commission lists 89 complaints compared to 77 in December (See RNW Jan 2).
Although there are now more radio listeners than TV viewers in the UK, complaints against television continue to dominate.
Of the complaints, five concerned fairness, all of them relating to TV and of these two were upheld, two not upheld and two upheld in part.
The other 84 complaints were about standards, 14 concerning radio and 70 concerning TV.
No statements were required from the broadcasters relating to 49 of the TV complaints and eleven of the radio ones and only one complaint against radio and five against TV were upheld with a further four TV complaints being resolved through action taken by the broadcasters.
The sole radio complaint upheld was against Isle of Wight radio following a complaint about the reading out of a letter urging that asylum seekers be castrated or sterilised before being allowed into the UK.
The complainant said this incited racial hatred and the Commission took the view that the presentation of the letter in isolation and without comment by the broadcaster had exceeded acceptable broadcast boundaries.
In the BBC's latest Quarterly Complaints Bulletin, there is a large jump in the number of complaints dealt with and upheld but again radio escapes relatively unscathed.
The Corporation says that in the period from October to December 2001 it dealt with 265 complaints concerning 115 items and upheld 135 of them, 56 of them partly.
In the previous quarter the Corporation dealt with 131 complaints concerning 100 items and upheld 32, four partly.
Of the complaints dealt with in the latest bulletin, half were about poor taste and a fifth concerned on edition of a TV show concerning the September 11 attacks and another fifth about poor taste on another TV show.
Radio again attracted only a few complaints, rulings being given against it in only four cases, three relating to factual inaccuracy and a fourth to commercial concern..
One concerned a news report on both radio and television where the reports of comments of Briton's as a "mongrel race" of a former Member of Parliament were held to have either suggested the phrase was used in a way in which it was not or could have been so understood.
The second concerned an e-mail being read out that claimed that Israeli Prime Minister was 'responsible' for the deaths of British civilians and soldiers (the complaints unit found that, unlike some other Israeli leaders there was no evidence that he had been and a strong consensus amongst scholars that he had not been).
The third concerned a complaint by the Member of Parliament from Huddersfield that questions in an interview after the announcement of military action in Afghanistan had been based on the mistaking premise that racist attacks in the area had doubled since September 11.
In fact the programme had correctly referred to Moslems feeling fearful about an attack but had then said the police had said that attacks had doubled for the constituency when in fact no police figures had been issued for Huddersfield when the police had in fact reported an increase in racial incidents in the area covered by Kirklees Metropolitan Council, which includes four constituencies besides Huddersfield.
The final upheld complaint against radio, on matters of commercial concern, related to a Radio Merseyside programme during which a guest reviewer gave undue publicity for the bookshop that employed him.
The complaints unit found that the interviewer, a late stand-in for a more experienced contributor, had not been given proper briefing about BBC guidelines on commercial matters.
Previous BBC Complaints Bulletin report:
Previous BSC/BSC Complaints Bulletin:
BBC News release (links to Bulletin):
BSC web site (Note: This is a 'Flash' site: It links to the report in PDF format-115 kb):
2002-02-02: The former John Hopkins University public radio station WJHU-FM has now become WYPR-FM following completion of the USD5 million sale to a new not-for-profit corporation, Your Public Radio Corp., headed by talk-show host Marc Steiner.
Steiner's group raised around USD1 million from donors and secured a USD4 million loan to finance the purchase, but has little leeway to develop until it secures more funding from foundations, individuals or underwriting.
Programming will initially be little changed with the new owners preparing local five-minute segments to use in conjunction with NPR programming.
The station streams its signal on the former WJHU web site.
WYPF (WJHU) web site:
2002-02-01: Latest UK radio ratings from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) show radio as a medium performing strongly and the BBC increasing its lead over the commercial radio sector.
In the final quarter of 2001, BBC Radio 2, Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live national channels all had record listening.
Overall radio, which has topped television audiences, now has a weekly audience of 44.218 million, up by nearly 2% on the final quarter of 2000;its reach is now 91% of British adults, up from 90% for the same period but down from the 92% peak of summer last year.
Total radio listening hours were up to 1,092,035 hours a week, compared to 1,039,902 hours a week for the final quarter of 2000; of this the BBC took a 53.4% share compared to 51.7% a year earlier and commercial stations took 44.6% compared to 46%.
