September 2002 Archive
Prime Radio Stations
August 2002 -October
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 September comment looks at the Opie and Anthony "Sex for Sam" stunt row and concludes that it should stimulate discussion on what regulations the Federal Communications Commission should apply in future but that there should be no sudden severe penalty imposed in this case.
RNW August comment considers RDS -Radio Data Services- and where they are a benefit and where they could be a fatal negative.
RNW July comment argues in favour of non-advertising funded public broadcasting.
2002-09-30: For this week's look at print comment on radio, we start with reports on how an individual's actions can impinge on a station or the perception of it.
The first case involved a column in the UK Guardian by Ron Liddle, editor of BBC Radio 4's flagship Today programme that led to his being given a choice between the column and the radio job (See RNW Sept 28).
The problem related to the perception of bias in his radio post because of the views expressed in the column, although various people and newspapers pointed out other examples of bias that had not led to action or condemnation and suggested that this was a case not so much of bias as of who was upset.
As the paper said in a leader, " there is a certain irony in the BBC's timing."
"As Yasmin Alibhai-Brown notes in a letter today, the corporation's vetting department was apparently relaxed about Mr Liddle writing a number of columns which, to put it mildly, challenged the liberal consensus. What was unforgivable was to show disrespect towards the Countryside Alliance. It took one growl from the Daily Telegraph for the BBC to throw in the towel. "
It also noted that other BBC contributors, including John Humphrys, a presenter on the show, also write columns, adding, "Mr Liddle writes pungent, opinionated articles which often cause strong reactions, favourable or otherwise."
"That is what makes him such a readable columnist. But it was always inevitable that these vehemently argued columns would be in tension with his BBC job, which requires qualities of detachment and impartiality."
In its comment on, and profile of, Liddle, which terms him a "self-publicist of the highest rank" the UK Sunday Times says, "The almost total disregard shown by the Today programme, promoted as the flagship of "serious, intelligent" BBC journalism, towards the Countryside Alliance's massive show of strength has been linked to Liddle's hatred for all things Tory, and foxhunting in particular."
"What brought matters to a head was this urban leftie-turned-country dweller using his Guardian column to proclaim that just the sight of a typical marcher was enough to make anyone despairing of new Labour remember why they had voted the Tories out."
The Sunday Times points out, however, as have most of the British broadsheet newspapers that Liddle has also not endeared himself to the governing Labour Party.
" in contrast with his predecessors, it has been Liddle's stock-in- trade to raise hackles," said the paper. "When Tony Blair did his bleeding-heart "we are all guilty" stuff about the plight of Africa, Liddle threw left-liberal orthodoxy to the wind and declared it was because the continent had been - and largely still was - ruled by "a fantastic collection of conspicuously vile dictators; gangsters, incompetents, corrupt self-serving megalomaniacs, cretinous Marxist ideologues, half-wits, imbeciles, murderous tribal warlords and, plainly, the barking mad and the criminally insane". There is no denying his turn of phrase."
Liddle had also been in the public eye recently over a black eye following an argument over a Millwall Football Club shirt, but that was comparatively minor compared to a conflict in New York between Aston Taylor "Funkmaster Flex", a DJ on Emmis Communications Hot 97 in New York and rival DJ, Stephanie Saunders" Big Steph Lova", of Clear Channel's Power 105.
Taylor is facing a third-degree assault charge for an attack that Powers say took place outside's Hot 97's studios.
The battle, however, is not only in the courts according to a New York Times report by Lynette Holloway.
"Power 105 is using the moment to try to seize a hill," she wrote. "The airwaves crackled with news of the incident, as the morning drive team, Ed Lover, Doctor Dre and Lisa G., discussed the issue."
"'A man should never hit a woman," Ed Lover exclaimed repeatedly, with the rest of the team chiming in agreement.'"
Saunders used to work at Hot 97 until June 2001and has been working weekends at Power 105 since May this year and in June this year a breach developed between her and Taylor over an incident when rapper NAS was angered by a refusal by Hot 97's management to conduct a "mock lynching" of his archrival, Jay-Z, during his performance at the station's Summer Jam concert. NAS then went to Power 105 where Saunders put him on air to speak about problems at Hot 97.
Tracy Cloherty, vice president of programming for Hot 97, said the charges against Taylor were untrue adding that Saunders was dismissed from Hot 97 a year but staff members had seen her lingering around the building at all hours. She said that the station was seeking an order of protection "so that Ms. Saunders will keep away from our offices and staff."
On a less contentious note, writing in the Baltimore Sun, Gregory Kane marked the 50th birthday of Tim Watts, WWIN-FM's drive-time host. "It's tempting, and downright cliche-ish," wrote Kane, "to say that Watts, with nearly 25 years as an on-air radio personality in this town, is a Baltimore institution. But that's not quite the word. A Baltimore monument is more like it."
Kane then details his career moving between V-103, which he joined in 1978 when it was an "urban contemporary" station." He was subsequently canned there, moved to WWIN-FM and then repeated the process.
"Watts." He says, "became a near-legend in these parts when, early in his V-103 days, he talked a young woman who had climbed to the top of the station's tower out of committing suicide. These days, he distinguishes himself as Baltimore's top radio personality."
Another anniversary marked this week was the 30th year of BBC local radio getting onto medium wave, having started only on FM. Using this as a peg, Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times, delivers an appreciation of the virtues of AM.
"Today," writes Donovan, "we take it for granted that many BBC stations, from Cumbria to Cornwall, go out on medium wave, though sadly some are now shedding those frequencies and going back just to FM again."
"Medium wave," he says, "so often provides a much better signal, especially on small radio sets and in hilly areas."
He then details some of the other stations on AM before going on to conclude, "All this is worth remembering because radio industry bigwigs would have us believe that medium wave is dead. "
"Digital, FM and mobile phones are, they believe, the future. I am an enthusiast for digital's amazing sound quality and extra stations, but it is an improvement, not a replacement."
"To believe otherwise is to disregard one reason why so many people love radio, and that is what Horace Walpole called serendipity - never knowing what you're going to find when you cruise the airwaves in the safest form of promiscuity yet devised."
"If medium wave is dead, it is a decidedly twitchy corpse. Voice of Russia and Radio Canada International animate it every morning on London's Spectrum (558), a remarkable station that caters for 24 linguistic and ethnic minorities. Moscow and Montreal, sadly, are being carried only temporarily, though America's National Public Radio and an English-language service from Sweden go out on the same station overnight. In southeast England, one can hear Radio 4 (720), the BBC World Service (648), and country music (1035). "
"People everywhere else can also hear music from what used to be called "the Continent", wafting in as and when luck and the ionosphere permit. This 500- 1600kHz band is the listeners' lucky dip. Medium wave may no longer exist as a programme (having been dropped by Radio 4 in 1998), but medium wave still has a bright future."
RNW comment: As we commented in our item on a new digital receiver earlier this month(See RNW Sept 21 Streamium), we agree with the point made here, particularly in terms of the ability to receive signals from long distances.
Baltimore Sun - Kane:
New York Times - Holloway:
UK Guardian leader re Liddle:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Sunday Times re Liddle:
2002-09-30: The US Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill that would delay royalty payments for Internet radio companies, many of whom say they will be forced out of business if the royalty payments decided in June by the US Librarian of Congress are enforced.
The payments become due on October 20 and webcasters would become liable then to payments of 0.07 cents per listener per song applying retroactively to 1998 when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed.
The webcasters have appealed the decision, saying the charges are too high, and the recording companies have done the same, saying they are too low.
The webcasters say that payment should not be enforced until the appeal is heard and House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner introduced a bill last week that would push back the payment deadline for six months, giving a federal appeals court a chance to rule on the issue.
2002-09-30: Brandeis University president Jehuda Reinharz, who last month pulled adverts from Boston public radio station WBUR-FM in protest at its broadcasts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is planning to take his "concerns" directly to Kevin Klose, president of WBUR's parent, National Public Radio (NPR), according to the Boston Globe.
The paper quotes a university spokesman as saying the ads were pulled to "show our distaste with unbalanced reporting'' and would stay off the air until the university sees "some improvement" from the two broadcasting organisations.
In particular the university cites what it calls "slanted" reports from the BBC and others casting Israel as the aggressor, but it says Reinharz has rejected the idea of spearheading a national boycott of NPR.
The university has commissioned an outside review of its advertising and marketing budget to consider new ways in which it can improve its public image.
RNW comment: Bearing in mind that Israel is both occupying and settling Palestinian lands and considers it acceptable to launch rocket attacks on wanted individuals despite the number of casualties amongst other civilians, we think a much more sound case can be made that US media, and indeed the BBC and NPR in many cases, is biased pro-Israel than that the BBC or NPR are anti-Israel,
As has been pointed out a number of times in Northern Ireland, an equivalence to the Israeli actions would be if the British had bombed Dublin in response to IRA attacks.
They didn't, such an action would have, rightly in our view, have been soundly condemned in Boston in particular and the US in general, and we would suggest that a fair minded response by the university would be to make its case publicly and in detail base d on the overall cover carried by NPR.
Indeed we would have no problem with it taking a public-interest position that it had a duty to correct misinformation and placing factual counter-ads on WBUR, if it felt its case justified.
Had it so attempted, we would have condemned WBUR if it refused the ads; as it is, we feel that Brandeis is attempting to stifle freedoms that any half-worthy "university" should be defending. We can only hope against hope that this action dents its image and trust Klose to give a suitable robust response..
Boston Globe report:
2002-09-29: The busiest area for licence activity last week was Australia, whilst for penalties it was the US, where the FCC imposed or upheld penalties for both indecency and technical offences.
In Australia, main announcement by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) concerned the winning bids for 16 new open narrowcasting licences and the allocation of 29 more for which only one application was received. They covered services in New South Wales, Northern Territories, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria.
The licences awarded, together with the bid amounts for the auctioned licences, are given below.
New South Wales
Murwillumbah - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd -AUD4,000
Penrith -Kizhage Pty Ltd - AUD54,000
Alice Springs - Wiseguy Pty Ltd - AUD18,000
Katherine - Antenna Radio Pty Ltd - AUD4,000
Brisbane - Gumnut Nominees Pty Ltd - AUD104,000
Adelaide - Maria Donato - AUD400,000
Barossa Valley - Ambersky Pty Ltd - AUD18,000
Burnie - Tasradio Pty Ltd - AUD11,000
Devonport - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd = AUD44,000
Benalla - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd - AUD7,000
Geelong - Southern Narrowcasters Pty Ltd - AUD86,000
Latrobe Valley - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd - AUD50,000
Leongatha - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd - AUD7,000
Perth - Gumnut Nominees Pty Ltd - AUD210,000
Perth City - SEQ Broadcasters Pty Ltd - AUD30,000
Perth City - Gumnut Nominees Pty Ltd - AUD42,000
These licences raised a total of AUD 1089000 (Circa USD550,000)
The licences for which there was only one bid,for which the payment was AUD4,000 were:
Charters Towers -United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Emerald -United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Mitchell - Radio 4GG Gold Coast Pty Ltd
Prosperine - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd
Roma Radio -4GG Gold Coast Pty Ltd
Sarina - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd
St George - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Ararat -United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Bairnsdale - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Euroa - Town and Coastal Broadcasters Australia Pty Ltd
Hamilton - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Horsham - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Portland - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Sale - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Stawell - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Warrnambool - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Dampier - Norsat Communications Pty Ltd
Derby - Mr Phill Rogers
Geraldton - Geraldton Newspapers Limited
Halls Creek - Mr Phill Rogers
Kalgoorlie = United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Warmun - Mr Phill Rogers
Bunbury - United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd
Dampier - Norsat Communications Pty Ltd
These licences raised AUD116000 (Circa USD55,000).
Other activity was mainly concerned with community licences: the exception was in Perth where the authority varied the area licence plan to improve the availability of commercial service 6IX in the southeast area by amending the specifications for its translator service at Rockingham.
In the Latrobe Valley area of Victoria, the ABA has decided not to allocate a community broadcast licence; it held that neither of the two groups who had applied, Gippsland Christian Broadcasters Inc (Life FM) that claims to serve the Christian community, and Gunai Media Aboriginal Corporation (Gunai), which claims to represent the Aboriginal population in the licence area, were able to satisfy the authority that "they could provide a broadcasting service that would meet the needs of their claimed community of interest". The ABA will review the situation in a year.
In Northern Tasmania, the ABA has invited applications for a new community licence for the Break O'Day area; applications have to be submitted by October 17.
In South Australia, it has allocated a new community licence for Port Pirie to Pirie Community Radio Broadcasters Inc (TRAX FM), currently broadcasting under a temporary licence; TRAX was the only applicant and its permanent licence will start on October 2.
Canada was very quiet for radio activity with the only action by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) concerning an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add a 15,900 watts at Ville-Marie, Quebec, to broadcast the programming of CHLM-FM, from La Première Chaîne network at Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec.
Ireland was quiet but in the UK, the Radio Authority has been active on the analogue, digital and Access Radio fronts.
On the analogue front, it awarded one licence and published an assessment of the award of another.
The first was the re-award, made under the authority's fast-track procedure when no other applications were received, of the Darlington licence to existing holder Alpha Radio.
The assessment concerned the FM licence for Worthing in West Sussex, which was awarded to Splash FM, which was competing against five other stations. (See Licence News March 3)
Authority members said they were "impressed by the composition of the board of Splash FM which, in their view, combined strong local credentials with extensive radio management expertise."
Splash is proposing a music-led, full-service station for listeners aged over 25 and the authority said it thought "the group's programme proposals to be well-developed, imaginative, and a fair reflection of the results of its survey research.
They also felt that they were economically sustainable, an important consideration for a new station in a town the size of Worthing", although they added that its "revenue projections were a little ambitious."
They were also impressed by plans for speech features, in particular with plans for a weekly programme targeted specifically at children and young families but said they felt "the group's staffing plan was structured in such a way that it placed insufficient emphasis on news."
This, they added, had been tacitly acknowledged by the group, which had said it hoped to increase full time news staff and the Authority said, "Members would strongly encourage the group to address this issue as soon as possible."
On the digital front, the Authority has announced the receipt of only one application for the Swansea Digital Multiplex.
It is from TWG Emap Digital Ltd, whose shareholders are The Wireless Group, with 70%, and EMAP Digital Radio Ltd, with the remaining 30%.
It is proposing to broadcast six channels in addition to the BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru services: They are
Contemporary hit radio The Wave (provider: The Wireless Group plc):
Adult contemporary Swansea Sound (provider: The Wireless Group plc):
Dance Kiss (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.):
Gold/easy Provider: to be confirmed:
Non-stop pop Smash Hits (provider: Emap Performance Ltd.):
Rock or country Provider: to be confirmed:
The Authority has also published its assessment of the award of the Norwich area digital multiplex to Now Digital Ltd. against competition from Emap Digital Radio Ltd (See Licence News, March 24).
It commented that in Members' view, the programme bouquet proposed by Now Digital catered well for the tastes and interests of the listeners in the area by the inclusion of the local analogue services and added that Now Digital will also be providing for more localised and specialist interests by means of a shared channel called 'Access Norwich', two elements of which have so far been firmly identified, with a third component currently under negotiation. SBN/Livewire will provide student broadcasting, and Abracadabra its service for younger children.
Members were pleased, it said, with the extent to which the certainty of digital channels in the bouquet were ready to broadcast, and the detail with which the proposals for new channels such as Access Norwich had been presented.
The Authority has also announced the launch on September 21 of Shine FM, a new experimental analogue radio service for the community of Banbridge, Co Down, in Northern Ireland; Shine has a licence until December 23 as part of a pilot scheme to see how Access Radio might work in practice. Shine is the last of 16 stations to launch in the pilot scheme.
It also announced the departure of Mark Adair to join the BBC and the appointment of Fergal Sharkey to take over his Northern Ireland responsibilities (See RNW Sept 25).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been fairly busy with fines and red-flags and has also released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for its 3rd Biennial Review of Broadcast Ownership Rules. It had voted unanimously to start its review of media ownership regulations earlier this month (See Licence News Sep 15) and is now asking for comment on various regulations. Amongst the issues on which it wants comment is the necessity for the current Radio/TV Cross-Ownership Rule in particular reference to competition between all media outlets.
It is making specific reference to news, public affairs and other non-entertainment programming and the implications for news provision of changes to ownership regulation. It asks, "Are combinations and stand-alone stations providing comparable quantities of such programming?"
"If TV-radio combinations produce a greater quantity of news programming than non-combined stations, does that suggest that a greater cross-ownership among TV and radio stations would produce more news and/or public affairs programming?" it continues.
"If the quantity of news and public affairs is the same or less on cross-owned stations, does it suggest the opposite?"
The FCC is considering a local single media ownership rule that is applicable to all or some media outlets where a holding includes a broadcaster; it would be dependent on the number of independent 'voices' in any particular market.
The Commission says it is "conceivable that certain media outlets are substitutes for diversity purposes, but are not substitutes from the perspective of advertisers or program producers" and asks for comment on possible ownership regulation options in that light.
Red flags have been placed on one of Brill Media bankruptcy sales, that of WSTO-FM, Evansville Indiana, and Blakeney Communications purchase of WXHB -FM, Richton, Mississippi, (See RNW Sept 27) but the Commission has finally given to go ahead for a Clear Channel Ohio acquisition that it red-flagged last year (See RNW Sept 26 ).
Penalties imposed, upheld, or amended were of USD14, 000 on Emmis, USD 12,000 on Entercom and USD7000 on Infinity for indecency offences (See RNW Sept 28); of USD 12,800 on Alpine Broadcasting for EAS violations (See RNW Sept 27 ), and of USD5, 000 on American Family Association for operating KBKC-FM, a non-commercial, educational FM station licensed to Moberly, Missouri, without a main studio (See RNW Sept 25).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-09-29: According to the UK Guardian, Rod Lidddle is involved in negotiating his departure from BBC Radio 4's flagship breakfast show following reprimands from the Corporation about a column he writes for the paper and that they declared incompatible with the radio post (See RNW Sept 28).
The paper says BBC sources believe he will step down from the Today show when he is made a firm offer concerning his future; it adds that he is in the running to present a new political programme on BBC2 but no decision has yet been made about the series.
The paper also comments on the matter, saying in a leader that "The surprise over the BBC's ultimatum to Rod Liddle to choose between his job as editor of the Today programme and writing a column for the Guardian is not that it should have happened, but that it took them so long."
It adds that the "pungent, opinionated articles" often cause strong reactions and says" it was always inevitable that these vehemently argued columns would be in tension with his BBC job, which requires qualities of detachment and impartiality."
It also draws attentions to other columns written by BBC correspondents and comments on a danger of double-standards under which it is acceptable to write for right-wing publications but nut jumping on "any publicly expressed liberal or left leanings."
The Daily Telegraph, which sparked this row, also reports on the matter, saying that Liddle is self-described as "Leftish on the economy and Green issues and Rightish on foreign affairs but adding that "Colleagues insist that Liddle is apolitical when it comes to attacking Westminster - his editorship of Today has managed to antagonise politicians on all sides."
It says of his Guardian column," Regular Liddle readers will know that his article on the (Countryside Alliance) march was in many ways tame compared with previous pieces, many of which have expressed very un-Guardian sentiments on issues including asylum seekers, Northern Ireland and the Middle East."
UK Guardian editorial:
UK Guardian report:
UK Telegraph report:
2002-09-29: One of the Irish politicians criticised in the interim report of the Food Tribunal inquiry into corruption, P.J.Mara, has resigned.
Mara, who masterminded the Fianna Fail party's victory in the general election earlier this year, denied allegations made to the inquiry by James Stafford, a co-founder of Ireland's first national commercial radio channel, Century Radio, that he was involved in a "cash-for-licences" list (See RNW Aug 2, 2001).
The tribunal had also been told of an Irish pound 46, 000 loan made to Mara by a financier involved in the Century radio project and of discussions about him becoming a consultant for the station (See RNW Sept 30, 2000). Mara was said in the Tribunal's interim report to have failed to co-operate fully with it.
Previous Century Radio:
2002-09-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now formally approved the bankruptcy sale of 12 of Brill Media stations to Regent Communications that was announced last month (See RNW Aug 24).
The deal for the thirteenth station that was up for sale by Brill, that of WSTO-FM, Evansville Indiana, was red-flagged earlier this week (See RNW Sept 27)
It has also upheld two indecency penalties, one of USD14, 000 penalty on Emmis Communications and another of USD7, 000 on Infinity and reduced another of USD 14, 000 on Entercom to USD 12, 999 on appeal.
The Emmis penalty related to broadcasts on two broadcasts on WKXQ-FM's Mancow Morning Madness, hosted by Erich "Mancow" Muller..
One involved a pornographic film actress describing "fisting " (the insertion of an arm into a sexual organ) and the other involved asking three women about their sex lives including questions as to whether they swallowed during oral sex. Emmis had already appealed against the decision but the appeal was rejected (See RNW Jan 9)
Emmis had argued against the penalty on the grounds of inadequate details of the offences provided in the complaints, that the Forfeiture Order violated the Administrative Procedure Act by shifting the burden of proof from the complainant to Emmis and that the bureau had exceeded its authority. All of Emmis's arguments were rejected and its petition for reconsideration was dismissed.
In the Infinity case it denied the plea for reconsideration of the USD 7, 000 penalty imposed in relation to a broadcast on the "The Last Damn Show" on WLLD-FM, Holmes Beach, Florida.
The Commission said that the order contained no factual error or omission but took up two points, the use of the word "pussy", and comparison with a dismissal of a complaint in a case concerning the broadcast of full frontal nudity in the film "Schindler's List."
RNW comment: The Commission includes with its judgement transcript of part of the offending show in which a male voice is heard making comments that we would regard as offensive on the grounds of both racism and indecency.
" We ain't going to have no more feedback problem. Fuck it. We're going to go all the way back where you all feel (Unintelligible) mother-fucking noise. (Unintelligible) Goddamn, where is my pussy eating niggers? Any my niggers into eating pussy? Y'all make some noise."
"Hey, where are the girls? If you're eating pussy, where you at? That's it. Oh, they all like it. I ain't eating any pussy tonight. If you all don't like it, fuck it. I ain't going to beg you. You like it? [Edit] And my dog don't give a fuck and we'll fuck you sucking up coke, you know. Trying to explain this shit away, niggers. I don't think y'all heard me."
On the basis of that excerpt, we don't think it would have been particularly unjust for the FCC to have had the power to increase the penalty one-hundred-fold, or maybe even remove the licence, for stupidity in wasting its time with such an appeal.
The Entercom case concerned a broadcast on The Andy Savage Show on KNDD-FM, Seattle, concerning comments on the ability of a penis to lift or pull objects; it had proposed a penalty of USD7, 000 for each of two broadcasts but Entercom had argued that the material in context was not "patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards." It had further argued for a reduction in penalty, should the forfeiture not be cancelled, because of the company's history of compliance and because the offence was "minor".
The FCC upheld its decision that the material was indecent, said it did not consider the offences "minor", but reduced the penalty by USD2,000 because of the company's record.
RNW comment: In this case, the offence is clearly on a lower level to that in the Infinity case, but the penalty is higher, highlighting the fact that the FCC penalties seem to bear little relationship to the degree of offence.
2002-09-28: Rod Liddle, the editor of BBC Radio 4's flagship Today programme, has been told he has to choose between his radio job and UK Guardian newspaper column after being rebuked by the Corporation over a column he wrote column printed on Wednesday (Sept 25) dealing with the Countryside Alliance demonstration in London last Sunday. He was told he breached the Corporation's strict impartiality rules and told writing the column was a "serious error of judgement".
The row over the column grew quickly after an editorial in the Daily Telegraph on Sept 25 criticised the Today programme for not covering the demonstration in its 8a.m. bulletin on Monday.
The Telegraph accused Liddle of "blatant bias, animus and even party allegiance, while running an important news programme for the corporation whose charter insists on the absence of all three".
In his column, which has been criticised for its polemical nature, he wrote, "You may... have forgotten why you voted Labour in 1997."
"But then you catch a glimpse of the forces supporting the Countryside Alliance: the public schools that laid on coaches; the fusty, belch-filled dining rooms of the London clubs that opened their doors, for the first time, to the protesters; the Prince of Wales and, of course, Camilla; and suddenly, rather gloriously, it might be that you remember once again."
