August 2004 Archive
- July 2004 -September 2004
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.
E-mail note: For obvious Virus reasons, we neither send nor accept e-mail attachments without prior notice and agreement. All messages sshould be sent plain text.
RNW August comment - Radio - the emergncy saviour - considers the value of radio in a major emergency and suggests cheap mass produced robust waterproof radios would be a vaulable back-stop to sophisticated systems.
RNW July comment - looks in the light of a refusal to renew the licence of CHOI-FM because of hosts' comments and US "indecency" penalties at broadcasting content regulation in Canada and the US.
RNW June comment - argues for strong public broadcasters and suggests the BBC licence fee system is better than other options.
2004-08-31: Piquant's Air America has added yet more affiliates this week with the start of broadcasts on Clear Channel's former sports outlets KKZN-AM in Denver and KABQ-AM in Albuquerque plus Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's WHAT-AM in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia station is taking only the Al Franken and Randi Rhodes shows: It has re-jigged its output by taking an hour off Mary Mason's morning show so that she is now on air from 0600-0900 followed by Thera Martin-Connelly, who moves from afternoons to an 0900-noon slot after which Franken and Rhodes take over before syndicated host Bev Smith who remains at 1900-2200. Reggie Bryant, formerly in a midday slot, moves to 2200-0100. Former night spots-talk host Johnny Sample had left earlier in the month.
In Denver, Clear Channel as well as putting Air America on KKZN has also revamped conservative talk KHOW-AM with changes that included the addition of Bill O'Reilly and the dropping of syndicated night host Phil Hendrie. Peter Boyles is now in the 0500-0900 slot and the "Business for Breakfast " slot hosted by T.J. Maxwell and Scott Cortelyou is out whilst the Scott Redmond/Bob Newman afternoon show has been replaced with lawyers Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman from 1500-1900. Newman gets a solo hour from 1400-1500 after O'Reilly.
In Albuquerque, Air America is now on KABQ-AM, which had been carrying syndicated sports shows.
Clear Channel is now Air America's biggest outlet: It added the station's programming in San Diego, California, and Ann Arbour, Michigan, last week following ratings success for Air America on KPOJ-AM in Portland, Oregon, earlier in the year.
Air America now lists 24 affiliates on its web site in addition to the channels on Sirius and XM satellite radios but has yet to pick up outlets in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Previous Air America/Piquant:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Inner City:
2004-08-31: According to a report in the New York Times, US public radio stations are becoming concerned about National Public Radio (NPR) plans that according to rumours include possibly putting flagship shows on US satellite radio services.
NPR, set up three decades ago as a national production operation to support local stations, is involved in a major expansion largely financed by a bequest of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars from Joan B. Kroc, the widow of McDonald's founder Ray A. Kroc.
The paper reports that at a Los Angeles meeting this month between NPR executives and station managers "the NPR team faced a flurry of pointed questions about its long-term intentions."
There was particular concern at the suggestion of NPR shows being put on satellite and the paper quotes Alan Chartock, president and chief executive of WAMC Northeast Public Radio, a regional network that serves seven states from Pennsylvania to Vermont, as saying, "The local stations created NPR as a newsgathering organization for us. If the tail is now wagging the dog to literally compete with us, then we have to protect ourselves."
The concern over satellite radio was exacerbated by XM's creation of a public radio channel including a morning show "The Bob Edwards Show" hosted by Bob Edwards, the former host of NPR's Morning Edition until he was dropped by NPR, a move that he made clear was not his choice (See RNW Mar 25).
NPR already has a contract to program two Sirius channels, NPR Talk and NPR Now and stations were concerned that it might offer its flagship shows to compete against the XM offering.
Reacting to the idea, Ruth Seymour, general manager of KCRW-FM in Santa Monica, California, commented, "These programs have required an enormous public investment. To simply sell them to a commercial entity is completely against the principles of public radio."
Although both Sirius and XM have expressed interest in the flagship shows, NPR president and chief executive Kevin Klose said there are no plans to make such a move against member stations' wishes.
"We will respond to the will of the system," he said. "And the will of the system right now is that they should be where they are."
There was also fear of NPR siphoning off funds that have in the past gone to stations, fuelled by a suggestion that NPR could be allowed to court donors in local markets more directly. Klose commented, "We may have 22 million listeners, but we can't tell you who they are. The stations have those databases. The Joan Kroc gift demonstrates that there is potential for fund-raising out there in the country that we need to explore."
Torey Malatia, president and general manager of Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM, said the Kroc gift had whetted NPR's appetite, adding, "It's kind of stunning to many of us in the system, because having that kind of money in the endowment is like a dream. But all it's done is create a scramble for even more. Now they want to know if there is a way to come into communities to meet people, wine and dine them and get more gifts."
NPR, created in 1970 to act as a centralized producer and distributor for local stations, is now a mainstay of many stations, providing some with up to half of their output despite competition from other organisations such as Public Radio International (PRI), also created by the stations, and by American Public Media, which was formed earlier this year by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) to distribute programming that it produces and which had formerly been handled by PRI (See RNW July 2).
The Times says that many managers say that their local stations must gain more leverage vis-à-vis NPR by producing and promoting more of the kind of distinctive, localized programs and segments
It quotes Laura Walker, president and chief executive of WNYC-FM in New York as saying, "We have to work very hard to make sure NPR sees our relationship as a joint partnership and an opportunity to work together as opposed to them being highly resourced and the stations being merely a vehicle to transmit their programs. I think the jury is still out as to whether they get it. But I'm hoping that they will."
2004-08-31: More US broadcasters have been filing comments opposing suggestions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they should be required to retain recordings of their output, a suggestion already opposed by industry body, the National Association of Broadcasters in a 34 page filing (See RNW Aug 28).
Amongst them Salem Communications contends that such a requirement would leave broadcasters open to undesirable involvement in legal proceedings commenting, "Each station will be subject to having to respond to subpoenas and other discovery requests with respect to any lawsuit that might involve the content of their programming, even if the station is not a party to the lawsuit."
It says that the recordings could become pat of numerous contract disputes including those between advertisers and clients, and claims of infringement of intellectual property leading to an "additional major burden" over and above the heavy expense of recording requirements.
Clear Channel argues in its filing that the idea has already been rejected by US courts in 1978 when Congressional requirements for non-commercial stations to keep records of programmed discussing issued of "public importance" that had been brought forward in 1975 were thrown out by an Appeals Court.
It also points out that the FCC itself in 1977 opposed the idea of all broadcasters having to comply with a similar rule.
In addition to the larger organizations, the Small Market Operators Caucus (SMOC) says on its web site that more than 250 broadcasters have filed comments opposing the mandatory recording proposal, most of them commenting on the financial burden that would be involved and many noting that there had been no history of indecency complaints being filed against them.
Previous Clear Channel:
Small Market Operators Caucus web site:
2004-08-30: For this week's look at print cover of radio, we are starting with a business perspective, courtesy of MSN Money and Robert Walberg who comments that expectations for advertising in the US have failed to reach expectations, particularly for radio.
"Unfortunately, there appears to be no significant improvement on the horizon, despite the obvious rise in political and Olympic spending," writes Walberg, who notes that analysts at Banc of America Securities, Goldman Sachs, AG Edwards, RBC Capital Markets and JP Morgan recently lowered their estimates and ratings for much of the radio broadcasting industry.
He then asks," With the industry in the doldrums and much of the Street having already lowered expectations, is now a good time for long-term investors to swoop in and do some bargain hunting?" and answers, "Looking strictly at the numbers, the answer to that question is probably 'no.'"
In the longer-term, Walberg is more bullish, writing, "The industry is in the early stages of a significant technology upgrade as more companies roll out digital radio, which dramatically improves sound quality and gives stations the opportunity to squeeze several channels (news, traffic, music, talk) onto a single frequency. Though this change will have little effect on the near-term earnings picture, the long-term potential is exciting."
And for the short-term, he suggests, "While there appears to be no urgency to investing in this beaten-down industry, there are a few names worth putting on your radar screen for some late-year bargain hunting."
The names he mentions are Clear Channel, Cox Radio, Entercom and Westwood One.
In Forbes, Scott Woolley may see business strengths in terrestrial US radio broadcasters but he's not convinced of their virtues, writing under the headline "Broadcast Bullies" he comments, " Digital revolutions have transformed television, recorded music, medicine and more. But radio remains frozen in time, an analogue anachronism in a digital world."
He then comments, "For decades the radio industry has crushed incipient competitors by wielding raw political muscle and arguments that are at once apocalyptic and apocryphal. Radio station owners, who formed the National Association of Broadcasters in 1923, have won laws and regulations that have banned, crippled or massively delayed every major new competitive technology since the first threat emerged in 1934: FM radio."
"In 1945 many AM incumbents, ostensibly concerned that interference related to sunspots might endanger their rivals in FM, encouraged the feds to uproot the FM dial and move it to a higher frequency band. This rendered half a million FM radios useless and forced the nation's FM stations to start over. A congressional investigation in 1948 found that the interference fears were bogus and that a Federal Communications Commission report had been conveniently altered to disguise that fact. Too late--the shift helped inferior AM technology remain dominant for the next 25 years. The coda: In 1954 the inventor of FM radio, Edwin Armstrong, frustrated by repeated setbacks and all but bankrupt, penned a suicide note to his wife and leapt out the window of his 13th-floor apartment."
"Fifty years later radio's old guard has been as effective at thwarting the digital threat. Existing stations thrive on an array of perks won by radio operators, including free use of the airwaves (XM and Sirius, by contrast, had to pay almost $200 million combined for their spectrum) and an exclusive exemption from paying royalties to performers. But the NAB's real forte has been in the modes of attack and delay, persuading regulators and Congress to impose daunting restraints on the satellite rivals and stalling their debut for the better part of a decade."
In the case of satellite radio, NAB played first a delaying tactic and then went in harder, commenting in 1995 in a filing to the FCC that satellite radio's "purported benefits are, in the main, nonexistent, unrealistic or of minimal value."
The organization, like so many other businesses wont to call on the virtues of free enterprise and the free market when it benefited them took the opposite view when it saw a threat and suggested that inferior programming from satellite would weaken better-quality AM and FM services and concluded, "Adding a new service would likely decrease the overall service to the public."
[RNW comment: NAB took the same view regarding low power FM as well, where NAB interference claims are reminiscent of its 1945 attitudes. In fact it could be argued that almost by definition if public interest were a significant criterion for holding a licence, membership of NAB would be considered a strong argument that the applicant was unfit to hold a licence.]
Woolley reports that economists don't take many of NAB's arguments seriously and goes on to write of the organization's power that much of it "comes from the fact that the NAB represents owners of just about every large and small broadcast outlet in the country--and you can't get elected if you can't get on the air.
He quotes Sen. John McCain as saying of NAB's lobbying, "There are no threats, there's no coercion. It's just the people who represent the best way of getting your image and message across to the people in your state."
That reality, says McCain, is why NAB is "one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington--and one of the most arrogant."
Woolley also notes that NAB has managed to retain royalty-free broadcasting for music put out by terrestrial digital radio stations whilst others have to pay significant amounts [RNW note. NAB is also resisting pressures from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for any kind of digital copying mechanism for digital radio] and is lobbying hard to get legislation passed that would kill the provision weather and traffic services on satellite radio.
As Woolley comments on the latter, "If you can't compete, get a bill to outlaw the competition. The NAB may yet win this battle."
Another aspect of US radio business, the ability to taker over a station and change its format without further ado (prohibited by regulators in most countries where the format is a significant factor in gaining a licence and then can only be changed with regulatory consent) has led to concern in Delaware and further afield over the possible consequences of Clear Channel's USD 4 million purchase of 1000-watt WILM-AM from the Hawkins family.
Locally the Delaware News Journal in an editorial with about as much punch as the Pope opposing evil in general, quotes Clear Channel as saying that it intends to keep the format and current management, and hopes that it will do so.
From further away, Jay Hancock in the Baltimore Sun is significantly less wishy-washy. Writing under the headline "Sleazy but rich radio leviathan swallows tiny quality station" he goes onto be clear about his position by opining that WILM-AM deserves its share of the public communications spectrum but Clear Channel does not.
"Clear Channel," he writes, "praises WILM, promises to honour its achievements and says the merger is for the little broadcaster's own good. Napoleon spoke similarly of Poland before invading it."
He quotes Clear Channel's Delaware vice president Joe Puglise as saying, "One of the things that that station has going for it is its years of history and heritage in the market. It takes years to build what they have, so the last thing we want to do is come along and turn it into a Czechoslovakian punk rock station."
Hancock notes that WILM currently employs 15 full-time and six part-time journalists, producing eight-and-a-half hours a day of news programming including many local stories and is particularly valuable because it is in an area with few other news sources.
After the takeover, he says Clear Channel's bigger and better-organized sales force should boost WILM's revenue, Puglise wants to rebroadcast some of WILM's news on WDOV-AM, Clear Channel's more-powerful Dover station, which will increase the audience and could boost revenue, and administrative functions can be combined.
He concludes, however, "But I fear the newsroom will shrink or morph. If Clear Channel truly valued crackerjack journalism, it would deliver it in every market."[RNW comment: Whilst sharing Hancock's concerns, it seems to us that the root problem lies in the business nature of US radio, not Clear Channel itself. As at present constituted (since licence renewal - theoretically the renewal of a lease on a public resource in return for services that are in part a public service - is as good as guaranteed), owners understandably are more concerned about return on investment than the public good when push comes to shove. That, in fact, is what a company or corporation is about. Thus a counterweight is needed which in our view should be a regular medium term requirement for the company to justify retention of a licence at local public hearings with a requirement that the licence be put back up for competition should there be significant enough opposition.
For the free marketer the situation is different but again it seems to us that in such a case the public interest requires maximisation of the return from the licence: This could be achieved either by automatic re-auctioning of licences to maximise cash gain or by a toll of a percentage of a station's profit. AT the moment the system is in effect a handout to licence holders who then, if the tenor of the Forbes article is to be believed, use some of the funds to in effect corrupt politicians to enable them to retain the handouts.]
On however to the essential of radio, without which the business would not exist, namely the programming for the listeners.
Unsurprisingly but maybe significantly, the amount of comment on this in the US media is rather limited as indeed might be expected in a context where most radio has for financial reasons to be targeted at specific demographic groups, interrupted far too much for our taste by adverts, and produces the greatest return on investments through formats where it can control costs rigorously - such as by airing music that is royalty-free or by talk that relies largely on opinion rather than fact (thus skewing the balance away from producing more expensive content such as commissioning music or actually covering news rather than relying on agencies).
Which, of course, takes us to programming and rather than print comment on what has aired suggestions of some listening to the wide range of mainly British radio we've heard over the past week and which is available online.
First BBC Radio 4 and four hours of Homer's Odyssey, dramatised on BBC Radio 4 over the weekend by Simon Armitage. It was split into three programmes, all three of which are currently available on demand on the web site (A CD is also being issued).
Then comedy from the station and today (1730GMT) sees a Dead Ringers Special, a one-off recorded at the Edinburgh Festival: In fact the whole day is fairly strong on Radio 4 with mentions being worthwhile of The Square Meal (0800 GMT), which looks at how we decide on what we should eat, followed by the latest Real Just So Story on How the Whale got its Throat followed by the start of the first episode of the Book of the Week, Wodehouse. A Life, Robert McCrum's life of the creator of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. Still before noon there's more drama and documentary programming and in the afternoon drama written in verse in The River Girl by Wendy Cope, discussion on how saving can be encouraged in the UK where recent scandals have pretty well destroyed confidence in the financial services industry, the first of a five daily episodes of Blind Man's Beauty in which Peter White presents the series which challenges the idea that blind people miss out on beauty, and yet more drama, discussion and documentary with a similar pattern in the evening including Guinea Pig Kids, a documentary that looks at claims that the big drug companies tested out cocktails of drugs on "to infants and children in the care' of the Church or the State" in the UK, Ireland and the US.
Still today and for those interested in Carnival, BBC 1Xtra will have live cover of the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest Caribbean-inspired carnival, at 11:00 GMT.
For a different kind of music, on Wednesday BBC Radio 2 's The 100 Club reaches the age of punk at the club in London's Oxford Street: A change from the jazz in last week's programme (Still for the moment on the site).
And for classical, BBC Radio 3 today has a selection of Proms programming and the first of this week's Composer of the Week on Erich Korngold plus at 20:45 GMT Walden Revisited in which Professor Geoff Ward considers Thoreau's achievement in a programme including contributions from novelists Rick Moody and Alexander Theroux.
Moving countries, we'd suggest a listen to KGNU, Boulder, as a strong example of a community station in the US as well as, for different perspectives on the Republican National Congress, a dip into mainstream news channels like ABC, CNN and NPR, a visit to the radio.socialtechnology site for their view and maybe also a listen to Los Angeles anti-corporate radio station KillRadio.
And finally from Australia the 2004 winners in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Short Stories project - a total of 23 - each running 4 to 7 minutes, all of which are on the Corporation's web site.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - 2004 short stories winners:
Baltimore Sun - Hancock:
Delaware News Journal - editorial on WILM-AM:
Forbes - Woolley:
Killradio Los Angeles (Anti-corporate radio):
MSN Money - Walberg:
radio.socialtechnology.net site (Links to audio streams):
2004-08-30: With the Republican National Convention now under way in New York, coverage relating to the event on radio this year will not be just the conventional news cover of large media organizations such as ABC, CBS, and CNN, and of the well known talk hosts but also that from a coalition of anti-Republican groups using modern technology to overcome obstacles that in the past would have been insuperable.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the broadcasts will be a mix of the legal and illegal: the protestors will use cell phones to call in their reports and these will then be streamed on the Internet and "picked up for rebroadcast nationwide on community-based micro radio stations - some licensed, most illegal."
The paper quotes said Pete Tridish, a long-time activist and founder of the Philadelphia-based Prometheus Radio Project, an advocacy group for legal, non-commercial micro-radio broadcasters as saying, "It has become sort of a thing that whenever there's a big protest like this, someone sets up a pirate radio station the same as someone setting up the food truck or the sound system.
Someone knows how to start a radio station, and so someone does it."
The paper notes that pirate stations have a "long history of giving voice to the disenfranchised, usually on a very local level because of such outlets' relatively low power (10 to 100 watts) and reach (one to five miles)."
"Only recently," it adds, " has the technology become an integral protest tool, used to organize impromptu events and to provide news, interviews, even music from event sites."
Cover from New York is already being provided via a number of streams, from 12kbps mono to 64 kbps stereo and is of satisfactory quality although from the UK we found occasional drop-outs on some sources and were unable to get others.
Amongst the organizations involved in coordinated cover is the Critical Mass Radio Network (CMRN), whose co-founder Chris Burnett told the paper, "It's just a natural evolution of new innovative technologies we have access to. Computers, the Internet, play a central role It's definitely not going to sound like commercial radio, and that's a good thing."
"You're going to hear real people's voices - people who are learning and teaching themselves how to use this voice instead of going through this machine called broadcast journalism that puts you into thinking about the way people expect to hear things. That's the whole point of what we're doing - to give people who don't normally think they have a voice a voice."
Burnett came up with the idea of a synchronized micro-radio broadcast with a former roommate and he is in New York working with New York City's A-Noise NoRNC Sound Coalition, which has been holding workshops to train street correspondents, or "streetcasters."
A-Noise is being cautious about any links with pirate stations although it expects them to pick up its streams and says that it gains strength from the nature of its cover: "We're the closest to the action on the street. We're the first line of information, said Tarikh Korula, one of its co-ordinators. "When people call in and let us know what's going on, then we can either send reporters out or log their calls and put them on our website or patch their calls in to the Web stream."
Previous Prometheus Radio Project:
Los Angeles Times report:
NYC Indy Media re RNC plans:
radio.socialtechnology.net site (Links to audio streams):
2004-08-29: Last week saw a steady but routine level of activity from the regulators in relation to radio.
In Australia the Australian Broadcasting Authority has again been involved with community licences.
It has invited applications for two new licences in Queensland, one in Mackay and the other for the Yarraman area, both with a deadline for applications of September 17.
Also in Queensland it is proposing to make channel capacity available in the Rockhampton/Gladstone area that will allow Rockhampton commercial radio services 4RO, 4RGK and 4ROK additional capacity to remedy reception problems at Biloela.
It is also proposing to make capacity available for the Rockhampton commercial radio service 4CC at Agnes Water and capacity available to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Rockhampton and Gladstone for future national radio services.
In addition, in New South Wales it is to make additional FM capacity available for national radio services at Batemans Bay/Moruya and a community radio service at Eden following requests from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Eden Community Radio Inc.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), as well as opting not to contest a stay of its decision not to renew the licence of Quebec station CHOI-FM until legal proceedings are conducted (See RNW Aug 27) has been involved in a regular flow of licence decisions.
In order of province, they included:
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of the national radio programming network providing programming to French-language and Acadian community radio stations that are members of L'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada Inc.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 pf the licence of CKDY-AM, Digby and CKDY-FM-1 Weymouth.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2009 of the licence of low-power station CHEV-AM, Toronto. The CRTC notes that it has now authorized the operation of a new full-power radio station on CHEV's frequency and that CHEV will have to find a new frequency and be reared to cease use f its current one when the new station is ready to commence broadcasting.
Across Quebec - Administrative renewal 1 September 2004 to 28 February 2005 of the licence of Radio Nord Communications inc.'s French-language radio network.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CKYK-FM and its transmitter CKYK-FM-1 Alma.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CIEU-FM Carleton and its transmitter CIEU-FM-1 Paspebiac.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CFIN-FM Lac Etchemin and its transmitter CFIN-FM-1 Armagh.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CHAA-FM Longueuil.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CFOR-FM Maniwaki.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CHGA-FM Maniwaki.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CINQ-FM Montréal.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CIBL-FM Montréal.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 30 November 2004 of the licence of CKCN-FM Sept-Iles.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 28 February 2005 of the licences of CJGO-FM La Sarre; CHGO-FM Val d'Or and its transmitter CHGO-FM-1 Rouyn-Noranda; and CHOA-FM Rouyn-Noranda and its transmitters CHOA-FM-1 Val d'Or and CHOA-FM-2 La Sarre
In all these cases the short-term renewal is made because a final decision on various matters will not be made before the current licences expire.
Also in Ontario/Quebec, the Commission has approved a contour change and power increase from 567 watts to 2,559 watts for CHME-FM Les Escoumins to improve the reception quality of its signal for listeners in the upper north shore of Quebec and has approved the acquisition by Radio Nord Communications inc of the assets of the radio programming undertaking CHLX-FM Ottawa/Gatineau from Groupe Radio RNC inc. and art of an intra-corporate re-organization.
The CRTC has also published a public notice concerning a meeting to be held on September 7 to consider various applications noting the withdrawal of a number of items in view of the receipt of interventions.
An application by Westwave Broadcasting Inc. for a licence to operate a commercial English-language FM in Sechelt.
An application by Telephone City Broadcast Limited for a licence to operate a commercial English language FM at Brantford:
An application Bel-Roc Communications Inc. for a licence to operate a commercial English language FM at Haldimand County:
An application by Sound of Faith Broadcasting to amend the licence of radio programming undertaking CJTW-FM, Kitchener.
In Ireland, there were no licensing decisions from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) but it has launched a draft of its Broadcasting (Funding) Scheme to support new television and radio programmes (See RNW Aug 24).
There was nothing from the UK and the US was fairly quiet: There the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received a filing from the US National Association of Broadcasters objecting to its plans to require broadcasters to keep recordings of output (See RNW Aug 28) and also to hold hearings over the renewal of four Radio One Inc's Akron, Ohio, licences because of public file shortcomings (See RNW Aug 27).
It is also requiring Clear Channel to show why its Tulsa, Oklahoma, KMOD-FM, which is operating below minimum Class C standards, should not be reclassified from Class C to Class CO to permit a first local service at Howard, Kansas.
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
2004-08-29: Clear Channel Communications, which earlier this year settled an antitrust lawsuit alleging it used monopolistic and predatory practices against Denver-based concert promoter Nobody In Particular Presents (See RNW Jun 4), is now facing similar action from Chicago-based sporting events promoter JamSports and Entertainment.
The promoter filed suit in April 2002 against Clear Channel Entertainment in the Northern District in Illinois alleging that it used monopolistic practices to win a lucrative contract promoting dirt-track motorcycle racing.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly wrote that enough evidence exists for an antitrust lawsuit against Clear Channel Entertainment to proceed and set a trial date for November 15 but it also quotes Chris Gair, partner in a Chicago-based law firm that is representing Clear Channel Entertainment as saying in a written statement, "The real news here is that the judge gutted this case before it even got to trial. Eleven of the 12 claims have been dismissed due to lack of evidence."
JamSports and Entertainment Principal Jerry Mickelson in a written response countered, "I don't mean any disrespect to any of the victims or their families, but Clear Channel claiming victory in connection with Judge Kennelly's ruling on JamSports and Entertainment's claims is like John Wayne Gacy [RNW note: The notorious Chicago sadistic homosexual serial killer who was executed in 1994 and was responsible for at least 33 deaths] saying he was exuberant that he was not also charged with rape."
JamSports has sued both Clear Channel and Paradama Productions, which does business as AMA Pro Racing, for allegedly breaching a contract that would have given JamSports the right to produce and promote the American Motorcycle Association Supercross Series for 2003-09; it says AMA Pro Racing breached a written agreement to negotiate with JamSports exclusively and in good faith.
It also alleges that Clear Channel took away its AMA Pro contract through a requirement that venues hosting Clear Channel Supercross races to agree not to book other motor sports events within 60 to 90 days of a Clear Channel event and also alleges Clear Channel offered original equipment manufacturers and Supercross star athletes financial incentives for participating in Clear Channel's series.
In his ruling the judge noted, "JamSports has presented evidence that Clear Channel tried to use its other motor sports events and concerts to entice venues to exclude JamSports."
Previous Clear Channel:
San Antonio Express-News report:
2004-08-28: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has strongly opposed suggestions from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that US broadcasters should be required to keep recordings of their output for a period of 60 or 90 days to increase the effectiveness of its processes for enforcing restrictions on obscene, indecent and profane broadcast programming.
In opposing the idea, NAB says it "strongly believes that this proposal is unnecessary, vastly overbroad, burdensome (especially on smaller broadcasters and multicasting stations), and constitutionally suspect."
"As shown by recent actions," it continues, "the Commission is obviously able to enforce effectively its indecency rules without the imposition of any recording requirement. The extraordinarily broad recording proposal is also needlessly punitive, and places burdens on thousands of broadcasters that have never received an indecency complaint, let alone an actual forfeiture."
"Given the extremely small number of broadcast programs that have ever been found indecent, a proposal requiring the recording and retention of (at a minimum) tens of millions of hours of radio and television programming clearly fails any cost/benefit analysis. Particularly in light of its vast overbreadth, the proposal further raises obvious constitutional problems, and would very likely fail to withstand First Amendment review by any court. Finally, a program recording mandate raises other serious legal questions, including copyright."
It also says that the measures are unnecessary, commenting, "The Commission obviously has all the tools necessary to enforce effectively its indecency regulations. Indeed, the FCC's use of these tools has been so "effective" that commercial and non-commercial broadcast stations are already engaging in significant self-censorship of all types of programs, including entertainment and news and informational programming."
RNW comment: As so often, our immediate reaction to an NAB statement is that it weakens its case by throwing in everthing including the kitchen sink.
It makes the cost/effectiveness case effectively with useful details of equipment costs and in terms of a comparison of the number of offences likely and the resources required to meet the requirement.
As we have already noted in the past, the numbers of complaints about even the most publicised "indecent broadcasts" have been very small despite the efforts of organizations like the AFA and the ease of setting up e-mail protest campaigns.
NAB then howevergoes on to its fairly common trick of conflating different issues since the censorship it refers to, by its own logic, can have little relation to the issues of evidence and far more to a climate where the rules and penalties, as we have also commented, seem to have been changed and in effect applied retroactively.
The copyright issue seems very much a red herring - and one that a simple law can remove since Congress has the right to amend copyright law: So far it's done this mainly to the benefit of big business but there is nothing to stop Congress rendering copyright null and void in specific cases it sets out such as the retention of recordings for legally required purposes.
As to suggestions of constitutional problems, it would seem to us that once something has been broadcast it should be considered to have entered the public domain in the same way as print does once a newspaper, book or magazine has been published. We see no reason why broadcasting should not be considered the same as publishing in this regard.
NAB response (230 Kb 34 page PDF):
2004-08-28: Capping off a fairly busy week for radio deals in the US, Salem Communications has announced a swap with Cox Radio under which in exchange for its Hawaii AM stations Country format KHNR-AM and News/Talk KHCM-AM it will be acquiring Honolulu Oldies station KGMZ-FM; Cox is acquiring KGMZ, for which is already provides sales and marketing services under a joint sales agreement, from Honolulu Broadcasting for USD 6.6 million through the exercise of an option to purchase the station.
Salem says it is to retain the oldies format at KGMZ and although Cox has not formally said what plans it has for the station it is expected to change the programming on KHNR-AM, whose output is currently simulcast on Salem's KHNR-FM.
The deal is expected to close by the end of this year and Salem President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III said KGMZ-FM would complement "very nicely our existing three FM signals."
"This swap will give Salem an eight-station cluster in Honolulu, which provides important marketing, sales and cost benefits," he added.
Cox Vice President and General Manager Mike Kelly said that the transaction "reflects our strategy to expand our footprint in markets where we have an existing presence. We look forward to integrating these stations into our portfolio, further enhancing our ability to better serve listeners and advertisers in the Honolulu market."
Other US deals over the week included:
Arizona: The USD 22.6 million purchase by Peppertree Capital Fund LP from 3 Points Media LLC of KVNA-FM, Flagstaff (Prescott).
Colorado - The USD 4.1 million purchase by Boulder Community Broadcast Association (KGNU-FM) of KJME-AM, Denver from Jo-Mor Communications Inc.
Delaware: The USD 4 million purchase by Clear Channel from Delaware Broadcasting Co. of WILM-AM.