Radio 2, Britain's most popular national radio station had a weekly reach of 12.343 million, up from 10.688 million for Q4, 2000: Its share was up from 13.6% to 15.2% whilst news and speech channel Radio 4 increased its reach from 8,872, a 10.8% share, to 9.939 million, a 12.0% share.
BBC Sports talk channel Radio 5 Live took its weekly reach up to 6,246 million, a 4.6% share, from 5.523 million, a 4.1% share.
BBC Radio 3 did less well, ending up with a 1.980 million reach and 1.1% share compared to the same reach but a 1.2% share and BBC Radio 1 remained in the doldrums with a 10793 million reach and 9.1% share, compared to a 10.709 million reach and 10% share for Q4, 2000 and 11.2 million reach and 9.4% share for the third quarter of last year.
In the commercial sector Classic FM has increased its audience by 10.9% to a record 6.7 million, up some 657,000 on a year earlier; there was also good news for TalkSport, which now has a weekly reach of some 2.4 million, up some 254,000 or 11.8% on the final quarter of 2000.
Compared to the previous quarter:
*BBC Radio 1 lost around 407,000 listeners for a weekly reach of 22%, Down from 23% and share of 9.1% compared to 9.4%;
*BBC Radio 2 increased its audience by 121,000 to end with the same weekly reach of compared to 25% and share of 15.2% compared to 14.7%;
*BBC Radio 3 lost 88,000 listeners to end with a weekly reach of 4% (as before) and share of 1.1% compared to 1.2%;
*BBC Radio 4 gained 597,000 listeners to end with an increased weekly reach of 20% compared to 19% and share of 12% compared to 10.7% ;
* BBC Radio 5 gained 529,000 listeners to end up with an increased weekly reach of 13% compared to 12% and share of 4.6% compared to 4.2%.
On the commercial side for national networks:
* New Atlantic (Atlantic 252), which recently became sports outlet TEAMtalk 252 instead of a dance music one, lost some 169,000 listeners to end up a 2% reach, down from 3% and an 0.6% share down from 0.9%;
*Classic FM gained some 261,000 listeners to end up with a 14% reach, up from 13% and 4.5% share, up from 4.3%;
*TalkSport gained some 192,000 listeners but had the same 5% reach and 1.6% share:
*Virgin (Owned by SMG --total including all AM and FM) lost 370,000 listeners to end up with a 7% reach compared to 8% and 1.8%share compared to 2.4%.
(Atlantic 252 --see TeamTalk):
Previous Classic FM:
Previous TEAMtalk (Taken over Atlantic 252):
Previous UK audience figures:
Previous SMG (Owns Virgin):
RAJAR web site (links to quarterly reports):
2002-02-01: This week was fairly quiet for business deals but produced some upbeat results in North America.
Among them were upbeat forecasts from Salem, the US religious programming oriented broadcaster.
Salem said that its 2002 block programming rate negotiations, which take place annually at the start of the year, indicate a same station block revenue increase of around 5% for the year over 2001.
The revenues represent around 40% of Salem's broadcasting revenues and the company says it continues to expect fourth quarter 2001 same station revenues up 10% net broadcast revenues for the quarter of around USD36 million and broadcast cash flow (BCF) around USD12.6 million.
For the first quarter of this year,, Salem is forecasting net broadcast revenues between USD34 million and USD34.5 million and BCF between USD9 million and USD9.5 million, with same station revenue growth in low double digits.
CEO Edward G. Atsinger, III, commented." Our first quarter 2002 outlook reflects our ability to outperform the radio industry during challenging economic times. This is a result of solid growth in our block programming business, as well as the progress we have made in our Contemporary Christian Music formatted radio stations.
We have launched 12 CCM stations over the last year, which are all experiencing strong ratings growth. Most importantly, we are successfully translating these ratings into revenue and cash flow growth."
In contrast to the Salem figures, the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) reported 2001 Los Angeles radio revenues of USD835 million, down 8.1% on 2000, which was Los Angeles' best ever year, but up 34% from 1998.
Most of the revenue fall in 2001 was in national revenues; local revenues were only down 3%.
In Canada, Toronto-based Corus Entertainment has also been upbeat with its forecasts. It says it expects revenues to rise sharply to some CAD694 million this year, around a quarter up on 2001.
It says profits before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization should be some 31% up at CAD170 million but did not predict net profit growth.
Corus is heavily indebted, partly because of acquisitions that included the purchase of six radio stations from Metromedia.
Also in Canada, CHUM Ltd in its fiscal first quarter report, running to the end of November last year, has shown a revenue increase of CAD12.4 million, some 10%, to CAD123.6 million.