The BBC in its statement said, "The piece was not acceptable from the editor of the Today programme. It does not square with the BBC's obligation to be impartial and to be seen to be impartial. Rod Liddle accepts this column was a significant error of judgment. We are discussing whether Rod continues the column or not."
The BBC also said that Liddle normally "cleared" his column each week with one of its senior news managers, but in this case the full column had not been scrutinised before publication. The decision on what goes into the news bulletin, however, is said not to have been his decision as it comes under a separate news department.
UK Guardian - Liddle column:
2002-09-28: The business side of US radio was fairly quiet over the last week, with the biggest announcement coming from Westwood One, which has announced that it is increasing its stock repurchase programme by USD 250 million; this comes on top of share purchase already made of just over USD590 million and around USD120 million that is still available from previously authorised repurchase funds for its shares.
There were also a number of station deals but all were fairly small.
In North Carolina, Convergent Broadcasting has announced agreement with OBX Broadcasting, to buy WYND/FM in Nags Head and WNHW/FM in Hatteras. Terms were not disclosed.
In Oregon, Disney-owned ABC has announced that it has agreed to acquire Crawford Broadcasting Company's KPBC-AM and KKSL-AM but has not disclosed a price. KPBC is to become a Radio Disney output whilst Crawford will continue to operate KKL under a local marketing agreement.
In Texas, the Hanszen Broadcast Group has closed on its purchase of KMHT-AM and KZEY-FM in Marshall, again without releasing details of the terms.
In West Virginia, Legend Communications has sold WMOV-AM, licensed in Ravenswood, for USD 60, 000 to a new entrant to the radio business, Harold F. Parshall of Dayton, Ohio. The price did not include the station's transmitter.
In one other case, Saga Communications has confirmed that it is having discussions regarding entering into management or time-brokerage agreements for WISE-AM and WOXL-FM serving the Asheville, North Carolina, market. It has added that no definitive agreements have been reached.
Previous Saga (US) :
Previous Westwood One:
2002-09-28: The Flood Tribunal's interim report has found that former Irish communications minister Ray Burke received corrupt payment of around 200,000 Irish pounds (some GBP160, 000) from a number of businessmen, including developers, planners and broadcasters.
Some of his decisions said the report was in the public interest but it specifically said a number of decisions related to Century Radio were not.
Century Radio was awarded Ireland's first national commercial radio licence but it later went bankrupt.
The report noted in particular that Burke's decision to issue a directive concerning Century's use of the facilities of state broadcaster RTÉ that reduced the charges to around 40% of those originally proposed by RTÉ (See RNW Mar 10, 2001) and also his proposal of legislation to curb RTÉ's advertising were in Century's interest and not for the public good.
Burke denied taking any decision regarding such a cap (See RNW Mar 17, 2001)
The tribunal was established in November 1997 and has cost Irish tax payer 21.5 million euro (GBP 14.3 million) so far, although tribunal chairman Mr Justice Flood said almost 35 million Euro (GBP23.3 million) has been recovered by the Revenue Commissioners and the
Criminal Assets Bureau as a result of the inquiry.
His interim report will now go to Ireland's Director of Public prosecutions for a decision on future action.
Previous Century Radio:
Previous Flood Tribunal:
2002-09-28: EMAP's Kiss 100 London station has hired Adam F, son of 70's pop star Alvin Stardust, to host its Saturday night hip-hop programme.
He will be on the air from 11p.m. Saturday to 1.a.m. on Sunday morning and will be competing with the last hour of Tim Westwood's Radio 1 rap show, which airs from 9p.m. to midnight, and Xfm hip-hop All City show that airs from midnight until 2a.m. Sunday mornings.
2002-09-27: Two of the major UK breakfast shows, those of Capital FM in London and BBC Radio Five Live, have announced their future hosts.
The main surprise is at Capital FM, where Chris Tarrant, who has hosted the show for 15 years but had said he was going to move on when his contract ran out this year, has done an about face and decided to stay.
He said the reason was the crowing by rival Jono (Jonathan Coleman) at Chrysalis's Heart FM that he and co-host Emma Forbes would take the London breakfast ratings crown.
Tarrant, who is to launch a new breakfast show in January next year, had said publicly that he was tired of getting up so early and wanted to spend more time with his family and his hobby, fishing.
Earlier this week he told TV host Frank Skinner he was definitely leaving the breakfast show.
Although details of the show are to be confirmed, he is expected to start at 7:30 a.m., an hour later than he currently does.
"I just can't help it, radio is in my blood and so is Capital," commented Tarrant. " I'm sorry to disappoint the competition, but I am not ready to hang up the Capital headphones yet!"
Capital Chief Executive David Mansfield commented, "We have been discussing a number of programming ideas with Chris and we are both delighted that he will be launching the station's New Breakfast Show in its first year"
Tarrant's current show ends on November 15, and he is expected to take a his first long break from Capital until the new shot starts; no announcement has been made as to whether he will host his traditional Christmas show this year.
Capital's shares were already performing well, boosted by a trading statement that said advertising revenues in the second half of this year would be up 2% on last year, bucking the general industry trend. Shortly after the announcement that he was to stay on, they rose by around 7%, later falling back a little but still ending the day up just under 5%.
At the BBC, Radio 5 Live has announced that Nicky Campbell is to host its breakfast show when Julian Worricker moves on to host a new Sunday political show (See RNW Aug 3).
Campbell last year got himself into hot water by announcing publicly that he expected to take over from (Sir) Jimmy Young on Radio 2 (See RNW Nov 2, 2001), thus bringing into the open the BBC's desire to replace Young.
His Radio 2 morning slot eventually went to Jeremy Vine (See RNW July 27).
Campbell will co-host the Radio 5 Live breakfast show with current co-presenter Victoria Derbyshire and he commented, "I am incredibly excited about doing the biggest show on Five Live, and I'm even more excited about working with Victoria, who's one of the best journalists in the business."
"It's been a secret ambition of mine to do Breakfast, and I'm just amazed that somebody else has had the idea as well."
Also on the move at the station is Fi Glover, who will move from her weekday late evening show to take over Campbell's current late morning slot.
She commented, "I am absolutely chuffed. It's one of the best jobs in British broadcasting, so when I was asked to do it I had to think about it for all of two and a half minutes."
"I will miss my late night audience, because they are special. I very much hope they will come with me to the daytime show."
Radio Five Live controller Bon Shennan said the moves would "present an exciting new sound to our schedule."
"Nicky, one of Five Live's biggest stars, will move to our flagship news programme, sharing the presenting role with Victoria who's a well-established favourite with our listeners."
"Fi's proved incredibly successful in her late night slot. Julian helped launch Five Live and will bring renewed authority and journalistic rigour to our new Sunday show."
Previous Jimmy Young:
2002-09-27: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has red-flagged two more US radio deals.
One is the final station sale by the bankrupt Brill Media, which sold 12 of its stations to Regent for USD62 million (See RNW Aug 24) and whose remaining station WSTO-FM, Evansville Indiana to South Central Communications for USD 13 million.
South Central already owns four stations in Evansville, and the deal has been flagged on market share and revenue concentration grounds.
Similar concerns have led to a flag for Blakeney Communications purchase of WXHB -FM, Richton, Mississippi,, from Radio Broadcasters, LLC
The FCC has also reduced to USD12,800 from USD 16,000 a penalty on Alpine Broadcasting Ltd., licensee of Station KKIT( FM), Angel Fire, New Mexico, and Alpine Broadcasting Ltd. Partnership, licensee of Station KXMT( FM), Taos, New Mexico, for failure to have Emergency Alert System (EAS) at the stations
Alpine did not deny the offences but asked for a reduction on various grounds including its previous record of no violations and financial situation.
The FCC dismissed all the arguments, including the financial ones, but agreed that the prior record justified a reduction in the penalty.
2002-09-27: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has announced that veteran CBC journalist Jane Chalmers is to replace Alex Frame as new vice-president for CBC Radio when Frame retires on November 1 after 40 years with the Corporation.
Chalmers, who last year was named director of current affairs and weekly programs for CBC-TV, was described by president Robert Rabinovitch as having been "tireless in her pursuit of greater regional reflection and service on all our English networks."
2002-09-27: Arbitron has expanded further in Mexico, adding Monterrey as a third market following its deals to start ratings in Mexico City last year and in Guadalajara in July this year (See RNW July 24).
Arbitron says it has signed long-term commitments with Grupo Radio México, Grupo Radio Centro and ACIR that include all three markets, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. These broadcasters operate seven stations in Monterrey.
In addition, several national advertising agencies and media buying service companies currently participating in Arbitron's Mexico ratings services have extended their contracts to include Monterrey.
The Monterey surveys will be carried out using Spanish language diaries that are to be completed by some 2,200 Monterrey residents, with processing of the information being carried out Arbitron's Columbia Research and Technology Center. First ratings are expected in February 2003.
"Opening Monterrey, our third market in Mexico, demonstrates our continued commitment to the Mexico media marketplace," said Arbitron president and CEO, Steve Morris.
"Our focus is to provide the tools to help the diverse Latin America media marketplace to prosper and grow."
"We view Mexico as the cornerstone of our Latin American strategy," said Clara Carneiro, Arbitron's vice president, Latin American Marketing.
"With our expansion into Monterrey, we will continue to create a new radio audience measurement standard for Latin American broadcasters and agencies."
Previous Grupo Radio:
2002-09-27: UK GWR Group has now formally confirmed it is selling London News Radio (LNR) to Chrysalis and also buying Chrysalis's Galaxy 101 dance station in a complex deal that will reduce its debt by GBP19.2 million, taking it to less than GBP100 million.
The deal involves GWR, which owns 49.9% of LNR, is buying the rest of the company from ITN and Reuters and then selling it to Chrysalis for GBP 23.5 million, which includes the discharge by Chrysalis of £6.6 million indebtedness of LNR to GWR.
Chrysalis will then be paid GBP12.5 million for the Galaxy station and GWR will also pay GBP 5.6 million to exercise an option the buy the 50.1% of Eastern Counties Radio Ltd's dance station Vibe that it does not already own.
Following this Galaxy 101 and Vibe will be combined into a new joint venture company with Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH), Vibe Radio Services Limited (VRSL), which will be 51% owned by SRH and 49% owned by GWR.
VRSL is buying Vibe from GWR in return for a 49% interest in VRSL and a cash payment of £5.86 million.
SRH says the value put on Vibe and Galaxy combined is £36 million meaning SRH will invest £18.36 million for its 51% stake and have the right to appoint three directors while GWR will appoint two.
GWR has also released a trading statement forecasting flat revenues for the six months to September 30 this year with UK like-for-like revenues down 2% for the period compared to 2001.
Classic FM provided a bright spot within the overall picture, with its revenues up 8%.
"We continue to experience volatility in the market, with little visibility of future revenues," said GWR in the statement. " However, our current expectation for the fourth quarter of 2002 is for modest growth overall with Classic FM showing some strength compared to the market."
Concerning debt levels, it added, "Over the six months ended 30 September 2002 the Group's debt has been much reduced from £164m down to below £100m, principally following the disposal of our investments in Australia and, as announced today, London News Radio."
"As a result, on an annualised basis the Group's interest charge has been reduced by over £1m pa. As previously stated the Group's strategy is to focus on its core UK assets. We continue to review all aspects of the group and we are actively pursuing a number of ways to realise value for shareholders from our European operations."
Commenting on the transactions, Ralph Bernard, Executive Chairman of GWR, said: "GWR is delivering the goals it has set itself: total focus on core UK radio assets; creating a platform to deliver further shareholder value in anticipation of opportunities afforded by forecast change in legislation and substantial debt reduction. SRH is one of the leading radio groups operating some of the most
successful stations in the UK. We are very pleased to be entering this exciting phase of development in UK radio in partnership with SRH. Today's transactions remove a loss and cash flow burden for the group and joins Vibe and Galaxy in a logical partnership to take advantage of their undoubted potential."
In its trading statement, SRH says like-for-like revenues for this year to the end of September this year are estimated to be around the same as for 2001, as press revenues increased by around 2%, offsetting a 2% drop in radio revenues. SRH's radio revenues for the year were made up of 39% national advertising, down from 41% a year earlier, and 43% local advertising, up from 42% for 2001; the balance of revenues came from mainly local sources including sponsorship and promotions.
If acquisitions are taken into account, SRH estimates radio revenues to increase by 18% and the combined radio and press revenues to increase by 12%
Stock market reaction was muted with all three companies falling back a little on Thursday: Chrysalis, which may also have been affected by news that Chris Tarrant is to remain as breakfast host in competition with the Heart FM team (See RNW Sept 19), was down 2.4%; SRH was down 1.28% and GWR was down 0.6%
GWR web site:
2002-09-27: UK Radio Authority chair Richard Hooper, who had hoped to head the new British media super-regulator OFCOM, has been named as deputy chairman of the body, which is chaired by Lord Currie of Marylebone (See RNW July 26).
Also appointed as non-executives of OFCOM were Oftel chairman David Edmonds, former Channel 4 news editor Sarah Nathan and former BT director Urmila Banerjee; Ian Hargreaves, former editor of the Independent newspaper, is to be appointed at a later date.
OFTEL still has to appoint a chief executive. It will combine the work of five existing regulators, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), the Independent Television Commission (ITC), the Office Of Telecommunications (Oftel), the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency. It is expected to employ a staff of around 900, some 200 less than the current total for the five regulators.
Previous Radio Authority:
2002-09-26: UK Chrysalis has confirmed that it is "in advanced negotiations" to purchase London News Radio, which includes London LBC talk AM station and its sister FM, News Direct; it has also confirmed that it is in what it terms, "separate advanced negotiations to dispose of the Company's Galaxy 101 station in Bristol."
LNR is currently controlled by GWR, which issued a statement saying it was "in advanced discussions regarding two possible separate transactions involving London News Radio and Galaxy Radio Wales and West Limited".
The confirmation came in a board statement after reports, principally in the UK Guardian, that said a deal would be done within by the end of the week and put the value of LNR as between GBP20 -30 million.
LNR had been put up for sale at the end of last year by its shareholders, GWR, Reuters ITN, and DMG (See RNW Dec 21, 2001). It had attracted no firm takers at the price being asked and, after DMG dropped the idea of re-branding the station as Metro Radio (See RNW Feb 23) a deal to sell the AM station to Bloomberg's also collapsed in July (See RNW July 13)
According to the Guardian, GWR is likely to use most of the proceeds it receives from the sale to pay down debt. It adds that the Galaxy station is likely to be merged into Vibe, GWR's dance brand.
Regarding LBC, it said "One industry insider said Chrysalis wants to return LBC to its roots as one of the most talked about stations in the capital."
LBC was Britain's first licensed commercial station when it launched in 1973, just before Capital Radio, and, has had a long but troubled life. After a shaky start amidst industrial troubles, it was re-launched in 1978, again in the middle of industrial problems.
In 1986 it went public through a merger with Crown TV, and three years later, when legislation permitted the addition of an FM outlet, it was again re-launched, this time as LBC Newstalk 97.3 FM and LBC Talkback.
It continued to perform badly and in January 1993 receivers were called in. The station was taken over by a consortium led by Dame Shirley Porter's son but lost its licence in September of that year to the LNR consortium, backed by Guinness Mahon that was to take over in October 1994.
LNR then bought LBC in April 1994, ahead of the date it was to take over the licences and then, a month later, Reuters bought the LNR. They re-launched the station in October 1994 with a new format that performed very badly and attracted criticism;
Two years later, most of Reuters holding was bought by GWR, ITN and the Daily Mail & General Trust. The station's most recent re-launch was in 1996, when AM station London News Talk became LBC 1152.
In ratings terms, its peak audience was as an AM with nearly 2.5 million listeners a week in he mid 80s but it now has less than three quarters of a million for both stations combined.
In other British radio business news, EMAP has reported a 7% fall in radio revenues in a trading statement ahead of the release of its interim results for the six months to the September 30th, due out in November.
EMAP's stations have been harder hit than some other stations, according to the company, because they have a higher percentage of national advertising, which has done worse than local advertising.
The radio fall contrasted with a radio advertising market that was more or less flat and a 2% rise in advertising revenues expected for UBC Media, the programme maker and digital radio group.
Overall UBC says it expects an operating loss for the six months to the end of September of less than GBP30, 000 compared to a loss of GBP234, 000 in the same period of 2001, adding that it expects to break even for the full year.
Total turnover at GBP4.9 million is around a fifth up on the 2001 figures and it says there was a "particularly strong performance at Classic Gold Digital with revenues expected to be up 58% for the six months to approximately £2.2 million."
UK Guardian report:
2002-09-26: Disney-ABC's Chicago news-talk station WLS-AM has appointed radio veteran Michael Packer as operations director to succeed Mike Elder, who resigned in July, to become programme director at WRKO-AM, Boston.
Packer was a DJ in San Antonio, Houston and San Francisco, before moving into talk radio, working in the format as a host and programme director with stints in Los Angeles, Detroit and Houston. He has headed a Detroit-based talk radio consulting firm since 1966.
He told Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times that his first priority would be to familiarize himself with his new staff and the market.
2002-09-26: US Pacifica Radio is to move its headquarters back from Washington, D.C. to Berkeley in California by next March, some three years after it had moved from the latter where staff at KPFA had been fired amidst protests and demonstrations(See RNW Jan 9, 2000).
The network was founded in Berkeley and Pacifica's interim board members, who had voted 12-1 in a weekend meeting in Houston for the return, told the Berkeley Daily Planet that the return was poetic justice.
"It's important to right the wrongs of the past," interim board member Leslie Cagan told the paper. "One of those wrongs was the theft of the office from Berkeley."
The board had voted in March to return by the end of this year but a faction of the board halted the move in a 7-4 vote last month because of the cost of the move.
Interim treasurer Jabri Zakiya said a move would cost several hundred thousand dollars and remained opposed but Executive Director Dan Coughlin presented a budget for 2003 that estimated the cost of the move at $120,000.
He estimated that, because Pacifica owns its Berkeley headquarters and rents the Washington HQ, the move would save $73,900 a year and pay for itself within two years. As a sweetener to the Washington board members, who had opposed the return to Berkeley, the board agreed to establish a national news bureau in Washington.
Berkeley Daily Planet site:
2002-09-26: Clear Channel has finally been given the go-ahead for its acquisition of WBRJ- AM, Marietta, Ohio, that was red-flagged by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in August 2001 (See RNW Aug 24, 2001).
The acquisition of WBRJ from Daugherty Broadcasting Company, will give Clear Channel two AMs and four FMs in the Parkersburg, West Virginia - Marietta, Ohio Arbitron metro (WBRJ-AM, Marietta, Ohio, and WLTP- AM, Parkersburg, West Virginia; and WDMX- FM, Vienna and WRZZ- FM, Elizabeth, both in West Virginia plus WNUS- FM, Belpre and WRVB-FM, Marietta, both in Ohio.
The six Clear Channel stations would, using BIA figures for 2001. says the FCC, control just under 56% of the metro's market and with Burbach L.L.C., West Virginia, two companies would account for nearly 83% of the market, not including the revenues of WVW-FM, Williamstown, West Virginia, for which Clear Channel has a joint sales agreement.
Clear Channel and Daugherty had argued for the deal on various grounds, including the question of advertising in other media and out-of-market advertising; the FCC, most of which were rejected despite the decision to allow the deal. Democrat Commission Michael J. Copps dissented from the majority decision.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-09-25: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) and US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have both been active concerning complaints about radio broadcasters, with the former ruling against Toronto station CFNY-FM (The Edge) over its broadcast of the song "Cubically Contained" by the Headstones.
The CBSC received a complaint, forwarded by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
To whom a listener had complained about the broadcast of the song at 8:10 p.m., when his four-years-old son was listening in the room with him.
The complainant said that the station "aired a song containing very clear and audible obscene language." Subsequently, upon being told that his complaint was being forwarded to the station, he responded," I fear that this is becoming a ceaseless treadmill of bureaucratic nonsense. I complained to the CRTC/CBSC this time because I have complained directly to CFNY in the past and got no response. And now I find out that when I complain to the CRTC/CBSC I get sent all the way back to a direct complaint with CFNY."
"All I want," he added, "is to be able to hang out with my son, listen to the radio and not have to hear words like 'fuck' and 'shit' BEFORE 9:00PM."
The station subsequently responded to the complainant by saying that it did not think the song contravened Canadian codes, adding that no edited version of it had been made available. It said in part, "Moreover, the CBSC has noted that 'under the present Codes, matters of taste must be left to be regulated by the marketplace. Such choices remain those of the listener. This is the time when the on/off switch is the listener's coping mechanism.'"
The complainant commented about this in an e-mail to the CBSC," Wow, that is a great suggestion. So, instead of being able to have the radio playing in my home while my two kids are awake, I can just turn it off and live in silence."
"Just to satisfy my curiosity, I would love to know exactly what are the limits in terms of appropriate language on the radio. I mean, can a station play any unedited song at any time? It appears that they can. And, why not since there are no real consequences for doing so. If anyone complains, you simply pass them from impotent agency to impotent agency until they give up and go away."
The CBSC, in making its decision, pointed out that songs are just as subject to the broadcaster Codes as any other form of programming, and that potentially offensive songs, if unavailable in edited form, would not be playable at certain times of day when children could reasonably be expected to be listening.
In such cases, it said, the decision becomes "in black and white terms, whether to play or not to play" and it ruled that in this case, to play the song at a time when children might be expected to be listening, the Council's codes had been breached.
In the US, where the Opie and Anthony Sex in St Patrick's case recently highlighted the issues of what is permissible on radio, DJ Mike ``Mikey'' Esparza has been replaced following his playing of a self-produced song extolling sex acts with 9- to 12-year-old girls about which a complaint had been made.
Esparza had been working from his Dallas base on afternoon drive shows for three Clear Channel stations, San Jose's KSJO-FM (92.3), Walnut Creek's KFJO-FM (92.1) and Monterey's KMJO.
He's still being aired in Dallas, where he does mornings for Clear Channel's KEGL/FM, and San Diego, where he works nights on KIOZ-FM. According to the San Jose Mercury News the San Jose stations say the move was just a programming change.
The paper quoted Ed Krampf, who manages Clear Channel's 10 Bay Area stations, as saying, ``We just want to go local. We want someone who is relatable in the Bay Area in terms of content, who knows what works and what doesn't work.''
It also quoted Jim Richards, the former manager of KSJO-FM, who now manages Clear Channel's 12 San Diego stations, as saying of the song, a parody of the style of R. Kelly, the Chicago singer who was arrested for allegedly making videotapes of sex acts with underage girls, "I think it's being taken a little out of context by the people who are making the stink about it, because it's not sung from Mikey's point of view."
"It's sung from R. Kelley's point of view and based on his arrest, it's innocent until proven guilty, but it appears that he might enjoy such things, I'm not sure Mikey enjoys such things.''
Less than two months ago, Esparza was suspended for a week over jokes cracked about story of a seven-years-old Philadelphia girl who had escaped following her kidnap by chewing through duct tape (See RNW July 30)
Clear Channel has also come under attack in Sacramento where mayor Heather Fargo is reported to have encouraged a letter-writing campaign to the FCC petitioning for revocation of the licence of talk station KSTE, whose hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty she had termed racist over comments she says they made during discussion of an article that terms=ed the city the most diverse in the U.S.
The FCC has followed its standard practice in refusing comment where an investigation may be pending.
In Missouri, the FCC has reduced to USD5,000, a USD7,000 forfeiture notice issued in May to American Family Association, licensee of Station KBKC-FM, a non-commercial, educational FM station licensed to Moberly, for operating the station without a main studio.
The action follows a visit to the station for an attempted inspection during which the FCC agent found a note at the transmitter site listing a telephone number in Tupelo, Mississippi.. On calling it he was told by AFA employees that the station had no main studio and that its public inspection file was in the Little Dixie Regional Library in Moberly. The file did not show a waiver for the main studio requirement.
AFA had acknowledged the facts but asked for cancellation or reduction of the penalty, saying it had made a request to operate the station as a satellite of KAKU, FM, Springfield, Missouri, before KBKC was built.
It later sold KAKU but forgot the amend the waiver request but that it had gone ahead in building the station and commencing operations without the waiver because the station complied with standards normally applied in granting waivers and it anticipated of a waiver being granted.