Florida - The USD 1.6 million purchase by Vox Media Group from LSM Radio Partners of WAVK-FM and WWWK-FM, Marathon.
Michigan - The USD 1.6 million purchase through stocks in the seller by Heartland Communications Group LLC from Tu-Mar Broadcasting Inc of WCCY-AM, WHKB-FM and WOLV-FM, Houghton.
North Carolina - The USD 8.7 million purchase by Curtis Media Group from Alchemy Communications of WRBZ-AM in Raleigh.
Texas - The USD 1.5 million purchase by Entravision from Seeger, Guest & Fort, of KAIQ-FM, Wolfforth (Lubbock).
In other radio business, Entravision has announced the closing of its new USD400 million senior secured credit facility, which replaces the company's existing credit facility. The new facility consists of a USD150 million 6-1/2-year revolving credit facility, a USD175 million 7-1/2-year term loan, and a USD75 million 7-1/2-year delayed draw term loan.
Previous Clear Channel:
2004-08-28: In further advances for digital radio in the UK, GWR subsidiary Now Digital has launched a new transmitter in Sudbury that adds a potential 70,000 new digital listeners in the Southend and Chelmsford areas of Essex, the company's fifth transmitter.
It will transmit a digital multiplex service comprising Essex FM, Classic Gold Breeze, Passion for the Planet, The Storm, Kiss and BBC Radio Essex.
Also in the UK, GM subsidiary Vauxhall has added a new model the 1.6 litre Sxi Digital in its Astra automobile range that will include Digital radio as a standard fitment and Perstel has added a kitchen radio, the DR-601, to its range of receivers. The DAB/FM receiver has 100 presets, five hotkeys and a bookmark function plus a radio alarm clock and auto-sleep timer. It can be mains or battery powered.
2004-08-28: In Australia, Southern Cross Broadcasting has reported profits in the full year to the end of June were up 35% to AUD 42.3 million (USD 32.5 million) on revenues up 16.8% to AUD 403.6 million (USD 283.7 million): Pre-tax profits were up 30.5% to AUD 64.2 million (USD 45.1 million).
Chairman John Dahlsen said the results reflected a significant improvement in trading conditions for electronic media with its metropolitan TV revenues up 12.6%, regional TV revenues up 10.9% and metropolitan radio revenues up 11.7%.
He noted improved performance from the company's radio operations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane stations and commented, "The diversification of our media assets has significantly enhanced our financial position with strong trading conditions in metropolitan television, regional television and radio operations throughout this financial year."
Managing director Tony Bell, whose employment contract has been extended to the end of June 2009, noted that advertising revenue continued to be strong with revenues for July and August and forward revenue to October 2004 was well above a year ago, saying "In the absence of unforeseen circumstances, the company is well placed to achieve growth in the current year."
Within the radio division he commented that "The more competitive radio market in Sydney still presents challenges for Radio 2UE with only a marginal improvement in trading over the past twelve months. We expect 2UE to continue to improve its operating margins. A further opportunity exists with the addition of a new FM radio licence in Sydney which is likely to further fragment the cluster of seven stations currently rating within two percentage points of each other, including 2UE. The new service is likely to adversely impact on the audience share of the FM stations."
He was more bullish about operations in Melbourne, where 3AW has been the market leader for all surveys in the past two years and Magic 693 has also performed well; in addition he noted success in shifting the target demographic for 96FM to the 25-39 demographic. Brisbane also performed strongly.
Previous Southern Cross:
2004-08-27: Genex Communication's Quebec station CHOI-FM, whose licence renewal was last month refused by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) largely because of complaints about the station's breakfast show (See RNW July 14) has gained at least a stay of execution until March.
The regulator and the Canadian federal government opted not oppose CHOI's request filed in the Federal Court of Appeal, to stay the shutdown order pending an appeal and a three-judge Federal Court of Appeal panel ruled that the station can continue on air until March 2005, when the court will decide whether to overturn the decision not to renew its license,
"The CRTC and the Attorney-General of Canada . . . confirm that they will not oppose the granting by this court the authorization to appeal," the CRTC's lawyers said in a letter to the Federal Court of Appeal. In its court filing, the CRTC said it neither accepts nor recognizes the validity of CHOI's motion but will not oppose it "for the sole purpose of ensuring an expedited appeal hearing by the applicant."
RNW comment: CHOI seems to be opting in this case to spin things out as long as possible - it suggests that a final decision could take as long as a year, indicating it could appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court should it lose its first case. That is its legal right.
It also suggests that the case will call into issue the whole manner in which the CRTC carries out its regulatory role, something which we think may well be needed but something that should not be a case for the courts but for the lawmakers and public debate.
In our view a very dangerous precedent is set if courts start to expand their role beyond interpretation of laws as passed into whether they should have been passed except where there are cases in which different laws conflict (A situation in which the lawmakers need excoriation for bad drafting!).
In this case, if the Canadian public are against regulation then the laws need changing but it does seem to us that as written Canadian law permits the regulator to refuse renewal on criteria that appear to have been followed in which case the court's role is to say so and the politicians' to change the law alter if need be but not retrospectively. If the court says the regulator acted correctly within its remit then CHOI should lose the licence but have the fight to apply for the new one being issued and be judged on exactly the same basis as other applicants.
2004-08-27: US talk host Tom Leykis has allegedly been attacked outside a Seattle bar and needed 17 stitches above his right eye.
The Los Angles-based host, probably best-known for comments that many find derogatory towards women [RNW note: Our last mention of him was when the Canadian regulator rules against an episode of his show in which it said he seemed to think the anal rape of a caller's girlfriend who had passed out was amusing and must have been enjoyable- see RNW June 6].
According to Seattle police records reported in the Seattle Times, Leykis was outside the bar feeling unwell when one of his alleged assailants took a photograph of him and went inside to show it to two other men. A woman witness, who went to check on him, was followed by two of the men one of whom said to the host he had been called a name when he phoned Leykis's show. Leykis was then kicked in the face and fell to his knees after which the two men fled and the third man went to the taxi in which Leykis and the witness were leaving and apologized.
According to the report Leykis, has singled out Seattle men as the world's biggest wimps, said this was the first time he had been attacked by a listener.
Seattle Times report:
2004-08-27: Former Gaylord WWTN-FM Nashville SportsNight host George Plaster has accused the company of conspiring with Cumulus Broadcasting to keep him off the air in relation to a deal by the latter to purchase Gaylord's stations.
Plaster claims that the two companies had a "secret side-deal" to prevent him moving to a rival whilst Gaylord contends that the host had been talking to Citadel from 1998, a year after he had first signed a personal services deal with Gaylord, but the talks with them heated up after the sale was agreed in 2003.
Plaster contends that Cumulus conspired with Gaylord to keep him from working for a rival station until his agreement expired in March 2005 and that Gaylord's use of a "pay or play" clause was in appropriate as this was supposed to be there to prevent inappropriate on-air conduct not to protect a prospective buyer of the radio station.
Gaylord says that its intention was to "ensure that Cumulus received the benefit of its bargain with Gaylord" and "for the benefit of Gaylord to retain the availability of Mr. Plaster's service for WSM-AM."
It took out an injunction against Plaster when he signed a deal with Citadel and informed them that after the sale he would move to host the sports show on WGFX-FM; after an initial court injunction was dissolved he moved to Citadel.
Gaylord is suing Plaster for breach of contract, saying he violated a non-compete provision and claiming that harm was done to WSM-AM: Plaster contends that his contract was not assignable to Cumulus against his wishes, that the non-compete clause was rendered null and void when Gaylord sold the station and "terminated" him.
Plaster wants the court to dismiss Gaylord's claims of breach of contract whilst Gaylord want the host's counter-suit dismissed. The case is now to go before a jury next month.
Nashville City Paper report:
2004-08-27: Boulder-based community station KGNU-FM has bought the Denver AM signal of former Spanish-language station KHME-AM for USD 4.1 million and is to start broadcasts on the new frequency on Sunday: KGNU has already raised USD 1.2 million from supporters towards the purchase but needs to raise another USD 75,000 to cover the down payment due in October.
It then has three years in which to raise the balance.
KGNU's first broadcasts on the new frequency will be of six hours of special programming for the Republican National Convention live from New York City, coverage slated on its web site as "Bringing you the voices of mass protest against the RNC in NYC."
KGNU began to study the idea of purchasing a commercial AM signal because there was no new FM frequency available in the area for a new public station and an attempt by the Denver Radio Coalition to create a low power community station was rejected by the FCC: A commercial FM frequency, it noted would cost tens of millions of dollars
Before the current deal, offers to two AM station owners were rejected, either because KGNU did not offer enough money for the station or as a down payment, or because the terms were not favourable enough to the seller.
KGNU web site (RNW note- links to audio stream):
2004-08-27: As for non-commercials, so for commercial stations: We suggested earlier this month at if the FCC were to take action against California public station KALW-FM over public file offences (See RNW Aug 16) the logical corollary would be for activists to target commercial giants over the same matter.
Now law firm KMZ Rosenman has filed on behalf of "broadcaster and concerned citizen" Robin Rothschild a formal objection to the renewal of the licences of four Dayton stations.
In the filing, Rothschild alleges that owner Radio One Inc. misrepresented the facts and "lacked candour" in its renewal applications for Urban Contemporary WDHT-FM, Top 40/Chr WGTZ-FM, Urban WRNB and News/Sports/Talk WING-AM - its country WKSW-FM is not mentioned.
Rothschild says that she had found the station's public files to be incomplete or missing on three separate visits including one after the company had filed renewal applications that said the files were in order: On a fourth visit three days after the renewal applications had been filed she found the public files had been "essentially reconstituted."
Rothschild is arguing that as a result Radio One should be required to show cause why its licences should not be forfeited, revoked, or designated for hearing.
RNW comment: We have not changed out view that should there be other than a small penalty or reprimand for KALW the just penalty for a big broadcaster should be levied pro-rata, which probably means loss of some or all licences.
We do not advocate this but do think that in fairness small stations should face small penalties and if the lawmakers cannot see their way to write laws in this manner, the only fair response for the major broadcasters is to remove licences. We suspect laws could get rewritten very quickly after only a few cases involving the giants!
Previous Radio One Inc:
2004-08-27: Eastlan has added more markets to its ratings service with deals for services in the Palm Springs, California, Salisbury/Ocean City, Maryland, and Ludington/Manistee, Michigan markets from this Fall.
Salisbury/Ocean city, rated 145 in the US, will be Eastlan's second largest market. It and Palm Springs are already Arbitron-rated markets but Ludington/Manistee is a previously unrated market with a population of about 65,000.
2004-08-26: An Ottawa computer programmer and XM subscriber who developed software to allow him to record material from the company's service directly onto his PC hard drive has come under fire from XM and the music industry.
Scott MacLean started selling the software, called TimeTrax, which in combination with XM's PCR software converts the programming to MP3 files and also arranges files of individual songs complete with artist name and song title information.
XM has sent a letter to MacLean telling him to discontinue his sales and provide it with a list of purchasers - some 2,500 listeners have downloaded the programme since he made it available this month, with some 400 paying for the full version that cost USD 19.95, now increased to USD 29.95.
Its vice president of corporate affairs Chance Patterson told Reuters the product is something they do not condone and they expect it to be shut down; He added that it relies on the PCR receiver that is in only a small fraction of its sales, most of which come from automobile receivers and units that connect to home stereos that cannot be hooked up to computers (RNW comment: A quick check of sound cards might indicate that this latter comment is somewhat technologically flawed!).
MacLean says he has no such list and does not intend to comply, adding that his intention was to make XM's service more user-friendly.
Recording Industry Association of America spokesman Jonathan Lamy told the agency his organization had not reviewed the software, but in principle was disturbed by the idea, commenting, "We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library."
The music industry has been lobbying for restrictions on the copying of digital audio broadcasts in the US similar to the Broadcast Flag technology that limits home recording of digital TV but this is opposed by the US radio industry and the US National Association of Broadcasters says such a move would hinder the introduction of digital technology.
Another copyright-related fight also seems about to start in the US as the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002 expires at the end of this year. This act allowed small webcasters to make royalty payments based on company revenues or expenses as opposed to flat rate fees that were set out by the US CARP (Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel) with some amendments by the Librarian of Congress.
Any interested party can call for a further CARP panel if agreement on royalty payments cannot be reached and such a request is anticipated before the deadline to do so comes up on Sunday this week.
RNW comment: The issue as with all copyright and patent issues is a balance between encouraging innovation and best serving the public. The patent issue in our view has already been pushed too far in the US - think of even the idea of a patent on Basmati rice - and that on copyright has already gone too far as the power of money and lobbying seems to have bought off consideration of the wider public interest.
Our view is that the entertainment industry is pushing things far too hard - if they had their way they would have certainly instituted restrictions years ago that would have effectively killed home recording on tape of both video and audio.
We would like to see some politicians put on a public service hat and start to think properly about the most constructive balance in the current circumstances: For example in our view the length of copyright in many areas is already far too long and acts to deter innovation for the public good - the 14 years that was originally set by the US Congress would seem far more than is required for most entertainment or software (How many 14-years old programmes do you use?).
There is obviously a need for a proper short-term payments system for music and indeed software and video but the longer-term issue indicates that the balance is not well drawn at the moment.
Even in areas where there is more longevity it does not seem an overall public good to have such long copyright - how, for an example, does an author benefit if a book written 25 years ago but with no chance of re-issue is kept from the public domain as opposed to say having a public organisation require all books on PDF and then issue them after a period for a fairly small fee to those who want the book. It might even if there were a spurt of interest, prompt a republication!
Time Trax web site:
2004-08-26: Veteran Australian radio reporter John Highfield is to retire after 36 years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which he joined in 1968 after working with Sydney commercial stations when he left school including a spell with 2SM-AM, then owned by the Catholic Broadcasting Company and one of the top Sydney commercial stations.
At 2SM, which was innovative in its news reporting - and also one of the first stations to introduce talk-back programming after delay technology led to the 1967 lifting of a regulatory ban on broadcasting callers live - he gained experience in reporting "live to air", something he terms "an extraordinary change for broadcasting because suddenly we were bringing people news as it happened. It taught us a lot."
After working in Australia and the ABC's AM and PM programmes he was posted to London in 1970 and also had a spell in Washington, D.C. He became the first journalist to report live and unscripted into an ABC news bulletin in1072 when covering the Munich Olympics at which the Black September Palestinian faction took Israeli athletes hostage.
Over the next day and a half Highfield reported the subsequent drama in which 11 athletes died and five of the eight kidnappers - plus a policeman - were killed.
Among his own personal memories are giving an IRA car hijacker a driving lesson and he commented of his career, "I see myself as a storyteller. It's a wonderful thing to be and radio is the most magic of mediums. It is a one on one relationship between you and the listener - it's just one person you've got to engage in your storytelling."
Also at the ABC, the Corporation's NewsRadio staff have been celebrating the 10th anniversary of the network and John Cameron, who since 2000 he has been National Editor of ABC News and Current Affairs, has been appointed the Corporation's new Director of News and Current Affairs.
Cameron joined the ABC in 1984, working as a reporter in radio and TV for eight years including a spell in the USA as Washington correspondent and Bureau Chief.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2004-08-26: US classical music radio is being further depleted with the announcement that Miami WKAT-AM, Classical 1360, has begun to sell brokered programming.
The station was South Florida's only full-time classical output but its General Manager Andrew Korge told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that it had been forced to make the move to remain viable as a classical outlet.
He said the decision was also made to grab former advertisers of WAXY-AM, which ceased brokered programming earlier this month.
"The reality of it is that it would make more sense for us to be entirely brokered," Korge told the paper. "But that's not what I or the other owners want to do. Most days you'll still hear classical 17 to 18 hours. We're still providing as much music as we can."
Although an announcement indicated that WKAT would drop classical only in the morning hours, Korge said that in September the station would start broadcasting Florida Atlantic University football games and Florida International University basketball games in the evening and he added that he could not guarantee its format would not change further in the future.
WKAT morning host Bonnie Berman left the station four weeks ago when she was told of the format change.
Also changing formats, this time in Detroit, is Detroit Public Schools (DPS) station, the former WDTR-FM - now renamed WRCJ-FM and due to be leased to a commercial outfit to operate with a jazz and classical format.
The station has been owned and operated by the DPS since 1948 and the change has been made to save the costs of running it, amounting to around USD 1 million a year according to the Detroit Metro Times.
The paper says most of the staff are to be dismissed by the end of the month.
Former Sunday night host Malik Yakini, who has already been axed, said he and other protestors were concerned that the station's community slant - it ran a wide range of programming from world music to political commentary - will be list and added, "We want to put the station and DPS on notice that we are examining the situation. We sent in teams to look at the public file. We're also looking into legal action and a license challenge."
Detroit Metro times report:
South Florida Sun-Sentinel report:
2004-08-25: The issue of US Spanish language radio stations being judged by different "indecency" standards to English-language stations has again been raised in the US.
In a Los Angeles Times report that we noted on AZ Central, Agustin Gurza comments that "Latino DJs have been carrying on with raunchy talk-radio shows that sometimes out-shock Stern. But unlike the public fuss made over Stern and the Jackson incident during the Super Bowl, daytime indecency on Spanish-language radio has developed mostly under the radar of mainstream moral monitors."
He ascribes the comparative immunity to a lack of Spanish speakers at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allied with fewer complaints being made by recent immigrants to the US and also "a tradition of community activism that engenders a loyalty not usually found in English-language radio."
In blunt language Alex Nogales, a long-time activist with the Los Angeles-based National Hispanic Media Coalition, an advocacy group that pushes for better representation of Latinos in the mainstream media, comments, "These "cochinos" (pigs) felt they could say or do anything they wanted because nobody was listening. And they were right."
"I think it's partly the listeners' fault," says Jerry Velasco of Nosotros, an advocacy group for Latino actors. "Our people are not used to writing letters of complaint, because in the countries they come from, they feel they don't have a voice."
In Los Angeles on any given day, reports Gurza, Latino DJs talk sex with callers, tell racy jokes with sexual sound effects and even wedge salacious wisecracks into otherwise normal interviews with guests.
Renan Almendarez Coello, Southern California's most popular morning DJ known as El Cucuy, regularly peppers his seven-hour show on La Raza, with jokes about flatulence, erections, ejaculations and gay and lesbian sex.
On sister station El Sol, a flirtatious former DJ known as El Chulo engaged a cooing caller named Lily in a midmorning discussion about the sexual pros and cons of women shaving their genital area.
"Isn't it appalling that we allow this to happen?" asks California Democrat U.S. Rep. Joe Baca, co-chairman of the Congressional Sex and Violence in the Media Caucus. "Whether in English or in Spanish, they should be monitored and should be controlled."
Gurza reports that since the clampdown on English-language stations leading Spanish radio chains -- Univision, SBS and Liberman -- say they have tightened or reaffirmed policies to prevent violations of FCC decency standards.
For Univision, radio division President Mac Tichenor Jr. commented, "We've sat down with all of our talent and made sure they understand the rules. The talent has been uniformly and universally cooperative and supportive, and I am confident they understand exactly how to abide by the rules."
However there was no blanket condemnation of excesses from Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) executive vice president of programming Bill Tanner who said judgments had to be made case by case.
He said he thought a discussion of shaving female genitalia by former DJ El Chulo, who recently resigned, was genitals inappropriate and "racier than we probably should have on" but declined to condemn the suggestive sexual jokes of El Cucuy, Southern California's most popular morning DJ.
"I think people appreciate that Renan is an earthy humorist," says the veteran radio executive who hired El Cucuy at both La Nueva and La Raza. "He really speaks the way the people speak on the street. "
AZ Central report:
2004-08-25: A British DJ who posted the two Edvard Munch masterpieces 'The Scream' and 'Madonna' that were stolen at the weekend from the Munch Museum in Oslo, for sale on eBay has been banned from the auction site for life.
Robin Banks, who with Melissa Johnson hosts Emap's London Kiss FM afternoon to early evening show, used the name "The Heist Boys" " to list the paintings.
He described them as "Recently acquired original masterpieces by Edvard Munch. 'Madonna', Painted in 1894. Oil on canvas. 90.5 x 70.5 cm. Signed by the artist and Unframed. Slight damage to the side of the canvas and scratching on the rear of the canvas. Also offered the more famous 'Scream'. Again unframed and this has no damage. This was painted in 1893 and is signed by the artist. It measures 91 x 73.5 cm."
"These stunning works of art are only offered as a pair and will not be sold separately. They have been valued at over £10,000,000 (RNW note = USD 18 million)."
"Payment will only be accepted in cash at a rendezvous point that we decide anywhere in Europe."
The listing had been on the site for around nine hours and bidding is reported to have reached GBP 2.5 million (USD 4.5 million) when eBay removed the listing and banned Banks.
Last week Banks had raised GBP 3,200 (USD 5,700) on eBay for a giant paperclip chain made by some of his colleagues at the station.
He commented of the withdrawal of the listing, "I can't believe eBay took these down why? How the hell can they get in the way of me and my cousin selling these items? Now we'll have to resort to local art fairs where we obviously will not get anywhere near the audience and clientele eBay has to offer not to mention the money!"
Kiss has left a link from "Psst! Wanna buy a painting?" to eBay on its site but this returns the message, "The item you requested (3743898827) is invalid, still pending, or no longer in our database."
Kiss web site (Schedule links to Bank's show and then to eBay link):
2004-08-25: Only one complaint against radio is upheld in the latest Complaints Bulletin from the UK regulator Ofcom, which upheld four complaints against TV, two standards and two fairness cases: It also lists two cases in which fines were imposed, one against Chrysalis's Manchester Galaxy 102 (See RNW Jul 30) and the other against a TV "adult" channel over a trailer transmitted un-encoded before its normal air time.
In addition Ofcom considered resolved because of action already taken two radio standards case - against the Sonia Deol Show on the BBC Asian Network over comments made about the founder of the Sikh religion and against BBC Radio 1 for an edition of "The Essential Selection - Pete Tong" in which a track including the word "fuck" was played in error.
The AsianNetwork case was also notable in the latest BBC complaints bulletin having attracted more than a quarter of the complaints made in the period involved (See RNW Jul 30)
Upheld against radio was a fairness complaint against BBC Radio 4 over a report in which a former employee of a company responsible for arranging visas for Saudis in connection with a 1985 defence contract, made allegations in the programme about hospitality for Saudi officials. He also said that doing business with the Saudi Arabian Government required sweeteners for diplomats and staff. The Saudi Arabian Ambassador complained that this was unfair to the Saudi Arabian Government and Embassy because it was not true and the programme did not include any of the statement he had provided.
Ofcom said that it made no judgment about the truth of the reports but it was unfair not to have included any of the Embassy statement in the programme.
In addition to these cases Ofcom listed a further 224 TV complaints against 181 programmes and 18 radio complaints relating to 18 programmes that it did not uphold or considered out of remit.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2004-08-25: Chattanooga radio veteran David Earl Hughes has died aged 48: He had told his wife he was going for a nap and she later found him dead.
Hughes, who moved to WSM-FM in Nashville last year after 13 years with WUSY FM in Chattanooga had been in radio in Chattanooga for nearly three decades.
At WUSY he won the Country Music Association (CMA) Small Market Personality of the Year award in 1994, and in 1999 won again with partner Bill "Dexter" Poindexter.
WDEF site (Carries tributes from colleagues):
2004-08-24: Atlanta-based Navigauge is promoting its system of radio ratings as a "new standard for broadcast radio measurement" that it says could significantly affect the buying behaviour of advertisers and sales strategy of broadcasters.
The Navigauge system combines in-vehicle radio audience measurement with global positioning technology in what it terms "a dramatic advancement beyond anecdotal data capturing methods started 50 years ago and still in practice today."
Data is collected continuously on what is being listened to and combined with a location and date stamp enabling analysis of exactly what advertisements are listened to and also where the driver is at the time.
Navigauge Co-Founder and President Carl Ceresoli commented, "It's the combination of accurate audience measurement and global positioning that can influence more intelligent programming decisions, increase the return on content investment and accelerate subscriber acquisition."
RNW comment: Somewhat disingenuously if not misleadingly Navigauge fails to mention Arbitron's PPM system or other electronic metering competitors and we just don't see it as a serious competitor for Arbitron albeit it may increase the pressure for development of more comprehensive ratings information.
We would also note that the Radiometer system that is in use by GfK can already deliver information on what is being heard through an audio monitoring system that is tied in to the audio broadcast by stations rather than through embedded special coding as used by Arbitron.
We can't see that the additional GPS information adds greatly to the value of information that would be collected by other electronic metering systems giving details of what is listened to and equally cannot see particular difficulties should the information be wanted in combining some form of GPS log with the date from the Arbitron or GfK systems.
In addition it seems to us that from an advertisers point of view, the important part of the data is how an advertisement ties in with purchasing decisions and location only gives a clue to this: The real information would have to come from credit cards.
2004-08-24:The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has launched a draft of its Broadcasting (Funding) Scheme whose development follows the passage of Ireland's Broadcasting (Funding) Act 2003, in December.
The Act assigns responsibility to the BCI to develop and administer funding scheme(s) to support new television and radio programmes, which will include programming aimed at improving adult literacy and on Irish culture, heritage and experience, programmes.
A deadline of September 27 has been set for comment on the proposals, which will be funded through an annual allocation of 5% of net revenue from television licence fees and will initially run for three years.
2004-08-24: Interep has now formally released its Spring 2004 Radio Format Share Analysis that shows record highs for News/Talk listening that pushed News/Talk/Sports to a wider margin of leadership as the most listened to Radio format category at a higher level than in the Spring 2003 Survey that included the war in Iraq.
CHR is the next most listened to format category, followed closely by Urban, which scored sizable gains in the latest report.
Country and New Rock have pulled back falls to the levels of last summer following declines in two books; AOR, Classic Rock and Oldies are stable; and Spanish remains near its all-time high but AC and Smooth Jazz have both slipped a little.
2004-08-24: Air America, now owned by Piquant , has added San Diego to the cities in which it is aired: Its new affiliate is Clear Channel's former adult standards KPOP-AM, now KLSD-AM, which is taking "The Al Franken Show" in the mornings and "The Randi Rhodes Show" in early evening as well as The Ed Shultz Show - from Jones Radio Network - in afternoons.
KLSD's other hosts include Stacy Taylor, formerly evening host at Clear Channel's San Diego Conservative talk outlet KOGO-AM, in the breakfast slot, Ray Lucia in early evenings and The Lionel Show in late evenings followed by Air America's "The Majority Report" with Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder (Midnight to 3 a.m.) and then Air America's "Morning Sedition" with Mark Riley and Marc Maron (3 a.m. to 6 a.m.).
Air America programming is already on Clear Channel's KPOJ-AM station in Portland, Oregon, where it has performed strongly (See RNW Aug 9) and although San Diego is perceived as Republican the county only has around 10% more registered Republicans than Democrats and the city itself has slightly more registered Democrats indicating a significant potential for a competitor to conservative talk.
Air America, in addition to channels on Sirius and XM, now claims to be on air at 21 affiliates in the US with a further California affiliate due soon: It is still, however, without a presence in Chicago or Los Angeles.
Previous Air America/Piquant:
Previous Clear Channel:
Lionel Show web site:
Stacy Taylor site (Home page still lists KOGO but web log notes his move to KLSD):
2004-08-23: For our look at last week's print cover of radio, we start with US satellite radio and a column from Gary Krakow of MSNBC who looked at last week's presentations of new receivers from both Sirius and XM.
The two companies, he notes, were promoting models due to hit the US market for Christmas and he made particular note of the Delco SkyFi2 from XM that has the capability to store and replay the last half-an-hour of programming listened to and also feeds its signal to existing equipment via a built-in low power FM transmitter rather than through a wire.
From Sirius's range he highlighted the XACT Stream Jockey, a receiver shaped like a very thick cell phone with a headphone unit and volume controls, a wireless FM modulator, 18 presets and a 6-line screen display: As well as being able to dock this with other equipment Sirius is also to provide for the XACT an optional docking device with a built-in antenna, rechargeable battery and carrying case.
In California, Randy Dotinga in his column in the North County Times considered Internet radio in the first of two articles.
"In a revolution that's spreading beyond the world of technogeeks, disgruntled radio listeners are finally getting an opportunity to hear what they want," he wrote. "If you can imagine a kind of music station, there's probably something close to it a few clicks away on the Internet."
"The delightful obscureness of Internet radio (Celtic music channel, anyone?)," he goes on, "is nothing new. What's changed is that a lot more people are tuning in."
The number he cites come from Arbitron in February - some 11 million a week compared to around 20 times that for terrestrial broadcasts but he notes the growth fuelled by the spread of broadband and also notes the potential for much more choice, quoting Kurt Hanson of Radio and Internet newsletter (RAIN) as saying, "Given the amount of available bandwidth on the FM spectrum, there's only room for 20 or 30 stations in any given city. If a format of music isn't the primary choice of a core percent of the population, it doesn't get one of those spots."
However comments Dotinga, Internet radio isn't perfect and he comments that he "is still trying to find a Bitter Female Rocker station."
Dotinga also notes on an entirely different beat that staff at Golden Oldies KPOP-AM are waiting for the axe to fall and the station to move to an Air America format.
Back now to the Internet but in a roundabout way since the UK Financial Times article we cite below from James Boyle, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School, a board member of Creative Commons and the co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, is focused on issues of technology, patents and copyright.
It was spurred on by Apple's whine about RealNetworks developing a programme that would allow iPod owners to buy songs from Real's Music Store and play them on iPods they owned.
Apple in a statement said, "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] and other laws."
As Boyle comments, "The first lesson of the story is how strangely people use the metaphors of tangible property in new economy disputes. How exactly had Real "broken into" the iPod? It hadn't broken into my iPod, which is after all my iPod. If I want to use Real's service to download music to my own device, where's the breaking and entering? What Real had done was make the iPod "interoperable" with another format. If Boyle's word processing program can convert Microsoft Word files into Boyle's format, allowing Word users to switch programs, am I "breaking into Word"? Well, Microsoft might think so, but most of us do not."
