November 2002 Archive
Links- internally where there are follow-up stories we try, at the end of each story, to put a pertinent link to the top of the next relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.
RNW November comment considers whether the US adoption of iBiquity's IBOC digital radio system will prove to be a step forward or one sideways to a technology inferior to that adopted by the rest of the world and offering insufficent benefits to other options including sticking with conventional analogue systems.
RNW October comment looks at the responsibilites of democratic societies and their broadcasters in ensuring adequate and fair news and information broadcasts.
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.
2002-11-30: Entravision has now moved its Las Vegas Super Estrella contemporary Spanish-language hits format from its old 105.1FM to its more powerful 92.7 FM frequency and says that, pending regulatory approval, the KRRN call letters will also eventually be moved to follow the format change.
In place of the former fare on 105.1, Entravision is currently airing Jose Feliciano's Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad" continuously, accompanied by announcements directing listeners to Super Estrella's new frequency; it says it is currently evaluating format options for the frequency and expects to make an announcement soon.
2002-11-30: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has announced the creation of Peter Gzowski Internships, named after the formed CBS host who died in January this year (See RNW Jan 26).
The internships are directed towards final year students at four Canadian universities, Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario; Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Colombia; Memorial University in Corner Brook/St. John's, Newfoundland; and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
Each intern will get a week of training in radio production at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto followed by attachments elsewhere and the CBC says applicants will have to demonstrate a high degree of creativity, be curious about the world, be engaged in their communities and able imagine themselves one day working in public radio.
Details are available at the universities or from the CBS and entries have to be submitted by January 15 next year; The internships offered to successful applicants will run from April 28 to August 29 next year and each intern will be paid around CAD800 (USD500) a week plus travel and accommodation expenses for the Toronto training week.
CBC information on internships:
2002-11-30: The disclosure by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder of a policy to screen out callers to Chicago station WLS-AM who sounded "old" (See RNW Nov 23) has predictably led to a swathe of letters condemning the station - and another column for Feder.
Amongst the issues taken up by a number of respondents are the comparison between the station's policy and the age of a number of the hosts it airs including Don and Roma (Don Wade (61), Roma (59)) and also other talk hosts.
Others comment on prejudice linked to age; one, who says she is aged 40, calls for a boycott of products advertised on the station; and yet another acidly commented, "It doesn't surprise me that WLS screens callers by assumed age. The last time I listened to that station, it seemed they were screening callers by their perceived IQ criteria--specifically, the callers' lack thereof."
Previous Don and Roma Wade:
Feder Sun-Times column:
2002-11-29: There were far fewer complaints against British broadcasters dealt with in the latest set of rulings just issued by British Broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) with only one complaints against radio upheld, and two resolved compared to two complaints against radio upheld and two resolved the previous bulletin.
In all the Authority dealt with only 93 complaints compared to 171 in the previous bulletin. 16 of these concerned radio and 77 concerned TV
Only three fairness complaints were received, all against TV; none were upheld. Of 90 complaints involving standards, 16 concerned radio and 74 TV with no statements required in 38 cases for TV and nine cases for radio.
The one complaint against radio that was upheld involved swearing on Lunchtime Tonight on BBC Scotland, aired at lunchtime. The BBC responded that with hindsight "the concentration of strong language within a relatively short period had been inappropriate for transmission at that time of day" and the commission agreed and upheld the complaint.
The resolved cases involve done complaint against the BBC and two against commercial stations. That against the BBC involved an Eminem track aired on the Sara Cox Radio 1 Breakfast Show in which a listener complained abut the sound of cocaine snorting. The BBC responded that the sound effect had not been picked up in advance but had been spotted upon broadcast and edited out of later plays and the Commission felt that the action rendered further consideration of the complaint inappropriate.
The other complaints were against the Ben and Rachel Morning Crew on Radio Gemini, where a listener complained that the presenters condoned theft when children might be listening, and against Vibe FM's Breakfast Show which elicited a complaint that a competition encouraged anti social behaviour.
In the first case the presenters had posed a question concerning the reaction to being given too much change in a ship and the programme controller had immediately expressed concern to the studio and asked the presenters to proceed with caution and in the second case the station apologised for the competition in which entrants had been required to remain motionless in their vehicles for as long as possible at red traffic lights, saying it had been ill thought through. In both cases the commission took the view that no further action was necessary.
Previous BSC Complaints Bulletin:
BSC web site (Note: This is a 'Flash' site: It links to the report in PDF format- 87.5 kb):
2002-11-29: Veteran journalist and political activist Don Rojas has been appointed general manager of New York Pacifica station WBAI-FM in succession to Valerie Van Isler, who is joining Pacifica's national operations staff after 11 years with WBAI.
Rojas career has included a spell as editor of the New York Amsterdam News, as an executive at the International Organization of Journalists in Prague, Czechoslovakia. director of communications of the NAACP, and founder/CEO of the Internet portal, The Black World Today, and its Internet radio network, BlackWorldRadio.com.
Pacifica Radio network executive director Dan Coughlin said that Rojas brought to WBAI and Pacifica "an expansive vision and a proven commitment to the cause of peace, democracy and justice for all."
Commenting on Pacifica itself, which is still under an interim board following years of internal strife, Coughlin said, "The entire Pacifica Radio network is back on track and moving forward with increased momentum. We're raising more money thanks to the tremendous support from our listeners and we're setting up structures of internal democracy and full transparency. I'm confident that under Don Rojas' leadership WBAI will grow from strength to strength."
Rojas said, "I'm honoured and excited to have been selected to lead WBAI into a new era. The station's historical role as an independent and uncompromising voice for peace and justice is even more critical today in the context of an imminent war in the Middle East, rampant corporate crime and corruption, rising poverty, assaults on our civil liberties and major media's capitulation to the right-wing's agenda."
Previous van Isler:
2002-11-29: UK Chrysalis Group has hired former BBC Breakfast TV presenter John Nicolson and Sun newspaper columnist Jane Moore to host the breakfast show on its recently acquired LBC station when it re-launches LBC on January 6.
LBC's Breakfast show is currently being hosted by former Big Breakfast newsreader Phil Gale and former drive time presenter Sandy Warr following the departure earlier this month of presenters Simon Bates and Petrie Hoskin (See RNW Nov 9).
2002-11-29: Towson University station WTMD-FM is to change its format from jazz to adult acoustic alternative next Tuesday according to the Baltimore Sun.
The paper says the University considered that the station weekly reach of around 37,000 and 2,500 AQH did not justify sustaining the station, which costs around USD 200, 000 a year to run and raises around USD120, 000 a year towards this from its 3,500 members.
It says the university and consultants had studied the situation for around a year looking for niches that were left and found themselves impressed by the record of public stations such as WXPN in Philadelphia and KCRW in Santa Monica, California, which have each created an eclectic blend of music.
"We certainly didn't relish the idea of disenfranchising a group, even a small group," Charles Flippen, Towson's acting dean of fine arts, who helps to oversee the station, told the paper, adding that the change should allow "greater outreach in the community and better enable us to meet that part of our mission."
WTMD general manager Steve Yasko, a former national programming director for US Pacifica Network who joined the station in August, commented, "We're looking at music as an expression of people's art forms, not just a commercial product thrown out there by the record labels."
The new mix, according to the paper is likely to include blues, country, rock-and-roll, soul and zydeco, among other musical forms, with extended album excerpts being played, not just currently popular tracks.
It will take syndicated shows from Public Radio International such as World Cafe, with host David Dye, Sounds Eclectic, and American Routes, and will retain locally produced programs, such as Clear Reception, the media show with University of Maryland professor Sheri Parks as host, and the Sunday line-up of programs devoted to polka music, Irish songs and reggae will also be retained.
Baltimore has three other public stations, all of which attract higher audiences than WTMD -- WEAA-FM that airs a mix of jazz, gospel, African-influenced music, and current affairs talk shows; classical music WBJC-FM; and WYPR-Fm that airs mainly news and talk, with jazz in the evenings.
Baltimore Sun report:
2002-11-29: UK Media Group DMGT, which owns the UK Daily Mail, London Evening Standard and regional newspapers as well as radio stations in Australia, has reported turnover in the year to September 29 down 1% to GBP1.945 billion (USD 3.05 billion) but adjusted profits before tax, before amortisation and impairment of intangible assets and exceptional Items, was up 3% to GBP182.5 million (286 million);
It says its strongest performing divisions were dmg world media, its exhibition operator, and the business-to-business section of DMG Information. Both DMG Broadcasting and, particularly, Euromoney Institutional Investor, it says, responded rapidly to decreasing revenues by reducing their cost bases and thereby increasing their profits.
Within DMG Broadcasting, it says Teletext recorded only a small reduction in operating profit, despite enduring a most challenging year and DMG Radio Australia recorded a small and reduced loss.
The recently launched Nova station in Melbourne and 5AA in Adelaide are performing particularly well, it says, and the regional stations experienced some recovery in difficult trading conditions.
DMG now owns the whole of the business again having repurchased in September the 25% it did not already own from GWR Group plc. (See RNW Sept 20)
2002-11-28: The BBC World Service is to celebrate its 70th anniversary next month with a number of special broadcasts including a special live concert in five countries and four continents on Sunday, December 15, and a World Service Birthday Lecture on Wednesday, December 11, by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
It has also lined up interviews with Annan, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo and Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The first interview will be with Blair and will involve his answering phone and live e-mail questions from World Service listeners around the world in a special edition of the international multimedia interview programme Talking Point on Tuesday (December 3) at 18:30gmt.
The "World Service Global Party" broadcast will include contributions from Dakar, Kabul, Mexico City and Mumbai (Bombay) and will be hosted in London by DJs John Peel and Emma B.
On the actual December 19 birthday, programmes will be presented live from Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa by Heather Payton of its Outlook programme and Ben Malor of its Africa Live programme.
They will introduce 14 hours of programmes and once every hour a segment will people connected to the BBC worldwide.
Table Mountain was the location from where of the World Service's first "rebroadcast" took place involving a broadcast from the mountain to London and thence to the rest of the world.
2002-11-28: Jazz FM retained top station ranking and Clear Channel network top spot in the latest Arbitron-MeasureCast Internet audio ratings report and Sports-talk ESPN came into the top five, pushing classical station WXQR-FM into sixth. Listening was down 2.2% compared to the previous week.
For the week to Nov 17, Arbitron-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 316,078 (363,038); CP 73,462 (75,510): Same rank but lower listening and reach.
2: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 299,450 (310,686); CP 113,588 (112,359). Up from third despite lower listening but slightly higher reach.
3: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 272,700 (312,073); CP 58,474 (65,568). Down from second with lower listening and reach.
4: Sport-talk ESPN - TTSL 264,855 (85,872): CP 47,369 (29,099). Up from 12th with a major leap in listening and reach.:
5: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 262,516 (302,002); CP 54,946 (56,828). Down from with lower listening and reach.
*Classical format WQXR-FM - dropped from fifth to sixth although TTSL was up to 227,831 from 211,161: CP was down from 47,584 to 43,410 .
The top five networks for the week to November 17 (Previous week's figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,489,518 (1,516,061); CP 323,277 (332,972) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,199,875 (1,201,343); CP 375,043 (364,468). Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 969,780 (966,603) ; CP 144,007 (148,643). Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 969,627 (917,768): CP 187,201 (180,522 ) Same position with higher listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 640,018 (677,466) hours: CP 106,229 (102,272) - Same position with lower listening and reach.
**RNW note: Arbitron now lists listening as TTSL (the MeasureCast term)/ATH (Arbitron's Actual Tuning Hours term): We are listing this as TTSL.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-11-27: Economic and financial information company Global Insight Inc. has come up with some good news for US media, reckoning that there will be a 6% increase in US advertising expenditure next year, a reversal of the 6% fall of a year ago.
Global says that "radio, cable television, and, somewhat surprisingly, the Internet will be the major beneficiaries of this increased spending for advertising", adding that it sees these sectors having annual average increases of "10%, 7%, and 16%, respectively, between 2002 and 2006."
It also says that in the llonger term, " the media sector will benefit from proposed revisions to ownership rules."
"Should the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) remove most restrictions, rapid rationalization of media across markets will make national, cross-media ad campaigns simpler to mount and more cost effective."
In current US radio business, Entercom has again filed with the FCC to have assigned to it the license of KWOD-FM Sacramento, claiming it now has the right to the licence following failure by Ed Stolz's Royce International to post a USD10 million bond that had been ordered to pay should it want to extend a stay of the sale beyond November 18.
The move is the latest one in a saga that began six years ago when Royce signed a "letter of intent" to sell the station, a letter it has subsequently argued was not binding.
Earlier this month Entercom filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning monies it has available to complete the deal when court proceedings ended (See RNW Nov 22).
In other US radio business, Disney-owned ABC Radio has agreed a USD1,5 million purchase of KMUS-AM, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from Reunion Broadcasting LLC. ABC intends to convert the station to a Radio Disney outlet.
And in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain News reports that The Newspaper Radio Corporation has in train a USD3 million deal to buy KCUV-AM from Radio Unica, which acquired the station for USD2.8 million in 1999.
Following the deal, says the paper, The Newspaper Radio Corporation would switch its talk-format station KNRC-AM, Denver, to KCUV's more powerful frequency and sell off KNRC.
Previous Entercom-Royce International:
Global Insight web site:
2002-11-27:The BBC's Director of Radio and Music Jenny Abramsky delivered an upbeat message about the state of British radio and BBC radio in particular as well as a warning about the perils in changing well established programmes when she gave the 2002 James Cameron Memorial Lecture, named after the British journalist and broadcaster.
She began by delivering a personal tribute to Cameron himself as representing the values of "integrity, honesty, and a hunger for truth" before moving on to the main theme of her speech," Public service radio: phoenix or albatross?"
Noting that BBC radio is now 80 years old, she asked, "Is it still healthy, or is Radio now in its dotage, sliding gracefully, but inexorably into oblivion?"
"Can radio be used to the same powerful effect today as James Cameron used it for 40 years?"
" In this plethora of choice, new services and platforms, what role is there for those of us in Radio?"
Abramsky then reflected on past arguments for the diversion of BBC radio resources into other areas, first television and now interactive and online
She also dealt with the internecine strife in the BBC of the past, noting an example when the news of the end of a Post Office strike first came from a pre-recorded interview on "The World at One Programme"; the programme had not told the newsroom and, she added, that it gave editor Andrew Boyle "untold pleasure to make his news colleagues seem stupid."
"Indeed," added Abramsky, "when I look back over the 30 years I have spent in broadcasting we seem to have reeled from one battle to the next...most of them internal to the BBC."
But, she continued, "Those battles forged, shaped the Radio we know today. If they had not taken place Radio, would I believe have become a cosy, self satisfied irrelevant partner in public service broadcasting, and Radio in the UK would have become more like Radio in the States...where serious challenging speech radio scarcely exists."
Referring to speech Channel Radio 4, a mixed speech and music channel before the "Broadcasting in the Seventies " report, she commented that "The change, into a wholly speech station, created a radio station able to allow journalism to flourish, current affairs to have a central role, drama, comedy, science, the Arts all had space."
She also noted the changes in other channels, the separation of BBC Radios 1 and 2, but also that the document was pervaded with "the belief that we were in the television age. I quote: "There are still some fields in which it (radio) has a unique role" the report grudgingly admitted, but went on to say "for most people radio is now mainly for daytime"."
She then comments on later challenges, particularly the introduction of bi-media working in news and the formation of the bi-media production division and a situation where radio producers, she said, when she asked after becoming Director of Radio in 1999, "felt they were drowning in huge departments, where the managers, however good, were overwhelmed with the problems of television and knew little of radio."
She deals with some of the nonsenses from the era pithily in one paragraph: "One senior manager suggested that one team could edit simultaneously the Six O'Clock News on both Television and Radio! A view not shared by any in Radio production and fortunately by few in Television. "
Abramsky welcomed the reversion to the dismantling of much of the concept, noting "Put simply Radio is about painting pictures - television is about shooting them."
She also notes that "During the bi-media years much of the passion and controversy surrounding the BBC was inspired by Radio" and tells the story of Radio 4 Controller Michael Green's "bruising" after he had moved the broadcast slot of Woman's Hour and also the hostility encountered by James Boyle, when, as the new controller of Radio 4, he "imposed wholesale change to the network."
"Radio is your friend. It is the soundtrack to your life. When it changes, it affects your life," said Abramsky "Everything was changed at once. It was too much for the producers and too much for the audience. Many switched off. "
Now, four years later, she says, "Radio 4 is in tune with its listeners again" and of radio in general, "Ninety per cent of the UK population listen to radio every week - that's 44 million people BBC Radio's share is 52.6%. That's up from 46% five years ago."
"The UK has one of the fastest uptakes of digital television in the world, but radio is thriving, with more listening than ever before, almost 25 hours a week per person."
"Radio has overtaken television as the most used medium in the UK. So much for the doom mongers of the '80s - Radio is in rude health."
Abramsky then took up the question of the need for public service radio, concluding "If public service radio is to rise ever upwards and not become the albatross many once feared, it must continue to produce programming not heard anywhere else."
And on radio as a medium? "Radio is still a wonderful, unique medium for exploring ideas. It still is driven by that remarkable objective set by Reith at its start to "bring the best of everything into the greatest number of homes".
" In the realm of ideas, radio operates with uncluttered lucidly: in the realm of the imagination, it soars where others limp"
RNW Note- The full text of the speech is on the UK Guardian web site here:
2002-11-27: UK Chrysalis Group has announced that its Corporate Affairs Director, Lisa Gordon, who was the youngest woman ever to have been appointed to the board of a London Stock Exchange-listed company is to leave the company at the end of the year and resign her directorship.
Gordon joined Chrysalis as its Corporate Development Director from investment bank County NatWest in 1994, when she was 28 and was also chief executive of Chrysalis New Media.
She has three young children, Finn, who is three, Pippa, five and Freddie, eight, and had already trimmed her hours last year to go part time, accepting a salary drop of just over GBP 200,000 (USD 314,000) a year to GBP 133, 000 (USD 209,000)
She said, "I've had a brilliant time at Chrysalis and being part of its growth over the last eight years has been fantastic. However I feel the time is now right to do what I've been promising myself for ages - to spend some time enjoying my children while they (and I) are still young. "
Her investor relations duties are to be taken by Harriet Finney, currently Investor Relations Manager for the Orange telecommunications company; Finney will join Chrysalis in the New Year in the newly-created role of Investor Relations Manager.
2002-11-27: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 10,000 to USD 1,000 a penalty issued in January on New York pirate the Rev. Dr. Philius Nicolas for operating a radio transmitter without a licence.
The Notice had been confirmed in June when there was no response to the original notice (See Licence News RNW June 9).
This was followed by an appeal in July in which Nicolas admitted the offence but asked for cancellation of the penalty on the grounds that it would cause severe financial hardship and backing this with tax returns.
The FCC took the point and reduced the penalty.
The Commission has also ordered Radio Moultrie, Inc., licensee of WMGA-AM, Moultrie, Georgia, to show cause why its licence should not be revoked for transferring control of the station to Dixie Broadcasting Inc., Aubrey Smith, and Sam and Gracie Zamarron without prior authorisation and also for wilful and repeated failure to respond to official Commission correspondence
The order follows receipt by the commission of information that Dixie Broadcasting and/or others might have improperly acquired control of the station through acquiring its assets following its last licence renewal in 1996. Letters sent to both Radio Moultrie and Dixie Broadcasting in April 2001 and April 2002 elicited no response until August this year when only the latter responded. The Commission also found during an on-site inspection in March various apparent violations of regulations concerning power output, failing to paint and light its antenna tower, failing to report the tower light's extinguishment and failing to register the station towers.
In its response, Dixie said it had planned to acquire the station from Radio Moultrie and entered into an oral Time Brokerage Agreement with it in November 1998 so it could operate the station until a purchase price could be agreed.
However it never agreed a price and subsequently it was approached by Radio Moultrie's mortgagor and former controlling principal and shareholder and offered by him the licensee's then-delinquent note, which it purchased through lien-satisfaction proceedings in April 2000. It says that Radio Moultrie then ended communications with it and refused to cooperate in filing consensual licence assignment applications. Dixie says it continues to pay Radio Moultrie its contract amount under the time brokerage agreement and now owns the station real estate and equipment but not the licences.
It then found it difficult to work with Radio Moultrie's principal and entered into a further time brokerage arrangement and sub-lease with Smith and the Zamarrons in December 2000. Dixie says that Smith and the Zamarrons have operated the station since then.
The Commission said that it found Radio Moultrie's continued failure to respond to the staff directives raised "the question whether it did so deliberately to avoid the Commission's ascertainment of the true facts surrounding its operation of the station and exacerbates the question whether unauthorized control has occurred at the station" and said the failure warranted designation for a hearing.
The commission also notes that the station was previously involved in an unauthorised transfer of control that led to a 1992 penalty of USD10,000, reduced in 1993 on financial hardship grounds to USD1,000 being imposed on Radio Moultrie
2002-11-26: Strong results from two groups, Chrysalis and UBC Media,have further boosted British radio.
Chrysalis Group has confounded the pessimists and massively outperformed the rest of the UK radio sector with turnover up a quarter to GBP241 million (USD 378 million), a profit turnaround from a pre-tax loss of GBP 18.6 million (USD 29 million) in 2001 to a profit of GBP 5.8 million (USD 9.1 million) and EBITDA up nearly eight times from GBP 2.2 million (USD 3.5 million) to GBP 17.2 million (USD 27 million).
Operating profits were well up for all divisions - by 41% in radio to GBP 9.4 million (USD 14.8 million); by 39% in TV to GBP 3.6 million (USD 5.7 million); by 47% in music to GBP 1.8 million (USD 2.8 million); and by 78% in books to GBP 3 million (USD 4.7 million).
In contrast to the advertising revenue falls at Capital where October and November revenues were reported down by 8%, Chrysalis reported a 17% rise in advertising revenue from September to November.
Chairman Chris Wright commented, "This year has been the most successful in the company's history. This performance puts us in the strongest possible position going into 2003, with all the opportunities and challenges presented by the forthcoming Communications Act."
This was echoed by chief executive Richard Huntingford who said, "Given the tough market conditions and the relative performance of our competitors, we are delighted with these results which reflect our increased focus, as well as the strong growth potential of our businesses and the excellent management throughout the Group."
Commenting on the radio division performance, Chrysalis said, "Chrysalis Radio has had another excellent year", adding that it was " continuing to significantly outperform the market."
Like-for-like total radio revenue for the year to the end of August was up 11.7% to GBP £49.1 million (USD77 million), which compares to an industry-wide decline of 2%.
Commenting on the performance, Chrysalis said, "Chrysalis Radio's strong revenue outperformance in the 2002 financial year was driven by two factors. Firstly, by further audience growth of 12%, compared to 3% audience growth for the commercial industry as a whole. Secondly, by real increases in our rate of conversion of listening hours into revenue. We expect to continue to improve our revenue yield and this will become an increasingly important growth driver as we move into the next phase of Chrysalis Radio's development."
Regarding its GBP2.35 million acquisition of the London News Radio stations in London (See RNW Sept 27), it said it was," a significant move for Chrysalis Radio because it immediately makes us the second largest commercial radio group in London."
"The Radio Authority has authorised a switching of the formats between AM and FM and the repositioning and re-launch of the talk format on FM represents a one-off opportunity for growth and a significant opportunity to re-establish LBC as a major London radio brand. We believe increased sales volume, coupled with the audience gains we expect to achieve through improved programming and marketing of the stations, will deliver strong profits within a three-year period. "
On digital radio, Chrysalis noted that the MXR consortium in which it is the lead shareholder with 39% of the stock had now been awarded the last regional digital multiplex (that for Yorkshire - See Licence News, Nov 10).
It continued, "With MXR already operating multiplexes in the North East, West Midlands, South Wales & Severn Estuary and North West regions, the consortium is the UK's major regional digital radio operator, and the only regional multiplex operator in England & Wales. When the Yorkshire multiplex launches next summer, MXR will cover a total of over 17 million adults (15+)."
"All of our analogue radio stations - whether Heart, Galaxy or LBC - are now carried on a digital multiplex, thereby guaranteeing them automatic renewal of their existing licences. In addition, digital versions of Heart and The Arrow are carried on every MXR multiplex where there is no analogue equivalent of them."
In all 30.2 million adults (almost 62% of the UK adult population) can now hear at least one Chrysalis station on digital radio.
During the year, Chrysalis completed its last step in pulling out of New Media when it merged Rivals with 365's Internet business in January 2002, to create Rivals Digital Media in which it holds a 40% share and that it says is on track to break even within 12 months.
Looking ahead, Chrysalis says, "Despite the continuing uncertainty surrounding the wider economy, we have enjoyed another good start to the current financial year. Chrysalis Radio has experienced a buoyant first quarter with revenues up 17%, again strongly outperforming the industry. Recent audience figures and increased revenue yield, gives us great confidence that this outperformance will continue for the foreseeable future."
"We have also made very good progress with integrating the recent purchase of LBC Radio, with a number of key appointments made ahead of the planned re-launch of the stations in January 2003. Our progress to date has convinced us even more of the considerable potential to deliver significant added value from this acquisition in future years."
Chrysalis shares rose by 5.3% to GBP218.5.
Also reporting strong results, this time for the six months to the end of September, was UBC Media Group whose turnover was up 21.3% to GBP4.96 million (USD 7.8 million) and gross profits were up 26.6% to GBP 1.62 million (USD 2.5 million); it cut its loss before amortisation and development costs from GBP234, 000 (USD 367000) to just over a tenth of that, ending with a loss of GBP24, 000 (USD 37,700).
UBC says that it is on target to operating break-even point before digital costs and amortisation by the end of its current financial year and had continued growth in all its areas of activity in the period.
Chief executive Simon Cole commented, "It has been a rewarding six months in which UBC has once again shown that its core business is performing well and has enabled us to move towards operating profitability sooner than had originally been expected."
On the production side, UBC has been awarded new long-term contracts for three flagship programmes for the BBC -- Pick of the Pops, Pause for Thought and the Richard Allison Late Night Show - and was also awarded a new three-year contract for a new commercial radio chart show.
Its commercial business, which sells airtime in its networked radio programming saw revenues up by 5%, due it says, "in large part reflects the continuing strength of the Company's networked programme products, Entertainment News, Bloomberg Business News and Billy Sparkle's Showbiz Circus, which offer advertisers national radio campaigns from a single source and with a weekly adult audience that is larger than the combined audiences of the national commercial radio stations, TalkSport and Virgin.
Its Classic Gold Digital revenues were up 57.2% compared to 2001 in the period to a total of GBP2.28 million (USD 5.58 million) and they recorded a profit before interest, goodwill amortisation and
digital licence costs of GBP 509,000 (USD 799 million), more than twice the GBP 203,000 (USD 319 million) of 2001. The figures reflect the contribution of an additional six AM licences acquired from GWR in October last year.
UBC comments that it believes that the Gold format "stand to benefit most from the migration of analogue radio to digital", adding that "In order to benefit from the take-up of digital radio" UBC has secured carriage for Classic Gold Digital in the past two years on digital platforms covering Southern England, the West and East Midlands and Northern England and in London, thus extending its reach to a potential 29 million listeners.
Looking ahead, UBC says it continues to expect strong growth from its production business and Classic Gold Digital network, adding that although the advertising outlook looks bleak it continues to note the resilience of its own barter network. It has also announced that it has signed a three-year deal with the AA to distribute its traffic and travel news service, AA Roadwatch, to radio stations throughout the UK and says this should enhance its revenues.
UBC has just signed GWR to the Roadwatch network, which is already taken by Capital Radio, Scottish Radio Holdings and the Guardian Media Group as well as independent stations and it says other deals are to be announced imminently and that the service will now be distributed to some130 stations with a potential weekly reach of 20 million.
In some cases the programming is to be supplied in exchange for advertising time on the stations, more than doubling the advertising inventory available for UBC's Commercial Division to sell to national advertisers.
UBC shares ended up 4% a GBP0.26.
Chrysalis web site (Results are 370Kb word document):
UBC web site (News releases):
2002-11-26: SoundExchange, the recording industry body charged with collecting royalties for streamed music, and which had already announced last month that it would hold off collecting payments until congress had been given time to take action on the Small Webcaster Amendments Act of 2002 (H.R. 5469) (See RNW Oct 20) has now formally announced the suspension of the obligation of "small commercial webcasters to pay statutory royalties under the Librarian of Congress' final order of July 8, 2002, through December 15, 2002."
The announcement only applies to companies defined as small commercial webcasters under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002 and the announcement by SoundExchange's executive director John L Simson specifically points out that it does not relieve such webcasters from the obligation to pay the fees set down.