The increase came partly from TV acquisitions and launches and expenses were up CAD 13 million. Net profits was down from CAD8.01 million to CAD7.66million
Two Internet streaming companies have also reported fairly strong results, raising hopes that the worst may be over for their area of business.
Real Networks reported that the fourth quarter of 2001 was its tenth consecutive quarter of pro-forma operating profitability and 15th consecutive quarter of positive pro-forma operating cash flow.
For the quarter to December 15, 2001, Real had net revenues of USD45.4 million and pro-forma net earnings of USD1.6million.
Taking into account various charges including acquisition-related charges and an adjustment for previous staff reduction charges, Real ended up with a net loss of USD11.8 million, or 7 cents a share. For the full 2001 year, Real had net revenues of USD188.9 million, pro forma net earnings of USD9.6 million.
Overall, after other charges were included. Real recorded a net loss for the year of USD74.8 million, or 47 cents a share.
Another Seattle-headquartered company, Loudeye Technologies, a provider of Web casting and digital media streaming services, raised its 2002 revenue guidance to around USD22-23 million, more than double 2001 revenues.
Its preliminary fourth quarter revenues were approximately USD3.3 million with a pro-forma adjusted loss of around 20 cents a share.
On the deals front, Rodriguez Communications is to spend USD22 million to Shamrock Communications Group for KHHL-FM, Austin, Texas.
It has already replaced Shamrock's rock programming with its regional Mexican format which had been doing well on the more limited signal of KXXS-FM.
Also in the US, Radio One Inc has filed to sell up to USD500 million of new securities should the need arise.
The move is seen as preparation for possible acquisitions and does not define which securities could be sold.
A number of insiders at the company including President and Chief Executive Alfred C Liggins III and Ross Love former CEO of Blue Chip Broadcasting, which was taken over by Radio One for USD190 million last year (See RNW Feb 9, 2001) are selling shares.
In all, Radio One has registered some 5.5 million Class D shares for sale including a million of Liggins'.
Previous Radio 1 Inc.:
Previous Real Networks:
2002-02-01: Virgin FM host Steve Penk, who last week was removed from the station's Breakfast Show and replaced by its drive time host Daryl Denham (RNW Jan 26), has now left the station.
He has already been moved from the list of DJs on the station's web site.
Penk had only been in the breakfast slot for six months, taking over when Scottish Media Group (SMG) fired former station owner and breakfast host Chris Evans(See RNW June 29, 2001).
Initially Penk's show gained some 350,000 listeners a week but has now lost most of them; he had been offered a return to the drive time show, for which he was originally recruited from Capital FM.
Virgin programme director Paul Jackson blamed the station's audience loss partly on the effects of the departure of Chris Evans and partly on the gains of news radio following the September 11 attacks.
Jackson's comments have been somewhat undermined by the success of commercial rivals, such as Chrysalis's Heart FM stations whose audience went up by some 126,000 (5%) over the same period and Capital Radio, whose London flagship Capital FM saw an audience increase of 50.000 listeners a week.
The ratings are more bad news for SMG, which is already reported to be in talks with its banks over anticipated breaches of covenants following a fall in profits (See RNW Jan 24); the group paid GBP225 million for Evan's Ginger Media Group which is now only valued at around half that amount.
Previous Capital Radio:
Virgin DJ list:
2002-02-01: Satellite radio pioneer WorldSpace has donated 1000 portable satellite receivers to US Forces serving overseas with Operation Enduring Freedom to receive news and entertainment in remote locations.
The receivers are being distributed from Kuwait to US Forces and will enable them to receive broadcasts of such events as the Super Bowl plus news from CNN International and the BBC and ten music channels.
WorldSpace was earlier this week reported by Satellite News/PBI Media to be facing financial and regulatory problems.
The newsletter said that WorldSpace may have to delay launching its third satellite, AmeriStar, partly because earlier delays in launching meant its rights to the planned orbital slot expired on January 15fh.
WorldSpace has also faced slow subscriber growth and has only sold some 150,000 receivers since it launched its service starting with its AfriStar satellite in October 1998 and AsiaStar in March 2000.
The slow take-up has cut into anticipated advertising revenues.
WorldSpace also offers a satellite-based multimedia service, WorldSpace Direct Media, to subscribers .This provides content from such organisations as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Encyclopaedia Britannica and National Geographic.
WorldSpace news release:
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