The Commission dismissed AFA's arguments but reduced the penalty because it had disclosed to the FCC in February 2002 that it was operating KBKC as a satellite.
Previous Clear Channel:
FCC ruling on AFA penalty:
San Jose Mercury News report on Esparza:
2002-09-25: Mark Adair, the member of the UK Radio Authority with special responsibility for Northern Ireland, has resigned to become the BBC Secretary, Northern Ireland.
His Northern Ireland responsibility has been taken over by another Authority member, Fergal Sharkey, former lead singer of teenage punk band the Undertones, who later became a record company executive.
Previous UK Radio Authority:
2002-09-25: Illinois radio host, John Judson McGrody, who hosted the Sunday morning radio show "The New Releases" on WFMT-FM, had died in his Evanston home after shooting himself according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
Indianapolis-born McGrody, who was 49, started his radio career at the University of Wisconsin's station whilst taking his degree in mass communications. He subsequently worked for 13 years in Columbus, Ohio, including producing broadcasts for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He moved moving to Chicago when his wife, Lisa Flynn, who was also a host in Columbus, got a job with WFMT-FM in 1991.
In Chicago he continued to produce broadcasts for the orchestra, later gaining work at WFMT as a writer and producer.
Chicago Tribune obituary:
2002-09-24:Disney's ABC Radio Networks' new Daytime Direction Radio Network has toppled Westwood One's CNN Max from the top rank in Arbitron's RADAR 74 (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) ratings, covering the period from July 25, 2001 - June 19, 2002.
Daytime Direction, and another ABC operation, ABC Morning News Network, were making their debut in the RADAR figures that measure national radio audiences in programmes aired d on 33 US radio networks,
Of the top five networks for the 12 plus audience in the RADAR 74 survey, ABC's Daytime Direction Network reached 8.844 million with an AQH audience of 3700; second ranked Westwood CNN Max Radio Network reached 6.818 million with an AQH audience of 2,900, up 2.7% on its previous figures; and ABC Morning News Radio Network reached 5.578 million, an AQH audience of 2,400; ABC's Young Adult Radio Network reached 5.427 million, an AQH audience of 2,300 and Premiere's Morning Drive AM Network reached 5.082 million, an AQH audience of 2,100.
Previous Disney/ABC, America:
Previous Premiere Networks:
Previous RADAR 74:
Previous Westwood One:
Arbitron news release:
2002-09-24: Research carried out for the British Commercial Radio Companies Association by media strategy advisers Oliver & Ohlbaum says that changes to British media regulation proposed under the government's draft communications bill is likely to weaken local commercial radio according to the company's managing director Mark Oliver.
Writing in the UK Guardian, he says, "The radio industry was given to believe that policymakers wanted commercial radio to attract investment, provide a strong local voice and increase the diversity offered - all within a lighter touch regulatory regime. "
"In fact, what is being proposed is likely to weaken commercial radio by narrowing the range of services offered to listeners, redirecting investment away from local markets and reducing its effectiveness as a provider of local information compared with local newspapers and regional TV."
Oliver said he looked "in detail at the impact of the government's ownership proposals on 35 local markets where ITV, local commercial radio and local newspapers all represent a significant voice competing for audience share and advertising revenue" and the conclusions were depressing.
" I found that the proposed changes are likely to see no real liberalisation compared with the existing rules. The effect of this will be to encourage leading radio groups to expand through increasing their UK-wide coverage rather than through greater investment locally."
"In this new economic environment," adds Oliver, "regulation on local content, format diversity and national networking will inevitably have to become even more heavy-handed. This is at best unstable and at worst unsustainable."
He then goes on, "It doesn't have to be like this. The rules requiring plurality among significant local media operators don't have to rest so heavily on keeping the ownership of local radio licences fragmented. A much more straightforward set of rules to maintain local media plurality (to a minimum three media voices, as the government wishes) could be established."
"Radio ownership could then be left either to competition policy or to a more relaxed formula, which, as the government desires, would encourage greater innovation, investment, employment and better services."
"Ministers should revisit what their officials are offering and ask them to look again at the proposed industry alternatives. In particular, they should require an ownership framework that reinforces localness, not one that will counter it. This is not a matter that can be left for the new regulator, OFCOM, to decide."
RNW comment: We rather fear, on the basis of the "He who pays the piper" rule, that this research may be affected by the desire of the UK commercial companies to get the government to drop the three-plus-the BBC rule.
Unfortunately the article as published doesn't give any details to back up its conclusions and without these it is reduced in impact.
UK Guardian report:
2002-09-24: Around a third of US Internet radio stations have ceased webcasts in the past year, taking the number of US webcasters below half the Internet total for the first time according to a new study by San Francisco company, BRS Media Inc.
Figures from the study quoted in the Washington Times show that an estimated 3,940 US webcasters are now streaming music, down 1,770 on the total of 5.720 a year ago.
The study also says that some US webcasters are moving their operations outside the US as a result of the royalty ruling by the Librarian of Congress in June this year.
Among them, according to the report, is Vince Garcia, who started www.VinceGarcia.com, an Internet radio station that plays 1970s rock, in Los Angeles two years ago. He's now moved the servers that carries the song files to Europe but operates the site his home.
Cherry Shephard, who runs www.WorldGospelOutreachRadio.com from her home in Butzbach, Germany, where she is stationed in the U.S. Army, has moved to servers in Sweden from her original servers in Colorado.
"It's not that we don't want artists to get their money. We just don't agree with the idea of paying all this money in royalties and, being a small company, we weren't in a position to pay it," said Mrs. Shephard.
Garcia says the royalties would have cost his station USD10, 000 a month and other sites are reported to also be considering making a move but the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says moving out of the US will not give relief from the costs.
"This will not affect webcasters' responsibilities to pay for transmissions to listeners in the U.S.," said John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, the group set up by the RIAA to collect and distribute royalties paid by webcasters.
Webcasters are still hoping for some relief from a bill put before the US Congress to exempt webcasters with annual revenue of less than $6 million from paying royalties this year but it is opposed by the RIAA and some webcasters still think the best bet would be a suitable agreement with the recording companies.
Among them is Connecticut webcaster www.Beethoven.com whose director of interactive media Kevin Shively commented, "Up to now, a reasonable middle ground has not been met."
He was sceptical, however, about moving outside the US, in part because royalty rulings are likely to be introduced in other countries in the future.
"We've invested too much to make this a viable industry to move. It needs to be a viable industry in the U.S.," he said.
Washington Times report:
2002-09-24: The BBC World Service has announced that it is to dedicate a study of its history during the Cold War to its former managing director Austen Kark, who was killed in a UK ail crash in May this year (See RNW May 13).
PHD student Alban Webb has been awarded an "Austen Kark Memorial Scholarship" to carry out the five-year study under the supervision of Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London, and a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme from 1987 to 1992.
Research from the series will be used for a series of lectures to be broadcast to mark the Service's 75th anniversary in 2007.
2002-09-24: Arbitron has announced that its Portable People Meter (PPM) is to be deployed in Canada next year under an agreement with BBM Canada to use the system to measure television audiences in Montreal and Quebec.
BBM, which is owned by its members, provides both radio and television ratings information to around 1,000 member companies across Canada.
Arbitron says it will begin deploying the system early next year, with first ratings reports expected in the fourth quarter.
2002-09-23: Cynicism or scepticism, depending upon your viewpoint, are the introductory themes for this week's look at newspaper comment about radio over the past week.
Looking on the upside, comments in a New York Times article, "Gentler Shock Radio, for Now" by Lynette Holloway, concerning the fallout from the Opie and Anthony sex-in-St. Patrick's stunt, are mainly sceptical.
The title sums up the article quite clearly as does the first sentence, "Perhaps shock radio is behaving a little bit better these days. But how long will that last?"
After commenting on what is termed an "out-of-character response from the normally quiet Federal Communications Commission", Holloway continues, "The incident has had a sobering effect on shock radio, if only temporarily, people in talk radio say."
"Some radio personalities are thinking more about what they say on the air and check borderline material with their programmers out of concern that public opinion has turned against them."
She then quotes Drew Lane of the" raucous Drew and Mike Show" on WRIF-FM in Detroit as saying, "It's sort of a wake-up call. I don't think we are going to change our style, but I think we're going to think things through more. We might run things by the program director."
His view was supported by Michael Harrison, the editor of Talkers Magazine, who said the firing had "caused that part of the industry to reconsider how far they can go because they see there is a line they can't cross."
The question, of course, is how long it will be before things slide back to where they were before; the case in point was not unusual for the show's content as such but because of the upset it caused.
"This had to do with venue," said Al Peterson, editor for talk radio at Radio and Records. "It drew attention because St. Patrick's Cathedral is a cultural icon. A large percentage of people in the industry even said that they crossed the line. If it had happened in a subway, would anyone have noticed? Remember, this was the third year of this contest."
Paul Heine, the executive director of Friday Morning Quarterback, said, "A lot of programmers and personalities thought that the announcement of the cancellation of `The Opie and Anthony Show' was another stunt. Sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral was unprecedented and other personalities who work in edgy, blue humour were somewhat appalled, but everyone expected them to get a slap on the wrist and the station to get fined. It shows that Infinity was under a severe amount of pressure."
He thought, however, that the duo would eventually return to the airwaves, despite pressures from various lobby groups. "I think they'll be back, but it will be a while," said Heine. "They're just too hot for most large publicly traded companies right now."
In our view, the next example, subject of Paul Donovan's column in the UK Sunday Times, edges further along the road to deserving cynicism, both about the presenter involved and the BBC.
It involved a lengthy plug for a popular shampoo that Jonathan Ross aired on his Radio 2 show.
As Donovan writes, Ross, who had denied receiving any payment for the plug, raved about the product, saying, "For a whole year, it has made my hair glossy and kept it dandwuff-fwee."
Donovan then gives more examples of Ross's paean of praise for the product that its female "star" advertisers (paid) describe as producing "outstanding, dandruff-free, kissable hair" and then points out that the comments were a "flagrant breach of the BBC's rules."
He quotes the BBC's Producer's guidelines, "No undue prominence should be given to any branded product, and there must be no element of plugging. References to trade and brand names should be made only if they are clearly justified editorially."
"But in today's increasingly cynical, hypocritical, commercially driven BBC," continues Donovan, "what price the guidelines - even if they carry a preface by Greg Dyke, the director-general, who laughingly talks about the "moral responsibility" and "contractual obligation" in observing them - when there are ratings to be won and under-40s to be drawn to a radio station that, only five years ago, they would not have dreamt of listening to? "
"The more interesting point is why Ross gets away with it - gets away with murder, in fact, in matters from taste and decency to plugging products. The reason is that he makes everything funny; with the result that half of you is for- giving him while the other half is condemning. He is a sparky, naughty, irreverent, spontaneous, brilliantly entertaining broadcaster. So was Chris Evans, but he mocked mainly others, while Ross mocks mainly himself."
Donovan then comments on other radio personalities who have been allowed to get away with things and concludes, "But there is only a limited number of times you can do it. If Ross, who earns £2m a year and has no need to get any extra from Procter & Gamble, did it again, there would be a lot more protest than there has been this time."
RNW comment: Valuing public broadcasting as we do, we do not think it should ever need or be allowed to pander to personalities in this manner. In our view, contracts for those such as Ross should automatically include clauses that prohibit totally the broadcast of commercial messages (as indeed, non-commercial stations are regulated in the US) with any flagrant case involving automatic ending of all contracts without compensation and no paid return to the public broadcaster's airwaves being permitted for a period of two years minimum. If it benefits commercial broadcasters, so be it! They are in business whilst the BBC is licence funded and in our view, should be forced to accept harsh regulation on commercial matters as a quid-pro-quo. Fines would only take funding from programming for which the public has paid, so the only sensible penalties have to be on people.
While on the downside of radio, some more comments from the Sunday Times, this time from Gerry McCarthy in his column on Irish Radio. After comments about matters becoming more complex than when there was "a silly season and a not-so-silly season", McCarthy continues, "This is the conference season which means, among other things, that various academics and experts congregate for shop talk and recreation before the unpleasant matter of students starts up again. Since the politicians have mostly vanished again, the sound of academic pundits being coaxed into radio studios is the theme of the week."
"Certain facts stand out. One is how bad at communication the majority of academics are. This applies to both ends of the spectrum: the quantum physicists whose work can't be translated into any human language and the ones who have dumbed down so far that they've gutted their speech of any content."
"Neither type makes much sense. The scientists who think that the phrase "order of magnitude" mumbled very fast passes for everyday discourse is not going to be comprehensible to many, while the dumbed-down ones are an insult to the intelligence."
After those comments, however, McCarthy moved into positive territory with his comments on broadcaster Pat Kenny, coming up with comment on one interview that we found irresistible.
" Kenny, while admitting that he knew he was taking several steps too many, couldn't resist the question about teleportation. Would Scotty soon be beaming us all from place to place? The problem, as the professor explained, was randomness. Not only are there an awful lot of electrons in a person, but there's always a probability that some will misbehave. Which means that three-quarters of you ends up in the living room with the rest finely scattered across the Andromeda galaxy."
Back onto radio technique, though, McCarthy makes a profound point about professional skills: "With a scientific topic, Kenny almost always sounds interested, probably because he is. That interest communicates itself easily to the listener. As long as the expert isn't being utterly opaque, Kenny can nudge their communication skills, tease their level of discourse up or down a notch as necessary and generally do a good job of conveying the flavour of an abstruse subject in a comprehensible manner."
And from the US West Coast, courtesy of a Los Angeles Times article by Steve Carney, comes a comment on KPWR-FM morning host Big Boy, Chicago-born Kurt Alexander, who was named major-market personality of the year in the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Awards this month (Full winners list is on the NAB web site).
"I love to laugh, I love to enjoy myself, and at the same time I know I have responsibilities and am very serious," said Big Boy. "My job, first, is to entertain.
The station itself was contemporary hit radio station of the year and its success also relates to professionalism.
The success of Big Boy and the station as a whole relies on tenets that seem basic but are often forgotten, said Jimmy Steal, KPWR's program director and regional vice president for Emmis Communications-Los Angeles, adding that it makes sure it knows its audience intimately and stays consistent in offering what it wants, from music to the types of products advertised.
Still on positives about radio, Sue Arnold in her UK Observer radio review column praises Stephen Fry's The Incomplete and Utter Guide to Classical Music currently being aired on Classic FM.
"The first accolade," she writes, "must go to Classic FM for having the nous to give Fry the time and space - two hours every Sunday for 20 weeks - to do the thing properly."
Commenting on the series itself, the terms it "the musical equivalent of the Sellars and Yeatman classic (1066 and All That), both being the products of enthusiasts who love their subject, know it inside out but are fed up with the academic pretensions that so often accompany it.
"All the other accolades," says Arnold, "go to Fry, whose pithy and quirky observations keep you amused and informed in equal parts. I particularly like the potted histories that explain what was happening while, say, Pope Gregory I was scoring his chants or Hildegard of Bingen was sucking the end of her quill."
"'That wonderful music,' says Fry, 'came from a time when half a groat could buy you the best seat at a hanging, drawing and quartering and you'd still have change left over for a leprosy belt.' "
To end up with we become completely cynical. In this case the story is really more about politics than radio. It concerns a
1,500-acre farm seized from a white farmer on the orders of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and given to Bright Matonga, former head of the pro-Mugabe Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and now the chief executive officer of the state-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company. Jonathan Ross, we rather think has significant limits to the degree to which he rents himself out; Matonga, like many a politician, has rather less!
Los Angeles Times - Carney:
New York Times - Holloway:
UK Observer - Arnold:
UK Sunday Telegraph - Zimbabwe report:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy:
2002-09-23: BBC Radio 2 is to mark the 40th anniversary of the Beatles first number 1 hit, Love me Do, next month with a four part series, "The Beatles - Across The Universe", presented by Robert Lindsay.
The record was released on October 5, 1962: the first programmein the series will be broadcast on Tuesday, October 8, and will comprise an overview of the group's impact, both on the Sixties and subsequently.
2002-09-22: Last week was mainly a matter of routines for the regulators with a steady but fairly low level of activity everywhere.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has been involved only with community licences in radio.
In Queensland, it is to make two more FM and four open narrowcasting licences available; the FMs are for Moranbah and Blackwater, The open narrowcasting licences are all for Blair Athol.
There was no action however on a planned new Community licence for Cowra in New South Wales, where the Cowra Community Information and Neighbourhood Centre Inc advised that it was not able to proceed with its application and no other applications were received. It is to continue broadcasting under a temporary community licence and the permanent licence will not be allocated for now.
Canada was very quiet on the radio front with the only action from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) being to call for comment on a number of applications.
They were from:
Alberta - an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to add a licence at Red Deer in Alberta to broadcast the programming of CBR-FM Calgary.
Ontario - an application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to renew the licence of CKBY-FM Ottawa, which expires 28 February 2003; an application to increase the power of LPFM station, CFWC-FM Brantford, from 50 to 250 watts.
Quebec- an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to an FM mono transmitter at La Tuque to broadcast the programming of CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivières; and by Radio Haute Mauricie Inc. to amend the licence of CFLM La Tuque to remove the condition of licence requiring that the station operates as an affiliate station of the CBC French FM Radio Network (CBC).
In Ireland, the only radio activity by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) was to schedule for September 23 public hearings for the County Kildare licence (See RNW Sept 18)
The UK was a little busier with action listed by the Radio Authority concerning four licences. In South Somerset, it has announced the receipt of four applications for the new licence for Yeovil.
They are from Ivel FM, Ltd, which is proposing a music from the past 40 years plus local news and information service targeted at the 25-64 demographic; Merlin FM Ltd, with a similar mix; Mirage FM, which is proposing a mix of pop music plus local news and information; and YDRfm, whose music in the mix is mainly adult contemporary.
In Guildford, only one declaration of intent to apply was received for each of the local FM and AM licences; they came from current holder County Sound, which has now been invited to apply under the authority's fast-track procedure.
The Authority has also pre-advertised the FM licences for Chichester, Bognor Regis & Littlehampton, currently held by South West Sussex Radio Ltd., broadcasting as Spirit FM and for Stratford-upon-Avon area, currently held by The New 102 Ltd., broadcasting as FM 102 The Bear,
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which in February temporarily waived the requirement for Low- Power FMs to install FCC certified EAS (Emergency Alert System) decoders, has re-instituted the requirement. At the time it allowed the waiver no such equipment was available but in July the FCC authorised a manufacturer of the equipment. LPFM's will have a year to install the equipment.
The Commission also instituted a hearing on the red-flagged acquisition by Clear Channel of WAAM-AM, Ann Arbor, Michigan, that would have given it nearly 95% of the advertising in the market (See RNW Sept 19)
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-09-22: Sirius Satellite Radio and Gaylord Entertainment, owners of WSM-AM country music station and the Grand Ole Opry radio show, have announced a deal to put WSM-AM on satellite.
Currently WSM reaches 38 states after sunset with its powerful 50,000-watt channel but its technical quality suffers.
The agreement involves forming a joint venture, the "WSM Entertainment" channel, featuring music, performances, and special programming from WSM Radio and the Grand Ole Opry. Its output will include every Grand Ole Opry performance, including the Grand Ole Opry's weekly Friday and Saturday shows, as well as seasonal performances.
Technical details are still to be worked out and a launch date set according to Gaylord president and CEO Colin Reed, who said the agreement would allow recording companies to "expand their reach" when artists played the Opry and in addition they would be able to promote some other things.
Sirius is to broadcast
"The Opry and WSM are the heart of country music, and we are excited to be offering another fabulous venue for country music fans," he added.
Sirius President and CEO Joseph P. Clayton commented, "We're excited to join with Gaylord to share this unique heritage and landmark Nashville music and entertainment programming with country fans everywhere."
2002-09-22: Jamaican band TOK, whose song Chi Chi Man involved the BBC in controversy earlier this year and was the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary in August last year (See RNW Aug 16, 2001) that drew attention to its homophobic content, has again landed the Corporation in the dock with some of Britain's homosexuals.
Gay campaign group OutRage has complained that the advertising campaign for the Corporations new digital black music station 1Xtra, launched in August (See RNW Aug 16), includes a track from the song and thus gives it "special endorsement".
The track is the first of 20 in a related "guess all the tracks" promotion on 1Xtra's web site. The song lyrics talk of burning "chichi " men (homosexuals) and OutRage has called for the BBC to pull the advertisement and online campaign.
BBC 1Xtra web site:
2002-09-21: SMG-owned Virgin Radio has instituted a ban on "manufactured" pop from acts such as Hear'Say, Gareth Yates and Will Young from its play lists and says it will fine DJs who mention the acts GBP10.
It's calling on listeners to help police the ban and has launched a whistle-blower competition to keep DJs in check.
Virgin programme director Paul Jackson commented, "Virgin Radio plays real music and we've had enough of these search-for-a-star programmes. They don't get on our play list and now we don't even want them on our say-list."
"Someone has got to make a stand against this bland music which should be confined to hotel lifts. We are doing this for the good of the nation's musical health."
RNW comment: What odds, when the publicity garnered has waned, that Virgin will change its policy?
2002-09-21: The format switch to all-talk by Chicago former adult standards WAIT-AM not only turned off loyal listeners but also doesn't seem to have attracted many news ones according to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Parent company NextMedia Group hoped to attract a larger and younger audience but, reports Feder, the station has now disappeared from the Arbitron ratings.
Despite this station general manager Kira Lanford said they knew the change would take time and were still "committed to making it work."
Chicago Sun-Times Feder column:
2002-09-21: In Australia, the latest issue of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's newsletter, in an article "Lighten Up" deals with its project to take itself a little less seriously.
The project began with feedback to ABC's Radio National to the effect that it could "lighten up"; this was followed by a proposal to create a pool of contributors, who would provide comedy ideas and segments to incorporate in and between the program line-up.
The ABC says the idea is "not only to give listeners a laugh, but provide an opportunity for budding and experienced writers and performers to develop their skills and have their work heard around the country."
The project, now going ahead with funding from ABC's Development Division, is being coordinated by Michael McKenzie, formerly with ABC Radio in Darwin for a decade and now based in Melbourne.
He had introduced a strong element of comedy into his programs including a weekly satirical comedy segment in his Breakfast program. Last year he was voted Broadcaster of the Year in the ABC's Local Radio Awards.
He has been given a six-month brief to get the project moving and said his initial idea was "to commission and pilot brief segments only - between two and five minutes in duration."
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC Australia newsletter (138Kb PDF):
2002-09-21: Dutch-headquartered Philips Electronics has introduced in the US a bookshelf stereo Internet radio, the Streamium MC-i200, that looks similar to an FM radio/cassette system with 100-watt speakers at the side; as well as connecting to the Internet.
Iit also includes an AM/FM tuner and can play CDs or MP3 versions of songs. If connected to a computer, it can also play MP3s from a hard drive. It's priced at just under USD400.
RNW comment: We wouldn't normally be particularly excited at yet another Internet radio device, but, with one small addition, the Phillips system could be a very useful addition to the home.
That, of course, is the addition of DAB (digital audio) capabilities; indeed there seems no particular reason for a system such as this that it should not offer a choice of digital audio reception formats, although we remain concerned that the incompatibility between various digital formats (in the US Sirius and XM in US satellite radio and iBiquity's HD IBOC system are incompatible and they're also incompatible with DAB systems used elsewhere in the world).
In view of this incompatibility and noting the introduction of a draft bill in the US that would set the end of 2006 as the date for the switch-off of analogue TV signals we remain fans of analogue radio until there's a truly universal digital radio format.
Current analogue broadcasts allow a portable set to be taken round the world and used with shortwave, AM and FM.
Until the equivalent is possible with DAB, we would strongly oppose any analogue switch-off for radio.
Even then, as apart from satellite systems, DAB like FM, is likely to be a small-area system, we think retention of analogue AM and FM capability would be wise so as to keep sets available that can receive international broadcasts to areas where government censorship severely restricts local broadcasting or access to the Internet (as per recent Chinese action against Google shows).
Philips US web site:
2002-09-20: Arbitron has announced that two new networks, ABC Morning News Network and ABC Daytime Direction, are to be added to its RADAR (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) rated radio networks for next week's release of RADAR 74 , covering July 2001 - June 2002;This will take the total number of networks rated by RADAR to 33.