Boyle who develops the theme is quite in our view and he goes on to give further details and to comment," The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and equivalent laws worldwide were supposed to allow copyright owners to protect their content with state-backed digital fences that it would be illegal to cut. They were not supposed to make interoperability illegal, still less to give device manufacturers a monopoly over tied products, but that is exactly how they are being used innovators actually come to believe that they have the moral right to control the uses of their goods after they are sold. This isn't your iPod, it's Apple's iPod. Yet even if they believe this, we don't have to agree."
RNW comment: Boyle doesn't come up with any suggestions except that such claims should be thrown out: We'd go much further and allow a counter-claim that an organization making such outrageous claims is unfit to hold patents or copyrights. If the counter-claim succeeded, all their "intellectual property" would then pass into the public domain. We don't see that such a law would ever lead to such an action - even the greedy companies wouldn't be so dumb in our view - but it would certainly move the pendulum towards allowing more competition and be to the public benefit.
On the topic of public benefit, Florida's suffering at the hands of Charley yet again proved the value of radio as a medium in times of emergency. With power out completely for many people, the radio in the form of old trannies and car radios yet again came to the rescue.
Writing from Punta Gorda, Washington Post staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia commented of the broadcasts in the area: "The voices radiate from a tiny radio station -- broadcasting over five frequencies -- planted on the edge of a mangrove bog in the shredded-aluminum core of Hurricane Charley's path. The round-the-clock broadcasts have been like a step back in time, a time when radio was king."
"There is no power in Punta Gorda. No television. Spotty phone service. In other words, radio rules."
" But the reign of Seaview-104.9 and its sister stations has been all the more remarkable because the radio station itself is a victim. Charley ripped the roof off the tiny wooden station and shattered its windows last week but somehow spared the announcer's booth. Within four hours after the storm passed, the station was back on the air."
"What has ensued is a kind of reciprocal love affair. The tattered station and its cast of haggard announcers -- many of them with ruined homes of their own -- have directed listeners to the nearest MRE station or ice stand. The listeners have given back by showing up with hammers and wood to build a new roof, at a time when roof builders are almost impossible to find."
And for once it was a corporate giant meeting local needs. As Roig-Franzia notes, the station benefited from the resources of owner Clear Channel whose engineers worked with local engineers to keep the station on air.
And finally, still in Florida, a Miami Herald report by Adam Jacobson that may give some clues as to why the state seems to have a high number of pirate operators. He begins by focussing on one station, "Vibez" that he writes, "has all the trappings of a full-service radio station serving South Florida's growing Caribbean community. Between 10 a.m. and noon, Vibez takes calls from listeners on the day's issues facing Jamaican natives. Local advertisers promote their businesses. Traditional reggae music airs throughout the afternoon and in the evening But there's one slight problem: Vibez isn't supposed to be there. It's one of close to 25 traceable ''pirate'' radio stations wreaking havoc on the FM band from Homestead to Hobe Sound."
"While Florida broadcasters and legislators alike have complained about the pirates over interference concerns," continues Jacobson, "a new problem has emerged for licensed broadcasters in South Florida: The current batch of pirate FMs specifically targets communities traditionally underserved -- or not served at all -- by FCC-licensed radio."
He notes that research for the Herald indicates six pirate stations offering Haitian programming compared to three legal AMs catering to the audience -- WRHB (Radio Carnivale), WLQY, and Beasley Broadcasting-owned WHSR (Radio Haiti Amerique Internationale).
The legal stations struggle for advertising revenue against the pirates and Liana Naranjo, Radio Carnivale's assistant sales manager commented, ''The Haitian population has a lot of small business,'' Naranjo says. ``Their ad budgets are not as large as those of corporations. Corporations will not be attracted to the underground stations. It is mainly the moms-and-pops . . . that we are having a problem with.''
As well as the broadcasters' concerns there are also fears of safety for aircraft and Jacobson says the Federal Communications Commission, although fully aware of the problems, just doesn't have the staff to follow through with action.
RNW comment: Although the UK has pirate stations, it does not have the same level of problems, probably because of legal prohibitions on advertising with pirates that were brought in as an effective curb. Combined with this was a degree of carrot with the creation of legal stations - a practice that the UK regulator Ofcom is reported to be continuing with a practice of pointing pirates towards the access and restricted service licences available when it does conduct raids.
We'd suggest that a positive move for the US would be to follow suit to a considerable degree - legislate concerning adverts (which after all are contributions to an illegal activity) but for once combine the stick - all to often wielded to excess - with carrots - often totally absent. In our view the best combination would be the stick of action against those who pay such stations for advertising and those who allow their premises to be used combined with the carrot of more low power FMs - the National Association of Broadcasters should be told where to get off as regards third adjacent-channel protection - and the ending of a prohibition of the involvement of anyone who has been a pirate in the operation of a legal LPFM. In other words, make it easier for the pirates to get legal LPFM licences for their communities and draw as many of the pirates as possible into legal operations but at the same time be much tougher when regulations are broken. In particular, should there be evidence of hazards really being caused to aircraft, we see it as quite reasonable to impose very harsh sentences but if there is no evidence those who can't put up should be told to shut up.
After sticking to the US for reports, over to the UK for recommended listening, starting with BBC Radio 4's production of The Odyssey which airs next weekend (Saturday 28th from 1330-1500 GMT then from 2000-2130GMT and on Sunday 29th from1400-1500 GMT)
For other drama from a different culture, BBC Radio 3's Drama on Sunday - still available on demand on the station web site - was The Mrichhakatikaa, a 5th-century Sanskrit play recorded on location in India that tells the story of a romance between an impoverished nobleman and a beautiful courtesan.
Also on Radio 4, for jigsaw puzzle fans, today at 10:00 GMT sees a repeat of The World's Most Difficult Puzzle, the story of the puzzle marketed under that title and based on an abstract expressionist painting by Jackson Pollock.
In the afternoons at 14:45 GMT this week Radio 4 has another seeming oddity, The Pond, which follows the life and times of a village pond in Oxfordshire from its creation in Anglo-Saxon England to its destruction in the 21st Century and this evening at 20:00 GMT the latest in the Sound of Life series examines the underwater sounds of the oceans o from whales, dolphins, walruses and various fish.
Still with Radio 4, Tuesday at 10:30 GMT sees the last of Mark Thomas's series on American radio comedy innovators with the National Lampoon Radio Hour, which ran from 1973-74 and for those more interested in human conflict, Sunday's Analysis (Still on the site) "Just Wars or just more wars!" examined the concept of a just war whilst on Sunday the second of the Dirty Wars series reported from the United States on a disturbing catalogue of blunders and security lapses within the biological weapons defence programme.
Back to Radio 3 and this time classical music from Karol Szymanowski, this week's Composer of the Week (11:00 GMT daily).
And finally from Radio 2, this week's Shake, Rattle and Roll (Thursday 20:00 GMT) looks at the UK Rock 'n' Roll calendar.
Financial Times - Boyle:
Miami Herald - Jacobson:
MSNBC - Krakow:
North County Times - Dotinga:
Washington Post - Roig-Franzia:
2004-08-23: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia has named five finalists for the title Best New Australian Artist on Commercial Radio for 2004, sponsored by Austereo, as part of the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).
The five, who all made the Australian Top 50 singles chart for the first time between 1 July 2003 and 30 June 2004 and remained there for ten weeks or more, are Guy Sebastian, Jet, John Butler Trio, Pete Murray and Shannon Noll.
The winner, who is chosen by a vote from commercial radio program and music directors using eight criteria - including the artists' potential to succeed, the appeal of the original material performed, their credibility as a performer, willingness to participate in commercial radio promotions, listener requests, willingness to tour Australia, chart position obtained and CD sales - will receive AUD 50,000 (USD 36,000) worth of airtime across Austereo's 2DAY and Triple M networks to promote current or future releases.
Winners of all 28 categories in the 2004 ACRA awards are to be announced at a gala ceremony to be held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on October 16.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2004-08-23: New England radio veteran Maury Parent has died suddenly aged 72: He co-hosted Talkline, the morning call-in show at The Tiger 1590,with Georgi Hippauf who called her partner "the voice of the Merrimack Valley."
Parent began his move towards a radio career aged 9 when he wired a microphone to his family's radio and broadcast news from his Lowell, Massachusetts, home. He worked on a number of New Hampshire local stations before being hired in the early 1960s by WSMN, now The Tiger 1590, to work on sales and also as on-air talent.
Of French extraction, Parent also ran French music programme Le Programme Francais, which weekly devoted four hours to classic favourites of French waltzes, fiddle music, and ballads.
Nashua Herald report:
2004-08-22: Last week was another more of routine activity than any major issues for the regulators with a steady stream of licence decisions with an oddity in Canada where an FM transmitter is being replaced by an AM one rather than the other way round: In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) was involved in only one radio decision, the allocation of a new community radio licence in the in Latrobe Valley, Victoria.
This went to Gippsland Christian Broadcasters Inc.'s Life FM, which is already broadcasting on the frequency under a temporary licence due to expire at the end of next month.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was a little busier: Its licence decisions, in order of province, included:
Approval of contour change for new FM for Wainwright because of relocation of transmitter after a local resident objected to the site originally planned.
Approval of deletion of CKGF-AM, Grand Forks from by Boundary Broadcasting Ltd.'s station that also broadcasts on CKGF-1-FM, Christina Lake; CKGF-2-FM, Greenwood; and CKGF-3-FM Rock Creek.
Renewal until 31 August 2011 of the licence for the English-language radio network held by Valley Broadcasters Ltd., for the purpose of broadcasting portions of the programming of CKQR-FM, Castlegar, on CKGF-2-FM, Greenwood.
Approval of new 50 watts AM transmitter in Canal Flats for CHDR-FM, Cranbrook.
Renewal until 31 August 2011 of the licence for CJLS-FM, Yarmouth, and its transmitters CJLS-FM-1, New Tusket, and CJLS-FM-2, Barrington.
Approval of application by CKMB-FM to change frequency and relocate its transmitter.
Approval, subject to finding a suitable frequency, of 250 watts FM transmitter in Oshawa to fill in night-time signal deficiencies of CKDO-AM: The CRTC notes that this approval is mutually exclusive with an application for a frequency change and transmitter relocation for CKMB-FM, Barrie.
Approval of further extension of time limit for Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. (AVR) to submit an application for its planned new Native FM in Montréal, for which the originally proposed frequency was ruled out.
Approval of the addition of an AM transmitter in Dawson to broadcast the programming of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's CFWH-AM, Whitehorse. The new transmitter will replace the existing FM transmitter, CBDN-FM Dawson.
There were no licence announcements from Ireland although the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) was involved in the release of radio ratings there this week (See RNW Aug 20).
In the UK Ofcom has advertised a new local FM commercial radio licence to cover Kidderminster and the immediately surrounding area that contains an adult population of around 100,000. Applications have to be submitted by November 18.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued its latest broadcasting station totals that show a decrease in TV stations and increase in radio ones over the past six months (See RNW Aug 21).
It has also been involved in a number of enforcement actions. They included confirmation of the full USD 18,000 penalty on a Maryland AM (See RNW Aug 20), the imposition of late application penalties and unauthorized operation in connection with renewal of two licences (See RNW Aug 18).
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2004-08-22: BBC World Service tomorrow will start broadcasts in its The World Today slot of a series of "Sound Art" segments created by artists and musicians from round the world inspired by listening to the programme.
Art historian David Toop commenting on the project said, "Noise is the raw material, if you believe like American musical innovator John Cage that there's little difference between listening to music, silence or noise, they're all points on the same range. Any aspect of that range is interesting material for a sound artist."
Amongst the material featured is the work of UK sound artist Scanner, who has been asked by the European Commission to create a new anthem for Europe which is due to be unveiled next month: He used the names of the countries mentioned in one edition of The World Today programme and samples from the theme tune and commented, "The piece was created to capture the essence of what BBC World Service is about, that it is international, allowing you to travel the world while sitting on your bed at home."
Another item is from electronic musician Stephen Vitiello, termed a "master of the medium" by The New York Times: He sampled The World Today's signature tune, altering it beyond recognition, saying of the work, "I wanted to draw the listener's attention to the bits of sound that we don't usually hear."
2004-08-21: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has now filed its opposition to US Federal Communications Commission plans to change US radio markets from their contour-based system to an Arbitron market for ownership regulation considerations.
The market definitions were not overturned by the Court in June when it remanded parts of the agency's media ownership limits for further review.
In a 15-page filing with the United States Court off Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia the petitioner says the change proposed by the FCC would "dramatically affect which local radio transactions are permitted to proceed."
It adds that US radio ownership rules remain in flux and not that the Court's earlier decision on market definitions is "subject to further review and possible reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court" and thus the status quo should be kept.
"Permitting the FCC to implement a change that abandons more than 60 years of practice while its order is on review risks," it says, "creating needless chaos and disruption in the industry and will impose irreparable harm on smaller and financially troubled stations seeking to use a merger to strengthen their position and better serve their listeners."
2004-08-21: Interep has reached a settlement with Citadel with whom it has been in litigation since Citadel moved its business to Katz Media in October last year (See RNW Oct 4, 2003).
Under the agreement Citadel is dropping its contention that Interep-owned McGavren Guild breached the Representation Agreement or failed to adequately perform but precise terms are being kept confidential. Interep had been seeking damages of USD 30 million over loss of its contract.
Interep chairman and CEO Ralph Guild commented, "We feel it is best to close this matter, to save endless hours of management's time that could be better spent on growing our business and to eliminate further legal fees."
"It is in the best interest of our current radio clients and the entire industry to reduce the level of intramural conflict within our industry. In a soft advertising environment, we must unite as an industry to take share from competing media."
2004-08-21: London Heart FM morning host Pat Sharp is to leave the station to concentrate his efforts on his production company and other radio, TV and music opportunities.
Sharp, who joined Heart seven years ago after a decade with Capital Radio, with whom he won a Sony gold award in 1992 for best DJ, started his career with BBC Radio 1 when he was 20.
Heart owner Chrysalis is expected to revamp the station's daytime line-up following his departure.
2004-08-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that as of the end of June the US had a total of 26,515 licensed broadcast stations, down by 98 on the figures to the end of March that were themselves down 76 on the figure at the end of 2003. The fall came in TV stations - the radio total was up.
Of the total, 13,486 were radio stations, up ten on six months ago: This total was made up of 4771 AMs, down from 4881; 6218 commercial FMs, down six; and 2497 educational FMs, up 26.
Previous FCC station numbers:
2004-08-20: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/MRBI survey just released for the year to the end of June show that overall national stations in Ireland have lost audience and local ones gained: Overall listening was up 1% on the previous year to 87% of the adult population.
The listened to yesterday figure for local and regional stations was up 3% to 56% whilst amongst the main national stations RTÉ Radio 1 fell 1% to 27% (share was down 2% to 34%), RTÉ 2FM was down 1% to 24% (share was down 1% to 17%) and independent national station Today FM lost 2% to 14% (share was down 1% to 9%) but RTÉ Lyric FM retained its 3% reach and 1% share.
Amongst local stations, Highland FM retained the top spot with a reach of 71% (down 2%) and 62% share (up 3%) followed by Mid-West Radio with 68% (down 3%) and 55% (unchanged) and North West Radio with 68% (up 8%) and 55% (up 15%).
In Dublin the top three were RTÉ Radio 1 with 30% reach (down 3%) and 34% share (down 2%); 98FM with 21% (down 1%) and 16% share (down 1%); and FM 104 with 21% (up 2%) and 15% (Up 2%) whilst in Cork, Cork 96FM/County Sound held on to its lead with 51% reach (up 1%) and 50% share (Up 2%) followed by RTÉ Radio 1 with 24% (down 1%) and 22% (down 1%) and RTÉ 2FM with reach of 17% (down 1%) and share of 11% (down 1%).
Previous Irish Ratings:
2004-08-20: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 18.000 penalty on a Maryland AM for failure to respond to Commission correspondence, failure to enclose station antenna within an effective locked fence or enclosure, and failure to maintain a meaningful staff presence at the main studio.
JMK Communications, Inc., licensee of WTRI-AM, Brunswick, Maryland, had said its failure to respond was because of "mail mishaps" whose recurrence it had taken steps to prevent, that its failure to maintain staff presence at the main studio was a "temporary anomaly occasioned by an unfortunate medical situation," and that the gap in its fence was not large enough to allow public access and is surrounded by an outer perimeter fence which provides a further barrier to public access. It also sought reduction on the basis of a history of compliance with FCC Rules.
The FCC ruled out reductions on the first three issues and went back to its record and found a prior violation at a Virginia station licensed to the company. It confirmed the full penalty.
2004-08-20: SMG-owned Virgin Radio has stolen a beat on the BBC and is to have its own download chart programme on air on Sunday August 29, three days before the BBC launches its download chart as part of the Scott Mills Show. (See RNW Aug 8).
The Virgin chart will be compiled using information solely from Napster and hosted by Ben Jones: It will list the 20 most popular Napster tracks of the week.
The BBC chart is more broadly based: Compiled by the Official Charts Company it will use information from a number of download suppliers.
2004-08-20: American University has asked the D.C. Superior Court to reject the lawsuit brought against it by former WAMU-FM execuitive director Susan Clampitt (See RNW Jul 16). Saying in a filing that its decision to fire her was based on "legitimate business reasons."
Clampitt is claiming USD 12 million in damages including USD 3 million for "severe physical, emotional and psychological distress"
2004-08-20: The Aberdeen Radio Ranch which earlier this month announced that it was purchasing Clear Channel's five stations in Aberdeen, South Dakota, to take its total in the market to nine stations (See RNW Aug 16) has now announced deals to spin off three AMs to religious broadcasters.
KQAA-FM goes to Educational Media Foundation and KKAA-AM and KQKD-AM go to Family Stations Inc. No details of prices have so far been released.
Previous Aberdeen Radio Ranch:
2004-08-19: Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Styles Media Group to sell its Southern California radio stations KZAB-FM and KZBA-FM for USD 120 million in cash.
The sale will give SBS a total of USD 230 million from divestitures and cash-in-hand to reduce its outstanding debt and SBS chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón, who noted that the transaction was "is consistent with our strategic plan of disposing of certain non-core stations to de-lever the Company" said that the combination of reduced debt and the "Company's superior audience delivery, will enable us to focus on increasing our cash flow and capitalizing on the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic market."
He added that SBS intends to utilize its cash holdings to redeem all or part of its outstanding 9-5/8% Senior Subordinated Notes, which are callable after November 1, 2004.
There was good news for SBS and other Spanish-language broadcasters in a BIA Financial Network report, Hispanic Radio in 2003, just released, which shows that over the past five years the total Hispanic population of the US has grown by more than a quarter from about 30 million to more than 38 million.
The good news, however, is dampened to a degree by the even greater growth in the number of Spanish language stations, which is up by 86% from 302 to 561.
The report's author, BIAfn director of media valuations Lauren Butler, remained bullish over prospects for the sector, commenting, "Despite the explosive growth in the number of Spanish-language radio stations over the past five years, Spanish-language radio is somewhat under-represented in the 20 largest Hispanic radio markets,"
Within the sector, 438 stations were in Arbitron-rated markets and 191 were in the 20 largest Hispanic radio markets.
In the top 20 Hispanic radio markets, nearly a third more of the commercial radio stations broadcast a Spanish-language format, up from 14 percent in 1998 to 20 percent in 2003. Total local commercial listening and revenue shares to Spanish-language radio in the top 20 markets have grown by 60 percent over the past five years.
2004-08-19: Arbitron has now confirmed officially the rumours we reported yesterday (See RNW Aug 18) that it is back in bed with Infinity with whom it has agreed a new multi-year deal having dropped the ratings organisation in June (See RNW Jun 25).
The agreement is already in effect and gives Infinity access to Arbitron's ratings for 42 markets: It includes the Spring 2004 survey.
For Infinity, President and COO Joel Hollander said in a statement, "This announcement is about Infinity's commitment to improving and innovating radio's audience measurement methodologies and delivering the most efficient research to our advertisers. We look forward to advancing rating services for the industry in the future."
Arbitron President and CEO Steve Morris said, "Our goal all along was to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with Infinity and to maintain our long-term relationship with the company and with its people. We look forward to providing Infinity with our Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited ratings services and the other widely accepted information services which Infinity can now use to get the most revenue for the audience that they deliver to advertisers."
Although it has not given formal financial details about the deal, Arbitron has now updated its financial guidance saying it expects 2004 year-end revenue to be up on 2003 by between 8.5% and 10% with net income up between 12% and 14% producing earnings per share between USD 1.75 and USD 1.79: This compares with a figure of an increase of between 5% and 7% given in June when Arbitron updated its figures following the failure to agree a renewal with Infinity. At the time it said the loss would cut its revenues by around USD 12 million (See RNW June 26).
For the third quarter, Arbitron now says it expects revenues that it had said would be up 1.5% to 3% without Infinity will now be up between 10% and 11. % with net income, which was put as flat to 2% down, now going up 14% producing earnings per share for the quarter between USD 0.61 and USD 0.63.
The role that The Media Audit, with whom Infinity signed an agreement when it dropped Arbitron, will now play for Infinity is still to be clarified but the organisation welcomed the deal.
its President Bob Jordan issued a statement saying they were " pleased that Infinity and Arbitron have come to an agreement. There is much to be gained in selling with both Arbitron quantitative radio ratings and The Media Audit qualitative ratings. Arbitron offers a radio centric measurement while The Media Audit offers advertiser focused research."
"Radio is a very influential advertising medium and has a great opportunity to increase its share of ad dollars. We look forward to working with Infinity and other radio groups as well as advertisers and agencies in the development of the next generation of media/advertiser ratings."
Previous Media Rating Council:
Previous Viacom-CBS- Infinity:
2004-08-19: Australian commercial radio now has a new award for creative agencies to recognise excellence in radio advertising. The Siren Award, named after the Sirens of Greek mythology, has been established with the support of the radio and advertising industries in Australia following the inaugural meeting of the Siren Creative Council - the former Creative Advisory Committee, which includes key creative directors from leading national advertising and creative agencies and senior executives from the radio industry.
Entries are free and winners will be announced every two months with the annual winner being automatically entered into the Cannes Lions Radio Awards: The initial award will be announced for material that has aired between January 2004 and March 2005 with inaugural judging by the Siren Creative Council and following entries by the winner of the previous bi-monthly winner.
The winning advertisements will be accessible on the website which, over time, will provide an archive of Award-winning radio advertisements.
Ralph van Dijk of advertising agency Eardrum, who is Creative Director for industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said, "The timing of the new Siren Awards is perfect. There's a real buzz about the medium and a greater emphasis on radio creative. These Awards will help to inspire agencies and clients to invest more time, money and effort as well as recognise those that are currently doing it well. As a radio director, I'll be doing all I can to help teams win them by the boat load".
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner added, "Peer recognition, as well as education and training, are important elements in lifting the bar for creative in radio advertising and providing the medium the recognition it deserves."
She added that the idea highlighted the positive work the Council could do to promote radio advertising, saying, "The Council will also consider other ideas to help promote radio advertising including broadening the education and training programs already on offer for radio copywriters and establishing a library of creative excellence including some of the best radio ads from around the world."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
Siren Awards site (One line message only so far):
2004-08-19: UK official radio ratings organisation RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) is considering an earlier release of its quarterly figures to radio companies because of the effects of price-sensitive information on radio company shares according to a report in the UK Guardian.
The paper notes that currently broadcasters receive the information at 06:00 on the day of its release, five hours before its general release and says that RAJAR has expressed concern about leaks following a suggestion that the companies should get the information a day before general release so as to allow them time to prepare news releases for issuing when the markets open.
Commercial radio companies want to get the information at the same time as the BBC and Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA), the co-owners of RAJAR: They get basic information the night before the public release.
RAJAR managing director Sally de la Bedoyere, managing director of RAJAR, said it would consider an earlier release but said that RAJAR had abandoned the practice of releasing figures under embargo on the eve of publication after a number of overnight leaks.
Previous de la Bedoyere:
UK Guardian report:
2004-08-19: The US Radio Effectiveness Lab (RAEL) has just released the first of several major new research studies to identify how Radio works, and how to maximize Radio Return On Investment (ROI).
Conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide the study demonstrates the way radio advertising works compared to that of TV and newspapers.
US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Gary Fries, who is Co-Chairman of RAEL, commented, "The information in this study explains the special connection Radio has with its listeners. It reveals how that one-on-one relationship extends to Radio's advertisers when the medium is used properly."
He was backed up by his co-chairman Owen Charlebois, President, Arbitron U.S. Media Services, who commented, "The study documents Radio's strength beyond the basics of an advertising medium, and supports the supposition that Radio can, and does, motivate consumers in a uniquely personal way."
Among the findings were that radio listening is a one-on-one and emotion-driven experience, and listeners believe that both the medium and its advertising are more relevant to them compared to television and newspaper advertisements that they perceive as being designed for the masses.
The report says that for advertisers the personal nature of radio means radio adverts need to reflect this and also to fit in with the surrounding material. "There is no one-size-fits-all ad for radio (at least not one that's effective) and format-specific advertising matters," it says.
Broadcasters, says the report, have to realise that programming and advertising are part of the same listening experience and this means that adverts are expected to fit in with the programming.
"Putting a dissonant advertiser on the air hurts both the advertiser and the programmer by clashing with listener expectations," it says. "Being effective for each advertiser requires more than just running an ad -- it requires harmonizing the campaign objectives with the consumer's listening experience."
It also stresses that radio ads can, and should try to, reach people at a personal and emotional level: "Generic ads," it says, "are anathema to Radio effectiveness."
Radio Effectiveness Lab reports site:
2004-08-18: Infinity and Arbitron are rumoured to have agreed a new deal after a hiatus following Infinity's earlier decision to drop Arbitron and sign a multi-year deal with Houston-based Media Audit for information including rating and other information for all of its 185 stations (See RNW Jun 25).
Neither company has yet officially confirmed the agreement but Infinity President and COO Joel Hollander had commented on Howard Stern's strong ratings - reported in newspapers - in an interview with Variety. Without an Arbitron agreement Infinity is not able to use the figures.
In the interview Holland said the problems over its Arbitron deal extended beyond cost to long-term issues such as the method of measuring audiences including Arbitron's Portable People Meter or diaries: He left the door open, however, to a renewal of Arbitron services, commenting that the Media Audit agreement was "just one of the methodologies we will utilize to provide our stations with the highest-quality research needed to compete in their markets."
Still with Arbitron, the company has announced an agreement with eMediaTRADE for the use of the latter's Media eXchange Desk technology and services that it plans to utilise in making future versions of Arbitron's media planning and buying software and Arbitron radio sales software compatible with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) standards for the exchange of transaction data between advertising agencies and media outlets.
Arbitron's president, U.S. Media Services Owen Charlebois said his company's vision was "to give our agency, station and national representative firm customers a seamless, electronic buy/sell process, from availability request to invoice reconciliation."
In other US radio business, Bustos Media has announced a USD 6.725 million purchase of eight stations in Washington State from Butterfield Broadcasting.
The stations are KZTA -FM, KYXE-AM) and KZTS-AM serving the Yakima/Sunnyside area; KZML-FM, KULE-FM and KULE-AM serving Wenatchee, Moses Lake, and Ephrata; and KZTB-FM and KZZM-FM serving the Tri-Cities of Pasco, Richland and Kennewick, plus Walla Walla.
President and CEO Amador S. Bustos noted that KTZA-FM was "the genesis for Bustos' former corporation, Z-Spanish Radio Network" and was sold to Butterfield a decade ago, adding that it has "a great deal of sentimental value."
He said the deal was a "a very strategic acquisition because it complements our most recent purchases in Seattle and Portland very nicely. This purchase of stations is not only our single biggest to date, but will also give us an enviable coverage of the Hispanic markets in the entire Northwest." Bustos has now acquired 15 stations in less than a year.
And in Hawaii, where Salem has just flipped formats on KPOI-FM, converting the former AC format to conservative news, and talk station KHNR-FM (See RNW Aug 17), KPOI has now resurfaced, taking over the frequency of classic rock KAHA-FM and with a name change to KPOI The Big Kahuna featuring Ed Kanoi in morning drive, Maile Silva during mid-day, Dave Lawrence in p.m. drive, and Fil Slash from 6 p.m. to midnight.
T.J. Malievsky, general manager and vice president of Salem Media of Hawaii, told the Honolulu Advertiser, "It's a serendipitous moment for me. I was the architect of KPOI, from 1981 to '87, so it's great to have KPOI back."
Previous Bustos Media:
2004-08-18: Australian commercial radio revenues for July were up a quarter on a year ago according to latest details from the Price Waterhouse Coopers Radio Revenue performance report: They show revenue up in all states and the greatest increase of 44% in Brisbane to AUD 6.8 Million (USD 4.9 million).
Perth had the second largest rise of 37% to AUD 4.5 million (USD 3.2 million) followed by Melbourne - up 31% to AUD 12.2 million (USD 8.7 million). Sydney had a rise of 19% to AUD 18.2 million (USD 13 million).
Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner said the figures, which followed a 12% increase in the financial year to the end of June to AUD 520 million (USD 371 million), highlighted "the effectiveness of the industry's $40 million national advertising campaign which promotes the benefits of advertising on radio."
"The July figure also sets a good launching pattern for an even stronger result this financial year for radio which is great news for the industry," added Warner.
"The campaign over the past twelve months has exceeded our expectations in terms of generating awareness and altering the perceptions of radio, and now obviously has also helped deliver more dollars to the bottom line."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2004-08-18: Texan Republican Congressional candidate Becky Armendariz Klein is attracting heavy support from US telecommunications and energy companies because, should President Bush win re-election, she could end up chairing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) according to the New York Times.
The paper reports that should Klein, who is expected to lose her challenge to Democrat Congressman Lloyd Dogget, not gain the FCC post, is expected to receive a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
A former chairwoman of the Texas Public Utility Commission and a senior policy adviser to the President when he was governor of Texas, Klein had raised only USD 450,000 in campaign funds by the end of June compared to USD 1.1 million by her opponent, but the paper says most of her funds have come from executives in a group of companies who not only do not expect her to win but see her as likely to have more effect on their businesses if she loses and gains a regulatory post.