It then adds that, "small commercial webcasters that avail themselves of this temporary suspension of royalty payments may be eligible to pay statutory royalties under the rates and terms that SoundExchange and certain small webcasters hope to submit shortly to the Copyright Office for publication in the Federal Register."
On the earliest of the dates those rates are published terms in the Federal Register or on December 15, 2002, says SoundExchange, "any small commercial webcaster that takes advantage of this temporary suspension will either have to pay statutory royalties under those published rates and terms, to the extent such rates and terms are in fact submitted to the Copyright Office for publication, or immediately make the payments required under the Librarian's order of July 8, 2002, including any payments that accrued during this suspension period or the one announced by SoundExchange on October 18, 2002."
SoundExchange web site:
2002-11-26: An article in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) has led to the ending of a partnership that funnelled state public relations money into environmental reporting on Philadelphia's WHYY-FM according to a report in Current Magazine.
The original report, "Grant-Distorted Journalism at WHYY" by Philadelphia-based freelance Gwen Shaffer is currently online at the CJR web site in its November-December issue; in it she writes that, "Like many reporters who pursue jobs in public radio, I wanted to work in a newsroom that wasn't driven by profit margins. But I recently learned the hard way that public broadcasters are not exempt from having to choose between journalistic integrity and the persistent need for cash."
She then goes on to write of a "partnership" entered into last year by Philadelphia's all-news public-radio station, WHYY, and non-profit media company. "GreenWorks" that says its mission is "spread one simple message: real people are making a difference to protect our environment-and you can, too! Through a combination of new and old media technologies, we share informative and entertaining stories that explain the many roles that individuals play in caring for our world. By doing so, GreenWorks inspires people every day to take part in the effort to make our planet a cleaner, healthier and happier place for everyone."
Schaffer applied for one of the two reporters' jobs that, together with a researcher post, were to be created under the partnership and says she was told at her interview with WHYY news director Bill Fantini that she would be employed by the station but was later asked to work out of the GreenWork's office.
However, when she was offered the post, it was as a GreenWorks employee although Fantini assured her, to use her words, that "all editorial decisions would 'live' at WHYY."
At GreenWorks, she says, its executive producer Tim Schlitzer, who had "no journalism experience" played "an influential role in determining editorial content " and then later she found there were links with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), who were being given "a monthly progress report" on her work.
Schaffer also found herself and her counterpart at WHYY, Brad Linder, criticised by Schlitzer for "focusing on the negative" combined with pressures to "cover many 'positive' stories of dubious merit."
Stories suggested included some on organisations that had received substantial DEP grants but Schlitzer insisted that the DEP was not the primary funder of the public radio contract.
Further research showed that the greenworks.tv domain was registered to the home address of DEP Secretary David Hess; that the DEP site is "plastered" with links to GreenWorks site; a promotion of the agency's "2001 Environmental Milestones" that included "links to the GreenWorks site are plastered all over DEP's own site; a note in the DEP's online newsletter that in its "2001 Environmental Milestones" included "Daily GreenWorks Radio stories on public stations around the state all showing the positive steps individuals, businesses, farmers and local governments can take to protect the environment".
Schaffer also found figures showing that, excluding the USD 510,000 for the radio project, the DEP and its sister agency, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources had since 1997 awarded nearly USD5 million in grants and contracts to GreenWorks.
Subsequently she found her on air voice being criticised, her reports begin re-voiced by Linder and eventually she was fired.
The Current Magazine report notes that the station did not tie in the reports with the state agency, that underwriting credits did not mention and, although aired in various day parts, were not adjacent to the reports that it paid for.
Fantini, who developed the project, told Current he was misled about the full extent of DEP's role and unaware of the conflicts presented by it, though he signed an agreement stating that DEP would be named as an underwriter along with GreenWorks and its parent non-profit, the Environmental Fund for Pennsylvania but Schlitzer said all parties to the partnership were aware of DEP's funding role and the positive, human-interest angle of the reporting. Both denied that the DEP had influenced the reports that were produced through the partnership.
Shaffer denied that she went public with the story out of bitterness. "It was an outrageous infringement of journalistic integrity to allow a funder that they were not up front about to dictate editorial content," she told Current.
Station Manager Paul Gluck said, "We went into this looking to create a new role model. We have a number of good partners, but the lesson for us is to ask more questions at the beginning and understand the implications going in."
A harsher view came from former WHYY reporter Mhari Saito who presented research on GreenWorks' ties to DEP to Fantini in May and who commented, "The reality here is that this grant was questionable from day one, but the news department had a difficult time calling a duck a duck."
Following publication of the CJR report WHYY reporters met Fantini at the end of October and demanded full disclosure of all future grants to the newsroom, and the right to check out funders for potential conflicts of interest. Fantini took their demands to station manager Paul Gluck, who agreed to them.
RNW note: The arrangement with GreenWorks had already been ended a week before the publication, but its web site checked today still suggests that there is a deal.
It says, "GreenWorks also recently partnered with National Public Radio to bring daily environmental news stories to listeners of Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition on WHYY Philadelphia. These path-breaking news pieces are available for free to public radio stations throughout the country, and can also be heard on GreenWorks.tv.
Current Magazine web site:
GreenWorks web site ("About"page"):
CJR web site:
CJR - Schaffer article:
2002-11-26: UK Capital Radio has asked research group Leapfrog to try and find out why its flagship London station, Capital FM, is losing listeners so rapidly as part of an annual "health check" it carries out for the group: the latest RAJAR audience figures show Capital FM's share of the market has fallen to 8.8% from 10.3% (See RNW Oct 25).
Leapfrog will survey groups of listeners in the 15-44 demographic with an emphasis on why Capital's hold on the London market is falling and if any particular group within the demographic is switching off more.
Capital says the result of the research will help it to decide how much to spend on marketing the station and its breakfast show, to be re-vamped in January when host Chris Tarrant moves to a later start. The research, however, will not look into the suggestion that Capital may be losing audience in outer London because of a focus on serving central London.
2002-11-25: First this week, a kind of right of response for Rush Limbaugh concerning the suggestions by Senate minority leader Tom Daschle that attacks by Limbaugh and other right-wing talk hosts had led to increased threats to him and his family.
We felt that Limbaugh's response on his web page was typically disingenuous not to say dishonest (See RNW Nov 22) and still think the pattern of Limbaugh's comments tends that way (those of some other hosts go even further) but also feel it only fair to let Howard Kurtz give a rather less shrill view as voiced in the Washington Post.
In his first reaction, he wrote, "Has Tom Daschle lost a couple of screws?" ... What we can't understand is how the South Dakotan can suggest that a mainstream conservative with a huge radio following is somehow whipping up wackos to threaten Daschle and his family."
"Has the senator listened to Rush lately? Sure, he aggressively pokes fun at Democrats and lionizes Republicans, but mainly about policy. He's so mainstream that those right-wingers Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert had him on their Election Night coverage."
He took up the theme again two days later, starting, "Rush Limbaugh has fashioned a pretty fair career by skewering, slamming and otherwise ridiculing Democrats. But is he, as Tom Daschle all but suggested the other day, inciting violence among his listeners?
The conservative radio host has been all over the tube this week accusing Daschle of "whining," while casting himself as a champion of free speech and generally reviling in the attention that the senator has bestowed on him."
Later, after saying it is not hard to sympathise with Daschle (the word order is interesting - "not hard to " rather than "hard not to")
Kurtz continues, "But to try to link the actions of a few crazies to a prominent commentator -- one so "extreme" that he sat next to Tom Brokaw on election night -- only elevates Limbaugh in the eyes of his fans."
"Limbaugh can be hyperbolic, even merciless. "What more do you want to do to destroy this country than what you've already tried?" he scolded Daschle last week. "It is unconscionable what this man has done! This stuff gets broadcast around the world, Senator. What do you want your nickname to be? Hanoi Tom? Tokyo Tom? . . . You sit there and pontificate on the fact that we're not winning the war on terrorism when you and your party have done nothing but try to sabotage it."
"Tough stuff, but hardly unique in today's partisan 'Crossfire' culture. After all, the Democratic National Committee's Web site featured a cartoon of President Bush shoving a wheelchair-bound old woman down the plummeting edge of a Social Security trust fund graph."
Then, after saying that what may rankle Daschle and the Democrats is the success of the right-wing hosts and the failure to produce
"a left-wing Limbaugh ", Kurtz throws a bone Daschle's way, concluding, "Over the years talk radio has democratised the airwaves, but occasionally also served as a conduit for hate-mongering and unsubstantiated slurs."
"Daschle is right in saying that words have consequences. High-decibel talkers like Limbaugh ought to be held accountable in the political arena. But those who find him insufferable should get into the ring and slug it out rather than accuse him of urging the crowd to throw sharp objects."
(RNW comment: We're not quite sure how Kurtz thinks Daschle can get "in the ring" to have a slugfest with Limbaugh: Even more to the point, would not reasoned factually-based presentation of arguments be better for democracy than a slugfest, however much more entertaining the latter may be?)
North of the border, but a world away in terms of radio style, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new 90-minute public affairs morning show, The Current, made its debut at the start of the week and Michael Posner's column in the Toronto Globe and Mail indicates the gulf in styles between it and Limbaugh's show.
Some of the topics may have been the same, but we doubt from Posner's list, if much else was: "There was a former Iraqi nuclear scientist, Dr. Hussein al-Shahristani, who addressed the $64,000 question: Does Saddam Hussein have weapons of mass destruction? (Yes, he claimed, but not the nuclear kind.)"
"There was an antiquities expert, American James Adovasio, expounding on the thriving, multimillion-dollar black market in archaeological relics."
"And there was CBC journalist Bernard St.-Laurent assessing the political implications of the rise of Quebec's Mario Dumont and his right-wing Action Démocratique party."
The show's mandate "to provide new perspectives on issues foreign and domestic" spells things out clearly and co-host Anna Maria Tremonti elaborated, saying the precise mix would vary, depending on the day. We're not afraid to deal with what's international and we'll tackle what's happening in Canada as well."
Asked whether CBC listeners are ready for trenchant political analysis and foreign-affairs commentary starting at 8:30 a.m., she also made comments that would be anathema at most commercially driven stations: "I think people want lots of hard-hitting information. People at the CBC tell me listeners want that stuff."
In a later comment, Posner reckoned that both "The Current" and "Sounds Like Canada", the show that follows it at 10 AM, need fine-tuning but added "the strategic thrust behind the grand redesign of the morning landscape that CBC programming mandarins have undertaken now seems clear."
"The Current, as its name implies, aspires to have more pulse and edge...Sounds Like Canada, hosted principally by Shelagh Rogers, adopts a lighter, more populist touch. The majority of items from this week's line-up had a feel-good sensibility -- a Chinese fortune-cookie business in Calgary, the 10-year anniversary of Irish-Canadian tenor John McDermott's performing career, and the explosion of Latino culture. This nicey-nice approach may be well suited to Rogers's persona, which is relentlessly upbeat. There are times when you wish she would be a little less nice."
Posner then hit harder saying the larger problem is the segments of the show not involving Rogers, terming them "decent enough" but then adding, "But the cumulative effect of these shows-within-the-show is to strip Rogers of her centrality and gravitational pull. Longer term, I suspect, this structure is not sustainable."
Still on talk, and in the UK, the change of editors for BBC Radio 4's flagship breakfast current affairs show, The Today Programme, prompted speculation by Matt Wells in the UK Guardian about the long-term prospects for its current format.
"Rather like the House of Lords, the royal family and the Tory party, " he writes, "the Today programme sometimes seems like one of those creaky institutions that speaks to us from a fusty, old-fashioned Britain we thought we had left behind. "
After detailing some criticisms and the manner in which editor Ron Liddle was forced to make a choice between staying as editor or continuing with his Guardian newspaper column, Wells writes, "If the Today programme sometimes seems baffled by modern Britain, it may be out of tune with the new BBC too. Somehow director-general Greg Dyke just doesn't seem like the kind of man who breaks from chomping through his cornflakes to catch John Humphrys grilling Gordon Brown over the finer points of the Private Finance Initiative; certainly when he appeared on the programme earlier this year he seemed to hate every second of the experience. The dichotomy was accentuated by the fact that he was interviewed by Stourton - bumped from BBC1 for apparently being "too posh", and the embodiment of the "white, middle-aged, middle-class" male apparently so despised at the new and inclusive Auntie. "
Today's biggest problem. Marsh concludes is that "its stock-in-trade, the big political interview, simply does not have the relevance that it once enjoyed."
He then says that the first problem new editor Kevin Marsh will face is the question of a replacement for presenter John Humphrys, now 60 ,with a young son and already cutting back the number of days he works on the show.
Despite the problems though, the programme had a weekly audience of more than six million a week and Paul Donovan, author of a "biography" of the show commented, "The interesting thing is, that despite the growth in competition and 5 Live's ascendancy, it (the Today Show) still matters and that's because it has never deviated from what it sees as its mission to make its pitch for the chattering classes, decision-makers and media folk who are all available to listen at that time of the morning."
" It is still the place, in the cliché of Brian Redhead, where people drop a word in the ear of the nation."
Wells also quotes others in praise of the value of the show ending with a tribute from Nick Clarke, presenter of the World at One on the same channel: "It's an extraordinary thing, the Today programme. We may carp and cavil at some of the things it does, but it's worth remembering that there is nothing like it anywhere in the world."
Finally still in the UK and The Guardian, an article by John Cassy on the likely effects of the UK communication bill that he says "could help kick-start a revival" in the UK radio sector that it " has been desperately searching for - and failing to find - during the past two years."
As a guide to the scale of the problems, Cassy notes that " Profits have fallen dramatically and hundreds of jobs have been cut. Since November 2000, Capital Radio shares have lost 69% of their value, Classic FM owner GWR's have fallen by 80% while Kelvin MacKenzie's Wireless Group has slipped by 70%. Of the Broader-based media groups is EMAP are down 10% and Chrysalis 30%. "
The revival spoken of, of course, is nothing to do with programmes that might increase audiences but rather that the "revised rules could open the way to a flurry of takeovers that could bring rises in share prices and profits - but also more job losses."
The rest of the article deals with lobbying for yet less restrictive ownership regulations and concludes, "allowing more takeovers could help drag the sector out of the doldrums. But agreeing on takeover prices may be difficult: the shares of most radio companies still remain relatively fully valued and it could be some time before executives can agree deals. But cutbacks across the sector have made many stations more efficient and any future revenue increase is likely to translate mostly into profit."
"The time when advertisers start dipping into their pockets again cannot come soon enough for staff and investors."
RNW comment: And we thought that audiences and the general economic environment are what might get advertisers to dip into their pockets again rather than staff cutbacks that affect programmes and fewer owners, even if the latter means that the remaining companies can cut costs and increase their profitability from the same income.
Toronto Globe and Mail - Posner first comment on CBC:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Posner second comment on CBC:
UK Guardian -Cassy:
UK Guardian -Wells:
Washington Post - first Kurtz comment on Limbauch/Daschle:
Washington Post - second Kurtz comment on Limbauch/Daschle:
2002-11-25: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has approved in principle a cost-saving move by Dublin's country music to the premises of East Coast Radio in Bray.
Dublin Country, which was awarded its licence last year( See RNW May 1, 2001), is having financial problems and a move to Bray, where it can share facilities with East Coast's easy-listening station will save it on both rent and rates (local property taxes) which are lower in the Wicklow area.
Dublin Country is estimated to be losing around USD150, 000 a month and its future was thrown into more doubt last month after Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) withdrew from a deal to purchase the station after the takeover had been approved by the BCI.
2002-11-25: UK retailers are finding themselves unable to meet demand for digital radio receivers as an advertising campaign under the aegis of the Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) combined with BBC promotion of its digital networks, particularly its new Asian network and its fifth digital radio network BBC7, to be launched on December 15, boosts demand in the run up to Christmas.
In demand is the GBP99 (USD150) receiver Evoke-1, which was launched in August (See RNW Aug 9). Its manufacturer, Pure, is expecting to sell tens of thousands of sets by Christmas, resulting in a significant increase in the overall number of DAB receivers in the UK.
Until the receiver was launched most digital tuners cost three or four times as much and so far only around 70,000 receivers have been sold although some digital services are also available to satellite TV subscribers. Competing manufacturers are scheduled to soon release receivers in roughly the same price range.
2002-11-25: Direct to receiver digital satellite radio pioneer World Space today adds three new encrypted channels on its AsiaStar platform: They are 24-hour Indian classical music channel Gandharv; Farishta, which carries Hindi music from the 50s and 60s; and LeJhoom, which carries latest Bollywood music.
It is also to add US National Public Radio's "NPR Worldwide" to its subscription line-up, starting tomorrow, November 26.
WorldSpace web site:
2002-11-24: The week was notable for the publication of long documents in Canada, the US, and the UK, with the performance of the regulator's annual report in Canada, the Communications Bill in the UK, and proposed Equality of Opportunity Regulations in the US.
Australia was fairly quiet with the sole radio activity by the Australian Broadcasting Authority(ABA) being the allocation of a new community licence and of a new non-broadcasting services bands commercial radio licence.
The community licence, for the Wagga Wagga area of New South Wales, went to Riverina Christian Radio Incorporated whose Life-FM is already broadcasting on the frequency under a temporary licence.
The new non-broadcasting services bands licence, which means the licence holder has to make arrangements for delivery of the service, was for to Perfect Income Tax Pty Ltd to cover Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) handled only a few licences but was amongst those issuing long reports, in its case its third annual Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report (see below).
Licence decisions were an approval of a new 10 watt transmitter at Mount Baldy, Ontario, to enable CFQK-FM Kaministiquia to adequately serve the population of Shuniah Township and the conversion from AM to FM of CJPR, Blairmore, Alberta. The new FM will have a power of 760 watts.
Ireland was quiet but in the UK yet another long document was released, the draft Communications Bill that will ease ownership regulation and was generally welcomed by the Radio Authority (See RNW Nov 21).
Licence decisions were all analogue. They were:
*The automatic renewal of Pulse's Bradford/Huddersfield AM and FM licences because Pulse is providing two programmes on the Bradford & Huddersfield local multiplex.
*The re-award of the Guildford AM and FM licences to the existing holders County Sound 1566 AM and County Sound Radio Network Ltd., broadcasting as 96.4 The Eagle on FM. There were no competitive applications.
In addition the Authority has issued its assessment of the re-award of the North London licence to London Turkish Radio (See Licence News, RNW Nov 10).
It noted that the station proposed to continue its "wide-ranging and inclusive 'full service' station for the Turkish, Turkish Cypriot, Kurdish and Azeri communities" with few change apart from some reduction in daytime speech content (although obligations for specific speech content are increased) together with a possible increase in English language programming for the benefit of younger listeners.
The Authority has also announced that from now on all advertisements of new local licences and notices regarding re-advertisement of existing licences will be formally published only on the Authority's web site.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its own big document, its proposed new EEO (Equality of Opportunity) rules.
These relate to the situation concerning full time employment and were drafted after courts ruled previous rules unconstitutional (See RNW Nov 21). In its own words, "The new broadcast EEO Rule and modified EEO rules for MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors), adopted herein, emphasize outreach in recruitment to all qualified job candidates and ban discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, national origin or gender."
The FCC is also issuing a Third Notice of Proposed Rule Making requesting comment as to the applicability of our rules with respect to part-time employees (those working less than a regular 30-hours a week).
In the wake of this release, Democrat Commissioner Michael J Copps called for the Commission to re-examine its definition of indecency and analyse the link between media consolidation and the "race to the bottom" (See RNW Oct 22).
The Commission has also levied two an unprecedented two fines for failure to comply with radio frequency radiation maximum permissible exposure limits: One was of USD 28, 000 on New Mexico broadcaster, A-O Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of KTMN-FM, Cloudcroft (See RNW Nov 19).
The second was a penalty proposed of USD 10,000 relating to breaches of maximum levels by Americom, licensee of KWNZ-FM, Carson City, Nevada.
It relates to an inspection on November 6 last year at the McClellan Peak antenna site near Carson City. The site, on unfenced, publicly accessible property managed by the Bureau of Land Management, has antenna for 13 broadcast stations and inspectors found their personal radio frequency radiation monitors, which are set at half the Commissions occupational exposure limit and five times the public exposure limit, began to alarm when in the vicinity of the KWNZ transmitter.
Notices were then sent to all the stations concerning an inspection regarding RFR compliance to take place at the site in May this year; the inspection itself found that there were signals exceeding by 42% the prescribed limit for the general public in unfenced areas between the KWNZ transmitter building and the KWNZ antenna tower. When the KWNZ transmitter was temporarily powered down, it was found that the RFR field was less than 6% of the permitted limit. Subsequent powering down by other broadcasters showed KWNZ to be responsible for 94% of the radiation in the area. Americom responded that the site was remote and infrequently accessed by the public and argued that it should only be held to the less restrictive occupational limit.
The FCC, however, found that "ample evidence exists that the site was publicly accessible and was in fact used by the public, including agent observations of the public driving ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) at the site." It upheld the penalty.
On a different note, the commission lifted the red flags that were holding up Regent's USD62 million deal to buy the 12 stations of bankrupt Brill Media (See RNW Nov 21).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-11-24: The third annual Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) shows that the growth rate in the number of commercial stations in the country over recent years has been more than double the growth in listening.
The number of commercial stations in Canada has grown by only about 7.5% since 1997, from 465 to 500 but Canadian listening hours in the six years from 1996 to 2001 went up only 3.3% from just over 516,000 hours in the average week to nearly 533 million hours.
This seems to reflect demographics rather than increased listening by individuals, whose average listening in a week have been around 22 hours since 1990. The percentage of Canadians 12 and over listening to at least a quarter of an hour in a week was 92.9% in fall l2001, compared to 93.3% in 1996 says the report.
In all Canada now has 894 radio stations, 597 of them English-language; 199 French and 18 other languages.
The report also reveals significant geographical differences; in Nova Scotia plus Newfoundland and Labrador, the number actually fell from 23 to 22 and from 16 to 15 respectively; in Quebec and Prince Edward Island, the numbers were static at 84 and 4 respectively; elsewhere there was an increase with the largest percentages being in New Brunswick, a third increase from 18 to 24 stations, Manitoba (up 13.6% from 22 to 25) and British Columbia and territories, up an eighth from 80 to 90. Ontario, which had most stations, increased its total by 7% from 139 to 149.
Within the totals, FM station numbers went up 45%, from 197 to 286 and AM numbers declined 20%, from 268 to 214 as a total of 59 stations converted from AM to FM and five new AM's came into being.
Canada has also been moving slowly into digital radio, with 56 licences for transitional digital radio undertakings issued by August this year: of these 12 were in Montreal; 24 in Toronto, 14 in Vancouver and six in Windsor, Ontario.
In terms of revenue share, Corus increased its lead over the past year: The top five Canadian radio networks in revenue terms for 2001 were (with 2000 figures in brackets: Corus 19 %(16%): Télémédia Inc. 13% (12%); Rogers 12% (12%); CHUM 10% (10%); Standard Broadcasting 9% (9%) and Astral Radio 3% (4%).
In terms of French language commercial radio, the top three networks in revenue share terms were Astral with 28% in 2001; Corus with 24%; and Corus with 17%: The top three English language commercial networks by revenue share for 2001 were Corus with 20%; Rogers with 15% and CHUM with 13%.
During 2001, the report notes, English-language FM revenues grew by 7.6% and English-language AM revenues were static; French-language FM revenues grew by 6.5% and French-language AM revenues were down 5.9% against a background of the number of French-language AMs falling from 36 in 1997 to 20 last year.
Total revenues for English-language FM radio grew by 7.6% in 2001, while total revenues for English-language AM radio have remained relatively constant since 1997.
Total revenues for French-language FM radio have grown at a relatively constant pace of 5% to 8% since 1997, and grew by 6.5% in 2001.
Profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) showed a healthy position for FM stations but a problematic one for AMs, although AM-FM combos generally remained profitable. In 2001, English-language AM station PBIT margins were a negative 5.2% whilst Fm margins were 26.52% and for French-language AMs the position was even worse with PBIT margins a negative 8.16% but French-language FMs showed a positive 17.63% PBIT margin.
French-language AM radio continues to see a steady decline in both total revenues and number of stations, with total revenues decreasing by 5.9% in 2001. The number of French-language AM stations has decreased from 36 in 1997 to 20 in 2001.
In terms of the ownership of radio undertakings from 1999 to 2001, Corus has moved from 11 stations to 49; Télémédia Inc. moved from 76 to 81 (*RNW Note - Télémédia Inc. has now sold its radio stations, 18 of them going to Astral - see RNW Oct 25); Rogers from 25 to 29; Standard has gone down from 13 to 12; and Astral, which subsequently purchased 18 of Télémédia's stations, went up from 12 to 15.
In terms of their share of all Canadian listening, the top five radio networks in 2001 (1999 figures in brackets) were Corus with 17% (4%); Télémédia 11% (7%); Rogers 8% (9%);CHUM 5%(7%); and Standard 7% (8%).
In terms of French language radio, the top three networks in 2001 were Télémédia with 21%; Astral with 17% and Corus with 11% of the French language audience; for the English language audience the top three were Corus with 20%; Rogers with 11% and Télémédia with 9%.
The report also notes that since the 1998 Commercial Radio Policy was introduces, of 35 new licenses awarded via competitive processes, only 6 were awarded to a licensee included in the 10 largest commercial radio operators.
In making the licence awards, the CRTC says that the applicants' business plan was a factor in 68.6% of cases; Canadian Talent Development(CTD) in 51.4%; diversity of voices in 48.6%; Canadian content in 28.6%; and Competitive Diversity in 25.7%.
The five most popular formats in Canada, with audience share in brackets), were adult contemporary (14%); Country (10%); chart (8%); News/Talk (7%) and CBC Radio 1 (7%).
CRTC Report (1.42 Mb):
2002-11-23: The BBC is considering splitting the post currently held by Kevin Marsh into two when he moves over to become editor of Today, the flagship BBC Radio 4 breakfast show.
Currently Marsh is editor of the channel's lunchtime and early evening shows, the World at One and PM, and the weekend shows the Sunday morning Broadcasting House and lunchtime World This Weekend programmes.
The lunchtime and early evening shows had different editors until 1996 when Marsh, then editor of The World at One, became editor of both of them.
2002-11-23: US Pacifica Radio is seeking grants and listener donations to help it put its archives of nearly 50,000 recordings onto compact discs.
The library goes back more than half a century - Pacifica first went on air in 1949 - and is in varying condition.
It includes the voices of historic figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Malcolm X as well as interviews with luminaries such architect Frank Lloyd Wright, musician John Coltrane and author Simone de Beauvoir.
It also includes poetry readings from names such as Allen Ginsburg, Dylan Thomas and Maya Angelou.
So far according to the San Francisco Chronicle a fund raiser has brought in some USD170, 000 of the USD200, 000 that Pacifica is trying to raise from listeners; in addition aid is being sought from various organisations so that preservation equipment and supplies can be purchased and the project set in train.
Pacifica's Berkeley station KPFA-FM includes the appeal for help on its web site.
Pacifica is still in a financial crisis following a period of internal strike and its interim board is meeting in Houston this weekend to continue consideration of new bylaws
KPFA web site
2002-11-23: City authorities say they intend to bill Stockholm station Radio City for the cost of removing a giant condom that it rolled over a 50 yard (50 metre) obelisk adjoining Sergels Torg square.
Station officials say the condom, which carried a message promoting its morning show, was part of a campaign for safe sex but authorities in the Swedish capital say the station can also pay for the safe removal of the condom.
The city says it cost around USD2,000 to hire a crane to lift the condom off the statue.
2002-11-23: Arbitron's board has announced a stockholder rights plan under which preferred stock purchase rights are to be granted as a dividend; stockholders will get one right for each share held on its record on the close of business on December 9 this year.
The rights will be valid until Nov 21, 2012 and each right will initially entitle a holder to purchase a thousandth of a share of preferred stock.
The plan is a measure to deter hostile takeovers and the rights become exercisable only if one person or group acquires more than 15% of Arbitron's stock and should the company be taken over in a merger, or more than half its assets sold in a number of related transactions, would entitle the holder to purchase shares in the acquiring company at half the market price of the acquiring company's stock at the time of the deal.
Arbitron's Board generally may redeem the rights at a price of $0.005 per right at any time until ten days following the public announcement that a person or group has acquired beneficial ownership of 15% or more of the company's outstanding Common Stock.