Initial findings again show radio rating particularly well with the prosperous; in a typical week says Arbitron, the medium reaches 96% of adults in households with an income of USD50, 000 or more.
The results also show the medium reaching some 224 million people, 95% of 12 plus Americans, over the course of a week. At the weekend, the total drops to 184 million, 78% of 12 plus Americans.
In time of the day terms, the breakfast 6 am to 10 am slot reaches the highest audience, 80% of 12 plus Americans, followed by afternoon drive from 3pm to 7pm, which reaches 79%; In demographic terms, the highest reach is in the 15-34 and 35-44 group (97% in each case) followed by the 12-17, 18-24, and 45-49 groups (96% in each case).
Of the listening, most is in an automobile) 82%) with 69% listening at home.
The RADAR 74 release marks the second phase of the transition from the telephone-based system that Arbitron took over when it acquired the ratings to a diary system. It used 25,000 diaries and 6,000 phone interviews.
For RADAR 76 in March next year the report will be compiled from an increased sample of 50,000 diaries with no phone-based content.
RADAR 73 Report:
2002-09-20: The BBC is reported to be planning a major overhaul to reverse declining audiences and is said to be in talks with a number of DJs from commercial stations including XFM presenters Christian O'Connell and Zane Lowe.
The Corporation has already announced that Steve Lamacq's Evening Session show is to be discontinued (See RNW Aug 30) at the end of the year and that Mark Goodier's Sunday chart show is to be revamped after he leaves at Christmas (See RNW Aug 16)
There were suggestions that it might be considering the idea of replacing drive-time host Chris Moyles, but the channel says that Moyles, who has signed a new two-year contract recently, is safe in the slot.
At Capital Radio, which will soon have to find a replacement for its long-time Breakfast host Chris Tarrant, names in the frame as a replacement are Neil Fox, currently its drive-time host, and Caroline Feraday from BBC Radio 5. Feraday's agent, however, says she is happy at Radio Five.
2002-09-20: Dwight Whylie, who had the dual distinction of being the first black announcer for both the British Broadcasting Corporation and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has died aged 66 whilst on a visit to Barbados, apparently of a heart attack.
Jamaican born Whylie was in Barbados for the Caribbean Broadcasting Union's Media Awards, for which he was chief judge. He was achairman of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica.
He became the BBC's first black announcer in 1961, working on domestic services, and then returned to Jamaica to head the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation in the early 1970s, subsequently moving to Canada where he became the CBC's first black announcer.
He worked for the Corporation for some 20 years.
2002-09-20: Cumulus has announced a USD30 million deal for the purchase of five stations in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, from Holladay Broadcasting (East Mississippi Broadcasters ).
Of the total USD28.5 million is in cash and USD1.5 million in Cumulus Class A Common Stock.
Cumulus is to operate the stations, WFTW-AM, WKSM-FM, WNCV-FM, WYZB-FM and WZNS-FM, from October 1 under a local marketing agreement.
Announcing the deal, Cumulus chairman and CEO Lew Dickey, commented, "This well-run cluster leads the market in both ratings and revenue and is an excellent strategic fit with our strong presence in the rapidly growing Southeast."
2002-09-20: UK GWR shareholders approved at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday, the previously announced disposal of its quarter interest in DMG's Australian radio interests, DMG Radio Investments Pty Limited and the issue of 5,817,000 new ordinary shares of 5 pence in GWR to DMGT (See RNW Aug 3).
The deal is now expected to be finalised on September 25 and will give DMGT 29.97% of GWR's new enlarged share capital, just keeping it below the threshold at which it would have to launch a full takeover bid.
2002-09-19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had called for a hearing over a Michigan deal that it had red-flagged on concentration grounds.
It involves Clear Channel's USD 2 million cash acquisition of WAAM-AM, Ann Arbor, Michigan, from Whitehall Enterprises; the deal was notable for taking Clear Channel above the 1200 station mark when it was announced in August last year (See RNW Aug 24, 2001).
Clear Channel, which currently sells advertising for the station under a Joint Sales Agreement, already owns four stations in the Ann Arbor metro - WCAS-AM, Saline plus WQKL-AM WTKA-AM, and WWWW-FM, Ann Arbour.
The FCC commented that, were the deal to go through, it would "create a market in which Clear Channel's share of the local radio advertising market would be 94.9 percent, and the combined market share of the top two group owners in the market, Clear Channel and Ave Marie Foundation, would be 99.0 percent."
"Clear Channel's post- transaction revenue share." It says, "indicates Clear Channel essentially would have a monopoly position in the Ann Arbor metro with the with the potential unilaterally to increase local advertising rates."
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-09-19: UK Chrysalis Group in a trading statement says it has significantly outperformed the radio market and its own expectations and now thinks its revenues for the year to the end of August will be GBP47.7 million, up 9.5% on the previous year. This compares with a forecast 5% growth issued with its interim results in May (See RNW May 10).
Chief executive Richard Huntingford was also upbeat about the performance of its Heart FM breakfast team of Jono Coleman and Emma Forbes, telling the UK Guardian that the thought they had a good chance to top the ratings in London when Chris Tarrant moves on from his breakfast show on Capital FM.
The show has topped the city's ratings for years and news of his impending move was a factor in a fall in Capital's share price (See RNW Sept 9).
"There is a big opportunity in six to 12 months' time, if and when Chris Tarrant leaves Capital, for us to continue to increase our share when people reassess their choice of breakfast shows," Huntingford told the paper.
"We've got a very good show with Jono and Emma and want to make sure that when Chris Tarrant goes and people move their radio dials that they alight on us, with the help of excellent programming and sustained marketing."
Chrysalis shares ended yesterday up 7.89% at GBP1.71
UK Guardian report:
2002-09-19: Long-time Washington, DC, morning host Dennis Owens is to end his 21-year run on classical station WGMS-FM before Thanksgiving (Nov 28) although he'll still do some fill-in and vacation relief work for the station.
Owns, who is 68, told the Washington Post that he wanted to "find out a few things about a few other things" and that he was "being urged on the domestic side" -- Owens-speak for wife Christiane -- "to have a bit more of life to myself."
British-born Owens emigrated to Canada as a teenager and started in radio in Alberta and Saskatchewan where he worked in the ladle 50s and early 60s before moving on to a host a rock show in Bermuda.
He was hired by WGMS in 1966, knowing nothing of classical music -because, he says, his fluency in French and German enabled him to properly pronounce composers' names.
He was primarily an announcer to begin with but in 1972 was given the six-hour overnight shift.
"I think I began to recognize that there was a higher level of fun, that you didn't need to be so serious," said Owens. "You could be punnish or wry, you could make a quick remark. You could be just a bit more, I don't know if the word is 'sophisticated,' but the audience was smart enough to follow along with you."
His morning show ranked ninth among all listeners (12 and older) in Arbitron's most recent quarterly survey, and WGMS General Manager Joel Oxley, says its remarkable that his ratings have remained relatively steady since he took over the morning slot in 1981.
Washington Post report:
2002-09-19: Figures just released from a survey in June this year show 91% of Australians saying they value the country's state broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Its radio output was rated as "good" quality by 65% of respondents, compared to 52% for commercial radio (7% thought ABC radio "poor" compared to 31% thinking the same about commercial radio) and for television the figures were 78% compared to 43% for commercial television.
The figures were released by the Corporation's managing director Russell Balding, who was speaking to the Melbourne Press Club. He said that when he was appointed acting MD in November last year, his initial priority was "rebuilding morale and focus within the ABC, and rebuilding the relationship with our audiences "
"Morale has certainly lifted," he continued, "and our staff are galvanised and focused on making or supporting the making and broadcasting of programs."
Balding said that ABC radio's reach had reached its highest ever level for the first six months of the year compared to the first half of 2001, aided by a 5% increase for ABC local radio and its Television audience, which had grown 7.5% compared to 2001, was also a record. Within the radio growth, that for people aged 25-39 was 8% and for aged 40-54 was 9%.
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC survey (95 kb PDF)
2002-09-19: Internet listening dropped by 13% in the first full week of September according to latest figures from MeasureCast that also show MUSICMATCH's Artist Match station pushing Jazz FM into third place in the station ranks; Virgin FM moved up from second to the top spot.
For the week to September 8, MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 340,310 (314,552); CP: 75,455 (66,844). Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 254,253 (271,640); 102,053 (101,857). Up from third despite lower listening but reach was up slightly.
3: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 194,659 (359,842); CP 66,418 (76,526): Down from top spot with much lower listening and lower reach.
4: Contemporary Christian Music K-Love - TTSL 186,935 (220,534 ); CP 26,238 (27,697). Same position with lower listening and reach.
5: Sports talk format ESPN - TTSL 168,175 (210,926); CP 37,206 (43,385) Same position with lower listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,067,586 (1,169,268); CP251,122 (261,157) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 925,859 (1,115,125); CP326,799 (341,952). Same position with lower listening and reach.
3: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 812,248 (826,194): CP 162,188 (158,265) - Up from fourth despite lower listening and reach.
4: StreamAudio TTSL 800,842 (861,578) ; CP 119,319 (121,553). Down from third with lower listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 702,015 (780,395) hours: CP 113,216 (121,553) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
The top five simulcast stations for the week (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 340,310 (314,552); CP: 75,455 (66,844). Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 194,659 (359,842); CP 66,418 (76,526): Down from top spot with much lower listening and lower reach.
3: Contemporary Christian Music K-Love - TTSL 186,935 (220,534 ); CP 26,238 (27,697). Same position with lower listening and reach.
4: Sports talk format ESPN - TTSL 168,175 (210,926); CP 37,206 (43,385) Same position with lower listening and reach.
5:Classical music format WQXR-FM 160,819 (177,152); CP 27,448 (27,673). Down from fourth despite higher listening and reach.
The top five Internet-only stations for the week (Previous week in brackets), were:
1: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 254,253 (271,640); 102,053 (101,857) - Same position despite lower listening but reach was up slightly.
2: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 122,686 (141,407); CP 33,411 (32,899) - Same position despite lower listening but reach was up slightly.
3: Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville -TTSL 74,926 (89,311); CP 13,587 (17,923) - Up from fourth despite lower listening and reach
4: Country format Bluegrass Country - TTSL 72,834 (78,313 ); CP 18,144 (18,117 ): Up from sixth despite lower listening and slightly lower reach.
5: Pure Rock KNAC.com - TTSL 70,404 (78,982); CP 16,540 (17,218). Same position despite lower listening and reach.
*Previous week's number 2, MUSICMATCH Top hits dropped out of the top ten Internet-only list.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-09-18: Sirius Satellite Radio has announced that it is to broadcast content from The Word Network, the Michigan-based national satellite and cable TV network that broadcasts ministries, gospel music, religious conventions and special events.
Its move adds some pressure on rival XM, which has been attacked by a number of African-American leaders for turning down The Word.
Ministers in conjunction with the National Association of Black Organizations (NABO) and the National Action Network (NAN) are campaigning for what they term"value-positive" programming for African Americans.
They have accused XM of lacking such programming as opposed to music programming that it considers glorifies drug taking, debasement of women and drug taking.
A number of demonstrations have been staged outside XM's Washington, DC, headquarters and the two organisations have threatened auto manufacturers with boycotts of their products should they continue to deal with XM.
Earlier this month in a letter to the manufacturers, the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, the president of the Michigan Chapter of the National Action Network (NAN) and CEO of the National Association of Black Organizations (NABO), said, "XM Satellite Radio programming reflects a glaring lack of positive programming options to those XM channels that glorify the cultures of violence, drugs and female debasement that is too pervasive in urban America."
RNW comment: The sceptical in us wonders whether there may be ulterior motives in the campaign against XM.
The campaign seems to have moved very speedily into one with a threatening tone rather than being based on any argument that XM would gain a large audience through taking The Word.
In other contexts, words like shakedown would come to mind, but here we merely comment that the ministers concerned seem more prone to bullying than to standing up the justice of their demands with reasoned arguments.
Sirius web site:
XM web site:
2002-09-18: UK Wireless Group chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie has stepped up his campaign for a switch to electronic radio ratings with the announcement of plans for a "permanent national survey using electronic measurement."
He combined with a threat that the new system could become the British system for both radio and TV rating and "destroy RAJAR" (Radio Joint Audio Research, the company jointly owned by the BBC and UK commercial radio that currently provides ratings for Britain.)
Speaking at a conference, "It's time to tell the truth", MacKenzie formally released the results of his company's latest tests of the Swiss radiocontrol meter system in northwest England (See RNW Sept 17 ).
He again spoke of the way in which he claims the RAJAR diary system penalises smaller stations adding, "RAJAR's ratings are robbing my company of revenues that belong to me and stuffing it into the pockets of bigger stations that are over-reported in diaries."
RAJAR is involved in tests of electronic measuring and is due to release its results in the spring but MacKenzie called for them to be released now, a call that will anger many commercial radio groups who have argued for joint testing and evaluation of new measurement systems.
Previous Wireless Group.
2002-09-18: US National Public Radio (NPR) has announced that its veteran news correspondent Melissa Block is to team up with Robert Siegel as a permanent co-host of its daily news magazine, "All Things Considered."
Brooklyn-born and New York-based Block, who graduated from Harvard n 1983 and joined NPR in 1985, was on the staff of All Things Considered for nine years, the last three of them as its senior producer; she moved to New York as a reporter in 1994 and her reporting was part of the 9-11 reporting that gained NPR a Peabody Award.
All Things Considered, which went on the air in 1971 and is US public radio's longest-running show, had been hosted for 13 years until January of this year by a triumvirate of Siegel, Noah Adams and Linda Wertheimer.
That month Wertheimer was appointed to a roving role as NPR's first senior national correspondent and in March Adams took sabbatical leave to write a book about the Wright Brothers. Until a third co-host is appointed, NPR will use a number of temporary hosts.
NPR vice president of news Bruce Drake said of the appointment, "There are three core values that define the fundamental appeal of public radio's best-known programs - celebration of the mind and intellect, celebration of the heart and spirit and mastery of craft. We chose Melissa because her experience exemplifies all of these."
Its Senior Vice President for Programming Jay Kernis said the organisation was negotiating with someone from outside the network to take the third slot and hoped to finalize the deal by the end of next month.
Earlier this month NPR announced that from the end of the month it is to end distribution of its weekday talk show Public Interest, produced by American University's WAMU-FM in Washington, DC, and hosted by Kojo Nnamdi The show itself, which was being aired by 37 stations across the US, will continue to be aired by WAMU.
NPR web site:
NPR - Block appointment:
NPR - Public Interest announcement:
2002-09-18: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced that it is to hold public hearings on applications for the County Kildare FM licence on Monday (September 23) in Newbridge.
It has received a total of five applications - from Kildare 97FM, Kildare Sound, KFM-Kildare Radio, KFM, and Kildare's KFM.
BCI web site:
2002-09-18: Three of Boston's DJs were dumped at the end of last week according to Dean Johnson of the Boston Herald.
They were WAAF-FM afternoon host Rocko and WROR-FM's midday host Stella Mars and night time announcer J.J. Wright. Both stations have new program directors and Johnson speculates that the moves may have been made to allow them to bring in their own people. Wright, he adds, has already found work at oldies station WODS-FM.
Boston Herald report:
2002-09-17: UK Wireless Group Chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie and US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Gary Fries have both been sounding off about radio ratings systems and, coincidentally or not, their stances seem to parallel perceived interests.
In the case of Fries, he continued his criticism of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) on the grounds of methodology and usability at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) radio show in Seattle.
Arbitron released further PPM results at the show comparing the spring Philadelphia market results from the PPM and diary methods. They showed a more similar result than in past comparisons but the PPM still indicated higher cumulative audiences, lower total listening and lower morning drive audiences, results that have worried many stations for whom morning drive is a prime advertising period.
In the UK, MacKenzie, in an article in the UK Guardian, again attacked the diary method and promoted the Swiss radiocontrol meter system that he has been advocating for some two years (See RNW Sept 5, 2000).
In March this year, he released results of a test of the system in the Windsor-Slough-Maidenhead (Star FM market) area of Berkshire; now he has carried out another test in the Bolton, Bury and Prestwich area of Lancashire.
It involved 215 people who both kept diaries and wore the wristwatch metering device.
MacKenzie writes in the paper of the diary results produced by those taking part, "...despite their best efforts and with the best will in the world, their written records were woefully inaccurate."
"How do I know? Because in the same week they filled out their diaries, each of them also wore a special watch that recorded the radio stations that they actually listened to - and the watches told a very different story from the diaries. "
The results of audience measurement, as MacKenzie says, in his attack on the current UK RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) diary system, "dictate the rates that commercial broadcasters can charge their advertisers - and the number of pats on the back the BBC receives from using taxpayers' money to attack fledgling commercial businesses such as my own."
"They are also used by advertisers to plan campaigns, so that they can feel comfortable that they are hitting the target audience they want in the numbers they are paying for."
Commenting on the first trial he repeats the major differences in the results produced, "The most telling statistic of all is the number of adults who tuned into a radio station at least once during the week being measured. Local BBC station London Live led the pack with almost six times the adult audience reported under RAJAR - followed by LBC (five times), News Direct (four times), BBC 5 Live (2.5 times) and, yes, talkSPORT (3.7 times)."
Similar results, he says, came from the latest trial; "(The people in the trial) forgot to mark in their diaries all the stations that they actually listened to - and they listened for shorter periods than they marked down in their diaries.
"In fact, they marked down that they tuned in to an average of 2.7 radio stations a week. The watch, however, detected that they actually listened to an average of 4.4 stations per person per week - a 63% increase."
MacKenzie then comments on meter results elsewhere, writing, "This is very similar to the results in Switzerland, where Radiocontrol has been the sole measure for the radio industry since the beginning of last year. And in Philadelphia, where Arbitron is testing another meter system, it showed the average number of stations to have more than doubled under electronic measurement."
Referring to an extract from Samuel Pepy's diaries that he had used earlier, he comments, "Just like Samuel Pepys more than 300 years ago, these 21st-century respondents remembered to note down the biggest, high-profile names, but the low-profile, less glamorous stations tended to slip their minds. Consequently, the big-name stations with massive marketing budgets get higher ratings with diaries at the expense of the smaller, less high-profile stations. "
MacKenzie says this explains the biggest winners in the first trial and he also notes that diary users, who were asked to mark their listening in 15-minute slots, overestimated the amount of radio they listened to. They put down around 23 hours a week whereas the watches shoed around 12 hours and also showed that nearly a third of the periods of uninterrupted listening were less than five minutes which is the minimum period RAJAR uses for its diary keepers.
MacKenzie then concludes that because the meters record actual listening minute by minute and do not over-report it, the radio industry "is transformed from a frequency medium (based on specious reporting of hours listened) to a reach medium (with national radio stations equalling terrestrial TV viewing figures)."
"This," he says, "will cause huge changes in the way advertisers use the medium to target the audience and the type of messages. And as a primary reach medium, radio can form part of an integrated TV and print strategy, instead of being used almost as a bolt-on or fill-in in campaigns."
RNW comment: Much as we suspect MacKenzie would be keeping rather quiet about the meter results were they to his serious detriment, we continue as in the past to feel he has a case here. We feel there is still a place for diary entries, particularly in terms of the qualitative aspects of listening are concerned. For example, if someone listens to a shock-jock's show because the programme is found entertaining but at the same time has significant negative feelings about so doing, the show concerned may not be a good one for an adversiser to be associated with as Boston Beer found out recently to an extent in the row over the Opie and Anthony show and its sex in St Patrick's cathedral stunt.
However, as far as a pure quantitative measure of what stations are listened to and how much, a well designed meter system will surely win in the end. To us, therefore, the issue for the radio industry should not be one of whining when the results are accurate but not what is desired but rather one of analysing what actually happens and reacting accordingly. Our view is that eventually advertisers will want the picture they see as best reflecting the efficacy of advertising in a medium and the sensible deployment of energy would be to use information to increase this efficacy rather than expending the energy on defending something that is probably indefensible in a fair comparison.
Previous radio control meter:
Previous Wireless Group:
UK Guardian article:
2002-09-17: Arbitron's August webcast ratings just released show Virgin Radio holding on to the top station spot and Live365 keeping top network ranking. There were no changes in the top five station rankings but in the network rankings, Guardian Media Group, which has Jazz FM in its stable, came in at number five, pushing MLB network down to sixth spot.
Arbitron's August top five channels, ranked by ATH (aggregate tuning hours) with previous month's figures in brackets were:
1:Adult contemporary Virgin FM with ATH 1,263,000. Same position in July when ATH was higher at 1,382,800.
2: Jazz FM with ATH 1,110,600. Same position in July when ATH was lower at 1,014,200.
3: Classical WQXR-FM with ATH 780,600. Same position in July when ATH was lower at 737,800.
4: Album Adult Alternative Radioio with ATH 601,300. Same position in July when ATH was lower at 564,400.
5: Classical King FM with ATH 569,700. Same position in July when ATH was lower at 546,700.
Arbitron's August top five networks, ranked by ATH with previous month's figures in brackets where applicable were:
1:Live 365 with ATH 9,217,100. Position unchanged but down from July ATH 9,480,200.
2: Clear Channel Worldwide with ATH 5,469,400. Position unchanged but down from July ATH 7, 485,900.
3: ChainCast Networks/StreamAudio with ATH 2,824,300. Position unchanged but up from July ATH 2,127,000.
4: SMG PLC (Virgin radio owners) with ATH 1,549,200. Position unchanged but down from July ATH 1,835,000.
5: Guardian Media Group with ATH 1,111,500 (new entrant to top ten).
*MLB.com Network with ATH of 923,900, down from 945,300, fell to sixth compared to fifth in July.
Previous Arbitron webcast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-09-17: Louisiana radio announcer Pearlee Toliver, known as the "jewel of the dial" has died at her home in Monroe.
She attracted a cult following because of the way she wrote and delivered advertisements, described in the New York Times as a "quirky sing-song banter - that of a churchgoing, community-minded woman infused with the spirit of an auctioneer with a speech impediment."
The paper also gives an example of one of her advertisements, for a bail bondsman: "Friend, was you up all night long getting in trouble? Did you happen to rob the grocery store? Did you kill somebody last night? Diddy Bop said no bond gets too large or too small for him to handle. Why not call Diddy Bop and sit down and tell him your trouble."
Mississippi-born Toliver, who was thought to be in her seventies, presided for some 30 years over a show that was mainly comprised of her reading advertisements back-to-back. She made her last broadcast on Sept 5.
New York Times obituary:
2002-09-16: Since we regard the issue of media ownership as one of the most critical for any medium, the logical start to this week's look at comment on radio in the print media is with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the start it has made on reviewing US media ownership rules (See RNW Sept 13).
Writing on the matter in the Boston Globe, Mark Jurkowitz, begins by considering the influence that the views of FCC chairman Michael Powell will have on the deliberations.
After the FCC meeting last week, Powell, who is often portrayed as a marketplace ideologue, commented, "''I'm a big believer in free market capitalism as it's developed in this country. I've never said the market is God.''
Others came up with differing views about him. Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the non-profit organization, the Center for Digital Democracy, told the paper, "''While his father is reticent about combat, Michael Powell has already declared war on the public interest. The logical conclusion of what Michael Powell is unleashing will mean ... a handful of mega-Citizen Kanes.''
Powell, he said, is "a man who believes in markets'' to the detriment of such ''values as the free flow of information, diversity of opinion and the First Amendment.... I look... and I see fewer and fewer owners across media properties. He sees it as incredibly diverse.''
More on Powell's side was Robert Sachs, president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, who said, "I think it's too simplistic to say chairman Powell is motivated by a deregulatory philosophy What he's essentially done is ... take a fresh look at whether the rationale that existed for a rule at the time it was enacted is still operative today.''
There was general agreement, however, on Powell's stature and clout. As to the issues themselves, broadly speaking between groups who see consolidation as a threat to media diversity and those, often with a vested interest in consolidation, who argue it does reduce diversity and want regulations eased on market grounds.
Tom Rosenstiel, director for the Project for Excellence in Journalism, characterised the FCC as "''moving fairly precipitously based on a philosophy, not on evidence'' and commented, "The deregulation of the media may be a good thing or a bad thing, but we probably won't know until I'm dead.''
Anita Wallgren, a Washington attorney who was legal adviser to former FCC commissioner Susan Ness, said a key issue for the FCC is whether diversity is directly related to the number of media companies.