She denies suggestions that she is being bought and says those who have backed her "told me that they support me is that they appreciated that I had integrity. Even though we disagreed, it was harmonious."
She also initially denied sending an e-mail soliciting campaign support using the Texas Public Utility Commission's system after she resigned but later her campaign manager corrected this to saying she had no recollection of sending such a message: The paper acquired a copy from a Washington telecommunications lawyer not connected with any political campaign on the condition that the message's recipient not be identified.
RNW comment: The case may not show Ms Klein as any more likely to be suborned or dishonest than most American candidates and it may be naïve to hope for different standards in the land of the free but it surely speaks volumes about the nature of the American political system.
Even assuming post-Enron that all the companies involved are rigorously honest it would seem difficult were she involved in a controversial decision that favoured a backer to convince people in many countries often accused of corruption by the US that the decision was in fact made on the merits of the case.
New York Times report:
2004-08-18: Both of the US satellite radio services have announced newer versions of their plug and play receivers.
From Sirius comes the Sportster, a receiver that includes features such as Game Alert" to prompts listeners when their favourite NFL team is playing and a "Game Zone" listing all of the games available and scores on Sirius by league.
Sirius has also announced the SiriusConnect, a receiver and translation unit nearly half smaller than current receivers: It is compatible with any Sirius-ready head units from manufacturers such as Alpine, Audiovox, Jensen and Kenwood.
XM's product line is to include new units that will record the last channel tuned to, allowing playback of some 30 minutes of programming or can be used to record specific programming.
RNW comment: The play again facility is also becoming available on digital radio receivers in Europe and elsewhere: Whilst we are a little disappointed so far at the duration of material that can be stored - after all 512 MB memory is now easily available and will store some 9 hours of FM quality MPs - the idea will doubtless develop as will combining other portable devices such as PDAs and mobile phones with radio receiving devices.
How long before a hand-held phone can also be used to listen to satellite or terrestrial radio and programmed to record up to 24 hours of material - unless of course the RIAA manages to lobby (bribe) US politicians to restrict such development.
2004-08-18: BBC Radio Cumbria has officially unveiled a Roman altar in its Carlisle office. The alter, dedicated to Fortuna - the Goddess of Good Fortune - was among Roman artefacts found during excavations carried out at the site of the BBC station in Annetwell Street before the building was constructed.
Most of the finds have gone to the Tullie House Museum but the BBC was allowed to keep the altar, which is now in its reception area.
2004-08-18: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has re-instituted the call signs and renewed the licences of two stations that filed late renewal applications.
In each case, one in North Carolina and the other in West Virginia it has also given notice of fines on the licensees of USD 6,000 for failing to file renewal applications in time (USD 3,000) and operating whilst unauthorized (USD 10,000 penalty reduced to USD 3,000).
The North Carolina case relates to Gospel Media Inc.'s WSMX-AM, Winston-Salem, and that in West Virginia to Maranatha Broadcasting, Inc.'s WXAF-AM, Charleston.
2004-08-17: Copyright problems are again hitting some online streams, this time in Australia where Olympics restrictions have led the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Macquarie Radio Network's Sydney talk station 2GB, which holds broadcasting rights to the Athens Games, to cut live streams.
The link on 2GB's web site to its live stream brings up a message saying, "Unfortunately 2GB's Live Internet Stream will be offline until August 30, after the completion of the Olympic Games" and the ABC Radio National site says," We regret that due to broadcast rights restrictions Radio National cannot offer live streaming during the Olympic games: 11 to 29 August 2004" but then adds that audio on demand is still available.
In the case of the ABC, it contacted the International Olympics Committee seeking exemption from the organisation's restrictions for the news bulletins on its Radio National and Triple J network but this was rejected.
The ABC has continued to stream its DIG all-music youth station and is providing a limited stream of Triple-J during the evening and overnight hours when it does not carry normal news bulletins and also of part of the output of its Classic FM station.
In the UK, BBC Radio Five Live, which has the broadcast rights to the games, has limited its stream to UK residential broadband users: Through the Geo-IP system that recognises the location of a residential computer it has been maintain some service but office users, those on dial-ups, or people trying to access its signal from computers seen as being outside the UK will not be able to listen.
RNW comment: Having in the past been involved with sporting restrictions - and regretting we did not have the funds to fight organisations such as those that run Olympics through public places but still insist they can prohibit cover - we have much sympathy with broadcasters and non at all for the IOC in this case. Because they can restrict accreditation and access to the broadcasters they are successfully able to use (abuse!) their powers to restrict even normal news reporting.
In our view limitation on live commentary is acceptable but that on news summaries is not and we think any broadcaster thus threatened should have the rights to sue for damages - with payment being taken out of the rights payments to the IOC for the territory concerned.
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Macquarie Broadcasting Network:
ABC Australia audio site:
2GB web site:
2004-08-17: Hawaii's radio scene has now changed following completion of the sale of the former rock station KPOI-FM to Salem, which has now converted it to conservative news, and talk station KHNR-FM.
Salem paid Visionary Related Entertainment around USD 3.7 million for KPOI and KHUI-FM which the latter had to dispose of to comply with market ownership regulations after it bought KPOI-FM, KHUI-FM, KDDB-FM, and KQMQ -FM from New Wave Broadcasting for USD 11 million.
KHUI is dropping its Hot AC format and returning to a Hawaiian music format with Jacqueline "Honolulu Skylark" Rossetti anchoring morning drive and mid-morning segments.
Honolulu Advertiser report:
2004-08-17: Evidence seems to be growing that living near an AM broadcasting tower can be bad for your health.
According to a report in Wired, Korean scientists have found that there was a 70% higher rate of leukaemia deaths for people in areas close to towers: Their study compared death rates in 10 regions with powerful AM transmitters - more than 100 KW - with the rates in control areas without towers and have led them to conclude that further study is required.
Four years ago the Vatican was accused of using its diplomatic immunity to hinder investigations of claims that its antennae at Santa Maria de Galera were responsible for an increase in cancers for residents of the area (See RNW Apr 23, 2000): it subsequently agreed to move from the site (See RNW May 19, 2001).
None of the studies so far have proven a definitive link between cancers and electromagnetic radiation but further studies have been urged by various health authorities including the World Health Organisation.
[RNW note: As we recall it took quite a while before it was admitted that there was any link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer: There may be no link in this case - and certainly any harm from electromagnetic radiation is nowhere near that caused by smoking but there does seem a prima-facie case that there could be a link.]
2004-08-17: Almost as soon as he lost his Pittsburgh spot on Infinity's KDKA-AM to Bill O-Reilly, Rush Limbaugh has found a new home in the city on Clear Channel's WPGB-FM.
The two hosts will now be going head-to head from November 15, which should show how sound were the comments from Infinity about the strength and "fit" of the O'Reilly show, which is syndicated by Infinity-operated Westwood One.
Limbaugh is syndicated by Clear Channel's Premiere Networks
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Westwood One:
2004-08-17: In more US radio results, Spanish-language Liberman Broadcasting's parent LBI Media, Inc. has reported second quarter net revenues to the end of June up 10% to USD 24.8 million, with net income up 16% to USD 7.2 million.
The growth came from television - with net revenues up 31% to USD 13 million, put down to growth in California and Texas- but radio division revenues were down by 7% to USD 11.8 million primarily because of lower national advertising.
For the first half of the year, LBI's net revenues were up 13% to USD 44.1 million and net income was up net income increased 18% to USD 8.5 million. Again TV revenues were up - by Television division net revenues increased 33% to USD 23.4 million- and radio ones down - by 3% to USD 20.7 million
Executive Vice President Lenard Liberman noted of the company's radio operations that its Los Angeles KBUE/KBUA/KEBN-FM trimulcast had taken the number two position among all Hispanic radio stations in all demographic categories in the Arbitron Spring ratings, a 27% increase on the Winter figures, in ratings for the Hispanic 12+ demographic - which, he said, "should provide us with the platform to capture a greater share of national advertising budgets in the second half of this year."
He also noted a 16% Spring ratings gain in the Hispanic 18-34 demographic in its Houston radio cluster.
Previous Liberman Broadcasting:
2004-08-16: We start this week's look at print cover of radio in the UK with a look at sex in the medium - that of the personalities not that in which they may or may not indulge.
Prompted by changes in the BBC Radio 2 line-up (See RNW Aug 1), Paul Donovan in his UK Sunday Times Radio Waves column starts by recounting that when "Sheridan Morley was replaced as host of Radio 2's weekly arts show by Mariella Frostrup - he revealed that his producer had told him that their new controller, Lesley Douglas, felt there were too many male voices on the network."
Donovan says that this was denied by Douglas but he notes that the new names for the network include Elaine Paige, Lulu and Helen Mayhew but also that a number of males are also being given new shows in the changes with "Mark Lamarr, who enjoys Douglas's particular patronage, having now been hired to do a regular Saturday show, in addition to the reggae and rock shows he does already."
Donovan then goes on to consider the station in a wider context commenting of its value to new talent, "It was myopic of Radio 2 to abolish its Young Musician of the Year contest (not something it would contemplate now, when there is charter renewal to worry about), but the network still nurtures young folk musicians, choristers and budding lyricists."
"Its evening output, such as this week's new series on the 100 Club [RNW note: The live music venue at 100 Oxford Street in London]," he continues, " is often terrific. Morley has brought much detailed showbiz knowledge to Melodies for You, surely the only show on radio in which The Ride of the Valkyries is followed by The Teddy Bears' Picnic."
"Radio 2 is also consistently informative, embracing current affairs, exam guidance, health, digital technology (later this month) and more Radio 2 is not worth £22m a year of our money because it is the biggest radio station in the land, but because it fulfils its public- service remit."
In the case of BBC Radio Five Live, sex is on controller Bob Shennan's mind according to a report by Ian Burrell in the UK Independent. He says Shennan is "keen to shake off its blokeish reputation."
He goes on: "In terms of the perfect accompaniment to a girlie get-together, the Radio Five Live Saturday schedule is hardly going to rival a box set of Sex and the City."
"Eamonn Holmes on football over breakfast, then Christian O'Connell on sport, Des Lynam on sport, followed by three live Premier League commentaries, Sports Report and a football phone-in - not exactly the kind of entertainment to get female listeners kicking off their heels and cracking open the Lambrini."
"Yet, speaking ahead of the network's most important weekend of the year, Five Live's controller, Bob Shennan, is convinced that Britain's biggest talk radio station is more feminine than ever. "It is more female-friendly now than it was 10 years ago, I guess because people have become aware that it isn't just a sports station," he says.
Shennan describes criticisms of Five's lack of female voices as "outrageous", saying they "ignore the talents of Shelagh Fogarty, Victoria Derbyshire, Jane Garvey, one of the brightest broadcasting talents in British radio at the moment. It is just wrong to say that there is a male bias in terms of our presentation".
Of Derbyshire, who returned from maternity leave last week to become the station's new queen of the phone-in with a 9-10am slot: "She's got her chance. She has wanted to do a programme like that for a couple of years," says Shennan. "She's wonderful with the punters, has a broad range of knowledge and interests. She has a big opportunity in the morning slot to really carve that out as her niche."
Shennan says the station is now trying to broaden its appeal and get away from the sports station perceptions by blurring the boundaries between news and sport, blending the two distinct audiences that tuned into the channel in its early days a decade ago. "The synergy between news and sport is closer than ever before," he says. What this means is that sports reporters might find themselves out on campaign trails during the next general election. And news presenters will have a high-profile presence during Olympics coverage.
Sex was also there in some reflections on the changes in US radio from Carl Wiglesworth in the San Antonio Lightning. He pegged them on a TV interview he had done many years earlier and that was being run as a tribute to the late San Antonio beloved artist, teacher and humanitarian Amy Freeman Lee.
"It was filled with subjects and questions that I still find interesting and informative now, 19 years later!" wrote Wiglesworth. "No, it wasn't just my own ego. The me of then is so different and the subjects so little discussed today, that I came to it as a stranger."
"Today there is no room for anything like that on commercial radio. By that I mean subjects that really cause one to question and reflect on what we know, and what we don't know; topics that might make a difference in our lives, even if only in a small way."
Commercial radio in the US nowadays he said wants "'entertainment', defined as, 'sexy, light, trashy, or provocative in some daring, bold, or outrageous' way."
And then:" The Infinity guy who fired Eliza Sonneland and me said he thought really great contemporary radio includes asking girls in to show their breasts on the air, while describing them, or making fun of handicapped people, or topics that have a lot of sex talk The Infinity guy sent a memo to the entire staff (he is famous for his memos) about a great new hire he had made for the FM station. He said we were so 'fortunate' to get this new DJ."
And among the talents of the new hire: "The new guy in question was known for playing on air games like, again, no kidding, 'vaginal golf.' I'll let you figure out how the game is played, but it involves a girl, a ping-pong ball and a cup. He actually did this at his previous station."
Enough for now however of the sex, and on to a potentially more serious matter unless Camille T. Taiara in the San Francisco Bay Guardian has her story wrong: Why, she asks is the "FCC threatening to shut down little KALW for violations that are also rampant at Clear Channel?" before going on to comment that whilst the FCC is investigating KALW's "faulty public record-keeping" it is "ignoring similar problems at stations owned by corporate behemoths like Clear Channel."
"KALW's problems began," writes Taiara," in the fall of 1997, when an obscure group calling itself Golden Gate Public Radio filed a petition asking the FCC to deny KALW's license renewal application. The San Francisco Unified School District, which owns the station, argues that GGPR represents a small band of disgruntled mostly former staffers. Nonetheless, the station is facing some serious allegations."
"The FCC, while handling GGPR's petition as an informal complaint and dismissing some of the group's charges, has found enough evidence of wrongdoing on the part of former KALW managers to take the case to a judge."
KALW is said to have failed to adequately maintain its ownership records and quarterly community-issues programming lists - and lied about it in its license renewal application and Taiara notes "At least two of the station's ownership-change records weren't signed and dated until years after the fact. KALW is officially owned by the school board, an elected body that changes annually, so every year there's an "ownership change." KALW's public files also included no programming details beyond a list of National Public Radio-produced shows."
Which on the surface would indicate the need for action against the station but then Taiara notes, "a Bay Guardian investigation of seven Clear Channel stations' public files last month uncovered some disturbing patterns. Two of the stations' files weren't even available for public viewing at the time, as required by law, and another two contained little more than blank forms in lieu of programming records that are supposed to be there."
The main focus of the agency's probe of KALW deals with whether or not the SFUSD deliberately lied in its last renewal application, writes Taiara. "If so, KALW stands to lose its license or be fined up to $300,000 for "wilful and/or repeated violations."
She quotes Democrat FCC Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps, both of whom agreed with the decision to pursue the case, as commenting on the light penalties for commercial stations.
"When the Commission finally decides to make an example of a station and designate its case for a hearing, it chooses a small non-commercial broadcast station run by the local school district," the Commissioners wrote in a recent statement.
"In recent months, the Commission has gone out of its way to avoid sending cases to hearings even when there were legitimate allegations of wrongdoing. We are troubled by the message we send when we send small, independent stations to hearings but give a pass to stations owned by larger media companies for troubling allegations."
[RNW comment: And so would we be if, comparing the resources of the giants and KALW, anything other than a small penalty were to be levied. A case surely for some bright spark to look into the FCC records and draw up petitions - the FCC is not pro-active but only takes action when there are complaints - for the denial of licence renewals to each and every corporate application that comes up should KALW see the boot put in. There would then surely be a case for a bright lawyer to ensure that in the interests of equality of treatment the big boys get zapped pro-rata or the FCC gets a boot up its backside. That would hopefully stuff up the planned return to the better paying business world of any of the commissioners!]
And a look at a different aspect of US public radio from Marc Fisher of the Washington Post who begins with the question - from an executive at a local commercial radio station - of why it costs so much to run stations when "80 or 90 percent of their airtime is devoted to National Public Radio programming that the local station just plugs into?"
"In the hinterlands," writes Fisher, "plenty of community stations still get by with lots of volunteers who create programs, man phone banks and fix tape machines. But the federal government's Corporation for Public Broadcasting has pushed stations to professionalize -- that is, to hire salaried employees to do the work that volunteers did in a less formal, more creative era."
"The goal, especially in big cities, is a more professional sound, but the result was also very big budgets."
Fisher then looks at the kind of spending of some local NPR outlets, nearly USD 10 million for WAMU-FM in 2002 compared to just over USD 2 million for WYPR-FM in Baltimore, which runs a very similar line-up of National Public Radio (NPR) programming: last year the stations paid NPR USD 623,000 and USD 425,000 respectively with the difference in overall expenditure largely put down by Fisher to "management, fundraising consultants and other salaries."
And back to Infinity, Howard Stern and sex again, this time courtesy of Joe Honig in the Christian Science Monitor whose opinion can be summed up by the headline over his comment: "Free speech, even for king of crass."
No fan of Stern's product Honig says of recent FCC penalties, "These are awful, lamentable developments - despite Stern's lack of charm or wit For Stern, a garbageman humorist, must be defended by serious, intelligent Americans who understand that limitations on speech - even when remarks are awful and onerous - endanger free expression for all."
Of the effects of Stern:" Does he do palpable damage to the nation?" "Who's kidding whom? Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to the contrary, our country is in no immediate danger of being torn apart by wanton sexuality or puerile punchlines. Americans already spend an estimated $10 billion a year on so-called adult entertainment. Still, the republic survives. Besotted with pornography, we nevertheless manage to lead the world in commerce and innovation. The center continues to hold. Go figure."
And the real potential downside: "Meanwhile, somewhere in the nation, new writers or broadcasters with talent and intelligence may find compelling ways to talk about our common experiences, the prices we pay for what we have. They may do so with humor and drama. They may use language, all kinds of language, with skill and precision. Maybe they'll talk about the unspeakable. Maybe they'll be smart, telling, and challenging."
"And maybe they'll be chilled and restrained by regulators unwilling to let citizens decide, for themselves, where expression ends and obscenity begins."
On then to radio that can be found online and that we feel is worth a listen. First a programme that was briefly featured on the BBC's A World in Your Ear programme (Fridays at 12:30 GMT and repeated Sundays at 19:00 GMT but is not available on a Listen-Again basis for rights reasons).
It's the Radio Netherlands documentary on Zimbabwe "On the Rampage: Zimbabwe's youth militia" that makes a convincing case that the country's President Robert Mugabe - a man who makes much of being a "devout Christian" - and his government are just as vicious in terms of retaining power as Saddam Hussein's regime was, probably more evil and will probably produce proportionately even more suffering.
It details a National Youth Service Training programme in whose compulsory training camps, to use Radio Netherlands' words "sexual abuse and rape are rife" with girls and young women speaking "of being raped repeatedly, often daily, for months on end."
The documentary says the militia has "been responsible for a significant portion of the human rights abuses being committed in Zimbabwe, including murder, torture, rape and the destruction of property" and also notes that Zimbabwe has one of the world's highest HIV rates with obvious consequences in both the short and long-term for the country- estimates are that HIV rates in the camps are probably higher than the third for the nation as a whole.
The programme, which won a Gold Award for Best Investigative Reporting at the 2004 New York Festival Awards (See RNW Jun 28), is on line - in English - on the Radio Netherlands site (link below).
Violence is, of course, part of the armoury of any state but increasingly in some countries there has been a privatisation of part of the state's functions: BBC Radio 4's Analysis "The Appliance of Violence" last week looked at the situation in Britain and considered how far the state should retaina monopoly on violence in various areas.
From the US, still with violence in mind, The Travis Smiley Show on US National Public Radio, is still carrying on its site a report "Looking Back at the Black Panther Movement" based on a new exhibition at Santa Monica of photographs of the Panthers in the 1960s.
Back to an earlier war but this time from a different angle, from BBC Radio 2, The 100 Club as praised above by Paul Donovan. The first of four programmes on the London club begins on Wednesday at 21:00 GMT with Forget the Doodlebug - Come Jitterbug in which Robert Elms looks at the early days of the venue.
The title was the advertising slogan used during the Second World War and the programme includes archive material from Glenn Miller and Jack Parnell and also the memories of American and British servicemen and musicians who listened or played at the club - or used its basement as an air raid shelter.
Still around the time of the Second World War, Sunday's drama on BBC Radio 3 was Laughter in the Dark, by Vladimir Nabokov: Set in Berlin before the War II, it is the story of the downfall of a middle-aged married man who becomes infatuated with a young woman he meets in the cinema.
Also on Radio 3, the composer of the week last week (programmes remain on the listen-again site for a week) was Beethoven and for this week it is Cesar Franck.
Christian Science Monitor - Honig:
Radio Netherlands - Zimbabwe documantary (links to Real Audio of programme- RNW note, for stations who are members of the PRX the programme is available from them via this link).
San Antonio Lightning - Wiglesworth:
San Francisco Bay Guardian - Taiara:
UK Independent - Burrell:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Fisher:
2004-08-16: Veteran New York DJ Chuck Leonard, the first black DJ to be hired by WABC Musicradio, New York, has died of lung cancer aged 67.
Leonard began broadcasting career at the University of Illinois where he was program director of the college radio station. After graduating with a degree in journalism he went to work at WEBB radio in Baltimore.
One of the team of top-40 DJs - the "All-Americans" - hired by WABC, his late night show "Sneak Preview" had an audience of millions on the ABC signal that reached 38 states.
He left WABC in 1979 and worked for a number of New York FMs. More recently he was on Sirius Satellite Radio's Swing Street and Soul Review channels
A memorial service is to be held at the St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan on Aug. 26.
In Nebraska, veteran Lincoln radio personality Dick Perry who hosted the morning show on KFOR from 1960 to 1978, has died aged 72. Perry was also known for calling play-by-play on Nebraska football games and high school sports.
ABC 7-Online/AP on Leonard:
Omaha World-Herald/AP on Perry:
2004-08-16: The Aberdeen Radio Ranch owned by brothers Todd and Rob Ingstad is bulking up its operations in South Dakota with the purchase of all five Clear Channel stations in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Radio Ranch recently took control of Pheasant Country Broadcasting stations KGIM-AM, KQKD-AM, KGIM-FM and KNBZ-FM when their father Bob Ingstad sold them to the duo and it will now add KSDN-AM, KKAA-AM, KBFO-FM, KSDN-FM and KQAA-FM.
Clear Channel Communications acquired the five stations in 2000, as part of its purchase of 29 Roberts Radio stations.
Previous Clear Channel:
Aberdeen News report:
2004-08-15: The last week has been fairly busy for the regulators and most notable has seen the last commercial FM for five years auctioned in Australia and in the US the second agreement between a radio broadcaster and the Federal Communications Commission to wipe the slate clean over indecency offences.
In Australia, DMG yet again won the bidding in the latest Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) auction, this time paying bidding AUD 52 million (USD 37 million) to take a second Melbourne licence that had been expected to fetch from one-and-a-half to two times as much (See RNW Aug 13).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been involved in a number of radio licence decisions: In order of province they included:
Approval of extension of time limit for Rawlco (Edmonton) Ltd. to submit an application predicated on the use of a frequency other than 89.3 MHz for the operation of its new Smooth jazz Specialty FM in Edmonton.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CKLR-FM, Courtenay.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CHBZ-FM, Cranbrook (formerly CKKR-FM, Cranbrook).
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CILK-FM, Kelowna and its transmitters CILC-FM Magna Bay and VF 2329 Big White Mountain. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short term the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations regarding the distribution of category 2 Canadian popular music.
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CKCR-AM, Revelstoke. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short term the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations regarding the distribution of category 2 Canadian popular music.
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CFRO-FM, Vancouver. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short term the licensee's compliance with its conditions of licence, relating in this case to the maintenance of logger tapes.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CKWL-AM, Williams Lake
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CKLQ-AM, Brandon. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short term the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations regarding the distribution of category 2 Canadian popular music.
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CKXA-FM Brandon. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short term the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations regarding the distribution of category 2 Canadian popular music.
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CFAR-AM, Flin Flon. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short-term the licensee's compliance with its conditions of licence, relating in this case to the amount of Cree language broadcasts.
Renewal from 1 September until 31 August 2008, instead of the maximum term of seven years of the licence of CHTM-AM, Thompson. This period will allow the Commission to assess in the short term the licensee's compliance with its conditions of licence, relating in this case to the provision of logger tapes.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CFWM-FM, Winnipeg.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CJWV-FM, Winnipeg.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CJTT-FM, New Liskeard.
Renewal from 1 September 2004 to 31 August 2011 of the licence of CKBY-FM, Smiths Falls
Approval in part an application by Radio du Golfe inc. for a licence for a 10 watts commercial French-language low-power FM radio programming undertaking in Chandler, Quebec; for an amendment to the licence for the radio programming undertaking CJMC-FM Sainte-Anne-des-Monts in order to delete the transmitter in Pabos Mills; and for the addition of an FM transmitter in New Carlisle, Quebec. The last part of the application was refused.
Administrative renewal from 1 September 2004 to 28 February 2005 of the licence of CKOD-FM, Valleyfield: The CRTC will not be able to rule on this application, where there are questions related to the provision of logger tapes and annual reports, until the current licence has expired.
Approval of third extension of time limit for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to commence the operation of the new transmitter of CBK-FM Regina at Prince Albert.
There was nothing of radio note from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom released its Communications Market 2004 report that among things showed radio gaining listeners more than TV is gaining viewers in the UK in recent years (See RNW Aug 14).
Ofcom also issued another consultation documents, this time with a proposal to make part of the frequency allocated for Citizens' Band use available to allow local religious and community organizations to transmit services in a limited number of pilot areas.
The licences, for Community Audio Distribution Systems (CADS), would allow such organizations to transmit such programming as local religious community services to housebound religious congregation members. The pilot scheme is proposed for a year in Northern Ireland and West Yorkshire, the areas where interest has been most widespread and sustained.
Ofcom also published its latest Complaints Bulletin but on this occasion radio escaped censure (See RNW Aug 10).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has agreed a consent decree with Emmis settling all current indecency actions against it for a penalty of USD 300,000 and conditions regarding a compliance plan (See RNW Aug 13).
It has also been involved in a number of enforcement actions in which it reduced penalties on Louisiana and Mississippi AMs (See RNW Aug 10); confirmed a penalty on one Florida pirate but cut that on another (See RNW Aug 12); and also confirmed and reduced another batch of penalties as well as requiring a number of stations to show cause why they should not be reclassified to permit new local services (See RNW Aug 14).
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2004-08-15: Infinity has agreed a USD 3 million sale of its Minneapolis-St Paul sports and business station KSNB-AM for USD 3 million to JR Broadcasting leaving it with three stations in the market - news-talk WCCO-AM, AC WLTE-FM, and pop/rock WXPT-FM.
JR Broadcasting President Janet Robert, whose company produces Straight Talk Radio programming that is currently heard on WMIN-AM 740 and KKCM-AM 1530, said they planned to include Straight Talk programming on the frequency, which will significantly improve coverage and reception in and around the metro area as well as allow for 24-hour day and night programming, when it begins to operate the station in October.
It is to re-brand the station as K950 and Robert said, "We are excited to be returning AM 950 to local ownership and bringing mainstream programming to the Twin Cities. Our programming adds balance to the hot-talk formats on Minnesota's airwaves."
She added that the new station will continue to broadcast the best of K950's current business and sports programming along with existing Straight Talk Radio programming including Air America's The Al Franken Show, with Minnesota native Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher, The Ed Schultz Show from Fargo, North Dakota which tackles issues important to the Heartland, and The Wendy Wilde Show which is produced locally which is produced locally by Straight Talk.
Straight Talk programming was formerly on WMNN-AM 1330, which was sold in January this year by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) for USD 6.75 million to Advance Acquisition Inc., a subsidiary of Starboard Media Foundation Inc. that switched it to its Relevant Radio Roman Catholic programming (See RNW Jan 27).
Straight Talk Radio web site:
2004-08-15: Sydney Free Broadcast Incorporated's community station FBi 94.5 FM has been told by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) that it needs better procedures to protect children from harmful material although its broadcast of the lyrics "I want to f--- you like an animal" would not have offended most of its target audience.
The lyrics were broadcast in a "soft" version of Closer by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine by the station.
A report by Richard Ackland on the broadcast and decision in the Sydney Morning Herald gives details of other lyrics that are in songs currently available but concludes, "There is little the authority can, or should, do to save us."
"Young citizens" adds Ackland, "have a far richer command of the tongue that we appreciate."
He concludes by quoting an article in the UK Spectator magazine by food writer Deborah Ross whose young son asked her what a "cunt" was. She told him, "It's a German biscuit, darling."
On which Ackland comments, "It may have saved her immediate embarrassment, but think of the damage it will cause the wretched kiddie."
RNW comment: A fair question we'd suggest for Mancow Muller scourge David Smith and many others in the US, including all members of the American Family Association.
Sydney Morning Herald article:
2004-08-14: David Smith, the indecency campaigner and senior policy analyst at Illinois Family Institute whose Chicago-based Citizens for Community Values has made repeated complaints against Erich Mancow Muller's show has expressed limited satisfaction over the consent decree under which Emmis for a payment of USD 300,000 plus other conditions including specific indecency training for all relevant staff (See RNW Aug 13).
He told Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times, "In my mind, Emmis' payment of $300,000 is an admission of guilt, and it is a tiny penalty for the violations of broadcast indecency aired by 'Mancow's Morning Madhouse."
"This demonstrates clearly how large corporations can purchase injustice by simply writing a check to clear their history. Emmis should have been required to go through the entire process and face the statutory penalties intended by Congress."
He added,"That being said, however, our goal was to seek improvement in broadcast decency, and not vengeance. In my mind we've achieved our goal. Emmis, like other broadcast corporations, has adopted zero tolerance policies, and is now willing to operate within the law. I have to give credit where credit is due; Mancow's program has improved noticeably."