Arbitron web site:
2002-11-23: A snippet courtesy of Robert Feder in his Chicago Tribune column suggests that the Disney organisation is is permitting discrimination against older residents of the city: He reports that the new programme head of Disney ABC-owned news/talk station just doesn't want any "oldies" who call in to get on the station's airwaves.
Feder reports that in a confidential memo WLS operations director Michael Packer told staff to screen out any "old sounding callers" no matter what they had to say.
Feder comments that the memo offers "a rare glimpse into how far one radio station will go to zero in on its target demographic--in this case, those advertiser-coveted listeners between the ages of 25 and 54."
He then gives more extracts from Packer's memos:
"We do not want to air any callers who sound over 54. We NEVER air anything (content or callers) that sounds older than our very broad target, which is 25 [to] 54. On occasion, when it makes sense, we will air content or callers aimed at younger demos, but not older demos."
He also says in another memo that hosts and producers should "make sure the content of your promo, the content of your show and every caller screened for airing is laser focused on the WLS target--the 40-year-old."
Packer acknowledged writing the memos, saying they were intended as internal guidelines and adding to Feder, "I can tell you that we do put on some callers who are older than 54 years old," he said. "It is whether they are 'old sounding' that is the key--not their chronological age."
"You can have a person that is 80 years old that doesn't sound old. I would say that Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters don't sound old to me. Then again, you can have a depressed 35-year-old that does sound old. In any talk station, there is a screening process that takes place."
He then commented that all stations had a screening process and that the idea was to "for good communicators--people that are articulate and have something to say and can get right to the point."
RNW comment: Feder notes that talk stations tend to have a high proportion of older listeners and notes that in the latest Arbitron ratings WLS was eighth overall but 14th in the 25-to-54 category. Unlike BBC Radio 2, which successfully managed the transition to a broader audience, keeping older listeners and attracting news ones, WLS well alienate both. We just wonder if rival talk stations have the wit to use them against WLS rather than fear mentioning a rival.
Feder Sun-Times column:
2002-11-22: Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) lifted some of the gloom in British radio with a strong set of interim results: although like-for-like radio division results were flat, SRH radio, which benefited from less exposure to national advertising revenue, outperformed the industry as a whole.
Overall turnover for the year to the end of September was up 5% of GBP 83.5 million (USD 131 million) helped by income from nearly GBP 80 million (USD 125 million) spent in acquisitions; turnover from continuing operations was also up - by 4.4% to GBP 63.7 million (USD 99.95 million); and profits held steady at GBP 15.5 million (USD 93 million). EBITDA from continuing operations was up 5% to GBP17.2 million (USD 27 million).
Overall SRH reported a pre-tax loss of GBP13.5 million (USD 21.2 million) compared to a profit of GBP 11.1 million (USD 17.4 million) because of a GBP 21.2 million (USD 33.3 million) loss on the sale of its loss-making outdoor advertising division, which suffered because 90% of its revenues were from national advertisers, to Clear Channel (See RNW May 22).
Overall analogue radio revenues, including acquisitions were up a fifth up from GBP 34.2 million (USD 53.7 million) to GBP 41.3 million (USD 64.8 million) but these included the effects of the acquisitions of Southampton based regional radio licence holder Wave 105 and the three-quarters of Irish national station Today FM that SRH did not own (See RNW Nov 15, 2001)
On a same station basis, SRH commented that "revenues were at the same level as last year, reflecting a decline in national advertising of 6% compared with the previous year, whereas our local revenues increased by 3% with 8% growth in sponsorship and promotions income. The profit margin for the year was 27%."
SRH also managed to control development of its digital radio and Internet businesses; it says its digital radio development programme continues on course with five digital multiplexes (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr, Dundee and Northern Ireland) and that its radio station websites have developed well.
Net expenditure on digital and Internet activities was GBP1.1 million (USD 1.7 million) during the year.
SRH was bullish about the immediate prospects, having reported turnover up 4% in October and this month and chief executive.
Richard Findlay commented, "In October national advertising was fairly dull, but in November it has come alive and we are looking at the traditional radio advertisers coming back, including mobile phones, supermarkets, retail and motor cars" but he refused to speculate further ahead.
SRH also welcomed the UK communications bill, which proposes eased ownership restrictions (See RNW Nov 21 ) and Findlay said SRH expected to remain independent and be a "major player" in 18- months time.
In particular he played down the likelihood of a takeover by SMG (the former Scottish Media Group), which already owns the maximum 30% share it can of SRH without launching a full bid, saying that even under the proposed new regulations SMG could face problems of disposals in some markets.
SRH shares ended the day up 2.2% at GBP 5.775 whilst SMG was unchanged at GBP0.995.
SRH web site (Results are 73kb PDF):
2002-11-22: Just a day after the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its proposed new Equality of Opportunity regulations(See RNW Nov 21), Democrat Commission Michael J Copps has called for it to re-examine its definition of indecency and analyse the link between media consolidation and the "race to the bottom"
In a statement, he said, "It's time for the Commission to change its definition of indecency. Too many indecency complaints from consumers and too many truly indecent broadcasts are falling through the cracks."
He added that "of the nearly 500 indecency complaints received by the Enforcement Bureau in the last year, only a tiny number have resulted in any action. If our definition leads to that result, then our current definition of indecency just isn't getting the job done."
Copps said that it was also time to tackle wanton violence in broadcasts, saying his calls were "about the public interest, responsible broadcasting, and providing programming that appeals to something other than the lowest common denominator that some advertiser can find to exploit."
"It's shameful.," he said. "You can't tell me this is what the pioneers of the great broadcast industry had in mind when they brought radio and TV to us."
FCC - Copps statement:
2002-11-22: Jazz FM has gone back to the top of the station rankings with Clear Channel retaining network top spot in the latest Arbitron-MeasureCast Internet audio ratings report.
For the week to Nov 10, Arbitron-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 report - were:
1: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 363,038 (248,366 ); CP 75,510(70,054 ): Up from fourth with much higher listening and reach.
2: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 312,073 (338,826); CP 65,568 (69,211). Down from first with lower listening and reach.
3: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 310,686 (317,074 ); CP112,359 (112,374 ). Down from second with lower listening but slightly higher reach.
4: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 302,002 (254,361); CP 56,828 (53,613). Down from third despite higher listening and reach.
5: Classical format WQXR-FM - TTSL 211,161 (206,483 ); CP 47,584 (33,251 ). Same position with higher listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to November 10 (Final MeasureCast standalone figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,516,061 (1,566,183 ); CP 332,972 (331,071) - Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,201,343(1,205,175 ); CP 364,468 (360,590 ). Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 966,603 (1,006,579 ); CP 148,643 (146,569). Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 917,768 (880,659 ): CP 180,522 (178,191 ) Same position with higher listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 677,466 (634,185) hours: CP 102,272 (97,582) - Same position with higher listening and reach.
**RNW note: Arbitron now lists listening as TTSL (the MeasureCast term)/ATH (Arbitron's Actual Tuning Hours term): We are listing this as TTSL.
Previous Arbitron-MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-11-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended for three years a waiver to allow Entercom to continue to operate eight stations in Kansas City.
The waiver relates to the issue in 1998 of a Construction Permit for Expanded Band AM Broadcast Station KXTR- AM linked with Entercom's KKHK- AM under regulations that allowed operation of an expanded band station for a five-year test period over and above the number of permitted traditional stations.
In this case, the station was licence was granted in 2001 but the CP-related licence meant that Entercom would have to divest a station in May next year, thus giving less than two years of licenses dual operation.
The FCC agreed with Entercom's submission that it should allow the operation to continue for the full five-year period of the station licence.
Entercom has also filed papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission related to its USD25 million deal to acquire Royce International Broadcasting's KWOD-FM, Sacramento, a deal that subsequently went to - and it still continuing in - the courts after Royce argued that there had in fact been no deal. Currently Entercom has won all rulings but Royce is appealing the latest decision (See RNW July 18), Entercom shows in its filing that it put most of the USD25 million into escrow plus another USD7.5 million irrevocable standby letter of credit pending the final outcome in the courts.
Previous Entercom-Royce International:
2002-11-22: US talk host Rush Limbaugh has dismissed as a "whine" comments by US Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (Democrat, South Dakota) that an increase in threats against him and his family go up as a result of attacks from ''Rush Limbaugh and all of the Rush Limbaugh wannabes'' and counter-attacked in his usual manner (RNW comment: And in our view, in so doing, proven much more about himself, and maybe his listeners, than was alleged by Daschle -see more below).
Daschle, who last year was sent an anthrax-contaminated letter did not bring raise this matter but commented about a "significant increase" in "issues" he and his family had to deal with after the Republicans labelled him an obstructionist.
''What happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people aren't satisfied just to listen,'' Daschle said. ''They want to act because they get emotionally invested. And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically, on our families and on us, in a way that's very disconcerting.''
''If entertainment becomes so much a part of politics and if that entertainment drives an emotional movement in this country among some people who don't know the difference between entertainment and politics, and who are then so energized to go out and hurt somebody, that troubles me about where politics in America is going,'' he added
Limbaugh on his web site makes a number of responses, including:
"Soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has blamed me personally - and about all of you who listen to me - for his loss and for the supposed 'threats' he's receiving." (RNW comment- Reality check Rush! Check the actual Daschle words!).
"We're 14 months after terrorists attacks, and Tom Daschle calls a presser to whine about the threats that he's getting from people that listen to me!" (RNW comment: Look up the term "non-sequitur", Rush!).
"Soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has blamed me personally, and about all of you who listen to me, for his loss and for the supposed "threats" he's receiving. You can hear him make this comment in the audio links below, and also hear my response to this pathetic attempt to do exactly what some Democrats tried to do after the Oklahoma City Bombing: link our intelligent discussion of ideas to acts of violence. (RNW comment: Another reality check on the actual words is needed! And maybe a check on the meaning of the words "intelligent" and "discussion" in this context).
"Tom Daschle has been in defensive mode for a long time. I heard he's not going to run for re-election in '04 and that he doesn't want to be president anymore."
"He's just trying to explain their loss, and he can't ever, ever blame himself. Democrats don't do that So they pull out this old pattern of blaming you idiot Michigan Militia types who are supposedly the only ones who listen to talk radio - despite my audience being well over 20 million strong."
" One of the reasons the Democrats lost is because no one believes this kind of B.S. about Republicans being evil, children-starving, Social Security-slashing, Medicare-raiding monsters. (RNW comment: Coconuts, Rush! Coconuts!)
"Did Daschle get this upset about the anthrax letters, or when Alec Baldwin screamed that people should stone Congressman Henry Hyde and his family to death? This reminds me of the cover story they ran in TIME "Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America," a week after praising Fidel Castro with the cover story "The Lion in Winter." He's so sure these phantom people are my listeners, but where's the proof? Isn't it interesting that this is the first we've heard of this? I guess the Democrats got their polling data in, and it told them to smear all of you as violent thugs. (RNW comment: We don't know what polling data the Democrats got in but we're sure Daschle would not have been pleased about the anthrax letters sent to himself and others. We're also sure he wouldn't be in favour of stoning Henry Hide and family, or any other family, to death: Had Rush any evidence that Daschle should have made comment on this matter that he didn't? Well to those who are intelligent, a quick read through should say as much as is needed about Limbaugh!
And indeed to those who listen to him as other than "awful but entertaining" or as an "awful example and entertaining", whatever part of his ideas cum rantings they may reasonably agree with.
Our view is that Limbaugh should be considered as too far along the freedom of speech line towards those who would "'Cry fire' in a crowded theatre."
Or putting it in the kind of style Limbaugh might, "We're not even in favour of spitting on people, never mind stoning them!"
Limbaugh web site:
2002-11-21: The British Government has now released the full draft of its Communications Bill and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its proposed new Equal Opportunity regulations (EEO), both being broadly as expected.
The UK bill was welcomed by the UK Radio Authority but with some reservations, already expressed previously by its Chief Executive Tony Stoller, who had been in favour of the three-plus-the BBC rule for owners in a local market.
This had originally been accepted by the Radio Companies but when they found that TV was to be allowed more consolidation, they mounted a last minute intense - and ultimately successful -- lobbying effort to reduce this to two-plus-the-BBC (See RNW Nov 15).
It includes one of the most controversial aspects of the original plan, that to allow non-EU companies control broadcasters in Britain even though in some cases, like the USA, the reverse is ruled out.
As a result, as well as a battle between the largest UK radio companies (Capital Radio, Chrysalis, EMAP, GWR, Scottish Media Group and Scottish Radio Holdings) there is expected to be interest from foreign buyers such as European broadcaster RTL and US giants Clear Channel and Viacom.
In his comment welcoming the bill, Stoller drew attention to a number of specific areas, those of ownership, the local nature of radio, and support the new Access "community radio" scheme and allowing religious bodies to hold licences.
On ownership, Stoller said in a statement, "The Radio Authority welcomes Government's acceptance of our proposals to remove all sector-specific limits on UK-wide ownership of ILR stations, to extend licence length from eight years to twelve years, and to make all remaining rules waveband neutral."
"We also welcome the adoption of the broad approach we suggested for cross-media ownership between radio and newspapers."
"While we are disappointed that Government has not adopted the formula we proposed to regulate in-area concentration of local commercial radio ownership, we welcome the decision to retain meaningful controls."
"The Authority regards guarantees of plurality of local ownership as important democratic safeguards. The provision of local news, local information, access to the airwaves for local people, as well as a range of employment opportunities and the choice of music playlists, are all important elements in a plural society which market forces alone cannot be relied upon to deliver."
In the US, all the FCC Commissioners issued statements welcoming the proposed EEO rules, a 118-page document.
The new rules were brought in because US courts had stuck down previous rules as unconstitutional and in his statement, FCC chairman Michael K Powell said, "The public benefits of individuals in our society having equal employment opportunities, based on merit rather than discriminatory factors, are so numerous they are impossible to list. I believe few would disagree with this proposition. Thus, it is only right and proper for this agency to expect its licensees to afford equal opportunities for everyone."
"Indeed, I believe it is our obligation to attempt to widen the circle of those Americans that benefit from the fruits spawned by those licenses. If the public interest benefit means anything at all it cannot possibly tolerate the use of a government license to discriminate against the citizens from whom the license ultimately is derived. Thus, we will remain vigilant in our enforcement of these rules.
The rules we adopt today include a broad outreach program that is squarely race and gender neutral and, thus, not constitutionally suspect. The EEO rules focus on increasing the possibility that more minorities and women get the opportunity to compete fairly for employment."
"No one is entitled to rewards they did not earn. No one is entitled to jobs for which they are not qualified. But, everyone is entitled to an equal opportunity to vie for those rewards and compete for those jobs."
Previous UK Radio Authority:
FCC EEO proposals (2.87Mb Microsoft Word document: 118 Pages including Commissioners' statements.)
UK Radio Authority - Stoller statement:
Full UK Communications Bill:
Part 1 - 1.27 Mb PDF (320 pages):
Part 2 - 1.04 Mb PDF (264 pages):
2002-11-21: The US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has now officially released its September figures showing, as earlier released to the RAB board last month (See RNW Oct 17) that overall US radio revenues were up 17% in September; National advertising up 26% and local up 14% on the fraught September of last year.
RAB says this is the highest monthly increase since May 2000 when there was a 25% at the height of the boom.
RAB's Sales Index, which sets 1998 - before the dot.com boom - as a base year of 100, was 129.2 in September; the local index for the month was 129.7; whilst the national index was 127.6.
For the third quarter of the year overall revenues were up 10%, local was up 8% and national up 17% compared to 2001 and for the first nine months overall revenues were up 45 with local revenues up 3% and national revenues up 9%,
RAB President and CEO Gary Fries commented, "The strong growth in Radio ad sales for September and 3rd Quarter of 2002 point to Radio's ability to withstand the kind of uncertain environment that is enveloping the advertising landscape today. Right now, Radio looks to continue to exceed expectations, and the next two quarters are shaping up for sustained health in the industry."
Previous RAB (US):
Previous RAB (US) monthly figures:
RAB web site:
2002-11-21:The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now given approval for Regent's USD62 million deal to buy the 12 stations of bankrupt Brill Media.
It has held up the deal because of ownership concerns about three stations in the combined Duluth and Wisconsin market (See RNW Oct 4) but has now approved the whole deal.
Approval of a Clear Channel deal has, however, led to a protest from Wisconsin Senator Russell Feingold (Democrat) who has written to FCC chairman Michael Powell expressing disapproval of its decision to approve the group's USD2.4 million acquisition of WISM-FM, Eau Clair, Wisconsin according to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.
Feingold, along with Zoe Communications which opposed the deal, says that that Clear Channel, which already owns the maximum six stations permitted in the Eau Clair market, lowered the power of its nearby WATQ-FM so that its signal would not overlap with the WISM signal.
Clear Channel said it reduced the power because of complaints about interference with resident's telephones and baby monitors near the station.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-11-21: The UK commercial radio companies group, the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) is to take legal action against two pirate broadcasters from Dudley in the West Midlands according to the UK Guardian.
It says that if magistrates convict for the second time the pirates, it will commence legal proceedings to get an injunction that would forbid them from making future illegal broadcasts.
The CRCA was involved in a precedent-setting case lat year, also in the West Midlands, when it won an injunction against Paul Hutchings, owner of Magic FM. On the basis of causing a public nuisance.
The CRCA says the pirates pose a serious threat to emergency services, aircraft and legal stations, according to CRCA.
UK Guardian report:
2002-11-21: The first weekly Webcast ratings to be released by Arbitron, which previously reported only monthly but earlier this month acquired MeasureCast's Internet ratings service (See RNW Nov 8), show listening down slightly in the week from to November 3: the Arbitron MeasureCast for the week was down 0.6% compared to the final results from MeasureCast as an independent service.
There were no significant changes at the top of the rankings, only more musical shares, but leading network Clear Channel's streaming topped 1.5 million hours in the week.
For the week to Nov 3, Arbitron-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 final MeasureCast release (week to October 27) - were:
1: Hot Adult Contemporary Virgin FM - TTSL 338,826 (318,397); CP 69,211 (66,832). Up from second in final MeasureCast standalone report with increase in listening but fall in reach.
2: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 317,074 (314,138); CP 112,374 (112,551). Also second in final MeasureCast standalone report with increase in listening and reach.
3:Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 254,361 (223,279); CP 53,613 (53,126). Up from fourth in final MeasureCast standalone report with higher listening and reach.
4: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 248,366 (323,040); CP 70,054 (73,013): Down from first in final MeasureCast standalone report with lower listening but higher reach.
5: Classical format WQXR-FM - TTSL 206,483 (206,854); CP 33,251 (36,790). Same position in final MeasureCast standalone report with slightly lower listening and reach.
The top five networks for the week to October 6 (Final MeasureCast standalone figures in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,566,183 (1,472,327); CP 331,071 (334,855) - Same position in final MeasureCast standalone report: listening was up and reach down.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,205,175 (1,173,471); CP 360,590 (353,445). Same position in final MeasureCast standalone report: listening and reach were up.
3: StreamAudio TTSL 1,006,579 (973,974) ; CP 146,569 (139,457). Up from fourth in final MeasureCast standalone report: listening and reach were up.
4: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 880,659 (1,043,814): CP 178,191 (187,519) - Down from third in final MeasureCast standalone report: listening and reach were down.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 634,185 (591,944) hours: CP 97,582 (101,334) - Same position in final MeasureCast standalone report: listening was up and reach down.
**RNW note: Arbitron now lists listening as TTSL (the MeasureCast term)/ATH (Arbitron's Actual Tuning Hours term): We are listing this as TTSL.
Previous Arbitron webcast ratings (then monthly):
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
Arbitron web site:
2002-11-20: The spat between the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington-based non-profit organization of artists and independent record company executives, over the latter's report that slams deregulation in US radio has continued to build pace since a leaked version of the report was published in the Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times last Friday (Nov. 15) in advance of the report's release on Monday this week.
The study "Radio Deregulation: Has It Served Citizens and Musicians?" says that consolidation has "led to a loss of localism, less competition, fewer viewpoints and less diversity in radio programming in media markets across the country ", a finding in contradiction of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) study of the (top ten) songs played by stations that found there had been no significant effect on diversity (See RNW Oct 2).
Jenny Toomey, executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, said the report "clearly demonstrates that the radical deregulation of the radio industry has not benefited the public or musicians. Instead, it has led to less competition, fewer viewpoints, and less diversity in programming."
Taking on the argument that diversity had increased because the average number of formats in a market had increased since the passage of the 1996 US Telecommunications Act, the Coalition report says, " format variety is not equivalent to true diversity in programming. Analysis of music chart data in the report reveals considerable format homogeneity, with many songs overlapping on various format playlists."
" The consolidation of station management, coupled with industry trends toward shorter play lists and streamlined program decision making, means a very small number of "gatekeepers" control access to the public airwaves. Since one of the five major labels release between 80 and 100 percent of songs on the charts, artists are often forced to balance their hopes of gaining significant radio airplay against having to sign much-maligned major label contracts and transferring their ownership and control of their work over to their record company."
The report has been backed by various organisations concerned about past consolidation and the current consideration by the FCC of whether it should loosen ownership restrictions further.
Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold, said the report underlined complaints he had heard from constituents that had led him to introduce the "Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Act" earlier this year.
The NAB and major broadcasters have said it is flawed and that the findings had been skewed to support the FMC's position. The NAB in a response to the initial reports said "a large portion of the substance is based upon a highly flawed public opinion survey, which was released and pitched to reporters in May, yielding minimal coverage" and describes many of the findings as myth.
Clear Channel said that radio stations, even if they played the same songs, offered a very different experience and that it was the totality of a station's output that mattered.
It add that it spent a lot of effort finding out what listeners wanted and would lose them if it did not provide what was wanted.
Previous Clear Channel:
FCC web site - Daily Digest (Oct 1 digest links to FCC studies):
FMC Web site - links to various releases and complete study:
FMC complete study (1.5 Mb PDF):
Los Angeles Times report:
NAB web site:
NAB Format Diversity Study(PDF):
2002-11-20: UK GWR executive chairman Ralph Bernard has said that the group has not been involved in talks with Clear Channel about a takeover and added, that despite a fall of a fifth in operating profits in the six months to the end of September its assets will not be for sale on the cheap to US buyers.
He did allow, however, that, when the government's communications bill becomes law and allows significant consolidation in UK radio and TV, GWR, owner of the Classic FM national channel and 32 local radio stations, could be a target for DMG radio, which already owns nearly 30% of the company.
DMGT, which publishes the Daily Mail national newspaper and more than 70 regional papers, would under current legislation not be able to take over GWR but under new regulations would only have to make a few disposals.
Its Australian arm, DMGT Radio Australia, bought out GWR's quarter interest in its Australian operations (See RNW Sept 20).
GWR's interim results show flat revenues, down from GBP 62.4 million (USD97.91 million) to GBP 62.3 million (USD 97.75 million); UK advertising revenues were down around 3% and GWR has said that, while it is enjoying "somewhat more encouraging trading conditions in Q4" its assumption is that "there will be no significant upturn in advertising in the foreseeable future."
UK analogue radio turnover was down from GBP 59.2 million (USD 92.9 million) to GBP 58.8 million (USD 92.3 million).
GWR's operating profit for the six months was down to GBP 5.80 million (USD 9.1 million) from GBP 7.2 million (USD 28.6 million) in the same six months of 2001: Taking goodwill and exceptional expenses of GBP 17.9 million (USD 28.1 million) into account the group had a pre-tax loss of GBP 12.1 million (USD 19 million) compared to a profit of GBP1.52 million (USD 2,4 million) a year ago.
After tax, dividends and all other expenses the loss was GBP 14.67 million (USD 23.million) or 9.4 pence per diluted share compared to a loss of GBP4.86 million (USD 7.6 million) or 1. 5 pence per diluted share a year ago.
Most of the exceptional costs related to costs related to staff cuts and write downs and disposals of underperforming assets including GBP13 million (USD 20.4million) relating to the company's European radio stations that it is still in the process of selling.
GWR has cut its debt by debt by some GBP66 million (USD 104million) to GBP 100million (USD 157 million) over the past six months, mainly through the sale of Australian assets to DMG and of London News Radio to Chrysalis (See RNW Sept 27) to pave the way for acquisitions and Bernard said, "GWR has a clear strategy to focus on the UK market and to reduce its debt."
"We have made good progress in achieving these objectives. We have a strong portfolio of assets in the UK, including a market leading position in the field of digital radio, which is developing promisingly. We welcome the proposals to be contained in the Communications Bill for the relaxation of the ownership rules of UK commercial radio licences."
During the half-year GWR has re-structured its analogue radio holdings into functional lines of responsibility as opposed to a geographically focussed structure. Opus, its sales business, has responsibility for all the Group's UK's revenues, both in the national and local markets and Creation, its programming business, is responsible for the delivery of audiences by GWR's local radio station group.
The group says that there was a short-term downside with the change to Opus but it expects to see benefits from the changes in terms of revenues and lower operating costs over the next 18 months.
GWR also has a strong interest in UK digital radio, holding the licences of or having an interest in 11 of the 37 multiplexes awarded to date and it has a controlling interest in the national Digital One multiplex and an interest in three of the national radio stations broadcasting through that multiplex.
It says that "There are now signs that the market for digital radios is moving at a more encouraging pace" since the introduction of cheaper receivers plus Ford's decision to offer digital receivers as a standard accessory for its entire UK car range from January 2003.
In terms of overseas assets, GWR has already sold its Australian assets and has just announced the sale this week of its Vienna business in Austria subject to regulatory approval.
It made no profit on the disposal, which included net liabilities of GBP2.7 million (USD 4.2 million) and GWR says that it anticipates disposing of its Hungarian interest in 2004 after its licences are renewed.
GWR's shares ended Tuesday down 10.24% at GBP1.49 from GBP1.66, nearly double the 5.4% it had gained on Monday following reports about Clear Channel's interest.
Previous Clear Channel:
GWR web site (results are 75Kb PDF)
2002-11-20: UK Chrysalis Group has added journalist Simon Vigar to the list of staff acquisitions from other broadcasters it is building in advance of its re-launch of the LBC London talk station that it recently acquired.
igar, who is currently employed by BBC World TV, worked for Capital Radio in the early 1990s as co-host of its "The Way It Is" show.
2002-11-19: Shares in British radio companies rose on Monday following reports that US giants Clear Channel and Viacom were likely to be bidding for a UK presence when the Communications Bill, which would allow US companies to control British broadcaster, is passed by Parliament.
The largest rises were in the share prices of the two companies named on Sunday as being on Clear Channel's shopping list -- Capital Radio (up 7% to GBP4.05) and GWR (Up 5.4% to GBP1.66).
Other groups had lower rises including those of 3.9% to GBP8 for EMAP; 1.95% to GBP2.09 for Chrysalis; 1.77% to GBP 5.65 for Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) and 1.53% to GBP 0.995 for SMG;
RNW comment: The rises seem somewhat premature since, until the Communications Bill becomes law, non-EU companies cannot control British broadcasters and also because Clear Channel at least, having just sold Jazz FM and other UK radio interests hardly seems likely to want to over-pay. A lot of water can flow under bridges before any deals are done.
2002-11-19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued fines totalling USD28, 000 on one station and upheld a USD10, 000 penalty on another for safety-related offences.
The largest fine was on New Mexico broadcaster, A-O Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of KTMN-FM, Cloudcroft, and involved offences of failing to comply with radio frequency radiation maximum permissible exposure limits applicable to transmitters on towers, failing to have EAS equipment installed and operating, failing to maintain a main studio and failing to have adequate transmission system control.
The penalty notice follows a complaint at the end of October 2001 that KTMN was not operating at its authorised power and was in breach of radio frequency radiation (RFR) guidelines because of the antenna's low radiation centre above ground level. A subsequent mid- November inspection showed the antenna mounted approximately 13 metres above the ground on a United States Forest Service fire lookout tower but the power was off and the owner subsequently said the station had been off air for a week following an electrical surge a week earlier.
When the transmitter was turned on to enable RFR measurements to be taken the owner could only reach around 60% of the authorised power and said he had no monitoring equipment or remote control for the station, but that he would monitor the station on a consumer- grade portable receiver at his residence in Alamogordo to confirm the station was on the air. Even at a 40% level RFR levels in some publicly accessible areas outside the tower fence were above permitted levels (by up to 300%) and inside they were above permissible occupational and public limits (in some cases 1500% above the permitted public levels).
Fire service rangers with access to the lookout tower stairway and platform said they had received no training about to RFR and had no knowledge of RFR exposure potential from the radio transmitting antenna mounted just a few feet from their fire lookout.
FCC agents also found that KTMN had no main studio and had no EAS equipment installed.
A warning was issued on November 21, 2001 and AO sent a response that included a statement that a theoretical RFR analysis had been completed for the station and because a construction permit and licence were granted after this, the FCC now had no right to penalise it for violating RFR rules.
It also said that KTMN would take all appropriate action to comply with the FCC's RFR limits and suggested that the RFR problem would be best dealt with by relocating the transmitting facilities of KTMN.
The FCC pointed out that licensees were responsible for meeting regulatory requirements and assessed
a base forfeiture amount of USD10,000 for failure to comply with the RFR exposure ,a base forfeiture amount of USD8, 000 for failure to install EAS equipment, a base amount of USD7,000 for failure to maintain a main studio, 31 and a base amount of USD3,000 for violation of transmitter control and metering requirements, totalling USD28,000 in all .
The USD10,000 penalty is proposed following failure by Bestov Broadcasting, Inc. of Puerto Rico to light the antenna of WTIL-AM, Mayaguez, with the prescribed obstruction lighting.
The penalty followed observation that the tower was completely unlit after sunset on April 25 this year. Bestov had responded that it had not know about the failure and asked for the penalty to be cancelled or reducer because the offence was not wilful and because of inability to pay.
The FCC dismissed the first argument and said supporting evidence about the latter had not been provided so it was upholding the penalty.
2002-11-19: The BBC has confirmed that Kevin Marsh, currently the editor of the BBC Radio 4 lunchtime news show, "The World at One" and its early evening sister "PM" has been appointed as the new editor of the channel's flagship breakfast show, "Today "; he replaces former editor Rod Liddle who was given the choice of resigning or dropping his column in the UK Guardian after a row over comments about the Countryside Alliance((See RNW Sept 28) .
Commenting on the appointment, BBC Director of News Richard Sambrook said: "Kevin has a terrific track record of broadcast journalism including the outstanding leadership of the World at One through the last two elections and the launch of the highly original and successful Broadcasting House on Radio Four."
Radio News head, Stephen Mitchell, said: "Kevin's work over recent years with The World at One, PM and Broadcasting House is testament to his editorial flair and journalistic rigour, but he has also demonstrated a real feel for the demanding Radio Four audience. "
March joined the BBC as a news trainee in 1978 and, after working in Belfast and Birmingham, joined The World at One team in June 1980 before leaving to join Independent Television News.
He returned to the Corporation as Deputy Editor of The World at One in 1987, was promoted to become editor of "PM" a year later and then moved back to the World at One as Editor in 1994. He then became editor of both programmes when they were brought together under a single editor two years later.
Marsh has won three Sony awards and said he was "delighted" at the appointment, adding, "... it'll be a huge challenge. I look forward to the opportunity of editing one part of the day I haven't yet edited."
Also on the move in UK broadcasting is BBC TV Newsround presenter Becky Jago, who is co-host Capital FM's breakfast show with Chris Tarrant when the show re-launches in January; she will also be news presenter on the show.
Jago, a former breakfast show DJ on Vibe FM in her home town of Bury St Edmunds, impressed Capital in a demonstration recorded with Tarrant this month.
2002-11-19: A campaign to boost digital radio take-up in the UK has been launched in the run up to Christmas: it features top artists talking about their latest work in 1-minute interviews ending with the line "'When so much goes into making the music, shouldn't you get the most out of it? DAB Digital Radio."
Among those lined up to take part are Atomic Kitten, Bob Geldof, Blak Twang, John Otway, Groove Armada and Big Brovaz.
The advertisements will be tailored to the station running them according to the UK Digital Radio Development Bureau, the body funded by the BBC and commercial radio companies that is behind the five week campaign, which will also include a generic promotion for DAB digital radio receivers from £99, along with a drive to a new informational phone line and consumer website from the DRDB to be launched at the end of this month (www.digitalradionow.com).
DRDB's Marketing Director, Mike Spencer, said of the adverts " for Classic FM, for example, we have master violin restorer Peter Beare talking lovingly about the woods used to make a classic instrument. We can use jazz artists, sports personalities, rockers, popsters, etc, so the promotions will fit neatly into each station's musical persona."
The DRDB is also involved in a promotion for dealers running from until the end of March 2003 with GBP500 (USD785) to be won each month, twice that in a special draw at Christmas, and a car as top prize for retailers selling digital receivers. Staff at the retailers participating gets one draw entry for every receiver sold.
In the US, Sirius Satellite Receivers are to be offered in some Ford and Mercury models available for hire from Hertz in California and Florida from the beginning of next month. In all some 20,000 automobiles will initially be fitted with the receivers for which there will be an extra USD5 per day hire charge: The receivers will later be available in more markets in the US.
Previous UK DRDB:
UK Digital Radio Development Bureau web site:
2002-11-19: Infinity Radio has filed papers with the US Federal Communications Commission to put its Los Angeles news station KFWB-AM into a trust rather than sell it to meet ownership restrictions that mean parent Viacom has to sell a station in the market to go ahead with its purchase of KCAL-TV.
The trust will be controlled by Bill Clark, a former President of Shamrock Broadcasting, and will have no business dealings with Infinity or its executives.
Infinity will be left with two TV stations and six radio stations in Los Angeles when its deals are complete but it may be hoping that changes in US cross-ownership regulations may allow it to re-acquire KFWB. The station is the only one of Infinity's Los Angeles properties that is not co-sited with any other station.
2002-11-19: BBC London radio has replaced five late-night music shows with an extended Sadie Nine's late-night chat show to the dismay of fans of the shows, who have been complaining that the decision is a result of a "ratings obsession."
One listener commented on the Londonlive web site that, "The current ratings obsessed LDN, broadcasting programmes more fit for a rural backwater, is letting down the people of London - and the BBC - in a big way ...and for a city of London's reputation, that's a disgrace!"
There has also been a complaint from the Association of Independent Music (AIM), which represents independent music companies. Its spokesman said "The cullings affect London's and the UK's cultural output. Coupled with the comedy shows that are also being axed - Sean Hughes, Phil Jupitus, Mark Lamarr and Chris Morris - and film and literary shows being chopped and changed, you have got to ask yourself if London needs another talk and sport station."
Most of the complaints have related to Solid Steel, the late-night dance music show hosted by 80s dance duo Coldcut; the other shows being axed are those of DJs Ross Allen and Imran Khan , Bob Jones' 60's soul and garage show and Kevin Le Gendre's jazz slot
BBC London live web site:
2002-11-18: We take a look at international broadcasting, or rather in part to use the terms of Kim Andrew Elliott in the New York Times "Public diplomacy - the current and gentler term for international propaganda" to start off our look at comment on radio this week.
Elliot, an analyst in the Office of Research of the United States International Broadcasting Bureau, which includes the Voice of America and writing as someone who has conducted "international broadcasting audience research for 25 years" comments of some US efforts " I am not aware of any persons huddled by their radios to hear about the achievements and values of the United States or any other country."
"People do listen to foreign broadcasts if they are in countries where information is controlled by the government," he adds. "They listen to the stations that best provide a credible substitute for the news they are not getting from their domestic media."
Elliot then delivers a brickbat to Radio Moscow ("During most of the post-war years the behemoth of international radio. Yet its audience was normally a small fraction of that of the major Western stations. This is because Radio Moscow transmitted propaganda."), and praise to the BBC World Service allied with tempered praise for US efforts ("Britain spent much less than the Soviet Union on international broadcasting and still spends less than the United States. But its BBC World Service has the largest audience and most prestige of any international radio station. This is largely because the BBC World Service has with rare exceptions remained independent of British government control. The American radio stations - Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia - have generally adhered to their news missions and have earned good reputations among their audiences. There is, nonetheless, a persistent ambiguity to American international broadcasting. The BBC is prohibited from broadcasting editorials; V.O.A., by contrast, is officially required to broadcast United States government editorials.")
After that comes the real swipe at much current US effort: "Almost all of the recent reports, articles, bills and speeches about public diplomacy put international broadcasting in the same basket as public diplomacy. Public diplomacy, however, manages information to put the United States and its policies in the best light. In my experience, this is exactly the type of pro-government reporting that audiences seek to escape by tuning to foreign broadcasts."
"American decision-makers may wonder why on earth they should provide money to a radio or television station that merely tells the truth. For the answer, let us consider the Arab target audience. Arabs are largely opposed to American policies toward Israel and Palestine and to any possible American invasion of Iraq. No amount of spin will make a dent in the public opinion of the Arab world."
"However, Arabs will listen to a radio station or watch a television channel that provides news that is more comprehensive and reliable than what they get from their domestic media. Well informed, they can make up their own minds about current events. They will be grateful to the United States for providing such a service."
He then remarks on the potential benefits to be gained from independent journalism, concluding," Sooner or later they will hear a viewpoint, perhaps from a member of Congress, perhaps from an American newspaper editorial, that is not so far from their own. They will understand that such an opinion may not be the Bush administration's foreign policy, but it is American, and something that will help them relate to America. Then audiences in the Arab world and elsewhere may understand America a bit more and dislike it a bit less. All told, it might be enough to make a difference."
After welcoming the above, we also welcome some choice that is already developing in the US; that in satellite radio although we fear it may not last.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, John O'Dell considers the advent of Sirius as a serious competitor for XM. "That's good news for those who think competition is a good thing," he comments, " as New York-based Sirius has been losing money and didn't launch its nationwide service until July, almost seven months after competitor XM Satellite Radio went on the air."
"But with the announcement that certain models of Ford and the automaker's Lincoln, Mercury, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover brands will offer Sirius radios exclusively beginning in January, the broadcaster's future seems more settled."
He then considers some of the potential differences in reception terms and programme content between the two services, noting that XM sells advertising on many of its music channels and that "some XM stations share programming, so it's possible to hear the same music selections, or the same comedy routines, on different stations at different times of the day if you are channel surfing."
"Sirius, he comments, "shares all of the good things about satellite radio and says it provides better reception and higher-quality broadcast sound than its competitor (a lot of that, or course, is in the ear -- and audio equipment -- of the listener). Sirius also boasts that its 60 music channels are commercial free."
"The improved sound," says O'Dell. "comes from a system that reallocates bandwidth among channels as content demands -- for example, sending more signal to channels playing music while taking signal away from channels playing talk. Sirius says the difference in sound from the greater bandwidth is akin to the difference between music on cassette tape and CDs."
He also comments that Sirius has greater signal strength from its three broadcast satellites than XM has from its two.
Finally some comments about content from the UK Sunday Times and Times newspapers.
In the former, Paul Donovan notes the presence in recent radio drama of a number of well-known names from the screen including Gary Oldham, Ewan McGregor, Jude Law and Ralph Fiennes with a look back over the ten years during which such names as Kathleen Turner, Richard Dreyfuss, Amy Irving, Marsha Mason and Ed Asner worked in radio drama in the UK.
Gordon House, head of BBC radio drama, said he saw the current boom as part of a pattern, saying, "Many screen actors love the fact that they can just walk in and do it. They have no make-up to bother with, no costumes to wear and no lines to learn."
"Radio is also nearer to film than you might think. It is the equivalent of raising an eyebrow for the camera. It is about showing that less is more. It is about underplaying, not overplaying, not projecting your voice to the 27th row of the stalls, which I'm afraid still happens occasionally in some of our productions."
Donovan himself comments, "Stars, of course, are often the icing and not the cake; the baubles, not the tree. But they add lustre, generate publicity, attract new audiences and provide real challenges for a professional actor in having to forget face and body, and put everything into voice alone."
In the Times, Vanora Bennett in her column includes comment on a BBC Radio 4 programme "Hearing Colours, Eating Sounds - Mixed Feelings" (which should still be available on the website until tomorrow), the second in a series well worth a listen. It concerns a condition, synaesthesia, in which the senses get mixed up and people taste words or see music in colours.
"Being asked by a medium that stimulates just the sense of hearing to "see" something that you cannot experience yourself seems an impossibility," writes Bennett. "During last week's episode, I started by feeling sceptical, as interviewees described "knowing" that the letter B was blue, and the letter V pink - or vice versa. Oh come on, I thought. Surely this is all just attention-seeking hysterics? "
"Yet before I knew where I was, the skilful programme had broken down my resistance with nothing more than a couple of exceptionally articulate explanations."
She then details some of the experiences described and then notes that "a scientist nixed my mean-spirited question about whether synaesthetes were making it all up by describing a test for synaesthesia: a sheet of paper printed with hundreds of numbers, with a triangle of 2s in the centre, surrounded by 5s."
"An ordinary person will see only a blur of print. But a synaesthete, who perceives 2s as yellow and 5s as green, say, will "see" a yellow triangle against a green background. "
"The radio," she concludes, "may only be working on our sense of hearing, but it certainly engages the brain in more ways than one."
Los Angeles Times - O'Dell:
New York Times -Elliott :
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Times - Bennett:
2002-11-18: US radio giant Clear Channel, which earlier this month disposed the last of its UK radio interests (See RNW Nov 7) is reported to be preparing to buy Capital Radio and GWR Group, owner of national channel Classic FM, in a significant return to the market following changes to the British government's draft Communications Bill last week that will ease the ownership restrictions that were originally proposed (See RNW Nov 15).
The UK Sunday Times quoted Roger Parry, chief executive of Clear Channel's international arm, as saying "We think UK radio is very attractive. Any buyer considering a UK play has to include Capital high on their list of potential candidates. Clearly we want scale and there is no point buying just one business."
The paper suggests that Clear Channel is also said to be interested in EMAP, which has publishing, radio and TV interests.
It also suggests that there is likely to be a bidding war with Viacom, whose chief executive Sumner Redstone earlier this month met British Prime Minister Tony Blair and discussed media deregulation (See RNW Nov 8) and whose president and Infinity CEO Mel Karmazin at the same time met Capital chief executive David Mansfield.
Previous Clear Channel:
UK Sunday Times report:
2002-11-18: Dan Moschetti, host of the syndicated "Golf Guys' Radio Show" has died of a hear attack at his desk shortly after being interviewed live by a San Francisco radio station.
He was the creator as well as the host of the show that he started in 1998 for fun in conjunction with several friends and fellow golf fans; it has since been syndicated to some 800 stations worldwide.
2002-11-17: Last week was a steady one for the regulators with a modest level of activity in all regions.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), has been busy with further enquiries involving 2 GB breakfast host's interest in the station and another Sydney licence, 2CH, both part of the Macquarie Network (see RNW Nov 14) as well as dealing with a number of community licences.
The latter were:
Queensland: Two new licences for Nambour . They were awarded to SDA Radio Association Inc whose Sunshine FM already broadcasts to "mature age" listeners and Sunshine Coast Christian Broadcasters Association Inc (Rhema FM), who were competing against applications from Caloundra Community Radio Incorporated (Beach FM) and Maleny Community Radio Incorporated (Hinterland FM).
Tasmania: A new licence for the Northern Midlands area of Tasmania to Northern Midlands Community Broadcasters Inc (Heart FM), which is already broadcasting a general community service on the frequency. It was the only applicant.
In South Australia, the ABA has also extended from December 18 to December 31 the deadline by which the Mount Gambier community service 5GTR community radio service was required to change its frequency.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a number of new digital transitional radio operations as well as being involved in various analogue decisions.
They are for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) stations CBO-FM, CBOQ-FM, CBOF-FM, and CBOX-FM in Ottawa. The CBC plans to transmit a simulcast of its associated station with up to 14 hours of other non-simulcast programming a week,
On the analogue side, it has approved only until the end of 2006, the renewal of the licence for CFOM-FM Lévis, Quebec.
The shorter term renewal instead of the full seven-year period followed an analysis of programming in a week in August 2000 when the percentage of the station's broadcasting of French-language vocal music and category 2 musical selections in its output was less than required by Canadian regulations.
In renewing the licence, the Commission noted that these were the first breaches it had recorded by the station.
It has also allowed Aboriginal Voices Radio to increase the power of its Toronto Type B FM native radio programming station from 250 watts to 350 watts.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced awards in principle of the County Tipperary and Counties Laois/Offaly/Westmeath FM licences and deferred the award of a new Limerick AM licence (See RNW Nov 13).
It has also advertised its fifth tranche of local commercial licences. These are FM licences for Donegal North, and Donegal South/Sligo/North Leitrim.
In the UK, the Radio Authority has advertised a new FM licence for the coastal area of North Norfolk, covering Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer, and inland to include Fakenham.
It has also announced that it received only single declarations of intent to apply relating to a number of licences: In each case the applicants, who are existing holders, are to be invited to re-apply under the authority's fast-track procedure.
They were for the Oban area local licence in Scotland where the existing licence-holder is Oban FM Community Radio Ltd., broadcasting as Oban FM; for the AM and FM licences for the Wrexham & Chester area where the existing holders are Classic Gold Digital Ltd., broadcasting as Classic Gold Marcher on the AM band and Marcher Radio Group Ltd. (GWR Group plc), broadcasting as MFM 103.4 and Wirral's Buzz 97.1 on the FM band.
On the digital front, the Authority has announced that it is to add Cambridge to its current programme with plans to advertise the multiplex for the area in May next year. It says that because of this it will not now be re-advertising the Cambridge & Newmarket FM licence until the award of the multiplex; this ties in with the strategy of automatic renewal of a licence where an existing holder provides a service on the relevant digital multiplex.
The Authority was also involved, together with the BBC, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), and the Independent Television Commission in the publication of a report on Multicultural Broadcasting that said British broadcasters were still guilty f stereotyping ethnic minorities and portraying some of them and their countries in a negative way although there had been significant progress in the representation of minority groups on air and behind the scenes.
Two radio stations, Choice FM and Kiss FM, were specifically commended for their commitment to minority interests.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is finally approaching full strength with the Senate confirmation of Jonathan Adelstein's confirmation to fill the vacant Commissioner's slot (See RNW Nov 16).
It has also been involved in action over a number of technical offences. These were the confirmation f one USD8, 000 fine but cancellation of another of the same amount (See RNW Nov 15) and the confirmation of a USD15, 000 penalty (See RNW Nov 16).
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
Multicultural Broadcasting report (290Kb PDF):
2002-11-17: Clear Channel, which just over a year ago switched Los Angeles KLAC-AM from adult standards to a talk format, is to drop talk and go back to the old songs, although it's giving the move a marketing twist.
The new format will be introduced on December 12, Frank Sinatra's birthday, and Robin Bertolucci, director of AM programming for Clear Channel-Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times that they were now calling it the "martini format", adding, "' It's going to be this swank, cool station. We want this station to be a destination on your dial, like entering a martini bar."
She also said that none of the talk hosts were to be kept on at the station or its sister KFI-AM, commenting, "It's just a very difficult task to wedge another talk format into this market. We've had some very talented people, and I feel very sorry that it wasn't more successful."
The Times also notes that KSUR-AM, owned by Southland's sole remaining independent broadcaster was similarly updated in March, in its case terming itself "contemporary standards"; Bertolucci said of the comparison, "We have a lot of respect for what they're doing, but this is going to be on a much bigger scale."
Previous Clear Channel:
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-11-16: Small US webcasters may be able to pay lower copyright royalties for their streaming operations under compromise legislation, "The Small Webcaster Settlement Act", that has been passed by both the US Congress and Senate.
They have also been given an extension until December 15 to make payments, thus giving time to finalize the discount previously worked out with the recording industry and musicians.
The previous bill, the Small Webcaster Amendments Act of 2002, was blocked in the Senate by Republican Senator Jesse Helms (N. Carolina) (See RNW Oct 19) because of concerns by Religious Broadcasters that the fees set down in it could be used as a precedent by the recording companies.
The previous plan had been passed by the House of Representatives and set down definitions of small webcasters and the basis - a percentage of income or expenses - on which payments should be made by them,
Unlike that bill, this Act does not set down any rates; instead it merely says that small and non-commercial Webcasters are free to negotiate a new agreement with the group representing labels and artists rather than paying the rates set down by the Librarian of Congress in June (See RNW June 21) and that came into effect on October 20. After the bill was blocked, recording companies extended the deadline by which payments had to be made (See RNW Oct 20) until Congress could take action on legislation,
It says explicitly that agreements struck as a result of its passage are the result of specific political and business conditions, and cannot be used as a foundation for any future rates or as evidence in royalty-related litigation.
It seems likely, however, that the rates that will be set will be those proposed earlier and the proposals were welcomed on this basis by the small webcasters group that negotiated the original compromise.
The new legislation was cautiously welcomed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
In a statement issued in conjunction with the Religious Broadcasters, it said it supported "the Senate compromise that addresses the concerns of certain broadcasters about the small webcaster legislation passed by the House of Representatives" but in a note of caution it added that the "recording industry did not seek nor propose this authorization."
"Although the intent of the House bill was to preclude the use of the rates and terms in the bill as precedent in future negotiations and rate proceedings, certain broadcasters were concerned that it did not adequately achieve that objective and proposed the approach in the Senate compromise as a means of addressing that concern," said the statement.
"In an effort to support the goal of the bill passed by the House, we support the Senate language."
Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Digital Media Association (DIMA), a group that primarily represents larger Webcasters, said in a statement that it also welcomed the legislation.
Calling the Act "a victory for all consumers and all providers of Internet radio," Potter added, "Though the legislative relief is specific to small Webcasters, it helps stabilize and promote the entire industry by promoting programming diversity and consumer adoption at this very early stage of a new medium."
John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, the organisation set up to collect streaming royalties, said the legislation was a positive step because it brought "certainty" to the marketplace. He added that they would work towards putting rates and terms into effect.
He also noted that the legislation provided a six month extension to the deadline for non-commercial webcasters -- such as college radio stations -- to pay retroactive royalties, saying this would give time to work out a separate deal with them. This group had complained that they had been left in the cold in the earlier legislative plans.
DIMA web site:
RIAA web site:
US Copyright Office web site:
2002-11-16: Following in the wake of rival XM, which reported third quarter losses of USD and is now looking for more financing (See RNW Nov 15), Sirius Satellite Radio has reported a net loss to stockholders of USD119.7 million (USD1.56 a share) for the third quarter to the end of September, up from USD57.4 million (USD1.06 a share) in the same quarter of 2001. The net loss included more than USD 9 million in non-cash stock compensation benefits resulting principally from the re-pricing of certain employee stock options in April 2001.
To make matters worse, it had a loss of USD 51, 000 in subscriber revenues because of mailed-in rebates amounting to USD310, 000 compared to subscriber income of USD 259000.
Sirius, which began its service at the start of July, had 11,821 subscribers at the end of September but had taken this up to 16,136 by the end of October. Its total revenue for the quarter was USD17, 000, the subscriber revenue loss cancelling out most of its other revenues, which included USD62, 000 from advertising.
EBITDA for the quarter was a negative USD60 million, up nearly 70% on last year.
The markets have treated Sirius's results less harshly than those of XM.
Sirius shares, which fell on Thursday by around 10%, touching a low of 80cents and ending at 82 cents, picked up on again Friday, rising 7% to end the week at 88 cents.
XM shares, which had fallen nearly a quarter on Thursday , fell even more: They were down another 14% from USD2.32 to end the week at USD1.99.
Sirius web site:
XM web site:
2002-11-16: The US Senate has finally approved Democrat Jonathan Adelstein to fill the Commissioner vacancy on the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Adelstein is a former aide to Sen. Tom Daschle (Democrat, South Dakota), who put forward his name in November 2001.
There was then a hiatus until February this year when President Bush put his nomination forward (See RNW Feb 13) followed by further delays that resulted after Senate Democrats refused to confirm another Bush nominee to a federal judgeship and yet more in a wrangle which led where Arizona Republican Senator John McCain to blocking all nominations over the confirmation of Democrat Ellen Weintraub to a seat on the Federal Election Commission.
Adelstein's appointment was welcomed by Commissioner Michael Copps, who has been the sole Democrat on the Commission for more than a year.
Copps said in a statement he was "delighted at the Senate's action confirming Jonathan Adelstein to be a Commissioner of the FCC."
"Jonathan is uncommonly well-versed in the issues and he has a real and abiding commitment to help bring the best communications systems in the world to America's consumers," added Copps. .
The appointment was also greeted positively by the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), whose president and CEO Eddie Fritts said, " "NAB strongly supported the nomination of Jonathan Adelstein to the Federal Communications Commission, and we're delighted that he has been confirmed."
"Jonathan's background in public service and his firm grasp of broadcasting and telecommunications issues will serve him well at the Commission. We look forward to working with him."
2002-11-16: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has upheld a USD15, 000 penalty against to Beacon Broadcasting Inc., licensee of WGRP- AM, Greenville, Pennsylvania, for a continuing series of tower violations.
The penalty was originally notified in June this year after an April 2001 inspection had found that antenna structure numbers were not posted on WGRP's two towers and that the paint on them was severely faded and flaking.
A notice of violation was then issued and in May 2001, Beacon said it had posted the numbers and would paint the structure within 60 days but in November 2001 another inspection showed not only that the work had not been done but also that the top- level red obstruction lighting on one antenna was not lit. Further checks showed that this had not been notified to the Federal Aviation Authority.
Following this the penalty notice was sent out resulting in a response from Beacon that argued that the original inspection was made shortly after it acquired the station, that the numbers were on the tower shacks but were faint due to worn paint; it also said that it was "financially struggling" and requested reconsideration of the penalty.
The FCC, after considering the matter and noting all the chances given to Beacon to remedy matters, upheld the full penalty.
2002-11-15: British commercial radio groups have generally welcomed the confirmation by Britain's Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell in a speech to the Westminster Media Forum that the government's Communications Bill is to be revised to lighten ownership restrictions on local radio ownership, although some of them would have liked even less restrictions.
Under the changes, only two commercial operators (plus the BBC) will be required in an area instead of the "three plus the BBC" that had previously been in the draft, thus making more consolidation in the industry inevitable.
However there will still be restrictions to prevent one company dominating an area completely: No company will be allowed more than 55% of the Points" (allocated on the basis of the percentage of a population that a station covers) in any local area and local newspaper and TV franchise owners in an area will be limited to 45% of the points. In addition any company that owns a TV licence and more than half the local newspaper market in an area will be prohibited from owning a local radio licence.
Capital Radio CEO David Mansfield, who was amongst those lobbying for the change, said he was impressed with the review and that the decision was good news for the company as it gave it greater scope for growth through consolidation.
It was also welcomed by GWR Chief Executive Ralph Bernard, who commented that listeners would benefit because the new regulations would allow the building of stronger local stations.
Chrysalis Group radio division chief executive Phil Riley said the proposals were a "clear improvement" on the original formula.
The welcome from EMAP Performance chief executive, Tim Schoonmaker, was tempered with a warning that the much depended upon how the new super-regulator OFCOM acted.
The Radio Authority chief executive Tony Stoller, who had argued strongly for the original three-plus-one limit, welcomed many of the changes including the proposal to extend the length of a licence from eight to twelve years but held to the Authority's position on local ownership limits and commented, "While we are disappointed that Government has not adopted the formula we proposed to regulate in-area concentration of local commercial radio ownership, we welcome the decision to retain meaningful controls."
"The Authority regards guarantees of plurality of local ownership as important democratic safeguards. The provision of local news, local information, access to the airwaves for local people, as well as a range of employment opportunities and the choice of music playlists, are all important elements in a plural society which market forces alone cannot be relied upon to deliver."
Previous UK Radio Authority:
2002-11-15: Shares in XM Satellite Radio plunged nearly a quarter to end Thursday at USD2.32 following publication of its third quarter results, which showed an increasing loss.
XM earlier this week announced the departure of two vice-presidents, Dave Logan of programme operations and Chance Patterson of Corporate Communications, and has now said it is cutting some 80 jobs, around a sixth of its total staff.
Third quarter losses widened to USD114.7 million. (USD1.26 a share) compared to USD70.8 million (USD1.14 a share) a year ago when it was just beginning its commercial operations.
In the third quarter last year, revenues were USD1, 000; tin the latest quarter they were USD5.6 million and XM says it remains on track with subscriptions, currently 201,500 and forecast to hit 35,000 by the end of this year.
Most of the job cuts are in its terrestrial programming, sales & marketing and retail distribution departments and XM says that the reductions are possible because it is settling into its operations; it is planning to increase staff in the advertising sales force for its channels that carry advertising.
Staff are also going from two channels, USA Today and Babble On, which are being dropped and replaced by CNN programming an XM Live respectively,
XM says it continues to seek substantial additional funding to close the gap to breakeven and has been in discussions with General Motors regarding non-binding term sheets for the deferral of up to $200 million in payment obligations (with approximately half relating to 2003-2004) and exchanging these payments for certain debt and convertible securities, as well as the introduction of an arrangement that would permit certain payments to be made in either stock or cash.
Any deferral agreement, it says, depends upon some modifications to XM's capital structure and success in securing at least $200 million in additional financing.
In other US radio business and third quarter results, Jones Media Networks trimmed its consolidated operating loss for the quarter to USD1.1 million from USD2.3 million in the third quarter of last year and reduced its total net loss from USD5 million to USD4.5 million.
Consolidated revenues for up 3% on a year ago to USD18.8 million, and consolidated EBITDA was up 65% to USD3.3million with radio being a star performer: Jones cable television revenues were down 15%.
Jones president Jeff Wayne commented, "We continue to be pleased with the year our network radio business is having thus far in 2002.Our network radio revenues grew by 27% for the quarter from a year ago, largely due to the improved network radio advertising marketplace as well as the audience growth from certain of our syndicated programs. This revenue growth enabled us to generate $2.7 million of EBITDA from our network radio division, a 174% improvement over the prior year period."
Looking ahead, Jones expects network radio revenue to improve to USD11.3 million in the final quarter with EBITDA up slightly to USD3.4 million.
Spanish language group Radio Unica also cut its losses; from USD13.5 million (65cents per share) for Q3 last year to USD5.5 million (26 cents per share) for the same quarter this year. Its total revenues were up 5% of USD 12 million, broadcasting revenues were up 2% toUSD9.3 million, and EBITDA was a positive USD100, 000 compared to a loss of USD2.3 million a year ago. EBITDA for its radio broadcasting business was up from a loss of USD2.7 million to a loss of USD100, 000.
Commenting on the results, chairman and CEO Joaquin F. Blaya said, "We are making substantial progress across all of the key yardsticks used to measure the health of our business. Third quarter same station broadcasting revenue, excluding barter revenue, was up 14%, while our MASS unit delivered a revenue gain of 19%."
"Through our cost reduction program, we produced a 20% decrease in broadcasting operating expenses during the quarter, leading to our second consecutive quarter of positive EBITDA."
"Broadcasting revenues are pacing strongly in the current quarter, our MASS unit is performing well and we remain committed to containing costs. With the recovery of the advertising market, we are well positioned to continue to leverage our national network to drive ongoing improvements to our revenues and cash flow."
On the radio deals front, Waitt Media is exchanging its KDGB-FM in Pratt/Hutchinson, Kansas for Eagle Radio Group's KBGU-FM in Dodge City/Garden City, also in Kansas.
Following the deal, Waitt will have four stations in the Dodge City/Garden City area and Eagle will have three in the Pratt/Hutchinson market. Both companies began operating their new stations under a local marketing agreement at the start of this month.
On a less prosperous note, Big City Radio, which earlier this month put its remaining stations up for sale (See RNW Nov 6) says it has persuaded holders of more than two thirds of its 11.25% notes due in 2005 to hold off any action about its interest payment default (See RNW Oct 12) until after the end of March next year.
And in Ohio, Hawes-Saunders Broadcast Properties, headed by Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders, is reported to have filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection after failing to comply with an area judge's order that it had to be sold to Radio One Inc. for USD8.5 million.
The company, which owns Dayton stations WRNB and WROU, was sued in March last year by four venture capital companies after it defaulted on loans totalling more than USD6.2 million.
The Dayton Daily News says court records show that Hawes-Saunders had agreed to turn over 83% of her stock in the company should a default occur and divest all the stock to a new owner within six months.
She told the paper that the business was making money and the filing was entered to re-organise the company.
Previous Big City:
Previous Jones Media:
2002-11-15: Shares in UK group Capital Radio plunged by more than 13% on Thursday to end the day 75 pence down at GBP 4.90 after the group reported pre-tax for the year to the end of September down from GBP27.8 million (USD43.6 million) last year to GBP14.6 million (USD22.9 million) and also said that advertising turnover for October and November was down 8% year on year.
Part of the fall came from costs of GBP 3.6 million (USD 5.7 million) associated with a re-organisation into four brands - Capital FM, Xfm, Century FM and Capital Gold.
Some 60 jobs were cut and Capital says the re-organization will directly generate ongoing savings of approximately GBP2million (USD3.1 million) per annum, which it is to reinvest behind the brands.
Capital said its revenues from continuing operations were down 2% to GBP120 million (USD 188 million) and its underlying profit was down 8% to GBP27.8 million (USD43.6 million) and underlying earnings per share at 23.5pence was down 10% on last year.
Its established stations saw a revenue fall of 5% to GBP101 million (USD158 million) and their operating profit was down nearly 15% from GBP39.6 million (USD 62 million) to GBP33.9 million (USD 53 million).
On a more positive note its "development stations "(Xfm, the Century Group and Beat) had revenues up 19% to GBP 18.2m (USD29 million); Century moved into profit, Beat broke even and Xfm reduced its losses. Total operating losses for these stations were GBP500, 000 (USD 785,000) compared to GBP 3 million (USD 4.7 million) a year ago.
Capital invested GBP3.3million (USD 5.2 million) in its digital radio operations, up 10% on a year ago and comprised mainly transmission costs as more digital services started. Its interactive operations cut their operating loss from GBP3.6 million (USD 5.7 million) to GBP 2.1 million (USD3.3 million).
Chief Executive David Mansfield was reticent about the new Chris Tarrant breakfast show to be launched next year, saying the details were "signed, sealed and planned for" but were "commercially sensitive."
Commenting on the performance and period, he said, "Despite a tough advertising market, Capital has improved its performance relative to the sector. In June we actively decided to reshape our business and continue to invest for the long term. Our renewed focus and balance sheet strength leaves us well placed to benefit from the consolidation opportunities promised by the new Communications Bill. We have made important progress across the Group and finished the year in a strengthened position for long term growth."
Looking ahead, Capital says it is "confident that sustained growth will return to the market over
Time" adding that "There are clear factors favouring the long-term growth of Radio as an advertising medium and, as the leading commercial radio group in the UK, Capital is well placed to benefit. We have market leading brands and an experienced management team with a strategy focused on radio. Our national position is significant and our core 15-44 year old audience is very attractive to advertisers."
Capital says that it is still looking for suitable acquisitions and, should deregulation permit is likely to make a bid for London station Choice FM in which it has a 19% holding.
It is operating a complementary brands structure and says it hopes to replicate this wherever it operates, noting that in London its three analogue stations and digital stations are positioned to reach different demographics.
Capital web site (Result are available as PDF (135Kb) or Word document (673kb)).
2002-11-15: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dropped on USD8.000 penalty and confirmed another of the same amount.
The penalty cancelled was issued in June to Faith Mountain Communications, Inc., licensee of WRRL-AM, Rainelle, West Virginia for failure to install Emergency Alert System (" EAS") equipment.
Its general manager told the FCC agent at the time that there had been no EAS equipment at the station since its purchase in February 2001 and in its response the company admitted the violation but said it had since been installed and was working. It requested a cancellation of the penalty on the grounds of inability to pay.
The FFC accepted this and opted to admonish the company instead.
The penalty that was confirmed was issued to California Speedway for operation of an unlicensed FM radio transmitter in May this year following a number of communications from November last year onwards about operation of the equipment. Originally the penalty proposed had been USD10, 000 but this had already been reduced to USD 8,000.
California Speedway had appealed again on the basis that the violation was minor because there was no evidence of substantial harm to a third party and because it did not make a substantial gain from the operation and had believed, when it acquired the equipment, that it was compliant with regulations for unlicensed use.
The FCC disagreed and ruled that neither cancellation nor further reduction was warranted.
2002-11-14: British Commercial Radio companies are reported to have successfully lobbied for a change in the government's draft Communications Bill to replace the requirements for a minimum of three commercial owners plus the BBC in a market to two plus the BBC.
Under the aegis of the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA), they had argued that the rules were unnecessarily tough and unfairly restrictive on radio, compared to TV; the three-plus-one formula was originally agreed between the regulator, the Radio Authority, and the commercial companies, but earlier this year the companies changed their mind after they saw the draft bill and realised that TV was to be less harshly regulated.
The final version of the bill is expected to be released soon and its passage is scheduled for the current session of the British Parliament. It was among legislation mentioned in the "Queen's speech" at the formal opening of the session on Wednesday and the British government hopes to see it passed within the next 12 months although Lord Puttnam, who chaired a joint Parliamentary committee from the House of Commons and the Lords that scrutinised the bill, has warned that there could be a revolt if the government pushes ahead with plans to allow companies from non-EU countries such as the US to acquire British broadcasters when such acquisitions are prohibited by the companies' own countries.
2002-11-14: US radio giant Clear Channel, perhaps in response to a recent wave of criticism about it abusing its power, has appointed a chief lobbyist. He is attorney Andrew W Levin, who for the past seven years has been Minority Counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
In that role he was chief telecommunications advisor to Ranking Member John D. Dingell and counsel to Democratic members of the Committee on all communications policy and technology matters.
Levin will be based in Washington and Clear Channel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lowry Mays said he was confident Levin would be an excellent advocate there for the company.
"Clear Channel is dedicated to working closely with Washington lawmakers to achieve the best policies both for the American public and the industries in which we operate," said Mays. "We are thrilled to have Andy on board, given his in-depth knowledge of our industry and the tremendous respect that he has accrued with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle."
Levin has been involved in telecommunications issues for two decades and was involved in negotiations over the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which paved the way for the massive concentration of US radio ownership. Last year he was considered one of the leading candidates for the unfilled Democratic slot on the US Federal Communications Commission that eventually went to nomination went to Jonathan Adelstein, who has still not been confirmed in the role although the Senate Commerce Committee approved his nomination in July (See RNW July25).
RNW comment: Maybe we're over cynical, but this appointment seems a pretty good argument against Levin ever being considered for the FCC slot. We're still searching for the original quote about politicians.being available to rent, not buy!
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Lowry Mays:
2002-11-14: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has now announced details concerning the scope of its inquiry into allegations that Sydney breakfast host Alan Jones and radio stations 2GB and 2CH could have committed criminal offences by giving false or misleading information about the stations' ownership.
Macquarie Radio Network and its subsidiaries, Harbour Radio Pty Ltd and Radio 2CH Ltd. had applied to the Australian Federal Court to prevent the ABA from publishing the terms of reference of its enquiry but they have now dropped their action and agreed to pay the ABA's costs.
The ABA says its investigation will look into the details of date and circumstances under which one or more of Jones or his companies Belford Productions Pty Limited, Hadiac Pty Ltd and Nadarci Pty Ltd came to be in a position to exercise control of the licences of the licences for the stations, whether they or others obliged to do so had notified the ABA about this as required and whether any offences had been committed in connection in relation to notifications or dealings with the ABA concerning changes in control of the stations.
It also says it will consider whether information gathered in relation to other investigations including the one into commercial sponsorship agreements by Telstra Corporation (See RNW Nov 12) affect any of the matters under investigation and whether the licensees remain "suitable licensees".
Jones moved to the Macquarie network in February 2002 from talk station 2UE, where he was the top rated host, and it was reported at the time that his agreement, a seven year deal worth around AUD 5 million (USD 2,5 million a year) included a significant equity share in Macquarie (See RNW Feb 8).
Changes in control of an Australian broadcasting licence have to be notified to the ABA within seven days and in this case notification was given at the end of October, a day after the Australian Broadcasting Corporation programme Media Watch had raised the issue.
The ABA was then told that Jones had only been in a position to exercise control since October 24 but before that it had already been announced by the ABA that it was actively monitoring the question of sponsorship of Jones show (See RNW Oct 20).
The Communications Law Centre has officially complained about both the questions of ownership and the issue of Telstra sponsorship not being disclosed and earlier this month the ABA announced the terms of its investigation into the question of sponsorship. (See RNW Nov 12)
ABA announcement re investigation:.
2002-11-14: Former AMFM AMFM Inc CEO and radio group President Jimmy de Castro, who was passed over for the chief executive post at America Online in favour of outsider Jonathan Miller, has announced his resignation as president of AOL's Interactive Services division.
De Castro, who had commuted to his post at AOL's Northern Virginia premises, had retained his home in Chicago and commuted to work by private jet.
He said that he was proud of the work done by his division and had waited to see the company's AOL8.0 software launched but was now looking for an opportunity to run a company.
Previous de Castro:
2002-11-14: UK Capital Radio releases its full year results today and it is expected to come under pressure about its falling audience figures, particularly those affecting the flagship breakfast show hosted by Chris Tarrant on London station Capital FM.
Although Capital FM is still London's leading commercial station, latest RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) figures showed its listening share and reach had both fallen significantly (See RNW Oct 25). Tarrant's show lost 160,000 listeners a week compared to the previous quarter.
Investors are expected to push for firm details of the format for Tarrant's show, which is to be re-launched next year with a later start; in addition Tarrant is expected to take significantly more leave than he has in the past (See RNW Nov7).
Capital's pre-tax profits last year were 8% down on 2000 at GBP28 million (see RNW Nov 16, 2001) and this yea's figures are expected to be flat at best.
2002-11-14: BBC Radio 1 presenter Mark Goodier is moving to GWR's Classic FM, where he is to host a weekly "classical chart" show; he will join another former Radio DJ, Simon Bates, who now hosts an afternoon show on Classic.
Goodier's new show, an "Official Classic FM Chart " begins on January 5 and replaces the current classical chart show presented by Paul Gambaccini.
Giambaccini also worked for BBC Radio 1, in his case for 18 years, mainly presenting the US chart show on Saturday afternoons
Goodier will host his latest weekend chart show on BBC Radio One on Sunday (Nov 17): He had already announced that he was to leave the BBC at Christmas following a decision to axe his show (See RNW Aug 16).
As well as his Sunday chart show, Goodier also created the Evening Sessions show, which made a name for pushing new acts.
He was approached for the new post by Classic FM managing director Roger Lewis with whom he had worked at Radio 1 where Lewis was a producer.
Lewis told the UK Guardian that Goodier's Radio 1 background would be invaluable in attracting younger listeners to Classic FM, adding, "Mark has been the voice of new music on Radio 1 for about 15 years and he has introduced a whole generation to new music," he said.
"We hope the relationship he has with this new generation will translate to the new chart show he will present for Classic FM."
On a much wider scale, BBC World Service radio is to compile a new top ten, in its case the first-ever World Top Ten of favourite songs.
The service celebrates its 70th anniversary next month and it is now asking its 150 million listeners to vote for their favourite songs to create the top ten, which will be aired on the BBC World Service programme, Wright Round the World, on Saturday 21 December and will also be broadcast across language sections.
Votes will be accepted by post and also electronically via a dedicated web site, which will detail the most popular nominations and also eventually have 30-second "tasters" of the final Top Ten.
RNW note: Today is also a BBC anniversary, in this case of the start of broadcasts by the then British Broadcasting Company eighty years ago on November 14, 1922.
The Company was founded following a meeting initiated by the British Post Office with radio manufacturers and subsequent formation of a committee by six of the main British radio equipment manufacturers (the Marconi Company, Metropolitan-Vickers, the Western Electric Company, the Radio Communication Company, the General Electric Company, and the British Thompson-Houston Company) to plan the formation of a broadcasting company.
The new company was formed with a capital of GBP 100, 000: shares were to be allotted only to 'genuine British Manufacturers employing British Labour' and the Post Office should was to approve only wireless receiving sets made by the member-companies of the British Broadcasting Company. Company operations were to be financed from a share of a ten shilling (a pound was then 20 shillings) Post Office licence fee (more than a million of which had already been sold before broadcasts began) and a royalty on the sale of all BBC-marked receiving sets produced by member companies of the BBC.
The broadcasts preceded the company's actual formation on December 15, 1922, and its grant of a licence, which did not happen until January 18, 1923.
BBC "World Top Ten" site:
UK Guardian report:
2002-11-13: Arbitron is to alter the way it credits programming entries in its radio diaries, starting with the Winter 2003 survey.
The move follows expressions of concern by the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council, which noted that the current system relies on information supplied by stations and that less than two thirds had been submitting programme or personality information for each survey.
Under the new system, diary entries for a programme that correctly attribute to a station in a combination entry will be recorded as a credit for the station but, should there be a conflict, Arbitron will carry out the necessary research to properly assign the credit.
Should the programme turn out to be broadcast by more than one station, credit will be assigned on the basis of Arbitron's current One Percent (1 percent) In-Tab Criterion.
It is also meeting with Spanish-language broadcasters in the Los Angeles area, and with other industry executives, to discuss Hispanic audience measurements.
The meeting follows large shifts in Spanish-language audiences in this year's summer book and is to deal with the question of whether there should be rating of Spanish-language survey responses and also concerns about using Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) for measuring Hispanic audiences.
Arbitron has also announced that Dial Communications - Global Media has been signed as its first new company for its RADAR (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) national network radio audience ratings service since it acquired RADAR in July last year (See RNW July 3, 2001).
Dial Communications - Global Media's Contemporary network, Dial-Global Contemporary will be in reports starting with the RADAR 76 report in March next year; Since it acquired RADAR, Arbitron has taken the number of companies participating up to five from four and the number of networks reported up from 29 to 37.
The new Dial-Global Contemporary network offers 14 weekly commercial units that are day-specific on approximately 550 stations across the United States, targeting persons age 18-49.
Arbitron web site:
2002-11-13: EMAP, which in six months to the end of September last year reported a loss of GBP100 million (USD 160 million) because of costs related to its investments in US magazine group Petersen, has reported a profit of GBP61 million (USD 95 million) in the same period this year.
Within its divisions, it reported UK radio airtime was flat but TV airtime as exceptional and consumer advertising as reasonable.
Overall continuing turnover was up 5% to GBP477 million (USD 750 million), continuing operating profit up 23% to GBP95 million (USD150 million) and pre-tax profit up 23% to GBP86 million (USD 135million).
Its Performance Division, which includes radio, television, music magazines and branded event and products, increased its turnover by 7% from GBP69 million (USD108 million) to GBP 74 million (USD116 million); the radio stations themselves lost turnover, down from GBP46 million (USD 72 million) to GBP42 million (USD69 million) and radio profits were down from GBP17 million (USD27 million) a year ago to GBP14 million (USD22 million).
EMAP commented that, "In a tough radio advertising market EMAP Performance's radio revenues declined by 7% during the first half of the year, marginally under-performing the market as a whole due to EMAP's radio network having a relatively higher exposure to national advertising (75% of total) compared with most of its competitors, and tougher year-on-year comparatives."
Despite this, it added, "EMAP continues to take a positive view of the medium-term prospects for the radio market as a whole as a cost-effective and highly targeted media choice for advertisers."
It highlighted the performance of its stations in the most recent ratings, particularly in London where it notes
Kiss 100 achieved its highest-ever adult weekly reach of 16.4% and a market share of 4.8% of total listening hours.
EMAP results (212 Kb PDF)
2002-11-13: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced that it has awarded in principle the County Tipperary FM licence to Tipp FM (the only short-listed applicant) and the Counties Laois/Offaly/Westmeath FM licence to Midlands 103 (short listed with Heartlands FM).
It has deferred a decision on a new Limerick AM licence pending further queries to the two short-listed applicants, (Limerick Family Radio, which proposes a Christian Service and North Munster Radio (a working title) that is proposing a Country & Irish Music Service.
Contract negotiations will now be entered with the successful applicants for the FM licences.
BCI web site:
2002-11-13: The BBC is to launch its fifth digital radio network this year, BBC7, on December 15. The station will broadcast between 0700 and 0100 daily a mix of comedy, drama, and book readings as well as a daily live children's show,
It completes the Corporation's digital radio portfolio and Jenny Abramsky, Director of BBC Radio & Music, commented, "The launch of BBC7 marks the end of an astonishing year for BBC Radio in which we have doubled the number of national radio stations."
2002-11-13: The Middle East conflict has spilled over into a row over the planned sale of an Australian radio station according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Being sold by the New South Wales Labor Council for AUD2.1 million (USD 1,2 million), is 2KM-AM, Homebush, New South Wales; the buyer is World Media International Pty Ltd., a Sydney-based "content supplier and distributor" of ethnic programs for pay television which is paying above valuation for the station.
World Media has deals with such organisations as the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, Arab Radio and Television Network, Italian television station RAI, and Qatar-based Arabic TV station al-Jazeera. It is the latter connection that has aroused controversy and Labor Council secretary, John Robertson, said some people were attempting to put a slur on the deal by suggesting al-Jazeera was associated with the al-Qaeda organisation of Osama bin Laden.
World Media's owners have written to the station saying its programming will not contain content from al-Jazeera and insisting that the station has a TV format that does not work on radio.
In addition to the row over the programming of the potential buyers, another radio station has said that it is being ignored as a potential buyer although Robertson said it was offered a chance to make a counter offer and yet another is threatening legal action saying it had been in negotiations for six months about a ten-year -lease deal for the station.
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2002-11-12: Latest UK Radio revenue figures from the UK Radio Advertising Bureau show the medium recording year-on-year revenue increases for the third consecutive quarter with Sponsorship and Promotions a key area for growth.
Total commercial radio for the quarter to the end of September was up 3.2% on the same quarter of 2001 to GBP140 million (USD 220 million), according to the Bureau: it notes that in the same period revenues from sponsorship and promotions grew 17.6%. Sponsorship and promotions revenue is now an eighth of total revenues, some GBP70 million (USD110 million) of an annual GBP 557 million (USD 975 million).
Radio, notes the Bureau, has attracted notable new income from national advertisers such as media group News International, Supermarket Tesco, clothing group Matalan and Jaguar motors. Eight of the top 20 spenders, it adds, are motor manufacturers.
Michael O'Brien, director of marketing operations at the Bureau, commented, "We are delighted that significant new investment from a number of national and global brands has helped commercial radio to a third consecutive quarter of year on year growth. Furthermore, advertiser interest in the power of Sponsorship and Promotions to connect with their consumers continues to grow."
Previous Radio Advertising Bureau (UK):
2002-11-12: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has now set the terms of reference for its investigation into sponsorship deals by Australian communications company Telstra with Sydney channels 2GB, owned by Macquarie Network, and 2UE, owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting.
It is looking in particular into deals for the shows of 2GB breakfast host Alan Jones and 2UE morning host John Laws, both of whom were at the centre of Australia's cash-for-comment inquiry when they were working for 2UE.
The ABA will now collect documentation to see if there is evidence of any failure to comply with disclosure requirements for sponsorship; whether any advertisements were presented in such a manner that a reasonable listener could have thought them programme material; whether any programme matter broadcast could be considered political matter add if so whether the broadcast was made at the request of anyone other than the broadcaster; and whether since the start of this year 2UE has, in relation to dealings with Telstra, complied with the conditions imposed on its licence in 2000 (following the cash-for-comment inquiry) or, for the same period, whether 2GB has in its dealings with Telstra breached any conditions of its licence and/or complied with the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice registered by the ABA
The ABA will then consider what, if any, action it should take in relation to these matters.
Previous Southern Cross:
ABA web site:
2002-11-12: US giant Clear Channel has withdrawn its application to buy WAAM-FM in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from Whitehall Enterprises following the announcement by the US Federal Communications Commission (CC) that it was to hold an evidentiary hearing on the deal, which had been red- flagged because of ownership concentration concerns (See RNW Sept 19).
Clear Channel already sells advertising for the station under a joint sales agreement but, had its planned UDSD 2 million cash purchase gone through, would have owned five stations in the market and taken some 95% of market revenue.
Previous Clear Channel:
2002-11-12: The future of two of London's commercial stations formed the theme of articles in the UK Guardian and Independent on Monday.
The Guardian looked forward to the re-launch by Chrysalis of the LBC talk station it recently acquired from London News Radio.
When Chrysalis talk over the station, market research showed that most people were unaware of the existence of the station, broadcasting only on AM, and the Guardian says their aim to "recreate its glory days" is ambitious and is "probably LBC's last chance."
Chrysalis is to put LBC on the FM band currently occupied by rolling news station News Direct and vice-versa, increase its editorial budget by two-thirds from GBP3 million (USD4.8million) to GBP 5 million (USD 8 million) and further strengthen it through synergies with the news operation of Chrysalis's Heart station.
The current LBC editorial staff, less than 20 in all, will be given the option of keeping their jobs, even if not on the same shows, but the Guardian says that, of the current on-air line up, Nick Ferrarri will stay but few others.
Hiring is currently under way, the latest being Caroline Feraday from Radio Five Live (See RNW Nov 5) but the Guardian opines that the new management has an immense task in turning round the station that had been run down with few staff and even less commitment by ITN, which ran London News Radio on a management contract for a consortium that included Reuters and the Daily Mail.
Over at Capital, subject of a report by the UK Independent, a turnaround is equally necessary, in its case not because the station has failed but because it has dropped nearly a sixth of its audience over the past year and needs to reverse those losses against the background of a situation where uncertainty over the exact future of Chris Tarrant's breakfast show has contributed heavily to the toll.
Profits, due to be reported later in the week, says the Independent, are expected to be down by a third and Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Liechti , after commenting that recent audience figures were an "absolute disaster" said he was unsure whether it was heading for further decline or, because of its strength in London, could form an attractive bid target.
UK Guardian report:
UK Independent report:
2002-11-12: The US has lost seven AM stations and gained 14 FMs over the three months to the end of September according to latest totals from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It now lists a total of 4,804 AMs, down from 4,811 at the end of June and 6,161 FMs, up from 6,147 at the end of June.
2002-11-11: This week, in our look at media comment on radio, we start with a UK Guardian leader that takes one BBC Radio 4 programme on Thursday as a prime example of the benefits of public broadcasting.
" anyone who happened to be listening to Radio 4 yesterday morning," it commented, "would have encountered the combination at its best. In his programme In Our Time, Mr Bragg chaired a truly scintillating discussion. It lasted 45 minutes, gloriously uninterrupted by travel news, programme trailers or advertising. Those who missed it can still catch the programme on the BBC website."
"The topic was nothing less than human nature itself. Around the table, generating this conversation of rare quality, were the neuroscientist Steven Pinker, the bioethics specialist Janet Radcliffe Richards and the political philosopher John Gray."
"Their discussion ranged from Aristotle, through Darwin, Einstein, Freud and Oscar Wilde. They talked of nature and nurture, of cats and mice, twins, music, rape and war. Between them, the three experts managed to bring shape, light and poetry to some of the deepest - as well as some of the darkest - intellectual questions of the ages, but with never a patronising or a condescending note throughout. And all before some of us had even got into the office."
"The programme was," it continues, "a reminder of things we in this country should never take for granted: of the fascination to be gained from exposure to a trained mind, of the enduring excellence of radio, of the irreplaceable value of public service broadcasting and, yes, of the often lonely fight that Mr Bragg has long fought to broaden public access to ideas and the arts in the face of commercial pressures which would sweep these things away in a moment. It was a reminder, quite simply, of the importance of quality. "
In some ways in a similar vein, but from a totally different perspective, Vanora Bennett in the UK Times, takes a look at a new series "Returnee" that the BBC World Service has just launched on its Afghan service.
One a trio with the soap opera "New Home, New Life" and educational programme "Our World, Our Future"; it deals with the problems of those returning to various parts of the country and is based on research from two BBC teams travelling round the country.
Shirazuddin Siddiqi, head of the BBC's Afghan Education Project, told the paper, "Returnee will be a vital lifeline. Refugees who have been away five or ten or fifteen years don't appreciate that their problems may include things such as lack of food and water, let alone finding jobs and education."
Neither of the above would fit the profile for success in commercial radio, of course, thus emphasising the value of a public sector broadcaster in addition to the commercial sector.
One service that in part may be able to bridge the gap as far as the US in concerned is satellite radio, subject of a feature by Alex Markels in the New York Times.
This is pegged on one customer, Willie Nelson, the singer, who also happens to be an XM customer but deals with both the benefits of the variety offered on the satellite services (including the BBC on Sirius).
Noting the effect on the companies' stock prices of what he terms a "rising chorus of naysayers", Markel comments that it is the "word-of-mouth accolades like Mr. Nelson's" that re-affirm some professional investors belief in the future of satellite radio.
Among them is Frank V. Jennings, who manages the Oppenheimer Global Growth and Income fund, and is himself a satellite radio customer. "I know what it's like being stuck in traffic without a decent radio station to listen to," Jennings told the paper. "I believe there's 40 million other people who feel the same way."
Jennings recently promised to add USAD150 million to the USD240 million that his fund has already put into Sirius , one of a group of big investors involved in last month's recapitalization of Sirius (See RNW Oct 19).
Markels looks at the funds already invested in satellite radio and its break-even requirements, noting that if the companies achieve their goals satellite radio would become "among the most rapidly adopted technologies in the United States."
"Independent researchers have less optimistic projections," he adds. "The Yankee Group, a telecommunications research firm in Boston, expects satellite radio to reach about nine million subscribers by its fifth year, about the same as the growth of satellite television but far less than that of broadband Internet."
He then notes that both companies need customers to start signing up soon and takes head-on the idea that one of the companies may well fold. Jennings, he notes, is not panicking about the prospect.
"Rothschild once said," he commented, "`Buy when there's blood on the streets,' when everyone else is panicking. The current market panic is the deepest I've ever seen, so this has to be the best buying opportunity of my lifetime."
And from customer Willie Nelson, the crucial element is that one of them survives. "I just hope one of them does, because without satellite radio there's going to be nowhere to tune into Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard and all the guys that I love to hear," he said.
In US terrestrial commercial radio, formats rule the roost more tightly than in much of the world, but even within the confines of some formats there is a degree of variety; not much, however, in talk radio, according to Steve Carney in the Los Angeles Times.
"After 14 years at KABC-AM and with her air time ebbing," he writes, "Gloria Allred vanished altogether from the airwaves last week." "The disappearance of the attorney and liberal commentator," he adds, "didn't just change the line-up at her station; it also highlighted the overall scarcity of female voices in talk radio."
"Basically you have all-male radio, all the time, and I think it's a real disservice to the community," Susan Estrich, consultant, commentator and USC law and political science professor, who had her own KABC program on weekends until 1997, told the paper. "I'm a believer we need to have all kinds of voices on the air."
Carney then notes that Allred went from having her own show, to being paired with conservative partner Mark Taylor for some three hours each weekday, and then down to 45 minutes after Bill O'Reilly's show took two hours of the slot, and finally off the air altogether.
She also commented about the talk being an "all-white bastion" but Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, suggested that Allred's departure may have little to do with sex (The Times, of course, used the US weasel euphemism "gender"), "I think it's as much a case that she's a liberal."(RNW comment- another word devalued in the US from the original "open-minded" meaning, but in the context US talk radio that's probably as much anathema as being a member of the Taliban).
The bottom line for the context within which the decision was made is also contained in a reference by the article to the fate of
KTZN-AM, the former KMPC-AM that Disney bought and converted into a talk station with primarily female on-air staff: Its ratings were low and it's now a Radio Disney format. Perhaps one Radio 4 programme is a good enough reason for serious thought about the functions of radio as something to listeners apart from its main purpose in the US -- making money for shareholders and selling things, often unnecessary ones, to consumers.
So where is the variety in US radio, apart from on satellite? According to Michael Papish in the Washington Post, college radio is a good place to start; he comments that college kids are "helping to preserve a piece of American culture: the culture of interesting radio."
The article then takes up the question of college radio on the Internet as well as its general qualities.
"Why the big fuss over campus radio?" asks Papish. "From a music lover's point of view, the mainstream American radio landscape is abysmal. Motivated only by profit margins, commercial radio conglomerates have turned our publicly owned airwaves into a bland wasteland. College radio, with its dedication to original and exciting programming, stands in stark contrast."
"The typical commercial station airs 500 or fewer songs a year, playing them over and over. The station I advise, WHRB-FM at Harvard University, plays 70,000 to 90,000 different songs every year."
Papish also comments on the human touch at college stations contrasted to the automated approach of many commercial stations and then notes that stations switched to the Internet because of the handicaps they faced because of weak broadcast signals.
He then summarises the various developments over royalties for Internet streaming, including the blocking of the Small Webcaster but comments that this has not helped college and community radio stations but goes on to develop the argument in terms of a wider context than just Internet streaming.
"Instead of fixating on the Oct. 20 deadline," writes Papish, "college radio should be worried about the long-term survival of the Internet as an alternative to the conglomerate-controlled airwaves. Contrary to the opinions of many, I believe that the roadblock in our way, the RIAA, shares that goal. Unfortunately, our joint progress stands in the crossfire of the largest intellectual property war to occur in the last 25 years."
"The battle over webcasting royalties playing out in Congress, courts and conference rooms is one of the initial struggles in a war that could decide the future survival of all companies that own, promote and sell copyrighted materials," he says, later concluding, "It's time to recognize college radio's unique and pioneering role in establishing the Internet as an incubator for diverse, edgy and creative broadcasting." "The government should rework its royalty-setting procedures to give small webcasters a voice. The RIAA needs to stop trying to unfairly link college webcasting with the spectre of students illegally downloading free music."
"And the RIAA should make the enlightened decision to compromise with small, non-profit webcasters in an agreement that will allow Internet radio to flourish for the benefit of both. If each side tries hard to hear the other, they'll find more in common than they might think."
Finally a postscript, courtesy of Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times: His column led of with the mention that the BBC had traced a man who was present when the BBC began its broadcasts 80 years ago, on November 14, 2002.
The man was present at a party in Birmingham that followed an 80th birthday concert carried live on BBC Radio 3. The BBC's original transmitter 2LO was handed over to Britain Science Museum.
Donovan notes what a technological revolution was introduced by that transmitter, comments that today "despite the dross, radio is still a daily wonder", ruminates on the current state of British radio and then concludes, with a comment definitely off-message as far as the paper's owner, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is concerned.
" every day, without exception, " he writes, "I hear, particularly on Radio 4, programmes that make me laugh and cry, that grip and intrigue and force me to find out more, that inform, educate and entertain and are sometimes impossible to turn off. These alone are worth the price of the controversial licence fee. Radio is still a marvel, in 2002 as in 1922."
Los Angeles Times - Carney:
New York Times - Markel:
UK Guardian - leader on BBC:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Times -Bennett:
Washington Post - Papish:
2002-11-11: The British version of low power FM, Access Radio, is to be announced as part of the government's communications bill this week and could lead to the formation of up to 300 local stations according to the UK Sunday Times.
The stations, termed "garden shed radio" by the paper, are to be set up, it says, following the success of the Access radio pilot set up by the UK Radio Authority and could cost as little as GBP10, 000 (USD15, 000 to set up.).
Britain already has a system of restricted service licences (RSA's) that allow stations to be set up for events such as carnivals and the paper quotes Tony Stoller, chief executive of the Radio Authority, as saying the new permanent stations will "have to show that there is a demand for the station before they get a licence."
Amongst the politicians favouring the idea is Chris Smith, the MP for Islington South and Finsbury and a former culture secretary, who leads a parliamentary group that wants to promote access radio. "Radio is a very effective way of getting information and knowledge around the community," he said. "It is a way of strengthening community ties and enhancing the sense of identity."
"From time to time when there have been licences granted in my constituency, I was pleased to take part. It may not reach a very large audience but it is a way in which you can engage with the community."
Former Labour minister and MP Tony Benn, commented that one of the problems with radio was that only the pundits currently had access, adding, "A radio station which is an equivalent of a public meeting where you can hear an argument and put questions is a very good idea."
Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Sunday Times report:
2002-11-10: The US again provided the main regulatory news over the last week albeit in connection with Equality of Opportunity rules rather than on practices applicable only in broadcasting: elsewhere things were fairly busy albeit generally with more routine licence matters.
Australia was more in line with the us, with the main activity by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) being to register revised codes of practice for the community broadcasting sector developed by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) following a review earlier this year. They replace codes registered in 1995 and apply to all community broadcasting licensees.
The Authority has also released sponsorship guidelines that cover sponsorship announcements, community information material, station promotions and advertising material:.
Although Australian community broadcasters are not allowed to broadcast paid advertisements but broadcasters can carry unpaid mentions that can be regarded as an "accidental or incidental accompaniment" to a broadcast, such as the mention of a product during a discussion, although repeated mentions would breach the rules.
Sponsorship is limited to a maximum five minutes per hour and the guidelines cover such matters mentions of sponsors and station and community promotional material.
The content Codes cover such areas as the responsibilities of community stations; the type of material that is prohibited such as material that could encourage violence, mislead listeners through simulated news or events or present as desirable the misuse of drugs; and the desirable features for news and current affairs programmes and reporting on Indigenous peoples and issues.
They also set down guidelines on such matters as the use of Australian music, the use of volunteers, conflict resolutions procedures for internal disputes, and handling complaints from the public.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been dealing with a large number of routine licence renewal applications as well as its usual flow of business.
It has issued a public notice concerning abridged licence renewal applications for more than 150 commercial, campus, community and native radio station licences expiring next year that it intends to approve for their full seven-year terms subject to conditions specified in relevant public notices.
Commercial stations involved include the following:
Commercial licences for CKBA-AM, Athabasca; CJPR-AM, Blairmore and CJEV-AM, Elkford, British Colombia; CIBQ-AN, Brooks; CHQR-AM, Calgary; CKIK-FM Calgary and CKIK-FM-2 Banff; CFFR-AM, Calgary; CHRK-FM, Calgary plus CHRK-FM-1 Banff, and
CHRK-FM-3, Invermere, British Columbia; CFAC-AM, Calgary; CHFM-FM, Calgary and CHFM-FM-1 Banff; CKMX-AM, Calgary; CFVP-AM, Calgary; CJAY-FM, Calgary, plus CJAY-FM-1 Banff, and CJAY-FM-3 Invermere, British Columbia; CFCW-AM, Camrose; CHMN-FM, Canmore and CJMT-FM-1, Banff; CKDQ-AM, Drumheller; CHED-AM, Edmonton; CKNG-FM, Edmonton; CHQT-AM, Edmonton; CISN-FM Edmonton; CIRK-FM Edmonton; CKRA-FM, Edmonton; CFBR-FM, Edmonton; CFRN-AM, Edmonton; CJCA-AM, Edmonton; CJYR-AM, Edson; CJOK-FM Fort McMurray and CJOK-FM-1, Tar Island; CKYX-FM, Fort McMurray; CJCM-AM, Grand Centre ; CJXX-FM Grande Prairie; CKVH-AM, High Prairie ; CIYR-AM Hinton ; CKYR-AM, Jasper; CJRX-FM, Lethbridge ; CFRV-FM Lethbridge; CKSA-AM, Lloydminster ; CHAT-AM, Medicine Hat; CFMY-FM, Medicine Hat; CIZZ-FM Red Deer; CHUB-FM Red Deer; CHLW-AM, St-Paul; CKWA-AM, Slave Lake ; CKSQ-AM, Stettler; CKKY-AM, Wainwright; CFOK-AM, Westlock; CKJR-AM, Wetaskiwin;
Tourist and Information licence for CHTR-FM Drumheller;
British Columbia -
Standard Radio network plus commercial licences for CKBX-AM, 100 Mile House; CINL-AM, Ashcroft; CFLD-AM, Burns Lake; CJDC-AM, Dawson Creek plus CJDC-1-FM, Tumbler Ridge; CKRX-FM, Fort Nelson; CKNL-AM, Fort St. John; CHRX-FM, Fort St. John plus CHRX-FM-1, Dawson Creek; CHBV-FM, Houston; CIFM-FM, Kamloops plus CIFM-FM-2 Clearwater, CIFM-FM-3, Merritt, CIFM-FM-4, Clinton, CIFM-FM-5, Barriere, CIFM-FM-6, Cache Creek, CIFM-FM-7, Pritchard, and CIFM-FM-8 Chase; CHNL-AM, Kamloops plus CHNL-1, Clearwater and CHNL-2-FM, Sorrento; CKRV-FM, Kamloops; CKMK-AM, Mackenzie ;CJNL-AM, Merritt ;CKBV-AM, New Hazelton; CKNW-AM, New Westminster; CFPA-FM, Port Alice; CFNI-AM, Port Hardy; CIRX-FM, Prince George; CJCI-AM, Prince George; CKKN-FM, Prince George plus CKKN-FM-1, McLeod Lake, and CKKN-FM-2, Mackenzie; CIOR-AM, Princeton ; CHTK-AM, Prince Rupert ; CFBV-AM, Smithers; CJFW-FM, Terrace, plus CJFW-FM-1, Kitimat, CJFW-FM-2, Prince Rupert, CJFW-FM-3, Sandspit, CJFW-FM-4, Masset, CJFW-FM-5, Burns Lake, CJFW-FM-6, Smithers, CJFW-FM-7, Houston, and CJFW-FM-8, Hazelton; CFTK-AM Terrace;
Commercial licences for CKX-FM Brandon ; CJOB-AM, Winnipeg;
Tourist and information licences for CHWH-FM West Hawk Lake;
New Brunswick -
Commercial licences for CHSJ-FM Saint John; CFXY-FM Fredericton; CIKX-FM Grand Falls;
Type A community licence for CIMS-FM Balmoral and CIMS-FM-1, Dalhousie;
Type B community licence for CJSE-FM Shédiac and CJSE-FM-1 Memramcook; Type A native licence for CFNT-FM Tobique Indian Reserve;
and Special Event licences for stations for the Festival Fruits de Mer,
Festival du Rendez-vous Néguac; Festival d'été and Festival du Chou de Bruxelles in various locations.
North West Territories -
Commercial licences for CJCD-FM, Yellowknife plus CJCD-FM-1, Hay River; Nova Scotia - Commercial licences for CHER-AM, Sydney and CKTO-FM Truro.
Tourist licence for CFNS-FM, Amherst.
Commercial licences for CFVD-FM Dégelis plus CFVD-FM-2 Pohénégamook and CFVD-FM-3 Squatec; CFLM-AM, La Tuque; CFCX-AM, Montréal; CINW-AM, Montréal; CJPX-FM Montréal; CKYQ-FM Plessisville; CHRC-AM Québec; CITF-FM Québec plus CITE-FM-1 and CITE-FM-2, Sherbrooke; CHLT-AM, Sherbrooke; CJSO-FM Sorel;
Special station licence for CIRA-FM Montréal;
Non-commercial religious licences for churches in Bromptonville, Sherbrooke; Cookshire; Hull; La Guadeloupe; La Patrie; La Tuque; Montmagny; Piopolis; Rock Forest, Sherbrooke; Sherbrooke; Saint-Georges Ouest; Weedon; Windsor; Woburn;
Commercial licences for CHAY-FM Barrie; CFJB-FM Barrie; CKPC-AM and CKPC-FM, Brantford; CFCO-AM and CFCO-1-FM, Chatham; CKUE-FM (formerly CKSY-FM), Chatham; CHUC-AM, Cobourg; CFMX-FM Cobourg; CKEY-FM Fort Erie and CKEY-FM-1 St. Catharines; CFBK-FM Huntsville; CFCA-FM Kitchener; CKKW-AM, Kitchener; CKGL-AM Kitchener; CHYM-FM Kitchener; CKLY-FM Lindsay; CFPL-AM London; CFPL-FM London; CKSL-AM, London; CKDX-FM Newmarket; CICX-FM Orillia; CFOS-AM Owen Sound; CIXK-FM Owen Sound; CKQM-FM Peterborough; CHOK-AM, Sarnia; CHKS-FM Sarnia; CFGX-FM, Sarnia; CKTB-AM, St. Catharines; CHTZ-FM St. Catharines; CHRE-FM St. Catharines ; CJCS-AM Stratford; CKOT-AM and CKOT-FM, Tillsonburg; CHEV-AM, Toronto; CFMX-FM-1 Toronto; CHOW-FM Welland; CKNX-AM and CKNX-FM , Wingham; CIDR-FM Windsor; CKLW-AM, Windsor; CKWW-FM Windsor; CKDK-FM Woodstock;
Campus station licence for CIOI-FM Hamilton;
Non-commercial religious licence for church in St. Thomas
Network licence for Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s football network;
Tourist and information licence for CFSW-FM Chaplin
Yukon Territory -
Parliamentary Broadcasting licence for CHLA-FM, Whitehorse.
Other licence decisions by the CRTC included:
British Columbia --
*The Commission approved an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to amend the licence of its new French-language FM station in Vancouver to add an FM transmitter in Victoria, operating at 88.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 3,200 watts, to rebroadcast La Chaîne culturelle programming.
The CBC application had been opposed by Jacques P. Vallée who submitted an intervention, on behalf of Comité Radio Victoria (CRV), opposing the CBC's application because he intended to file, in the near future, an application for a licence to operate a community radio station in Victoria, for which he planned to use the frequency. He claimed that the CBC's French-language Vancouver station already serves over 50% of British Columbia's Francophones and that the additional transmitter was, therefore, unnecessary.
The Commission did not accept CRV's arguments and suggested that it find another frequency for its proposed community service and then file an application to serve the French-speaking community in Victoria.
Concomitantly the CRTC denied two applications for a new English-language tourist information service in Vancouver on the frequency MHz following interventions including one filed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that noted that the frequency had been suggested as the only one left in Victoria suitable for transmitting the French-language stereo service La Chaîne culturelle. The CBC point was accepted and the applicants, Robson Square 4600 Services Ltd., which proposed a service for Vancouver, and Cathe Wagg, who was proposing a service for Victoria, were encouraged to re-apply with another suggested frequency.
Newfoundland and Labrador --
*Licence renewal for CFSX-AM, Stephenville, and approval of an amendment to allow it to add CFGN-AM Channel-Port-aux-Basques and its transmitter CFCV-FM St. Andrew's, which simulcast the same programming as CFSX.
* Approval of application CFCO-1-FM Chatham, to increase the power of its local rebroadcasting transmitter, CFCO-1-FM, from 50 watts to 250 watts.
*Renewal of the licence of CFGP-FM Grande Prairie and its transmitter CFGP-FM-1 Peace River but only until 31 August 2006 because of breaches of regulations concerning the amount of Canadian music to be broadcast.
*Renewal of the licence of CJKX-FM Ajax and its transmitter CJKX-FM-1 Sunderland until 31 August 2009.
*An extension until 11 February 2003 of the time limit for the start of operations of a new transmitter at Kapuskasing for CHIM-FM, Timmins.
*Renewal of the licence of CHIK-FM but only until 31 August 2006 because the licensee had failed for a period in 1999 to comply with regulations concerning the amount of programming to be devoted to French-language vocal music. The Commission noted that a second analysis in November 2000 showed that the station was then compliant with the regulations.
*A similar renewal to the same date for the licence of CFXM-FM Granby, which had also breached the regulations concerning the amount of French-language vocal music broadcast when checked in August 2000.
*Renewal of the licence for the CFJO-FM Thetford Mines/Victoriaville and its transmitter CFJO-FM-1 Lac Mégantic until 31 August 2009.
*Renewal until 31 August 2004 of the licence of campus station CFOU-FM, Trois-Rivières. The licence was renewed for a shorter period because of the past history of the station whose applications for renewal had not been filed, leading it to operate for a period without a licence. The commission accepted that correspondence concerning CFOU-FM's licence renewal had never been brought to the attention of licensee's Board of Directors or submitted to it for consideration and that the Board was unaware of any of the attempts made by the Commission to facilitate the licence renewal through its administrative renewals. It also accepted the argument that the student body would be penalised for the shortcomings of an individual should it refuse the licence.
It also noted that, as a community station, the station has co-operation agreements in place with community and socio-cultural groups to promote the Trois-Rivières community, and agreements with local artists to promote their activities. The Board stated that closing the station would be harmful to the interests of all those groups because CFOU-FM is the only station in the region that regularly promotes their activities free of charge.
*Renewal of the licence for CJDJ-FM Saskatoon, until 31 August 2009: it was also allowed a request to delete the condition of licence requiring the licensee to broadcast a minimum of 115 hours of local programming each broadcast week.
*An extension until 3 January next year of time limit for the White Bear Children's Charity Inc. to commence operation of a new English- and Native-language FM radio programming undertaking to serve White Bear Lake Resort.
Ireland was quiet but in the UK, the Radio Authority has been active with both analogue and digital licence business.
It has pre-advertised the licences for the Heads of South Wales Valleys (AM) and Crawley & Reigate (FM), currently held by Valley Radio Ltd, a Wireless Group subsidiary, and Radio Mercury Ltd, a GWR Group subsidiary. Should no other applications be made, the two holders will be invited to re-apply under the Authority's fast-track procedure.
In London the Authority has re-awarded the North London AM licence to existing holder London Turkish Radio but Liberty Radio has lost its Greater London AM licence. This has gone to Club Asia (London) Ltd., which is proposing a contemporary Asian/urban music-led service primarily targeting British Asians aged 15-34.
Commenting on the award, Richard Hooper, Chair of the Authority, said: "The Authority was faced with a difficult decision over this licence award. We realise that it will come as a particular disappointment to the current licensee, Liberty Radio. However, Members were impressed with Club Asia's proposals for a service appealing to an under-served young Asian community in Greater London and its extensive research which made a compelling case for such a service."
On the digital front, it has awarded the Yorkshire Region digital multiplex to MXR Ltd., a consortium including Chrysalis, GMG, Capital and UBC Digital, which was competing against Yorkshire & Humberside Digital Radio: MXR is proposing nine services one of which will initially only be broadcast from 0600 to 1900 (See Licence News RNW June 23).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now issued new EEO rules (See RNW Nov 9).
It also confirmed, reduced and withdrew a number of penalties (See RNW Nov 8) and extended for a month the dealines for comment in its future media ownership regulations (See RNW Nov 7).
The FCC also heard recommendations from its spectrum task force, which has now spend nearly six months analysing the current use of spectrum in the US and possible future uses.
The outlines of its findings indicate that its evidence made its way to FCC chairman Michael Powell in time for his recent speech on spectrum policy, during which he commented that there was no scarcity and that that some spectrum was currently only partly used, either in terms of time of day or geographic location (See RNW Nov 1). The idea of software-based receivers, also mentioned by Powell, was endorsed by the group, which said it would change traditional perceptions in such areas as available spectrum and interference.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-11-10: As the US Congress enters a lame duck session, US religious broadcasters and the recording companies are involved in last minute talks on a royalty compromise according to the Los Angeles Times.
A recent bill (HR5496) on an agreement with small webcasters failed to make it through the US Senate because it was blocked by North Carolina Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, who is close to the religious broadcasters ( See RNW Oct 19 ).
The paper points out that larger webcasters, terrestrial broadcasters and college stations also have reservations about the current legislation .
They are concerned lest the small webcasters agreement sets a precedent but the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) still contends that it is the best way forward.
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-11-09: Bonneville International has announced a deal to purchase 15 stations in Idaho and Utah from Simmons Media , which earlier this month closed a USD22.5 million sale of all but one of its Albuquerque, New Mexico, stations, to Hispanic Broadcasting (See RNW Nov 5).
The price has not been officially released but is said to be around USD175 million and includes three Salt Lake City stations and a Construction Permit for a fourth whose sale is likely to get a red flag from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on ownership concentration grounds.
The stations involved are KQMB-FM, KRSP-FM & KSFI-FM plus the CP for an AM at 820 kHz; Bonneville already owns KSL-AM and KSL-TV in Salt Lake city as well as having an interest in the Deseret News through a sister corporation.
Bonneville President and CEO Bruce Reese is hopeful that changes to FCC cross-ownership rules will allow the deal to go through.
As well as the Salt Lake City, the other stations involved are KCVI-FM; KFTZ-FM; KLCE-FM; KPLV-FM; KZNR-AM; KZNI-AM; and KBLI-AM in Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Idaho plus KREC-FM; KSSN-FM; KDXU-AM; and KUNF-AM in Utah.
Simmons Media will be left with eight stations in Utah after the deal, once its purchase of KSOS-AM plus simulcast KXOL-AM in Ogden goes through. It also owns one station in Austin, Texas, and has an option to purchase another that it is operating through a LMA and on in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Simmons says it is not pulling out of radio and its President Craig Hanson said the deal would give it liquidity to add to its portfolio.
In other US radio business, Interep has announced the closure of a USD10 million five-year 8.125% senior credit facility from an un-named institutional investor, in connection with which it has Company issued warrants to purchase 225,000 shares of Class A common stock at $.01 per share. It says the funds will increase its liquidity and provide working capital.
In further US results, Disney has revealed a weak performance from its broadcasting business; its Media Networks division, which includes ABC Radio, had revenues down 4% in its fiscal final quarter (ending September 30) to USD5.1 billion; its broadcasting operating income was down from a positive USD87 million for Q4, 2001 to a loss of USD23 million in the latest quarter.
Disney blames lower ratings, higher costs at ABC-TV, and a fall in advertising revenue. Overall the company earnings were USD222 million, or 11 cents a share, for the quarter compared to USD53 million, or 3 cents s share, a year earlier.
In more third quarter results, Spanish Broadcasting System exceeded its guidance as it trimmed its overall loss for the quarter to September 29 to USD 93,000 (nil per share) compared to USD1.56 million (3 cents per share) a year ago. Broadcast cash flow (BCF) was up 14.8% to USD 16.3 million and EBITDA was up 13.4% to USD12.7 million.
Same station revenues were up 7.1% to USD34.6 million and same station BCF was up 14.4% to USD16.7 million.
Looking ahead, SBS says it expects revenues to be up 11-12% in the final quarter with BCF in the USD14 to14.5 million ranges.
SBS Chairman and CEO Raul Alarcon commented, "Our strong third quarter results highlight our success in leveraging our top-ten market stations to capture revenue share as the overall advertising market continues to recover."
"Excluding the extra week in prior year's third quarter, our net revenues increased approximately 16%. We have maintained leadership positions in attracting our target demographics in New York and Miami, and our Los Angeles cluster is ranked second among six Hispanic competitors. We are also making substantial progress in increasing the ratings of our Puerto Rico stations, while reducing costs and improving profitability through consolidating operations."
Alarcon also said that it had a format ready to go in Los Angeles where its KFSB-KFSG FMs simulcast is being operated under a time brokerage agreement by the International Foursquare Church as part of the Church's USD250 million sale KXOL-FM to SBS.
If the TBA isn't extended when it expires at the end of March, Alarcon says they think there is a hole in Los Angeles for a third Spanish music format service.
2002-11-09: Following the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision at its Thursday Open Meeting to establish new Equality of Opportunity (EEO) rules for broadcasters, all Commissioners have posted comments on the decision and the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has expressed caution about its effect possible effect on small stations.
The new rules prohibit "discrimination" by broadcasters and cable and satellite operators and also require them to provide notice of job vacancies and take on additional outreach measures such as job fairs and scholarship programmes as well as instituting new record keeping reporting requirements.
These include keeping records of full-time vacancies filled, listing employment agencies used and retaining job adverts and documenting that they adhered to FCC outreach requirements. Similar information is to be kept in a station's public file, which has to be submitted to the Commission for licence renewals, and post current EEO public files on their web site.
The new rules replace previous rules that had been struck down by the courts and were eventually ruled unconstitutional.
NAB President and CEO, Eddie Fritts, said that broadcasters shared the goal of increasing opportunities for minorities and women but continued, " the NAB has long been concerned with over regulatory EEO rules that create undue paperwork burdens, particularly on small-market broadcasters. It appears today's new rules have done little to reduce these burdens."
Welcoming the new rules, FCC chairman Michael K Powell, said that the new rules were effective and legally sustainable and were "squarely race and gender neutral and, thus, not constitutionally suspect."
"The public benefits of individuals in our society having equal employment opportunities, based on merit rather than discriminatory factors, are so numerous they are impossible to list," he said.
" If the public interest benefit means anything at all it cannot possibly tolerate the use of a government license to discriminate against the citizens from whom the license ultimately is derived. Thus, we will remain vigilant in our enforcement of these rules."
"The outreach program provides for the simple opportunity to compete for employment vacancies."
"All Americans, regardless of stripe, benefit when our workforce captures the rich talent of our great nation."
Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy issued a statement on similar lines as did fellow Republican Kevin J Martin, who also drew attention to the removal of the requirement for broadcasters to submit annual reports on the "race and gender make- up of their workforce", adding, "collection of this information could be useful for analysis of industry trends, but it is not a part of our EEO program requirement and is in fact required pursuant to a separate provisions of our rules. We therefore will address the collection of this information in a future proceeding."
Sole Democrat on the commission, Michael J. Copps, also welcomed the rules, but went indicated he would have welcomed them going further. He also went further than his fellow commissioners in stressing the importance of such rules. "To me, " he said," EEO rules are indeed an essential part of the obligation to serve the public interest. This is not an area in which we can afford to be timid, because there is nothing less than civil rights at stake. Diversity of viewpoint, ownership, and employment in media have long been and continue to be fundamental public policy goals."
" In my view, how we craft these rules is also related - closely, intimately connected - to the public interest that both the FCC and broadcasters are charged to promote. This is not something we do at the fringes, or something divorced from our other ongoing work; it is, rather, at the heart of what we do, and how we do here will affect how we do across the board."
He also brought up the question, avoided by the others, of possible penalties, writing, "I, for one -- and I think I am not alone -- would be more than amenable to imposing strong and serious sanctions - very strong and very serious, up to and including revocation of licenses -- for demonstrated lack of compliance."
FCC web site - links to statement.
2002-11-09: Ford Motors has given Britain's digital radio a boost by bringing forward its decision to offer digital receivers as a standard option on all its vehicles.
It had already agreed to offer the receivers in it vehicles by 2004 but is now to offer top of the range Blaupunkt Woodstock costing around GBP 350 (USD 550) from January next year.
Ford holds 5% of the MXR digital radio consortium that includes Chrysalis, Guardian Media Group and Capital and which has just been awarded the Yorkshire digital multiplex licence, the fifth regional licence that it has been awarded.
2002-11-09: Simon Bates and his LBC breakfast co-host Petrie Hoskin have been axed by Chrysalis ahead of their re-launch of the recently acquired station and presented their last shows on Friday. Bates' departure was said by his agent to be amicable and followed Chrysalis's call for him to commit fully to the station.
Bates, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ who also hosts the drivetime show on GWR's Classic FM and its Saturday evening movies show, was said to want to concentrate on the Classic FM drivetime show and also his other commitments including voiceovers for radio and TV.
Phil Gale and LBC's drivetime presenter Sandy Warr will take over the LBC breakfast show from Monday on an interim basis but Chrysalis says there are no plans for them to host the show in the long term.
2002-11-08: Strong performances have marked more third quarter results from US radio companies.
Entercom has reported results at the top end of its guidance, with overall net revenues up 19% to USD64.7 million and same station net revenues up 22% to USD 47.5 million; overall broadcast cash flow (BCF) up 26% to USD 21.8 million and same station BCF up 32% to USD18.7 million; and EBITDA up 35% to 17.2 million.
Entercom's net loss per share was cut to one cent from 13 cents for the third quarter of last year as it trimmed its losses from USD13.5 million to USD929, 000.
For the final quarter, Entercom is predicting net revenues up 15-17% to between USD61.4 to 62.7 million, with radio outperforming the average with net revenues up between 16% and 19% to between USD19.1 to 19.5 million.
Commenting on the results, Chairman and CEO Walter F. Ulloa, said, "Our strong third quarter results were led by our television and radio groups as they continue to outpace the general market. We achieved double digit increases in revenue and cash flow, despite posting industry-leading gains in the comparable period last year. Our strong fundamentals reflect the stability of our business model and the strategic positioning of our assets in the nation's fastest growing Hispanic markets."
"Continued solid revenue gains combined with our focus on cost controls have produced free cash flow of $10.7 million for the first nine months of 2002, compared to negative free cash flow of $500,000 in 2001."
"Our television stations continued to leverage their top-ranked ratings and strong local news programs to attract advertisers seeking to reach the nation's Hispanic population, resulting in revenue and BCF growth of 28% and 32%, respectively. Our radio division also posted robust third quarter results, supported by increased ratings performance and a focused sales effort. We have transferred ratings growth to the bottom line as our radio group posted a 25% increase in cash flow for the quarter."
"Momentum has continued across our radio, TV and outdoor divisions and we expect to report double digit gains in revenue and cash flow for the fourth quarter and the full-year. We are successfully executing on our operating strategy and remain focused on strengthening our station group in the fastest growing and highest density Hispanic markets."
Salem Communications reported third quarter net broadcasting revenues up 15.9% to USD38.7 million, Broadcast Cash Flow up 12.8% to USD14 million and non-broadcasting media businessesOnePlace.com and CCM Communications turning a loss of USD300, 000 into a profit of USD 200, 000.
EBITDA increased 17.0% to USD10.3 million, free cash flow was up 48.6% to USD5.5 million (23 cents a share) and net income nearly doubled from USD9.4 million for Q3, 2001, to USD18.1 million (77cents a share compared to 40 cents).
Same station revenue and broadcast cash flow were up 15.0% and 25.5% respectively and the company said these had been positively impacted by revenue and BCF growth from our underdeveloped radio stations.
President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III commented, "We continue to report what we believe are some of the strongest same station revenue and cash flow growth rates in the industry."
"Through the combination of focused operations, strong, stable programming and the continued growth of our music stations, we have delivered strong financial performance."
"In addition, with a large percentage of our radio station portfolio in a launch or early development stage, we believe Salem is very well positioned to continue delivering some of the strongest revenue and cash flow growth in the radio industry, as these stations develop to maturity."
For the fourth quarter, Salem says it expects same station revenue growth in the mid-teens, based on 14% growth in October; net broadcast revenues between USD40.0 and USD40.5 million; BCF between USD15.0 and USD15.5 million; EBITDA between USD11.5 and USD12.0 million and After tax cash flow per share between 30 cents and 32 cents.
For NextMedia, radio net revenues were up 14% to USD16.8 million and BCF was up 21% to USD 6.4 million compared to an overall 19% in net revenues to USD23.9 million. EBITDA was up 26% to USD 6.7 million.
NextMedia's third quarter loss was trimmed from USD3.9 million to USD1.2 million. Looking ahead, it is predicting net revenues up between 10 and 12% and BCF up 20-25%.
Gaylord Entertainment, whose media division comprises WSM-AM and FM plus WWTN-FM in Nashville, third quarter revenues were up 40% to USD3.1 million and EBITDA was up fivefold, from USD100, 000 to USD500, 000.
The division also turned a loss of USD57, 000 in the third quarter of last year into a profit ofUSD293, 000.Overall Gaylord's net income for the quarter was USD96.6 million (USD2.86 per share) compared to a loss of USD45.2 million (USD1.35 per share) a year ago with EBITDA for the quarter more than tripling at USD16.8 million compared to USD5.1 million.
President and CEO Colin Reed commented, "Despite a challenging market environment, Gaylord Entertainment is benefiting from its strategy to build a top-tier hospitality and entertainment business. We have substantially improved our financial performance by reinforcing our service culture, building and investing in our brands, operating our businesses efficiently, and paring our non-core assets."
"Programming from WSM-AM is now on the Sirius Satellite Radio Service and Reed commented that this addition was a significant milestone for 77-year old WSM-AM, which broadcasts the Grand Ole Opry every Friday and Saturday evening.
"As Sirius Satellite Radio's audience expands, more listeners around the nation will have the opportunity to experience one of America's most cherished lifestyle brands, the Grand Ole Opry, by listening to WSM on Sirius Satellite Radio," Reed said. "The Opry and WSM are the heart of country music, and we are excited to be offering another fabulous venue for country music fans."
Looking ahead, Gaylord expects fourth quarter revenues in the range USD105-108 million and fourth quarter EBITDA in the USD12-214 million range.
On a less prosperous note, Media Services Group has announced that the Superior Court of Indiana has now appointed a receiver for St George Broadcasting, LLC, licensee of WJOB-AM in Hammond and WIMS-AM in Michigan City, and the Bloomington Pantagraph in Illinois says that Cornbelt Broadcasting's WHOW-AM and FM in Clinton have now gone silent.
The paper says the shutdown affects around 10 part timers and ads that the company and station phones have been disconnected.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently confirmed a fine of USD17, 000 on the company for various technical violations (See RNW Nov 2) after it had received no response to its original notice sent to the station in June.
The FCC, which has now released details of the 24 Notices of Apparent liability for a total of USD245, 000, it issued in September, 22 of them were for safety-related offences, has confirmed one penalty for safety offences, reduced one, and also cancelled a penalty relating to the broadcasting of phone conversations.
The confirmed penalty was of USD 13, 000 on Mitchell Communications Inc., licensee of WDVA-AM, Danville, Virginia, for failure to register four antenna structures used as an antenna array for WDVA-AM and failure to enclose its antenna structures within effective locked fences or other enclosures.
Mitchell had argued that it "truly believed that there were locks on the gates, that there is no evidence that the fences were unlocked on any other day, and that locks were installed on the date of inspection and have been in place since that date" and that its failure to register the towers was because it only recently learned that registration was required and had then taken measures to submit appropriate applications.
In the second case the FCC reduced to USD 1, 000 a penalty of USD 8, 000 imposed on Oberlin College Student Network, Inc., licensee of WOBC- FM, Oberlin, Ohio, concerning failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System equipment at the station. The offence had not been denied and the Commission allowed the reduction on financial hardship grounds, but did not accept the please of mitigation submitted.
The cancelled penalty was one of USD4, 000 on Entercom, licensee of WEZB-FM, New Orleans, relating to the broadcasting of a phone call about which there had been a complaint. Entercom successfully argued that, as the call was made to a programme that regularly broadcast listener calls and the programme host had identified the station when he answered, the complainant's call fell within the "call-in" presumption section of FCC rules.
2002-11-08: Viacom chairman and chief executive Sumner Redstone on Thursday met British Prime Minister Tony Blair, with the British Government's draft Communications Bill among the topics discussed.
Under the draft bill, non-EU companies will be allowed to own radio or TV licences and Viacom is tipped as one of the most likely groups to make a foray into British broadcasting, with suggestions that it could bid for the combined Granada-Carlton TV company that is currently being merged and for a major radio group.
Viacom, whose holdings include non-broadcast businesses in cinema and outdoor as well as the Blockbuster video business, already employs some 10,000 people in the UK.
2002-11-08: Arbitron has taken over Portland (Oregon)-based MeasureCast's trademark, streaming audio measurement system and related assets used for its audience measurement services for an undisclosed sum.
The deal was announced by Arbitron but so far has not been posted on MeasureCast's web site and Arbitron says that MeasureCast Inc. is to continue under an as-yet unannounced name to develop "innovative technologies and services with its strategic partners."
MeasureCast partners, including Nielsen Media Research, NetRatings and Trans Cosmos International ("TCI"), retain certain rights to the MeasureCast services and technology but Arbitron is to incorporate MeasureCast's technology in its Webcast Ratings Service and also to "publish weekly and monthly webcast audience estimates under the name 'Arbitron's MeasureCast Ratings'."
Bill Rose, vice president and general manager, Webcast Services, Arbitron Inc., said, "This is a significant step forward in our efforts to establish an industry standard currency for measuring streaming media audiences. By combining the MeasureCast technology with Arbitron's resources and experience, we can serve Webcasters more efficiently while enhancing the value and credibility of the audience measures they use."
RNW comment: From the gradual delays in MeasureCast's posting of its ratings releases, it has seemed for a while that it may have been struggling and that there just wasn't the business to sustain two companies in this area with, as is so often the case, the strong company winning out in the marketplace, even if the technology move is in the other direction.
Arbitron web site:
MeasureCast web site:
2002-11-08: Former Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner Gloria Tristani, who left her post early last year (See RNW Aug 28, 2001) to fight for a Senate seat in New Mexico wa soundly trounced by the incumbent Republican.
Sen Pete Domenici, who's already served five terms, took 64% of the votes compared to Tristani with 36%.
Jonathan Adelstein has been nominated for Tristani's former seat but has yet to be confirmed.
2002-11-07: In more US third quarter results, Cumulus Media has reported net revenues up 30.9% to USD66.52 million, Broadcast Cash flow up 53.2% to USD25.54 million and EBITDA up 93% to USD22.07 million; pro format net revenues were up 7.6% to USD66.21 million, pro forma cash net revenue up 8.2% to USD25.46 million and pro forma EBITDA up 18.8% to USD21.99 million.
Same station net revenues were up 7.2% to USD54.01 million and same station BCF was up 20.7% to USD 19.55 million.
Overall Cumulus reduced its net loss per common and diluted share from 33 to 7 cents a shareas the total loss dropped from USD11.5 million to USD4.1 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2002, Cumulus says it expects pro forma net revenues to increase between 7% and 8%, and pro forma EBITDA to increase between 14% and 15% over respective pro forma results from the fourth quarter 2001. On an as-reported basis, Cumulus expects to report a loss per share of approximately $(0.08) for the fourth quarter of 2002.
Lew Dickey, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to report our 8th consecutive quarter of EBITDA growth and margin expansion. Q3 was also marked by strong revenue and free cash flow growth that combined to reduce our total leverage to 5.4x - an all-time low for our Company. We are off to a strong start for Q4 and anticipate additional margin expansion and leverage reduction by year's end."
In the UK, US giant Clear Channel has now sold the last of its radio interests with the disposal of its radio advertising business to the Guardian Media Group (GMG), which had already bought Clear Channel's other UK radio businesses including its share in Jazz FM.
Also in the UK Wireless Group chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie has increased his stake in the group to 7.5% by buying 300, 000 shares after they fell to a new low of 47p on Tuesday.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Guardian Media Group:
Previous Wireless Group:
2002-11-07: Veteran British DJ Sir Jimmy Young is to end his 50-year career at the BBC at the end of next month when his current contract ends rather than moving to host a new weekend show as had previously been announced
Young, an octogenarian who is currently off air following a hip operation in July, says he has decided to make a complete break from the BBC but insists he is not retiring and has other projects in the pipeline. It is not known if he will be well enough to return to his show before the contract ends.
In a statement he said, "Having presented the daily JY Prog for nearly 30 years, I do not feel that I could do justice to a weekly shortened version. "
"I appreciate how hard the BBC tried to keep me but I have decided not to accept their invitation. I will therefore leave the BBC at the end of the year when my contract to present the JY Prog ends. I know that my many listeners will understand."
"This decision has nothing to do with my recent stay in hospital. My hip is fixed and I am not retiring, far from it - I will be pursuing a number of other interests."
Young's departure follows a row over an announcement last year by Nicky Campbell that he had been offered the weekday Jimmy Young slot at a time when the Corporation was publicly dismissing suggestions that it was forcing Young out and Young had said he did not intend to retire (See RNW Nov 2. 2001). The job eventually went to Jeremy Vine.
Young, who was born in Gloucestershire, served in the RAF and had a number of jobs before moving into show business in 1949; he had a number of top ten hits in the 1950s and then moved into radio, working for the BBC and Radio Luxembourg.
He was one of the first group of DJs at BBC Radio 1, which was launched in 1967, and in 1973 moved to Radio 2 to launch the JY Programme, which mixes current affairs, chat and music.
BBC Radio 2 controller Jim Moir said: "I am naturally disappointed that Sir Jimmy has had a change of heart."
"I had hoped that he would continue broadcasting for many years to come on Radio 2, but this has not proved possible.
"Along with his millions of listeners, I and all his many friends in BBC Radio offer him warmest best wishes for the future."
Another UK radio veteran, Chris Tarrant, will effectively only be working half time at his radio job next year according to the UK Guardian. The paper says insiders have told it that Tarrant's deal to stay as Capital FM's breakfast host with a later starting time also includes so much more time off that he will be away for six months of the year.
His regular replacement is to be Neil Fox, "Dr Fox", and, according to the paper, Capital is hoping that the new-style show will enable it to ease in Fox as a possible permanent replacement for Tarrant whose show accounts for some 15% of group profits.
Fox recently signed a new three-year deal with Capital. And the station is currently looking for a female presenter to co-host the show with Tarrant and Fox
A spokeswoman for Capital refused comment on Tarrant's leave but issued a statement saying, "Over the past five years Chris has taken time off from his breakfast show to accommodate his TV commitments. From the New Year we have agreed with Chris to rearrange his schedule so that his holiday time falls in two chunks of time rather than sporadically as we believe this is the best way for the new show to bed in. Foxy will remain the regular breakfast deputy when Chris is away."
The paper also reports that BBC Radio Five Live has "come up with the cash" to keep former Labour Party spin doctor Charlie Whelan with the station despite a lucrative offer for him to join Chrysalis's London talk station LBC.
Whelan is to be the location reporter for Julian Worricker's new Sunday morning news show that launches in January to replaces Sunday Service, which Whelan co-presented with Juliet Morris and Andrew Pierce.
UK Guardian report re Tarrant:
UK Guardian report re Whelan:
2002-11-07: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended for a month the deadline for comments on its media ownership rules and also released more information on the media studies it released in October (See RNW Oct 2). The new deadline is Jan 2 next year for initial comments and Feb 3 for reply comments.
The decision, said FCC Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree, would "further ensure a full and open debate of the issues in the media-ownership proceeding" but Democrat Commission Michael J Copps proclaimed himself "'Disappointed & Alarmed" by the extension.
He wants more time spent on the matter and commented, "We've asked the public to analyze six separate media consolidation rules. We've asked them to sift through twelve studies that many groups claim are inadequate. We've asked them to suggest what other areas of this issue need to be explored. And we've asked them to do all this in a media landscape that has changed dramatically over the past decade. Yet we provide a mere 60 days to do this. The last- minute addition of 30 days fails to even come close to solving the problem the FCC has created."
" At issue is the FCC's review of rules that seek to protect localism, independence, and diversity in the media The FCC is required to seek public participation before it eliminates these rules. The Commission recently released a dozen studies for the public to review as part of this process. It withheld the data used in these studies, however, until releasing parts of it today."
"Public commenters complained that the comment period allowed by the FCC denied them the ability to participate meaningfully. Just as unreasonable, according to these commenters, is the fact that the clock on the comment period has been running even while the underlying data was unavailable."
"At stake in this proceeding are our core values of localism, diversity, competition, and maintaining the multiplicity of voices and choices that under gird our marketplace of ideas and that sustain American democracy. With such important values at stake, we ought to give parties the time to provide detailed data, granular evidence and studied analysis. I am disappointed in the extreme and alarmed at the prospect of forging ahead to dismantle the limits and caps before we fully understand the effects of such action."
FCC web site (Copps page has news release):
2002-11-07: Arbitron has said that it may end its Portable People Meter (PPM) tests in Philadelphia and move the twin-panel test it agreed to in July to the other market with a large Hispanic population where it had planned to conduct such a test.
Arbitron has not said which market will be used but it had agreed to the test using two panels for comparison plus a Hispanic test.
Under the current schedule, the current Philadelphia panel will be closed by the end of this year and PPM measurement ended in the market, although some lifestyle and response-rate testing will continue in the first half of next year. The twin-panel and Hispanic testing is to begin in the middle of next year and run into 2004, thus meaning live use of the PPM in the US is unlikely until summer 2004 or later.
Arbitron already has a deal to use the PPM for TV measurements in Canada (See RNW Sep 24)
2002-11-06: Debt-ridden Big City Broadcasting's 12 remaining stations have now been put on the auction block to the highest cash bidder in a sale to be handled by Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage, which last year handled the USD34 million sale of the group's Phoenix stations to Hispanic Broadcasting (see RNW Sept 8 2001)
Funds from the sale will be earmarked as a first priority to pay principal and interest payments on its Senior Discount Notes due in 2005.; last month Big City's shares plummeted after an announcement that it did not have enough funds to pay interest on the notes and it has warned a number of times that it might have to consider a bankruptcy filing (See RNW Oct 12).
Big City owns Viva in Los Angeles ( a three station simulcast by KSYY-FM, Fallbrook, KLYY-FM, Los Angeles and KVYY-FM, Oxnard); Rumba in New York ( a four-station simulcast by WWYY-FM, Allentown, WWZY-FM, Monmouth-Ocean, WYNY-FM, Westchester and WWXY-FM, Riverhead); and five Chicago stations ( WDEK-FM, WKIE-FM, WKIF-FM, and Viva, a simulcast by WXXY-FM and WYXX-FM).
Previous Big City:
2002-11-06: Former BBC Radio 1 Controller Matthew Bannister is to take over from Fi Glover as host of BBC Radio Five Live's late night show when she moves to the station's morning show and takes over from Nicky Campbell who will be its breakfast host from January (See RNW Sept 27).
Bannister has been one of the presenters on the channel's Weekend News show with Caroline Feraday, who is moving to Chrysalis's LBC (See RNW Nov 5), and Susan Bookbinder.
Bannister is to be replaced by Richard Evans and a replacement for Feraday is still being sought.
2002-11-06: The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) in Chicago has announced that it is to move from its current home in The Chicago Cultural Center to a new location, currently a four-story parking garage , in Chicago's River North in spring 2004.
The Museum also houses the Radio Hall of Fame and more than 85,000 hours of historic radio and television tapes.
Its founder and president, Bruce DuMont, said the Museum would double its area to 30, 000 square feet (around 2800 sq. metres) and it launching a USD10 million fundraising campaign to support the move.
"The additional space will allow us to display many more items in our collection, increase our archive accessibility for the numerous school groups who visit, and provide us the opportunity to house many more of the larger, more popular travelling exhibits that attract visitors, not only from the Chicago metro area, but neighbouring states as well," added DuMont.
The museum opened in 1987 in the South Loop and moved to the city-owned Chicago Cultural Center under a 10-year lease in 1992. The lease was extended earlier this year.
MBC web site:
2002-11-06: The BBC has appointed James Peries, Literary Manager at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, as the first editor for its Asian radio soap opera that is to be aired daily on the BBC's new Asian network from the middle of 2004. (See RNW Oct 29)
The soap is to be set in Birmingham and produced there: It will centre around young Asians living in Birmingham but will also be about their families and friends who may live elsewhere.
Jenny Abramsky, BBC Director of Radio and Music, commented, "We expect the Asian soap to become an important part of how the BBC Asian Network explores the lives and concerns of Asians across the country.
"Choosing Birmingham as the location of both its fictitious family and the production team reflects the significance of Asian communities in the city's life.
"Good soaps have a powerful connection with their audiences and the success of this one will rely on its having a finger on the pulse of contemporary, urban, Asian life."
Peries commented, "As someone from a mixed Anglo-Asian background, I am thrilled to combine my professional experience and personal commitment to a project as exciting as this.
"Drawing together new and experienced talent to create a drama which captures the issues that matter to young British Asians is a challenge.
"I want the soap to become unmissable listening and its characters to become a daily talking point for listeners to the BBC Asian Network."
2002-11-05: Hispanic Broadcasting (HBC) has announced completion of its move into the Albuquerque and Santa Fe markets in New Mexico with the US22.5 million purchase of five FM's from Simmons Media Group that was announced in August (See RNW Aug 29)
They are KOSZ-FM, Rio Rancho, which is now being programmed in a Spanish Adult Contemporary format; KKRG-FM, Albuquerque, which is now being programmed in a Regional Mexican format; KIOT-FM, Los Lunas, a classic rock and hits format that has been renamed "Coyote" from its former "Arrow" name; Smooth Jazz KRQS-FM, Santa Fe, which remains "The Horizon"; and Contemporary Hit KKSS-FM, Santa Fe, which remains "KISS".
2002-11-05: UK Chrysalis Group, continuing the talent build-up for its newly acquired LBC station in London, is reported to have agreed a deal for Caroline Feraday to become its inaugural drivetime host.
Feraday, who with Matthew Bannister currently co-presents The Weekend News on BBC Radio Five Live, had been approached by Capital who considered her a possible replacement for Chris Tarrant on its breakfast show.
Chrysalis has already head-hunted Steve Kyte, the deputy controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, as its editorial director (See RNW Oct 23) and news presenter Howard Hughes, currently working on Chris Tarrant's breakfast show on Capital FM, is to be the morning news presenter (See RNW Oct 15).
2002-11-05: David Letterman's "Late Show" on CBS Television is moving to the radio as well from next week when it will be simulcast on Infinity stations in 15 US cities, the second CBS broadcast to be simulcast on radio: Current affairs show has been simulcast for some six years.
The move is the latest Viacom attempt to create synergies between its various units and the New York Times says the move will begin with a six-month trial and will involve no extra payments for "Letterman" but will include significant extra promotion of the show on the radio stations. There will be no change to the show apart from advert substitution.
The Times says the move came about after Infinity chairman, John Sykes, a regular Letterman viewer, was in another room and heard an interview with Al Pacino. "I was just listening," he said, "and I thought to myself that Dave would be great on radio."
CBS Television president Leslie Moonves and the head of Letterman's production company Rob Burnett liked the idea and agreed to a six-month trial run; Letterman himself agreed but insisted that there should be no editing and a once-only use.
New York Times report:
2002-11-05: BBC local radio in Wiltshire, which began separate programming on Wiltshire Sound for the Wiltshire and Swindon areas between 7.00am and 1.00pm, is now making the split permanent.
New stations BBC Radio Swindon and BBC Radio Wilshire will go on the air next Monday (Nov 11) with separate news bulletins and drivetime shows but will continue to feature many presenters in common.
The Radio Swindon Drivetime show will continue to be presented by Ashley Heath and Radio Wiltshire will have a new show presented by Mark Jones.
2002-11-04: The past week some thoughtful comment about what radio is and isn't and what it could or should do, mercifully free from considerations of maximising audience cum advertising revenue that dominate considerations for many stations.
First from the UK Sunday Times comes Stephen Armstrong who in the Radio Waves column writes, "British radio has spent the past 10 years trying to get over the fact that it just isn't anything like American radio. We've seen bored programme directors try to introduce shock jocks, argumentative political breakfast shows and urban-based dance music stations, and without exception they have all failed."
"These are the shows that pull in the ratings and the ad dollars stateside, but over here seem to exist only to excite downmarket men's magazines."
The introduction, however, belies the rest of the article, which concerns the success of radio psychiatrists' shows on British radio.
"Since London's Heart FM launched Dr Pam Spur five years ago," he says, " the whole thing has exploded."
"Right now there's Nigel Williams sitting in Spur's seat on Heart, Jezza's Confessions on Virgin Radio, Dr Deenesh Khoosai on BBC Midlands, Dr Mark Hamilton on Radio 1, and LBC is considering whether to launch its own."
"Instinctively, of course, you'd advise them to forget it. After all, the British are famously uptight, aren't we? We'd prefer to make a cup of tea and talk about the weather rather than unload the contents of our heaving bosom/foetid mind/angst-ridden soul. But then, if you listen to these shows, you realise the British aren't really so uptight after all."
"On Jezza's Virgin Confessions the other night, for instance, we had a woman who'd been a mistress for seven years, a man who'd met a woman on a chatline and travelled to Birmingham only to find she was married, a transvestite, a bereaved young girl, and a taxi driver from Glasgow in tears over his love life. According to Jezza himself, this is barely scratching the surface. He's had everything from someone's long-lost love to a full-scale Jerry Springer."
The latest show listed by Armstrong, who then comes up with his suggestions for some songs to include in the format, is one by show business therapist Beechy Colclough, who plans to intersperse his analysis with country tunes. Make your own list or follow the link below!
From Canada, come thoughts in the Toronto Globe and Mail from Russell Smith about covering arts on radio.
"Right now," he writes, "both CBC Radio One and Radio Two cover the arts in basically the same way: by interviewing artists. This is the established practice for all media at the moment. On television, as in magazines, it is believed that a profile of an artist "brings the art to life" and "makes it more accessible." It is believed that people need another person to relate to -- in other words, that they cannot take art merely as art. That would be dry. They need a personality, and details of that person's life (their childhood, their struggle, their favourite colour). I heard a well-known CBC radio host once casually say that she disliked interviews with authors, as they tended to be more about "content," as opposed to personality (and that's not good radio)."
Smith says that the assumption is "that the audience is too dumb to care about details or ideas" but he goes on to contrast the emphasis on Canada's English and French language channels.
"You will find ideas-based discussions on Radio-Canada's cultural channel," he writes. "Being French, they have less fear of elitism. They also value culture for nationalistic reasons: Culture is more clearly political and ideological in Quebec, and so fewer people question its importance."
"And so you might hear a panel of experts -- say a writer, a media critic and an academic critic -- discussing themes such as the history of abstractionism, or the future of reading."
He then goes on to criticise "English-language CBC's terror of 'elitism'", which he says is "nonsensical" for reasons varying from the fascination most people have for some elites to the duties of a public broadcaster "to address serious and difficult questions that the commercial broadcasters won't tackle."
In the UK, Vanora Bennett in the Times also deal with arts cover on radio, in this case "Night Waves" on BBC Radio 3, of which she wrote, "This original, often odd and sometimes brilliant arts magazine programme celebrates its 10th anniversary this week and is unlike almost all other highbrow radio shows in its fluidity. It doesn't seem to want answers, going out of its way to avoid the know-all expert chat that might smack of the senior common room, and the quick-fire scrapping of the Today programme."
"Its tone is exploratory, not definitive. And the range of subjects it deals with is extraordinary. Its five presenters all have busy second professional lives elsewhere, which means they have expertise in subjects ranging from modern music to Tibetan culture. Yet, in its quiet and meditative way, Night Waves seeks out danger."
More praise for the BBC, but this time for BBC World Service Radio came from Sue Arnold in her radio column in the UK Observer. She drew unflattering comparisons of both BBC domestic radio and BBC World Service TV by comparison, writing that "BBC World bulletins are such a mishmash of flashing images, throbbing music, rolling Teletext and frenetic voiceovers that I'd settle for no pictures, 500 words and a chorus of 'Lily Bolero' any day."
"Television is glitzy, radio is intelligent. I'll take that further. Radio 4's news bulletins are better informed and written than anything on TV but they are acorns beside the majestic oaks of World Service news programmes such as The World Today, World Briefing and News Hour. "
"Earlier this week, I switched from a Radio 4 news bulletin - Angus Deayton and John Leslie losing their jobs, Michael Portillo urging IDS to stick to his guns and Brits being allowed to bring more duty-free cigarettes home - to Alex Brodie presenting News Hour."
"It had items on the Tamil Tigers, the Labour Party in Israel, maize mazes, Russian legislation to lower the marriage age to 14, and why Alnwick has been voted Britain's top town."
Toronto Globe and Mail - Smith:
UK Observer - Arnold:
UK Sunday Times - Armstrong:
UK Times - Bennett:
2002-11-04: US National Public Radio's (NPR's) new West Coast production centre, NPR West in Culver City, which opened yesterday, should boost all public radio in the area according to Bill Davis, president of Southern California Public Radio, set up by public radio rival Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) after it acquired Pasadena City College's KPCC-FM two years ago under a 15-year deal with the college (See RNW Dec 10, 1999).
He told the Los Angeles Times, "What this is going to do for NPR as a national journalistic entity is going to be significant. And it's going to make Los Angeles a much more significant public-radio town than it's been heretofore," he said. "If they [NPR] look at it as kind of a colony, they'll miss an opportunity.
"I'm really happy that this is happening," he added, noting that KPCC airs more NPR programs than any other public station in the Southland. "Any kind of competition we might have is pretty small potatoes compared to the common interest we all have."
(MPR) already has a production facility in downtown L.A., home to KPCC's newsroom and the business newsmagazine "Marketplace.
NPR's president and chief executive Kevin Klose said that the purpose of the new centre was "to give us true national reach. What is happening in this state (California) today is what will be happening in America tomorrow" -- particularly in areas such as health care, education, demographic changes and other social issues."
Staff from NPR's Los Angeles bureau have relocated to the new site and it will share the hosting of tomorrow's Election 2002 with NPR's headquarters in Washington, DC.
The Tavis Smiley show, which went on air at the start of this year (see RNW Jan 1) will be produced from the centre: it was NPR's first network show to originate from southern California and it still adding affiliates.
The latest was Chicago WBEZ-FM, which started airing the show last week in the weekday afternoon slot it had formerly used for "Talk of the Nation."
Los Angeles Times report:
2002-11-04: Chicago WBBM-FM DJ Julian Jumpin' Perez has now left the station after seven years in the weekday night time slot at the station, which decided not to renew his contract.
Perez has been influential on the Chicago music scene for 20 years, working for various stations including weekends at WBBM before taking his weekday role in 1995.
Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times, quoted WBBM programme director Todd Cavanah as saying that Perez's co-host Tim Spinnin' Schommer will continue solo for the moment. Feder notes that WBBM recently succeeded in keeping overnight jock Candi Gomez from joining contemporary-hit rival WKSC-FM (103.5) as midday host and adds that WKSC is now talking with Perez.
Chicago Sun-Times report:
2002-11-03: The main regulatory news of the week was the comment by US Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell to the effect that there was no scarcity of spectrum; other regulators were concerned with more routine matters.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has announced an investigation into the control of two Sydney stations following receipt of details of an agreement concerning breakfast host Alan Jones share in them (See RNW Nov 2). It has also been active on the community licence front.
In New South Wales, it has:
In Gosford: Allocated new community licences to Five-O-Plus Public Radio Association Inc (Five-O-Plus, which is offering a service for the over-50s) and Central Coast Broadcasters Ltd (CCB, which is offering a service of country music and sport) but for the moment is not allocating the third permanent community licence available for the community. Instead it is giving time for applicants to provide additional information; those involved are Newcastle Christian Broadcasters Ltd (Christian); Radio Yesteryear Inc (general community interested in music from 1930s to 1960s); and Wyong Gosford Progressive Community Radio Inc (minority groups).
In Parkes: Has changed the frequency of the 2KY narrowcasting service in Parkes that will enable it to free up capacity for an additional high power national radio service to serve the South West Slopes/Eastern Riverina region.
In Sydney, it has further extended until June 30 next year, the deadline for Free Broadcast Incorporated (FBI) to commence its youth and non-mainstream arts community service
In Western Australia, it has allocated a new community radio licence for Perth to Youth Media Society of Western Australia Incorporated (Groove FM), which will provide a service with a focus on students and youth aged between 12-26 years. Groove was competing against an application by Capital Community Radio Incorporated, which was offering a service for senior citizens.
In Monaro: It has allocated a new community licence to Monaro Community Radio Incorporated (MCR), which was competing against High Country Community Media Association Incorporated (HCCMA). Both applicants were proposing a general service, although HCCMA had a focus on multicultural broadcasting and seniors.
Canada was fairly quiet, with the main radio activity from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) being to issue a public notice, with a December 6 deadline, regarding various applications.
British Columbia: An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to modify the technical parameters of its FM monophonic transmitter in Victoria to operate on frequency 99.7 MHz (channel 259A) with an effective radiated power of 160 watts.
Manitoba: An application for the third time by on behalf of a non-profit corporation to be incorporated for the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (The Pas) to extend the deadline to commence operating a Type B English-language FM radio community station.
An application by CHUM Limited to amend the licence of CFST Winnipeg, to allow it to broadcast a 30% minimum level of Canadian music rather than the 35% level required of other commercial radio licensees. The station is an "oldies format" and CHUM says there is a relatively limited amount of Canadian music available in this format.
Nova Scotia: A similar application by CHUM in respect of CJCH, Halifax.
Ontario: A similar application by CHUM in respect of CKLC, Kingston.
An application by BIG POND COMMUNICATIONS 2000 INC. to relocate the transmitter of CJUK-FM, Thunder Bay, and increase its power from 37 to 15, 000 watts.
Ireland was quiet in terms of radio but in the UK, the Radio Authority was involved in licence action concerning analogue commercial and restricted service licences and digital multiplexes. It also published its Advertising and Programming review for the third quarter of this year, which included a stern warning to Solent station Wave FM concerning a wind up call (See RNW Oct 30).
The restricted service licences issued were a record 26 for Ramadan (see RNW Nov 1).
The other analogue action involved three licences. The Authority announced that it had received only declaration of intent to apply for the Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Chichester, Bognor Regis & Littlehampton area licences.
These were from existing holders, New 102 FM (The Bear) and South West Sussex Radio Ltd. (The Spirit) respectively. Both will now be invited to re-apply under the Authority's special fast-track procedure.
The third licence was the Licence for of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks, in Kent, which was re-awarded to West Kent's KM-FM (formerly Mercury Radio) against competition from GO-FM (Licence News, July 7).
In its assessment of the award, the authority said that new owner Kent FM had, since it took over in March, implemented significant improvements, Members, it said, took the view that the group was a "reliable and well resourced investor" and welcomed its programming plans, which proposed a "continuation of its current service, incorporating a recent increase in local speech content and a move towards a slightly older and more varied music policy."
"The group," said the Authority, had " committed itself to a requirement to broadcast locally produced and presented programmes for at least 16 hours daily" and it noted that local news provision at the station had increased and were pleased that the programming proposals included a commitment to expand significantly on its current format requirements for local news. It also welcomed a reduction in the number of chart hits played on the station and their replacement with older tracks of greater appeal to its 25-54 target audience.
On the digital front, the Authority has advertised the digital multiplex licence for most of the county of Kent and also announced that only one application had been received for the Sussex Coast digital multiplex.
This was from Capital Radio Digital Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital Radio. In all services are planned in addition to the BBC local radio service, Southern Counties Radio.
Contemporary hit radio Southern FM (provider Southern Radio Ltd.)
Gold Capital Gold (provider Southern Radio Ltd.)
Rhythmic modern hits Juice 107.2 (provider: Brighton and Hove Local Radio Ltd.)
Credible new music Xfm (provider: Capital Radio plc)
Easy listening Saga (provider: Saga Regional Digital Radio Ltd.)
Dance Kiss (provider: EMAP Performance Ltd.)
Service for lesbians and gay men Gaydar Radio (provider: Q Soft Media Ltd.)
and a channel to be shared between:
Local music mix/news (S.W. Sussex) (06.00-18.00) Spirit FM (provider: South West Sussex Radio Ltd.)
and Alternative specialist (18.00-06.00) Totally Radio (provider: Festival Productions Ltd.)
In the US, the most important news from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was not so much action but comment by chairman Michael K Powell to the effect that spectrum was not scarce in reality (see RNW Nov 1).
The FCC was also involved in upholding fines totalling USD59, 000 against three broadcasters (See RNW Nov 2 and October 30)and in issuing a red flag on revenue share and ownership concentration grounds concerning the sale of WBVR-FM, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Next week, the Commission has put the question of Equal Opportunity Rules on the agenda for its Thursday meeting: its last set of rules were declared unconstitutional in January last year by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Previous Licence News:
Previous UK Radio Authority:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site :
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-11-03: The latest report of the BBC Complaints Unit, covering the period from July to September, lists comments about only two complaints upheld involving radio compared with seven against TV and two concerning the Corporation's website output.
In all, the Corporation says it received 195 complaints concerning 160 items compared to 229 complaints concerning 142 items in the previous quarter.
Of these, 80 concerned matters of fairness and accuracy (81 in the previous quarter) and the remaining 115 were about matters of taste and standards (108) or or other matters (148 in these categories in the previous quarter).
In the period 16 complaints were upheld (6 of them partly) - 8% of the total - compared to 31 upheld (13 partly) - 13.5 %of the total - in the previous quarter.
The complaints involving radio concerned a verbal attack by Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles on a DJ at a rival station (see RNW Oct 31) and a factual error in an item about a Scottish by-election victory in a BBC Radio 4 feature, The Westminster Hour: Triumphs and Disasters, in which it was said that the first Scottish National Party MP to be elected never took his seat.
Comment was also made about radio and television cover relating to euthanasia, which was among five cases of appeals to the BBC's governors. None was upheld but it was felt that important issues were raised in terms of how programmes dealt with contributors and the complexities of the debate about euthanasia.
Previous BBC Complaints Bulletin:
BBC web site re complaints:
2002-11-02: More third quarter results have continued the story of recovery in US radio with Hispanic Broadcasting, Interep, and Regent all performing well.
Hispanic reported third quarter revenues up 6.8% on 2001 Q3 to USD 70.2 million, EBITDA up 7.6% to USD23.4 million and broadcast cash flow (BCF) up 13.6% to USD27.2 million. Net income was USD12 million (11 cents a share), up 41% on the USD8.5 million of Q3, 2001, and after tax cash flow (ATCF) was up 3% to USD21.6 million (20 cents a share).
The figures included USD600, 000 relating to Hispanic's merger with Univision; excluding merger expenses, EBITDA would have been UP 10.2% to USD23.9 million, net income would have been USD12.8 million (12 cents a share) and ATCF would have been around USD22.3 million (20 cents).
For the first nine months of the year, Hispanic's net revenues were up 6.3% to USD190.8 million and broadcast cash flow increased 3.9% to USD69.1 million but EBITDA decreased 3.7% to USD57.8 million compared to the same period of 2001.
Looking ahead, Hispanic says it expects fourth quarter revenues to grow by 10% to 11%, BCF between $26.5 and $27.5 million, EBITDA between $21.3 and $22.3 million, with earnings per share from 9-10cents, and ATCF per share to range from 18-19 cents. The fourth quarter estimates include projected merger costs of approximately $2.0 million.
Commenting on the Company's results, President and CEO McHenry T. Tichenor, Jr., said, "In the third quarter, the Company experienced a transition back to a solid growth footing."
"After a relatively weak June and July, we have seen accelerating improvements in revenue growth and profitability that we expect to hold through the rest of the year. We believe this performance reflects a payoff from the investments we have made in people and promotion, leaving us well positioned to benefit from the continuing growth of the U.S. Hispanic population."
Interep reported commission revenue, including USD500, 000 of Internet revenue, was up 2.8% to USD22.2 million but operating EBITDA was up nearly two thirds to USD4.4 million and loss per chare was halved to 31 cents from the 62 cents of a year ago.
Looking ahead, Interep is now predicting full year commission in the USD83-84 million range and operating EBITDA of around USD16.5 million, including a USD1.5 million loss on Internet activity, which was originally expected to break even for the year.
Chairman and CEO Ralph Guild commented, "We see steady increases in activity and improving visibility. We expect double digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter compared to last year due to a strong national ad market and the continued success of our new business development program."
Regent reported net broadcast revenues up a third to $18.7 million and broadcast cash flow up 42.8% to $6.0 million. Reported net income was $1.8 million for the quarter (4 cents a share) compared with a reported net loss of $1.0 million (3 cents a share) in the third quarter of last year when results included USD1.9 million of amortization expense related to goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, net of income taxes.
Same station basis net revenue and broadcast cash flow for the third quarter this year increased 8.4% to $13.6 million and 19.8% to $4.7 million, respectively.
Regent says it expects final net revenues and broadcast cash flow of approximately $21.0 to $21.5 million and $5.8 to $6.1 million, respectively. Same station net revenue is expected to be up 8.5% to 10% and same station broadcast cash flow to be up 18% to 20%
Chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs commented, "We are thrilled to report strong third quarter financial results that surpassed our expectations."
"The advertising environment in middle-sized markets continues to improve and we are making significant progress in enhancing performance at our developing radio properties, as evidenced by the 20% growth in same station broadcast cash flow. We are on track to report a record year in 2002, with an improving advertising environment, a strong balance sheet and a focus on improving operations, positioning us for a stellar 2003."
2002-11-02: NextMedia is picking up the deal that ended when Cumulus pulled out of its USD55 million arrangement to purchase Wilks Broadcasting stations in the Saginaw, Michigan, market (see RNW Sept 10 ).
It's paying the USD55.5 million for the five stations involved: WTCF-FM, Carrollton, WCEN-FM, Mt. Pleasant and WSGW-AM, WGER-FM and WTLZ-FM, Saginaw.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year and Samuel "Skip" Weller, president and co-chief operating officer of NextMedia's Radio Division, said it would mark its entry "into another attractive middle market that provides us with an opportunity to leverage our sales, programming and cluster management expertise to drive ratings, revenues and cash flow."
"Saginaw/Bay City/Midland," he continued, "has a healthy economy and local advertising market that offers ample opportunities to increase advertising revenues. We remain focused on acquiring radio stations and building clusters in attractive mid-sized markets that offer significant growth potential."
Previous Wilks Broadcasting:
2002-11-02: DMG Radio Australia has bought Sunshine Coast Radio, holder of the new Nambour FM licence in Queensland, for AUD 8.2 million (USD 4.5 million).
The licence cost this amount at the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) auction in August (See RNW Aug 27).
2002-11-02: Erich "Mancow" Muller has cost Emmis Communications a further USD21, 000 for indecency offences related to three of his "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" shows in March and May, 2001. It has also confirmed fines totalling USD 25, 000 on two other broadcasters for technical offences.
The Emmis penalties, of the base USD7, 000 in each case, had been ordered in March this year (see RNW Mar 22) contested by Emmis, which said it could not verify transcripts provided since it did not keep programme recordings but, even if it could, the material complained of was not "patently offensive" by contemporary standards.
The FCC in rejecting Emmis's arguments lists transcripts of the shows:
The one on March 6, 2001, contains references to masturbation, pornography, and males in pornography " with faces looking like "so contorted they look like they just smelled a fart" and so on.
The next show, on March 7, 2001, involved a female guest and male and female "cast members" and what could be kindly described as "frottage plus", erections, fellatio and a drink that would render a woman willing to have sex with a stranger.
The final show of the trio, on May 17, 2001, involved comment on various sexual fantasies, penis size, sodomy, and so on with an interjection by Muller about having to "keep it clean. We're on the radio and again, if you're easily offended, please turn off the radio. We are having a serious conversation, and uh, hopefully medical terms about things of a sexual nature. Uh, certainly a relationship nature" before more comment about masturbation, thongs and so on.
The other penalties concerned technical offences, the largest being of USD 17,000 on Cornbelt Broadcasting Co., licensee of WHOW-AM and FM, Clinton, Illinois, for failure to have an operational Emergency Alert System EAS) decoder, post an antenna structure registration number, and enclose its AM antenna structure within effective locked fences or other enclosures.
The penalty was originally imposed in June this year and Cornbelt had not filed a response.
In the final case, Eure Family Limited Partnership was fined USD 8,000 for failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting on its Mathews County, Virginia antenna structure between sunset and sunrise. The structure was operated for WXEZ- FM, Yorktown, Virginia, until Eure sold the station in October 2000 and that space on the tower was leased to Bullseye Broadcasting LLC, licensee of WSRV-FM, Deltaville, Virginia, in an agreement that obligated Bullseye to monitor the light and notify Eure of any lighting failure. Bullseye's principal had said that he had not done so because he was unaware of this condition of the lease (See RNW Licence News, Dec 12, 2001)
The penalty had already been reduced to the USD8, 000 figure from the base USD10, 000 because of Eure's good record but Eure had appealed on the basis that its violation was inadvertent not wilful because it was not told of the lights failure. The FCC held that its rules meant that Eure was responsible for the failure and it rejected Eure's arguments.
Previous "Mancow" Muller:
FCC web site :
2002-11-02: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), which last month announced that it had found no evidence of breaches of its commercial radio standards in regards to the Telstra sponsorship of the Alan Jones breakfast programme on Sydney 2GB (See RNW Oct 25) has now announced that it is to investigate the ownership and control of Sydney stations 2GB and 2CH on the basis that Jones has been in a position since October 24 to exercise control of the stations' licences.
The ABA says Macquarie Radio Network, had previously assured it that there was no change to report in relation to ownership or control of 2GB but it has now notified the ABA of a change under which Hadiac Pty Ltd, trustee of the Jones Family Trust, becomes entitled to be paid a dividend interest exceeding fifteen per cent in Macquarie Radio Network Pty Ltd.
MacQuarie's wholly owned subsidiaries Harbour Radio Pty Ltd and Radio 2CH Pty Ltd are the licencees of 2GB and 2CH respectively.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the ABA is also investigating allegations that sponsorship deals for the Alan Jones breakfast show and John Laws morning show on talk rival 2UE, owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting, have not been adequately disclosed.
The Herald says the Communications Law Centre has formally complained that Macquarie-owned 2GB and its talk rival, Southern Cross Broadcasting's 2UE, have breached Australia's Broadcasting Services Act. The complaint-followed claims on ABC TV's Media Watch programme that said Jones and 2UE morning host John Laws recently broadcast comments positive to communications company Telstra without disclosing their sponsorship arrangements.
Laws is paid around AUD100, 000 (USD55, 000) a year for reading Telstra adverts and personally endorsing the company but Jones only gains indirectly since Telstra's deal is with 2GB of which he holds a fifth share.
Macquarie's chief, George Buschman, said he was confident 2GB was not in breach of its licence conditions: "Because we were very vocal against 2UE in the cash for comment affair, we've spent a disproportionate amount of time ensuring we're compliant," he told the paper.
2UE's general manager, Ian Sheppard, told the paper 2UE had been "solid" in its compliance with the standards since they were introduced.
Previous Southern Cross:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2002-11-01: Latest US radio quarterly reports again show a strong performance with both Entercom and syndicator Westwood One Inc reporting record third-quarter results.
Entercom's After Tax Cash Flow, which was up 375, reached a new record of USD29.6 million (59 cents per basic share), revenues were up 25% on Q3, 2001, at USD106.7 million, and its Broadcast Cash Flow (BCF) was up 38% at USD44.9 million.
On a same station basis for the quarter, net revenues increased 15% and Broadcast Cash Flow increased 22% as compared to the prior year. Net income of $15.4 million (31 cents per basic and diluted share) was up from USD 4.1 million (9cents per basic and diluted share) a year earlier.
President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Field said, "We are very pleased to report outstanding quarterly results that continue Entercom's track record of consistently superior performance."
"Our same-station revenues increased 15% over the prior year as we capitalized on improving industry fundamentals and achieved significant market revenue share gains. We also achieved record-breaking after tax cash flow, which was 37% ahead of last year. Business conditions remain strong and we are highly confident of our team's ability to outpace the industry and deliver superior results to our shareholders."
At Westwood One, revenues were up 8% onQ3, 2001, to a record USD133.8 million; operating cash flow was up 16% to a record USD46.4 million; Free cash flow was up 17% on 2001 (computed on a pro-forma basis assuming SFAS142 had been adopted for the whole of 2001) at a record USD4.2 million (27 cents per diluted share); and net income was up 26% on the same basis to USD26.7 million (25 cents per basic and diluted share).
President and CEO Joel Hollander said, "In the third quarter, we have continued to deliver record operating results by developing new business and creating new and innovative programming, while at the same time keeping a tight control on our costs."
"I am particularly pleased that our operating results for the nine month period surpassed that of any other period in the Company's history, including the first nine months of 2000, when we benefited from the substantial advertising spending by dot com companies."
Executive Vice President and CFO Jacques Tortoroli added, "Our ability to leverage our revenue growth into double digit free cash flow increases is a result of our business model and focus on controlling expenses. We continue to use this free cash generation and our available debt to aggressively repurchase our stock."
So far Westwood One has repurchased over $200 million of our common stock and warrants and in September its Board increased the stock repurchase authorization by $250 million.
Previous Westwood One:
2002-11-01: There were more complaints against British broadcasters dealt with in the latest set of rulings just issued by British Broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) with two complaints against radio upheld, three partly upheld and two resolved compared to none in the previous bulletin (See RNW Sept 7).
In all the Authority dealt with 171 complaints compared to 126 in the previous bulletin: 23 of them concerned radio and 148 concerned TV.
Of these, no statements were required from the broadcasters in the case of 89 complaints against TV and 11 complaints against radio: Of those where statements were required, 19 were about fairness and 50 concerned standards.
Of the fairness complaints where statements were required, five involved radio, two of these being considered resolved and three partly upheld.
Radio was also involved in seven of the standards complaints about which statements were required, two of these being upheld and five not upheld.
The three fairness complaints that were partly upheld were against Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4, James Whale on TalkSport and Angel FM, broadcasting under a restricted service licence.
The BBC complaint involved a report about the Sahaja Yogis UK and most of the complaint, about fairness or unjust treatment was rejected. The Commission did, however, find that the BBC had unfairly given the impression that responses by the organisation to general criticisms related to specific ones aired in the programme and that had not been put to the Sahaja Yogis.
In the case of TalkSport, Bishop Sean Manchester had complained that his office had been told that his title of Bishop would be used at all times when he was addressed so that his post would not be compromised but he had been addressed by his forename and subjected to a "tirade of discourtesy and rude comments."
The complaint was upheld in part as regards omissions of the Bishop's title in the item.
The Angel FM complaint also involved Bishop Manchester who had complained that the station had only used one pre-recorded interview with him about demons and vampires but had not used another about satanic groups and cults and had described him as a "self-styled bishop of what he calls the Old Catholic Church".
The Commission rejected the complaint about non-use of the interview but held that the comment about his being self-styled "did not reflect his status as a properly consecrated bishop of the Old Catholic Church, unjustifiably raising doubts in listeners' minds as to his standing."
Resolved were a complaint against BBC Radio Newcastle concerning complaints about the Queen Mother that the complainant felt were offensive and against BRMB about sexual innuendo in the Barmy Brummies programme.
In the Newcastle case, the comments came in a guest's live review of newspapers, were challenged by the presenter at the time and later, at which time the guest retracted the comments, and followed the next day by an on-air apology statement. In the BRMB case, the station said it had removed the programme from the schedule and in both cases the Commission felt no further action was called for.
The two radio fairness complaints that were upheld concerned the Tony Horne in the Morning show on Century FM and Chris Moyles' show on BBC Radio 1.
In the first case a joke concerning the difficulties that could be faced by Siamese twins if one was homosexual, had gone beyond was held to have exceeded acceptable boundaries for broadcast at that time
In the case of Chris Moyles, the Commission held that acceptable boundaries had been exceeded in a "tirade of personal Abuse" against a named listener who had objected to the tone of a celebrity interview.
Previous BSC Complaints Bulletin:
BSC web site (Note: This is a 'Flash' site: It links to the report in PDF format- 241 kb):
2002-11-01: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael K Powell has told a meeting in Colorado that current technology is wasting much spectrum and that all consumers deserved what he termed "a new spectrum policy paradigm that is rooted in modern-day technologies and markets."
Although the main thrust of his speech related to use of spectrum for technologies such as Internet and cell phone systems, some parts seemed addressed more widely, in particular the move from analogue to digital systems.
Powell commented that in contrast to the widely held view that their was not enough spectrum available to meet demand, tests conducted by the FCC to measure spectrum use in five major US cities had shown that "while some bands were heavily used, others either were not used or were used only part of the time. "
"It appeared that these "holes" in bandwidth or time could be used to provide significant increases in communication capacity, without impacting current users, through use of new technologies, " said Powell. Indeed it appears that most of spectrum is not in use most of the time."
Addressing the question of interference, he said that it was not a sole function of transmitters, "which many seem to assume - and on which our regulations are almost exclusively based."
"Instead," he said, "interference is often more a product of receivers; that is receivers are too dumb or too sensitive or too cheap to filter out unwanted signals. Yet, our decades-old rules have generally ignored receivers."
"Public Interest" said Powell, should nowadays reflect not the former situation under which relatively few users accessed spectrum, but the "the realities of the marketplace and current spectrum use."
"Today, I would suggest that full and complete consumer choice of wireless devices and services is the very meaning of the public interest," he said. "Certainly government telling consumers what types of services and devices they should have or own is not my view of the public's interest."
RNW comment: After reading through the whole of Powell's speech, we are not sure where analogue radio stands. But, since parts of the speech show he's obviously a politician on one side of the spectrum (pun intended), we expect some fascinating conflicts in future between competing demands of broadcasters (and the military) trying to keep their hold on as much spectrum as possible and companies in newer technology fields arguing that they can make more efficient use of that spectrum whilst leaving the broadcasters able to deliver the same services as before in less spectrum thanks to digital technology.
FCC web site - links to Powell speech in various formats:
2002-11-01: Britain is to get 26 new radio services during the period of Ramadan this year, a record for such licences.
The stations authorised under Restrictive Service Licences (RSLs) by the UK Radio Authority will begin broadcasts on November 5.
They are in Birmingham, Bradford, Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Derby, Dudley, Dundee, Forest Gate (London) , Glasgow,Huddersfield, Keighley , Leeds, Leicester, Luton, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Nelson, Newcastle
Oldham, Oxford, Peterborough, Rochdale, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Sutton, Whitechapel (London).
Commenting on their issue, Radio Authority Chair Richard Hooper said, "We are delighted to see the growing interest in these licences. This is the highest number of short-term RSLs to be issued for Ramadan in the Authority's eleven-year history. This emphasises the importance of this scheme and the opportunities it offers to all those wanting to get on-air and demonstrates clearly our commitment to religious broadcasting."
Previous UK Radio Authority:
UK Radio Authority web site:
2002-11-01: Latest Internet ratings from MeasureCast show listening down by a half-per-cent with Virgin Radio regaining top spot in station rankings and Clear Channel retaining the top spot in the network rankings.
For the week to October 12, 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 302,440 (274,690); CP 61,191 (64,830). Up from second with increase in listening but fall in reach.
2: Internet only artist-match MUSICMATCH - TTSL 280,895 (288,417); CP 106,570 (106,763). Down from first with fall in listening and reach.
3: Jazz format Jazz FM - TTSL 257,871 (208,184); CP 68,971 (64,470): Up from fifth with higher listening and reach.
4: Classical format WQXR-FM - TTSL 195,769 (195,224); CP 32,432 (32,315). Up from sixth with slightly higher listening and reach.
5: Adult alternative Radioio - TTSL 189,800 (231,069); CP 47,866 (48,432). Down from third with lower listening and reach.
* Contemporary Christian Music K-Love fell from fourth to sixth spot with TTSL down from 215,388 to 173,758
The top five networks for the week to October 6 (Previous week in brackets) were:
1: Clear Channel Worldwide TTSL 1,321,148 (1,336,472); CP 306,742 (298,867) - Same position with lower listening but higher reach.
2: MUSICMATCH Inc. TTSL 1,134,812 (1,169,097); CP 345,819 (359,614). Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
3: Radio Free Virgin TTSL 1,034,556 (875,025): CP 185,394 (166,889) - Up from fourth with higher listening and reach.
4: StreamAudio TTSL 859,292 (934,322) ; CP 126,930 (138,140). Down from third with lower listening and reach.
5: WARP Radio TTSL 678,495 (648,803) hours: CP 106,250 (107,043) - Same position with higher listening but lower reach.
Previous MeasureCast ratings:
MeasureCast web site:
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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
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October 2002 - December 2002
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