She said she didn't think Powell sees it that way, noting, ''I think he has been less rigid in his view than others who would say you have to have different ownership to have truly different content.''
Deregulatory pressures and lobbies are also active on the other side of the Atlantic in Britain, where the government's draft Communications Bill, would remove many of the existing limits on ownership.
A particular area of conflict is the question of allowing foreign ownership of British media companies, particularly where their own domiciles, such as the US, do not permit the reverse.
The government has been in favour of allowing such deals but a joint parliamentary committee that had scrutinised the bill was much more cautious and its chairman, Lord Puttnam, called for the new OFCOM super-regulator to be given tough powers to prevent media takeovers that are not in the public interest.
Initially the government seemed to be taking a hard line against this view, but according to the Financial Times, Puttnam now says that it is moving towards the committee's viewpoint.
"I think we are approaching a point at which a remarkable amount, maybe up to 125 recommendations (RNW note - of 148 made by the committee), will be accepted, and a sensible compromise will have been hacked out over foreign ownership," he told the paper. "We will have helped to create a far better bill."
The main story of the week came the day before the FCC meeting; the anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks.
We see no point in considering comment on the cover itself, surely a matter for the audience, but a brief in the Boston Herald by Dean Johnson put together some interesting figures, courtesy of Duncan's Radio Market Guide, on the financial effects of the attacks and downturn in the US economy on Boston's radio stations. WRKO-AM 2001 revenues, he noted were down 37.4% on the year before, WBCN-FM was down 29.1% and as a whole Boston radio revenues of just above USD305 million were down 11.5% on 2000.
As well as commercial stations, public stations have also had a hard time over the past year, with sponsorship down and in the Chicago Tribune Raoul V. Mowatt looked at the way WBEZ-FM has managed to keep funds coming in. WBEZ ran into problems because of the steep decline n corporate sponsorship and needed funds urgently. Rather than running an additional pledge drive, the station ran an August fundraiser using brief appeals from stars and support staff that allowed it to reach its target of raising more than USD800, 000
In all the station used some 60 spots ranging from 15-60 seconds, some featuring names like Garrison Keillor making customized pleas and others being more of "fun" appeals. They were aired in place of show promotional spots.
Station general manager Torey Malatia commented, "I think the strengths are it's pretty direct and very simple. It shows we're not trying to disrupt programming in the conventional fundraiser way."
He was cautious however as to how far the tactic could be used and did not see it replacing pledge drives. "It's still asking for money," Malatia said. "As short as it is, it's still reminding people that the station needs financial support. For some people, that's really annoying."
Some contributors, however, found the idea preferable to other options. One, who contributed extra, said, "It's a better way to raise money in my opinion. It wasn't a constant barrage, which makes me as a listener tune out rather than tune in."
Finally another note of praise for British radio, this time from London Times columnist Anthony Howard, who commented on the virtues of the 10p.m. BBC Radio 4 "The World Tonight" programme. Comparing it to other news and current affairs programmes on the channel, he wrote, "I am not decrying the virtues of Today and World at One and PM, or the "sequences", as they used to be called in the old days within Broadcasting House. They each have real qualities but they do not operate in the same market as The World Tonight."
"Where they are essentially tabloid, their late-night sister can legitimately claim to be the broadsheet of the airwaves."
"Of course, as broadsheets tend to do, The World Tonight has a rather smaller audience than its more popular counterparts. In my day it rarely exceeded 200,000 and, since it is now pitted directly against BBC One's Ten O'clock News, I can't believe it has gone up much since then."
"But, pace Greg Dyke, figures are not necessarily an indication of a programme's quality.
If you don't already do so, make an effort to catch The World Tonight while it's still there - and before the vandals move in to destroy it."
RNW comment: He has a valid point and this is the programme on as this is being written. For those not in the UK, it's on the radio 4 web site.
Boston Globe - Jurkowitz:
Boston Herald - Johnson:
Chicago Tribune - Mowatt.
Financial Times on UK Communications Bill:
UK Times - Howard:
2002-09-15: The main regulatory news during the past week has been the start by the US Federal Communications Commission on updating its media ownership rules; elsewhere a number of similarly broad issues were dealt with including the regulation of the distribution of new specialty radio services in Canada and the question of local "news hubs" in the UK.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has again been busiest in terms of community licences AND it has also supported the idea of a single regulator and been active on the narrowcasting front.
On the issue of a regulatory change, the ABA has issued a statement supporting a future merger with the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) to create a single agency with responsibility for radiocommunications, telecommunications and electronic media content issues.
It does not support, however, the idea of transferring any of its spectrum management functions to the ACA, which was one option proposed, saying this would increase complexity but offer no benefits.
Acting chair Lyn Maddock commented, "A unified, multi-use spectrum and content regulator is the way forward to deal with the future demands of Australia's communications environment. While substantial policy and governance issues need to be addressed, a properly designed, converged regulator would integrate and enhance current capacities."
The community licences action involves Christmas Island, an Australian external territory, New South Wales and Queensland.
The Christmas Island service is to provide a service on 102.1MHz from Drumsite and 105.3 MHz from Rocky Point and in
Queensland new community radio broadcasting licence is being offered for the Boonah area.
In New South Wales, the ABA has allocated one new community licence, and is offering a number more.
The new licence is for Yass and has gone to Yass Community Radio Association Incorporated, which already provides a general service under a temporary licence.
New licences being offered are for the Lithgow area, Lord Howe Island, and for Wollongong where it did not allocate a licence in 199 because none of the applicants met the necessary criteria. The ABA subsequently allocated one community licence to Wollongong Christian group (in March 2000) and is now offering a second licence.
Also in New South Wales, the ABA is proposing to change an open narrowcasting frequency so as to free up capacity for additional high power national radio service to serve the South West Slopes/Eastern Riverina region.
In Western Australia, it has allocated a new community licence for Kalamunda to Kalamunda Community Radio Inc to serve the general community, which is also already providing a general community service under a temporary licence.
The ABA has also announced that it is to auction 22 transmitter licences to provide open narrowcasting services in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
The auction will be held in Sydney on September 27 and there will be a reserve price of AUD10, 000 (USD5,500) for the licences for each of the licences in Adelaide, Brisbane, Penrith and Perth (including the licences for Perth City), and AUD 4,000 f(USD2,00)or each of the remaining licences.
In addition to the licences being auctioned, only single applications were received for each of 17 other licences and these will be allocated upon payment of the AUD 4,000 reserve price. No applications were recited for each of another 57 licences.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued details of a new licensing framework for new specialty audio programming services that will generally be distributed on the digital tiers of broadcasting distribution undertakings.
This follows a call in July last year for comments on this matter and the carriage of ethnic audio services and the Commission says it considers, "that such services could increase the availability of programming for specialized audiences, especially ethnic audiences." It will shortly issue a call for comments on proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations that are necessary to implement this new licensing framework for specialty audio programming services.
The original call for such distribution of specialty services came as a result of a shortage of frequencies for AM and FM services, the preferred distribution route, in the Toronto area.
Because of this the Commission considered that the development of services delivered by broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) but not licensed as over-the-air services, could serve to increase the diversity of audio programming available in the Greater Toronto Area and other markets, providing such services as ethnic services, religious, gay/lesbian or children's services.
Comments were received from 15 sources including various ethnic broadcasters, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA), one individual, and various distributors.
Most parties, it says, wanted a licensing framework that ensured some protection for over-the-air radio services, particularly for those operating as ethnic stations and said that it should be a "light-handed" regulatory approach that balanced ease of entry for new players and increased choice for consumers with accountability and a contribution to the Canadian broadcasting system by licensees although a number of cable operators suggested there should be an exemption from regulations for such services.
The Commission concluded that such services had a potential to offer a wide range of programming across Canada to audiences under-served by over-the-air broadcasts and additionally that a licensing regime should be the norm "as it provides the most effective means of ensuring that broadcasters fulfil the policy objectives set out in the Act."
It has decided to ensure a licensing regime for specialty audio services that will recognise the scarcity of over-the air distribution, encourage a greater diversity of voices through simplified licensing services, but also ensure that licensees have appropriate regulatory responsibilities and offer a contribution to the Canadian broadcasting system commensurate with the service provided."
In Montreal, the CRTC has also approved a transmitter move and power increase from 38,400 watts to 43,000 watts for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's CBFX-FM Montréal's transmitter, CBFX-FM-1 Trois-Rivières, and in Alberta it approved an application by Rogers (Alberta) Ltd. to relocate the transmitter for CHRK-FM Calgary and reduce its power from 100,000 watts to 48,000 watts.
In Ontario, it has issued a three-month administrative renewal until the end of November of the licence for Durham Radio's CJKX-FM Ajax and its transmitter CJKX-FM-1
Ireland was quiet and in the UK the only activity by the Radio Authority was a decision to reject the creation of " news hubs" and insist upon local production of news and information within a franchisee's area (See RNW Sept 12).
In the US, the most important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) move has been to commence the process of changing regulations on media ownership.
Predictably perhaps, views tended to split along party lines with the sole Democrat on the Commission, Michael J Copps urging caution (See RNW Sept 13) and Republican Kevin J Martin in particular arguing for speedy removal of regulation.
FCC chairman Michael K Powell and Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy concurred in the main statement; Copps concurred but issued a separate statement and Martin concurred only in part and disagreed in part. He also issued a separate statement.
In his statement, Copps said he did not "know of any issue before the Commission that is more fraught with serious consequences for the American people than the media ownership rules."
"There is the potential in the ultimate disposition of this issue to remake our entire media landscape, for better or for worse. At stake is how radio and television are going to look in the next generation and beyond."
" At stake, he continued, " Are old and honoured values of localism, diversity, competition, and the multiplicity of voices and choices that undergirds our American democracy. At stake is equal opportunity writ large - the opportunity to hear and be heard; the opportunity to nourish the diversity that makes this country great and which will determine its future; the opportunity for jobs and careers in our media industries; and the opportunity to make this country as open and diverse and creative as it can possibly be."
He commended Powell for putting together a Media Ownership Task Force to study the issues and added that he hoped consideration would be given to holding meetings around the country to gauge the reality of particular markets.
" I don't want to vote on final rules - and I would be reluctant to vote on final rules - unless and until I feel comfortable that we have the information and the analysis needed to inform our votes," said Copps.
He added that he was concurring because of the statutory mandate to consider the rules "and because it asks some important questions that should help us to determine whether the public interest continues to be served by these rules."
He then said he had concerns that some might see the timing and tone of the notice as prejudging the issues and commented in a warning, "Because the stakes here are so incredibly high, it is far more important that we get this done right than that we get it done quickly. I keep coming back to the high stakes involved in what we are doing. Suppose for a moment that the Commission decides to remove or significantly change current limits on media ownership -- and suppose our decision turns out to be a mistake. How do we put the genie back in the bottle then? No way. "
Commissioner Martin in his statement disparaged the current rules as "old" although this did not remove the importance of the "long- standing goals of competition, diversity, and localism."
He then spoke of keeping only regulation that was "necessary" in the public interest as opposed to just being in the public interest and also said he would have preferred the Commission to "tentatively conclude that some change was warranted." He also said that they could have provided "some form of interim relief, at least until this rulemaking is complete". Speaking of as an example, providing "broadcast stations and newspapers the same opportunity to combine that two television stations have in the largest markets, as long as a significant number of independent voices remain in the marketplace."
(RNW comment: We sense some forked tongue in the Martin comments, unless, of course, he would be quite happy with a subsequent ruling on a speedy divestment, whatever the financial consequences, should any consolidation permitted as an interim measure be subsequently outside the rules that are adopted.
That is the nature of the argument being made on the other side, quite justifiably in our view, in the action for a stay in requiring royalty payments for radio stations streaming until an appeal against the charges has been decided (See RNW Sept 14). Out past reading of his views leaves us sceptical of his even-handedness on this occasion.)
The Commission has also red-flagged part of the Backyard Broadcasting purchase of Sabre Communications' 20 stations (See RNW Sept 11) and reduced from USD4,000 to USD 3,000 the fine on a Texas AM for operating beyond its permitted power (See RNW Sept 12).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-09-14: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Radio Show has opened in Seattle with NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts highlighting both the performance of US radio in the wake of the September 11 attacks and looking ahead to the introduction of digital radio in the US.
On the post 9-11 year, he commented that US "broadcasters faced unprecedented challenges in the past year - and you have met those challenges with great distinction. The radio industry has helped lead the country through an extremely difficult emotional and economic period. I'm very proud of what broadcasters are doing in holding our country together and rallying the American Spirit -- last September and beyond."
Concerning digital, which he referred to as "potentially the biggest change for radio since the introduction of FM broadcasting", Fritts said it would "give radio even better opportunities to serve our listeners."
"We have urged the FCC," he continued, " to give broadcasters the green light to begin implementing the iBiquity HD Radio System in a real-world environment. At this convention, we've assembled the latest information and equipment on HD Radio technology. I think you'll find it very exciting, including the possibilities for data casting that radio will have for the first time. "
Fritts then took a sideswipe at satellite radio, commenting, "You know, our satellite friends - XM and Sirius - have been trying to build their business by criticizing local radio. They say they will do for radio what cable did for television."
"I say if you like Cable Radio, you'll love Satellite Radio. You know, the other day, someone told me he can drive all the way from New York to Los Angeles listening to satellite radio and never turn the dial."
"My response was, 'How many times have you done that?' I forgot to ask him how he felt about having no local traffic reports, local weather or local news on his $400 system for $9.95 a month!"
He also took on the critics of radio consolidation in the US, saying, "Let me say a word to our very vocal critics with us here in Seattle, who claim radio has become homogenized and lacks diversity."
"The facts show otherwise. Broadcasters know that in all respects diversity is good for radio and is on the rise. Diversity of formats and diversity in our radio workforce enrich the community and attract more listeners Many have tried to ring the death knell for radio. I can assure you that local radio is here to stay and will not only endure but prevail."
Amongst other matters that have so far been brought up at the show is the issue of the Portable People Meter. Arbitron's President for U.S. Media Services Owen Charlebois said at a session that it's almost certain to conduct a Philadelphia PPM survey this fall but the date for a parallel panel was still undecided. Arbitron is to conduct further research and development to improve response rates before committing itself to a date.
Charlebois also said there would be a full-day Hispanic Summit on Nov. 13 in Los Angeles offering research results but no ratings from a PPM Hispanic test in one Midwestern and one Western market.
In another session on the future of US radio, Bonneville President and CEO Bruce Reese said that he expected more consolidation and wouldn't be surprised to find five companies controlling 85% of the radio industry in ten years time. He said the government should not try and stop this happening , commenting, "We are in a democracy and the government should just let us make things happen."
He also warned against radio owners cutting back too much on management and "localism", saying, "This is largely a local business. The vast majority of our revenue comes from the communities in which we operate. We need to carefully consider models to manage these properties, and we need to remind ourselves once in a while that this business is not a bad business to be in."
He was backed up on the latter issue by Entravision CFO Jeanette Tully, who commented, "You can never lose the localism in radio, but technology today allows us to do it in a more cost-effective way than has been done before."
Both Reese and Tully played down the likely impact of satellite radio. Tully said that she'd rather listen to an Am or FM that could give traffic and weather information whilst Reese commented that satellite had made life "more interesting" but hadn't killed anything. He didn't see satellite as a significant threat unless terrestrial radio gave it the opportunity, saying "If we do stupid things to allow listeners to go into the arms of satellite radio, they didn't kill us, we killed ourselves."
(RNW comment - Reese's view of democracy is a somewhat simplistic one in our opinion and, .although we think he makes a good point about cutting back too much, we fear that the financial pressures to maximise profits will exert significant pressures in the other direction as far as this and localism are concerned.)
2002-09-14: 2002-09-13: US Radio revenues rose 7% in July compared to a year ago, the fifth consecutive month for which overall revenues have been up, according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
Local revenues were up 7% for the month and national revenues were up 16%; for the first six months of the year, overall revenues are up 2%, local revenues are up 1%, and national revenues are up 6%.
RAB's Sales Index, which sets 1998 - before the dot.com boom - as a base year of 100, was 133.2 in July and the local index for the month was 142.2 whilst the national index was 135.2.
RAB President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Fries, who gave out the figures at the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Show commented, "We are noticing steady growth across all categories."
"A large number of categories are showing healthy increases, particularly concerts/tickets, financial services, appliances/electronics, automotive and restaurants. All indicators point to continued recovery as Radio continues to deliver results for its advertisers. Forward pacing is very encouraging through the end of the year."
RAB web site:
2002-09-14: The US Department of Justice has issued a second request for information about Univision's acquisition of Hispanic Broadcasting under the 1976 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
The companies say they will comply promptly and add that they expect the deal to be completed by the end of the year.
2002-09-14: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in conjunction with Bonneville, Clear Channel, Cox, and Susquehanna has filed a call asking for a "limited stay" on the ruling that they should pay retroactive royalties due for streaming for the period from October 1998 to October 2002.
The ruling was made in December 2000 and payments are due on October 20 but the parties are arguing that the payments should be held over until the result of an appeal that is pending in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in which they argue that the wording of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) means that their exemption from royalty fees for over-the-air broadcasts also covers simultaneous streaming.
"The issue at stake is not how much, or the terms under which, radio stations should be paying royalties for engaging in AM/FM streaming," says the filing. "Rather, the issue is whether or not radio stations engaging in AM/FM streaming are subject to the digital sound recording performance right at all."
The group also wants any fees that would be due both for the prior period and from October 20 to be stayed, arguing that, should their streaming later be found to have been exempt, the broadcasters would have suffered, "irreparable harm in that they will have been required to dedicate substantial resources to the complex task of calculating, preparing statements of account and making royalty payments covering a four-year retroactive period as well as ongoing monthly royalty payments..."
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-09-13: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at its meeting yesterday started on its overhaul on US media ownership regulations. Voting was 4:0 to start the rule-making process on the issue.
A note of caution was sounded by Democrat Commissioner Michael J Copps who commented, "Suppose we make a mistake? How do we put the genie back in the bottle if it fails?"
Large media groups are pushing for deregulation and the move was welcomed by Viacom, which owns CBS and Infinity Radio.
In a statement, it said, "We are pleased the FCC is undertaking a review of all of its broadcast ownership rules. Flexibility in the broadcast marketplace is critical in today's highly diverse media environment, particularly in light of the fundamental changes that have taken place over the years. We look forward to demonstrating to the Commission that the current rules are both arbitrary and outdated."
On the other side, consumer groups are opposing further de-regulation that they say will reduce diversity of voices and lead to increased prices for advertisers, less choice for consumers, and reduced employment choices for broadcasters.
2002-09-13: Some 20 potential buyers are now reported to have expressed interest in buying SMG's publishing assets, put up for sale as it moves to concentrate on its broadcasting interests, which include Virgin Radio, and reduce its GBP400 million debt (See RNW Sep 11).
Among them are a number of newspaper groups including the Barclay Brothers, who own the Scotsman titles, the Daily Mail & General Trust, the Guardian Media Group, Johnston Press, which owns the Yorkshire Post, and US-owned newspaper group Newsquest
However all these groups could face possible delays through a competition commission investigation that could hold any deal up by more than six months and SMG, whose banking covenants run out at end of June next year, is understood to be keen on a speedy sale with a preferred bidder being selected before December this year.
This will give an advantage to financial buyers, such as venture capital group 3i, which is also thought to be interested. SMG will then have to balance the benefits of a sale to such buyers, who would not face the same regulatory hurdles but are likely to offer a lower price, with the problems of regulatory delays for a trade buyer.
SMGt wants around GBP200 million for the publishing interests but some analysts have suggested that a trade buyer would be more likely to offer around the GBP120 million it paid for the interests.
2002-09-13: Harris Corporation has announced the launch of an in-depth certification programme, to start in November, to help US radio stations move to digital.
The five-day courses will cover topics that include various digital issues for both AM and FM stations, studio and broadcast equipment consideration and test equipment considerations.
Harris has also announced a deal with Radio One Inc for a complete turnkey implementation of iBiquity's In-Band, On-Channel (IBOC) HD Radio for its stations in Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Detroit and Atlanta.
Radio One director of engineering John Mathews commented, "Radio One has always been committed to bringing the best technology available to our listeners. With Harris' help, we will be able to deliver the most revolutionary broadcast signal and product with HD Radio IBOC digital radio. We at Radio One are extremely proud to be one of the pioneers of this new and exciting era in radio broadcasting."
Radio One is the first major broadcast group in the US to commit itself to introducing HD Radio.
Previous Radio One Inc:
Harris web site:
2002-09-13: Clear Channel has taken back the top spot in the latest MeasureCast Internet network ratings after being displaced last week by newcomer MUSICMATCH. In the station rankings, the only change in the top five was the return of ESPN which came back in the fifth rank, knocking classical format WQXR-FM down to sixth.
The Internet-only rankings were affected by the death of MeEDIAmazing, which was fourth in the previous week, the last week in which it was rated.
For the week to September 1, MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 359,842 (357,080); CP 76,526 (76,729): Same position with higher listening but slightly lower reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 314,552 (325,231); CP: 66,844 (63,092). Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
3:Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 271,640 (268,438); 101,857 (No CP for previous week). Same position with increased listening.
4: Contemporary Christian Music K-Love - TTSL 220,534 (223,624); CP 27,697 (27,154). Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
5: Sports talk format ESPN - TTSL 210,926 (162,136); CP 43,385 (32,709 ) Up from eighth with significantly higher listening and reach.
* Classical music format WQXR-FM fell from fifth to sixth although listening was up from 174,329 to 177,152 and CP also increased slightly from 27,342 to 27,673
The top five networks for the week (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,169,268 (1,083,369); CP 261,157 (257,450) - Back up to top from second spot top with higher listening and reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,115,125 ( 1,106,530); CP 341,952 (No CP for previous week). Down from first despite higher listening
3: StreamAudio TTSL 861,578 (575,286) ; CP 121,553 (100,029). Up from fifth with jump in listening and reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 826,194 (859,404): CP 158,265 (159,836) - Down from third with lower listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 780,395 (783,274) hours: CP 121,553 (114,941) - Down from fourth with lower listening but higher reach
The top five simulcast stations for the week (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 359,842 (357,080); CP 76,526 (76,729): Same position with higher listening but slightly lower reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 314,552 (325,231); CP: 66,844 (63,092). Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
3: Contemporary Christian Music K-Love - TTSL 220,534 (223,624); CP 27,697 (27,154). Same position with lower listening but higher reach
4: Sports talk format ESPN - TTSL 210,926 (162,136); CP 43,385 (32,709 ) Up from fifth with significantly higher listening and reach.
5:Classical music format WQXR-FM 177,152 (174,329); CP 27,673 (27,342). Down from fourth despite higher listening and reach.
The top five Internet-only stations for the week (Previous week in brackets), were:
1: MUSICMATCH Artist match. TTSL 271,640 (268,438). CP - 101,857 (No CP available for previous week). Same position with increased listening.
2: MUSICMATCH Top hits. TTSL 154,671 (165,762); CP - (No CP previous week). Same position despite lower listening.
3: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 141,407 (162,846); CP32,899 (40,462) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
4: Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville -TTSL 89,311 (93,916); CP 17,923 (18,286) - Up from fifth despite lower listening and reach
5: Pure Rock KNAC.com - TTSL 78,982 (82,506 ); CP 17,218 (18,126 ). Up from sixth despite lower listening and reach.
In its monthly ratings for August, MeasureCast reported more listening to fewer stations than in July.
Jazz FM and Virgin switched spots to put the former back at number 1.
MeasureCast has also released its August top channels list but did not list the August top networks in its news release.
MeasureCast's top five channels for August ranked by TTSL - total time spent listening - (with June's TTSL and Cume -CP - Cumulative Audience- in brackets) were:
1): Jazz format Jazz FM TTSL 1,445,730 (1,197,148); CP 243,687 (206,401) - Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2): Adult Alternative Virgin Radio TTSL 1,439,973 (1,630,546); CP 213,057 (241,237). Down from top spot with lower listening and reach.
3): Contemporary Christian K-Love Radio TTSL 930,387; CP 64,901: Previously unlisted.
4): MUSICMATCH Artist Match TTSL 871,674; CP 131,005 : Previously unlisted.