Emmis itself sees the deal as helpful in getting licence renewals - Smith had also challenged renewals on the basis of Emmis's fitness to hold licences(see RNW Aug 9) - and also to signing a new long-term deal with Muller, whose last contract expired on July 25: He has been working under a one-month extension of his contract pending resolution of the consent decree .
Chuck DuCoty, outgoing vice president and general manager of Q-101, said of an agreement with Muller, "This certainly eases the way for us to finalize an agreement. Mancow has proven since this indecency stuff came to a head that he can do a show that is still very entertaining and still gets ratings, but within the boundaries of the FCC."
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder column:
2004-08-14: UK media regulator Ofcom in its Communications Market 2004 says that between 1999 and 2003 key trends among consumers have been to devote more time to electronic media and communications services and spend more on telecommunications.
The report, which collates data and provides an interpretation of emerging trends within individual sectors as well as an analysis of new developments common to the communications market as a whole says that radio listening in the UK has gone up by 6 per cent (from 41.2 hours per household per week to 43.5 hours); TV viewing by 2 per cent (from 25.6 hours per household per week to 26.1 hours) and time spent online eightfold (from 2 hours a week on dial-up in 1999 to 16 hours a week in broadband households in mid-2004).
In the UK, it says, radio is leading convergence and notes that an increasing number of people are listening via DAB receivers, digital television, the internet and mobile phones as well as traditional analogue receivers; In all 54% of Britons now listen to radio daily and 29 per cent of adults have listened to radio via digital television and 15 per cent of adults have listened to radio stations online.
The increased listening, says the report, has helped commercial radio increase its share of total advertising spending by 60 per cent in ten years (from 2.8 per cent in 1993 to 4.5 per cent in 2003).
In general it notes a move to digital with greater adoption of digital services and formats (such as MP3s and DVDs), increased digital network coverage and cheaper digital devices: Digital television is available to almost the entire UK via satellite, cable or terrestrial means - 53 per cent of households already have at least one digitally enabled set in their home; DAB digital radio covers over 85 per cent of the UK population, with local services available in 47 areas and digital radio via other platforms such as digital television or the internet is available across the whole UK.
Ofcom Communications Market 2004 report (4.3Mb 357 page PDF):
2004-08-14: In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a number of penalties and also required various stations to show why they should not be reclassified to permit new local services.
In California the Commission reduced from USD 5,000 to USD 4,600 a penalty on Clear Channel (Capstar), licensee of KIXW-AM, Apple Valley, for failure to display the antenna structure registration ("ASR") number near the base of its antenna structure and failure to notify the Commission it had purchased the tower from its previous owner.
Clear Channel had requested cancellation or reduction on the basis that under an Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) the Commission agreed to abort any routine inspection if the station demonstrated that it requested and paid for an alternative inspection by the California Broadcasters Association and also on the basis of taking prompt remedial action.
The FCC ruled that the ABIP agreement did not preclude its inspection but reduced the penalty by USD 400 on the basis of a good faith effort to comply.
In New York State, Infinity, licensee of WBLK-FM, has been fined USD 4,000 for broadcasting a telephone conversation without first informing the party to the conversation of its intention to do so.
The penalty related to telephone conversation on June 26, 2002, between Shae Moore, a disc jockey (DJ) employed by Infinity, and Brenda Tanner, a customer service representative employed by Adelphia Communications, Inc. (See RNW Aug 6, 2003)
Infinity had sought cancellation saying amongst other things that the Commission recently cancelled a notice of apparent liability issued to an unrelated broadcaster in another proceeding that allegedly contained more aggravating circumstances than this one (A case involving American Family Broadcasting where an admonishment was substituted for a USD 9,000 penalty).
The FCC disagreed, noted other breaches of rules concerning phone calls by Infinity, and confirmed the full amount.
In Virginia, the FCC has issued penalties totalling USD 14,600, reduced from USD 21,000 (See RNW Dec 29, 2002), against 4M of Richmond, Inc., licensee of WLEE-AM, Richmond, and 4M Communications for the former's failure to enclose its tower with an effective locked fence and exceeding its night-time power limit (USD 6,600) and for the latter's failure to comply with the prescribed antenna structure marking (USD 8,000).
The two companies had jointly asked for cancellation or reduction, arguing that the unlocked fence violation because it was corrected within four days, that it and the contractor who repainted its tower did not think the tower needed repainting when inspected and that the power violations were minor and unintentional. It added that at the time of inspection its current meter had been removed and reinstalled after repairs and recalibration and also that for a transmitter designed to operate at 1,000 watts (its daytime authorization) it was difficult to get accurate readings at the level of 13 watts (its night-time authorization). They also argued that they have a history of overall compliance.
The FCC rejected all the arguments but reduced the penalty because of good faith efforts to correct some violations and because of a history of past compliance.
In Washington State, the FCC reduced from USD 4,000 to USD 3,200 a penalty on FTP Corporation, licensee of Radio Station KNTB-AM, for failure to operate in accordance with the Station's authorized power and hours of operation.
An inspection had shown it operating at its full 1,000 watt daytime power after daytime hours: KNTB had not denied the offence but sought cancellation on the basis of its post-inspection mitigation efforts, inability to pay, and its history of overall compliance.
As usual the first argument was rejected and no financial information was provided to justify a reduction but the FCC reduced the penalty to USD 3,2000 on the basis of a past history of compliance.
In other actions the FCC has ordered a number of stations to show cause why they should not be re-classified to permit new services in other communities.
*Emmis's KSHE-FM, Crestwood, Missouri, which is operating below minimum Class C facilities and which a petitioners wants reclassified as class CO to permit a first local service at Auxvasse, Missouri.
*Clear Channel's KJYO-FM, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which is operating below minimum Class C facilities and which a petitioners wants reclassified as class CO to permit a first local service at Tupelo, Oklahoma.
*Clear Channel's KXXY-FM and Citadel's KATT-FM, Oklahoma City, both of which are operating below minimum class C facilities and which a petitioner wants reclassified as class CO to permit a first service for Bokchito, Oklahoma.
*Cumulus's KCDD-FM, Hamlin, Texas, which is operating below minimum Class C facilities and which a petitioners wants reclassified as class CO to permit a first local service at Throckmorton, Texas.
*Clear Channel's KYKS-FM, Lufkin, Texas, which is operating below minimum Class C facilities and which a petitioners wants reclassified as class CO to permit a second local service at Lovelady, Texas.
In all cases, the existing licensees have the option of filing to bring their existing facilities up to Class C standards: if an acceptable application to do this is filed, the new ervice applications will be cancelled.
Previous Clear Channel:
2004-08-14: The lawyer representing Genex Communications' Quebec CHOI- FM whose licence renewal has been turned down by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has said that the regulator went too far in its action.
Guy Bertrand told a news conference the CRTC was not a court and exceeded its jurisdiction when it decided not to renew the station's broadcasting license: "It's not a tribunal," he told a news conference. "It's an accuser."
Bertrand wants the decision suspended until the end of legal proceedings.
RNW comment: Bertrand is a lawyer - maybe the French term for advocate rings more true here - and we aren't but we are puzzled as to how he reckons a regulator acting within its remit to allocate licences and enforce regulations has no rights to refuse to renew a licence.
Whether or not the decision was justified, we really cannot see how the CRTC exceeded its powers and we cannot see what is gained for Genex through this approach.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2004-08-14: UK Student Broadcast Network Limited (SBN), whose owner Campus Media last month ceased funding it and tried to find a buyer, has now started its formal liquidation, which is being handled by insolvency practitioners David Rubin & Partners.
SBN's demise would hit around 50 of the UK's 80 student stations that were paid by SBN to run its programming under a deal in which SBN sold their advertising and also provided equipment and training assistance.
For many of them, SBN was their only regular source of income and some have the additional concern that creditors, who are due to meet at the end of the month, may want to reclaim equipment vital to their operations.
The Student Radio Association (SRA)had already advised its members to ensure they had already sent outstanding invoices to SBN and also compiled an asset list with details of all equipment owned by SBN. It also advised that contracts should be checked carefully regarding termination clauses and any confidentiality clauses.
SRA chair Talia Kraines said that they would be encouraging stations to speak to their student unions to see if they could meet the costs of station operation and possibly free them from dependency on external organizations.
Britain's university terms do not start again until next month and SBN has been broadcasting an automated music and news service but when we last checked SBN's web site their streaming service was no longer available.
A number of other companies have expressed interest in providing services to student stations including Capital-owned Xfm (See RNW Aug 13), Southampton-based media training firm SH Media, and web design company n7 Studios, but none are so far offering the regular income that SBN provided.
Student Broadcast Network web site:
Student Radio Association web site:
2004-08-14: An Australian radio station has been fined AUD 50,000 (USD 36,000) for failing to act against bullying in the workplace.
The fine on Ballarat Radio station 3BA followed an earlier case last month in which announcer Reginald David Mowat was fined AUD 10,000 (USD 7,200) and ordered to pay costs of AUD 1,700 (USD 1,200) for occupational health and safety charges resulting from his behaviour. (See RNW July 24)
Mowat was dismissed in October last year but Ballarat Magistrates held that the station should have taken sterner action to prevent his bullying.
It was fined AUD 25,000 for failing to provide a safe workplace, AUD$25,000 for failing to provide instruction, training and supervision in relation to bullying, and also ordered to pay costs of AUD 1,700.
Melbourne Age report:
2004-08-13: Emmis has followed in the wake of Clear Channel, albeit at a much lower level, and agreed a consent decree with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle all of its outstanding indecency-related matters.
Under the agreement Emmis will pay a "voluntary contribution" of USD 300, 000 to the US Treasury and the FCC will end all current indecency- related inquiries and fines against Emmis: in Clear Channel's case it agreed in June to pay a record USD 1.75 million to settle all outstanding complaints against it (See RNW Jun 10)
In a news release Emmis president and CEO Jeff Smulyan commented, "Earlier this year we adopted an aggressive policy to ensure that Emmis provides quality, compelling, on-air content that conforms to decency standards."
"We announced a zero tolerance policy and are taking extraordinary steps to educate our on-air employees and program directors. The consent decree settles all pending indecency-related issues, and allows us to move forward."
In its release the FCC notes, "As part of the agreement, Emmis admits that some of the material it broadcast was indecent" and also attached details of an Emmis compliance plan that is part of the agreement.
Under this Emmis will within 30 days conduct training on obscenity and indecency for all on-air talent and for employees "who materially participate in programming decisions" except for those who have received such training within the past year: it will also provide training for all new employees and refresher training at least every 12 months for all of those mentioned.
In addition should Emmis then receive notification of any proposed action by the Commission relating to material it believes to be obscene or indecent all employees materially participating in the decision to air or actually airing obscene or indecent content is to be suspended immediately and will be required to undergo remedial training on FCC regulations and policies in relation to these offences.
Should on-air talent be permitted to return to the airwaves his o her broadcasts will be subjected to a significant time-delay - of up to five minutes - to allow interruption if content crosses the line: Should a broadcast eventually be found to have been obscene or indecent, offending employees will immediately be fired.
Statements relating to the agreement were issued by the two Democrat Commissioners: Michael J Copps said that although he concurred in this case - noting that unlike the Clear Channel case when he dissented because "we had not investigated dozens of pending complaints or even sought information about those broadcasts as part of the settlement discussions" he was troubled by some aspects of the agreement, particularly as it related to licence renewals.
"The totality of a broadcasters' record is pertinent and should be considered when licenses are renewed," wrote Copps. "Today's decision takes an entire part of the record off the table. It is bad enough that our re-licensing process has degenerated to the point where the Commission generally does not even look at a station's public file or inquire further into the station's service to its community unless a citizen of that particular community brings an issue to our attention. Today, the Commission tells those citizens that some information is no longer relevant in evaluating a broadcaster's overall performance in its community. If we are not actually changing the rules of the game, we are at a minimum sending a wrong and discouraging signal to those citizens upon whom we rely in implementing the law."
[RNW note: Complainant David Smith, who has been responsible for a number of complaints that led to fines relating to Erich "Mancow" Muller's show has also. As we reported earlier this month (see RNW Aug 9), objected to the renewal of Emmis licences on the basis of its fitness. There would appear to be a possible element in this settlement of Emmis fearing that if it did not settle it might find licences jeopardized. If that is the case, we wonder what pressure will be put on Infinity over various Stern Show complaints).
In his statement Jonathan S Adelstein said, "I am pleased that as we enter into this settlement agreement, we have conducted at least a preliminary investigation of all pending indecency complaints against the company. "
Previous Clear Channel:
2004-08-13: DMG - through a bid from Daily Mail (UK Radio 3) Pty Ltd - has, as expected, won the bidding for a new Melbourne commercial licence but with a much lower bid than had been predicted.
It paid AUD 52 million (USD 37 million) compared to estimates running up to nearly twice the amount and compares with the bid of AUD 106 million for its second Sydney licence (then USD 78 million - See RNW Apr 16) and of AUD 80 million (then USD 58 million - See RNW Apr 23) for the Brisbane licence.
In all DMG has now paid AUD 533 million (USD 381 million) since 2000, when it paid a record AUD 155 million for the Sydney commercial licence that it used to launch its first Nova station (See RNW May 25, 2000), to establish an eight-station portfolio covering Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
DMG has taken all the five metropolitan licences auctioned by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) over the past year: The current round has now finished and no further commercial analogue commercial licences are to be offered for at least the next five years.
The new station is expected to be on the air in October next year with an over-40's music format that DMG Radio Australia chief executive Paul Thompson has said he is interested in establishing to complement the youth Nova network.
Thompson, who is on holiday, was not present at the auction and bidding was handled by DMG finance director Kingsley Hall with Thompson on the phone listening in.
2004-08-13: UK student radio station that were facing a struggle for survival following a decision last month by Campus Media, the owner of Student Broadcast Network (SBN) to cease funding SBN, have been thrown a lifeline by Capital-owned Xfm according to the UK Guardian.
Campus Media, which bought SBN from former owners Channelfly in 2002 (See RNW Feb 20 2002), is looking a buyer for SBN but says it will close it down if none is found.
SBN is linked with some 50 student stations which it pays to play its programming in return for selling their advertising: It also owns the equipment of many of them:
SBN had accumulated losses of around GBP 4.5 million (USD 8.2 million) when its last accounts were released a year ago.
The paper says that as part of Capital's digital radio expansion strategy the group wants Xfm to partner student radio stations as a way of building nationwide audiences for its digital radio broadcasts.
Graham Hodge, the head of business development at Xfm told the paper the student audience was important to them in terms of music taste, as an obvious market, and as a way of raising digital awareness- "We have 18 digital licences outside London and there is a student community in each of those places, so it's a way of raising awareness of digital radio in those cities," he said.
Xfm already has tie-ups with a number of student stations including those of the Universities of Birmingham, East Anglia and Exeter and Hodge said Xfm would be able to offer funding to stations which were not assisted by other means, such as student unions and could also offer equipment, production support and live gigs with an opportunity for student radio staff to gain work experience placements at Xfm.
UK Guardian report:
2004-08-12: In more US radio results Denver-based NextMedia has reported net revenues for the quarter to the end of June up 5.4% to USD 29.2 million with operating income down half-a-million dollars to USD 5.5 million and net loss up from USD 3 million a year earlier to USD 5.3 million.
Pro-forma net revenue fort the quarter was up 3.4% to USD 20.4 million and pro-forma Broadcast Cash Flow was unchanged at USD 12.4 million.
Pro forma radio division net revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% to USD 21.3 million with radio division pro forma BCF up 3.5% to USD 8.8 million: Outdoor division pro-forma net revenue rose 4.6% to USD 9.1 million with pro forma BCF down 7.7% to USD 3.6 million.
For the six months ended June 30, 2004, net revenue increased 4.7% to USD 53.6 million compared to USD 51.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2003. Operating income decreased to USD 8.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2004 from USD 9.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2003. Net loss improved from an USD 8.1 million net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2003 to a USD 4.3 million net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2004.
Pro-format radio division net revenue rose 2.6% to USD 38.8 million with pro forma BCF up 1.4% to USD 14.8 million whilst pro forma outdoor division net revenue was up 0.6% to USD 16.9 million and Outdoor division pro forma BCF fell 9.9% to USD 6.4 million.
Commenting on the results, Executive Chairman Carl Hirsch, and President and CEO Steven Dinetz, of NextMedia said, "We made significant progress toward our goal of building leading out-of-home media positions through our Wilmington, North Carolina acquisition and New Jersey outdoor asset exchange."
"During the quarter, we announced the acquisition of five stations in the Wilmington, North Carolina market and firmly established NextMedia as the leading out of home media company in the Coastal Carolina Region."
"Pro forma for the addition of the Wilmington acquisition, NextMedia owns 20 radio stations spanning the Coastal Carolina Region from Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville through Wilmington and on to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where we also own the leading outdoor advertising operation. In addition, we exchanged our New Jersey outdoor advertising assets for outdoor advertising assets in Connecticut and Northern Colorado/Wyoming. The addition of these assets to our existing Hartford, Connecticut and Northern Colorado operations solidifies our position as the leading provider of outdoor advertising in these fast growing markets."
In other US radio business, Cherry Creek Radio, backed by Arlington Capital Partners, is acquiring eight stations in three separate transactions in Montana, Texas and Colorado taking it up to 32 stations in 11 markets in the western United States.
Details are still to be released.
Previous Cherry Creek:
2004-08-12: The last Australian commercial metropolitan FM licence that is to be auctioned by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) for the next five years goes on the block in Melbourne today and is expected to fetch up to AUD 100 million (USD 71 million).
Favourite to take the licence is DMG, which has already won the first three licences on offer in the round of auctions, stumping up a total of AUD 210 million (USD 150 million) for licences in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.
Other bids are expected from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin with a separate bid from Macquarie Radio Network, despite the formation of joint venture between the two to bid for FM licences under the Virgin Radio brand, and also from RG Capital, in the middle of a friendly takeover by Macquarie Bank, and Law firm Holding Redlich, which has Macquarie Bank as a major customer.
DMG, which has been building up its Australian network following a record AUD 155 million bid in 2000 for its first Sydney licence, has already put leading Australian FM network Austereo under significant pressure and latest ratings showed Austereo - which cannot bid in Melbourne as it already has the maximum two licences permitted in all Australian capital cities including Melbourne.
Latest ratings showed it remaining under pressure in Sydney (See RNW Aug 11) following the re-launch of its Triple-M network. Austereo's Head of Marketing Richard Howarth left the company last week, three months after his appointment: He had been responsible for approval of a series of TV adverts promoting Triple M and its catch phrase "Nothing's Sacred" that involved on-air material f station hosts poking fun at various people including the Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Chelsea Clinton, who was described as "hideously ugly."
The adverts caused offence and were implicitly criticized by Austereo chief Executive Michael Anderson who had commented that there was a "fine line between being very funny and being nasty."
Austereo is expected to name a replacement imminently with Melbourne advertising executive Jeremy MacVean tipped for the role.
Austereo has also announced that it has commenced a search for a new independent director following the resignation of Ray King following a recent appointment that makes him chairman of two other companies.
Previous Macquarie Bank:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Previous RG Capital:
2004-08-12: Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has announced a USD 10.5 million agreement to buy non-commercial WCAL-FM from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota
WCAL, which has been a classical station for 82 years, is expected to retain the format until completion but after that be expected to change since MPR already owns classical 82-year-old classical station KSJN-FM.
MPR President Bill Kling said in a statement that MPR was "always looking for opportunities to better serve the Minnesota community, so we are excited about the myriad programming opportunities that this purchase provides. "
He added, "We are committed to carrying on WCAL's strong public-service tradition - and with 37 years of experience operating a non-profit public radio network, we believe we have the expertise to do that well. We know that WCAL listeners are wondering what kind of programming they will now hear on the 89.3 frequency. We have not finalized specific programming plans as we did not expect this opportunity to be on the horizon this year. Initially we expect no changes to the service. We will maintain a classical music format until we are able to determine the best use for the frequency."
"For the long term, we will review other options, such as programming not currently available to the 2.6 million people within the range of this signal. Whatever route we take, it will reflect Minnesota Public Radio's public service mission - and we will work with the community to develop the best plan."
"We will continue to maintain the high-quality news and classical music programming - now heard on our Twin Cities stations, KNOW 91.1 FM and KSJN 99.5 FM - that our members and listeners have come to expect Just as in the late 1970s when we were able to offer discrete classical music and news program services for the first time, we believe this third station will have a similar impact, substantially increasing programming and audience listenership."
WCAL was founded in 1918as a student physics experiment, was licensed as an AM station in 1922 and gained its FM license in 1968.
It has around 80,000 listeners a week and had been regarded as more adventurous than KSJN but St. Olafs, in line with many other universities, had decided this year to cut out its contribution to the station of some USD 130,000 a year: The monies received from the sale will go into the St. Olaf's endowment fund.
2004-08-12: Arbitron says its pre-placement and follow-up treatments for young male, black, and Hispanic households in 20 low-response rate Metros that was introduced for this year's Spring ratings has succeeded in increasing response rates by 2.7 points to 29.2% compared to the Spring 2003 rates.
In the top ten Metros where the pre-placement treatment was introduced response rates rose by 0.3% to 29.3% but over all the 287 Metros in the survey response rates were down by 0.7% to 33%
In terms of return rate - the percentage of those sent a diary who returned a usable one- the survey saw an increase of 0.9 to 56.3% compared to a year ago but consent rate - the number of those contacted who agreed to keep a diary was down 2% to 58.1%,
2004-08-12: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 10,000 penalty on one Florida pirate operator but cut on hardship grounds that levied on another from USD 20,000 to USD 3,000.
The USD 10,000 penalty goes to Wilner Simon of Port Charlotte who had been found to be operating an FM station in February 2003 at which time he voluntarily gave up his equipment to FCC agents and then again in January this year when a sub-carrier (Subsidiary Communications Authority) signal was traced to his home: This time Simon admitted using the equipment but that he did not intend to cease broadcasting despite the agents' warnings of possible civil and criminal enforcement sanctions for unlicensed radio operation.
In response to a notice of apparent liability for USD 10,000 Simon said he had tried to obtain permits or licences for his operation, that there was no alternative to breaking the law because the other options were too costly or time consuming and further that the FCC's licensing regulations breached the US First Amendment: He also alleged illegal search and seizure of his equipment but additionally asked for a reduction of the penalty to USD 5,000 should he be penalized on the basis that he had exercised good faith in trying to comply with the rules because he had tried to obtain a low power FM licence.
The FCC disagreed with him on pretty well all points, noting that the US Supreme Court had ruled there was no constitutional right to transmit without a licence and that Simon had broadcast knowing he had no licence: It confirmed the full penalty.
In the other case, Donald Donovan Jackson of St Petersburg, who had also been involved in illegal operation of two stations, had been issued with a USD 20,000 penalty notice but had requested cancellation or a substantial reduction of the penalty
He provided various statements to show his inability to pay and also said his station, intended to "provide a public service to the local Caribbean population", was operated as a public service, and he had never received financial gain from its operation.
The FCC again rejected Jackson's arguments but reduced the penalty to USD 3,000 on the basis of his inability to pay.
2004-08-11: XM Satellite Radio has announced that Citadel President of Programming Eric Logan is joining it as Executive Vice President of Programming.
Logan, who has nearly two decades of radio experience, is also a former Vice President of Programming at Infinity, and Vice President, Operations at country station WUSN-FM in Chicago.
Logan takes over the position that was formerly held by Steve Gavenas earlier this year and XM President and CEO Hugh Panero said XM was "very pleased that Eric Logan is joining XM."
"Eric brings experience in markets large and small, and at the corporate and the local station level," he added. "We're thrilled to have him on board."
2004-08-11: Macquarie Network's 2GB increased its lead at the top in Sydney in the latest Australian ratings with share up from 12.7 to 13.8 while DMG's Nova in second place lost share from 10.4 to 9.6 and third placed ABC 702 increased its share from 8.5 to 9.1.
Austereo's woes continued as its flagship 2-Day fell from sixth to seventh with share down from 7.7 to 7.4 whilst the company's formerly second station, Triple M, rose from sixth to fourth with share up from 8.0 to 8.6.
The news was a little better for Southern Cross as 2UE rose from eighth to fifth with share up from 7.5 to 8.4.
In the Breakfast slot Alan Jones for 2GB again dominated the top spot taking his share to 16.7 from 15.5, whilst Nova in second place - from 11.1 to 10.8 and ABC now with an equal share to Nova also fell, from 11.0 to 10.8. Mike Carlton for 2UE was up from fifth to fourth with 8.4, up from 7.5.
In the morning slot 2GB's Ray Hadley increased his top rank lead with share up from 13.3 to 14.7, but once-dominant John Laws for 2UE had the consolation of also again increasing his share from 9 to 9.6 and moving up from third to second place whilst Nova, whose share was down from 10.7 to 9.4, slipped from second to third.
In afternoon drive, ABC 702 was in top rank with a 10.8 share, up from a fourth place 9.0.
Nova dropped to third with share down from 10.6 to 9.8, behind Triple-M in second place with 10.7 but ahead of 2-Day in fourth with 9.7: Iin the commercial talk battle, 2GB increased share from 8.0 to 8.9 and moved to fifth from sixth equal whilst 2UE's increase was less, from 6.6 to 6.8 although this took it from eighth to seventh.
The ratings not only confirm 2GB's Sydney success so far this year but also virtually guarantee it a handsome lead for the whole year in the Sydney market: It is almost certain to be boosted ed in the next ratings by the station's Olympic coverage for which it has the exclusive Australian commercial radio rights and on which it is to spend some AUD 2 million (USD 1.43 million).
2GB's cover of the Athens Olympics will be aired live from mid-afternoon and through the night using a team headed by morning host Ray Hadley, who covered the last three Olympics for 2UE.
The effects of the Olympics on ratings during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, when 2UE held the rights, were dramatic with the breakfast show hosted by Alan Jones attracting nearly a quarter of Sydney listeners.
As a result a decision was taken not to conduct surveys during the games but that was reversed this year and 2GB, which also holds rights to the rugby league final, is now virtually guaranteed to lead the Sydney ratings with a healthy margin this year.
Despite its problems, Austereo put its usual spin on the results with CEO Michael Anderson choosing to headline the "continuing strength of Triple M Sydney" and the "improvement achieved by the Judith Lucy Show at Breakfast on 2DayFM in the Sydney market."
"Triple M Sydney," he added, "is chasing number one with their fourth survey gain in a row. We will be doing everything possible to support their march to the top spot [RNW comment - but not his year in view of 2GB's success so far as noted above!].
Outside Sydney Austereo maintained its top spot in Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth; it also had Melbourne's top FM with Triple M.
Austereo Chairman Peter Harvie said: "We are committed to the hard work, investment and focus that will ensure great results are delivered by all our stations. We have great heart and great passion and the strategy of achieving or maintaining leadership in every city."
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: - SAFM - same rank with 19.2 (19.2); 5AA -14.9 (17.2) - same rank; Mix 14.9 (14.4) - same rank;
*Brisbane: - B105FM - same rank with 17.3 (17.9); Triple M with 13.8 (13.8) - same rank; NEW 97.3 FM with 13.0 (13.6) - same rank.
*Melbourne:- 3AW with 15.7 (15.4)- same rank; Triple M with 10.7 (10.8) - same rank; Gold with 10.3 (9.6) - up from fifth; *ABC 774 with 10.1 (10.5) fell from third to fourth; * Fox FM with 9.9 (10.3) fell to fifth and Nova retained sixth spot with 9.5 (9.3).
*Perth: - MIX 94.5FM same rank with 19.3 (19.0); 96FM with 12.2 (11.6) - up from third; ABC 720 with 11.3 (11.0) up from fourth; * All New 92.9 with 10.9 (13.0)- fell from third to fourth and Nova with 10.1 (9.1) remained fifth.
* Sydney: 2GB 13.8 (12.7) - same rank; Nova with 9.6 (10.4) - same rank; ABC 702 9.1 (8.5) - same rank.
*One-time leader 2-Day with 7.4 (7.7) dropped from sixth to seventh - now down from second two surveys ago still behind Austereo rival Triple M with 8.6 (8.0) in exclusive fourth with 2UE pulling up from eighth to fifth with 8.4 (7.5). WSM, which had been fourth equal dropped to eighth with 7.3 (8.0).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
2004-08-11: In Canada, more than 50 busloads of supporters of Quebec station CHOI-FM travelled to Ottawa on Tuesday to lobby the Federal Parliament to keep the station on the air.
CHOI, owned by Genex Communications, had breached Canadian codes repeatedly in its broadcasts and in 2002 was given only a two-year licence renewal; The pattern of offending continued and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last month rejected the station's licence renewal application.
The station has since then been campaigning against the decision and has attracted support from a number of politicians and also in newspaper editorials although some observers have pointed out that the station was given warnings and chose to ignore them.
2004-08-11: In further US radio results Interep has reported a 9.6% fall in commission revenue to USD 20.6 million for the second quarter ending June 30 compared to a year ago: Its six month figures show commission revenues down 8.9% to USD 37.5 million.
Both falls were attributed mainly to the loss of the company's business from Citadel with revenues from other clients only marginally down.
Overall Interep's loss for the quarter rose from USD 4.5 million to USD 6.1 million (59 cents a share compared to 44 cents) and for the six months it was up from USD 13.5 million to USD 15.3 million (USD 1.48 per share compared to USD 1.32).
Chairman and CEO Ralph Guild said, "National radio ad spending has been unpredictable. Including all of our marketers, executive sales management and transactional sellers, we have proactively shifted our focus to aggressive new business initiatives such as calling on upper-level advertisers and agency decision-makers, and going after promotional, newspaper and print ad budgets. We are encouraged that our efforts have helped sustain our company during a challenging period due to economic and geopolitical factors that affected the total advertising climate."
"We remain optimistic for an upturn in national ad spending. Interep has an extraordinary legacy as a pioneer in our industry. We will continue to build our platform for long-term growth and profitability for our company, our clients and our shareholders."
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William McEntee added, "Predictions for future business bookings remain unclear. Buyers continue to book very close to a campaign's start date. To-date, third quarter bookings for national radio is soft. However, we are confident that our aggressive new business efforts will help improve our company's long-term sustainability."
2004-08-11: In further signs of the growth of digital, Cox Radio in the US has announced that it is to follow a number of other major players including Clear Channel (See RNW July 23) and speed up its introduction of iBiquity's HD radio transmissions.
Cox says it plans to upgrade four fifths of its stations over the next four years and President and CEO Robert F. Neil commented, "Digital radio represents the future of radio. With the technology now ready for broad based deployment, we are stepping up our efforts to provide digital radio to our listeners. Digital radio not only brings CD quality sound to our listeners free of charge, but also enables us to deliver other valuable services such as traffic updates, sports scores, artist information and song titles to name a few."
In the UK more new receivers are again coming on the market, this time in the form of a new DAB/FM tuner from Cambridge Audio and the PURE EVOKE-1XT DAB digital radio, developed from the award-winning EVOKE-1.
The Cambridge Audio receiver the Azur 640T features Natural Contour Technology (NCT), developed by Cambridge Audio to counter the sometimes 'flat' presentation of compressed digital sources (such as some low bit-rate DAB radio stations). Two settings are offered: 'Warm', which adds an analogue-like warmth to 'digital' sounding programmes and 'Lively', which breathes life into the sound quality of heavily compressed programmes. The receiver will be priced around GBP 199 (USD 360).
The Evoke model, which is priced around GBP 99 (USD 180), includes an improved drive unit and audio filtering plus a clock display, an alarm and a kitchen timer.
Also in the UK, BBC Radio 2 is "Going Digital" from the end of the August with a month-long September campaign to highlight the opportunities offered by digital media.
Station hosts will be encouraging listeners to go online, try out digital radio and explore digital technology. The shows will feature special guests, features, debates, interactive games, competitions and prizes to get listeners involved.
It will also give listeners a sampling of the work of BBC digital-only networks 6 Music, 1Xtra, BBC 7 and the Asian Network. The station's web site will feature a special "mini-site" with information about the campaign.
Previous Clear Channel:
2004-08-11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 10,000 penalty on a New Jersey pirate operator and also a USD 3,000 one on Entravision.
The New Jersey fine on Michael S. Selvanto of Elizabeth followed an inspection that showed him operating a station with a field strength 11,362 times greater than the permissible level for unlicensed low power FM operation.
Selvanto had not denied the offence but had sought cancellation of the penalty on the basis that he was unaware his operation was over power, the operation was not for personal monetary gain, but for the community churches and businesses, he had never received a November 27, 2002 Warning Letter and immediately shut down the operation upon notice of violation. He also claimed inability to pay but did not provide supporting documentation.
The Commission rejected all his arguments, noted that another hand-delivered letter had been given to him and that no information relating to ability to pay had been provided and confirmed the full penalty.
In California, the Commission has issued a USD 3,000 penalty on Entravision for failing to inform it of a change of ownership information relating to the antenna for KSSD-FM in Newport Beach.
Entravision had admitted that its tower registration information was not current at the time of an inspection but sought cancellation or reduction on the basis that its failure to report the change in ownership resulted from unusual circumstances and on the basis of "good faith efforts to bring the station into compliance" and history of overall compliance.
The Commission pointed out a number of other offences, rejected the other arguments, and confirmed the full penalty.
2004-08-10: Quebec station CHOI-FM, whose licence renewal has been rejected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is staging a protest in the country's Federal Capital, Ottawa, today.
In all it says around 50 busloads of station supporters to join morning host Jean-François (Jeff) Fillion, whose comments were a significant factor in the decision not to renew the licence in a protest at the decision that they say is too severe.
The station also intends to present a petition to parliament with around 154,000 signatures calling on the Canadian Parliament to rescind the decision and has said it intends to fight the decision in the Canadian Federal Court.
Alexandre Caron, a vice-president of CHOI's owner, Genex Communications Inc., said that the station acknowledged it had made mistakes but added that it was prepared to change.
CHOI's afternoon program, Le retour de Gilles Parent, it to be broadcast live from Ottawa while the protest is held on Parliament Hill.
Before it took the decision not to renew the licence, which runs out at the end of this month, the CRTC had issued warnings and had previously only allowed a short-term renewal of the station's licence because of its broadcasts of material that violated the country's Broadcasting Act.
2004-08-10: Fisher Communications has announced broadcasting revenues for the second quarter to the end of June up 8.3% on a year ago to USD 39.5 million and for the first half-year up 8% to USD 69.3 million. It put the increases down mainly to political advertising and generally higher local advertising.
Overall Fisher had total income for the quarter up 7.8% to USD 40.4 million and for the half-year up 5.3% to USD 71.3 million with net loss for the quarter trimmed from USD 4.3 million a year ago to USD 1.4 million (from 50 cents to 17 cents a share): For the half-year it was up from a loss of USD 7.2 million a year ago to USD 11.3 million (Up from 84 cents to USD 1.32 per share).
In the quarter it had a loss of USD 1.4 million on derivative instruments compared to a gain of USD 653,000 a year earlier and for the six months a loss of USD10.5 million on derivative instruments, compared to a gain of USD 411,000 a year before.
2004-08-10: BBC Radio 1 has confirmed that it has now signed a deal with the Official Chart Company to broadcast the latter's download chart starting next month; it will be transmitted on Wednesday evenings during the Scott Mills Show.
Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt commented, "As we all know, downloading is the most significant development in the music industry since the CD. We are well on track to a time when this is one of the main ways our young audience will buy their new music."
"It is absolutely right therefore that we should pioneer with this chart - to push forward legal downloading and tell the nation what the most popular tracks are."
Radio 1 also broadcasts the Official Chart Show with Wes Butters on Sundays.
2004-08-10: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 17,000 to USD 9,2000 penalty to a Mississippi AM and also reduced from USD 15,000 to USD 3,000 proposed penalties on the owner of two Louisiana AMs.
In the latter case, it had originally proposed penalties of USD 7,000 and USD 8,000 on to Pittman Broadcasting Services, LLC, licensee of KAOK-AM, Lake Charles, and KAOK-FM, DeRidder, for failure to maintain an effective locked fence enclosing its antenna tower for KAOK and breaching rules regarding maintaining operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment at both stations.
Pittman had responded saying that its EAS equipment had been out of action for less than the time allowed for repairs, had argued that marshy terrain around the AM tower made "foot access to the tower . . . impracticable, and eliminates any likelihood of casual trespass." It also argued for a reduction or cancellation on hardship grounds and a past history of compliance.
The FCC accepted the argument regarding the EAS equipment and cancelled the USD 8,000 penalty assessed for this.
Regarding the tower offence it rejected arguments based on natural terrain but reduced the USD 7,000 penalty, first to USD 5,6000 on grounds of past compliance and then to USD 3,000 on hardship grounds.
In the Mississippi case, a penalty of USD 17,000 was originally proposed against Marion R. Williams, licensee of WONG-AM, Canton, for violations that involved Williams's failure to enclose the station's antenna tower within an effective locked fence or other enclosure and to make most required items in the station's public inspection file available for public inspection during regular business hours.
Williams had sought reduction or cancellation on the grounds that plans were under way to correct the violations before the inspection, that the defects had now been remedied, and also on financial grounds. The FCC rejected the first two arguments but accepted that a reduction was justified on financial grounds and trimmed the penalty to USD 9,200.
The FCC has also pointed out that its 2004 financial year regulatory fee window officially opens today and remains open to August 19: Any organization required to pay annual regulatory fees automatically has to pay a 25% late payment penalty if it misses the deadlines.
The FCC noted that it has historically collected fees in September but notes that this has sometimes "impeded" its ability to collect all fees by the end of its fiscal year.
2004-08-10: Radio yet again escapes censure in the latest Complaints Bulletin from the UK regulator Ofcom: The medium was involved in no cases that were upheld or resolved or considered important enough for details of the complaint to be listed.
Three standards complaints were upheld against TV and a further 4 considered resolved as was another TV case involving fairness or privacy: In addition the regulator listed a further four fairness or privacy complaints against TV that were not upheld and 19 standards complaints about 19 matters involving radio and 151 complaints involved 133 matters against TV, none of which were upheld.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2004-08-09: This week we are concentrating on technology in our look at print comment on radio, starting with an article in the UK Guardian by Sean Hargrave that opines that digital radios, latest models of which now have a record capability, could soon rival I-Pods in popularity.
So far only two models on the British market have record capability but more models are on the way and automobile receivers are also to start offering a record function.
Some receivers also feature the facility to go back in time - for varying periods - and listen to something they have missed and this facility is also expected to develop [RNW comment: Bearing in mind that external USB computer flash memory of 256 Mb is now common and fairly inexpensive, we see no reason why a receiver could not store at least half an hour of past listening and be capable of being set in advance to record three to four hours of programming: At CD quality an hour of radio takes around 56 Mb to store].
The initial use of the facility is expected to be mainly to allow listening to something that was missed because of an interruption although this will expand into other users: UK Digital Radio Development Bureau chief executive Ian Dickens told the paper the facility's "first use is probably going to be people making sure they don't miss part of a play, but that will all change next year when you get a programme guide on digital radio that will make recording entire shows as easy as storing a TV programme on a Sky Plus box or video recorder. "
"By around this time next year DAB owners will be able to look at a far more informative screen on their set that will show them all the shows scheduled on every station. They will then be able to scroll through them and highlight anything they want the radio to record."
Some stations see the facility as likely to boost their listening - London Xfm business development manager Graham Hodge told the paper, "There's always the irony with music aimed at the younger end of the market that when you're playing it on a Friday or Saturday night, they're actually out listening to it in clubs. So we think we'll be getting a significant chunk of young listeners setting their radio to record the shows they're missing."
Others see the facility as offering potential to sell downloads when linked to mobile phones, which they think will also be widespread: UBC Media chief executive Phil Riley commented of using radio in conjunction with phone technology to download tracks, "The majority of the song is being sent to the radio anyway, so it can just be recorded. The clever bit, we foresee, is that we would then send the purchaser the beginning and end of the song that would replace the broadcast segments that would probably have DJ chat on them. All digital radio stations have a data capacity to send a clear version of the song as well as the version that is broadcast."
The idea of the - to use the US term - cellphone being used to download music tracks was also featured in the New York Times in an article by Laurie J. Flynn, but it did not extend the thoughts to the use of the technology in conjunction with digital radio broadcasts, thus saving bandwidth for the transmission of much material.
RNW comment: We'd much prefer the British approach here as we already value the capability to set up a computer - using Replay Radio - to record radio programmes that we know we will not be able to catch live although there is occasional disappointment when there are streaming problems.
We'd certainly welcome the idea of this kind of facility being built into DAB receivers or DAB cum mobile phone devices and can only hope that in the US the electronics equipment lobby can defeat the recording industry/copyright lobby on the issues of copyright and recording of digital broadcasts.
In addition, as we have commented before, a CD quality version is of better quality when listened to on good equipment and the right surroundings than is an MP3 which is of necessity a compressed version that loses part of the information.
We wish the music companies would spend a little more effort marketing quality rather then trying to use copyright to limit the benefits of technological development but maybe they know their market and know most pop fans really care - like most people taking snapshots - only that the end result sound (or looks) reasonably OK.
Riley's suggestion of the broadcast including a version that is in part talked over but offering the chance to pick up a clean version easily is attractive - it would, after all, be possible to transmit the "clean" version anyway but electronically encode it so that it can only be heard when the "download" instruction is sent
The question of the impact upon radio of changes in technology and habit were also on the mind of Gerry McCarthy in his weekly column on Irish radio in the UK Sunday Times. He began by noting the switch amongst the young to downloading rather than purchasing CDs and noted - without comment - "The music industry, having marketed its back catalogue first as vinyl and subsequently on compact disc, is now selling it for a third time in the form of pure data."
"There are inescapable implications for radio, which depends so heavily on music for so much of its content," commented McCarthy. "The three-minute pop song has been the atomic unit of music radio for half a century. But in the 1960s consumers began to elevate the album above the single: a bias that has remained up until the present."
McCarthy then looked at the career of Irish presenter Dave Fanning, currently with 2FM, before noting that change in music habits may already have begun: "This week" he wrote of Fanning's show, "he noted that the heavyweight rock magazines were shifting focus from albums to individual songs, and used the ensuing discussion as a reason to play songs by Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and U2."
For McCarthy there was a silver lining for radio in terms of its ability to adapt to changes: "In one sense, radio will always have an advantage where music is concerned," he wrote.
"It is not limited by changing fashions in platform. Technology and copyright permitting, programmes can source their music anywhere: the sound we hear may come from old shellac 78 or an unreleased tape recording. The three-minute pop song may dominate the airwaves, but the number of specialist shows devoted to alternative styles and minority tastes is growing all the time."
Finally radio in a completely different context as reported on by David Segal in the Washington Post in an article headed, "The Shortwave And the Calling. For Akin Fernandez, Cryptic Messages Became Music To His Ears."
The article dealt with the enthusiasms of London-based Akin Fernandez, the son of Nigerian-born parents who grew up in Brooklyn and moved to London when he was 15 years old.
The article centres on Fernandez's fascination with broadcasts of lists of numbers he heard on short-wave radio: "In Spanish, in German, Russian, Czech; some voices male, others female. When Fernandez lucks into hearing the start of a broadcast, he's treated to the sound of electronic beeps, or a few bars of calliope music, or words like "message message message." Then come the numbers. A few stations spring to life the same time each night, others pop up at random and cannot be found again."
The article is fairly long but suffice it to say that it would appear that the broadcasts could well have been linked to espionage "One solution, dreamed up during the Cold War: Listen on short wave radio at a predetermined time and frequency for a message that only you can understand. Numbers stations, it turns out, are the one-way chatter of espionage agencies to their spies. This isn't conspiracy theory hokum; it's referenced in a dozen-plus memoirs of assorted ex-spooks and defectors. And though numbers broadcasts might sound low-tech in the age of the BlackBerry, the idea isn't utterly cockamamie."
"In a two-way communication, you have to acknowledge the message," says David Kahn, author of "The Codebreakers," a history of cryptology. "But with a short wave broadcast, anybody can listen, which means that nobody knows who the message is intended for."
Fernandez put years of his life and listening into the "The Conet Project." (Conet, a word he heard often on the short wave, is Czech for "end.")..." Four CDs with 150 different broadcast snippets from all over the world. More than 280 minutes of white noise, numbers and beeps. Plus a 74-page booklet with background, logs, playlists and a bibliography -- the sort of treatment ordinarily reserved for platinum-selling bands with a massive fan base. Fernandez poured everything he had into "Conet." It sold in the United States for $62."
"I wanted it to be perfect," he says. "I didn't know what it would do, if it would just sit in boxes, because nobody had done anything like this before. But it was obvious to me that it had to be done."
The work led him down a path that gained him a credit in the Tom Cruise movie Vanilla Sky and into a legal battle with the band Wilco, over its album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" with a song called "Poor Places" that "starts as a droopy ballad, but eventually the drums fade, the melody evaporates, and up roars a truly terrifying hurricane of sound. As it builds to a climax, a woman's urgent semaphore peeks through the noise: 'Yankee. Hotel. Foxtrot. Yankee. Hotel. Foxtrot. Yankee. Hotel. Foxtrot.'"
Wilco, although claiming there was no question of copyright infringement, eventually settled with Fernandez - he used the funds to revive his independent label Irdial.
After which, the first listening recommendation this week has to be some of Irdail's catalogue - if the main site is down, the mirror sites may well work. We suggest you just look at the list, sample the sounds, and make up your own mind.
The next one is for Fordham University's WFUV an din particular its Saturday Morning Cityscape show- last Saturday's included the views of New York strip clubs about anticipated business during the Republican convention and should be posted in the archives shortly: The July 31 Show about the New York subway is also worth a listen.
Then there is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's science programme Ockham's Razor that on Sunday in Science v Advertising - Smoking looked through the eyes of a Melbourne chemistry teacher at the promotion of smoking to the young by multi-national tobacco companies.
From the UK, analysis on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday looked at the impact of technological change on human privacy and on the same channel State of the Union from Charles Gusewelle in Kansas City carried some interesting reflections from one American who has travelled widely on the perceptions of his country in the past and present, to the detriment may we say of the present.
Still with Radio 4, The Square Meal (08:00 GMT) today looks at issues of nutrition and is followed at 08:30 GMT by the first of five Real Just So Stories; This week's programme looks at How the Elephant Got Its Trunk and subsequent ones at the camel's hump, the giraffe's neck, the whale's throat, and the zebra's stripes.
This evening is also a strong one on the channel with To Be a Kennedy Hero at 19:00 GMT on the dead of Joe Kennedy Junior during the second World War followed by Crossing Continents, Crossing Europe that looks at gambling in Europe and then this week's "The Sound of Life" in which Aubrey Manning examines the Art of Listening in the natural world.
On BBC Radio 3 2 on Thursday (20:00 GMT) Mark Lamarr in his continuing Shake, Rattle and Roll looks at the 'Greats' from the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino and Gene Vincent. It's followed by the musical comedy show The Day the Music Died.
And finally for more comedy, Tuesday's We Interrupt this Programme on BBC Radio 4 at 10:30 GMT looks at the work of Stan Freberg while the 17:30 GMT slot on BBC Radio 4 has Think the Unthinkable: Wednesday has Concrete Cow and Friday the latest Now Show.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Ockham's Razor site:
Irdail web site - carries links that include its entire catalogue online (Free of charge for non-commercial use):
New York Times - Flynn:
UK Guardian - Hargrave:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy:
Washington Post - Segal:
2004-08-09: David Smith, the Chicago campaigner against Erich "Mancow" Muller's show on Emmis's WKQX-FM has now put Emmis, in his sights.
According to the Indianapolis Star Smith failed an objection to the renewal of Emmis's licence for News-Talk WIBC-AM, Indianapolis, claiming that Emmis lacks the "basic character qualifications" required for a license.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , which last month renewed WIBC's licence for eight years has subsequently returned the licence renewal application to "pending" status after it discovered that Smith's objection had been filed properly but not been entered into the FCC's system although a Commission spokeswoman said the change did not reflect on any merit of the complaint.
Mancow's show does not air on WIBC and Emmis spokeswoman Kate Healey told the Indianapolis Star, "The complaint has absolutely nothing to do with WIBC. Our attorneys are confident that the FCC isn't going to find merit in the allegations."
Previous Mancow Muller:
Indianapolis Star report:
2004-08-09: In what may be a local oddity but could also mark the start of a trend against conservative talk radio in the US following ratings that showed progressive talk Air America outlet KPOJ-AM in Portland, Oregon, going ahead of its sister Clear Channel talk station and Rush Limbaugh outlet KEX-AM in the mornings, an Arkansas station has dropped Limbaugh's show because it was losing money.
KCAB-AM, Russellville, had been airing Limbaugh for a decade but Jim Kelley, General Manager for owners River Valley Radio, told the Courier News, "over the past few years, sponsorship for the show has dwindled to the point we had one sponsor for the show last year (June 30, 2003 through July 1, 2004). The bottom line is we were losing money on the show for the past year, so we asked not to renew our annual contract with Rush Limbaugh earlier this year."
The paper reports that the station, which had directed listeners to other station's airing Limbaugh and to the host's web site, received around 100 e-mails since it stopped airing Limbaugh and replaced him with an hour of classic country and the usual format of local and regional news, local high school and college sports and the ESPN Radio Network.
Previous Air America/Piquant (Air America owner):
Previous Clear Channel:
Courier News report:
2004-08-08: Last week saw a reasonable level of activity from most of the regulators but no major issues were involved.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has imposed special conditions on the licence of community station Groove FM (See RNW Aug 5) and has also been involved in a number of decisions relating to rural radio services.
In New South Wales it is proposing to amalgamate the licence areas of the Deepwater and Glen Innes community radio services following a request from Deepwater and Districts Community FM Radio (DCFM), the licensee of community radio service 2CBD Deepwater, to extend its licence area to include Glen Innes: DCFM has been operating a temporary service in Glen Innes since August 2002, largely providing a retransmission of its existing Deepwater service.
Also in New South Wales, the ABA has allocated a new community radio licence for the Murwillumbah licence area to North Coast Broadcasters Ltd (NCB), which proposed a country music and local sport service. It was competing for the licence with an application to provide a general community service by the Heartland Opry Group Inc.
In Southern Australia, the ABA has allocated a new community licence in Coober Pedy to Dusty Radio Inc., which is already broadcasting under a temporary licence and in Western Australia it has allocated a new community radio licence for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, to VKW 'Voice of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands' Incorporated (VKW), which is already broadcasting under a temporary community licence.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been involved in a number of licence renewals and decisions has also issued a public notice regarding various other applications.
Among the decisions - in order of province - were:
Renewal until August 31, 2011, of the licence for CKQR-FM, Castlegar, and its transmitters CHRT-FM, Trail, and CHNV-FM, Nelson.
Renewal until August 31, 2011, of the licence for CFFM-FM-2, Quesnel, and its transmitter CFFM-FM-1, 100 Mile House.
Renewal until August 31, 2011, of the licence for CKXR, Salmon Arm, and its transmitter CKXR-FM-1, Sorrento.
Renewal until August 31, 2011, of the licence for CIRX-FM-1, Vanderhoof, and its transmitter CIRX-FM-2, Fort St. James.
Renewal until August 31, 2011, of the licence for CKJS-AM, Winnipeg:
Frequency changes for the transitional digital radio programming undertakings CFNY-DR-1 Brampton and CJAQ-DR-1 Toronto, to enable them to be consolidated into a single digital multiplex.
Quebec: Administrative renewal until February 28, 2005, of the licence of CJRC-AM, GatineauL An application is being considered for this station is to be acquired among other stations by Corus from Astral and a public hearing for this will not be held until September 7, after the current licence has expired on September 1.
The CRTC has also approved an application for the acquisition of Genex Communications' CKNU-FM, Donnacona and its transmitter CKNU-FM-1 Sainte-Croix-de-Lotbinière as part of a corporate re-organization under which the stations would be transferred to another company operated and controlled by Genex's owner Patrice Demers.
The CRTC also issued a public notice, with a September 8 deadline for interventions, concerning the following applications:
Application to add an FM transmitter at Fernie to rebroadcast the programming of CHBZ-FM, Cranbrook.
Application to an FM transmitter at Sparwood to broadcast the programming of CJDR-FM, Fernie.
Application for a frequency and contour change for CKOE-FM, Moncton.
Application for a frequency change for transmitter approved at Inverness for CJFX-FM Antigonish: The original frequency proposed conflicted with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's long-range plan.
There was nothing new relating to radio from Ireland and in the UK, the only radio-related matter was the publication of the last annual report of the Radio Authority, which has now been subsumed into the new Ofcom regulator (See RNW Aug 5).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)has been involved in a number of enforcement actions including the substitution of an admonishment for a USD 13,000 penalty involving a non-commercial station and the reduction of other penalties (See RNW Aug 3).
It has also reduced from USD 12,000 to USD 400 on financial hardship grounds a penalty proposed on an Ohio amateur station operator, Ronald E. Sauer. The original penalty was assessed for causing interference (USD 7,000), transmitting unauthorized material (USD 4,000) and failing to transmit the call sign (USD 1,000) after complaints of deliberate interference to the transmissions of Canadian amateurs.
It also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for comments n how the country's Emergency Alert System can be improved (See RNW Aug 5) and has agreed to an application by among others the National Association of Broadcasters and Media Access Project for a 61-day extension until December 1 of the deadline for filings regarding its localism plans.
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2004-08-08: Sports fans may get even more realistic radio if a recent soccer cover in Japan, where the country's leading radio network group has broadcast its cover of an international soccer game in surround sound, are adopted more widely.
JFN Network, whose stations include Tokyo FM, broadcast the Kashima Antlers versus FC Barcelona game was in full 5.1-channel surround sound using SRS Labs' Circle Surround technology, enabling those listening with multi-channel home systems to enjoy surround sound audio.
Those using stereo systems were able to listen with enhanced stereo.
The SRS system encodes the audio and transmits it with a stereo signal: It can then be decoded using the company's Circle Surround II decoder, which can be found in a wide variety of home theatre products from Kenwood, Marantz, Accuphase and Theta Digital, and also by other decoders.
Circle Surround has partnered with broadcasters including ESPN, HD Radio, Guangdong Radio and TOKYO FM to offer the capability to deliver surround sound using an existing stereo broadcast infrastructure.
2004-08-07: US Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps has re-iterated the call for a public debate on media consolidation and accused big media of burying cover about the issue in a speech to journalists at the Unity 2004 meeting in Washington DC.
He commented to those assembled, "I see a lot of friends here today who have laboured mightily to do just that-to drag this issue out of the obscurity which big media would like to keep it in and let the sunlight of public debate shine upon it. I know this: it's a huge story. It doesn't lack an audience and it doesn't lack interest."
" Everywhere I go, it's what people want to talk about. There's an audience, alright-witness the 2.3 million Americans who contacted the FCC last year to express their concern when the Commission's majority tried to open the floodgates to more consolidation. And big media is trying to hide the issue, no doubt about that-witness its almost total lack of coverage since day one.
Copps also stressed that the need for action was urgent, saying, "Realize at the outset that we are not talking about some future threat. We are talking present reality."
After commenting on the effects of consolidation on entertainment including "seeing local talent and local creativity driven to the sidelines, denied the very opportunity to create" he went on to add, "If entertainment is in trouble, contemplate news, information and the civic dialogue for a moment. It hits home especially hard in this election year. Study upon study paints a bleak and depressing picture. From 1996 to 2000, coverage of even the Presidential race on the network evening news dropped by one-third. The average Presidential candidate sound bite in 2000 was less than 9 seconds. Coverage of Congressional, state and local races is virtually non-existent. "
"What coverage there is tends to focus inordinately on the latest tracking polls and handicapping the horse race. Campaign ads outnumber campaign stories by a huge margin."
Noting the groundswell of opposition to the Federal Communications Commission's new media ownership regulations, he noted Senate votes against the FCC plans, the refusal so far to allow the House a vote on the matter and the overturning of the rules by the courts and then went on, "The bad news is that these rules now come back to-guess where? -the very Commission that dreamed them up in the first place. So we could still end up with rules every bit as bad as the ones that were returned to us Last time the majority shut the people out of its deliberations. So Commissioner Adelstein and I have asked Chairman Powell to schedule hearings, beginning right away, so all the Commissioners can go into individual media markets around the country and learn for themselves what consolidation means for local viewers and listeners. We don't have time to waste on this. It's an issue with the American people. It's an issue with Congress. And it's an issue you as journalists-no matter who owns the company you work for-need to cover."
2004-08-07: BBC London has announced, just before the start of the new UK soccer season this weekend, that it has acquired commentary rights for London Premiership clubs Tottenham Hotspur, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Football League clubs West Ham United, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers (DPR).
The deal will strengthen the station's sports output, which it is has built up from having no commentary rights three years ago into the leading sports output n the English capital.
Games to be covered on the station's Sport this Saturday show today include the games between QPR and Rotherham and Plymouth Argyle and Millwall.
BBC London web site:
2004-08-07: In more US radio deals, Border Media Partners is paying USD 7.5 million to Reding Enterprises Ltd for country format KBUC-FM, Jourdanton, Texas. Border specialises in Spanish formats and is likely to switch the station to Spanish-language output.
Also in Texas, Cumulus is adding to its holdings with a USD 2.1 million cash purchase of country format KAYD-FM, Beaumont, from Hilco Communications.
Cumulus agrees to purchase the station, then KLOI-FM, Silsbee, in 2001 but the deal was red-flagged over revenue-share and concentration issues and Cumulus amended the deal. It's already paid two thirds of the purchase price to Hilco in two instalments and is to pay a final USD 700,000 instalment in July 2009.
2004-08-07: Fordham University's WFUV-FM in New York looks at a potential boom in business for the city during the Republican Party Convention in the city at the end of this month in its Cityscape programme that airs today (11:30 GMT/ 07:30 ET).
The segment however is not about the expected business for hotels and restaurants but in the city's strip clubs: For the segment "G-Strings and the GOP" Assistant News and Public Affairs Director George Bodarky went, to use the station's description "club-hopping to interview strippers and club owners about their preparations and concerns" about the convention.
The programme also looks back on the development of Madison Square Garden and profiles an African American Republican Delegate from Queens.
WFUV web site (Carries link to live stream):
2004-08-07: UK UBC Media has bought Smooth Operations, the British independent radio and TV company specialising in music documentaries and series, for GBP 1.8 million (USD 3.3 million) in cash plus "earn-out" payments up to a maximum of GBP 1.9 million (USD 3.5 million)
Smooth is run by Nick Barraclough, who is based in Cambridge (Smooth "South") and Lancashire-based John Leonard (Smooth "South"), both of whom were musicians - Barraclough with "Telephone Bill and the Smooth Operators" - hence the company name - and Leonard on the folk circuit until they each joined the BBC: Barraclough began his career with BBC Radio Cambridge and Leonard with BBC Radio Sheffield, later becoming Editor of Radio 1 North in which role he was responsible for bringing to the network Janice Long, Andy Kershaw, Simon Mayo and Mark Radcliffe.
The company, which had a turnover of GBP 1 million (USD 1.8 million) in the year to the end of March produces regular shows, including the Nick Barraclough Country Show, Mike Harding Folk Show, The Mark Radcliffe Show, and the Andy Peebles Soul Show - all on BBC Radio 2; events - it created the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards; and radio and TV documentaries including the BBC Radio 2 3-part documentary "Walking With The Wind" on the struggle for black civil rights in the US in 1960s that was aired last month.
2004-08-06: Former WNEW-FM, New York, duo Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) have now officially signed with XM: They will have a live weekday show on a premium channel (XM Channel 202) that costs an extra XM USD 1.99 a month from October 4
Commenting on the deal Hughes (Opie) said," "We learned a lot during our two years away from our fans, and we can't wait to get back on the radio and reconnect with them."
"This is a huge milestone for us because XM provides a nationwide audience that local radio simply can't match."
Cumia (Anthony) added, "XM is the future of radio as we know it, and it is the perfect platform for us to entertain our radio fans, in the same way that HBO provided more creative freedom for people in TV."