5): Sports-talk ESPN TTSL 778,520 (415,621); CP 109,051 (95,334)- Down from fourth despite higher distaining (But note that in July MeasureCast listed same figures as in June for some stations!)
*July Number 3, Classical format WQXR-FM, dropped from third to sixth with TTSL of 757,314, up from the 704,259 listed for June and July and July number 5, Internet-only Radioio, dropped to seventh with TTSL of 727,840 compared to the 481,027 listed for June and July.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Previous MeasureCast monthly ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-09-13: At the end of July (See RNW July 29), we wondered whether, when they were negotiating their USD 21 million deal, the highly-paid Chicago duo Eddie and Jobo (Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon) had given any thought to the fate of former WBBM news anchor Karen Hand, whose contract was not renewed.
Now we find it would appear not according to this month's issue of Illinois Entertainer.
In his Chicago Sun-Times column, Robert Feder reports that Hand, who "was instrumental in persuading B-96 bosses to bring Eddie & Jobo back after their two-year exile in 1996" told the magazine that the duo ignored her when making their deal. "I don't think they made any effort to bring me back on the show, and that disappoints me a bit," she said.
RNW comment: Being, it would seem, accurate in assessment of loyalty for many in the business doesn't' prohibit a shade of disappointment at not being proved wrong.
Previous Eddie and Jobo:
Chicago Sun-Times --Feder column:
2002-09-12: iBiquity Digital Corporation's "HD Radio", the trademark for its In-Band On-Channel (IBOC) digital AM and FM broadcast technology, is to be given a trial rollout in Seattle on Friday at a HD Radio listening event.
The event will be staged at the Bellevue Good Guys store using Kenwood prototype radios and will be hosted by KBKS-FM's Morning Show Host, Bender.
IBiquity says that the technology, which can also display information such as details of a song, will provide CD quality sound. Seattle is one of six initial target markets for the new JD Radio service that is due to be introduced commercially early next year.
iBiquity web site:
2002-09-12: The UK Radio Authority has decided against the idea of "radio news hubs" (See RNW June 21) and said that news production should remain part of the "locally produced and presented" programming it currently requires from stations.
The Authority chair, Richard Hooper, commented that after consultation about easing the rules relating to local news and information the authority "found that many consultees were opposed to such a change."
"We know OFCOM is to be given a duty in respect of local content in the draft Communications Bill," he added, "and felt it would be inappropriate to bind our successor at this time of transition. "
"We are unwilling to allow news services outside a station's measured coverage area to take over local news roles to any greater degree than would be expected from normal news networking and sharing."
Previous Radio Authority:
Radio Authority news release:
2002-09-12: Latest Australian ratings from the AC Nielsen McNair survey, which we noted briefly yesterday, show Macquarie's Sydney 2GB increasing to its lead over rival 2UE in the talk stakes, with its share up to 10.1 from 10.0.
2UE, owned by Southern Cross, dropped from 9.3 to 8.8. Austereo's 2-Day kept the top spot, although it lost a little share, dropping from 10.6 to 10.5.
Lower down, Austereo's Triple-M kept fourth place with share down from 8.9 to 8.7; DMG's Nova kept fifth spot but lost share, dropping from 8.7 to 8.2 whilst MIXFM and 2WSFM both increased share to take an 8.1 compared with 7.5 and 7.2 respectively.
In the breakfast competition, Alan Jones retained the top spot for 2GB but his share slipped from 14.5 to 13.6 whilst in the mornings, John Laws also kept top spot for rival 2UE but lost share from 12.3 to 11 whilst Ray Hadley at 2GB took his share up from 9.2 to 10.3.
City by city, the top three were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: SAFM with 27.3 (26.9); 5AA with 17.1 (16.2); 5MMM with11.5 (12.0) - no change in rankings:
*Brisbane - B105FM with 19.8 (20.3); Triple M 14.3 (13.6); NEW97.3 FM 12.9 (13.6). No change in rankings but NEW97.3 FM continued to fall back and Triple M to increase its share.
*Melbourne -3AW 14.0 (15.2) - losing share but keeping top spot; Fox FM 13.9 (13.2) -increasing its share in second place to nudge 3AW: ABC774 12.1 (12.1). Nova, retained fifth spot but its 8.4 share, down from 10.0 two surveys ago, was down further to 7.8
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 22.9 (24.8); All New 92.9 with 16.5 (14.5); 96FM with 13.2 (12.8) - no change in rankings:
*Sydney, 2-Day with 10.5 (10.6); 2GB 10.1 (10); 2UE 8.8 (9.3) - no change in rankings:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
2002-09-12: In a swipe at his fellow DJ, Sara Cox, BBC Radio 1 drive time host and self-styled "bad boy" Chris Moyles has claimed that he could do a better job than her at breakfast time, adding, "I could absolutely kick anybody's arse on breakfast, ever."
In an interview with Heat Magazine, Moyles referred to the loss of almost three-quarters of a million listeners a week to the breakfast show over the past year and said, "We're not a million miles behind the breakfast show's listening figures and we seem to be slowly bridging the gap."
Moyles, who also plugged his new Channel 5 TV show, to be produced by former Virgin breakfast host Chris Evans, also displayed some ignorance of the product, saying that he didn't really listen to Cox's show but preferred watching TV.
"To be honest, if I hear any of Sara in the morning it's at nine o'clock for 10 minutes. If I get up before nine o'clock I like to watch RI:SE to amuse myself," he said.
He also indicated that, although he would be nervous at first about the TV show, he played down the difference between radio and TV. "It's only like live radio but with cameras, isn't it?," he said. "We sit in a tiny studio at Radio 1 and talk to 6.5 million people. Standing in the pub [where the show is set] with a few lights should be fine.
RNW comment: Moyles, who has pushed for the breakfast slot in the past, also gave himself am "out" by saying that he doubted if it was worth his getting up " at 4.30am every morning" for a little more money and half a million more listeners. Noting that Cox has just signed a three-year contract (See RNW Aug 31), he presumably felt he could safely spout without being taken up on any challenge. We won't be watching his TV show but await with interest his transition to the medium that is "only like live radio but with cameras."
2002-09-12: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced to USD 3000, a USD4,000 penalty on Tarrant Radio Broadcasting Inc, licensee of KZEE-AM, Weatherford, Texas, for operating the station with an antenna input power above that authorized.
The action follows complaints in November last year that the station was not reducing power after sunset as required under its licence. KZEE has a daytime power of 500 watts that is supposed to be reduced to between 8 and 18 watts at various times of the night but inspections found it operating above power during the day in January this year and not reducing the power at night.
A USD4,000 penalty notice was issued in May but Tarrant argued for a reduction because at the time of the inspection it had only been in control of the station for three months, that the station was being "time-brokered" and it had been innocent and would have corrected the situation had the owners been notified about the violations, and that its previous history of compliance should be taken into account.
The Commission dismissed all points except the last, reducing the fine by USD1, 000 on this basis.
2002-09-11: SMG (the former Scottish Media Group) has opted to pin its future on its broadcast interests, which include Virgin Radio, and has put up for sale its publishing division, which includes three of Scotland's highest circulation newspapers, the Herald, the Sunday Herald and the Evening Times, and specialist and business magazines.
There had been persistent rumours that it might put either or both of its newspaper and TV interests up for sale to cut its debts.
SMG made the announcement as its interim results for the six months to the end of June showed pre-tax profits for the debt-laden group down by 43% from last year's GBP20 million to GBP11.5 million this year.
Group turnover was down by GBP9.2 million to GBP130.7 million, EBITDA was down by GBP 3.1million to GBP31.3 million and earnings per share were down from 4.7 pence to 2.7 pence.
Dividends, which were 1.5 p per share for 2001 were deferred but the company put a positive gloss on the results, saying they were" in line with expectations" and reflected "the strength of SMG's businesses in the continued difficult trading environment."
It said the GBP8.5 million fall in pre-tax profits was made up of a GBP4 million decline in its TV advertising revenue and network programme commissions, another GBP2.5 million resulted from the increased costs it was paying for its borrowing (See RNW April 19) and another GBP2 million "reflected the additional pension charge from the introduction of accounting standard FRS17."
SMG Chief Executive Andrew Flanagan said, "In difficult trading conditions, the Group is performing robustly and all our businesses are profitable. We are well prepared for the advertising upturn when it comes. The sale of our Publishing Division will provide us with the flexibility, both financial and regulatory, to pursue our cross media strategy, building national positions in the faster growing media sectors.
"As we enter this period of great opportunity for UK media companies, we are determined that SMG will be well-positioned to take full advantage of all the possibilities for further development that the forthcoming months are set to present."
Regarding the sale of the publishing business, he said," "Our strategy of focusing SMG's development on a cross media approach with national positions in the faster growing media sectors, means that publishing is no longer core to the Group. In an increasingly consolidated newspaper and magazines sector, it is clear that the ongoing success of these businesses is best assured as part of a larger publishing network."
SMG, which has debts of around GBP400 million, expects to raise around GBP 200 million from the publishing division sale; it bought them six years ago for GBP120 million from Caledonian Publishing, a figure still thought by some analysts to be more realistic.
Amongst the groups that could be contenders are various regional newspaper groups including that of the Barclay Brothers, who own The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, or Newsquest and possibly Associated Newspapers or Trinity Mirror, although any offer by the latter two would face investigation by the office of fair trading. There is also speculation that the newspapers and magazines could be sold separately.
SMG chairman Don Cruickshank said the newspaper industry had been consolidating rapidly into larger groups that had the benefits of scale so it made sense for SMG to dispose of them. He told BBC Radio Scotland that the group wanted to see what opportunities new media legislation offered, adding that they wanted to be in UK-wide adverting which meant cinema, outdoor, radio and television.
SMG web site:
2002-09-11: Leading Australian FM radio group Austereo has announced a post-tax profit of AUD57 million (around USD29 million) for the year to the end of June, 12.9% up on the 2001 figure of AUD 50.5 million; Most of the increase came from a profit of AUD6.5 million from the sale of its half-interest in Newcastle radio stations and compares with a prospectus forecast of AUD52.6 million.
Austereo warned however that it was operating in a "landscape of sustained advertising spending decline" and new rival DMG radio has eaten into its market, resulting in an Austereo loss of a full ad revenue share point in the year, although latest ratings (Details in RNW tomorrow) show its 2_Day FM holding on to the lead in Sydney and Triple M in fourth place.
They also show Sydney 2GB, owned by Macquarie Network, doing well; although breakfast host Alan Jones lost share he still held on to pole position in the timeslot and in other times it took audience share from Southern Cross's 2UE, with Ray Hadley pulling up close to the latter's morning host John Laws, whose lead was cut to just 1%.
Austereo Executive Chairman, Peter Harvie, who described the result as "solid", commented, "We firmly believe that advertising will return to more favourable conditions in time, given its vital place in the marketing process. In view of these conditions and new competition, the Group performed well to hold ground in audience and sales terms."
Group Managing Director Brad March added, "The competitive situation demanded a new set of programming and sales strategies and it is pleasing to note that Austereo adapted well in the changing environment. The group sales were just one share point away from the previous year, in a period when all capital city commercial radio revenues declined by 2.3%."
Previous Southern Cross:
Austereo web site:
2002-09-11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has red-flagged six of the stations in the USD42 million acquisition of Sabre Communication's 20 stations by Backyard Broadcasting (See RNW Aug 28).
It's passing the deal for Sabre's seven stations in New York and another seven in Indiana but wants to take a look at the Pennsylvania stations in the deal because of concerns about revenue share and ownership concentration. The stations involved are WCXR-FM, Lewisburg; WBZD-FM, Muncy; WZXR-FM, South Williamsport and WWPA-AM, WILQ-FM and WSFT-FM, Williamsport.
Previous Backyard Broadcasting:
2002-09-10: Clear Channel, in reaction to what it terms "apparent concern" by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the broadcasts of Florida shock-jock Todd Clem, "Bubba the Love Sponge" has volunteered to keep tapes of the shows for thirty days.
The sole Democrat on the Commission, Michael J Copps, has campaigned for stations to keep tapes for reference should there be complaints about a show but many indecency complaints are not acted upon for a period longer than 30 days.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-09-10: The dilemma of how US broadcasters should handle tomorrow's 9-11 anniversary, referred to in our look at last week's media cover of radio, continued to attract coverage on Monday with a Washington Post report summing it up fairly succinctly.
For news stations, it said, the challenge is to "Cover the occasion without bludgeoning it."
"Everyone else in radio and TV -- those normally devoted to playing cartoons, comedy shows or Kenny G songs -- faces a different challenge it continued. "Ignore the anniversary without seeming callous or mindlessly irrelevant."
Even now, it would seem, minds are not fully made up. Kenny King, operations manager for "smooth jazz" station WJZW-FM and Mix 107.3, which plays upbeat contemporary music, commented, "For all broadcasters, there's a real struggle to pay tribute but not be seen as exploiting it. Everyone is still trying to work out what's the right thing to do."
For the music stations, the dilemma means changes to their normal play lists. Jeff Wyatt, programme director of top 40 station Hot 99.5, told the paper, "This is a day for a different kind of entertainment. We don't want to make the public relive one year ago. It's not our intention to relive horror."
He and King both said they would be more likely to go for "pleasant, uplifting songs" than their normal fare and would ban songs that set the wrong tone or message.
The satirical publication "The Onion" in its edition last Wednesday, summed up the problems of overdoing things with an article headlined, "Who Will Bring Closure to a Grieving Nation?" but, says the report, many Americans are eager to participate in the rituals of the day.
"It's not the amount of coverage that counts but the occasion it's devoted to," said Robert Lichter, president of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington. "Journalists are more comfortable reporting facts than bearing witness. But at times like this they play a cathartic role in the life of the nation."
Onion web site:
Washington Post report:
2002-09-10: The bad blood between the two top Spanish-language radio companies in the U.S., Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. (SBS) and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. (HBC), features in an AP/Wall Street Journal feature carried by various US newspapers.
The two companies held talks about a merger in the spring of this year, at which time SBS chairman and CEO Raul Alarcon spoke of a merger creating "immediate value" and Hispanic President and CEO McHenry Tichenor Jr. said it would have "strategic merit."
He invited Alarcon to talk to his company's board at the end of May but only days later, on June 12, announced that HBC had agreed to be taken over by Univision Communications Inc., (See RNW June 13)
SBS reacted with legal action, filing an anti-trust suit that accused HBC and Clear Channel, its largest shareholder, with trying to illegally abusing their combined power to unfairly disadvantage SBS. Later SBS upped the ante with a claim for actual damages of USD500 million, to be tripled with punitive damages (See RNW Aug 1).
At stake is a lucrative and growing market and the article notes that "Of the 369 radio stations started between 1998 and 2001, 141, or 38 percent, were in Spanish."
It adds that the two companies together account for more than half the total revenues of the Spanish-language radio market, estimated at USD700 million last year.
HBC with 55 stations and USD240 million of revenues last year is nearly twice the size of SBS, whose 24 stations brought in revenues of some USD134 million for the same year.
The growth in the Spanish-language market has made both companies attractive to potential suitors and the paper says that each is backed by major players. In the case of SBS, radio giant Clear Channel is its majority shareholder - and is also accused by SBS of violating an FCC rule by playing an active management role in HBC; for SBS, the suggested backer is General Electric Co.'s NBC, which owns the No. 2 Spanish-language TV network, Telemundo.
The takeover by Univision has been hit by a large drop in its share value, down some 40% since June, but it says it still wants to go ahead, and the article suggests that if the deal does go through SBS would have an uncertain future battling against a company that combines the strength of HBC with Univision's record labels, which control 35 percent of the Latin music market in the U.S.
On the other had, it says, if the deal falls, SBS may have another go at bidding for HBC, with the backing of NBC.
Either way, the bad blood is likely to continue. It began in 1977 according to the paper, which says that the root was the formation of HBC through the combination of Heftel Broadcasting Corp. and Tichenor Media Systems. The deal was engineered by Clear Channel, majority owner of Heftel, which had also hoped to acquire SBS but whose price was rejected by Alarcon as too low.
Alarcon, who fled his native Cuba as a teenager, had the say over the deal since he owns stock controlling more than four fifths of the company's voting power. He comes from a radio background; his father had owned radio stations in Cuba and launched SBS in 1983 with a New York AM.
Previous Clear Channel:
San Francisco Chronicle - AP/WSJ article:
2002-09-10: Cumulus Media has pulled out of its USD55million cash deal to buy five stations in the Saginaw, Michigan, market from Wilks Broadcasting, LLC and Wilks License Co., LLC. (See RNW May 8)
No reason for abandoning the deal was given, merely that the two companies had mutually agreed to end it. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey in the announcement commented, "We are currently in negotiations for several transactions and will continue expanding our platform by acquiring market-leading clusters that are accretive to our shareholders."
The stations involved were WTCF-FM, Carrollton, WCEN-FM, Mt. Pleasant and WSGW-AM, WGER-FM and WTLZ-FM, Saginaw
Cumulus web site:
2002-09-09: With September 11 only two days away, it was really a no-brainer when it came to the lead topic for this week's look at print on radio but rather than going for US items to start with, we lead with two UK columns.
As we write, we've just finished listening to this week's "With Us or Against Us" programme on BBC Radio 4 (also available online on-demand at the moment). The series, presented by Edward Stourton, was described by Sue Arnold in the UK Observer as "extraordinarily well-researched", a comment we'd agree with .
Arnold then continues, "It has been running for two weeks now but I find it so compelling that I've even switched over to the World Service which has just started a slightly different version called The Diplomatic Jigsaw. You can see why. In World Service terms, who exactly is 'us'?"
"They're both good titles, though the latter more accurately sums up the content. Stourton's brief is to untangle the complex web of diplomatic moves and counter- moves that immediately followed the disaster."
"Whether it was persistence or charm that persuaded such Premier League players as Condoleezza Rice, Lord Robertson, the Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the UN and Tony Blair to unburden their souls to him I don't know but Stourton certainly gets results."
"Listening to that toughest of tough of birds, Condoleezza Rice, confess that she broke down when she switched on the television and heard the guards at Buckingham Palace playing 'The Stars and Stripes' two days later almost made me weep, too".
"For some reason, I imagined we'd have to wait at least 30 years to find out what was said in that first post-attack Oval Office to Number 10 telephone call but, no, Blair tells all. The Americans weren't in the business of knee-jerk retaliation."
"As Bush put it, there is no point in just pounding sand. They were going to work through all the options slowly."
"'The President,' observes Stourton dryly, 'so often pilloried for a clumsy tongue and a failure of vision has found a mission.'"
"Stourton should have been a diplomat, for in an age where it's cool to be casual he chooses his words with care. There is no point in mucking about, says Tony Blair when asked why Britain immediately backed the attack on al-Qaeda: 'You either get them or they get you.' There speaks a statesman."
The other UK article we selected was in the London Times, where Chris Campling asked of radio, "Can it work, given that what happened to the World Trade Centre had such a visual impact? What can radio add?"
His answer: "Everything, as it happens. Yes, we can all remember the pictures of what happened, but it is the sounds that can give us nightmares. It has been that way ever since radio began and television was naught but a twinkle in John Logie Baird's eye. We remember what we see, but we are moved by what we hear. "
In the US, 9-11 will dominate Wednesday's airwaves and they will mainly be commercial free, although we did note one comment to the effect that running advertisements on the day should be seen as a patriotic duty; the comment, which we saw in Radio and Records online, came from New York City consultant Walter Sabo who sent a memo to his clients reading in part," Every client has asked if they should run commercials on 9-11. Emphatically, yes."
"The reason why should be outlined in a promotional announcement. 'Yes' because the attacks were specifically against financial institutions. The goal was specifically to disrupt our economy. Not running commercials, stopping your revenues, slowing the stream of commerce to your advertisers is a victory for the terrorists."
The advice is unlikely to be widely followed for a significant part of the day, partly because stations are sensitive to the fact that many listeners (and viewers) would find commercial interruptions when their minds are on remembering the victims would be insensitive and partly because many advertisers themselves would not wish to be associated with such interruptions.
As Los Angeles KNX-AM news director Ed Pyle put it to the Los Angeles Times in a report by Steve Carney, "We'll have a lighter commercial load than we usually do. It hasn't been by our instigation. Some advertisers are shying away from the day."
The Times report then notes that, "According to an Advertising Age magazine survey, 51% of consumers polled thought advertising would be inappropriate on Sept. 11, while only 34% thought it unnecessary for advertisers to back off."
"Pyle noted, " it added, "that the fewer ads phenomenon seems more prevalent the farther east you go, closer to the scenes of the attacks."
The question of advertising was also taken up by Chris Reidy in the Boston Globe. "On the radio, " he wrote, "public service messages could replace many hard-sell ads, and newspaper readers could see page after page of tributes to victims and fire-fighters."
"For advertisers and the media, advertising on Sept. 11, the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks, is such a touchy subject that many are keeping their options open as long as possible."
Reidy then summed up the issue as, "There is also a potential chicken-and-egg issue. Will there be fewer ads on Sept. 11 because many advertisers decide to stay quiet that day? Or will there be fewer ads because in the name of public service, some stations choose to air commercial-free programming?"
The answers seemed to be a bit of both, with different stations making different choices. In Boston, Clear Channel's stations, which were given a choice market by market, will run commercial free for the day.
''Boston was so heavily impacted by the tragic events of 9/11 we decided, out of respect, to run commercial free for the day,'' said Jack Foley, its regional director of sales.
Others went for compromises: WEEI-AM and WRKO-AM, for example will run commercial free from 5:30 a.m. until noon,
and, whilst three Boston radio stations owned by New Jersey-based Greater Media - WBOS-FM, WKLB-FM, and WMJX-FM - plan to stick with their normal music programming and commercial policies on Sept. 11, its Boston talk station, WTTK-FM, will have no commercials during locally produced segments although syndicated programmes that WTTK carries could have commercials.
Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communication at Boston University, told the paper that many stations were "operating on the principle that Americans will be offended by commercial ads that run on Sept. 11" but, he added one poll conducted after advertisements were pulled on the day found that many consumers yearned for their return.
''These people saw commercials as part of normalcy,'' Berkovitz said.
In coverage terms, almost all, if not all, US radio stations will carry a moment of silence (at 8:46 a.m. ET) and will also broadcast President Bush's speech and other services, but for wider-ranging broadcasts on the issues raised, public radio would appear to be outperforming its commercial brethren.
As well as carrying National Public Radio (NPR) programming on the day, many public stations are also broadcasting their own reports, feature and analysis during the week as well as carrying network material such as the series "Understanding America After 9/11" that was produced in a collaborative venture between 11 stations including NWYC in new York, WAMU in Washington, D.C. WBUR-FM in Boston and Minnesota Public Radio.
Public Radio is also airing a three-week Sunday series, "The Infinite Mind" that started yesterday and looks at how Americans are coping a year after the attacks. The first programme dealt with the psychological shock of the attacks the second will look at the effect of the past year's ethical crises in the church and corporate America and the third looks at how people have changed their relationships to their jobs.
RNW comment: Understandably, US stations and media in general, have concentrated on covering the September 11 story from an American perspective, but from our reading of US newspapers, limited viewing of and listening to US broadcasters, and rather more widespread listening through the BBC to comments from Americans in programmes relating to the events and issues, it seems to us that a significant disservice has been done to the American public by their media.
With some notable exceptions (particularly the New York Times and Washington Post),whether or not one agrees with the comments made, what did come through was the narrowness of perspective in most views from the US compared to that of broadcasters, commentators and politicians from many other areas some of which rather surprised us.
We reckon just the two BBC series praised by Sue Arnold plus the "World in Your Ear" (Sundays, 1900 GMT on BBC Radio 4) would together be more informative in terms of anything other than US views than an entire week of US network TV output.
BBC Radio 4 web site:
BBC World Service web site:
Boston Globe - Chris Reidy;
Los Angeles Times - Steve Carney:
NPR web site:
Radio and Records web site:
UK Observer - Sue Arnold:
UK Times - Chris Campling:
2002-09-09: Chris Tarrant's impending departure from Capital FM's Radio's breakfast show (See RNW Sep 4), which has already been a factor in a fall in the company's share price, could cost it up to GBP1 million a year according to the UK Independent on Sunday.
It says investment bank Morgan Stanley reckons that Tarrant's show accounts for 15% of Capital's advertising revenue and, should his departure lead to a sharp drop in listening, it could hit profits by up to 7%.
A Capital spokesman commented that this was "the latest in a series of notes trying to make an arithmetic valuation of a hypothetical situation" and Chief Executive David Mansfield, in an interview carried by the UK Sunday Times, was non-committal about Tarrant's future with the company.
"Our agreement with Chris was that he'd do the Breakfast Show until more or less the end of the year," adding that there was no plan for his future currently under negotiation. "We're saying: 'Chris, what do you want to do?' " he said.
"We have to deal with it as we do all the time in all our radio stations when a DJ doesn't want to do a show anymore or we don't want them to do it anymore. Chris is hugely loyal, he's been here an incredibly long time and we have a good relationship and trust each other. "
Capital is also under pressure from the current trading environment, but, says the paper, "good judgment in boom times when Capital's value soared to an incredible £1.4 billion, means that unlike other media businesses, he is not now saddled with massive debts. Acquisitions to the value of £200m were funded through paper and onward sales of businesses and not cash. "
Mansfield himself commented, "People say: 'You're lucky, you haven't got lots of debt. But it's not luck, that's how we run the business. We have a very prudent view of debt. It's like your mortgage; interest rates are 4% and you can pay it comfortably. But what happens if rates go to 10%? We do exactly the same thing here."
On the issue of the future shape of British media ownership, Mansfield supports allowing foreign acquisitions of British media companies, although he is lobbying for only competition rules to apply for local media and opposes the "three media owners plus the BBC" proposal in the government's Communications Bill.
On the future for Capital, he commented, "We're sitting at a very interesting point in the company's history. We're very focused on radio, we do that best and we think it will create growth over the next five years. We really believe if they allow more consolidation of radio, we can provide better-quality consumer products. If we do that, we get better ratings and we get more money."
UK Independent on Sunday report:
UK Sunday Times report:
2002-09-08: The main regulatory news at the moment is next week's Federal Communications Commission meeting that will consider US media ownership rules (See story below); in the past week itself, it was mainly a case of routine although in the US a pirate has now been jailed as well as fined.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has invited applications for a new community licence for Port Hedland in Western Australia.
It has also extended the deadline by which Adelaide commercial radio service 5SSA has to change the operating frequency of its Adelaide Foothills translator. The change was required to allow an additional commercial service for the area and the change was originally required by September 19. It has now been extended until March next year because the ABA is not proposing to auction the new licence until after September next year.
The Authority has also released a new package of measures to give guidance to operators of open narrowcasting services; it includes details of additional conditions to be applied to such licences.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been involved in the issue of a number of low power licences and has also agreed to a Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) request for revocation of some of its Newfoundland licences. These are for CBYT-AM, Corner Brook, plus transmitters at Stephenville, Irishtown, Port-aux-Basques, St. Andrews, Harbour Le Cou, Rose Blanche, Gillams, Lark Harbour, York Harbour and Deer Lake. The Commission had agreed in July to allow the CBC to add these services to the licence of CBNT-AM, St. John's.
It has also approved a new low-power FM in Tagish, Yukon Territory. The 50-watt station will broadcast 44 hours a week of local programming including local news and weather, public service announcements and programs featuring the First Nations peoples and the history of the area; for the rest of the time it will re-transmit a signal from CFMI-FM Vancouver.
In Quebec, it has approved a power increase from 12,730 watts to 30,000 watts for CHOE-FM Matane and also an extension until October4, 2003, of the deadline for Newcap Inc to commence operation of a new FM dance station for Ottawa/Hull.
In Ontario, the CRTC has allowed an extension until December 20 this year of the deadline for Celestial Sound to commence operating new transmitters for CHIM-FM Timmins in Timmins, Chapleau, Elliot Lake, Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie. The commission had already agreed one extension of deadline for these services.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), has held a public meeting concerning the local commercial radio service for Counties Carlow/Kilkenny (See RNW Sep 3) and has also announced details of hearings to be held in Portlaoise on October 14th concerning licences for services in the franchise areas of Co. Tipperary and Laois/Offaly/Westmeath and also for a Limerick area medium wave special service licence.
Only one applicant, Tipp FM, has been short listed for the Co. Tipperary licence; two are short listed for the Laois/Offaly/Westmeath licence (Midlands 103 and Heartlands FM); and two are short listed for the Limerick Area AM licence (Limerick Family Radio, which proposes a Christian Service and North Munster Radio (a working title) that is proposing a Country & Irish Music Service.
In the UK the Radio Authority has issued one FM licence and one digital multiplex. The former, for Worthing in West Sussex, went to Splash FM against competition from five other applicants (See Licence News March 3)
The latter was the digital multiplex for Norwich, which went to Now Digital Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of GWR Group plc.
Now Digital had been competing against an application from EMAP Digital Radio Ltd.' both were offering nine services in addition to carrying BBC Radio Norwich (See Licence News, March 24)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as we have already noted, is to start considering the future of US media ownership regulations on Thursday.
It has also been involved in an investigation that saw a Florida pirate fined USD25, 000 and jailed for 15 months (See RNW Sep 5) and issued a list of 151 more low-power FM applications accepted for filing (See RNW Sep 9).
On the media ownership front, it has announced that it is to hold a hearing on two Texas deals in the Beaumont- Port Arthur, Texas Arbitron metro that were red-flagged on concentration grounds. One is the acquisition of KAYD- FM (formerly KLOI-FM), Silsbee, Texas, from Hilco Communications Inc. by Cumulus and the other Clear Channel's acquisition of KCOL- FM, Groves, Texas, in the same Arbitron metro.
It says that in making its determination that the deal would not be in the public interest, it took into account data and arguments, some of it conflicting, presented by both Cumulus and Clear Channel.
Cumulus already programmes KAYD under a Local Marketing Agreement and is the licensee of four stations in the metro, KIKR-AM, Beaumont, Texas; KQHN-AM, Nederland, Texas; KQXY- FM, Beaumont, Texas; and KTCX-FM, Beaumont, Texas.
After its agreement with Hilco to purchase KAYD-FM, Cumulus, either alone or in conjunction with Hilco, engaged in a series of changes including changing the call sign of its then KAYD-FM to KRWP-FM from Country to Urban and requesting Arbitron to move it to the Houston- Galveston metro and also changing the call sign of KLOI-FM to KAYD-FM and changing its format to Country.
The deals were red-flagged in 2001 on concentration grounds. The FCC noted that, based on 2001 figures, if the deals were permitted the Cumulus and Clear Channel between them would own nine of the 17 commercial stations in the Beaumont metro, including six of the seven FMs with the seventh being operated under an LMA. Together they would account for 94.5% of local advertising.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-09-08: Next Thursday's (September 12) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meeting, which will start a rule-making process on broadcast ownership limits forms the peg for a New York Times business article that says it expects the process to "lead to the most significant regulatory overhaul since the telecommunications laws were rewritten nearly six years ago."
Up for consideration are calls for changes to rules limiting national broadcast ownership, local radio concentration, local radio, newspaper and TV ownership, TV duopolies, and dual-TV network ownership.
Some of the rules, says the Times, may be retained in part because of lobbying by powerful corporate interests. It cites as an example of this, the cap on a network owning stations that broadcast to more than 35% of US homes, a cap that is supported by the National Association of Broadcasters and many affiliates and opposed by the networks who want no cap at all.
Alan Frank, the chairman of the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance and the president of Post-Newsweek Stations, told the paper, "There is a strong sense in Congress that you need more owners, not fewer owners,"
On other issues there are different corporate clashes or no strong lobbies but in all cases the expectation is that rules will be loosened or dropped. Amongst those likely to favour such a change is FCC chairman Michael K Powell, who has voiced scepticism about the efficacy of the current ownership rules in promoting diversity and competition.
On the other side are various media organisations that represent consumers and minority groups who contend that the abandonment of regulation would make it much harder for new voices to be heard.
New York Times report:
2002-09-08: Toronto sports station, The Fan, and Rogers Sportsnet have each been served with a libel suit for CAD3.5 million (around USD2.2 million) by former Canadian Football League commissioner Michael Lysko over comments made about him shortly before he was fired in March this year.
Each suit is demanding CAD2.5 million for aggravated damages for libel and another CAD$1-million for punitive and exemplary damages; the suits name The Fan's Bob McCown and Damien Cox and Sportsnet's Marty York.
McCown and Cox are alleged to have made comments on March 12 that were false and painted Lysko as incompetent, unqualified, a liar, and someone who acted illegally whilst York is alleged to have made false and defamatory statements about Lysko on March 11, 12 and 13.
2002-09-07: A new deal agreed by Clear Channel with three independent music promoters has upset recording company executives according to the Los Angeles Times.
The deal gives the promoters the exclusive rights to pitch songs to Clear Channel program directors at its top urban stations and the promoters have dramatically increased their charges according to the paper.
It says "At KHHT-FM in Los Angeles, promotional prices surged 50%, with Clear Channel's new gatekeepers charging $2,000 for each song added to its weekly playlist. By last week, rates had jumped 20% to 100% at 42 Clear Channel black music stations across the nation after the company signed exclusive deals with promoters Ted Astin, Wes Johnson and Reuben Rodriguez."
The paper adds that the deals appear to contradict earlier statements by Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays on the issue of such payments (See RNW July 16) and quoted Peter Hart, an analyst for the New York-based media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, as accusing Mays of "talking out both sides of his mouth."
"One day he's boasting about cleaning up a corrupt system. The next day we learn that his company is getting more deeply involved in the practice that he condemns," Hart said. "The message is clear: Clear Channel is not serious about cracking down on independent [music] promotion but in fact looking to capitalize on it."
The paper comments that Clear Channel says it has no control over what prices the promoters charge--and receives no percentage of their per-song rates and adds that the company chain earns its money in the form of annual fees by charging Astin, Johnson and Rodriguez about $100,000 and up per year at each station for the exclusive right to pitch songs at its black music stations.
It also noted that even more is paid to Clear Channel at its pop and rock stations, ranging up to $250,000 annually per station, under a series of deals cut with Tri-State Promotions, Jeff McClusky, Bill McGathy and other promoters.
"We have decided to set up a system where there are contracts with a limited number of independent promoters because it makes it possible for us to establish controls and oversight to monitor the system," Mays said in a statement this week. "This also allows us to keep it separate from programming. Decisions on programming are based entirely on research and on data from local markets indicating what listeners want to hear."
The system, notes the Times, was set up in the wake of the payola scandal over direct payments to get songs aired and functioned to allow the recording companies a degree of control over what was aired. Now, it says, with the creation of major chains as a result of consolidation in the US radio industry, the balance of power has shifted to the radio side.
RNW comment: It's difficult not to react with the feeling " A plague on both your houses." Neither side, without a major exercise of imagination could be regarded as remotely capable of construing matters in terms of the public interest as opposed to their own profit. As regards the attitude of US lawmakers on the matter, it also seems to require a leap of imagination to consider many of them as responsive more to the public interest than to the size of payments received from interested parties (what, we understand, the US is fond of calling "bribery and corruption" elsewhere.
Either it doesn't matter that what gets on the air is in effect a result of bribery and corruption or new laws should be enacted to close the door on deals by clearly ruling out any arrangement that involves payment in any way connected with airplay.
Both sides in any such case should be held equally responsible with both large fines on the companies and criminal responsibility attaching to individuals directly involved and also the directors of the companies who should at least have to face the risk of jail sentences.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-09-07: British radio got off lightly in the latest set of rulings by the British Broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC).
In its August bulletin just issues, only one complaint against British radio was held, compared to three in July and in all only 126 complaints were dealt with compared to 205 in July when the total was high; in June the Commission dealt with 122 complaints.
Of the total complaints, eight concerned fairness, and of these only one was against radio and this was not upheld. Of the other seven complaints against TV, only one was upheld.
Another 118 complaints concerned standards, no statements being required in 19 cases; In all six complaints were upheld, another was upheld in part and four were considered resolved.
The only radio complaint of the six involved The Ed Douglas phone-in show on BBC Southern Counties Radio on February 10. A listener, who had called in complained of being ridiculed. The BBC said the presenter had not set out to do his but during a pause, a tape of farmyard noises began to play. The tape was run as part of a gag that had featured for some weeks, with the tape cutting in at unexpected moments, and the caller had entered into the spirit of the show.
After listening to the tape of the programme, the Standards Panel said it "considered that the presenter's needless and patronizing exploitation of the caller had exceeded acceptable boundaries for broadcast."
Previous BSC/ BSC Complaints Bulletin:
BSC web site (Note: This is a 'Flash' site: It links to the report in PDF format- 184 kb):
2002-09-07: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a further list of 155 low power FM licence applications that have been accepted for filing from the fourth LPFM window or earlier and do not conflict with other applications.
Stations involved are mainly from Alabama, Arkansas, Guam, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Montana
2002-09-07: Maurice Ennals, the first manager of BBC Radio Leicester and one of the founders of the BBC's local radio network, has died aged 83.
The station was the first of the BBC's local radio stations and launched the Corporation's local radio network in England in 1967. Ennals later went on to launch Radio Solent.
In Canada, Newfoundland CBC radio host Art Rockwood has died aged 55 in Montreal; he was suffering from a rare muscular degenerative disease.
He was born in Newfoundland and made his radio debut in 1965 with Memorial University radio, leaving the university before he earned his degree and being hired a year later at VOCM's Marystown station.
Rockwood joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Gander station in 1968 and eleven years later moved to St John's where he hosted or contributed to programmes including The Morning Show, Radio Noon and On the Go.
He was most closely associated with Radio Noon, a programme he worked on for almost 20 years, starting from 1981. He also spent five years as a music producer and in 1995 created and hosted a half-hour morning show, The Rockwood Files, which mixed music, interviews and archive material.
Toronto Globe and Mail - Rockwood obituary:
2002-09-06: US public radio programme This American Life, which is hosted by Ira Glass, has struck a deal with Warner Brothers that allows the studio "first-look" rights to its weekly output that could lead to it creating a movie from the show's offbeat features.
Glass, commenting on the deal to Current Magazine, said it was a "lovely and logical thing", adding, "We've got a lot of stories, and we need money. They've got a lot of money and need stories."
The deal covers the show's archives and its next two years output but no figure has been released although Glass said it involved "a lot" of dough.
The money will go to Glass and WBEX in Chicago, who co-own the show and both say they intend to funnel it back into the programme. It may also prove a goldmine to freelancers who have provided around two-thirds of the shows output but were not asked to surrender movie rights; future contributors will be asked to surrender rights. In return they, or past contributors whose story has aroused interest, will get a small upfront payment plus a share of a much larger sum should the interest be followed through.
Current Magazine report:
2002-09-06: British former radio host Chris Evans, who was fired by Virgin radio as its breakfast host last year (year (See RNW June 29, 2001) and had previously left the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show following a row with management, has agreed a GBP1 million plus deal with HarperCollins to write his autobiography.
The company says the book, "Little Bigshot", will be a full and frank account of his life.
Since leaving Virgin, Evans has been in legal dispute with the station's owners, SMG, the former Scottish Media Group that bought his Giner Media Group for GBP225 million (See RNW Jan 13, 2002), over shares he says he is owed by the company.
He has now moved into TV production and has also been reported as talking to venture capitalists over financing to buy a TV channel, thought to be Britain's Channel Five.
2002-09-06: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that comments made in an episode of the John Michael Show concerning the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians breached its code of ethics.
Complaints had been made about shows broadcast on March 6 and 7 this year by CKTB-AM, St. Catharines, Ontario but it was the first show that caused the breach; Michaels' comments during the second show were said by the CBSC to have been "considerably toned down and inoffensive."
The comments that were found in breach of the code were calls for violence against the Palestinians.
It stressed that the host had the right to favour Israel, to take the view that military force was necessary to resolve the situation and that negotiation was doomed to failure, and to espouse a "might is right" position but said that some of his comments went beyond acceptable bounds. It commented that comments that Israel should "go to town with the biggest tanks, the biggest guns, the biggest of everything you got and blow the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat included, to kingdom come" and that the Israelis should "kill everyone who is not their friend" were not merely an unsubtle stance but also promoted "promotes blanket violence against a people and smacks of a genocidal tone."
"To advocate violence against those who perpetrate terror would be one thing, " commented the council, then added," To propose such a recourse against all persons of a nationality solely on the basis of their sharing that background has no place on Canadian airwaves."
The Panel also found a breach of Clause 2 of the CAB Code of Ethics for Michael's abusively and unduly discriminatory comments against Palestinians. It said it considered that "John Michael's blanket condemnation of all Palestinians as hating persons of the Jewish faith and wishing to drive Israel out of existence [was] excessive," and that "to tar all Palestinians with a brush of hatred constitutes, in the view of the Ontario Panel, an unduly discriminatory comment based on their national or ethnic origin."
CBSC web site:
2002-09-06: Interep and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) are to host a "Power of Hispanic Radio" forum in New York on October 4, headlining the event in terms of "Reaching a USD580 Billion U.S. Hispanic Marketplace."
The two companies say they expect the event to attract more than 300 advertisers, media decision-makers and multi-cultural marketers.
SBS President and CEO Raul Alarcon commented, "More than ever, advertisers are recognizing the importance of covering the Hispanic segment of their customer base with culturally relevant and highly targeted media, such as Spanish-language radio."
"Both SBS and Interep have been at the forefront of marketing Hispanic Radio to the advertising community for many years. We are delighted to co-sponsor our first interactive forum and improve the understanding and appreciation of the Latino radio."
Event web site:
2002-09-05: The demise of Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) following the Sex for Sam affair has proved a bonus for Washington duo Don and Mike (Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara) who have now reclaimed their afternoon spot at WJFK-FM, Washington; they'd been moved to the midday slot in August last year to make way for the New York duo.
They're also being offered in syndication by Westwood One to all former Opie and Anthony stations.
On their return, Don Geronimo referred to their one-year agreement with Infinity as " a deal with the devil" and O'Meara cracked, "No matter where you work, suits are suits."
The pair also couldn't resist a dig at their former rivals, with Geronimo saying, "If there was ever a sign that there is a God, it happened" and later adding, "This is better than any ratings book we've ever had. This is sweeter."
At WNEW-FM in New York, Ron and Fez (Ron Pennington and Fez Whatley) who'd been covering afternoons in place of Opie and Anthony, now have the midday slot and Los Angeles-based Tom Leykis, who had been filling nights, is in the afternoon slot.
Previous Don and Mike:
Previous Opie and Anthony:
Previous Ron and Fez:
2002-09-05: The US radio industry is to adopt a random verifications programme to ensure what the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) terms "the highest possible level of credibility in the reporting of Radio revenues."
RAB in conjunction with the Nationwide Market Revenue Measurement Advisory Committee ( a committee comprised of senior executives from all the major US radio companies) and Miller Kaplan, Arase & Co., have established a two-tier verification system of ongoing random verifications in conjunction with the formation of "a special request task force for rapid response to troubleshooting situations."
Some 40 stations will be selected for on-site verification each quarter and procedures will include the agreeing of six months' revenues as reported to the station's underlying books and records and the referencing of contracts to establish that the station is at direct financial risk for all events for which NTR Non-Spot is being reported.
Stations selected for random verification will receive a letter of notification and a minimum of two weeks to prepare for the on-site visit, which will take approximately 90 minutes.
In addition any report participant will at any time have the right to request a specific verification if they have reason to believe that a competitor is out of compliance with reporting guidelines.
RAB President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Fries commented. "This is another step forward to ensure credibility in the numbers used by the RAB to report Radio Revenues. The RAB is committed to supporting initiatives that will continue to advance the Radio industry as we move into the future."
RAB web site:
2002-09-05: Jupiter, Florida, resident William Flippo has been jailed for 15 months and fined USD25,000 following his June conviction on eight counts including unlicensed operation of a broadcasting station and causing intentional interference to Amateur Radio Communications. In addition, he will have to serve a year of supervised release following completion of his jail sentence.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had commenced investigations into his activities following complaints from the 70-member amateur radio club, the Jupiter- Tequesta Florida Repeater Group, about intentional interference with their communications on two radio bands and Flippo was arrested in June 2000. He came to trial in June this year and was convicted of the offences.
2002-09-05: Clear Channel has finally been unseated from the top spot in MeasureCast's Internet ratings by a newcomer to its rankings; the new top network for the week to August 25 was MUSICMATCH, which streamed 1,106,530 hours of music on its 58 Internet-only stations compared to Clear Channel's 1,083,369 hours of streaming from a network of 213 stations.
Listening was up 4% in the week and MeasureCast says it is now up nearly seven and a half times since January 2001.
For the week to August 25, MeasureCast's top five stations ranked by Total Time Spent Listening (TTSL) with (in brackets) TTSL and Cume persons (a measure of the cumulative audience -CP) for the previous week - were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 357,080 (323,295); CP 76,729 (73,495): Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 325,231 (343,131); CP: 63,092 (60,821). Down from first with lower listening but higher reach.
3:Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 268,438.New entry. No CP available.
4: Contemporary Christian Music K-Love - TTSL 223,624 (207,822); CP 27,154 (25,102). Down from third despite yet again attaining higher listening and reach.
5: Classical music format WQXR-FM 174,329 (165,966); CP 27,342 (26,416). Same position with higher listening and reach.
*Sports talk format ESPN fell from fourth to eighth spot with TTSL down from 176, 660 to 162,136
The top five networks for the week (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,106,530
2: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,083,369 (1,181,617); CP 257,450 (262,039) - Down from top with lower listening and reach.
3: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 859,404 (837,344): CP 159,836 (157,210) - Down from second despite higher listening and reach.
4: WARP Radio TTSL 783,274 (716,081) hours: CP 114,941 (157,210) - Down from third with higher listening but lower reach.
5:StreamAudio TTSL 575,286 (390,434 ) ; CP 100,029 (60,391 ). Up from sixth with higher listening and reach.
**Virgin Radio fell from fourth to sixth with TTSL down from 449,205 to 418,662 and Internet Radio Inc dropped from fifth to seventh with TTSL down from 406,608 to 396,166.
The top five simulcast stations for the week (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 357,080 (323,295); CP 76,729 (73,495): Up from second with higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 325,231 (343,131); CP: 63,092 (60,821). Down from first with lower listening but higher reach.
3: Contemporary Christian Music K-Love - TTSL 223,624 (207,822); CP 27,154 (25,102). Same position with higher listening and reach.
4: Classical music format WQXR-FM 174,329 (165,966); CP 27,342 (26,416). Up from fifth with higher listening and reach.
5: Sports talk format ESPN TTSL 162,136 (176, 660); CP 32,709 (35,748). Down from fourth with lower listening and reach.
The top five Internet-only stations for the week (Previous week in brackets), were:
1: MUSICMATCH Artist match. TTSL 268,438. Newcomer, No CP available.
2: MUSICMATCH Top hits. TTSL 165,762. Newcomer, No CP available.
3: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 162,846 (155,927); CP 40,462 (40,872) - Down from top spot with higher listening but lower reach.
4:Listener-formatted MEDIAmazing - TTSL 113,278 (89,029); CP 52,156 (45,293) Down from second despite higher listening and reach. (RNW Note: Now closed down - See RNW Sept 4).
5:Classic Rock Radio Margaritaville -TTSL 93,916 (85,620); CP 18,286 (14,026) - Down from third despite higher listening and reach.
*Pure Rock KNAC.com was down from fourth to sixth with TTSL up slightly to 82,506 from 82,219 and Country format Bluegrass Country was down from fifth to seventh with TTSL up to 75,657 from 68,982.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-09-05: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the award of three further local radio licences subject to contract negotiations.
They are for Mayo, Longford/Roscommon/Leitrim South and Cavan/Monaghan on the FM band and an AM in Galway.
The latter licence has gone to Galway 2AM and the FM licences to Mid-West Radio for Mayo with the other two areas being awarded to Shannonside/Northern Sound. Contract details will be announced when the negotiations have concluded.
Also in Ireland, Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) is reported to have reached agreement on the purchase of loss-making Dublin Country 106FM.
BCI web site:
2002-09-04: The CAD255 (USD164 million) million deal by Montreal-based Astral Media to acquire 19 radio stations from Télémédia has now been approved by Canada's Competition Bureau subject to divestitures.
The stations are in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the deal, initially acquisition of all 19 stations, was passed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in April this year (See RNW April 21).