XM President and CEO Hugh Panero commented, "XM has been called 'the HBO of satellite radio,' and like HBO, we can provide O & A fans with a unique way to enjoy their edgy humor. The O & A show is the latest example of the incredible range of programming available on XM."
RNW Comment: The fact that the XM deal is for a premium channel will mean it is a useful test bed for any other "terrestrial" radio names considering a jump to satellite, notably Bubba the love Sponge (Todd Clem) assuming he does not end up winning the race to become Sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida (See RNW ) and Howard Stern.
Bearing in mind the needle match between Stern and Opie and Anthony, we wonder what the former's reaction will be to success by the latter.
Previous Opie and Anthony:
Opie and Anthony site announcement:
2004-08-06: Citadel Communications, Entravision, Spanish Broadcasting, Univision and XM Satellite Radio have all released their second quarter results to the end of June.
Citadel reported a record second quarter with net revenues up 12.5% to USD 107.3 million, operating income up more than seven-fold to USD 12.3 million from USD 1.5 million a year earlier, station operating income up 12.5% to USD 44.5 million and overall a loss a year ago of USD 19 million (20 cents a share) was turned into a net income of USD 275,000 (Nil per share).
For the first half of the year revenues were up 12.5% to USD 194 million, an operating loss of USD 12.3 million was turned into operating income of USD 8.5 million, and a net loss of USD 53 million (55 cents a share) was nearly halved to USD 29 million (23 cents a share).
Chairman and CEO Farid Suleman commented: "The Company was able to post record second quarter operating results in spite of a continued difficult environment for the radio industry. The 13% increase in station operating income combined with the benefit of refinancing the Company's subordinated debt resulted in a 56% increase in free cash flow."
He added that "pursuant to the Company's USD100 million stock buy back program announced on June 29, 2004, the Company has repurchased approximately 1.2 million shares for a total of approximately USD16.1 million."
"Whereas the Company continues to focus on strategic acquisitions like the recently completed Springfield, Massachusetts acquisition[of WMAS-AM and FM for USD 22 million - See RNW Apr 23], the Company believes the repurchase of its stock represents an excellent use of its free cash flow," said Suleman
Looking ahead, Citadel says the current economic environment makes it difficult to predict future results but estimates full year 2004 station operating income will be approximately USD 168 million.
Entravision, which has sold its publishing division and thus adjusted figures to show the publishing operations as discontinued operations had net revenues up 7.5% to USD 64.1 million and up 7.6% for the first half of the year to USD 121 million, all of which came from its television and radio operations with outdoor revenues dropping by 1%.
For the latest quarter, TV performed most strongly with revenues up 11% to USD 36 million whilst radio revenues were up 8% to USD24.6 million. TV broadcast cash flow was up 26% to USD 17.6 million and that of radio was up 14% to USD 9.8 million.
Overall net income more than tripled, jumping from USD 1.18 million a year ago to USD 5.1 million while for the first six months it cut its losses from USD 5.48 million to USD 132,000.
Entravision's net loss per share applicable to common stockholders was converted in the quarter from a loss of 1 cent to a positive two cents a share and for the six months was cut from a loss of nine cents to a loss of seven cents.
Chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa said of the results, "Our company generated improved results in the quarter as we capitalized on our growing ratings and an aggressive effort by our sales teams. As we continue to capitalize on the significant growth of Spanish-language media, we are making inroads into attracting new advertisers who wish to penetrate our fast growing audience. At the same time, we continue to convert an increasing amount of our top-line growth into cash flow, as we benefit from the investments we have made in our infrastructure, while controlling costs."
"Looking ahead, we remain one of the fastest growing media companies in the nation. All of our divisions currently are expected to post strong revenue increases in the third quarter. Our television revenue is pacing up solidly even with limited exposure to political advertising, our radio division is significantly outpacing the general market and our outdoor division is on track to produce positive top-line gains. At the foundation of this growth is our commitment to building valuable media platforms in the nation's fastest growing and most densely populated Hispanic markets. We continue to seek opportunities to strengthen our asset base through strategic acquisitions that leverage our existing station group or allow us to enter new markets that are experiencing significant Hispanic population growth."
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has reported second quarter revenues to the end of June up 10% on a year earlier at USD 40.3 million, exceeding its guidance, with Operating Income from Continuing Operations up 43% to USD 14.2 millions: Overall however it moved from net income of USD 789,000 a year ago to a loss of USD 1.386 million that when dividends of USD 2.107 million on preferred stock were factored in took the net loss applicable to common stockholders up to USD 3.493 - from a positive cent a share to a loss of five cents.
For the first half of the year, SBS net income was up 8% to USD 69.5 million with income from Continuing Operations before Income Taxes and Discontinued Operations for the quarter up 215% to 4.1 million compared to $1.3 million for the same prior year period, an increase of $2.8 million or 215%. Put down primarily to an increase of USD4.3 million in Operating Income from Continuing Operations, offset by an increase of USD 1.4 million in net interest expense related to USD 125.0 million credit facility term loan entered into in October 2003.
SBS says most of the growth came from its Miami and Los Angeles markets which had double-digit increases compared to low single-digit growth in New York and Chicago.
This growth is mostly attributed to the double-digit growth in our Miami and Los Angeles markets, primarily in local and network revenue. Additionally, the New York and Chicago markets had low-single digit growth mainly from an increase in local and network revenue.
During this year SBS has completed its USD 24.4 million sale of San Antonio stations KLEY-FM and KSAH-AM to Border Media Partners; it is also in the process it hopes - the sale has fallen through once - of KPTI-FM, serving the San Francisco, California market, for a cash purchase price of USD 30.0 million although it warns that the deal may not proceed to completion.
It has also subsequent to June agreed to sell suburban Chicago stations WDEK-FM, WKIE-FM and WKIF-FM to Newsweb Corporation for USD 28 million in cash.
In ratings terms, SBS notes that it now has the top three most-listened-to Spanish-language radio stations in the US and that In addition, WSKQ-FM, KLAX-FM and WPAT-FM each broke the one million-listener level -- the only Spanish-language stations to do so in the US.
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón commented, "Our second quarter revenue growth is among the strongest in the industry, highlighting the leading positions of our stations. Despite a difficult market overall for radio broadcasters, we have continued to effectively implement our strategy to maximize the value of our assets."
"Bolstered by our recent efforts to strengthen our operating management and programming resources, the majority of our stations are posting very strong ratings, as highlighted by our leadership positions in Los Angeles and New York, the nation's two largest radio markets. While our momentum has clearly improved, these ratings gains bode well for further revenue growth in the second half of the year. And, as the dramatic improvement in our second quarter cash flow indicates, we are committed to converting an increasing amount of our revenue gains to the bottom line. Finally, through pending sales of non-strategic assets, we will significantly strengthen our balance sheet and enhance our financial flexibility to the benefit of our shareholders. As a result of these efforts, we are in a very strong strategic position to continue to pursue our focus on closing the gap between Hispanic media industry ratings and revenue across all our markets."
Looking ahead, SBS is forecasting pro-forma net revenue growth to be in the mid single digit range and Pro forma Adjusted EBITDA growth to be in the flat-to-low single digit range over the pro forma comparable prior year period.
Also reporting in the Spanish-language sector has been Univision Communications Inc., which recorded second quarter results with net revenue up 55% to USD 495.3 million, operating income up 64% to USD 177.5 million and net income just over double at UD 83.7 million, up from USD 41.6 million a year earlier with diluted earnings per share up 50% from 16cents to 24 cents.
Within the figures, Univision Radio, the former Hispanic Broadcasting which was only acquired in September last year, reported revenues of USD 91 million, with pro-forma revenues up 19%, propelled says Univision, "by increases across many of the Company's advertising categories, particularly the financial, grocery store, beverage, telephone/cellular, and real estate categories."
It adds," Second quarter revenue growth was solid and broad-based, showing strength in both local and national revenues, and outperforming the market in 15 out of the 16 markets in which the Company operated stations during the same period last year, including Los Angeles."
"RadioCadena Univision, the Company's newly launched AM Network, showed impressive results in its first full quarter of operation, contributing approximately 1.5% to the overall Univision Radio net revenue growth."
Commenting on the overall figures, chairman and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio said, "I'm extremely pleased with Univision's record second quarter results. Our growth can be attributed to strong quarterly performance at each of our divisions as advertisers continued to increase their commitment to building brands nationally and locally through our Spanish-language media assets.
Univision Radio President McHenry T. Tichenor, Jr. added of the radio performance, "The radio division posted solid performance in the second quarter with pro forma revenue growth of 19%, comparing favourably to reported industry growth of 2%. We also delivered significant operating leverage, as profitability grew by over 25%. The Company's continued focus on integrated sales across all the Univision media platforms yielded significant gains, and RadioCadena Univision, our new AM talk network, continued to grow in revenue and profitability, while providing uniquely helpful and informative programming to a growing audience."
Satellite radio company XM has also issued its results, showing record quarterly revenue of USD53.0 million, nearly tripling the USD18.3 million reported in the second quarter 2003 spurred by a subscriber increase of 418,449 for the quarter taking its total to 2,100,352 at the end of June.
Losses were also slightly up - from USD 164.6 million a year ago to USD 168.2 million.
President and CEO Hugh Panero commented, "We are thrilled by our subscriber growth in both the new car and retail markets during the first half of this year. With our programming, marketing and new product initiatives, we feel confident increasing our year-end 2004 subscriber guidance [from 2.8 million] to 3.1 million."
XM also says it is continuing to cut the cost of adding a subscriber - from USD 160 Per Gross Addition a year ago to USD 101
XM also notes that in July it reached agreement with its insurers over problems with its satellites that have shortened their life expectancy: The insurers have agreed to settle XM's claims for USD142 million in aggregate, most of which should be collected by the end of August. XM will initiate third party resolution procedures for collecting the remaining 20 percent of the sum insured.
2004-08-06: A bid for the new Edinburgh FM licence by Celador Radio Broadcasting, whose backers include UBC Media, former BBC Radio 2 controller Jim Moir, and former Capital FM Breakfast host Chris Tarrant, could bring the host back to radio according to the UK Guardian, although it quickly backtracks about how likely this is.
Celador is proposing a Radio 2-style station 4Life FM for the franchise and a spokeswoman for Celador commented regarding Tarrant's involvement, "His role is as a business brain with a lot of influence in the radio industry so a return to presenting is not part of the plan. But never say never."
Celador, which is best known as the company behind the "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" programme fronted in the UK by Tarrant, announced last month that it was forming its new radio division in partnership with UBC Media to apply for new UK licences.
It was founded by Paul Smith, who chairs the new company, in 1983 as a light entertainment production company, adding a films division in 1999.
Commenting on plans for the station should it win a licence, Smith said they would not include a radio version of the Millionaire show.
"There might be room for a quality quiz programme, something light hearted, but I don't t think that is what we are really aiming for," he told the Scotsman newspaper. "We want the station to be more about discussion and debate. This bid is one of several we will be making across the UK, and it is a key area for us.
The Edinburgh licence will be the first of 16 new licences to be offered by Ofcom since it took over from the former Radio Authority and is expected to attract strong competition.
Amongst those in the running are Castle FM - set up by a consortium including Andrew Neil, the Scotsman's publisher and editor-in-chief, and broadcaster Sheena McDonald; CN Radio, which owns City Beat in Belfast; Guardian Media Group (GMG); GWR: SMG - the owner of the Virgin national radio stations- that has teamed up with Kingdom Radio Group and Edinburgh FM in a bid under the Red FM name; and Scottish Radio Holdings;
UK Guardian report:
2004-08-06: Former BBC daytime and breakfast TV host Anne Diamond is joining BBC Radio Oxford at the beginning of October to work on a new breakfast show.
It will be Diamond's first regular presenting job since her BBC TV Daytime show Good Morning with Anne and Nick, co-hosted with Nick Owen, was dropped in 1996 and her first regular radio work since she co-hosted the LBC breakfast show in the late 90's.
Diamond was one of the original faces of British breakfast television in the early Eighties on TV-am, and as well as her BBC TV work she has presented programmes for Channel 4 and Channel 5 TV and BBC Radio 4.
Diamond has lived in Oxford for eight years and said," Anne says: "I am thrilled to be back with the BBC - especially presenting the 95.2FM Breakfast Show for my adopted county, and as a working mother my show even fits in with the school run!"
2004-08-05: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for comments n how the country's Emergency Alert System can be "be improved to be a more effective mechanism for warning the American public of an emergency."
The FCC will coordinate its activities in the area with various federal authorities, particularly the Department of Homeland Security, and also local authorities - one idea already proposed is that state and local emergency managers should have the authority to override programming at radio and TV stations in case of an emergency in the same way as the President can in case of a national emergency.
In the FCC meeting, Jim Daley from the FCC Enforcement Bureau's Homeland Security office said that the idea was under consideration since a national emergency could well begin as a local event for which local warnings and response would be essential.
All the FCC commissioners issued statements regarding the proposal that Chairman Michael K Powell commended as a proceeding that "will provide one of many vehicles by which we collectively explore the most effective mechanism for warning the American public of an emergency and the role of EAS as we move further into our digital future."
Similar general statements on the need for information to the American public in times of emergency came from the other commissioners with the two Democrats, Jonathan S Adelstein and Michael J. Copps, stressing the need for urgent action. (RNW Comment- this nearly three years after September 11: What was that about oil tankers taking a long time to change course?).
2004-08-05: The final annual report of the UK Radio Authority covering its 13 years of existence until December 29 last year - just published by its successor Ofcom - shows that seven former executives were paid a total of GBP 392,000 (USD 714,000) in bonuses to keep them at the organisation in the run up until its absorption by Ofcom.
In its final year the Authority spent GBP 3.44 million (USD 8.02 million) on staff and related costs, up 15.4% from a year earlier with total spending being GBP 5.96 million (USD 10.84 million) up 23.1 % from 2003.
The largest percentage increase came in finance and related costs that soared, nearly quadrupling from GBP 205,000 (USD 374,000) to GBP 810,000 (USD 1.475 million).
Former Radio Authority chief executive Tony Stoller, who moved over to become Ofcom's director of external relations with effect from 16 June 2003, took home total pay from the Authority of GBP 275,500 (USD 501,000) including a GBP 93,000 (USD 170,000) loyalty bonus, up from GBP 168,000 (USD 306,000) in 2002 [RNW comment: The term "loyalty" bonus we understand is somewhat misleading since staff at the Authority had a three-year bonus scheme with payment to be made at the end and thus much of the monies paid out were in effect deferred bonuses].
The report notes that nine staff applied for and were granted voluntary redundancy and two of the Authority's Members, Thomas Prag and Geraint Talfan Davies were compensated for the early termination of their contracts. There were no compulsory redundancies with 33 other staff members taking up posts with Ofcom and two resigning or retiring.
David Witherow, who stepped in as Executive Chair of the Authority when Richard Hooper, who had been appointed Deputy Chairman of Ofcom, stepped down, sat his pay go up from GBP 20,000 (USD 36,500) to GBP 56,5000 (USD 103,000) of which GBP 29,000 (USD 53,000) related to his extra duties.
In his statement for the report Witherow notes the extra load of preparing contributions for the Communications Bill, strategy documents on the future for FM and AM licences for handing over to Ofcom, and organising an orderly handover whilst continuing with regular activities that included
He notes particular satisfaction with the Authority's role in encouraging digital broadcasts and also of a third tier of "Access " radio.
During its last year, the Authority advertised only four new commercial FM licences since it would have handed over to Ofcom by the time any further licences were to be awarded: It awarded licences for these and 11 other services advertised during 2002, taking the total number of analogue local licences issued at the end of its reign to 272.
In addition to new licences awarded in 2003, 12 existing licences were re-awarded, all of them to the incumbent licensee and only one against competition from another applicant.
UK Radio Authority Final Report (177Kb/44 page PDF):
2004-08-05: Cox Radio has reported net revenues for the second quarter up only 1% to USD 116.9 million, with local revenues up 2% and national ones down 3%, but has increased station operating income by 6% to USD 49.3 million aided by a decrease of USD 1.1 million n station operating expenses largely because of reduced promotional spending.
Overall Cox net income was up 12.2% to USD 20.2 million (from 18 cents to 20 cents per diluted share).
For the first six months of the year, Cox revenues were up 2% at USD 210 million - local revenues were up 1%, national ones down by the same amount- with station operating income up 6% to USD 83.3 million and net income up 14.2% to USD 31.3 million (from 27 to 31 cents per share).
Commenting on the results, President and CEO Robert F Neil singled out the higher figures, saying, "In a tough operating environment, we are pleased to report station operating income growth of 6%. We were also able to deliver strong bottom-line performance with EPS growth of 11% and free cash flow growth of 15%."
"While the ad environment remains inconsistent, I believe that this is a short-term phenomenon and that we are poised to take advantage of our growth potential when the environment improves."
Looking ahead Neil said business remained erratic but the "fundamentals" were intact and continued, "While July was a challenging month, August is pacing positive and September looks considerably stronger. At this stage, we remain cautious in our guidance. We expect both third quarter and full year revenue growth to be in the low single digits."
2004-08-05: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has proposed to set out new strict conditions of licence for Perth Community broadcaster Groove FM, licensed in 2002 to Youth Media Society of Western Australia Inc (YMS - See Licence News RNW Nov 3, 2002 ), and which an investigation by the regulator has found "does not cater for the interests of the broader Perth youth community, and that it has not adequately encouraged members of the Perth youth community to participate in the service."
The investigation followed a complaint from DMG about the service being offered by Groove and ABA Acting Chair Ms Lyn Maddock commented, "In its licence application, YMS said it would provide a diverse service for all the youth of Perth. It has not done this."
"YMS has been given free access to a scarce and valuable public resource, the radio frequency spectrum, to provide a service that meets the needs and interests of the whole Perth youth community, not just one section of the community interested in a particular style of music. YMS must also ensure that members of the community are encouraged to participate in the service, not just as volunteers, but as members of YMS.'
There were also issues of corporate governance and the ABA said it did consider cancelling the licence before coming down in favour of imposing special conditions relating to the station's corporate governance, Australian music content, the regular broadcasting of announcements and inviting listeners to become members of YMS; in addition YMS will have to provide quarterly reports to the ABA saying how it has met its licence commitments in the previous three months and will be complied with in the following three months.
2004-08-05: The lawyer for Quebec CHOI-FM, whose licence renewal has been rejected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last month (See RNW Jul 14) has called on Canada's federal government to reverse its decision to keep out of the matter and said the government may have to compensate the station for losses suffered.
In a letter to the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, Guy Bertrand wrote, "Should you persist in your decision, you will make your government responsible for all special damages that our client will suffer and could suffer in the future."
Canada's Heritage Minister Liza Frulla declined to set aside the decision or refer it back to the CRTC (See RNW Aug 1) on the basis on a legal opinion from the Privy Council that Bertrand called "petty."
The station's owner says he could lose around CAD 25 million (USD 19 million (if the licence, due to expire at the end of this month, is not renewed and lawyers for CHOI's parent company, Genex Communications Inc., are expected to seek a court order to suspend the CRTC decision so it can be appealed in Federal Court.
RNW comment: Whatever opinion we may have about the appropriateness of the decision, we are in this case of the view that either Canada should urgently amend the law if it feels it is inappropriate or that the regulator's decision should be enforced. If a court feels there are good legal reasons for staying the closure, which would have a knock-on effect on the issue of a new licence for the frequency to whoever wins it, our view is that Genex should not be allowed to benefit financially from any such delay and that the station ought to be run by a court-appointed administrator with all funds held in escrow until a final decision. At that stage if the decision goes against Genex our view is that the funds should go into the regulator's general funding so as to eventually reduce, by however small an amount, the charges the CRTC has to make later to stations for licensing fees.
2004-08-05: UK Emap has appointed its Group Finance Director Gary Hughes to the additional role of chairman of Emap Performance, the division that includes its radio activities, music TV channels and music magazines, and had been without a head since Tim Schoonmaker left the company in January (See RNW Jan 9).
In his new role, Hughes will have responsibility for developing and extending Emap's cross-media brand strategy through the Emap Performance Board; Emap has said it is interested in radio acquisitions if the price is right and Hughes cautioned that acquiring other stations would only be part of its radio strategy.
Emap group Chief Executive Tom Moloney said of the appointment, "I'm excited about these developments, because they reflect the breadth of opportunities that exist around the Performance business model. Emap has been very successful in developing its music brands across magazines, television and radio, and I believe there is much more we can do across our UK consumer brand portfolio."
2004-08-04: Cumulus has reported second quarter pro-forma revenues for the second quarter to the end of June up 5.5% to USD 85.9 million, same station net revenues up 6.3% to USD 73.2 million with net revenues up 15.8% to USD 81.3 million.
Pro Forma station operating income was up 8.7% to USD 33.6 million, same station operating income was up 8.2% to USD 29.4 million, station operating income was up 10.6% to USD 33.7 million and Cumulus income per share was a basic 19 cents a share and diluted 18 cents per share compared to a loss of 2 cents a share a year earlier.
Six-month figures were pro-forma revenues up 5.1% to USD 155.3 million, same station net revenues up 5.8% to USD 132.1 million, and net revenues, fuelled by acquisitions, were up 14.5% to USD 151.8 million. Pro-forma station operating income for the six months was up 9.6% to USD 53.5 million, same station operating income was up 9.2% to USD 47.4 million, station operating income was up 11.6% to USD 52.9 million and income per share was a basic and diluted 16 cents a share compared to a loss of 14 cents a year earlier. Losses on early extinguishments of debt in the first six months of 2003 were USD 14.2 million but for the latest period were USD 500,000
Commenting on the results President and CEO Lew Dickey said they were "pleased to announce strong results."
Looking ahead, Cumulus is forecasting third quarter pro forma net revenue up by 3-4% based on Q3 2003 pro forma net revenues of USD81.1 million and third quarter 2004 pro forma station operating expenses to grow by 2% based on Q3 2003 pro forma station operating expenses of USD51.7 million.
Entercom has reported record results for the quarter with net revenues up 6% to USD 113.7 million, same station net revenues up 5% to USD 112.7 million, same station operating income up 6% to USD 51.4 million and net income up 25.6% to USD 24 million (net income per share was up 27% from USD 0.37 to USD 0.47.)
Entercom also noted that during the quarter it repurchased stock worth around USD50 million (1.2 million shares), under a stock buyback programme of up to USD100 million
Entercom President and CEO David Field said Entercom was "very pleased with our second quarter performance as we delivered record-breaking financial results, including a 27% increase in net income per share, and announced compelling new acquisitions in Indianapolis, Providence, and Buffalo. We also moved to create additional shareholder value by deploying a portion of our strong free cash flow towards a share buyback that we announced during the quarter. "
"We are also very encouraged by the acceleration of positive industry developments," he added. "The industry is rapidly implementing electronic invoicing to improve and simplify the purchasing process for our customers and the industry's sales marketing arm (the Radio Advertising Bureau) has dramatically enhanced their business development capabilities over the past 60 days. We also enthusiastically support Clear Channel's recently announced initiative to significantly reduce commercial inventories. Entercom has always maintained a disciplined, limited inventory policy and we remain committed to this advertiser and listener-friendly approach."
For the third quarter Entercom is forecasting an increase in same station net revenues of 2 - 3% over the prior year's net revenues of USD109.3 million; it also expects a charge of USD 700,000 representing a time brokerage agreement expense for the period prior to the anticipated closing of its USD 73.5 million purchase of WZPL-FM, WTPI-FM and WXNT-AM, Indianapolis, from MyStar Communications Corp. Entercom began operating the stations under a brokerage agreement on June 1.
Entercom has also announced that it plans to speed up the transition to digital broadcasts and intends to upgrade four fifths of its stations within the next four years.
It has already started broadcasts using iBiquity's HD system in Boston and Seattle and is to add stations in Denver and Portland over the next few months.
Field said of the plans, "HD Radio will enhance our ability to compete and win against a variety of new digital competitors. Providing innovative digital services for listeners and advertisers is a key part of our long-term growth strategy."
2004-08-04: Emmis Chicago WKQX-FM morning host Erich Mancow Muller has dropped his lawsuit against indecency crusader and senior policy analyst for the Illinois Family Institute David Edward Smith who had been responsible for some 70 complaints against him following a ruling by Federal Court Judge David H. Coar who said Mancow's First Amendment claim was "frivolous" and "insubstantial."
Judge Coar had remanded the case to state court, where Mancow ended his litigation.
Smith told the Illinois Leader he was "relieved that Mancow dismissed his lawsuit against me" adding, "I hope he realizes that our goal was not to attack him personally but to expose and bring an end to his indecent broadcasts that were harmful to children and families."
Smith's complaints had been responsible for six FCC rulings against Muller and USD 42,000 in penalties on Emmis Communications.
The host, who had been asking for USD 3 million in damages for business interference and harassment, told Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times he dropped the lawsuit last week in part because he is in contract negotiations with Emmis.
"I am confident that I would have won this thing," Muller said. "But I'm sick of having [Smith] be a part of my life."
"In the end, my goal was to stir the national debate about how we're losing the First Amendment and how one kook can single-handedly pervert the system for their own creepy desires, and decide what the community should be allowed to hear," Muller said. "I feel I accomplished what I set out to do. For me to continue at this point would be a waste of my time and money. I want him [Smith] out of my life, and I want to move on."
Smith also claimed success, saying in a statement released by the Illinois Family Institute," To some extent we have accomplished just that. Mancow has cleaned up his show by no longer airing ads for pornographic adult book stores and strip bars, and recent programs haven't been nearly as sexually explicit as they were in the past."
The Institute's executive director Peter LaBarbera commented, "We always knew that Mancow, by going after Dave, was simply trying to silence a good citizen. Thank God he failed. This is a big victory for the American people and for concerned citizens who are sick and tired of lewd content on the airwaves, and want to use the procedures set up by their government to stop it."
Previous Erich "Mancow" Muller:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder:
Illinois Leader report:
2004-08-04: In a 53-page response to the US Federal Communication Commission's call for comment on its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for terrestrial digital audio broadcasting the US National Association of Broadcasters has said it is encouraged by overwhelming support for the introduction of digital audio broadcasting but adds that the regulator should allow the market to determine how introduction is determined and not try and add extra regulations.
It says it is "mindful of the challenges of and potential trade-offs involved in converting the nation's radio stations to hybrid digital operations, especially in the case of AM nighttime operation" but then goes on to say we remain steadfast in our belief that digital radio will be transformative of both the AM and FM services, in terms of greatly improved audio quality, robustness of reception and opportunities for new, innovative services."
"This will be particularly so for the AM service, which, we are confident, will see a resurgence of formats, audiences and new services. These benefits will justify efforts to deal with instances of interference and some trade-offs of secondary service."
Reacting to concerns about "piracy" expressed by the Recording Industry Association of America, (RIAA) it comments "while NAB staunchly opposes piracy of which broadcasters are, themselves, victims, the Recording Industry Association of America have failed to demonstrate a right to protection or a consensus technical system to implement such protections. Moreover, a series of comprehensive and complex legislative actions delicately balancing the rights and interests of copyright owners and users of sound recordings dictates that the Commission should be loath to step where Congress has so heavily tread."
"Commenters," it says "were overwhelmingly consistent in supporting Commission policies to let the marketplace drive the transition and set the pace of conversion, both as to broadcaster implementation of IBOC and its new services and as to consumer adoption of the new receivers What is needed now is for the Commission to move ahead with final authorization of IBOC under flexible policies and minimal regulation, providing the further incentive and certainty to radio broadcasters and others that their digital future is here."
NAB response (53 page, 283kb PDF):
2004-08-04: US merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson, which specialises in media, says in its latest Communications Industry Forecast & Report that radio advertising will grow a healthy 6.7% to USD 20.9 billion this year and at around 6.4% compound per annum in the five years to 2008.
Particular areas singled out as likely to prosper are Spanish language stations whose numbers, spurred by demographic changes in the US, have already gone up by more than three quarters in the five years to 2003, making it the fastest growing segment in the US, and the satellite radio companies.
Satellite it predicts will see revenues growing at 85% compound between 2003 and 2008 to reach USD2.1 billion by the end of 2008 although it adds that they will have to work at it to hold off competition from digital radio and online services.
Overall radio expenditure including satellite was up 1.3% to USD 20l7 billion last year according to the report, which notes that spending on satellite radio was up nearly four-fold in 2003 to USD95.1 million.
"Pay" media including cable and satellite TV, home video, the Internet and satellite radio have made particularly strong showings according to the report, which notes that what it terms "consumer end user spending" was higher than advertising expenditure last year.
2004-08-04: Former Arsenal and England soccer player Kenny Sansom is to join Chrysalis's LBC to co-host a new Saturday afternoons sports show with the station's sports editor John Cushing.
The show will not include live commentary unlike its main competitors BBC Radio Five Live, talkSPORT and Capital Gold but it says it aims to provide reports from every match involving London teams combined with analysis and interviews.
In Scotland, the UK Guardian reports that Daily Star columnist Dominik Diamond has been signed up by Real Radio, owned by its parent Guardian Media Group (GMG), as a Saturday host with a comedy, phone-in and music Saturday Jukebox show from 10am - 2pm beginning this weekend.
He takes over the slot from Dougie Jackson, who will concentrate on his weekday mid-morning show.
UK Guardian report:
2004-08-04: Former WNEW-FM hosts Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) who were taken off the air in August 2002 following the Sex in St Patrick's Cathedral incident sound as if they have secured a return to broadcasting.
Their web site says the duo will be making a "major announcement" on their future tomorrow at the Hard Rock Café in New York City.
There has been speculation for some time that they would sign a satellite radio deal when their contract with Viacom-Infinity, which has continued paying them since under their contract, ended.
Previous Opie and Anthony:
Opie and Anthony web site:
2004-08-03: Christian-oriented broadcaster Salem Communications has reported second quarter net broadcasting revenue up 10.1% on a year earlier to 47.8 million with operating income up 33.7% to USD 11.9 million and station operating income up 18.9% to USD 18.9 million: Overall Salem had a loss of USD 200,000 (1 cent per share) for the quarter compared to net income of USD 1.8 million (8 cents a share) a year earlier.
This year's figures included a loss (net of income tax benefit) of USD4.0 million, or USD0.16 loss per share, from the early retirement of USD55.6 million of the company's 9.0% senior subordinated notes due 2011, and a loss (net of income tax benefit) of USD 300,000 from discontinued operations.
Same station revenues for the quarter were up 9.4% on a year ago to USD 43.4 million with same station operating income up 23.4% to USD
For the first six months, Salem had net income of USD 1.1 million (4 cents per diluted share) compared to a loss of USD 4.2 million (18 cents per diluted share) a year earlier when the figures included a loss (net of income tax benefit) of USD4.0 million, or USD0.17 loss per share, from the early retirement of USD100 million of the company's 9.5% senior subordinated notes due 2007, and USD2.2 million for costs associated with a denied tower site and license upgrade.
Net broadcasting revenue for the six months was up 10.7% to USD91.0 million, operating income as up 64.5% to USD19.9 million and station operating income for the six months was up 22.1% to USD34.5 million.
Commenting on the figures, President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III said the company's growth "will, once again, significantly exceed the performance of the overall radio industry."
"This strong performance," he continued, "is fuelled by our start-up and developing stations. In particular, our contemporary Christian music stations achieved an increase of 20.8% in net broadcasting revenue and an increase of 54.3% in station operating income. At the same time, we have continued to post improved operating leverage across our portfolio, as evidenced by a three basis point gain in our station operating income margins during the quarter."
Looking ahead, Salem is projecting third quarter net broadcasting revenue between USD46.0 million and USD46.5 million, station operating income between USD16.5 million and USD17.0 million, and net income between USD0.10 per diluted share and USD0.12 per diluted share.
2004-08-03: Dakota-based "liberal" US talk host Ed Schultz is featured in the current edition of Newsweek commenting on the future for liberal talk radio as well as his own syndicated show that now has 38 affiliates as well as airing on Sirius and XM satellite radio.
Schultz, whose syndication began with two affiliates - in Needles, California, and Langdon, North Dakota - in January says that in addition to his current affiliates - he just picked up Miami and began in Phoenix yesterday - expects to add stations in other big markets that are on the verge of making a decision.
On the prospects for liberal talk he compares his figures with those of Rush Limbaugh, who reached 56 stations in his first year in syndication, and adds "we're on 38, and we've been in business for seven months. That's the exciting thing about this. We don't know where it is going." "Rush Limbaugh called me 'the poor little guy from North Dakota.' Sean Hannity said my show would not work and that I was funded by the DNC-which is a lie. And Ann Coulter said on the [Joe] Scarborough show that 11 liberal talk-show hosts have failed and that I'd be another."
They don't know what they are talking about. There's no magic to this. It's all about good radio and good ratings. Only 10 percent [of listeners] listen to radio based on their political beliefs anyway."
On why conservative talk dominates in US radio Schultz puts it down implicitly to laziness - albeit he doesn't use the term - from US radio, which jumped on the band wagon of Limbaugh's success and then looked for people who could follow the lead.
He commented that as a result the industry hadn't seen a need for liberal talk " They've been making money from conservative talk radio. From a business standpoint, they haven't needed to try anything different. This is about business. Are there really people out there that want to listen to something different and will they support it? Will advertisers come to this program? I know they will, and they have. You've just got to get audience and ratings."
2004-08-03: Arlington County in Virginia is hoping to have a countywide AM radio station in operation by the end of this year as part of an emergency notification network it is to construct using homeland security grants according to the Washington Post.
It says the county recently obtained a licence to conduct tests using 1700 AM and determine how many transmitters it will need for the project, which is expected to cost around USD 100,000 and use 10-foot (23metre) transmitter antennas mounted on utility poles.
The paper says the impetus for the development came from problems on September 11, 2001, as radio stations were inundated from New York and the Washington area but did not have time to air specific local information.
Arlington School Board Vice Chair Libby Garvey said she vividly remembers racing across Arlington to her pregnant daughter's apartment on the morning of Sept. 11. She could see smoke billowing from the Pentagon but was getting no information about what was happening in Arlington from her car radio.
"This made me realize that in an emergency, parents need immediate, good information. And three years later, we still don't have a system in place to provide that," said Garvey, who supports the radio station.
"Currently, commercial radio stations even have trouble getting snow days right. I'm looking for a place where we can control the information, where people can tune in, even if the electricity's out."
County emergency management officials have instituted several initiatives in hopes of better reaching citizens, according to Robert P. Griffin Jr., director of the county's office of emergency management. Officials and volunteers went door-to-door in June distributing emergency preparedness guides and ArlingtonAlert.com was set up to send text messages about emergencies to pagers and cell phones.
The paper notes that public safety experts say that the best warning systems combine such technologies as sirens, text messaging, Web alerts and radio or television broadcasting.
Washington Post report:
2004-08-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a USD 13,000 penalty against Cornell College, Iowa's KRNL-FM, Mount Vernon and substituted an admonishment and also reduced fines on an Arkansas FM and a Texas tower rental company.
The Cornell case related to failure to make the station's public file available and failure to failed to maintain control of the station's transmitter that had been found during an inspection to lack monitoring equipment and could only be controlled remotely through an on/off switch at the studio, which was only manned at night although the station operated 24 hours a day.
Cornell had requested cancellation on speedy correction of the violations, a good record, and financial hardship grounds. The FCC agreed on the matter of the past record and noting the finances of the station opted to substitute the admonishment for the fine.
In the Arkansas case, Pearson Broadcasting of Mesa, Inc., licensee of KTTG-FM, Mesa, was fined USD 1600 for failure to carry out required emergency alert system tests; The penalty had originally been set at USD 2,000 but was reduced on the basis of good faith to correct the violations - Pearson had terminated the station engineer and had subsequently hired as a replacement an individual who is certified by the Commission to conduct EAS and other facility inspections. Other arguments including financial hardship put forward by Pearson were rejected.
In the Texas case, Andrews Tower Rental, Inc., owner of a structure near Brownwood, saw a penalty of USD 10,000 for failure to clean and repaint its antenna structure to maintain good visibility cut to USD 6,000.
Andrews had argued for cancellation on the basis of weather conditions that delayed work and a history of past compliance amongst other reasons and the commission felt that a reduction but not a cancellation was merited.
2004-08-03: A long-running dispute between Clear Channel and Nashville-based Cromwell Group is now moving to the U.S. District Court following the filing of a suit by Cromwell to prevent Clear Channel using the term "buzz" for one of its Dallas stations for which it had registered the Internet domain name www.1021thebuzz.net
Cromwell uses the name on its Buzz 102.9 rock station and holds the federal service mark registration for ''Buzz'' has been in conflict with Clear Channel over the use of the term since at least 2000, the year Cromwell registered it, according to the Tennessean, which reports that Cromwell had insisted that Clear Channel stop using the term.
Clear Channel says it has the right to use the term for any of its radio stations outside the geographical area where Cromwell has priority and further counter-claims that Cromwell was not entitled to the trademark and demands that it cease use of the term to describe its stations.
Clear Channel says that its own stations had been using the term long before Cromwell and that this prior use gives it the right to cancel Cromwell's trademark within five years of the registration and adds that since its stations are not competing in the same geographical region there is no trademark infringement.
Cromwell says that use of the term over the Internet will erode its trademark until it is meaningless.
RNW comment: The root problem here, it seems to us, was to allow the trademarking of English words in common usage: In our view no such rights over common words or phrases should ever have been permitted and they all ought ot be rescinded.
We'd also like to the playing field levelled where large companies effectively abuse their power and resources by trying to stop small local ones from using any name - as for example a family name - where there is no justification of a claim of "passing-off"; here we'd suggest the court should have the power not merely to decide the case at issue but as a deterrent to such abuse to remove any exclusivity in the right to the name from the company taking the action.
Previous Clear Channel:
2004-08-02: We start our look at cover of radio in print last week with a couple of brick-bats for BBC World Service, courtesy of Paul Donovan in his Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times, one of which should be sounding alarm bells round most of the Western World.
RNW note: One comment relating to availability of the service for travelers seemed to us rather played down but a significant point that will be exacerbated as countries switch to different digital systems and possibly turn-off analogue radio - particularly in the UK where the government (not known in our view for any joined-up thinking about technology) has just issued emergency leaflets stressing the use of radio for emergencies but we suspect hasn't given any thought to how many digital battery receivers people - who usually have up to five analogue radios in a house - are likely to buy.
Donovan began "Returning last week from the Red Sea, having in vain tried to get the World Service on either FM or short wave, I read the BBC annual report and BBC World Service annual review. Eventually, I found a brief remark about an extraordinary but rarely discussed phenomenon. In nearly every country surveyed by the BBC, the majority of listeners do not trust the World Service to provide unbiased news."
"That is so surprising, it almost has to be read twice. Does it not subvert everything we believe about the World Service as a beacon of impartiality and our most precious diplomatic asset? But it is quite true, and revealed in audience surveys carried out by the BBC itself."
"'Trust ratings have fallen in some markets', was the admission. Indeed they have - with a vengeance. The BBC's approach to the Iraq war may have been regarded by some as pro-Baghdad here, and led to the greatest crisis in the BBC's history, but in other areas of the world it was seen as the complete opposite - pro-Blair and pro-Bush - by listeners hostile to a perceived crusade against Islam."
"Every year, the BBC asks audiences in nine countries whether the World Service 'provides unbiased and objective news and information'. In Bangladesh, 85% of listeners in 2002-03 thought that it did, but in 2003-04, the proportion had dropped to 49%. Kenya's 74% fell to 49% and Indonesia's 39% to 29%. Egypt, Russia, Poland and Romania were all virtually unchanged, with less than one in three listeners in each of those countries prepared to trust the BBC. Pakistan went up slightly, but Nigeria was the only country in both years in which most listeners thought the BBC provided unbiased news."
Donovan goes on to point to what he considers a worrying discrepancy between the views of the mandarins and of the listeners and says it's hard to avoid "the impression of complacency."
"When I asked for a comment, Bush House avoided any mention of the year- on-year fall, but pointed out that rivals, such as Voice of America, are trusted even less. 'On the surface, a score of 17% on objectivity in Russia could be interpreted as low,' said a spokesman. 'However, as the most trusted media outlet in Russia only gets a percentage score in the mid-20s, the BBC's performance could be seen as remarkable, especially for a foreign broadcaster.'"
So much then for winning hearts and minds in the wider world but then in the context of a threat from terrorism we should perhaps get down to what really seems to matter in the US when it comes down to broadcasting and regulation at the moment.
As David Kronke of the Los Angeles Daily News writes in an article on the divisions in America that we saw online at the Contra Costa Times, "While religious faith has emerged as a key cultural and political issue in 2004, nothing has incited political bickering as much as decency on the airwaves, which has even managed to transform shock-jock Howard Stern from a bimbo-ogling stooge into an impassioned Bush basher."
He quotes author and comic and radio host Al Franken as saying, "We're a weird culture, we just are. It's so bizarre. If you think about the amount of pornography that is consumed -- two-thirds of the pay-for-view movies in hotels are pornography, and the average time that one is on is 12 minutes -- that's my favorite statistic in life. But our stupid, hypocritical culture has to go through these paroxysms of self-cleansing."
On the censorship side John Gibson, author of "Hating America: The New World Sport" and Fox News Channel broadcaster comments, "The broadcast world should have rules that protect innocent listeners from things they should not listen to. I have a hard time getting worked up over the so-called freedom-of-speech rules within the context of the broadcast decency question. Sure, a lot of stupid things went on -- Desi and Lucy in their twin beds. But it doesn't seem the rule is so bad."
PBS talk show host and conservative commentator on CNN's "Crossfire," Tucker Carlson took a different stance, saying of politicians who attack broadcast indecency - he notes that Al Gore and Joe Lieberman did so in 2000 and so we'd add, have Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission over the past few years, notably Gloria Tristani and current commissioners Michael J Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein, as a quick scan of their records would show- "Voters like that stuff but I hate the kind of posturing that goes on and the self-righteousness around the subject makes me want to vomit. Even Republicans don't give a (expletive) about Janet Jackson's breast in the end, just as John Kerry doesn't care about ethanol unless he's in Iowa."
Also commenting on American divisions was Marc Fisher of the Washington Post in a look at ratings in the DC area that, he noted, reflected "A Great Divide Along Racial Lines."
Noting the success of black-oriented stations in the DC area - they took four of the six top slots - Fisher writes, "If radio remains one of the most segregated places in society -- generally speaking, black people listen to black stations, Hispanics listen to Spanish-language stations and whites listen to other stations -- then how do black stations win in a market that is only 26 percent black?"
"The answer, according to ratings surveys, is that African Americans listen to a lot more radio than other ethnic groups. Blacks listen for longer stretches of time, and listen more at home than do other listeners. A disproportionate number of blacks listen to radio in the evenings and overnight, according to Black Radio Today, a study released this spring by Arbitron."
"Radio is more a part of the daily home life of blacks: While only 39 percent of all listening is done at home, blacks do 49 percent of their listening at home. Whites tend to listen more in the car or at work, where there are fewer choices of entertainment and information."
Fisher noted that the trend existed in many bid city markets and also the preferred formats for black listeners urban contemporary (82% of whose audience is black), adult contemporary, urban, rhythmic contemporary, and religious whilst blacks were only 2 percent of the audience of rock and country stations and only 4 percent of the listeners of classical stations, according to Arbitron's study.
In marked contrast to the above, a Jackson Sun article by Scott Anderson on a frequency move - and power increase- by light-rock WCMT-FM, Martin, Tennessee, showed a touch of a different America and one that had values that maybe can still only exist in smaller communities.
Station manager and morning show co-host Paul Tinkle commented on the station's values, "We're in a day when community radio will continue to be an important part of the industry we are in, and that's an important part of what we're trying to do.''
''I have never been concerned about anything but taking are of our listeners. It's about the radio station doing what it's supposed to do. We have taken the community to heart and by upgrading the radio stations have tried to give the listeners a better quality product to listen to.''
Backing him up was Martin Mayor Randy Brundige who commented of a storm in May last year that spawned tornadoes in the area, ''It knocked out all of our communications systems. WCMT went on the air and helped us communicate with our officers that night. Anytime we need anything brought to the public's attention, all I have to do is call.''
Value indeed and a good cue to move on to some listening that still available online starting with BBC Radio 4 (which has had a very strong couple of weeks) but remaining in the US in one sense.
First the classic serial - which, because of a Saturday repeat, has two weeks' worth available online and at the moment they are Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener.
Also on Radio 4, this week's drama on Woman's Hour (with an 18:45 GMT repeat) is Louise May Alcott's Little Women: Last week's drama by comparison was The Invincible Violet - very English and based on the rags to riches and back again life of a great eccentric Violet Van der Elst who probably did more than anyone to secure the abolition of capital punishment in Britain.
That and last week's Book of the Week, 1914: The Diary of King George V, based on the late King's diaries and read by Timothy West, are still available on the BBC listen-again site although Monday's episodes disappear today.
This week the Book of the Week is based on John Logie Baird's memoirs "Television and Me" although in all fairness his mechanical system is now for the museums and historical mentions whereas the system developed from the work of Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, a Russian-born American inventor working for Westinghouse, and the Utah farm boy Philo Taylor Farnsworth is still going strongly.
Still with British engineering and inventions, last week Radio 4 on Thursday (08J) GMT) began a five part series Engineering Solutions on some of the most ambitious civil engineering projects currently under construction in the UK: It sounded dry as dust but wasn't.
Also with British inventions, Saturday's Grasshead Racers, broadcast on the day of an annual 12 hour lawnmower race, was also anything but dry and could be considered a worthy but eccentric tribute to Gloucestershire born engineer Edwin Budding who 1830 he invented the lawn mower after a local mill owner got an order for material for uniforms: The idea came from a machine that used a cutting cylinder (or bladed reel) mounted on a bench to trim cloth to make a smooth finish after weaving.
For comedy, Radio 4's 17:30 GMT evening slot including Think the Unthinkable on Tuesday, Concrete Cow on Wednesday and The Now Show on Friday are probably all worth a listen, as in a different frame are The Smith Lectures and The Day the Music Died on BBC Radio 2' (Saturday 12:00-13:00 GMT gets both but they are not available on -demand).
The Day the Music died does however get two airings, its first being Thursday at 212:00 GMT after Mark Lamarr's Shake Rattle and Roll at 20:00 GMT that this week centres on the women including Fluffy Hunter, Lula Reed, Christine Kitrell and Big Maybelle..
And finally for World Music fans BBC Radio 3 still has many of the highlights of this year's WOMAD 04 from Reading available.
Contra Costa Times - Kronke:
Jackson Sun - Anderson:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Fisher:
2004-08-02: US radio veteran Mike Lynch who with his partner the late Mike Oatman built the USD 100 million Great Empire Broadcasting country-and-western radio empire on the foundations of a struggling single Wichita station has died aged 74 after a struggle against leukemia, which had been diagnosed with the early 1990s
Lynch and Oatman, who died last year, sold Great Empire to Journal Broadcasting in 1999 for USD 95.9 million; 200 of their employees shared USD 33 million from the sale.
Lynch, who began his radio career at KBYE-AM, Oklahoma City, in 1948 bought his father Frank's majority share in KFDI-AM, formerly KIRL-AM, Wichita, in 1965 with Oatman, who had become PD a year earlier as co-owner; they later expanded over three decades to end up with 14 stations in Wichita; Tulsa, Oklahoma, Springfield, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1994 the duo were presented with the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' Distinguished Service Award and in 2001 Lynch became the Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.(CRB) first Radio Hall of Fame inductee.
CRB Lynch Radio Hall of Fame page:
2004-08-02: UK Channel 4 TV is to launch a national digital talk radio station next year in direct competition with the BBC Radio 4 according to the UK Sunday Telegraph, which suggests that the station is most likely to be launched in conjunction with an existing radio company.
It goes on to say that Luke Johnson, the entrepreneur recently appointed as chairman of Channel 4, has been developing plans for the station with Rob Woodward, the media executive who runs the broadcaster's commercial arm, 4 Ventures and that Woodward said that the company was in the middle of negotiations with potential partners, although he declined to name them.
One potential candidate suggests the paper is UBC Media, which already operates the OneWord station and that has already held negotiations with Channel 4 about exploiting certain television formats, such as Popworld, the Saturday morning youth show, for radio.
The Telegraph carried a similar report earlier this year (See RNW Jun 1) since when UBC has taken full control of One Word: At its Annual Meeting chief Executive Simon Cole said securing full control was "ensuring the long-term viability of this exclusive, spoken word licence on the national digital multiplex, Digital One"(See RNW Jul 25).
UK Telegraph report:
2004-08-02: Chicago's radio scene is set to lose some prominent names and see some significant changes at Viacom's Infinity stations in the city in the next few months.
Moving out are 35-year WBBM-AM veteran Sherman Kaplan who is retiring from his roles as midday news anchor, co-host of the "Noon Business Hour" and restaurant reviewer at the end of August although he is expected to continue with some freelance work.
Moving on from the station is Ken Herrera, who is taking up a morning post at news/talk WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee.
Neither was pushed and Kaplan told Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times,
"There's probably not been a time when I've been happier with the management at WBBM and with the way things are going for me," Kaplan said. "I'm just tired of anchoring five hours a day, and I just don't want to work so much. Me and Johnny Carson."
Herrera said he found the Milwaukee offer attractive because it will put him back in mornings, and allow him more freedom on the air. "It's going to be a great move for me," he said. "I'm looking forward to it as a new opportunity and a great challenge."
Also moving, but only in terms of time of the day, is WSCR-AM afternoon drive host Mike North:
According to Feder, North has negotiated "a six-figure bump in his $1.5 million-a-year deal" and has agreed to switch times slots from mid-September.
Feder quotes WSCR vice president and general manager Paul Agase as saying, "We're excited about getting the first piece in place to launch Mike North as Chicago's next morning star."
"We feel there is a huge opportunity for a show featuring Mike's no-holds-barred style and exhaustive knowledge of Chicago to appeal not just to sports fans but any Chicagoan who loves our town. With sports as a backdrop, Mike's show will sound and feel like Chicago."
Feder adds that top choice to join North as morning co-host is Chicago radio veteran Anne Maxfield who's been reporting drive-time traffic on WGN-AM since 1992.
2004-08-01: Last week was fairly quiet for regulatory activity concerning radio although in the UK, Ofcom, unusually for it, gone into the business of issuing fines and in the USA the Federal Communications Commission penalized a California station over material supplied to a Mexican AM that had been causing interference in the US (see below).
In Australia the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has been involved in a number of radio actions in smaller areas.
They were the proposal of a new open narrowcasting service in Perisher in the Cooma licence area of New South Wales; proposals to make FM channel capacity available for transmitters for the Wagga Wagga commercial radio services 2WG (at Gundagai) and 2WZD (Tumut), to increase the power of the service provided by Montreal Community Theatre Inc, which holds a temporary community radio licence at Tumut, and following an expression of interest from 2KY, to make a frequency available for a high power open narrowcasting service at Wagga Wagga. In addition in response to a request from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) , the ABA is also proposing to make channel capacity available for an additional high power national service in Wagga Wagga; and proposals for additional services in the Cairns area of Queensland including provision of FM capacity for Cairns commercial radio service 4CCA-AM at Redlynch Valley and Little Mulgrave and also for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Cairns and Cairns North for future radio services plus FM channel capacity available for a new community radio service in Cairns and a new high power open narrowcasting radio service in Port Douglas.
There was nothing of radio interest from Canada or Ireland but in the UK Ofcom has fined a Manchester station GBP 2,500 (USD 4,500) over a broadcast in which a caller recommended slapping women (See RNW Jul 30): On the previous day Ofcom had fined a normally-encrypted porn TV channel GBP 50,000 (USD 91,000) over the contents on an unencrypted trailer broadcast before it went on air after a watershed.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as levying a fine in relation to material supplied to a Mexican AM as already noted was also involved in a number of other penalties (See below), July 30 July 29 and July 28 .
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2004-08-01: Canada's Supreme Court has ruled that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) must pay nearly CAD 1 million (USD 750,000) for defaming a public relations consultant nearly a decade ago.
The court affirmed by 6-1 a lower court ruling relating to a broadcast on Radio-Canada on its flagship newscast Le Point on Dec. 15, 1994 relating to delays by Quebec's association of notaries in processing complaints against lawyers.
The court said the report was true and in the public interest but it was incomplete and unfair.
At the time the association hired public relations consultant Gilles Neron to respond to the broadcast report, which he did in a letter; Le Point then asked Neron to respond to what it said were errors in the private letter, but broadcast its contents before he had a chance to do so and as a result of the second broadcast on Jan. 12, 1995, the notaries association ended its contract with Neron, announcing the decision in a news release sent to 3,500 lawyers, other professional associations, the provincial Justice Department and the media.
Five-years later Neron was awarded CAD 2 million (USD 1.5 million) in damages plus interest for loss of income, the collapse of his business, legal costs and suffering by the Quebec Superior Court, which ruled that the association had caused irreparable harm to Neron's career and that Radio-Canada had seriously damaged his reputation.
The notary association paid its penalty but the CBC appealed and the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the decision in October 2002, but lowered the penalty to CAD 1.8 million (USD 1.35 million).
The Supreme Court said the second broadcast was wrong because it left out vital pieces of information and was deliberately timed to air before Neron could set things straight.
Justice Louis LeBel for the majority said that "Freedom of expression, and its corollary, freedom of the press, play an essential and invaluable role in our society but added that "The tone and tilt of the second broadcast pointed to its being more of a response to Neron's criticism than an exercise in protecting the public interest."
Neron was quoted by the Toronto Star as saying the money he has received so far paid his legal costs and debts resulting from the decline of his business.
Previous CBC/Radio Canada:
Toronto Star report:
2004-08-01: Britain's top-rated station BBC Radio 2 is revamping its schedule starting in September and including new weekend shows to be hosted by 60's pop star Lulu and stage artist Elaine Page as well as new shows for existing station names Mark Lamarr, Bob Harris and Helen Mayhew: In addition Desmond Carrington gets a new Tuesday show.
Both Lulu and Paige present Sunday shows, the former's "celebrating the art of songwriting" and featuring some of the world's best-loved songs from the 50s to the present day and the latter's featuring stage and screen music including show stoppers in a celebration of the best of Broadway, Hollywood and London's West End.
Mark Lamarr, who already hosts reggae and rock'n'roll shows for Radio 2 adds his first weekly show, Mark Lamarr's Alternative Sixties, that will feature soul, r'n'b, country, ska, original Brit pop and more.
Carrington moves to Tuesdays from his current Sunday slot to host "The Music Goes Round" that will, says the host, " feature an eclectic mix of records ranging from the Twenties to the Nineties with the emphasis on 'popular classics'" and Bob Harris, who keeps his Saturday and Thursday shows adds a new late-night show on Friday nights centred on new music.
Commenting on the changes, Radio 2 Controller Lesley Douglas said, "I believe that these programmes and presenters provide Radio 2 with a line-up for the autumn which is unrivalled.
"It's wonderful to have talent such as Dermot, Elaine and Lulu joining forces with our existing presenters."
2004-08-01: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a forfeiture notice of USD 20,000 against a California company for providing programme material via the Internet to a Mexican AM in violation of the terms of its authorization.
It has also confirmed a penalty of USD 10,000 against a Florida pirate operator, reduced from USD 10,000 to USD 8,000 the penalty against an airport facility company for unauthorized operation and reduced from USD 12,000 to USD 6,000 the penalty on a Colorado broadcaster for operating equipment without a licence and failing to conduct weekly EAS tests.
In the case of the USD 20,000 penalty, Pacific Spanish Network, Inc. (PSN) had applied for and been granted permission to supply via the Internet programming from its Chula Vista, California studio, to AM stations XEKTT, Tecate, and XESS and XEDD, Ensenda, all in Baja California, Mexico.
The permission was subject to the Mexican station's operating in accordance with treaties relating to interference to US broadcasters.
Subsequently, following complaints of interference in the US, XEKTT was found to be operating at 560 kHz not the 550 kHz specified in the permit and PSN provided the FCC with Mexican authorizations of November 14, 2003,to operate on frequency 550 kHz with 20 kW daytime and 10 kW nighttime power, and subsequently, on December 9, 2003, on frequency 560 kHz with 20 kW daytime and 10 kW nighttime power.
In subsequent exchanges PSN said it had been aware when it filed its applications that the Mexican stations had planned to upgrade their facilities but that it did not verify, and did not know that it was required to verify, that the Mexican stations' operations had been coordinated and were in compliance with the U.S.-Mexican Agreement.
It also admitted that it had continued to supply programming, which it discontinued on February 17 this year, a month after it had become aware that "the Mexican station's modified operations had not been coordinated with and approved by the International Bureau in accordance with the U.S.-Mexico treaty and that the Mexican station was causing harmful interference to licensed U.S. broadcast stations."
PSN had subsequently in April tendered its permit for cancellation but the FCC held that it had continued its operations when it knew of the breaches of regulation and that a substantial penalty was appropriate. It ordered PSN to pay a USD 20,000 sum.
In Florida, the FCC's Tampa office in November 2002 had issued a USD 10,000 penalty against Jhony Desinor relating to unauthorized operation of an FM transmitter in Naples: Desinor had de-activated the transmitter after a visit by FCC agents and responded to the FCC notice by saying he was a disc jockey at the station but "was not the owner and operator" of that station; that he "never knew the radio was functioning illegally"; that he did not receive any financial benefit from the operation of the station; that the "owner and operator" of the station is "free of charge"; and that he cannot pay the proposed forfeiture.
The FCC noted that Desinor did not deny being the actual operator of the station at the time of the visit and had not provided documentation to show inability to pay: It upheld the full penalty.
In the New Jersey case, complaints about interference were traced to equipment operated by Servisair at Newark International Airport and the FCC noted that operation of the equipment had continued after it had spoken to the company.
Servisair had said it had just taken over the cleaning contract with Continental Airlines and had purchased its repeater station and portable radio transmitting equipment from the previous contractor and contended that it was informed that the license transfer would be made on its behalf by a third party. It also asked for a cancellation on financial grounds. The FCC did not find cancellation justified but did reduce the penalty from a base amount of USD 10,000 to USD 8,000 on the basis of a history of compliance.
The USD 6,000 case involved Arnold Broadcasting Company, Inc., licensee of KNEC-FM, Yuma, Colorado, which in December 2002 was issued with a USD 12,000 penalty for operated an unlicensed studio-to-transmitter link and failing to conduct required weekly emergency alert system tests.
Arnold had responded asking for reduction or cancellation because of tests it had conducted and contended that operating an STL without a license should be deemed a "much less serious offense" than operating a full-service station without a license.
Although it did not accept that the reasons given were valid the Commission did accept that there were mitigating circumstances and reduced the penalty to half.
2004-08-01: Canada's Heritage Minister Liza Frulla has ruled that Quebec City CHOI-FM cannot appeal the decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) not to renew the station's licence (See RNW Jul 14) to country's federal government.
However in a statement she said the station's owner Genex Communications Inc. could "appeal the CRTC decision to the Federal Court or to apply for a new broadcasting licence should the company decide to meet the criteria established by the CRTC."
The decision not to renew CHOI's licence because of various breaches of regulations but largely because of comments made mainly on its weekday morning show hosted by Jean-Francois Fillion and including a segment by controversial personality André Arthur led to around 50,000 supporters marching in Quebec to protest the decision.
Although many commentators have noted that the station's continuance of actions after it had been given a warning shot in the form of a short-term licence renewal gave the regulator little choice but to take action - and that its remit severely limited the actions it could take - a number of politicians have jumped into the fray in support of CHOI.
They included Quebec premier Jean Charest who said the CRTC had many other sanctions it could have imposed - but did not give details - NDP Leader Jack Layton, Bloc Quebecois MP Michel Guimond and Mario Dumont, leader of the Action democratique du Quebec.
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