Under the new deal, AM radio stations owned by the companies in six French-language markets where the Bureau concluded there were competition issues, will be placed under control of an operating trustee and subsequently sold as a network.
The markets involved are Montréal, Québec, Gatineau-Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Chicoutimi-Jonquière, and Gaston Jorré, Acting Commissioner of Competition, commented, "This settlement preserves competition in French language radio advertising."
"Divestitures and the expected entry of new radio stations will maintain competition in all markets where we had initially found concerns. Meanwhile, a code of conduct will protect advertisers and assist the establishment of the new radio stations."
The deal that has now been agreed involves Astral buying Télémédia 's radio assets for CAD120 million (USD77 million) in cash plus 5.33 million class A non-voting shares of Astral. The two companies will share equally the net proceeds from the disposition of Astral's AM radio assets.
When the deal closes, Astral will become the sole owner of Quebec's Radio Rock Detente FM network of six stations in Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres, Sherbrooke, Gatineau and Chicoutimi.
It also gains eight radio stations in the Maritime provinces and becomes the sole owner of the RadioPlus sales agency.
Astral's French-language Quebec AMs are to be sold for CAD12.5 million (USD 8 million) to a new company owned by TVA Group, Quebec's largest French-language TV network, and Radio-Nord Communications (See RNW Aug 28). As well as the AM disposals Astral is to sell CFOF-FM in Quebec City and, in four markets where the Competition Bureau had the greatest competition concerns (Gatineau-Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Chicoutimi-Jonquière), pending new entry, the Télémédia FM stations will continue to compete for local advertising against the Astral FM stations for up to 42 months.
Commenting on this move, Jorré said, "We have been able to address competition concerns in a constructive manner without the further need of costly legal proceedings."
Astral Radio president Jacques Parisien said in a statement, "We are obviously disappointed to have to dispose of the AM network but it is the only means to resolve the impasse between Astral, the CRTC and the Competition Bureau.''
Previous Astral Media:
Astral Web site:
Competition Bureau web site:
2002-09-04: Shares in Capital Radio fell by more then a tenth to GBP4.75 on Tuesday following reports that breakfast host Chris Tarrant is likely to leave his show before the end of the year, possibly as early as November.
Tarrant, who also hosts the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" TV show in Britain, is under contract to Capital until the end of next year but only has to continue presenting the breakfast show until the end of this year.
He has been in negotiations about other programme options since July (see RNW July 31) but had not spoken in public about the matter because of likely damage to Capital.
His show, which he has hosted for 15 years, heads the ratings in London with a reach of some 1.7 million a week according to latest audience figures, more than twice that of its nearest rivals, Heart and Kiss.
In an interview with the UK Daily Express, Tarrant said his life was at a crossroads and he was thinking, "that I need to get off the treadmill and think. I need some time away to think, really think about what I want to do. I can't do that while I'm working."
He also expressed concern about over-exposure and said he intended to cut his "Millionaire" TV appearance to one hour-long show a week instead of week long runs.
Previous Capital FM:
2002-09-04: One of the top ranked Internet channels, Internet-only listener-formatted MEDIAmazing.com has closed down and attempts to reach up the site get no response or notice.
Co-founder Henry Callie told Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN) that it was a "matter of economics - too many months of expenses exceeding revenues."
Callie and partner Phil Torcivia founded the Pennsylvania-based site in 1999 and earlier this year, following the decision of the Librarian of Congress on royalty rates for streaming songs, it changed to a USD 3.95 per month subscription service (See RNW Mar 15).
This initially hit its listening figures but it bounced back and in the most recent MeasureCast ratings was the second-ranked Internet-only station (see RNW Aug 29 ).
Callie told RAIN that they had signed up some 1,000 subscribers before stopping to take new subscriptions at the end of August and said he was pen to offers for the company's assets.
RAIN web site:
2002-09-03: XM Satellite Radio is launching a new "Playboy Radio" channel today, its first premium channel. It will cost USD2.99 per month on top of XM's USD9.99 per month subscription and its offerings include "Night Calls", a newly created radio version of the phone-in programme aired on Playboy's TV channel. Playboy describes it as a "carnal call-in show" on which callers can share their "wildest sexperiments on the air with our lusty late-night hosts Juli Ashton and Tiffany Granath."
The show will air live for three hours in the early evening on weekdays and the rest of the time will be taken up with repeats of earlier shows.
XM has also announced that its service is to be available from October as a dealer-installed option in Honda's Accord, Pilot and Acura MDX models.
XM web site:
2002-09-03: India's ambitious private FM radio plans, although stations have been successful when launched, is still being held up in some cities because of court cases over the issue of the allocation of frequencies that were for winning bidders who subsequently withdrew and are involved in legal action against the Indian government.
In the first phase some 100 frequencies were offered for auction in 40 cities with overall bids of some
4.25 billion rupees (USD680 million) rupees being made but disputes developed when the Indian Government issued Letters of Intent to the winning bidders asking them to furnish Bank Guarantees equal to the first year licence fees prior to signing the Licence. Some companies refused to do this, saying there were differences between the Tender Documents and the Letters of Intent; the government then said these companies would lose their Earnest Money Deposits made when they entered the bidding.
Among the winning bidders who then turned down the licences was media giant, whose radio company New Media gained 29 of the 108 licences allocated in the March 2000 auction. It took court action over the return of deposits of some 75 million rupees (USD 12 million) in deposits, saying the government had "changed the rules of the game at the last minute." (See RNW Nov 1, 2000).
In all Licence Agreements were signed only for around 35 of the 108 licences and the frequencies involved cannot now be allocated until the Delhi High Court rules on the cases before it.
As a result so far only 10 FMs are on- air in 6 cities with some 15 due to commence broadcasting in Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai by the end of this year. The dispute means not only that the Indian government has lost more than half the monies bid, some 2.5 billion rupees (USD 400 million) and that the whole FM development programme has been held up but that it may also face difficulties when it tries to auction the second phase of another 70 frequencies.
In addition to this, many of the original bids are now seen as being unrealistic because of a worse economic climate and companies which have frequencies allocated may not go ahead with all the stations they had planned.
Previous Indian radio report:
Times of India report:
2002-09-03: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has been holding public hearings in Kilkenny City over the new Counties Carlow/Kilkenny licence.
There are three applicants, Kilkenny Community Communications Co-op Society Ltd (KCR FM), Carlow Kilkenny Radio Ltd (CKR FM), and CK Broadcasting Ltd (KLCR).
A decision is expected at the end of this month.
2002-09-02: First off this week in our look at print comment on radio is a paean of praise for British Radio that came as a result of a current UK debate over the quality and future of British television. Writing in the UK Times in an article headed "Dyke should tune in to radio to spice up TV "(Ed note -BBC Director General Greg Dyke), William Rees-Mogg, former BBC Deputy Chairman, dealt with the TV debate first but then moved on to radio as a good example to follow.
"BBC Radio has achieved success under Jenny Abramsky (Ed note - BBC Director of Radio and Music)," he wrote, "because it balances originality with conservative standards of professionalism."
"It does not leave an impression of being produced solely by young adventurers, exuberant with uncorked egotism, but mainly by grown-ups who know what they are trying to achieve and have mastered the disciplines of their profession. Broadcasting is like all other skills. The radical may try to produce a single star performance; the conservative will be trying to produce an excellent performance every time. A balanced team will include both types, in broadcasting, in the rest of the media, just as much as in competitive games."
A contrary view of some of that same British radio came in the same paper from Cris Campling who writes of his early days listening in pre-TV South Africa to a range of British shows including the Goon Show and Hancock's Half Hour and the subject of his column, Just a Minute, which is still going on BBC Radio 4 but which he feels should have been pensioned off long ago.
Thirty years later he now describes theshow host Nicholas Parsons with the words, "Same catchphrases, same ability to seize a potentially humorous moment and kill it stone dead."
"He's been around so long," continues Campling, " that the show has become moulded to him. He sets the limits by which it will not go and, since the limits are being set by someone with no discernible sense of humour, they do not go all that far."
"Not even if the panellists include people who you would think could be funny under most circumstances: Linda Smith, Ross Noble, Paul Merton (actually, have you noticed that Merton seems to have given up being funny in favour of dressing so?). Instead, faced with the humour Black Hole that is Nicholas Parsons, they have to fall back on playing the game. They may, of course, be playing it in a Post-Modern, ironic way, but you can't really tell."
"But no matter. One does not listen to Just a Minute to have a laugh. There are plenty of programmes around that make you do that, but very few that are living proof that the past is not dead. Just deadly This concept of the non-funny humorous programme is not unique to Just a Minute "
After that savage comment, some fairly savage ones from the Toronto Globe and Mail where William Houston commented on CHUM's decision to kill its TEAM sports radio format.
He wrote, "Instead of the fiasco it turned out to be, CHUM Radio's national sports network could have been a success if the company had made moves that seemed obvious to many in the business" and then went on to say, " CHUM's biggest mistake was not so much that it bought into the idea of a national sports network, but that it was marred by inept decision-making, bad spending and weak hirings."
CHUM, says Houston, failed to hire the right talent, failing "to hire a single on-air personality to emerge as a star", threw money away on "marginal properties such as Formula One racing and PGA content, which did not move the ratings" and also failed to take action in building a partnership with TSN, which currently has a talent-sharing agreement with rival Toronto sports station THE FAN that TSN knew would eventually be dropped by the Fan's new owners, Rogers Communications.
He also comments that the company has not only infuriated staff, who were kept in the dark when a decision to dump the format had already been made, but also advertisers, who, according to one source, "bought ad time at CHUM thinking they were marketing their products to a young male audience They weren't figuring on CHUM switching to an audience of senior citizens grooving to the Diamonds."
Finally the main US radio story over the past week, the Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) Sex for Sam stunt, whose repercussions are still not totally clear.
It's a story that's attracted masses of cover and the first story we've chosen to feature comes from the Boston Herald where Dean Johnson in his radio column comments, after summarising the story," Now what happens? That question is being asked by a lot of people After all, their show has staged plenty of stunts that were crueller, cruder and ruder."
Johnson then cuts directly to the core of the matter, writing, "Here's the difference: This prank infuriated the Catholic League to the point where the FCC began tossing around the L-word - as in license. "
"Infinity has never been afraid of suspending naughty DJs or even forking over big bucks when they've gone too far. Howard Stern alone has cost Infinity more than $1 million in fines and fees.
But this time the FCC made rumblings that the station's broadcast license may be in jeopardy. It even inquired about other stations (most owned by Infinity) that carried the lurid broadcast."
"At that point, Opie and Anthony were chopped up and dumped overboard as if they were shark chum. It's even rumoured the guys were informed of their cancellation after Infinity announced it publicly. (Infinity has been careful to note the show was canned, but O & A have not been fired, which would release them from their contract.) "
" Will the FCC continue to pursue indecency charges and radio contest violations against Infinity Broadcasting? Will O & A be forced to spend two years lounging on the beach until their contract expires? None of that has been firmed up."
"It's unlikely Infinity will put them back on the air, and Clear Channel, the nation's biggest radio group, has announced it has no interest in the duo. "
"So, their options are limited. A gag order must be in effect because the two haven't said a word since this thing broke open. They've never gone so long without talking in their lives. Q
"For better or worse, this episode has already accomplished something. It's put a chill in the bones of radio shock talkers everywhere. No one is quite sure where the line is anymore - or what will happen when someone crosses it."
The Chicago Tribune in an editorial on the matter commented," Now we know how low the bar is set. But this is good news--at least we know there is still a bar. For a while there, it appeared there was virtually no limit, that these merry vulgarians of the radio could do almost anything without much more than a slap on the wrist."
"Now don't get us wrong, it continued. " We support free speech in all of its splendours and across the spectrum of opinion, even if it is crude, puerile, mind-polluting sludge of the type that is spewed not only by the shock jocks in New York, but plenty across the country, including here in Chicago. There's apparently an audience for that, and we respect that."
"But isn't it refreshing to know that some things remain beyond the pale, even in a culture where some television and radio programmers seem always in a race to see how low they can go?"
It also then went on to ask some questions. "It's odd, though. Of all the stunts to get fired for--sex in church. Why that? One Florida shock jock sponsored a "road kill barbecue" in which a live boar was slaughtered with a knife in the radio station parking lot. He got charged--and acquitted--but didn't get fired. Nor did the San Francisco deejays who tied up traffic on the Bay Bridge for hours, while one of them got a haircut in the middle of the road. (They did get fined and had to settle a civil lawsuit.) Or a Washington D.C. jock who urged a call-in listener to steal gasoline at a local service station. (He apologized.)"
RNW comment: As we noted after reading the transcript sent with the complaint about the show (See RNW Aug 24) the actual words used seemed to us much less offensive than other material for which fairly small fines have been levied by the FCC. We rather think Dean Johnson has it right -the principal crime was to put the boot into an already-sensitive Catholic Church to the extent that the Catholic League hit back, partly, we would suggest, on the basis that the best defence is to go on the offensive. Compared to large scale forced buggery of young boys, Opie and Anthony's stunt is fairly insignificant, even though we would not condone it; Imagine, indeed, that the duo had tried it on in a Middle Eastern mosque!
Previous Opie and Anthony:
Boston Herald -Johnson:
Chicago Tribune - Sex for Sam editorial:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Houston:
UK Times - Campling:
UK Times - Rees-Mogg:
2002-09-02: In a report on the success of Saga Radio in the UK, the UK Observer considers the company's success against a background of the demographic changes that are leading to a higher proportion of older people in many Western countries.
Saga, says the paper is "emerging as the standard bearer of radio for the more mature listener" and it quotes Ron Coles, Saga's director of radio, as saying, "If you get the right mix you can take people with you - it's just got to be melodic and familiar."
The paper refers to Saga's "diet of bygone crooners and contemporary balladeers (slogan: 'From Frank to Hank, from Bing to Sting'), mixed with a dash of lifestyle-based chat and anti-ageist campaigning" which has seen them awarded analogue licences and also set up a national digital service, PrimeTime.
Saga already has East and West Midlands regional FM licences, the latter of which is on air and the former due in the spring, and it is regarded as a strong contender for the London AM licence due to be awarded in October.
Saga sees its audience as older listeners disenchanted with the BBC and tired of commercial radio's youth orientation, an audience increasing in number and which Coles says holds four fifths of Britain's wealth. Its mix, says the paper, targets "both 50-year-olds who were teenagers when the Beatles broke up and people who grew up before 'teenagers' existed."
Others see it as aiming too broadly and Colin Wilsher, managing director of Classic Gold, which has 18 local AM stations nationwide, commented, "We play Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. We don't play Dean Martin and Perry Como."
He went on to comment, "'The 50-year-old listener has a much younger attitude than was previously the case. Saga has an appeal to a much older demographic so that in fact there's a stigma attached to that brand name - it actually means old. We think that's the weakness of the Saga brand. The more affluent 50-year-old would not want to be associated with it."
Saga disagrees and says it is in fact attracting the affluent 50 plus audience. As the demographics go its way, Coles says he thinks the company is ahead of the game in pioneering services for its audience and also being involved with digital radio. "We've got in there early, and have a real head start on any other broadcaster." he says, adding, "But it'll be good news the more people are out there banging the drum for this age group."
UK Observer report:
2002-09-01: Last week was most notable on the licence front for the issuing of two new commercial FM licences in Australia with other areas fairly quiet although the FCC has finally got Alaskan broadcaster \Peninsula Communications to switch off its translators under a threat of losing its licence as well as being fined.
In Australia, the main news was the award of new commercial FM licences by the Australian Broadcasting Authorty in Queensland where Hot Tomato Pty bid AUD26 million (around Usd14 million) for the new Gold Coast commercial FM, and onestore.com.au Pty Ltd AUD8.2 million (around USD 4.5 million) for the Nambour licence (See RNW Aug 27).
The ABA has also allocated new community licenses in South and Western Australia.
The former licence was for a new community radio licence for Port Adelaide, which went to Way Out West Broadcasters Inc to serve the general community. Way Out West has been broadcasting on the allocated frequency under a temporary licence and its permanent licence will start on November 1 this year.
The two other licences were allocated to Heritage FM Inc to serve the general community of Armadale and to Wanneroo Joondalup Regional Broadcasting Association Inc to serve the general community of Wanneroo. Both broadcasters had been transmitting under temporary licences and their permanent licences will commence on March 1 next year and November 1 this year respectively.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was fairly busy with announcements concerning new community stations, changes for existing ones, licence extensions and awards and also the approval of two Ontario takeovers.
The takeovers approved related to Ontario broadcaster North Superior Broadcasting, which currently owns and operates CFNO-FM Marathon and CJWA-FM Wawa.
The Commission has approved the acquisition of CJWA-FM by Labbe Media Incorporated for CAD $165, 400 (arounds USD 105, 000) and of North Superior itself by H.F. Dougall Company Limited for CAD600, 000 (around USD 380, 000):
The CRTC also approved North Superior Broadcasting's application to operate transmitters in Nakina and White River, Ontario to carry CFNO-FM. The Nakina transmitter will be 49 watts and that for White River 10 watts.
New licences granted were for:
*a new 5 watt developmental campus FM radio station for the Radio CFXU Club (formerly Saint Francis Xavier University Students' Union), Antigonish, Nova Scotia;
* for a new 50 watt low power tourist information service in Lloydminster, Alberta;
*for new 1 watt low power English-language FM information services in Emerson, Morris and St. Norbert, Manitoba.
The Alberta service went to Sask-Alta Broadcasters Limited, which operates two local TV stations and CKSA-FM, proposed to take six minutes an hour of advertising.
It was opposed by the licensee of CKLM-FM in Lloydminster and suggested that such a service should not be operated at a profit and also expressed concern regarding some programming planned. Sask Alta responded that it had developed the idea jointly with the City of Lloydminster after the city invited proposals from parties including itself and the intervener; it said it regarded the station as a community service and that only tourist-related advertising would be taken.
The Commission responded by imposing conditions stipulating that the proposed station be used solely for the purpose of broadcasting pre-recorded tourist information messages, and that no musical selections be broadcast except as incidental background music but allowed the station and six minutes of commercial messages.
Another application relating to advertising on low-power tourist information services, that to allow CFWJ-FM Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to broadcast a maximum of 12 minutes an hour of advertising rather than six minutes, was allowed when there was no opposing intervention.
In Gatineau, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario, the commission has now approved a frequency for a new 12,600 watt FM Classical Music station to be operated by a subsidiary of Radio Nord Communications inc. The approval of the frequency had been opposed on interference grounds by Radio Communautaire de la Haute-Gatineau inc., licensee of CHGA-FM Maniwaki, but the Commission said proposals made had resolve this matter.
In addition, the CRTC has again issued a number of licence renewals until 2002. These were for:
Fairchild Radio (Calgary FM) Ltd.'s CHKF-FM, Calgary;
and Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc.'s CJSI-FM, Calgary;
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Newfoundland Broadcasting Company's CHOZ-FM, St. John's; CFOZ-FM, Argentia; CJOZ-FM, Bonavista; CKCV-FM, Clarenville; CKOZ-FM, Cornerbrook; CIOZ-FM, Marystown; CHOS-FM, Norris Arm; CKSS-FM, Red Rocks and CIOS-FM, Stephenville.
Newcap Inc.'s CFCB, Corner Brook; CFDL-FM, Deer Lake; CFNW-AM, Port-aux-Choix; CFNN-FM, St. Anthony; CFLN-AM, Goose Bay; CFLW-AM, Wabush; CFLC-FM, Churchill Falls; CHVO-AM, Carbonear; CKVO-AM, Clarenville; CKXX-FM, Corner Brook and CKXX-FM-1, Stephenville; CKGA-AM, Gander; CKCM-AM, Grand Falls; CKIM-AM, Baie Verte; CHCM-AM, Marystown; VOCM-AM, St. John's; CKIX-FM, St. John's; VOCM-FM, St. John's and VOCM-FM-1, Clarenville
Troubador Radio Society Inc.'s CHUG-AM, Stephenville
Astral Radio Inc.'s CIMO-FM, Magog and CIMO-FM-1, Sherbrooke; Cogeco Diffusion inc.'s CJMF-FM,
Cogeco Diffusion inc.'s CJMF-FM, Québec;
Metromédia CMR Montreal Inc.'s CINF-AM, Montréal;
Radio Beauce inc.'s CKRB-FM, Saint-Georges-de-Beauce; Radio du Golfe inc.'s CJMC-FM, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, CJMC-FM-2, Mont-Louis, CJMC-FM-3, Les Méchins and CJMC-FM-4, Grande-Vallée;
Radio Mégantic ltée's CKLD-FM, Thetford Mines and CJLP-FM, Disraeli;
9022-6242 Québec inc's CHLC-FM, Baie-Comeau and CFRP-AM, Forestville;
and 9079-3670 Québec inc.'s CHEQ-FM, Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce.
Central Broadcasting Company Limited's CKBI-AM, Prince Albert; CFMM-FM, Prince Albert and CFMM-FM-1, Waskesiu Lake;
Dace Broadcasting Corporation's CFYM-AM, Kindersley and CJYM-AM, Rosetown;
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s CJSL-AM, Estevan; CHAB-AM, Moose Jaw; CJSN-AM, Shaunavon; CKSW-AM, Swift Current; CIMG-FM, Swift Current; and CFSL-AM, Weyburn;
Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s CKRM-AM, Regina; and CHMX-FM, Regina; GX Radio Partnership's CJGX-AM, Yorkton
Radio CJVR Ltd.'s CKJH-AM, Melfort;
Rawlco Radio Ltd.'s CIZL-FM, Regina; CKOM, Saskatoon; and CFMC-FM, Saskatoon.
Ireland was quiet on the radio front apart from an announcement by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) of its Annual Broadcasting Conference entitled 'Fast Forward: Development in an Ever-changing Irish Broadcasting Landscape' to be held in Dublin of September 26-7.
The UK was also quiet with the only Radio Authority action being the advertisement of a new FM licence for Maidstone in Kent and the surrounding areas.
In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 2000 penalty on Family Life Educational licensee of non-commercial educational station KOUZ-FM, Alexandria, Louisiana, for airing prohibited advertisements. The station had broadcast three underwriting announcements that the commission held were in breach of its rules. Family Life had argued that two of them, on behalf of Emmanuel Christian Books and Music and The Lifestyle 2002 Home Show, were aired as "public service announcement" because it did not receive considerations for them but admitted that the third, on behalf of Turning Point Solutions Group was in breach of the rules. It also admitted it had not taken enough care in overseeing preparation of underwriting announcements but said it had taken steps to rectify this.
In Mississippi, a failure to pay on time the last instalment of its USD397, 000 bid for a construction permit for a new station in Greenville has cost Delta Radio the permit. The under bidder to Delta, Mondy-Burke Broadcasting, had offered USD270,750 and is now being offered the permit. Delta had argued that it was unable to pay for a number of reasons including the poor economic environment and the fact that a petition by Mondy-Burke Broadcasting opposing Delta's application had meant it was unable to secure financing whilst the petition was still being considered. The FCC said that non-payment still meant the permit was now void.
In Alaska, Peninsula Communications has finally taken off the air seven FM translator stations that it used to rebroadcast signals of its full-power fm's. The FCC in February levied a record USD140, 000 fine on Peninsula Broadcasting of Alaska and also started proceedings that could lead to it losing all its licences because of continuing defiance of its order to close the unauthorised translators (See RNW Feb 7). Peninsula claims that Alaskan stations were given special waivers to keep operating such translators that carry a station outside the coverage area of their parent stations because of the rugged terrain although stations elsewhere were forced to shut them down under 1994 rule changes. It is now threatening a lawsuit for lost revenues.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-09-01: UK group EMAP is to launch an "interactive" radio and TV chart show that will be formatted to enable pop fans to phone, text or e-mail the programme whilst it is on air and vote which of the week's top five tracks should be rated number one.
EMAP will run the new show on its Big City and Kiss stations and also its Smash! Hits digital TV channel starting in October this year. It plans to syndicate the show, which would be a potential rival to the Network Chart Show that recently lost its Pepsi sponsorship. The Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) is reviewing the future of the Network Chart Show whose GBP5 million sales contract is held by Capital Radio.
Previous Capital Radio:
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem.
Regarding external links, we give links where we can but an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA).
Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
Back to top :
August 2002 -October 2002
Radionewsweb.com, 38 Creswick Road, Acton, London W3 9HF, UK: