June 2005 Archive
- May 2005 - July 2005-
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 June comment - As attacks are made again on it considers why we need public broadcasting.
RNW May comment - Evaluates the likely impact of podcasting on radio and concludes it's an opportunity to increase listening, enhance relationships with audience and community, and gain income from sponsors and advertising.
RNW April comment - Looks at how the UK has introduced digital radio and considers how HD digital radio will fare in the US.
2005-06-30: The sixth edition of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)'s Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report just released shows that overall weekly listening in the country has gone down roughly an hour from 1999 to 2004, most notably among younger Canadians, although revenues in 2004 were up 3% on a year earlier.
In 2004 says the report the average listening for the 12 plus audience was 19.5 hours a week, down from 20.5 hours in 1999 but for 12-17 year-olds it dropped from 11.3 hours to 8.5 hours; for the 18-34 demographic from 11.3 hours to 15.7 hours, and for those 25-34 from 21.3 hours to 19.3 hours; for older groups the fall was much smaller - from 21.6 hours to 21.5 hours for those 35-49 and remaining at 21.6 hours for those 55-64 although it fell again among older groups.
Compared to 2003 overall listening was stable as was that for teens. There was then a fall from 16.3 hours for the 18-24 group, an unchanged 19.3 hours for those 25-34, an increase from 21.3 hours to 21.5 hours amongst those 35-49, a fall from 21.8 hours to 21.6 hours for those 50-54, an increase from 21.9 to 22.1 hours for those 55-64 and an unchanged 22.3 hours for those 65 and above.
FM stations accounted for 72% of listening in Fall 2004 split 53%-19% between English and French language stations and for AMs a 23% share went 21% to English stations and 2% to French ones. The remaining 5% is classified as "other" listening.
In terms of overall listening commercial stations took 81% in 2004, down from 82% a year earlier, with Corus maintaining its 16% share followed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) with an unchanged 12% then Rogers Communications, down from 10% to 8%, Astral with an unchanged 9% and CHUM with an unchanged 7%.
In the French language sector the biggest operator Astral Media, whose share of French-language radio revenues was 57%, had a 2004 share of 40%, down from 43% a year earlier, and Corus has 14%, up from 13%.
Among English language stations Corus retained an 18% share in 2004 followed by Standard Broadcasting with an unchanged 16%, Rogers Communications - down from 13% to 11%, CHUM with an unchanged 5% and Newcap with an unchanged 5%.
In overall revenue terms, with 544 stations reporting in 2004, up from 530 in 2003, Canadian stations increased revenues over a strong 2003 (in which revenues were up 8% on a year earlier) by 3% in 2004 to CAD 1.2 billion (USD 997,000).
AM revenues dipped slightly - from CAD 305,000 (USD 249,000) to CAD 302,000 (USD 246,000) whilst FM revenues were up from CAD 889,000 (USD 724,000) to CAD 922,000 (USD 751,000).
Ethnic stations had a 5.7% increase in revenues.
Divided in language terms, English-language revenues were up 4% with FM revenues up5.5% and AM ones down 0.1% whilst French language revenues were down 4.6% with FM revenues down 3.4 and AM revenues down 13.2%
Profits before interest and taxes dipped by 0.1% in the year with AM stations, which in 2003 turned a 2002 loss of CAD 19.8 million (USD 16.1 million) into a profit of CAD 2 million (USD 1.7 million) increasing their profit to CAD 3.4 million (USD 2.8 million) whist FM profits fell from CAD 225 million (USD 183 million) to CAD 221 million (USD 180 million).
CRTC report (126 page 1.71 MB PDF):
2005-06-30: Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander has told the Chicago Tribune he's betting on cell phones as the future for radio and indicated that WBBM-FM is likely to be one of the first stations that will be involved in the company's Visual Radio agreement with Hewlett Packard that was announced in April (See RNW Apr 19).
The paper says that the plan offers an idea of how Infinity thinks it can compete against i-Pods and satellite services and notes similar agreements with cell phone companies made between Sirius and Sprint and XM's Internet agreement with AOL.
Hollander, who was in Chicago for a meeting with Infinity executives, told the paper the delays by Infinity in making its programming available online was a "mistake" especially with news stations but also noted other advances including plans to resurrect Oldies station WJMK-FM through the capability to add multiple channels on stations that have converted to iBiquity's HD digital radio system.
Regarding the sudden switch of WJMK from oldies to the Jack format Hollander said the station had been "very successful but not making as much money as we need a top-five market FM radio station to make" and added, "Jack is oldies, but you're not using the word. Oldies is a turnoff to a lot of people is what I've found."
Chicago Tribune report:
2005-06-30: UK commercial radio companies have said in testimony to a House of Lords select committee on the BBC's remit and funding that the British government's Green Paper on the Corporation does not do enough to limit its commercial activities and aspirations.
Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) chairman David Elstein said there was overwhelming evidence of the BBC being involved in quasi-commercial ventures and added that for his organisation "One of the key issues for us is the progressive abuse of its [the BBC's] dominant position in attracting quasi-commercial sponsorship and promotion."
Elstein said the BBC was negotiating sponsorship deals at or below market rates thereby undermining commercial radio's attempts to get the same deals.
CRCA chief executive Paul Brown told the panel that one of commercial radio's complaints was that whilst they were constrained in format changes by regulations the BBC could change the way it used its spectrum without reference to any other body.
He said commercial radio's main competitor was BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 and that it would be useful that there were an independent body they could go to if they had evidence that the Corporation was not meeting conditions of licence.
Brown also said they were concerned at the lack of recognition of the public service value of their stations, commenting, "We are worried that commercial radio is being seen as less valuable. We do want our contribution to public service broadcasting to be understood and recognised."
Also on the CRCA panel was Chrysalis Radio chief executive Phil Riley who wanted a close look taken at any BBC entry into new markets and cited the example of OneWord Radio - the commercial digital speech channel - that he said had been hit by the launch of the BBC 7 digital speech station.
Riley said the BBC had launched virtually the same service as OneWord without any reference to what was happening in the market.
Riley and other UK commercial radio executives have also been commenting on how commercial radio can take on the BBC to Media Week in which a report by Clare Goff outlines the ways in which commercial radio is planning to compete with the corporation.
They include the idea of co-operation such as the Tsunami Aid programming broadcast earlier this year followed by Leaders Live in which interviews with the three main party political leaders were broadcast on commercial stations round the country in the run up to the UK general election in May and to be repeated for the Live-8 broadcasts at the weekend.
Other ideas are the creation of three chart shows -- a top 40 chart, urban chart and adult contemporary chart that would be broadcast on the commercial network according to station formats but that could be sold to advertisers separately or as a package and pooling resources to attract big names that they perceive as helping the BBC to boost its audience share.
The commercial radio companies see some pluses for their output in that they beat the BBC in the younger audience demographic - the 15 to 34-year-olds that the advertising companies want most, using the local nature of their stations to its maximum effect when competing with a national BBC service, exploiting the spectrum advantage they have in digital as opposed to analogue where the BBC had more frequency, and also exploiting promotions and sponsorship.
Media Week report:
2005-06-30: Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein in an interview with Buzzflash has said the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the appeal of media giants against the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia that a year ago overturned new media ownership regulations from the Commission (See RNW Jun 14) was "a great victory for the public over a handful of the biggest and most powerful media companies in this country."
He added that it was also an "opportunity for us to go back, start fresh, and get it right this time" and said the original decision, which was opposed by himself and fellow Democrat Commissioner Michael J. Copps was "was the most destructive rollback of our media ownership rules in the history of American broadcasting."
"The Powell supporters went beyond where they needed to go to respond to the mandate of the '96 Telecom Act," said Adelstein. "The '96 Telecom Act, even according to the courts, only required that we review the rules, not that we necessarily gut them. The decision to severely roll them back was not mandated by the courts... We would have been better served by working to promote the public interest more fully and being much more careful about our deregulating these media conglomerates.
Adelstein said he was not surprised at the backlash against the proposals and said he "got out and talked to people in communities across the country. I found a unanimous chorus of concern and opposition to letting these media giants get even bigger."
2005-06-29: Emmis has reported first quarter net revenues up 6% on a year ago to USD 161.8 million with pro-forma net revenues up 3% to USD 162.7 million; overall it had net income of USD 10.38 million ( USD 0.14 per share) compared to a 2004 Q1 loss of USD 73.57 million ( USD 1.37 per share) including a loss on debt extinguishment of USD 97 million.
In divisional terms, radio revenues were up 13% to USD 75.1 million and pro forma radio net revenues (including WLUP-FM and the Emmis radio network in Slovakia) increased 7% whilst TV revenues were down 3% to USD 66.6 million and publishing revenues were up 12% to USD 18.9 million.
Emmis has put its TV holdings up for sale and chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan told the company's conference call that he had been "pleasantly surprised" by the interest and was cautiously optimistic about getting more for the assets than the USD 1 billion analysts had predicted.
Emmis has engaged the Blackstone Group to facilitate the disposal and confidential information memorandums have been sent to interested parties: Smulyan said he thought the process would "move very quickly" but was less forthcoming about any possible interest in buying Disney's ABC radio stations should a rumoured sale of them go ahead.
Suggested buyers have been Citadel, Emmis and Entercom but Smulyan would only say he was not aware of any decision having been taken although it had he thought Disney would "talk to all of us" and if there were opportunities that made sense for both Emmis and Disney they would pursue them.
His statement released with Emmis's results indicated that the company would be interested in expanding in radio, saying, "Exploring strategic alternatives for our television group and buying back stock [Emmis has just completed a "Dutch Auction" tender offer that resulted in it buying 20,250,000 Class A shares at a purchase price of USD 19.50 per share, for a total cost of USD 394.9 million - See RNW Jun 19] are designed to give Emmis more flexibility to grow as opportunities become available in our core areas."
Looking ahead, Emmis is forecasting total radio revenue of USD 87.5 million including USD 8 million from its international radio operations and total revenue of USD 169.8 million.
2005-06-29: Sirius Satellite Radio and MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. have announced an exclusive agreement to create Korean and Chinese channels on the satellite radio company's platform.
The Korean channel- Radio Korea USA - is expected to launch this fall, and will offer a variety of news, entertainment and music programming in Korean and the Chinese channel that is to launch later will offer popular music from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as short news and information updates of interest to these subscribers.
Multicultural CEO Arthur Liu said the Sirius "ability to broadcast anywhere and everywhere in the country" meant the agreement provided an effective way to reach a largely underserved audience that had been shown by recent Arbitron surveys in Los Angeles and New York to prefer ethnic media.
He added, "The Asian community represents a significant up-and-coming niche market for advertisers. Similar to the Hispanic market 20 years ago, the Asian population in this country is growing at an extraordinary rate with unparalleled education and income levels."
The two companies are also to investigate the possibility of launching other Asian language channels.
2005-06-29: English entries took two of the four Grand Awards at this year's New York Festivals' International Radio Programming and Promotions Awards with Canada and the USA taking one each.
Last year the US had taken three of the four Grand Medals and Canada took one (See RNW Jun 28, 2004).
The 2005 Grand Awards went to Century FM for "The 2004 FA Cup Final" (Best News Program), Above the Title Productions for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Tertiary Phase: Life, the Universe and Everything" (Best Entertainment Program), Culture Works for "Leonard Bernstein: An American " Life (Best Information Program) and Standard Broadcasting of Canada for Retrosexual Weekend on Mix 99 (Best Promo Spot).
In the Gold Awards the US fared better with 13 of the 32 awards: Canada was next with seven and then the UK with 6, among them a gold as Best Humor Personality: Local for Tim Shaw, a controversial host on Emap's West Midlands Kerrang! rock station: Shaw's wife has just dumped him and sold his USD 45,000 dollar car for 90 cents on E-BAY after becoming upset as a flirtatious interview e conducted on the show (See below).
Four UNDPI (United Nations Department of Public Information) Awards were also made this year, going to World Vision ( the gold for a story about an elderly Kenyan who finally gets an education in elementary school) plus silvers to the Stanley Foundation for a news documentary on Americans and their ambivalence to international multilateral organizations such as the UN, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for its international affairs show on the aftermath of Sierra Leone's civil war; and a bronze to Battery Radio for Radio Netherlands for an environmental program on biodiversity.
Previous New York Festivals:
New York Festivals web site:
2005-06-29: Birmingham, England, DJ Tim Shaw has gained a consolation prize in the New York Radio Festivals, which awarded him the 2005 Gold Award as Best Humor Personality: Local (see below) for his show on the Emap Kerrang! station, only days after his wife, upset over comments on his show took her revenge by selling his GBP 25,000 (USD 45,000) sports car for 50 pence ( 90 cents) on E-Bay.
The Kerrang! DJ was presenting his "Asylum" show on the station when his wife Hayley, upset about a flirtatious interview earlier in the evening with glamour model Jodie Marsh during which he told March he would leave his wife and two daughters for her, put the Lotus Esprit Turbo up on the auction site on a Buy-Now basis.
Her advert read, "I need to get rid of this car immediately - ideally in the next two to three hours before my... husband gets home to find it gone and all his belongings in the street I am the registered owner and I have the log book. Please only buy if you can pick up tonight."
The car sold within five minutes and Mrs Shaw told The Birmingham Post newspaper, "When he said he would leave me and the kids for Jodie Marsh, that was it for me "The car is his pride and joy but the idiot put my name on the logbook so I just sold it."
"He is always talking about Jodie Marsh and how much he fancies her," said Mrs Shaw, "but he didn't tell me she was going to be on the show. He was all over her during the interview, it was pathetic. They were both being flirtatious and then he said what he said. I am sick of being disrespected."
Shaw has a reputation for pranks that misfire and in February this year was suspended after one in which he broke into the home of the station's programme director home and trashed it (See RNW Feb 15). He was reinstated a week later (See RNW Feb 22).
Birmingham Post report:
2005-06-28: The US Supreme Court has ruled for the entertainment industry and against file-sharing companies Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. in a case in which the former had argued that it should be able to sue the latter for breaches of copyright when their customers illegally downloaded copyrighted media.
The ruling reverses those of two lower courts that had, on the basis of the 1984 Sony Betamax case in which the Supreme Court in a narrow 5-4 ruling held that Sony was not responsible for illegal recording of movies on cassette because its equipment was not designed to break the law and had substantial lawful uses.
In the latest case the court ruled unanimously against the file sharing companies, saying they had not only intended that their product be used for illegal downloads but had also actively promoted such use.
The ruling commented, "We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties."
The court shied away, however, from revisiting the Sony case although in their concurring opinion, written by Justice Ginsburg who was joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Kennedy the suggestion is put forward that this might be necessary should the lower court not reverse its direction. In the other concurring opinion written by Justice Brayer joined by Justices Stevens and O' Connor, this idea is firmly rejected.
The decision does not prohibit peer-to-peer file sharing, just the business methods of Grokster and StreamCast and in tits reaction to the decision the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) specifically notes, "The Supreme Court has helped to power the digital future for legitimate online businesses - including legal file sharing networks - by holding accountable those who promote and profit from theft."
On the other side of the argument, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) senior intellectual property attorney Fred von Lohmann says the court has "unleashed a new era of legal uncertainty on America's innovators" and expresses particular concern that "the threat of legal costs may lead technology companies to modify their products to please Hollywood instead of consumers."
EFF web site
RIAA web site:
Supreme Court ruling (55 page, 321 Kb PDF).
RNW note: Of the various blogs on this case the Scotus blog is the best we have seen so far.
2005-06-28: XM Satellite Radio chairman Gary Parsons has told Detroit's Automotive Press Association he expects the company to be in profit next year having already topped 4 million subscribers with 5.5 million expected by the end of this year.
On its potential expansion into Canada, however, no firm decision has yet been made: In approving the bids for subscription audio services from partnerships including XM and its US rival Sirius the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) required eight Canadian channels rather than the five that the two satellite companies had offered (See RNW Jun 17).
XM expects to make a decision on the matter within three months but in Canada an alliance of lobby groups has asked the federal cabinet to overturn a regulatory decision allowing satellite broadcast operators to bring pay-radio service to Canada.
In a letter to the cabinet, the group - which includes Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the Canadian Independent Record Production Association, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, the Directors Guild of Canada, the Songwriters Association of Canada, the Writers Guild of Canada, and the National Campus and Community Radio Association - asks that the decisions of the CRTC be set aside or referred back to it.
It says it will provide evidence later that the decisions run counter to the objectives of Canada's broadcasting policy.
XM may also enter yet another area of business according to an Associated Press report carried by various North American papers that says the US military might use its service for homeland security purposes.
The idea follows on from a successful debut of a system developed by Raytheon as an inexpensive solution to the challenges of helping emergency responders and soldiers co-ordinate their actions after a natural disaster or terrorist strike.
In essence it uses satellite radio channels with standard receivers that have been modified to make them more rugged and was used in conjunction with the WorldSpace satellites in March to aid coordination of tsunami relief efforts.
The Mobile Enhanced Situational Awareness Network (MESA) would get a dedicated channel on XM's satellites that would be accessible only on devices given to emergency personnel.
MESA says the report was included in this month's Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration, an annual event at which technology vendors show off their wares to the military, and as a test run images, data and audio were sent to an "injection point" at Washington, D.C.-based XM, transmitted to the company's satellites and then transmitted back to the portable devices that would be carried by personnel in the field.
Toronto Globe and Mail/AP report:
2005-06-28: The top three networks held on to their rankings in the Arbitron RADAR 85 (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) Radio Network Audience Report just released: The sample size for this survey has been increased from 80,000 to 85,000 as part of a programme of enhancements that will increase the sample size to 100,000 for the release of RADAR 88 in March next year and for the first time this survey will make the Top 25 DMA markets available to RADAR clients
In the top rank, ABC Daytime Direction Network added 86,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 7.51 million and increased its AQH from 3.0 to 3.1.
Second ranked Westwood CBS News Primetime Network added even more - up 567,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6.55 million and AQH up from 2.4 to 2.7.
In third place Premiere Morn Drive Network lost 209,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.228 million and AQH down from 2.2 to 2.1.
In fourth place and up from fifth despite losing 43,000 listeners was ABC Morning News Radio Network which ended up with a weekly audience of 5.225 million and an unchanged AQH of 2.1.
Down from fourth was Jones MediaAmerica TWC Radio Network, which had a fifth-place audience down 166,000 to a weekly total of 5.15 million, and AQH down from 2.3 to 2.1
Previous Disney/ABC, America:
Previous Jones MediaAmerica:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 84):
Previous Premiere Networks:
Previous Westwood One:
2005-06-28: The BBC has announced that it has agreed a GBP 166 million (USD 303 million) sale of BBC Broadcast to Creative Broadcast Services Limited, which is owned by Australian companies the Macquarie Capital Alliance Group and Macquarie Bank Limited. The deal is subject to approval from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport and completion is planned during the summer if this is given.
For Macquarie Bank, which was competing against 17 other bidders, the deal adds yet another facet to its global investment in infrastructure that includes toll roads, airports and transmission towers: BBC Broadcast's channel management business broadcasts 61 streams including public service and commercial channels and interactive streams and it also offers services such as promotions, subtitling and video-on-demand through broadband and mobile phones. It has a contract to service all of the BBC's units until 2015.
The deal means that Macquarie Capital Alliance Group has now invested all of the AUD 500 million (USD 385 million) it raised from investors in April. Macquarie Bank itself will have a 35% holding in BBC Broadcast and is planning to sell this on to clients over the next six to nine months.
The sale followed the Corporation's internal review of its commercial businesses that concluded that, whilst the services provided by BBC Broadcast are vital to the BBC, they did not necessarily need to remain owned by the BBC.
Previous Macquarie Bank:
2005-06-27: As pressures mount on public broadcasting in various countries, we devote most of this week's look at print cover of radio to issues of public and commercial or private spheres.
First though an editorial from the Palm Beach Post on the issue of conservative host Rush Limbaugh's medical records - an area where our view is that Limbaugh has abused his access to the airwaves but not much more than he abuses it anyway in terms of playing fair with facts that don't fit his interests or prejudices.
The Post editorial, however, deals as much with the tactics of Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black as those of his paymaster.
"Rush Limbaugh's attorney keeps saying that his client is innocent," starts the editorial and goes on, "So why does he keep acting as though his client is guilty?"
"Every court," it says, "has decided that Palm Beach County prosecutors acted legally in November 2003 when they obtained search warrants to seize the talk-show host's medical records as part of an investigation into illegal use of prescription painkillers Yet last week, Roy Black was back before the judge who issued the search warrant, arguing that Mr. Limbaugh, who broadcasts much of the time from Palm Beach, should be able to decide which records the prosecutors will see."
"Inside the studio where he fulminates for 15 hours a week, " says the Post, "Mr. Limbaugh rules. Outside that studio, the rules of society apply to Mr. Limbaugh, whether he likes it or not. Since prosecutors had to persuade two judges before getting the records, there is no great privacy issue here. "
And of Blacks motion " Think of what Mr. Black is asking. He wants Judge Barkdull to set a precedent that suspects, not law-enforcement authorities, get to decide which evidence might be used to prosecute them. Reading his motion, which impugns the agents who obtained the warrants and attempts to cast doubt on the idea that Mr. Limbaugh was 'doctor-shopping,' it seems that Mr. Black is arguing a criminal charge before one has been filed."
RNW comment: Indeed so and we rather suspect that Black has enough information to know that's what the records do show but that will become clear as Judge Barkdull, who has now said he will vet the records that can be seen by the prosecutors, makes his decisions and charges do or do not follow.
The Limbaugh case, as the paper states, relates to the public sphere in which Limbaugh operates not just the studio where he rules and the issue of public broadcasting, to which we now turn, also relates to different spheres.
In the UK, as in the US, there have been continuing attacks from various quarters on the very idea of public broadcasting, most frequently from those who stand to benefit by restrictions on it.
In both countries there would appear to be significant public support for public broadcasters and this has in turn shaped the nature of some of the attacks.
Starting with the UK, we first look at a UK Independent on Sunday report by Tim Webb that says three of the UK's most powerful radio groups have launched a stinging attack on BBC Radio. In particular says the report, they single out BBC Radio 1 "for harsh criticism" with GCap Media accusing the corporation of "seeking ratings by day and reputation by night."
GCap also queries the concept of the BBC buying exclusive rights to events such as the Glastonbury music festival and comments that the corporation cannot always use all the event and adding in its submission to the government, "We are at a loss to understand how negotiating exclusive rights is necessarily a public service."
Chrysalis says BBC Radio 1 and 2 are not "by any credible definition, public service broadcasting during peak daytime listening hours" and also argues that the launch of hundreds of new digital radio stations and television channels means there is less need for the BBC to provide alternative programmes.
SMG, which owns Virgin, points out that the BBC takes up 70 per cent of the FM analogue spectrum for 51 stations, which attract only 55 per cent of the audience. Rivals accuse BBC of hijacking airwaves
RNW comment: Looking at the comments of all three organisations, we see no strong suggestion that they would like to provide much of the public service broadcasting carried by the BBC but rather a negative nit-pick in an attempt to keep out of BBC hands as much as possible of areas like popular music programming.
Were there a cast-iron clause that voided all their licences if these organisations were to succeed in this objective and then try and further weaken the corporation by arguing against it in terms of its low audiences, we might have a little more sympathy with the comercial industry.
In fact the record of commercial broadcasters in the UK seems to be more one of maximising profit and attempting to minimise the costs they have to bear from carrying material, including local news, that is indubitably public service but that does not maximise their commercial returns. We don't see that changing and continue to think that the overall public interest is served best by a strong BBC whatever affect that has on the commercial sector.
In market terms we'd suggest that the number of bids for commercial licences - and in most cases immediate boosts to company values when a franchise is won - indicate that the argument being made by the companies is not very strong.
Were there to be no competition for commercial franchises, we would of course, feel that the same market forces were indicating that some redress of imbalance would be reasonable although we'd prefer this to be in the form of support for the commercial sector by such means as lower licence fees than in weakening the BBC.
On the US then, where the House of Representatives has backed off most of its proposed cuts to public broadcast funding but there is still a perception by many of a beleaguered public broadcasting system.
So is the perception correct, particularly as far as we are concerned as it related to radio? The Los Angeles Times clearly thinks so and although an editorial "The GOP Inside PBC" concentrates as the heading suggests on TV, it also notes the perception by many Republicans that "that PBS and National Public Radio (NPR) have a liberal bias."
It also comments, "NPR [US National Public Radio] offers about the only serious, comprehensive news on radio.
For Frank Rich in the New York Times the current story in terms of public broadcasting is a change of tack in attacks on it from the right.
Whereas attacks in the past by Republicans led by Newt Gingrich were a head-on assault he says, "this time the game is far more insidious and ingenious. The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio."
Rich also gives details of funds paid by Kenneth Tomlinson, the current chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to a Fred Mann for monitoring PBS and says that Tomlinson at first maintained in a letter to North Dakota Democrat Sen. Byron Dorgan that another CPB executive had "approved and signed" the Mann contract when he had signed it himself?"[RNW comment: if this is indeed proven, our view is that Tomlinson is a liar in ways that make him unfit to hold any public office: If it is not, one would have expected him to have been fairly firm in demonstrating the falsity of this and other allegations of dishonest behaviour on his part - See this Media Matters for America comment).
More disturbing are the reports that were produced which, according to Sen. Dorgan, included monitoring of other programmes including the work of Tavis Smiley and Diane Rehm with guests being rated as "liberal", "Conservative" and "anti-administration" with a liberal rating being attached to "the conservative Republican Senator Chuck Hagel given the same L as Bill Clinton simply because he expressed doubts about Iraq in a discussion mainly devoted to praising Ronald Reagan."
In his column in the San Francisco Chronicle John Carroll also took up the question of the monitoring organised by Tomlinson and adds another line on material marked down as "liberal": "Also 'liberal' was a program on wasteful spending at the Pentagon. There was a time when the profligate spending by big government was a major conservative issue, but no more. In order to find real conservatives, you have to wander over to the libertarian party."
Carroll then goes on to suggest he too could be hired to produce material that is on-message, writing, "I've decided to cut out the middle man. The White House is always looking for liberal bias in the news media, and I can help them find it. I can monitor my own column, and write detailed reports about the bias therein. For an extra 20 grand, I would testify before a Senate committee against myself, revealing my long record of liberal opinions. Whatever the Bush administration is seeking to prove, it can prove it by me."
Most disappointing in this whole issue to us is the depth of the party-partisan divide in reactions to the issues as reported by Paul Farhi in the Washington Post before the House restored most of the cuts it had proposed.
"The battle lines over public broadcasting have been drawn in sharply partisan fashion," he writes. "Democrats in Congress and liberal organizations have emerged as public broadcasting's most visible and vocal supporters, while Republicans and conservatives have stayed mostly silent."
" the inability to find many friends across the aisle has been a source of frustration to broadcasters," writes Farhi, "because they say it obscures the breadth of public backing and hardens the partisan lines" and he quotes PBS spokeswoman Lea Sloan as saying, "We know there's Republican support out there, and we, too, are surprised that it hasn't been more vocal."
NPR executive vice president Ken Stern noted that listeners to the network describe themselves as moderate, conservative and liberal in about equal measure in surveys.
Now on to suggested listening and to start with two BBC Radio 4 programmes: The first is Mad as Hell - a new series of "Sunday Supplements" in the Westminster Hour slot in which columnist Simon Jenkins fumes about the amount of state regulation and interference in the lives of today's Britons. The first two programmes are on the programme web site and the third and final part, with Jenkin's suggestion of a way forward, is to be broadcast next Sunday.
In the first programme Jenkins names as one of his heroes William Cobbet - "the moving spirit behind the great Reform Act of 1832" - and the subject of out second suggestion, which is the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week starting today at 08:45 GMT. It's the biography of Cobbet by William Ingrams, abridged by Andrew Simpson.
Then across the oceans and we suggest two editions of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Ockham's Razor that a fortnight ago had the second of two programmes by Brisbane cardiologist Dr Geoffrey Chia, this one with his comments on energy problems - not a good news show for the US president or US automobile owners - and yesterday features former RAAF fighter pilot Bill Pearcy, who also studied physics and is now a Lay Canon talking about the nature of time and its relationship to God and the related issue for science and religion of the concept of infinite time.
He argues that science and religion are complementary -- not too convincingly to us as it happens in view of the vast parts of religion omitted and contradictions thereof ignored.
After this music and first to note that the BBC at 1300 GMT today and until Thursday will be broadcasting Beethoven's final four symphonies: Like the first five that it offered for download as MP3's these will be on the site for download from the day after the performance for a week.
We also note that the Performance on 3 slot at 18:30 GMT this week is strong with performances from the Aldeburgh Festival, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, of Handel's Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, and from Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005 plus next Saturday at 17:00 GMT in the Jazz File slot the first of two programmes on Art Blakey that is followed by The Bartered Bride in the Opera on 3 slot.
Before that on Saturday at 14:00 GMT in the World Routes slot, the station broadcast's performances live from Live 8's Africa Calling concert at the Eden Project in Cornwall
Two hours earlier BBC Radio One starts its Live 8 broadcasts from Hyde Park (As does BBC Radio 2) and remains there until at 20:00 GMT it moves over the Atlantic to broadcast from the Philadelphia concert.
As a precursor, from Radio 2 tomorrow at 19:30 GMT we'd suggest the second of the two-part "The 20th Anniversary of Live Aid" hosted by Phil Collins: The first programme is still on the site until then.
Then from the US and National Public Radio, the stories of the effects of the US atom bombing of Nagasaki, filed 60 years ago to the Chicago Daily News by George Weller who was the first Allied journalist to reach Nagasaki: The stories, now being printed by the Mainichi Shimbun, were never published at the time but carbon copes were discovered by his son, novelist Anthony Weller, who released them in anticipation of the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing.
Back to the BBC and Radio 4 and at 14:45 GMT this week Dr Raj Persaud in The Real Frasiers talks to talk-show psychiatrists and psychologists from around the world to contrast their different styles and to take a snapshot of different country's mental issues and their approaches to therapy.
Today's first show looks at Doctor Joy Browne's syndicated show on WOR 710 and subsequent programmes look at Doctor Sanjay Chugh's programme on Radio Mirchi in India; Doctor Dorianne Weil's show on Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702; Doctor Enrique de Rosa Alabaster's show in Argentina and Doctor Frank Njenga's show on Christian talk radio in Nairobi, Kenya.
And finally for something completely different the radio adverts that won Lions awards in Cannes as noted in the story below.
Los Angeles Times editorial:
New York Times - Rich:
Palm Beach Post - Editorial on Limbaugh case:
San Francisco Chronicle - Carroll:
UK Independent - Webb:
Washington Post - Farhi:
2005-06-27: Advertisements from the USA and South Africa dominated in the inaugural Radio Lions advertising awards announced in Cannes, taking 16 of a total 31 awards including the Grand Prix Award, which went to the Men Of Real Genius campaign for the US brewer Anheuser-Busch by DDB Chicago.
The campaign started as Great American Heroes on radio and was re-titled Men Of Real Genius after the 9/11 attacks: Its TV spin-off won a Gold Award in Cannes last year.
The radio figures compare with TV awards this year of 28 Lions for the US this year, 19 for the UK and seven for Germany with the TV Grand Prix award going to London agency Wieden & Kennedy for an animated commercial for Honda diesel engines.
Commenting on the winning radio campaign jury President Malcolm Poynton said, "There were 11 spots in this campaign and the jury felt that every one of them was worth a Gold" adding that the campaign is "entertaining and strong radio."
In all 1,033 adverts were entered for the awards and the jury gave out two Gold awards, which went to Devito/Verdi of the US for adverts for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and King James South Africa for a Mini Cooper automobile advert, eight silver (to Y&R Chicago for a Miller Lite beer advert; DDB Canada for an advert for Energizer E2 Lithium Batteries; Lowe Bull South Africa for a Handy Andy Oven Cleaner advert for Unilever; Bates Red Cell Norway for a Bosch Turbo Sander advert; BBDO Campaign Dusseldorf for an aspirin advert for Bayer; FCB Johannesburg for an advert for Toyota Quantum Panel Vans; Goodby Silverstein & Partners, USA for an advert for Ebay Motors; and Shackleton Ad Spain for a Save The Children advert.) and 17 Bronze awards.
RNW comment: The winning adverts - from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico, Spain, the UK and the USA - are posted on the Lions web site with English and native language audio for where originals were not in English.
They make interesting and instructive listening and to our ears some of the lesser award winners, particularly in the bronze section that kept the kick for the end, had more impact than the winners of grander prizes: The Grand Prix Award winners would have led us to switch channels after hearing the first one and we found the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to have more impact.
Lions Radio Awards web site (Links to adverts including audio):
2005-06-27: The Scottish Radio Holdings' board recommendation to accept its takeover by Emap that we reported last week (See RNW Jun 22) was more orchestrated than appeared at the time according to a report in the UK Sunday Times.
The paper reports that not only was the GBP 155 million (USD 283 million) sale of SRH's Score Press arm to Johnston Press agreed in advance but a detailed contract had also been drawn up that gave Johnson effective control of Emap's voting of its 28% share of SRH should SRH attempt to sell off its newspapers directly in any sale requiring shareholder approval.
It adds that not only did Emap threaten to withdraw their initial offer but the Emap/Johnston Press deal also scuppered any attempts by SRH to find alternative buyers, thus giving it little option but to agree to be taken over.
The paper also adds that SRH chairman Lord Gordon of Strathblane, who remains a non-executive director at Johnston Press, attended no meetings and received no board papers on the Emap deal.
Previous Lord Gordon:
UK Sunday Times report:
2005-06-26: Last week was a fairly quiet one for the regulators with no major decisions anywhere and no radio decisions at all announced in Australia or Ireland: Elsewhere there was a steady flow of activity but nothing startling.
In Canada, radio-related decisions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRCT) included issuing four new licences for the Ottawa-Gatineau market and a ruling that a Montreal station breached regulations relating to abusive comment (See RNW Jun 24).
It also approved a transmitter relocation and increase in antenna height plus power reduction from 100,000 watts to 70,000 watts for CKMM-FM, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and ruled against a Montreal station over broadcast of abusive comments (Also Jun 24).
The Commission also gave notice of a number of applications for which the deadline for comment is July 27: In order of province they included:
*Application to remove the transmitter CKBF-FM-1 Wainwright from the licence of CKBF-FM, Canadian Forces Base, Suffield: The licensee advises that the transmitter is no longer needed following the departure of the based British Armed Forces from the area.
*Application to renew le licence of CHMJ-AM, Vancouver: The Commission noted a 2004 decision that a broadcast of an episode of the Tom Leykis Show breached the prohibition on abusive comment and that it had required Corus, as part of its licence renewal application, to provide a report on the measures and mechanisms it has in place to ensure that the content of the programming on CHMJ adheres at all times to the Act and the Radio Regulations.
It also noted that the station now had a sports format and that it had received the required report on the measures and mechanisms that Corus has in place to ensure full compliance.
*Application to renew the licence of the French-language radio network with programming originating from CKLE-FM, Bathurst/Caraquet.
*Application to add a 40 watts AM transmitter at Tuktoyaktuk to broadcast the programming of CHAK-AM, Inuvik, in order to serve the population of Tuktoyaktuk.
In the UK, Ofcom upheld no radio complaints in its latest bulletin (See RNW Jun 22) and also announced the award of 15 new community licences (See RNW Jun 21).
It also issued its reports on the reasoning behind the awards of new commercial FM licences for Manchester, Norwich, and Ballymena to GCap Media's alternative music format Xfm, Crown FM and Severn Towers FM respectively (See RNW Jun 10)
In the Manchester case, where it had said it would place particular importance on broadening the range of programmes available it described the Xfm application to have offered a "clearly-defined and innovative proposition with a distinctive Manchester flavour which significantly would broaden the range of programmes available in the area by way of local commercial radio."
It added that the application "demonstrated convincingly that there was a clear demand among Xfm's target audience for its proposed 'alternative' music format and particularly noted the inclusion in the Format of commitments to broadcast specialist comedy shows and comedy elements within general programming, output which the research conducted by the group showed would cater for the tastes and interests of the audience.
In Norwich, where it has said that it would be likely to place "particular emphasis on the ability of each applicant to maintain its proposed service for the duration of the licence period" and also that it was likely to consider speech content to be more important than music, Ofcom said that on balance it considered Crown FM to have been the strongest of five good applications.
"Crown FM's Format offers a practical realization of its full service programming proposals," said Ofcom, adding, "While the RLC (Radio Licensing Committee) recognized that the non-news speech commitments were generally over-arching rather than specific in nature the committee was impressed by the group's extensive commitment to local news which it felt would enable Crown to cater to local tastes and broaden choice in terms of locally relevant speech programming.
And in Ballymena, where it had made similar comments on the importance of ability to maintain the service, it commented that it "considered that, although Seven Towers FM's revenue and cost projections are ambitious, the station's ownership by two well-established Northern Ireland media owners - including the Alpha Newspaper Group, publisher of the Ballymena Guardian - provides it with a particularly impressive level of funding together with direct experience of the local Ballymena advertising market."
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has again closed down radio free Brattleboro, the unlicensed Vermont station (See RNW Jun 24) and levied a number of penalties including a total of USD 44,000 in four cases - USD 20,000 for tower offences, USD 10,000 for tower offences and unlicensed operation, and USD 4,000 for a prize contest breach (See RNW Jun 23).
In other enforcement actions the FCC confirmed a USD 1,000 penalty on a West Virginia pirate station operator and of USD 3,000 on a Georgia AM owner for failing to register its tower.
The USD 1,000 penalty was confirmed on Mark A. Clay of Huntington, West Virginia, who had originally been served with a USD 10,000 penalty for operating an unlicensed FM but that was reduced to USD 1,000 on the basis of inability to pay. He had sought further reduction on the basis that his monthly income had fallen because of divorce but the FCC noted that he had failed to produce documentation to back up his claim and said it thus had no option but to confirm the penalty.
The USD 3,000 penalty was confirmed on Brown Broadcasting System, Inc., which had not denied that it failed to register the antenna structure for WBKZ-AM in Jefferson, Georgia.
Brown had sought cancellation primarily on a basis of financial hardship and submitted federal income tax returns for the years 2001, 2002 and 2003.
The commission noted that its policy was to base penalties on gross revenues and said that on this basis it found reduction or cancellation was not warranted.
In Missouri, the Commission denied a petition for reconsideration filed by Four Him Enterprises, LLC., which had sought a reclassification of Ozark Broadcasting, Inc.'s KJEL-FM, Lebanon, from Class C to class CO to allow a change of channel for its KHZR-FM, Potosi, that in turn depended on other channel substitutions at Rolla and Lin with a knock-on effect on KJEL.
The FCC said it appeared Ozark had not received a Show Cause letter from the Commission but Ozark had filed a Motion to Accept Late-Filed Opposition and an Opposition to Order to Show Cause on November 5, 2002. It had then filed an acceptable application specifying minimum Class C facilities.
Four Him argued that Ozark had "constructive notice" of the Order to Show Cause because it was included in the Commission's public notices released September 20, 2002, and that Ozark Broadcasting could have ascertained its existence through "the exercise of reasonable diligence" but the Commission dismissed the argument and refused to allow the Four Him motion.
In North Carolina, the FCC refused to allow Beasley Broadcasting to acquire WGQR-FM, and WBLA-AM, both of Elizabethtown, from Sound Business of Elizabethtown, Inc.,
Beasley had sought a waiver of the Commission's local radio ownership rule to allow it to immediately acquire WGQR, which is listed by BIA as in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, Metro in which it said Beasley has a "cognizable interest in 2 AM and 4 FM stations."
Beasley argued that the station's historical listing by both Arbitron and BIA as home to the Metro "has been an aberration," and that the station's recent "de-listing is entirely in keeping with longstanding marketplace realities" and that because of its "geographic separation" from the Metro, WGQR does not compete in the Metro.
It noted that an applicant for a waiver has to demonstrate that deviation from the general rule is warranted by special circumstances and will serve the public interest and said in this case Beasley had failed to do so. It refused the waiver and refused to allow Beasley to acquire either station.
The FCC also announced the opening of a filing window for its Auction 62 in which it will offer 172 FM construction permits (See RNW Jun 21). It also had to withdraw action to revoke some Peninsula Communications' licences in Alaska following a change in the law (Also Jun 21)
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-06-26: Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull has opted to examine conservative host Rush Limbaugh's medical records and decide which are within the scope of the search warrants used to seize them from four doctors in 2003 and can be turned over to prosecutors investigating the host on suspicion of "doctor-shopping."
He will return other records to Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black but denied Blacks request to participate in the examination of the records and also forbade prosecutors to release information concerning the records to anyone not involved in the state's investigation.
Black in the statement claimed the result as a victory, saying, "We are pleased that Judge Barkdull has agreed with our position that the state was not entitled to the wholesale seizure of Mr. Limbaugh's medical records. We are finally getting the judicial review of the records for relevancy that we have sought from the start."
Black also referred to the decision as a "positive result for all medical patients in Florida" saying it affirmed "our argument that the police cannot go on a fishing expedition through anyone's most private medical matters."
Allowing himself an opportunity to push matters further if the issue doesn't go his way, Black added, "We continue to believe that the search warrants were issued based on faulty and misleading statements from investigators and that the search was improper under both state and federal law. Nothing in Judge Barkdull's order prevents us from renewing our motion to suppress all of the records at a later date."
RNW comment: Like many of Limbaugh's own statements, his attorney's comments in our view spin the facts close to the point of untruth if not beyond it (in Black's case: In Limbaugh's we'd never trust anything he says without a cross check). Looking at our records of this case, Black has not been arguing for a "judicial review for relevancy" but to keep the records out of the case completely and thus presumably bury it whether or not the records -which we of course seized under a search warrant issued by the judge and not just grabbed by the authorities - show evidence of illegal behaviour.
We doubt very much whether Limbaugh in the past or now would in general take the same view of others' actions; from an initial reaction, which presumably Limbaugh would term "liberal", that drug addiction is frequently a case for medical treatment not incarceration unless laws other than those relating to purchase and possession of the drugs have been broken, we are tending to the "conservative" view that jailing the bum would be poetic justice should he indeed be shown to have broken other laws to obtain supplies.
2005-06-26: Veteran Texan broadcaster Ron Chapman has retired aged 69 after 45 years on air in the state where he began on KLIF-AM in 1959 after a spell on WHAV-AM in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
He spent seven years on the station - then 1190-AM -under the name Irving Harrigan as part of the Charlie and Harrigan morning team and then had a brief spell on TV before returning to radio full time in 1969 on KVIL-FM.
He stayed there for 31 years, much of it heading the ratings, and then moved to Infinity's oldies format KLUV-FM station, for the rest of his career.
His last song on the show was Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds but before that phone lines to the show had been jammed by well wishers: Colleague Jody Dean, who takes over the slot on Monday and hosted the show solo after Chapman left around 9 a.m. read a letter from President Bush and quipped, "Boy, I feel like Joshua coming after Moses."
During his time on air Chapman had determinedly promoted Dallas-Forth Worth, which when he began were two separate cities and radio markets, and ensured Forth Worth got a fair share of the billing.
In recognition of his work Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief declared Friday "Ron Chapman Day." Moncrief read a proclamation calling Chapman as much a part of Fort Worth as our museums, stockyards and Sundance Square.
"This visionary and marketing genius," Moncrief told KLUV listeners, "was the first Dallas-based broadcaster to recognize and promote the combined strength of Fort Worth and Dallas as a major national market."
2005-06-25: BBC World Service, taking inspiration it says from the Sonic Memorial Project in the USA in which after the attacks on September 11, 2001, asked listeners to contribute their sounds and stories about the World Trade Center (See RNW Jun 2, 2002), is launching The Tsunami Audio Memorial, an ambitious project aimed at creating a historic audio tribute to the areas affected.
It is asking people who live in the Southern Asian region affected by the tsunami, visited it or have family there, to contact them via a dedicated use in a series of programmes to be broadcast on the networks at the end of the year.
The Corporation says it hopes that the audio recordings it obtains will be found a home from which it will be accessible to anyone as a living memorial and Maria Balinska, Editor, World Programmes, BBC World Service said they hoped to "create a fitting tribute to those affected by the tsunami tragedy."
Tsunami Audio Memorial e-mail address:
2005-06-25: Austereo has extended the contract of its chief executive Michael Anderson for four years to the end of June 2009 after which he will be on a rolling 12-month contract.
The move comes ahead of anticipated changes to media regulations in the country that are expected to ease current tight cross-media ownership restrictions and he will be paid AUD 950,000 (USD 730,000) a year to start off rising to AUD 1 million (USD 770,000) a year on July 1, 2008: In addition he will be entitled, should the company meet board-approved earnings targets, to an additional AUD 200,000 (USD 154,000) on achieving the target and the same amount on top if it is 10% above target for any full financial year during the contract. In the latest financial year he was paid AUD 780,000 (USD 600,000).
Chairman Peter Harvie said the company was "delighted that Michael Anderson has extended his term as Chief Executive Officer as he brings unique skills to the challenge".
Austereo is a potential target for an acquisition under any easing of restrictions and also possibly a potential predator.
2005-06-25: Thai community radio host and producer Anchalee Paireerak has given up her fight against the Thai government, which had closed down her station and web site, and is to leave the country to study abroad according to The Nation.
Her station was one of 17 community stations that the government had ordered closed last month saying they interfered with other radio stations and air traffic controllers.
Anchalee, who was well known for being critical of the government, told the paper the government had "been harassing us in every way" and added, "We've been picked on from the beginning."
She also noted that no action had been taken against another station, the 4000 watts 102.5 FM, owned by Traffic Corner Co Ltd whose major shareholder is the prime minister's sister Yaowapa Wongsawat.
Anchalee added that she was frightened for her life and had received a phone call from a "senior person" telling her to stay away from home.
"Yes, I fear for my life, because I still have parents and younger siblings to take care of," she said.
Suthas Ngernmuen, an adviser to the Thai parliament's House committee on justice, which had hear testimony from Anchalee about the shut-down of the station's website, told the paper he worried that she could "be disappeared" in a similar fashion to Somchai Neelapaijit, the Muslim lawyer who criticised police handling of a suspected Muslim terrorist case.
The Nation report:
2005-06-25: Chicago WGN-AM morning host Spike O'Dell's home has been gutted in a fire while the host and his family were vacationing on a cruise ship off Alaska according to the Chicago Tribune, which also owns WGN.
WGN vice president and general manager Thomas E. Langmyer said O'Dell's producer reached him by cellular telephone to tell him the bad news and the host's family made arrangements to return to Chicago.
Aurora Fire Marshal Jack Smith told the paper both floors of the O'Dell home were totally destroyed although the garage had survived.
WGN's web site says that although there was no loss of human life or injuries Spike's dog Otis died in the fire and carries a photo album of the dog.
Chicago Tribune report:
WGN Web site:
2005-06-25: Storms at Glastonbury took BBC Radio 1's live coverage of this year's Glastonbury Festival off air for more than an hour on Friday as the production tents was flooded and generators put out of action.
DJ Jo Whiley, who was to have been on the air called breakfast host Chris Moyles, who was broadcasting from the station's London studios, on her mobile phone and told him, "You can't see the ground. It's just like a river with a proper current and everything. As I'm looking out I can see the water rising."
Later she said that engineers had managed to get a generator going but had to balance it on a trestle table to keep it out of the water.
Pictures aired by BBC TV showed muddy streams flowing past tents on the site and lightning - one of the beer tents was hit but nobody was hurt.
2005-06-24: A Lexington, Kentucky, woman is suing Cumulus Media over a competition on WLTO-FM that she says breached a contract to pay her a radio contest prize of USD 100,000 by instead giving her a caramel-filled candy bar, Nestle's 100 Grand.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that in May night host DJ Slick said he wanted to thank people who listened throughout the American Idol finale by sponsoring a contest to "win 100 grand" and has said on his web log this was "no joke"
Norreasha Gill won by listening to the radio show throughout the night and being the 10th caller just before the Idol winner was announced.
She said she screamed over the airwaves and began describing what she would do with USD100,000 and added, "I just freaked out. I couldn't move, I was so afraid that the phone would click off. I was shaking. They congratulated me and told me I could pick it up the next morning."
She made promises of what she would buy to her children but when she arrived at Hot 102's studio the next morning, she was asked to return that night, when DJ Slick would be in the office. She later received a message from the station manager who explained that she had won a 100 Grand candy bar, not money but later, she said, offered her USD 5,000.
"I said I wanted $95,000 more," she said. "Nobody would watch and listen for two hours for a candy bar.
Her attorney Lee Van Horn told the paper she was treated "maliciously" and added, "The DJ knew this wasn't $100,000 and he led her to believe it was. "This was an incredibly cruel joke to play on her, especially on the air in front of so many people."
The paper says the DJ, who was not named in the lawsuit did not replay to an e-mail but said on his web site that he had left his job at the station and the station and Cumulus declined comment.
2005-06-24: The US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the body that was set up in 1967 to shield public broadcasting from political influence and funnels federal subsidies to National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System and public radio and TV stations, has named former Republican Party co-chairman and former Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Patricia S. Harrison as its new president and chief executive.
The appointment is controversial because recently appointed chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, another Republican, has been publicly critical of US public broadcasting for being too "liberal" and a number of Democrats had said that any appointee to the post of president should be seen as non-partisan.
Last week 20 House Democrats had urged delay in the appointment and said Harrison should not be under consideration, writing, "Under no circumstance should the president of the CPB be a former chair of a political party, be it Republican or Democrat. Our public media are not ideological pawns for political parties, and the CPB president must not be a partisan activist."
Also writing to Tomlinson in advance of the appointment a number of Democrat Senators including Byron Dorgan (North Dakota) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York) had commented, "We find it astonishing that Ms. Harrison, given her former prominence as a partisan political figure, would even be considered as a candidate for a job that demands that the occupant be non-political.''
Making the announcement Tomlinson paid tribute to executive search firm Spencer Stuart for conducting a comprehensive review of potential candidates for the position, saying, "They reached out to over 200 people and had extensive discussions with more than 80 contacts. Over 50 diversity profiles were developed and eleven diversity candidates were reviewed by the committee."
A CPB three-member search committee, comprising current and former Chairs, Katherine Anderson, Frank Cruz, and Ken Tomlinson, reviewed 23 prospective candidates over the course of four committee meetings and the entire CPB board conducted interviews with four finalists.
Harrison herself said in a statement, "I am pleased to join with the Board and all stakeholders in the future success of public broadcasting" and also vowed to join with public broadcast leaders to restore USD 100 million congressional cuts made to the CPB's budget (RNW note: The House later on Thursday voted by 284-140 to restore the funding).
RNW comment: Time will tell whether Democrat criticism of this appointment prove to be justified in practice although the record of the current US administration to foreign eyes seems to have little time for even handedness and fair play and as a matter of general principle it does seem wise to us that a post in an organisation that is supposed to be non-partisan should only go to a party-political figure after very careful scrutiny.
Should there be overt pressures we are tending towards the view that the larger public broadcasters, who in percentage terms rely least on public funding, should tell the CPB and its executive very clearly where to stick themselves and forgo the funds: For public broadcasters in rural areas however this could be much more problematical and there is no obvious short-term answer for them.
2005-06-24: The BBC has introduced new guidelines for its editorial staff that include changes made in the wake of criticism of its journalism in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
For the first time it is openly putting accuracy above speed and it is also to introduce use of a delay system for live broadcasts of what it terms "sensitive and challenging events, such as the school siege at Beslan."
Commenting in a news release BBC Controller of Editorial Policy Stephen Whittle said, "The Guidelines are part of our contract with our audiences. These are our editorial ethics and values and the standards we set for ourselves. We intend to live and be judged by them."
The standards are to be distributed internally and to independent programme supplies in book form and have also been posted on the Internet. They replace the BBC's former Producer Guidelines and include advice on standards including accuracy, impartiality, politics, elections, fairness, harm and offence and the welfare of children."
In a foreword BBC Director General Mark Thompson comments, "In a perfect world, the BBC Editorial Guidelines would consist of one sentence: use your own best judgement."
"No set of rules or guidelines," he continues, "can ever replace the need for producers, editors and managers to use the wisdom that comes form experience, commonsense and a clear set of editorial and ethical values when confronted with difficult editorial challenges What makes these guidelines so valuable is that they are a distillation of exactly that - the experience, commonsense and values of BBC practitioners built up over many years. Not abstract or theoretical, but based on real cases and the lessons learned from real successes and real failures."
BBC Guidelines web site:
2005-06-24: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced a run of approvals of new stations including three new commercial FMs for the Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau, Quebec market,
These were a 5,200 watts English-language Alternative Rock format FM and a 2960 watts English-language adult standards/easy listening FM in Ottawa; A French-language pop/rock and urban FM radio station in Gatineau with a main 1750 watts transmitter and also a 250 watts transmitter in Gatineau (Buckingham sector);
It also approved a new Low-power English-language tourist information service in Ottawa subject to a suitable frequency being found.
The CRTC has also ruled that two broadcasts of the programme Bonjour Montréal on CKAC-AM, Montréal, in 2003 and 2004 infringed Canada's Radio Regulations, 1986, which prohibits the broadcasting of abusive comments. It also found they contravened the objectives of the Broadcasting Policy for Canada articulated in the Broadcasting Act, including stipulations that the programming should be of high standard.
The station was owned at the time by Astral and is now owned by a Corus subsidiary.
The CRTC first received a complaint in October 2003 from the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) alleging that a guest of the show, psychiatrist Pierre Mailloux (better known as "Doc Mailloux"), had made racist comments about Black people in a broadcast the previous month.
It forwarded the complaint to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), of which CKAC is a member but CRARR asked to have the Commission rather than the CBSC deal with the complaint and subsequently in February 2004 filed a second complaint about further remarks made by Mailloux that the CRARR said were "discriminatory, racist comments about Black people."
In the case of the first broadcast CRARR referred to comments allegedly uttered by Doc Mailloux saying, "Blacks were born less intelligent than Whites, and that accounts for their poverty and high unemployment rate."
The station had responded by saying that the comments were not unbiased but submitted that taken in context they did not contravene regulations and were not racist. It provided a transcript of the conversation with host Paul Arcand, who had expressed scepticism.
Mailloux refers to an "artificial selection" of blacks in the US and added, " the strongest have been chosen to work on plantations and the brightest did not procreate or were killed. Therefore, what was the result? Well it resulted in a physical superiority that we can easily notice in sports in America. Blacks have almost everything regarding performance in many sports, and a slight intellectual disadvantage that adversely affects employment. It's not me that is saying this, and I'm not saying this in contempt either. Studies have been conducted on large groups. That doesn't mean that there are no bright people amongst Blacks. But as a group, they are disadvantaged in that regard."
He also referred to laziness problem " among black men but not black women.
In relation to the second broadcast CRARR referred to comments made by Mailloux about the Super Bowl show brief exposure of one of Janet Jackson's breasts and said the conduct was "typical of African or Black people, who do not know how to behave even though they left Africa many years ago" and also that "these people should be sent back to Africa for carrying on that way."
The licensee responded by saying the comments referred to members of the Jackson family but recognized that the comments were decidedly racist, apologized and said it had decided to drop Doc Mailloux's discussions from the programme.
2005-06-24: DMG Australia, which earlier this month announced that it was hiring ABC breakfast presenter Angela Catterns to host the breakfast show on its new Sydney station (See RNW Jun 11) has now hired another ABC breakfast show member.
Tony Squires, who has a regular guest spot on the ABC 702 breakfast show, is to get his own show on the new DMG station where he will be joined by his former ABC TV colleague Rebecca Wilson.
2005-06-24: For the second time in two years the authorities have closed down Vermont community station radio free brattleboro and seized its broadcasting equipment.
The 10-watt station has been broadcasting without a licence and after the first Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shut-down in June 2003 resumed broadcasts after collecting signatures of support - and funds - from some 2000 local residents (See RNW Aug 24, 2003).
The FCC again ordered a closedown but the station obtained a stay of execution from US District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha who asked for further information from both sides - the station was seeking an injunction to stop the FCC seizing its equipment and the FCC was calling for an immediate shutdown (See RNW Jun 10, 2004).
In a news release on its web site the station claims that the latest action by the FCC, made using a warrant issued in Burlington, took place while an action was still pending before Judge Murtha.
It says that in April this year it received a letter from the U.S. Attorney's office in Burlington stating that the FCC was "prepared to pursue other law enforcement remedies" in this case and had responded that it has continued operating because the FCC's complaint to the court has yet to receive a ruling either on the preliminary or permanent injunctions.
rfb attorney James Maxwell is quoted as saying, "Radio free brattleboro has a case with substantial and legitimate legal issues pending in the federal court here in Brattleboro, and the station has also applied to the FCC for a waiver to broadcast, and it has repeatedly stated that when the newly licensed 100-watt station is up and running it would step aside. rfb does not operate in defiance of government but rather from the belief of its members and listeners that community radio is essential to good government and democratic process."
rfb web site:
2005-06-23: XM Satellite radio says it is to offer the most comprehensive cover of the "Live 8" concerts round the world on July 8 with cover of the concerts in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Philadelphia.
Its Executive Vice President of Programming Eric Logan commented, "Live 8 is that rare, global event that unites under a common cause an extraordinary line-up of talented musical artists from diverse genres and we are honoured to be the exclusive satellite radio broadcaster for this event The millions of XM listeners who won't be able to attend this historic musical event will still have the opportunity to experience all of the excitement and, of course, hear all that great music."
Cover of the concerts will come courtesy of America Online, which is the primary North American media partner and exclusive online broadcaster for Live 8: As well as XM it has also licensed cover of the event to Clear Channel's syndication arm Premiere Networks, which will prove at least two formatted feeds - rock and pop - plus live backstage coverage and performer interviews from Philadelphia and London and to Viacom-owned MTV Networks.
As well as the main concerts extra concerts have also been added in Barrie, Ontario, in Canada, Johannesburg, Tokyo and the Eden Project in Cornwall, with a further concert on July 6 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh in Scotland for which Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) has the commercial radio rights.
The concert in Cornwall - Africa Calling - was set up after criticism that original plans had ignored artists from Africa apart from Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour.
N'Dour and British artist Peter Gabriel - who has championed world music for the past 25 years, and is the co-founder of the word music body Womad - were the driving force behind the Cornish concert that will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3. BBC Radio 1 will carry the London Concert.
2005-06-23: In a total of four cases the US Federal Communications Commission ( FCC) has levied penalties of USD 44,000 for various offences.
The highest penalty went to Vector Communications, which had failed to respond to a notice of apparent liability (NAL) for USD 20,000 for repeated failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting on three antenna structures used for WCFI-AM, Ocala, Florida.
Two USD 10,000 penalties were also imposed, one on Mega Communications of Tampa, Florida, for failing to comply with prescribed antenna structure painting and lighting specifications and the other on Arkansas man, Scottie E. Kennedy of Greenbriar, for operating a transmitter on a marine radio channel without a licence. Neither had responded to NALs.
In Connecticut, a penalty of USD 4,000 was imposed on Clear Channel's WKSS-FM, Hartford-Meriden, for failing to broadcast full and accurate details of a contest it had run.
In promoting the "I Do Island" competition patterned after the "Survivor" TV Series, the station had, according to the winner, said the prize would be a USD 35,000 "Wedding Package."
She said that after winning she had been told that the station staff told her that within a fortnight she would receive all the information needed to collect the prizes.
She said she had still not received the information after three months and the station ultimately informed her the prizes awarded were worth only USD 20,330.
In response to the complaint Clear Channel had said that promotions "described the ["I Do Island"] contest prize as an 'ultimate wedding package' worth approximately USD 30,000" but admitted the value of the prized had only been USD 20,330.
In a response to a further enquiry it later responded and said that the promotion "did not mention the approximate value of the prize package."
In both responses, said the FCC, it was argued that the Station complied with the contest rules and that it took several corrective actions to ensure that the complainant was treated fairly and specifically noted that it offered to host a wedding rehearsal dinner and to supply a photographer for the complainant's wedding as additional prizes in order to increase the value of the prize package. It said the complainant allegedly refused to accept those additional prizes but had accepted a payment of USD 5,000 in full settlement of her complaints.
In assessing the forfeiture amount, the FCC said that although Clear Channel's substantial revenues and previous rule violations ordinarily would warrant a penalty above the USD 4,000 base amount in this case it believed "that a USD 4,000 forfeiture is appropriate because of the "licensee's good-faith efforts to remedy the situation prior to our initiation of this investigation."
RNW comment: So let's do a little maths and accept the USD 30,000 figure not the higher one and not factor in anything for the delays.
If the prizes were worth USD 20,330 and it ended up paying an additional USD 5,000, the USD 4,000 only takes the total cost up to USD 29,330. That to us is no penalty - the logic is similar to ruling that were any Clear Channel employee to be found stealing from the company there would be no question of a criminal case if repayment of 98% of the amount taken were to be refunded.
Previous Clear Channel:
2005-06-23: Indian broadcasters attending Radio Mirchi's second annual Radio Works seminar in Mumbai (Bombay) have been told that radio in the country is where it was in the UK 12 years ago and can increase its share of the advertising pie five-fold.
The latter comment came in the seminar's opening address by Madison Media Group CEO Punita Arumugam who noted that in India radio only had 2-3% of total advert expenditures compared to 10-15% globally.
She also noted much lower listening in India citing a recent survey by NOP World that showed while Indians spend approximately four hours listening to the radio in a week, countries like Argentina and Brazil have people listening to the radio for almost 17 - 20 hours in a week. "It is time we bring radio in our country to the world standards," she commented.
Jo McCrostie and Chris Taylor from UK GCap Media - also addressed the seminar on "Creativity & Effectiveness in Radio Advertising."
McCrostie, who is G-CAP's group head of commercial production, said an effective radio advert depended on "A great idea, well crafted, that engages the audience and works" adding that the "idea is absolutely everything in radio."
She listed the essential elements of an effective radio advert, not just the techniques such as storytelling and engaging a listener but also selling the benefit of the product and emphasised the importance of making it relevant to the listener.
McCrostie also noted research on the "multiplier" effect of radio conducted by the UK Radio Advertising Bureau that showed redeployment of 10% of a TV campaign budget to radio increased awareness on average by 15%.
Taylor emphasised the need to prepare properly for an advert, commenting that most of the hard work should be done before getting to the studio stage.
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL- owns Radio Mirchi):
2005-06-23: SMG-owned Virgin Radio is to fill evenings at its Virgin Radio Classic Rock station with the United Stations Radio Networks syndicated show Nights with Alice Cooper.
The show, which in the US is promoted for the 1900- midnights slot will be aired by Virgin from 1800 to 2200: It will follow a 1400-1800 show hosted by Gordon Loncaster, who has joined the station from Emap's 's Midlands rock station Kerrang!
Cooper - real name Vincent Furnier - started his 2005 world tour in Australia last week and records links for the show from wherever he is and the show's web site is promoting an interview with Brian May of Queen as the highlight of tonight's show.
Virgin's classic rock station is broadcast on terrestrial digital channels and the Sky satellite platform to the UK and is also on the Internet.
Previous SMG (Virgin owner):
2005-06-22: In a move that increases pressures for further consolidation in UK radio Emap has gained Scottish Radio Holding's approval for a takeover by increasing a previously rejected bid of GBP 10.40 a share to GBP 10.88 a share for the 73% of the company it does not already own, thus valuing SRH at GBP 391 million (USD 714 million) compared to GBP 375 million (USD 685 million) in the rejected bid.
Emap bought 27% of SRH in January 2004 from SMG at a price of 930p per share and has been expected to bid for the whole company since the purchase.
Emap has also announced that it is to recoup GBP 155 million (USD 283 million) through the sale of SRH's Score Press newspaper division, which owns 45 weekly newspaper titles and in the year to the end of last September had revenues of GBP 31.1 million (USD 56.8 million) and operating profits of GBP 11.2 million (USD 20.5 million), to the Johnston Press.
This compares to an overall SRH revenue reported in its interim results to the end of March of GBP 51.9 million (USD 94.9 million) with a profit before tax of GBP 8,7 million (USD 15.9 million).
The offer represents a 9% premium over the middle market price of SRH shares at close of business on June 20 and a 17% premium on the average middle market closing price of SRH shares in the year to the end of March this year: SRH shareholders will also remain entitled to an interim dividend of 7.5 pence per share that is payable on July 1.
Commenting on the Offer, Emap's Chief Executive, Tom Moloney, said in a statement, "Radio is a good business, with strong medium term growth prospects. To compete more effectively, scale of audience and infrastructure will be increasingly important."
"This transaction," he added, "enables us to create the highest quality independent local radio business, reaching all of the UK's major conurbations and delivering a strong position in the Republic of Ireland. This is an important step in Emap's radio strategy, one that creates real value and leaves us well placed to make the digital step that will be so important in establishing leadership of UK commercial radio."
SRH's Chief Executive David Goode added, "Combining Emap's radio business with SRH's network of 22 highly rated stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland will create a strong national radio group with exciting prospects."
Regarding the Score Press disposal he added, "Score Press is a highly profitable and well run portfolio of weekly newspapers. It represents a very valuable asset and a good fit with Johnston Press's extensive newspaper interests."
Overall he said the offer delivered "significant value for our shareholders, enabling them to realise a premium in cash."
Moloney said Emap valued continuity of management and would retain the services of Goode, who will join the Emap board.
Emap in its statement on the bid noted consolidation in the UK amongst broadcasters and advertising customers with five companies now represent approximately 88 per cent of the UK's advertising spend.
"The Board of Emap," it said, "believes that advertising agencies (and their customers) want "one-stop shops" from which to source national advertising. It believes they will choose their media partners based on ease of purchase which will increasingly be driven by advertising scale, audience reach and strength of brands."
It also said that audience migration to digital was not a question not if but of the rate at which it will take place and it believed that "scale, strong brands and distribution capacity across a wide variety of platforms will enable the combined radio businesses to compete more effectively."
Emap says it expects cost savings of approximately GBP 5million (USD 9 million) a year by the third full year of ownership and says the acquisition will, over the medium term, deliver returns in line with the company's previously stated acquisition criteria.
The announcement was well received by the markets and Emap was up 0.38% to 802.5 pence at close on Tuesday and SRH was up 6.54% at 1067.50 in its last trade, rises in marked contrast to the shares of the first merged UK radio company GCap, which were down 6.38% to 2.64 pence after another profits warnings and those of Chrysalis which were down 6.98% to 146.50 pence, also after yet another profits warning.
GCap in its update said," As anticipated in our announcement on 9 May, trading in May was affected by weak consumer confidence and low spends from key advertisers, with total revenues for the month down 14% year on year." It had already reported April revenues down 17% on a year earlier.
"These difficult market conditions," added GCap, "look set to continue into June and July. Visibility remains limited and the GCap Media Board continues to take a cautious view on market conditions for the foreseeable future."
GCap also released details of GWR for the year to the end of March, saying revenues were up 0.7% year on year but operating profit before goodwill, exceptional items and discontinued overseas operations was down from GBP 21.2 million (USD 38.8 million) to GBP 20.4 million (USD 37.3 million) and noted that in its listing particulars before the merger with Capital Radio it had forecast an underlying profit before tax of not less than GBP 16.4 million (USD 30 million) and had exceed this with a figure of GBP 16.7 million ( USD 30.5 million).
Chrysalis in its third profit warning this year said its radio revenues for the three months ended 31 May 2005 were down 14.5% and June was expected to produce similar figures.
"The advertising market remains short term with little visibility into July or August," it said and added, "Given the reliance of book publishing on high street spend, full year results from this division are also likely to be adversely impacted by this downturn in consumer confidence.
The warning together with the Emap acquisition puts Chrysalis under pressure: It has made an approach for the Guardian Media Group that was rejected on the grounds that it was too low and other suitable targets are thin on the ground. There have also been suggestions that it should sell off its other divisions to concentrate on radio, suggestions that it has rejected but that might follow should the company become a takeover victim.
2005-06-22: Latest Australian radio ratings just released show some good news for Austereo and also for DMG and a little for Southern Cross Broadcasting-owned Sydney talk station 2UE, whose morning host John Laws told the Sydney Sunday Telegraph at the weekend that he feels he is being wasted by 2UE and is threatening to quit the station.
Laws, who is now 70, told the paper too many spending decisions at 2UE need approval from SCB's Melbourne head office and not enough is spent on promoting the Sydney station which he regards as the jewel in the company's crown. His comments have subsequently been backed up by 2UE breakfast host Mike Carlton.
In the latest ratings he was up to fourth from fifth with 9/4, up from 8.8, but Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB with an hour of breakfast host Alan Jones followed by Ray Hadley held the lead although share fell from 12.9 to 12.6.
In the Sydney Breakfast slot, Alan Jones retained the lead for 2 GB with 15.6 (15.7) whilst Angela Catterns , who has now left ABC 702 to join DMG's new Sydney station retained second rank and closed the gap with 12.2 (10.8): Nova was third with 11.5 (10.3) and Mike Carlton took 2UE up a rank from fifth to fourth with 8.4 (8.1)
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
Adelaide: 5AA 18.6 (17.3) -same rank; Mix 15.4 (14.8) - same rank; SAFM 13.5 (14.0)- same rank.
* Nova 11.7 (12.7) - remained fourth,
*Brisbane - Triple M with 15.4 (18.2) - same rank; B105FM 10.8 (10.5) - same rank; NEW 97.3 FM with 9.0(10.4) - same rank.
*Melbourne - 3AW with 15.7 (15.6)- same rank; Gold with 12.0 (10.8) - up from third; Triple M with 11.6 (11.4)- down from second;
*ABC 774 with 11.6 (10.3) remained fourth and Nova with 9.6 (10.0) remained fifth.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM 18.6 (17.1) - same rank; ABC 720 with 11.8 (11.1) - Up from third.
Nova with 11.0 (10.9)- up from third.
*96FM with 10.7 (11.7) - fell from third to fourth;
* Sydney: 2GB 12.3 (12.3) - same rank; Nova with 10.3 (10.0) - same rank; ABC 702 10.1 (8.8) - up from fifth equal;
*Mix was up from fifth equal to fourth with 9.3 (8.8) Triple M with 8.4 (9.8) fell from third to fifth,
2-DAY with 8.2(9.5) fell from fourth to sixth and 2UE with 8.0 (7.2) was up from eighth to seventh .
ABC 702 was fifth equal with 8.8 (8.7) equal in share with Mix and 2UE with 8.6 (9.1) was down from seventh to eighth with 7.2 (8.6).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
Sunday Telegraph report on Laws:
2005-06-22: Sirius Satellite Radio and the BBC have announced agreement on a deal for the former to broadcast the BBC's pop music channel Radio 1 on Sirius from this summer.
The satellite broadcaster will time-shift the broadcasts so that they are aired in the same day part on its service as in the original UK broadcast although this means that satellite listeners to the station, so far only available in the US via the Internet, will be unable to interact with Radio 1 shows via text, e-mail and telephone.
Radio 1 airs a mix of current pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop music, and also extensively covers music events worldwide with live broadcasts and interviews: In the latest UK ratings it was the second ranked station in terms of reach with an audience of just under ten million a week compared to 13.3 million for top-ranked BBC Radio 2.
Commenting on the deal, for which no figures have been released, David Moody, Director of Strategy and Business Development at BBC Worldwide, said: "We're delighted to be working with Sirius on adding one of the U.K.'s most established radio brands to its high quality radio line-up... We look forward to exploring further opportunities together in the future."
For Sirius its President of Entertainment and Sports Scott Greenstein said the station was "renowned for its support of up-and-coming British artists, and reflects the enormously vibrant British music scene in its daily programming and special events."
2005-06-22: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld one TV standards complaint and partly upheld a TV fairness and privacy complaint in its latest bulletin just published: It also considered 6 TV cases and one radio case resolved but upheld no complaints against radio.
The radio complaint held to be resolved related to a comment on Pulse FM in which the presenter spoke of his girlfriend clapping along to a video "like a complete and utter retard"
The broadcaster said no offence had been intended and the presenter now understood that the phraseology could be offensive and volunteered to telephone the complainant and apologise personally for any offence caused.
In addition to cases where details were given a further 12 radio complaints relating to nine items and 119 TV complaints relating to 97 items were rejected or held to be out of remit with no further details given: This compares to a further 23 radio complaints relating to 23 items and 156 TV complaints relating to 120 items listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2005-06-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to open a new FM Auction filing window from July 27 running to August 12 for its Auction 62 in which it will offer 172 FM construction permits including 30 FM construction permits that were offered, but not sold, in its Auction 37. Bidding is to start on November 1.
During the window it will not accept any FM commercial and non-commercial educational (NCE) minor change applications and it has also announced an immediate freeze on the filing of counterproposals in proceedings to amend the FM Table of Allotments where such counterproposals propose a change in channel, class, and/or reference coordinates for any of the 172 FM allotments.
The FCC also notes requests have been received - and declined - to add further specific FM channels to the auction and also requests to delete others that it has also declined.
It says however that it is considering arguments by a number of Auction 37 bidders, who were unsuccessful in Auction 37 but where the winners subsequently defaulted, that they should be allowed to purchase the CP's at their Auction 37 bid before the permits are included in another caution.
In other FCC business the Commission has had to withdraw its revocation of a number of Peninsula Communications licences in Alaska following a change in the law that specifically prohibited Peninsula "from being '. . . fined or subject to any other penalty, forfeiture, or revocation for continuing to operate notwithstanding orders to the contrary."
In its ruling the FCC notes that Peninsula's licences for authorized full-power stations -- KWVV-FM, Homer and KPEN-FM, Soldotna- were being revoked because of it their operation in conjunction with seven unauthorized translators (See RNW June 20, 2003): It and adds that because of the change it is ordering the initial judicial decision to be vacated, the request to re-open the record filed by Peninsula is granted, and that the responses to the initial decision by Peninsula are now moot. It has also allowed KRSM Inc., which had been involved in earlier proceedings and was arguing for revocation to file comments on the matter.
Less fortunate than Peninsula was Arnold Broadcasting Company Inc, licensee of KNEC-FM, Yuma, Arizona, which had appealed for reduction of a USD 12,000 penalty - that had already been reduced to USD 6,000 - for unlicensed STL operations and failing to transmit weekly EAS tests
The FCC ruled that Arnold's filing for a reduction had been put in after the requisite 30-day deadline and thus dismissed the appeal in issued an order for payment of the USD 6,000 penalty.
2005-06-21: Lucknow-based City Montessori School (CMS), which with an enrolment of 22,612 students was named in 2000 by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest school, is to launch its own educational FM station at the start of next month.
It will be the first intermediate level institution in India to operate a station and Jagdish Gandhi, who founded the school with his wife in 1959, says it plans to broadcast five hours of programming a day, from 0700 to 0930 hrs and from 1900 to 2130 hrs.
Included in the broadcasts will be phone-in programmes featuring guest lecturers, teaching sessions and tutorials and specialist and general knowledge quizzes.
Previous Indian Radio:
2005-06-21: UK media regulator Ofcom has announced the award of 15 new community licences taking the total number of such licences awarded to date to 20.
They are in Central Southampton; Hedge End, Botley and West End, near Eastleigh in Hampshire; Portsmouth; Newport, Isle of Wight; Glasgow (three services); Cumbernauld; Nottingham (three services); Normanton; Derby; Leicester; Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray.
Their output will range from community services for villages through ethnic minority, religious, children's, youth and 60 -plus age group services to a service for blind and partially sighted people.
2005-06-21: Arbitron says initial findings for its RADAR 85 (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) network ratings report show US radio reaching 95% of the 18+ potential audience in households with an income of USD 75,000 or more with the same percentage of college graduates listening to radio compared to 92% for those who did not attend college.
It adds that over the course of a week, radio reaches more than 229 million people, or 94 percent of all persons aged 12 and older with a weekend audience of more than 183 million people, or 75 percent of all Persons 12+.
In terms of cumulative audience more people listen in their care than anywhere else - 180.5 million compared to 141.6 million at home and 56.5 million at work but people listen longer at home where the AQH (Average Quarter Hour) figure is 9.947 million compared to 8.777 million for at home listening and 6.531 million for listening at work.
In age demographic terms, listening is highest for the 25-34, 35-44, and 45-49 groups where 96% listen to the medium and lowest - at 87% - for those above 65.
The sample size for the RADAR 85 survey, which is to be released next Monday, has been increased from 80,000 to 85,000 as part of an increase in sample size that is scheduled to reach 100,000 by next March when RADAR 88 results are increased.
Previous RADAR (RADAR 84):
2005-06-20: This week we start our look at print comment on radio in Canada where subscription radio has been approved although various commentators are suggesting that one or more of those who have won approval may yet opt out of the race, particularly the CHUM-Astral consortium that made a terrestrial service bid.
Of the many articles from Canada we saw on this topic, Antonia Zerbisias's report in the Toronto Star struck us as providing the most perceptive summary of the situation.
"There was no maple-syrup-pure Canadian solution to the conundrum of U.S. satellite radio," she began, adding, "But, with yesterday's decision, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission managed to ensure that at least some Canadian culture would adhere to American birds."
Then a note of slight scepticism: "Now the question is, will the U.S. satellite operators tell their Canadian partners to stick it? Throughout the history of broadcasting in Canada - and note that I did not say the history of Canadian broadcasting - the challenge has been to make the industry ours."
After briefly summing up the history of the fight for Canadian content on Canadian airwaves Zerbisias goes on to summarize the options as follows: "It [The CRTC] could not control the distributors at source the way it can with Canadian cable or TV satellite operators. But it could force the would-be domestic players to go back to their partners and negotiate a better deal for Canada That's exactly what yesterday's satellite radio licensing decisions demand when they stipulate that both Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada Radio can do better than what they had originally offered."
And of the effect on non-satellite services in Canada, starting with CHUM-Astral's "more modest, terrestrial-based digital audio service consisting of 50 channels, all originating from Canada."
"The initial signals," she comments, "don't seem promising, especially since the satellite services will reach more Canadians and offer greater channel choice and big-ticket programming such as Howard Stern But the larger issue is, what do conventional radio stations now do?"
"Already the Canadian Association of Broadcasters is making noises about the uneven playing field, and how its members must air far more Canadian music. But they must be grateful that the CRTC has decreed that the satellite players will not be able to cut in on their local news, weather and traffic turf. There will be no such content on satellite radio. That, plus the satellite channels will be subject to the same rules regarding abusive content and offensive language."
Then there's the question of the potential audience, for which we turn to a report in the Toronto Globe and Mail by Richard Bloom: He starts of with someone not so much a potential listener but a potentially legal one since Ken Freedman already has four "grey" satellite subscriptions to XM.
He bought his equipment from a St. Louis, Missouri.-based website and subscribed to XM using a US address. The web site, which says it has sold around 2,000 receivers to Canadians now expects its business there to decline.
Another potential customer cited was Billy Lieberman who commented, "I think it's going to revolutionize radio. I'll never have to listen to a commercial again" and said he'll be buying a Sirius Canada service to listen to Howard Stern [RNW comment: Whose show, unless we are mistaken, will carry adverts as will a number of other non-music channels].
After the new, on to the old and in this case an article "The Day the Music Dies" by Kevin Goldman in the New York Times that expresses some scepticism about the wisdom of WCBS-FM dropping oldies to go to the Jack format.
The change notes Goldman is only the most recent of a number of decisions to drop formats and, he comments, "Once they disappear, they seldom return. For example, it's been at least six years since popular standards were silenced on commercial radio in the city. Since then, songs by the Gershwins, Richard Rodgers and Cole Porter, among others, have been heard only 12 hours a week on two non-commercial stations, WNYC-FM and WFUV-FM and a mediocre program in the wee hours of Sunday morning on WOR-AM."
Goldman then goes on to note that the supposed reasons for the change " are not entirely convincing."
"Advertisers," he writes, "are most eager to reach the group of listeners most likely to buy what's being advertised, and according to conventional theory, that is 18- to 49-year-olds. And, the theory continues, the music formats that have disappeared have done so because they cater to older people, who are too set in their buying habits to be influenced by commercials and don't have disposable income."
"But," he says, "statistics don't necessarily bear this out: according to AARP, four million Americans turn 50 every year and last year consumers over 50 spent nearly $400 billion. A 2002 Roper ASW study reported that people over 50 are just as likely as younger consumers to change brands."
Goldman also doesn't have much time for the DJ-less Jack format that replaced WCBS: "Jack may have attitude, " he writes, "but it has no soul."
And his overall conclusion, having detailed how much WCBS has been billing, "Slowly, corporate greed has ended the era of radio that mattered."
Finally some views on Irish radio from Gerry McCarthy in the UK Sunday Times. He starts in fine fettle: "From the ceaseless whine that Irish radio has largely become, the dismal reality has emerged that there are only so many things to moan about, only so much to be gained from endlessly harvesting the public's opinions in order to make programmes on the cheap. As a country it seems we are running out of fuel for the whine factory. "
"The shortage," he says, "will hit RTE Radio 1 hardest of all, as its daytime schedule has become one long, cranky exhalation, the endless expression of petty irritation and futile anger, articulating the free-floating rage of a public haunted by the dark existential suspicion that this is as good as it gets and somebody must be to blame."
But there is a silver lining to end on: "There are also the serendipitous displays of quality, though they have become fewer and fewer on Radio 1. One happened in the small hours last Tuesday, evidently as a result of a technical failure. ..The station's usual menu of daytime recyclables was unavailable, so continuity presenter Cathal Murray spun discs until 5.30am, providing the unexpected treat of enjoying the dawn to a tasteful selection of contemporary tunes delivered with a friendly welcome to the day. The graveyard shift is nobody's idea of a plum gig, but someone should give the boy a show."
After which some suggested listening starting with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's [Radio National] Media Report that last week interviewed the country's Minister for Communications Senator Helen Coonan about planned changed to media regulation in Australia that among other things will ease restrictions and also other developments including the introduction of digital radio. The minister was pressed gently on a number of issues including the effects of more concentration but proved more skilful at not answering than revealing anything definite - which probably means the changes being suggested to her in some of the questions will come about but can't really be defended very logically.
Then for a complete change, BBC Radio 3 on Sunday in Performance on 3 featured the final of this tear's BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition (won by American soprano Nicole Cabell).
For completely different music- available for just one more day - is The Lock Up from BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday with a two-hour show featuring the "best 30 punk records of all time."
Back to Radio 3, this time on Saturday, and we'd suggest Jazz File, which was the first of two programmes -Cooke's Jazz Tour - in which Michael Pointon remembered the late Alistair Cooke's broadcasts on jazz: The second half is next Saturday.
From BBC Radio 4 we'd suggest the Afternoon Play last Thursday - The National Theatre of Brent's Complete and Utter History of The Mona Lisa, which won this year's Sony Gold Award for Best Radio Comedy.
Also from Radio 4 the most recent edition of the Archive Hour - Hitler's Prisoner, Churchill's Friend - on the life of Stefan Lorant, who knew Hitler, was jailed by him, founded the British magazine Picture Post, gave Marlene Dietrich her first screen test and was a life-long friend of Greta Garbo among other things.
Finally as this year's Live 8 concerts approach - BBC Radio 1 will broadcast the Hyde Park concert in London live on July 2 - a look back on BBC Radio 2 at 19:30 GMT tomorrow at the "20th Anniversary of Live Aid", the first of two programmes marking the July 1985 Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia that raised more than GBP 110 million (currently USD 200 million): It's presented by Phil Collins who took advantage of Concorde to appear at both concerts.
New York Times - Goldman:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Bloom:
Toronto Star - Zerbisias:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy:
2005-06-20: Motorola, whose name derives from the car radio invented in 1929 and developed by Paul Galvin, head of the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation [ from a combination of the ideas "motion" and "radio"] , is preparing a return to its roots through its iRadio service that uses cell phones as a means of playing downloaded audio through automobile radio sets.
It is to start tests of the service this month in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles and although the service can be used directly from a cell phone via headphones it is designed to allow audio to be played through an automobile's system using Bluetooth to connect with systems that have Bluetooth facilities.
The audio can also be transferred to phones from computers via USD links and then play it via the automobile's system.
So far Motorola hasn't so far announced any deals with content providers the promise is of hundreds of channels through partnership with such companies.
The phones, which will automatically pause any playback should there be a call, will be able to store around ten hours of audio. Subscriptions are expected to be around USD 5-7 a month for a service that includes audio content and also services such as include the automated delivery of time-sensitive information like traffic updates, news and sports. It will also display details of music being played and have a "purchase" option.
The handsets will have half dozen pre-sets and playback, rewind and other standard functions will be possible using the automobile's system.
Mike Gaumond, Motorola vice president and general manager, media solutions, said of the service, "Digital entertainment should be accessible wherever the consumer wants it. With Motorola iRadio, consumers can enjoy a seamless, personal music experience as they move throughout their day."
2005-06-19: The main licensing news this week was the approval by the Canadian regulator of three audio subscription services, an approval that may yet not be taken up by the terrestrial service bidder and is to be challenged (See below): Elsewhere there was a fairly steady flow of work.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) published its 2003-04 Broadcasting Financial Results that showed a healthy year for radio (See RNW Jun 15).
On the licensing front it announced that it is proposing to make channel capacity available to improve the reception of community service 2AAA Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, following a request to allow translators in Wagga Wagga South and Junee to rectify signal deficiencies and also translators to extend its service to the townships of Gundagai and Coolamon. The deadline for comments is July 8.
The ABA also ruled that 5AA-AM, Adelaide, breached Codes by broadcasting a program which was likely to have incited or perpetuated hatred against or vilified Aboriginal people on the basis of their race (See RNW Jun 16).
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRCT) as noted has now approved subscription radio services. It has also been involved in some terrestrial radio decisions including approval of a new 250 watts French-language Type A FM community station in Victoria, British Columbia and a power increase from 50 watts to 170 watts and transmitter location for transmitter CJFW-FM-1 Kitimat, of CJFW-FM Terrace, also in British Columbia. This will change the status from a low-power unprotected service to that of a regular Class A1 transmitter.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has launched its previously announced review, of its Ownership and Control Policy: It will issue no new commercial radio licences before the review is concluded.
Comments are invited with a deadline of July 20 and cover the issues of the relevance and suitability of its existing guiding principles and any changes that might be made in the context of the BCI's goals of pluralism of ownership and diversity of content.
Commenting on the launch BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said, "The Irish independent broadcasting sector is entering a new phase of development. There is significant interest in the establishment of new commercial radio and television services and the Ownership and Control Policy is a key part of the licensing framework."
"The Commission," he adds, "believes that the current policy has worked well since it was introduced in 2001. However, changes may now be required to ensure the continued development of a diverse and viable broadcasting sector. The Commission is anxious that all stakeholders participate in this review process."
Also in Canada the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has upheld complaints against two stations (See RNW Jun 16).
In the UK there were no radio decisions from Ofcom, although it published the first annual report of its Spectrum Advisory Board that although not directly related to broadcast transmissions could through developments as cognitive radio still significantly influence the future as far as other options such as Internet radio are concerned.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has notified 51 applicants for AM licences in its Auction 84 who have proposed relocation of stations to a new community that they will had to file by Saturday an appropriate amendment that they had either not filed or where they had filed an unsatisfactory application.
The application are for stations in 28 states with six deficient or missing applications for stations in Texas, four for Illinois stations; three each for stations in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; two each for stations in Alabama, California, Minnesota, North Carolina and Utah; and one each for stations in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
The FCC has also issued a Fact Sheet on payola (See RNW Jun 16) and learned that it will now have to re-write its media ownership regulations following a decision by the Supreme Court not to hear an appeal by broadcasters against ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia that a year ago overturned new media ownership regulations from the Commission (See RNW Jun 14).
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-06-19: Watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting says a half-dozen arts organizations are to challenge the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRCT) to grant three audio subscription licences: They plan to appeal to the federal cabinet to overturn the decision that "runs counter to the Broadcasting Act and Parliament's goal of ensuring Canadian programs are predominant on Canadian airwaves."
Friends' spokesperson Ian Morrison said the decision "creates a pipeline for U.S. radio programs direct to Canada, with little in return for our country" and he told the Toronto Globe and Mail it was clear "there will be maybe more than one appeal."
There is a period of 45 days to lodge an appeal against the decision and the paper cites an unidentified source at CHUM, which had said its bid in conjunction with Astral would not be viable if satellite services were also approved, as saying a decision will be made next week on whether the CHUM-Astral consortium will appeal the CRTC decision to the cabinet or the Federal Court.
The paper also reports that Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) chief executive John Bitove Jr., who is a partner in the company with XM Satellite Radio, says he expects to take his company public, perhaps as early as this year.
Bitove says he will be meeting XM to renegotiate the terms of agreement between it and CSR in view of the regulator's requirement that the satellite stations produce at least eight channels in Canada as opposed to the five that CSR and Sirius Canada had proposed.
To finance the launch of the service and develop the company, In order to finance the launch of the service and develop the company, Mr. Bitove said he expects "an imminent" initial public offering as soon as it finalizes its agreement with XM.
CSR plans to offer its service for $12.99 a month and expects to have 40,000 subscribers in the first year, rising to 1.5 million by 2011."I personally have a belief that this industry is something that lots of Canadian investors would like to have a piece of. So, if we're licensed and we go public, there's a lot of people that can participate in the Canadian satellite radio industry," Mr. Bitove said. "This would be a very high growth stock . . . It's something the Canadian investment community would really like to get at because most of it has been income trusts for the last few years."
Bitove said he expects "an imminent" initial public offering as soon as agreement with XM was finalized. CSR is to charge CAD 12.99 a month for its service and expects to sign up some 40,000 subscribers in its first year and 1.5 million by 2011.
"I personally have a belief that this industry is something that lots of Canadian investors would like to have a piece of," said Bitove. "This would be a very high growth stock."
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2005-06-19: Emmis has announced the final results of its "Dutch Auction" tender offer in which it offered to purchase for cash up to 20,250,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price per share between USD 17.25 and USD 19.75.
In all it says 24,279,086 shares were properly tendered at prices at or below USD 19.50 per share and it will purchase the full allocation of 20,250,000 at a USD 19.50 per share, a total of just under 40% of its Class A shares issued and outstanding as of June 13: The over-offer will result in a pro-ration factor of 83.42% being applied to purchases of the shares tendered.
2005-06-19: BBC Radio 3 says downloads of the first five Beethoven symphonies that it posted on its website totalled 657,399 with the First reaching the highest total of 164,662, far more than it expected.
The symphonies, which are no longer on the site, are part of a complete performance of all of the composer's nine Symphonies: the remaining symphonies 6, 7, 8 & 9 will be available as free (128MBPS CD quality) MP3 downloads on 28, 29, 30 June and 1 July respectively, a day after each has been broadcast by the station.
BBC Radio 3 downloads web site
2005-06-18: Although the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved three subscription radio services (See RNW Jun 17), reports following the decision suggest that there could still be obstacles in the way of service launches and it may even be that a service will be aborted..
As well as possible legal challenges - Paul Ski, executive vice-president of radio for Toronto-based CHUM Ltd. that made a terrestrial bid in conjunction with Astral, has said the ruling should have been "more equitable" and said his company had to review it - and a Reuters report in the New York Times noted that both Sirius and XM were already cashing in on a "grey market" of Canadian customers who already take their signals.
It quoted analyst Laura Martin of Media Metrics as saying, "We think it is a 50-50 percent bet whether Sirius and XM will decide to enter Canada. Their alternative is to allow the grey market in Canada to continue to grow, whereby (they) receive all the revenue for no incremental costs.''
The satellite companies themselves welcomed the decision albeit Sirius was more cautious than XM.
In a statement it said, "Sirius recognizes that the CRTC has worked hard on a reasonable and creative framework for Sirius to move forward in providing Canadians with an outstanding programming line-up. Sirius plans to explore the conditions of the license in more detail with its business partners, and will be able to comment further once a thorough analysis of today's decision has been made."
For XM President and CEO Hugh Panero was more welcoming, saying, "Through our strong partnership with CSR [Canadian Satellite Radio], XM will have an opportunity to expand the XM service beyond the United States and serve millions of Canadians with compelling Canadian and American programming."
"XM currently features a wide range of Canadian artists," he added, "and our partnership with CSR offers a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Canadian music and culture in Canada and in the United States."
"XM and CSR will be working together to address the differences between the Canadian content standards described in the broadcasting license and what was proposed in the license application."
XM is a partner in Canadian Satellite Radio with entrepreneur John Bitove Jr., who is also CSR chairman and CEO, said the conditions placed on its licence by the regulator meant they were "going to have to relook at our business plans."
Concern about the approval was voiced by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), which pointed out that stricter conditions applied to terrestrial broadcasters in the country and noted that the new services would be available in small markets where the CRTC had ruled that the market could not sustain an additional station.
It urged the commission to ensure a fair regulator deal for local radio and its President and CEO Glenn O'Farrell said in a statement, "Subscription radio will compete for audiences, and consequently will have an impact on conventional radio in Canada The licensing of these new national subscription radio services under a new regulatory regime should not be allowed to undermine the ability of local radio broadcasters to serve their respective communities in both English and French language markets across Canada."
Also expressing concern was Jim Thompson of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting who argued that the decision has opened the floodgates to American radio programming coming into Canada, and expressed deep disappointment that the CBC was a partner with one of the American satellite services.
"If (CBC President Robert) Rabinovitch had been in charge when television first came on stream, today we would have about one hour of Canadian programming on ABC and CBS in Canada," he told the Toronto Globe and Mail. "We wouldn't have CBC."
The ruling was welcomed however by Gregg Terrence, president of Indie Pool Inc., which represents independent Canadian artists: He told the paper the ruling went beyond their hopes station operators will now have to play more, newer artists and "dig deeper beyond the top 40."
In practicality terms, automobile manufacturers are against tight deadlines to install receivers; General Motors of Canada, which is partnered with the CSR consortium that includes XM, said they were optimistic they would be able to install receivers in 2006 models but other manufacturers were less optimistic and Honda said they would not be ready until 2007 models.
New York Times/Reuters report:
Toronto Globe and Mail web site (Carries a number of reports as does the Toronto Star).
2005-06-18: According to the UK Guardian former Heart FM breakfast host Jonathan "Jono" Coleman, who was replaced at the Chrysalis-owned station by Jamie Theakston is to return to a London breakfast show with BBC London where he will take over from Danny Baker.
Baker, who had hosted the BBC show for three years, announced last month after winning the Sony DJ of the Year Award that he was to leave to write a film script (See RNW May 12) and is due to return in the autumn (fall) although not to the breakfast slot.
The station has been filling in with temporary replacements - this month with JoAnne Good - and will not confirm the reports. Coleman said nothing was confirmed but the paper says senior industry sources believe the deal has been agreed.
Coleman has been working for Chrysalis's LBC talk station on two weekend entertainment shows (See RNW Feb 10) and the paper quotes an LBC spokesman as saying, "We wish Jono well. We were glad to offer him a port in a storm after Heart and we wish him all the best."
UK Guardian report:
2005-06-18: Infinity President and CEO Joel Hollander views a potential new round of consolidation in US radio as an opportunity to bolster the company's position in the top 20 markets according to Marketwatch, which says Infinity is looking to boost its position in the top 20 markers and dispose of some of its smaller market stations.
Hollander said the large number of stations currently up for sale, including those from Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. (See RNW Apr 21) could lead to the creation of the strong number three radio group to compete with Infinity and market leader Clear Channel and added, "A clear third player would help our growth in the top markets."Hollander also played down the threat from satellite radio telling Interep's Mid-Year 2005 Radio Symposium in New York that although it was a viable business, it was not as much of a threat as had been suggested and other technologies including mobile devices could be developed to overtake satellite radio.
He also said there was no plan to release Howard Stern, who is due to join Sirius next year, from his contract although Sirius CEO CEO Mel Karmazin could "come over with a check to buy out his contract."
Regarding a successor for Stern, he said Infinity has laid plans to replace his morning show but would give no details except to say that the host would not be replaced by one individual.
2005-06-17: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has put CHUM on the spot by approving all three applications for subscription radio services for the country- the terrestrial bid by the CHUM-Astral partnership, which had said it would not be viable were satellite services also authorized- plus services from Sirius Canada - a consortium of Sirius Satellite Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Standard Radio - and Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) in which the partners are Canadian entrepreneur John Bitove Jr. and XM Satellite Radio.
Conditions imposed on the satellite services were lighter than had been expected by many observers. They are:
*At least eight original channels produced in Canada. A maximum of nine foreign channels may be offered for each Canadian channel.
*At least 85% of the musical selections and spoken word programming broadcast on the Canadian channels must be Canadian.
*At least 25% of the Canadian channels must be in the French language.
*At least 25% of the musical selections on the Canadian channels must be new Canadian musical selections.
*A further 25% of the selections must be by emerging Canadian artists.
The licensees must also contribute at least 5% of their gross annual revenues to initiatives for the development of Canadian talent, such as FACTOR or MusicAction funds which assist the development of new musical artists. These contributions will be contributed equally to the development of English and French-language talent.
For the terrestrial service the conditions are:
* The licensee shall distribute 50 audio channels, all of which must be produced in Canada.
* A minimum of 20% of the audio channels offered at any time must be French-language channels.
* A maximum of 10% of the programming distributed each week on a French-language or English-language channel may consist of programming that was originally broadcast on licensed A.M. or F.M. stations.
In the terrestrial approval only 2% of annual gross revenues have to be contributed to initiatives for the development of Canadian talent.
In addition the CRTC notes that it has to give prior approval for Astral to exercise its option to increase its ownership position in the partnership.
Commenting on the approvals in a statement CRTC Chairman, Charles Dalfen said, "These decisions foster the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and balance the interests of Canadian consumers, the radio industry and the music industry These licences will harness new technologies for Canadians and give Canadian talent exposure to listeners across Canada and indeed, North America - both through new Canadian channels and air-play on U.S. channels. New and emerging artists should benefit especially from the airtime that is being reserved for them."
2005-06-17: According to reports in the UK Guardian, GCap Media is likely to dump The Storm rock digital station in favour of Xfm as part of its strategy of building Xfm, which earlier this month won the bid for the new Manchester analogue FM licence (See RNW Jun 10), as a national station to rival BBC Radio 1.
The paper quotes Xfm managing director Graham Bryce as saying, "Our strategy is to build a national business, be that via analogue, digital or other means. The next big one [analogue FM licence on offer] is the north-east, Newcastle-Sunderland area, and there's every likelihood we'll go for that."
Bryce has ambitions to overtake BBC Radio 1 and comments, "Frankly, we're more creative and innovative than they are. They've been around a long time and they're quite stuck in their ways - I think we should shake the radio market up a little. It may take a while to match their audience levels, but as digital takes off they're going to come under a lot of pressure."
The paper says that the content of Xfm and The Storm overlaps and dropping the latter and combining under the Xfm brand would fill in major gaps in Xfm's cover over the south of England and the Midlands.
The Storm, which was the GWR rock station before it merged with Capital radio, had also bid for the Manchester licence; it is only on digital stations and has an audience a little under two thirds of that of Xfm on digital - in the most recent ratings The Storm had a weekly reach of 85,000 compared to 651,000 for Xfm, of whom 134,000 were digital listeners and the others to its London FM.
Weakening its impact the paper also says a GCap has not made any firm decision to drop the Storm but quotes a spokeswoman as saying, "There aren't any other big overlaps elsewhere in the company, mostly the stations complement each other. There is not anything else other than The Storm and Xfm that is obvious."
Previous GCap Media:
UK Guardian on Xfm national plans:
UK Guardian on threat to The Storm:
2005-06-17: Entercom, which in March spend USD 45 million on acquiring three FMs - WROQ-FM, WTPT-FM and WGVC-FM - in the Greenville/Spartanburg market from Barnstable Broadcast (See RNW Mar 22) and announced plans to divest itself of simulcast WOLI-FM and WOLT-FM to meet regulatory limits has now recouped USD 6.7 million through the sale of three stations to Davidson Media Group.
They are Christian AC WOLI & WOLT plus Christian talk WSPA-AM. No announcement has been made concerning any format changes but Davidson specialises in targeting large minority communities.
2005-06-17: The Indian government has now decided to allow investments by non-resident Indians and foreign financial institutions in print news media and TV but proposed changes for the country's FM radio industry failed to make the agenda of the Indian cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy said he could not say when the Cabinet would look at radio policy.
Also in India, Prasar Bharati, the body that oversees public broadcasters, is reported to be rethinking the role of the External Services Division of public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR).
In most countries governments fund external services but direct government funding of them in India was withdrawn when AIR came under Prasar Bharati in 1991, putting financial strains on the services.
Sources indicate that the external services, which broadcast in 16 languages, may drop a number of them but add languages it now considers more relevant and is also considering providing online services.
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
2005-06-16: Democrat FCC Commission Jonathan Adelstein has praised the publication by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of a fact sheet on payola rules, saying, "We are enlisting everyone who watches and listens to the media in the effort to catch violations of our payola rules. Like a Neighborhood Watch program, putting viewers on alert will help us enforce the law and deter future abuses."
"Broadcasters and cable operators really need to take these rules seriously. There are major penalties involved that can include up to a year in jail. But even beyond the penalties, it is the longstanding policy of this country that the American people have a right to know who is promoting a product, policy or message to them," added Adelstein.
In essence it states that anyone involved in the production or preparation of a programme who receives payment must disclose the information and broadcasters must make reasonable efforts to obtain information from all those they deal with so they can make required sponsorship announcements. Members of the public it says can file a complaint with the FCC giving such details as the time and content of the broadcast, the broadcaster's call sign and reasons to give rise to belief that payment or other consideration was made that required sponsorship announcement.
2005-06-16: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is due to announce today its decision on applications for subscription radio services for Canada for which there were three applications, two satellite services and a terrestrial service.
The satellite services come from Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR), a consortium including former Toronto Raptors owner John Bitove Jr. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings and Sirius Canada, which partners Sirius with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Standard Radio.
The terrestrial bid is from a home partnership between CHUM Ltd and Astral Media: It would have more Canadian content but also more limited cover - around three quarters of the population -because it would be transmitted from terrestrial broadcast towers in urban centres although it could potentially add satellite cover later - and has attracted domestic support because of its content including backing from pressure group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. CHUM says it would programme all the hundred channels or so itself and every channel would have 20% to 35% of Canadian content.
This is in line with current requirements for terrestrial broadcasters, who are generally required to have a 35% Canadian content although some formats such as Oldies, where this is problematical, are allowed lower limits.
In essence, the CRTC is having to choose between greater coverage - and the potential to give Canadian artists exposure in the US - with lesser local content or reduced cover and more Canadian content, almost guaranteeing it will upset some groups. It is also having to make the decision against a background in which CHUM says its plans are only financially viable is no satellite application is approved.
2005-06-16: The attorney for conservative US host Rush Limbaugh has asked a Florida judge to let them have copies of his medical records that were seized by prosecutors and then sealed so that he can draw up a list of information that should not be turned over to the prosecutors who are investigating the host's purchase of painkillers for evidence of possible doctor-shopping offences.
Attorney Roy Black told Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull, "Many of the things in these records deal with medical procedures, symptoms _ things that are potentially embarrassing for my client. They deal with intimate matters.''
The records were taken under a search warrant in 2003 and Assistant State Attorney James Martz said investigators want look at all the records because the alleged criminal conduct spanned years and they could find evidence of a pattern or additional wrongdoing.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Judge Barkdull noted that the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that prosecutors could only have "records covered by the warrants'' which dealt with the prescription drug allegations and gave no indication as to when he would rule; he denied another motion by Black to return the records to Limbaugh.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP report:
2005-06-16: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) and Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) have ruled that broadcasters breached their codes in four rulings just out, three from Canada one of which was against TV involving anti-homosexual comments made by US televangelist Jimmy Swaggart who spoke of killing a homosexual and tell God he lied, and the others involving radio broadcasts.
In one of the Canadian radio cases the substantive complaint was rejected but the broadcaster was held to have breached codes by failing to respond.
In this case the CBSC Ontario Regional Panel found CHWO-AM, Oakville, had not breached its codes when, in a programme broadcast in October last year that discussed the issue of same-sex marriage, host Bob Durant revealed that he had a lesbian daughter and had, because of Roman Catholic Church attitudes "left the Catholic Church because that institution will not accept our daughter."
The complainant objected to what he termed "this open attack against the Catholic Church", said if he had made similar comments against the Jewish faith he "would have been called an anti-Semite, and action would have been taken" and said "The Catholic Church welcomes gays, but they are not able to receive the sacraments."
The complaint itself was rejected but the station failed to respond directly to the complainant despite two reminders from the CBSC after it had forwarded the original complaint and this failure breached Canadian codes.
In the second Canadian radio case, CJKR-FM (Power 97), Winnipeg, was held to have breached codes in a broadcast of the song "Kill All the White Man" by punk band NOFX: It ruled that the song, which the complainant said was" needlessly offensive, racist and sexist", was not abusive or unduly discriminatory on the basis of race but that it did promote or sanction violence contrary to the code.
In the Australian case the ABA found that 5AA-AM, Adelaide, breached its codes both by broadcasting a program which was likely to have incited or perpetuated hatred against or vilified Aboriginal people on the basis of their race and also by failing to respond to the complainant's written complaint about the broadcast.
In this case The Bob Francis Show was dealing with issues arising following the death of a 17-year-old Aboriginal youth, TJ Hickey, and a subsequent riot in the Sydney suburb of Redfern: Francis derided reported comments that Aboriginal elders had said the riots were a "display of grief" and continued, "How dare you call it a display of grief? You dirty, rotten bastards."
There were then a number of calls mainly hostile to Aboriginals to which Francis responded in terms that implied agreement, saying things like [in response to a caller who referred to "the ferals of Redfern "] the whole of the Redfern area "Should be absolutely bulldozed. And I want to hear from all the do-gooders who say, 'Oh, goodness me, what would you do with all the people who live there?' Bloody stiff cheese!" and in response to a caller who spoke of Aboriginals involved as "hapless, useless, lazy people " and suggested that "if they don't like the system which supports them, which gives them medical health, which gives them education, which gives them housing, gives them all the facilities all we taxpayers take for granted, if they don't bloody like it, why don't they go back to the bloody bush!" Francis commented, "Well, you see, that would be classified as being very - ah - very racist, but I've allowed you to say it, because I know that the majority of people in Australia think exactly the way you do."
The licensee, Festival City Broadcasters Pty Ltd, which had not responded to the complainant's letter, responded to the ABA by saying among other things the discussion was not gratuitous in view of the news at the time, that the presenter made it clear it was the conduct not the people who were being criticised, and the primary focus of the broadcasts was the need for radical steps to be taken to address the problems being experienced in the Aboriginal community.
The ABA ruled that as well as the breach through not replying the broadcast was also in breach because it "was likely to have incited or perpetuated hatred against or vilified Aboriginal people on the basis of their race, and it was not presented reasonably and in good faith for purposes in the public interest, including discussion or debate about any act or matter."
2005-06-16: In more refinancing and share buy-back arrangements in the US, Arbitron's board of directors has approved a stock repurchase programme of up to USD 40 million of the company's common shares, Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has announced new credit facilities and Emmis plans to offer USD 325 million of floating rate senior notes
Arbitron says the exact timing and amount of its purchases, which follow a USD 25 million stock repurchase programme last year, will depend on market conditions and purchases may be made in either open market or private transactions.
SBS says it has entered into two new senior secured credit facilities, one of USD 425 million in funded term loans and the other a USD 25 million revolving loan facility.
It used a portion of these proceeds to repay its old senior secured credit facility and accrued interest and the remaining proceeds together with cash on hand, totalling approximately $357.5 million, will be used to redeem its 9 5/8 senior subordinated notes due 2009.
Emmis says its notes offering will be used together with other funding to purchase stock up to a total of USD 400 million.
2005-06-15: Viacom's Board has now formally approved the split of the company into two: The transaction, expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, will see stockholders issued with shares in both companies and it expected to be free of tax.
Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner M. Redstone, who announced the vote, will become chairman of both companies, which are to be headquartered in New York.
The board also announced that his daughter Shari Redstone, who has been a member of the Viacom board since 1994, has been named the newly created position of Non-Executive Vice Chairman of the Board.
Redstone said the Board has formed a Special Committee, which he will chair, that will assist and monitor the process of creating the two companies: Members will be Shari Redstone, who will serve as vice-chairman, Frederic Salerno- who has been appointed to the newly created position of Lead Independent Director, and Philippe Dauman
The new companies will be Viacom - headed by Viacom co-president and co-COO Tom Freston and comprised of MTV Networks (including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land and other networks around the world), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music - and CBS Corporation.
The latter, led by Viacom co-president and co-COO Leslie Moonves, which will combine the CBS and UPN broadcast networks, Viacom Television Stations Group, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, the CBS, Paramount and King World television production operations, as well as Showtime, Simon & Schuster and Paramount Parks.
Redstone said of the split, "This transaction is the logical extension of the strategic vision that created Viacom and recognizes the inherent diversity of our assets as well as the changing business environment... The Board believes the transaction will result in two strong, focused and nimble companies, and will better enable management to directly impact and maximize the strengths of their respective businesses. Additionally, the Board believes that the transaction will provide current and potential stockholders with attractive investment options that are more closely aligned with their various investment objectives."
He said the new companies would have "highly complementary business portfolios, leadership positions in their industries and superior management teams that have direct incentives to create greater shareholder value."
The new Viacom, he said would "focus on organic expansion through the creation of cutting-edge content, unrivalled brands, specialized and highly desirable demographics and the continuing expansion of delivery platforms" and they believed its "significant cash flow generation will provide the opportunity for significant share repurchases."
"The new CBS," he said, "will be a strong generator of free cash flow with industry-leading positions across television and radio broadcasting, television production and out-of-home advertising. With industry leading positions in content creation and delivery, CBS will be extraordinarily well positioned to maximize existing opportunities and execute on new areas designed to create value. Importantly, this company will also have the financial capability to return significant capital to stockholders through dividend payments and stock repurchases."
* 2005-06-15: Australia's commercial broadcasters had a healthy 2003-4 financial year with profits for radio and television up by more than 16% on the previous year according to latest figures from the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) in its Broadcasting Financial Results 2003-04 just published.
The ABA says the profit made by the 272 commercial radio licensees who reported their figures was up 16.4% to AUD 123.6 million (USD 94.5 million) on revenues up 10.4% at AUD 855 million (USD 654 million): TV profits reported by 53 licensees were up 16.7% to AUD 591 million (USD 452 million) on revenues up 7.9% to AUD 3.65 billion (USD 4.40 billion).
The increases boosted the ABA's revenues from commercial broadcasting licence fees by 12.5% to AUD 243.1 million (USD 185.8 million) of which AUD 17.9 million (USD 13.7 million) was from commercial radio licensees and AUD 225.2 million (USD 172.2 million) from commercial television licences.
2005-06-15: Emmis has hired former governing Labour Part spin doctor Tim Allan to raises its UK profile as it contemplates a move into British radio according the UK Guardian.
The paper says Allan, who turned down an offer to become Prime Minister Tony Blair's director of communications and strategy, has confirmed that Emmis has hired his public relations company Portland.
Emmis, in conjunction with partner Atlantic Radio - a UK-based company run by the radio consultant Martin Farmer - was amongst the bidders for the new Manchester FM licence that was awarded to G-Cap Media's Xfm last week (See RNW Jun 10)and is also one of the bidders for the new Solent licence (See RNW May 7).
Emmis has also announced the preliminary results of its "Dutch Auction" tender offer that closed last night and in which it offered to purchase up to 20,250,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price per share not less than $17.25 and not greater than $19.75.
It says expects to buy back the full number of shares, some 39% of its issued shares, at USD 19.50 each at a total cost of approximately USD 395 million. It is to fund the purchase through borrowing of around USD 100 million plus bridge financing from the issuance of $300 million principal amount of Emmis' floating rate senior notes due 2012
In other US radio financial moves, Radio One Inc., which earlier this month announced its intention to buy back up to USD 150 million of its shares (See RNW Jun 7), has announced that it has arranged an UISD 800 million revolving credit facility - USD 500 million from a 7-year revolving loan commitment and USD 300.0 million from a 7-year term loan commitment. The facility will be used to refinance the Company's existing senior credit facility and will support working capital requirements and general corporate purposes.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
UK Guardian report:
2005-06-15: An Arbitron-Edison Media study of the Jack-Fm and derivative "Adult Hits" formats currently in vogue in the US says they typically launch with audience gains and strong 25-54 ratings: Audiences it says are balanced between men and women unlike most pop or rock formats and the initial gains occur irrespective of any strong on-air personalities.
The audience says the study is skewed towards the 35-44 audience and is stronger towards the younger end of this group.
On the downside, although their audiences are larger, the time spent listening to the stations is lower than average. The strongest audience says the report is from middays to afternoons and listening is above the norm for listening in offices and automobiles.
Arbitron web site (links to study - 43 Page 760 Kb PDF):
2005-06-15: Sirius Satellite Radio says that through a proprietary development of hierarchical modulation technology it will be able to increase its satellite network capacity by around a quarter, thus allowing it to offer extra audio channels and other services such as data or video without affecting the quality of its broadcasts.
Hierarchical Modulation has already been used in digital TV transmissions where it works by modulating two separate data streams into a single signal. One stream, the HP (high priority) stream is embedded into an LP (Low priority) stream.
This allows receivers in areas where there is a strong signal to receive both signals but those in poor reception areas to continue to receive a signal, albeit of lower quality, rather than losing the signal totally.
Sirius has not given details of its approach but its President, Sales and Operations Jim Meyer says its "new modulation technology will use a very innovative approach to increase the number of bits we transmit through our satellite and terrestrial repeater networks, enabling us to increase the effective use of our currently licensed spectrum to add additional programming " and adds, "Sirius will continue to deliver uncompromised sound quality, and with this new technology we will retain the flexibility to expand our broadcasts even further in the future."
2005-06-14: The two Democrat Commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have welcomed the decision by the US Supreme Court not to hear an appeal by various media organizations including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) against the ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia that a year ago overturned new media ownership regulations from the Commission (See RNW Jun 25, 2004).
The FCC proposals, passed on a party-line vote with the Democrats opposing and Republicans under the then-chairman Michael K. Powell voting for, would have allowed big media companies to become even more influential by raising the limit on national TV station ownership and also permitting cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcasters in a market.
The Bush administration had opted not to pursue an appeal against the court ruling that overturned the rules, leaving the matter up to the companies to pursue on their own.
The NAB also wanted to overturn the FCC's introduction of its new radio-ownership rules that had been allowed; under them stations that radio groups operate under local marketing and time brokerage agreements are counted in their ownership totals in a market that is based on Arbitron markets where they exist.
Current FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin, one of the two Republican commissioners who had voted for the original changes, said in a statement after the court decision, "I am now looking forward to working with all of my colleagues as we re-evaluate our media ownership rules consistent with the Third Circuit's guidance and our statutory obligations."
Democrat Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, who has consistently called for more public hearings on the matter and greater involvement of the public and Congress, said in his statement, "This decision is a rare victory for the public over some of the most powerful corporations in America. The American public is concerned about concentration in the media, and our court system has rightly responded."
"The court's decision," continued Adelstein, "puts the issue of media consolidation right back in the FCC's hands and gives us an opportunity for a fresh start, so we better get it right this time. We need to be very careful because once we allow greater media concentration we can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. We can't let a handful of media giants dominate the discourse in any community."
In similar vein, his fellow Democrat Michael J, Copps commented, "The ball is clearly back in the Commission's court. The FCC has a fresh opportunity now to come up with a set of rules to encourage localism, competition, and diversity in our media. If we work together, conduct outreach to engage the American people, and gather a more complete record, I am confident of our ability to craft rules that will withstand judicial scrutiny and the scrutiny of the American people."
The Supreme Court decision has also been welcomed by the Prometheus Radio Project, which was involved in the petition that led to the Philadelphia ruling that overturned the FCC proposals and its spokesman Pete Tridish said that by refusing to hear the appeal the Supreme Court had affirmed the demands of millions of people in the US.
They were also welcomed by North Dakota Democrat Sen. Byron L. Dorgan who two years ago spearheaded a Senate move to rescind the FCC regulations (See RNW Jul 17, 2003). He said the FCC rules had been a "complete cave-in" to big media interests that would have allowed a dangerous concentration of ownership.
So far we have not seen any NAB response.
Previous Prometheus Radio Project:
2005-06-14: US Radio giant Clear Channel has upped the ante over radio ratings in the country by calling for proposals to create what it terms "a state-of-the-art radio ratings system that will accurately and credibly represent radio's true performance and value to advertisers."
In a news release on the issue it quotes Kathy Crawford, president of local broadcast for leading media-buying company MindShare as saying, "Ratings as they exist today are part of an antiquated system. Since there are new technologies available, we at MindShare believe there must be a better way to build this mouse trap."
Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan added, "Radio is a powerful, effective medium whose influence and reach have been underreported and diluted. In discussions with other radio groups, it's become clear that a different approach is needed to find an industry-wide solution. We want to investigate those options. Every time radio's performance and value is measured accurately, we absolutely shine."
Clear Channel says a number of independent studies "prove radio is a superior performer" and cites a study by consumer-research house Millward Brown for the Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab that found that radio outperformed television in driving sales of advertiser products/services by some 49% (See RNW Jun 8), an August 2004 study by the Wirthlin Group that showed that radio connects with listeners on an emotional level at least as well as television and much more so than newspapers, and a test last year by the Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab that showed swapping a TV ad for two radio ads increased unaided brand recall a full 34% and more people chose the advertised brand as their first-choice product.
"We've moved aggressively on many fronts to improve Clear Channel Radio's accountability to advertisers and we fully support all efforts to gather accurate information about radio advertising," added Hogan. "But as an industry, we need to make quicker progress. Advertisers and media buyers deserve credible, accurate information on radio's value. Something as powerful as radio needs powerful, technologically current evaluations."
The Clear Channel move mirrors concerns expressed elsewhere, notably by The Wireless Group in the UK, about the inadequacies of diary systems that have led various companies to develop electronic audience measurement systems, two of which - Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) and the Eurisko Media Monitor - are currently being evaluated by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), the UK radio ratings company (See RNW Jun 9).
Clear Channel has specifically said Arbitron will be invited to participate in the proposals and Arbitron CEO Stephen Morris said his company will present a fast-track proposal next month that could allow use of PPM ratings in the US by April next year.
He says the idea is a rollout of a PPM system for radio first to give it the benefit of a ratings system whilst allowing use for other media later.
RNW comment: We will be intrigued to see how far Clear Channel will look outside the US for proposals on this one since it could be a death-knell for Arbitron if a rival system were adopted in the US. We would also be interested to see how sophisticated a system is offered - for example, as well as ratings, it is obviously now possible, as one example, to also used embedded codes - as has been done in Australia (See RNW Jun 13)- to automatically produce information on the airing of adverts.
Previous Clear Channel:
2005-06-14: The UK Financial Times reports that British commercial radio executives are planning co-operation to syndicate shows on rivals' stations in order to attract more nationally-known broadcasters and win back audiences from the BBC.
It says that according to industry executives broadcasters including GCap Media (formed by the merger of Capital Radio and GWR), Emap, Chrysalis, SMG-owned Virgin Radio and Guardian Media Group (GMG) have met informally to discuss various suggestions for national commercial shows including national formats, various music genres, and a mid-week entertainment news slot.
The idea gained support following success of the UK Radio Aid show that raised more than GBP 3 million (then USD 5.6 million) to help victims of the tsunami disaster at the start of the year (See RNW Jan 18).
In March the UK Guardian reported that DJ and former Virgin Radio mogul Chris Evans was in advanced negotiations over a new national commercial show to be simulcast nationwide by Capital Radio, Emap, and GWR on all their main stations (See RNW Mar 5) but the Financial Times says this plan has stalled because of the shifts Evans is continuing to work for BBC Radio 2.
The paper says commercial groups also want to avoid undermining their appeal to local advertisers, particularly as local advertising is currently proving more resilient than national.
It quotes Howard Bareham, head of radio at MindShare, the media buying group, as saying "localness is the strength of the medium" but added that, faced with the BBC's cross-promotional powers, "commercial groups realise they have to work together".
UK Financial Times report:
2005-06-14: Latest Arbitron-comScore Internet ratings, show overall numbers listening in April to the four networks it rates fell back for the second month running - by 0.78% overall to 5.531 million and by 3.52% weekdays to 3.307 million.
AQH figures however rose - up overall from 459,700 to 474,700- and from 729,600 to 741,100 for weekdays 06:00 to 19:00.
Rankings among the four networks rated were unchanged but Yahoo and Live 365 again increased the numbers listening while AOL and MSN fell back.
Leader Yahoo had a cumulative overall audience of 2,637,000, up 2.3% and weekday cumulative audience of 1,562,100, up 6.4%: its AQH figures were up from 372,800 to 404,700 and up from 244,300 to 258,700 respectively.
Second ranked AOL had an overall cumulative audience down 6.4% to 1,823,800 and its weekday cumulative audience was 9.3% to 1,010,800: AQH figures fell from 164,500 to 149,200 weekdays and from 111,600 to 103,300 overall.
In third rank MSN services again had largish falls with overall cumulative audience down 13.7% to 656,000 overall and 15.8 % to 479,800 weekdays; AQH figures fell from 129,900 to 122,100 weekdays and from 74,300 to 71,800 overall.
In fourth place Live 365 moved upwards with cumulative audience rising 8.7% to 539,900 overall and weekday cumulative audience up 3.0% to 361,500; its AQH figures rose from 41,300 to 65,000 weekdays and from 25,300 to 40,800 overall.
Previous Arbitron-comScore ratings:
2005-06-14: CBS again heads the winners' list for this year's Edward R. Murrow Awards, named after the long-time correspondent for the network and organised by the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA). It took five radio and two TV awards: ABC was second placed with four awards, three of them for radio.
In all says RTNDA 54 news organizations won 72 awards this year and there was an initial pool of 3,390 entries from 546 news organizations.
The CBS Radio awards were for Continuing coverage - Ronald Reagan; Feature reporting - Clarinet Cabbie; Newscast - CBS World News Roundup; Sports reporting - Red Sox; and Writing - Dave Ross.
ABC's radio awards were for Overall excellence; Spots News - Tsunami Disaster; and Use of Sound - Fallujah: Anatomy of an Attack.
Other radio network awards included the Investigative Reporting award to National Public Radio (NPR) for Immigrant Detainees Allege Abuse, the third year running that it has taken this award.
Previous (2004) Murrow awards:
RNDA web site (Lists awards):
2005-06-13: This week in the wake of Infinity's decision to dump "oldies" at WCBS-FM in New York and WJMK-FM in Chicago, both of which have been converted to the Jack-FM format, we lead our look at print articles on radio with a number of reactions to and comments about the decision.
First two reactions from New York, one in a post by David Lidsky on "The Fast Company Weblog" that from the introductory "You Don't Know 'Jack'" is hostile to the move: Lidsky later comments, "This move appears doomed to failure already. By alienating basically 100% of the old CBS Oldies audience, the new Jack-FM is starting from a platform of zero fans. Wouldn't it have made more sense to swap in the format on a station where the fan base would stay and it could be expanded?"
He then goes on to comment on the perceived reason for the change: "Of course, the argument about CBS-FM and change is that the station wasn't able to woo attractive advertisers seeking the young demographic. The siren song of youth crashes yet another ship against the rocks."
And Lidsky's suggestion of the way forward: "Finding and cultivating a new generation of personality jocks, the next Cousin Brucie (and Don Imus, Wolfman Jack, Frankie Crocker, etc), and firing the program directors with their rigid playlists and letting the DJs play what they want, when they want, may be the only way to create a market that doesn't suffer when compared to listening just to what you like or that's rigidly formatted by genre real people who love music, have eclectic taste and have the ability to find and break new bands and songs, the way DJs used to. DJing as a hobby and as a profession is more popular than ever. You see DJs at hip restaurants and lounges, not just dance clubs and bar mitzvahs. Why aren't those people on the radio becoming big stars? Radio is an intimate medium. That person talking to you can become a friend, a part of the family. Why replace that with a borg spinning Steve Miller CDs?"
There was a little more understanding of the change from columnist David Hinckley in the New York Daily News: He apparently became a WCBS listener in 1972 and notes that the station had mediocre ratings until 1981 when Joe McCoy took over as program director with a brief to broaden the station's appeal.
"Soon," writes Hinckley, "the station was built around '60s music - a brilliant move considering what a golden age that was. Throw in such '60s deejays as Harry Harrison and Ron Lundy and by 1989, WCBS-FM hit No.1, a phenomenal achievement for an oldies station Before that, radio stations shunned the word 'oldies.' Once WCBS-FM became one of the top 10 revenue-generating stations in America, it sparked a national rush - and, frankly, a lot of them sounded pretty cookie-cutter."
"WCBS-FM," he writes, " in its golden years never did, though. It always sounded New York. It played things no other oldies station aired. It had great specialty shows. It rounded up classic deejays for reunion weekends and it let its own deejays talk about the music.
He then goes on to say that the station tried to "go younger" for reasons he understood and after a few years WCBS-FM was just a button on his car radio not the prime one.
"I'm betting," he writes, "I wasn't the only one, and obviously WCBS-FM's research showed the station wasn't getting enough new young people to replace me."
There was a different slant from her colleague Eric Zorn at the Tribune. He notes that on the "radio beat " in 1984 he wrote, wrote "WJMK-FM consistently surprises its listeners with songs they don't know they want to hear until they hear them" but then adds, "It took a couple of years, long after I left the radio beat, actually, for me to grow heartily sick of those 'classic' oldies. Songs I loved. Songs I have affection for. Songs I honestly don't ever want to hear again."
" So this aging boomer is thrilled that `JMK has adopted this new "Jack-FM" format, which, near as I can tell, has replaced "Songs You Are Sick Of" with "Songs You Are Not (Yet) Sick Of."
In a less personal and more general report Randy Dotinga in the Christian Science Monitor firmly attached the motives behind the change to the age of "oldies" listeners, writing "Ultimately, observers say, the radio industry simply doesn't have much interest in baby boomers like Cavallo [A New Jersey based WCBS listener], let alone the 70-somethings who prefer Ella Fitzgerald to Otis Redding."
He then quotes Edison Media Research radio consultant Sean Ross as saying, "The day you turn 45, there is not necessarily a radio station concerned with serving you unless you can bring your 25-year-old daughter along."
"When you talk about Motown and the Beatles, you're talking records that are 40 years old, and there are a lot of 30- to 40-year-old decision makers who don't have a lot of empathy for this format," adds Ross.
Dotinga also notes the perception that older people are stuck in their ways and unwilling to try new products, hardly an advertiser's dream and continues, "Alienating older listeners may seem like an unusual business plan in an era of slipping overall radio ratings and rapid growth in alternatives to AM and FM. Oldies fans can find their favourite songs on satellite radio, Internet broadcasts, and even audio channels offered by their cable TV systems. And, of course, listeners have their own music collections."
He then quotes Nashville-based radio consultant Robert Unmacht: "There are so many baby boomers who are going to keep listening to their music. They'll go somewhere, but it may not be radio. That will be a loss for radio, and the industry just doesn't quite get it yet. But this is not the first time they've been kind of clueless."
In a different mode Dotinga also comments on another current fad for radio - podcasting: Writing in Wired he writes, "Less than a year after podcasting caught the public imagination, the radio industry is beginning to wake up and smell the money."
He notes that producing them is cheap when stations are already digital, quoting vice president of station operations and strategy at the WNYC public radio stations in New York City Phil Redo as saying, "We've already been migrating to a digital environment, so (the cost) is really negligible." Redo reports that WNYC's podcasts of its nationally syndicated show On the Media are being downloaded 15,000 to 18,000 times a week.
As far as generating income is concerned, although some hosts like Rush Limbaugh, whose podcasts cost USD 50 a year, may be able to charge for them, this isn't something likely to apply in most cases according to Washington D.C. Z- 104 program director Sammy Simpson: He commented," "If you're just going to take a morning show, record it and offer it as a podcast, I don't think that will be a very successful business model."
Dotinga notes, however, that at least one U.S. commercial radio station -- KFMB-FM/100.7 Jack in San Diego -- is testing the pay waters and is charging listeners USD 5 a month to download its top-rated morning show.
"Charging for content," comments Dotinga, "is an even more dicey issue in the public radio world, where stations don't make a profit but do need to make a buck. Just this week, National Public Radio *NPR) announced that it has stopped offering several shows for download on Audible.com and is reconsidering distribution plans."
" Jenny Lawhorn, a spokeswoman for NPR, which offers no-cost streaming of new and archived content, declined to say whether the network plans to charge for show downloads, as Audible.com had done, or boost exposure by offering podcasts for free."
RNW comment: We'd certainly be among the sceptics when it comes to assumptions that there will be a large market of people who will pay for podcasts although, as we have already suggested, we do see them being a vehicle to extend a station's reach and also gain extra advertising and sponsorship.
In addition as long as public broadcasters from various countries - Australia with the ABC and the UK with the BBC are the two prime countries we have in mind - continue to offer free downloads and podcasts we'd see little that most stations can offer to compete - a reason of course that organisations like News International would like to see public service broadcasting severely restricted or abolished altogether.
That in our view would be a real case of vandalism, especially in a world where there are no signs that commercial stations are ever likely to produce the public broadcasters' rang of programming, especially when it comes to drama, science, the arts, and current affairs or indeed much other than the headlines when it comes to news.
Which takes us on to listening - and this week because of broadband problems with our supplier we've been effectively cut off from non-UK listening even if with BBC Radio 3's Beethoven Experience and other BBC programming we'd have had that much time to spare.
The Radio 3 material most of which - together with MP3 (128MBPS) downloads of the first five Beethoven Symphonies - the others will be made available after broadcasts later this month - is still available on the station web site where it is being kept for a week.
After music, a side step to the question "Why Do We Sing?" that formed the basis for BBC Radio 4's Something Understood programme on Sunday in which the topic is examined by Professor Arnold Maran, who was a leading surgeon who specialized in the voice and operated on some of the world's leading opera and pop singers." He also considers such examples of singing as the use of castrati, the castrations being justified by the church at the time as the will of God, and how voice-boxes were re-created when surgery for throat cancer had removed someone's voice - and the marvellous aural picture of someone without a voice speaking to someone who was deaf listen to the programme for further detail.
Then storytelling and BBC Radio 2, which has just finished a series of readings from George Orwell's 1984 in the Friday 20:15 GMT slot, has now started a new series p a reading by Sir Derek Jacobi in eight parts of an adaptation of J. M. Coetzee's 1999 Booker prize-winning novel Disgrace.
On then to medicine and Case Notes on BBC Radio 4 (Tuesday 2000 GMT with a Wednesday 15:39 GMT repeat), which this week considers among other topics the latest, research into Deep Vein Thrombosis.
This is followed on Wednesday at 20:00 GMT with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the first of a three-part series by Hermione Cockburn: In this first programme she looks at a 2002 case of bubonic plague in New York.
For comedy we'd suggest regulars such as the News Quiz (BBC Radio 4 at 17:30 GMT on Fridays) and the BBC Radio 2 comedy hour from 12:00 to 13:00 GMT on Saturdays.
And to end with The Riot that Never Was - a broadcast by the BBC that sparked panic. The riot was a spoof created by a Catholic priest called Ronald Knox and the broadcast took place in 1926 and the story is told by Ray Snoddy at 10:30 GMT on Thursday.
Chicago Tribune - Brotman:
Chicago Tribune - Zorn:
Christian Science Monitor - Dotinga:
Fast Company - Lidsky:
New York Daily News - Hinckley:
2005-06-13: Plans to bring together leaders of the Scottish commercial radio industry to discuss how it can boost its share of the advertising pie above its current 12% have failed to attract one of the most important players according to the Scotsman.
It says that Scottish Radio Holdings-owned Radio Clyde managing director Paul Cooney has declined to attend an invitation to the meeting from Bill Anderson of GMG-owned Real Radio: Anderson says Radio Forth managing director Adam Findlay, Beat 106 head Hugh Murray, Kingdom Radio boss Ian Sewell and Saga managing director Norman Quirk have agreed to attend and he has no idea why Cooney is unwilling to take part.
The paper suggests that the reason may be rumours that Anderson is unhappy with the services Scottish stations are getting from the UK Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and wants to establish a Scottish body - Cooney says SRH would not be taking part if there were suggestions of s Scottish RAB - but GMG denied this.
Anderson told the paper, "Advertisers haven't been presented properly with what radio can do. I don't think that radio has sold itself as well as it could in the last 20 years. Radio has to be smarter. We have to focus on what clients want and not on selling what we need to sell. We want to try to increase our share and find new clients."
He says they are the point of sitting down with three major advertisers who don't use radio and finding out what they want although the will not identify them beyond saying that are in "top 10" in terms of the amount they spent on advertising, which would include businesses from the blue-chip FTSE 100 index.
2005-06-13: Commercial Radio Australia has extended until July 11 the deadline for entries for its 2005 Engineering Excellence Award, one of the awards to be presented at a gala ceremony for the 17th annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards in Sydney in October.
The award was established to recognise innovation in engineering and foster professional development and as well as the award a prize is being offered of a trip to Las Vegas to attend NAB 2006 in Las Vegas.
Last year's award was won by Max Healey and Alastair Reynolds from Southern Cross Syndication; they developed a digital audio watermarking system for commercials as a means of providing logs of adverts broadcast. It does this though a 48-bit ID that is repeatedly embedded every five seconds and the service includes a web based reporting system that allows advertisers and account managers to log on and receive post times on their spots within minutes of broadcast.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2005-06-12: Last week saw the UK regulator awarding a number of new commercial FM licences and also crossing swords with the government about public broadcasting policy and in the US the Federal Communications Commission is asking for comment on plans to streamline its radio licensing procedures.
There were no radio decisions announced in Australia but in Canada there was the usual flow of regular announcements from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) including, in order of province:
*Approval of application for a 100,000 watts English-language FM at Medicine Hat to replace existing station CHAT-AM, Medicine Hat. A three-months simulcast was authorized after the FM is brought into operation.
*Approval of power increase from 50 watts to 1,350 watts and increase in antenna height for CFSF-FM, Sturgeon Falls. This changes the station's status from a low-power unprotected service to that of a regular class A FM station.
*Refusal of application by Northwest Broadcasting Inc., licensee of low-power CFQK-FM Kaministiquia and its transmitter CKED-FM Shuniah Township, and of two low-power tourist information radio stations, CIPR-FM , Pigeon River and CITB-FM, Thunder Bay, Ontario, to transfer its effective control to H.F. Dougall Company, Limited.
The latter controls commercial stations CJSD-FM and CKPR-AM, Thunder Bay, and conventional television stations, CKPR-TV and CHFD-TV Thunder Bay, through its subsidiaries, C.J.S.D. Incorporated (C.J.S.D.) and Thunder Bay Electronics Limited. H.F. and Northwest is currently operating under the terms of an unauthorized local sales agreement (LSA) with C.J.S.D.
It also managed Newcap station CKTG-FM, Thunder Bay, under a local management agreement (LMA) that was terminated following the raising of the issue of concentration of power in the market at the licence renewals of CKPR and CJSD-FM.
There were a number of interventions opposing the application on the basis of the dominance that Dougall would gain in the area
The CRTC held that ownership of the low-power stations involved would not have a "significant undue impact on incumbent radio programming undertakings in the Thunder Bay market" but also noted issues of non-compliance with regulations including the operation of CKED-FM at a much higher power than that authorized and also that when it investigated this it found that effective technical control of the station was in the hands of Dougall rather than the licensee.
In light of this the CRTC denied the transfer of control and also required the LSA between the parties to be terminated no later than September 9: it also reminds the licensee that CFQK-FM and its transmitter CKED-FM must operate in full compliance with their authorized technical parameters at all times.
*Approval of frequency change of CHRM-FM, Matane's transmitter CHRM-FM-1, Les Méchins, which will improve signal quality.
The CRTC also published a public notice regarding a number of applications, the deadline for intervention relating to which is July 12. They included the following radio applications.
*Renewal of licence of CJXL-FM, Moncton.
*Application to add 50 watts transmitter at Miramichi to programming of CJFY-FM, Blackville.
*Application to use frequency 93.3 MHz for low-power 50 watts English-language power tourist information service in Fredericton that was approved last year subject to finding a suitable alternative frequency to the one originally applied for.
*Application to increase power of CIBU-FM, Wingham, 21,200 watts to 70,140 watts and decrease the antenna height.
*Application to relocate the transmitter, increase the antenna height and increase the power of CFRH-FM, Penetanguishene, from 4,493 watts to an average effective radiated power of 8,600 watts. This will change the station from a Class B to a Class C1.
*Application to decrease the power of CKUE-FM, Chatham, from 42,000 watts to 36,400 watts and also decrease the antenna height and also to increase the power of CKUE's transmitter CKUE-FM-1,Windsor, from 400 watts to 2,870 watt and increase its antenna height.
*Application to increase the power of CIQB-FM, Barrie, from 795 watts to 4,300 watts and increase its antenna height.
Application to delay from April 17, 2005, to March 31, 2006, date by which Sur Sagar Radio Inc.'s transitional digital radio undertaking in Toronto must commence operations.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK Ofcom has announced the award of three new FM licences including that for Manchester and published details of applications for a new Ipswich licence (See RNW Jun 10).
Ofcom has also appointed its current head of market intelligence Peter Davies as its new Director of Radio and Multimedia. In his new role he will be responsible for developing Ofcom's strategy and co-coordinating policies and activities relating to radio and multimedia content and will also lead the radio, multimedia, and media literacy teams in Content and Standards.
Davies was with the BBC for nine years before joining Ofcom and was involved in developing the strategy for the BBC's national digital radio services: In his current role he has been responsible for leading Ofcom's review of radio, both digital and analogue, and he will retain this role.
On the political front it set itself in opposition to the British government in relation to proposals for the future of the BBC where it wants more say in regulating the Corporation and also wants public service funding to go to other broadcasters as well as the BBC (See RNW Jun 9).
In its latest broadcast bulletin it upheld no complaints against radio (See RNW Jun 7).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed changes to its radio licensing system that among other things might allow the move of a sole local service to become a sole local service for another community (See RNW Jun 10): It also released its latest station number details showing a decline in the number of licences radio station (See RNW Jun 8) and partially approved XM satellite radio's applications to operate a low-power FM translator at Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour events (See RNW Jun 11).
In Texas it is asking KAMX-AM, Luling, to show cause why it should not be reclassified from Class C to Class CO to allow a second local FM service for Lometa, Texas. KAMX is currently operating below Class C requirements.
On the enforcement side it issued penalties on two unauthorized transmitter users and a penalty for failing to register a tower (See RNW Jun 9)
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-06-12: US Public Broadcasters, whose federal financial support through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would be cut by a quarter if a US House sub-committee vote gets approval from both houses, are concentrating their efforts to fight the cuts on the Senate according to the Washington Post.
The paper says the party-line sub-committee vote, which exceeds cuts requested by President Bush, is expected to be adopted with no major changes by the full house appropriations committee but notes that the Senate reversed cuts by the House in the 1990s and also in 2003 and 2004.
It also notes that public broadcasters have in the past enjoyed support from Senate Republicans Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Ted Stevens of Alaska, who are the chairman and second-ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, and have also marshalled support from listeners and viewers in the past by urging them to call their members of Congress.
Support is already being marshalled in some areas from listeners who feel that public radio is under threat and in the northeast Albany, New York, headquartered WAMC, whose regional public radio network serves parts of seven states has been vocal about the threat and seems to have succeeded in gaining public support because of its stance.
WAMC has established what it terms "a First Amendment Fund anticipating the new political reality" and made an open point that it will have to rely on public support to challenge any threats to its funding by what president and CEO Alan Chartock terms the "new censors."
"I believe," he writes, "that ultimately, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is preparing a litmus test that will allow them to deprive stations that offend their politics of their share of the public's money. Some will cut and run, so desperate for the money that they will do whatever they have to do to get in synch with the new politics. You can be sure that won't happen at WAMC."
In a later posting WAMC notes that it raised USD 705,000 in its pledge drive that has just ended and gained more than a thousand new members.
Chartock commented on the organization's web site, "We are astounded. We just can't believe it Public radio is under attack. We told our listeners about it and they said loud and clear, 'OK WAMC we love you and we've got your back' We are humbled and thankful."
WAMC web site:
Washington Post report:
2005-06-11: DMG Australia has poached ABC 702 breakfast host Angela Catterns to host the breakfast show on its new Sydney station that is expected to launch in August. Her last show for ABC 702 will be next Friday.
Catterns is the first on-air personality to be appointed by the station, which is expected to target a 40-plus audience in contrast to its youth-oriented Nova station but no formal details of its name, format, or launch date have yet been
Catterns, who has recently rated second behind leader Alan Jones of 2GB in the Sydney breakfast ratings, began her radio career two decades ago at 2LM, Lismore, in New South Wales and after a spell working on TV - part of it as sound recording on a documentary - joined the ABC's Triple J youth network as producer of its morning show.
She was then hired as morning presenter by 2SM-AM, one of Australia's oldest stations and Sydney's dominant commercial station for around 15 years in the 70's and early 80s after which her career included a spell overseas including an on-air stint at WKYS in Washington, D.C.
Catterns was hired on her return to Sydney in 1990 as morning show host on Triple-J and then had stints at ABC local radio and on-line radio venture BigFatRadio.com before becoming breakfast host on ABC 702.
In a statement ABC 702 station manager Roger Summerill said the station was "disappointed that Angela has decided to resign" and added, "Although Angela's loss is one we would have preferred not to happen, 702 ABC Sydney will continue to be the station that Sydney people turn to for dynamic, innovative and engaging radio. The station wishes Angela well and hopes that she is happy and in her new endeavours."
DMG Radio Australia chief executive Paul Thompson said in a statement, "Angela is a very special broadcaster. She is undoubtedly one of the most highly respected and loved presenters in Sydney radio.''
Catterns herself said on ABC 702 colleague Richard Glover's drive time show that the decision has been "absolutely agonising" and added that she had "had butterflies in the pit of my stomach for the last few weeks.''
Previous ABC Australia:
ABC Online report:
2005-06-11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given XM Satellite Radio a partial break over its plans for airing cover of US Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour events for which XM had requested permission for a low-power repeater at each event so that spectators could receive cover on portable XM receivers.
XM says provision of a single 2-watt repeater would allow its coverage to reach spectators in areas where view of its satellite might be affected
The application had been opposed by Total RF Marketing Inc. on the basis that it might cause interference to Total RF's wireless services at the PGA tour events and the FCC had already extended until yesterday the deadline for XM to respond to the objections (See RNW Jun 7).
The FCC has now allowed XM Special Temporary Authority to operate a repeater for events within the next 180 days that are unopposed by Total RF which has said it will not object to XM's repeaters at events where it is not planning to operate. The two companies are currently engaged in discussions to negotiate a technical solution to the interference concerns that would allow both to operate at the same event.
2005-06-11: Santa Monica College station KCRW-FM has announced that Southern California Lexus Dealers are to underwrite its podcasts in an exclusive deal that will start at the end of October.
The station, National Public Radio's flagship for Southern California, was an online pioneer and since it went online ten years ago has built up to averages 1.5 million page views each week, as well as 500,000 streaming hours weekly. It began podcasting its locally produced shows free of charge at the beginning of March and says that in the first week of June 75,000 podcasts were downloaded.
KCRW web site (Links to podcast and on-demand services):
2005-06-10: UK media regulator Ofcom has announced the award of three new commercial FMs and published details of the applications for another: Prime award was of the new Manchester licence to GCap Media's alternative music format Xfm that had been competing against 18 other applicants.
The new licence will cover an adult population of some 1.3 million, slightly less than Chrysalis's dance and RndB format Galaxy 102, which reaches around 1.6 million.
The award will boost the Xfm brand, which GCap is already trying to take national through digital broadcasts.
Also announced were the award of the new Norwich licence to Crown FM, the Tindle Radio bid. It was competing against four other applicants with a local music, news and information service for listener's aged 25 plus.
In Northern Ireland, the Ballymena licence has gone to Seven Towers FM, which was offering a full service music and information station and was competing with three other applicants.
Ofcom is to publish its reasons for the decisions in the near future.
It has also published the four applications for a new commercial FM for Swindon and the surrounding area that it advertised in March (See RNW Licence News Mar 6): They are from Swindon FM; Radio Swindon ; Moonraker FM and Now FM. Basic details had already been posted.
2005-06-10: Bruce" Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who was dropped by Infinity when they flipped oldies WBCS-FM to the Jack format last week (See RNW Jun 4) has joined Sirius satellite radio, now headed by former Infinity chairman and CEO Mel Karmazin and will make his debut with the satellite company on July 4 during the July 4th weekend with a special broadcast from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
He will then host three regularly scheduled programs each week and numerous daily features from the company's New York City national broadcast studios.
Morrow, who was born in Brooklyn, has been on air in New York for more than four decades encompassing sells with WINS and WABC-AM before his move to WBCS-FM.
He said of his latest move, "This is one of the most exciting events of my career I now have the opportunity with SIRIUS to reach the national audience I've always wanted to communicate with. Here comes the music!"
Sirius President of Entertainment and Sports Scott Greenstein commented, "Bruce is a beloved icon in radio, and we are excited to bring him to Sirius, where he will be able to play the great music he loves and talk to a national audience."
The move by Infinity to flip WCBS-FM and WJMK-FM in Chicago from oldies to the Jack-FM format, thought to be primarily aimed at attracting a younger audience, continues to attract criticism and both Sirius and XM have taken full advantage by placing newspaper adverts to try and grab the station's listeners, a tactic XM has used before when classical stations were lost in Washington D.C. and Miami.
The Sirius advert carried in New York and Chicago asks, "What do New Yorkers (Chicagoans) do when their favourite music is taken away? They get Sirius."
In other satellite radio developments XM has announced that is has raised approximately USD 300 million through the sale of some 9.5 million shares of its common stock.
It says it will use the funds for working capital and general corporate purposes that may include the launch of its XM-4 satellite next year and construction payments for its ground spare XM-5, which is to be built by Space Systems/Loral rather than Boeing, which built its other satellites (See RNW Jun 8).
2005-06-10: According to the Sydney Morning Herald an internal Australian Broadcasting Corporation report is to recommend to senior management that is should drop several programmes on its Radio National network to ease funding problems.
The paper says that unless Radio National gets an extra AUD 1 million (USD 770,000) a year it will be stuck with financial problems that have made staff "depressed and stagnant."
Radio National employs 170 staff and has overspent its budget for the past five years, spending AUD 800,000 (USD 615,000) above its AUD 15 million (USD 11.5 million) budget in the most recent year.
The paper says the report will recommend that the ABC scrap The Europeans, a weekly programme that looks at political, cultural, economic and social developments across eastern and western Europe, and one of its book programmes.
RNW comment: The range of original material on the arts, news, current affairs, science and technology produced by Radio National as will be seen in a glance at its web site is impressive but also inherently expensive because of the need for specialist expertise and research.
We can but hope that somehow its value will be recognised and funding found.
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC Radio National web site:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2005-06-10: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on proposals to streamline its licensing procedures and cut back its backlog.
In particular it wants to try and cut back on having to deal with multiple applications made by companies that fail to follow through and to that end is suggesting that companies should be required to file a technical application together with an new allotment proposal and also to limit them to five proposals unless they can show compelling public interest in additional filings.
It is also considering the suggestion that it should relax its policies and allow a sole local service to become a first local service somewhere else, noting that its action is being taken in "response to a petition for rulemaking filed by First Broadcasting Investment Partners, LLC, that sought changes to the FCC's current procedures for modifying the FM Table of Allotments and changing broadcast stations' communities of license in both the AM and commercial FM services."
There are 60 days to comment.
2005-06-10: BBC unions have withdrawn the threat of further strikes to protest planned job cuts for the moment although they warn that they retain the right to re-institute industrial action unless there are meaningful negotiations and maintain their opposition to compulsory redundancies.
The BBC for its part has sent the unions a letter trying to set up a framework for detailed negotiations on budget and job cuts.
In the letter it says that if the unions accept the ACAS (Arbitration and Conciliation Service) offer following consultation with their members divisional meetings and trawls for volunteers for redundancy would take place simultaneously and should there be a failure to agree on an issue in a divisional change plan the matter can then be referred to the national level as provided for in existing agreements.
The National Union of Journalists is to put the proposals to its unions at meetings next Wednesday and NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said, "We made it very clear that we retain the right to take further industrial action should the BBC fail to engage in meaningful negotiations and adequately address our concerns on the impact of any job cuts on working conditions and the quality of programmes."
2005-06-09: Norway has become the first country to choose Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings system for its commercial radio industry although the PPM is in use in some countries for radio and TV on a more limited basis.
Arbitron says the PPM's system of embedding inaudible identification codes in the audio signal gives it a unique ability to identify all audio sources including listening on the Internet and mobile phones and that the Steering Committee of the Norwegian National Radio, which has signed a five-year deal with TNS Gallup to install a panel of 400 people equipped with the PPM system, regarded this as a major factor in making its decision. Use of the system is to start in the first quarter of next year and Arbitron says Norway had also explored an audio matching system before making its decision but did not specify further details.
In Britain RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) is still conducting tests after earlier evaluation of both the PPM and audio matching systems that led to it eliminating the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch as least accurate but finding the Eurisko Media Monitor most accurate.
Geir Jangas, chairman of the Steering Committee, commented in a statement, "I believe that the PPM data will contribute to strengthening the position of radio in the minds of the advertisers. We will be able to deliver far better and more detailed listening figures and data that not only are more useful for advertisers and agencies, but also for programming our radio stations."
"The number of leading Norwegian radio stations represented on our Steering Committee and involved in making this decision indicates how important reliable radio audience figures are to the industry, particularly with the increase in Internet-based radio," he added.
RNW comment: Somewhat to our surprise as we commented at the time about RAJAR's fairly extensive tests(See RNW Feb 15)- it has already spend GBP 1.5 million ( USD 2.8 million) on them and is to spend a third as much again in further tests - the Eurisko Media Monitor audio-matching system was most accurate with 70% recognition compared to 59% for the PPM.
Those figures compared with 30% for the GfK/Telecontrol MediaWatch, much ballyhooed by Wireless Group chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie which went to court case to for damages because it said the diary system damaged its business through underestimating its audience as shown by the ratings it sponsored with the Gfk device.
We await with interest newer results from RAJAR and hope to revisit the topic of the PPM's capabilities in the near future.
2005-06-09: UK media regulator Ofcom has set itself in opposition to government plans for the BBC in a response to the Government's Green Paper on the Review of the BBC Royal Charter that Ofcom says "does not fully address the public service broadcasting issues beyond the BBC."
"In particular," comments Ofcom, "it [the Green Paper] stops short of setting out the steps needed to secure the longer term future of public service broadcasting in the round, in a fully digital world. Securing the BBC is not the same as securing PSB for the future. "
Ofcom reiterates its arguments that other broadcasters should have direct funding from the government if the commercial sector is to maintain its public service commitments in a digital future, commenting, "Direct public funding will be needed, to replace the implicit funding which is draining from the current system. Only by taking steps in the near term to put this new approach in place will we be able to ensure that we are prepared for the fully digital world."
It also argues that if the BBC is left as the only public service broadcaster this "risks delivering a long-term decline in PSB - as the BBC becomes more isolated, as its share of the sector declines, and as the market and audience tastes are increasingly conditioned by commercial rather than public service values."
Ofcom wants a system- strongly opposed by the BBC - in which others get funding for public service broadcasts.
It also expresses concern over the "BBC Trust" and new Executive Board, saying these are an improvement but need further work. It specifically wants the prefix BBC dropped and comments, "A new model will be needed if PSB funding is to be directed to a plurality of providers in future. Ideally, the approach should be the same for all PSB providers, including the BBC We therefore ask Government to reconsider whether the 'BBC Trust' is an appropriate name for a body that has a potential future role in serving the wider public interest (for example, would it be appropriate for the 'BBC Trust' to be responsible for allocating funds to Channel 4?). The less possessive 'The Trust' may be a better title."
Ofcom also wants a planned review of public service broadcasting to be brought forward by two years, to 2010, before the planned switchover of UK TV to digital.
RNW comment: "Flogging" and "Dead horse" are the thoughts that come to mind reading the Ofcom paper. The indications are that the political fight has already been won by those who favour continued BBC funding and we doubt that there is much inclination in the government to re-stage the battle.
2005-06-09: Democracy Radio, the "progressive talk" network that launched the nationally syndicated Ed Schultz Show, has sold its interest in the show to veteran US radio executive Randy Michaels, the former CEO of Clear Channel Radio who is now president of Radioactive LLC.
It says that "after demonstrating the commercial viability of progressive talk" with the show it is spinning it off "to return to its core mission of incubating radio talent."
Democracy Now was founded in 2002 by Tom Athans and Paul Fiddick to counter the right-wing dominance of US talk radio and it launched the Ed Schultz Show, which is syndicated by Jones Radio Networks and now has 95 affiliates, in January 2004: Democracy Now launched its second national show in September 2004, hosted by comedienne and L.A. radio host, Stephanie Miller.
"We are proud to have pioneered the new Progressive Talk format and to have changed the radio industry by proving this format can succeed," said Democracy Radio CEO, Tom Athans who added, "Democracy Radio has accomplished its first mission, now we will return to our core mission, to incubate and launch new progressive voices on America's airwaves. Ed is a remarkable talent. With Randy Michaels taking the helm, we have no doubt that Ed will continue to be the standard by which other progressive hosts are measured."
Michaels commented, "Ed will continue to build on the foundation that Democracy Radio helped establish, and we will continue to recruit even more stations to broadcast his show."
2005-06-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a UD 10,000 penalty on a Georgia pirate operator, of USD 3,000 on a Virginia AM, and reduced from USD 10,000 to USD 1,000 the penalty on an Arkansas man for unauthorized use of a VHF marine radio.
The USD 10,000 penalty went to Samuel E. Dacres of Stone Mountain who had not responded to a Notice of Apparent liability issued in February for his use of an unlicensed FM transmitter.
In Virginia WBLT Inc., which acquired the licence of WBLT-AM, Bedford, in 2002, is being fined USD 3,000 for failure to register its antenna structure.
WBLT had admitted that it had not registered the antenna until after an FCC inspection but asked for a reduction in penalty saying that it had then done so within two days of the inspection.
The FCC noted that WBLT had also previously failed to renew its licence on time and decided that no reduction was justified.
In the Arkansas case, the commission had received a complaint about the misuse of VHF marine radios along the Arkansas River and was told by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission it had been trying unsuccessfully to stem the use of VHF marine radios by area hunters.
The FCC then carried out checks at the start of the deer-hunting season in 2004 and traced an illegal signal to Danny R. McKinney from Bigelow, a driver who was observed talking into a microphone.
He admitted use of the transmitter without a licence but sought a reduction in the original penalty on grounds of inability to pay. The FCC accepted the argument and cut the fine to USD 1,000.
2005-06-09: US Public Radio International (PRI), which last year lost the distribution of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) programming including A Prairie Home Companion, Marketplace, The Splendid Table, Sound Money and Saint Paul Sunday when MPR opted to syndicate itself is now losing the distribution of University of Pennsylvania station WXPN 's World Café to National Public Radio (NPR).
The deal to make NPR exclusive distributor of the daily two-hour music and interview programme, which is hosted by David Dye, begins at the start of next month: The show has been distributed by PRI since its launch in 1990 and is taken by more than 170 US public stations.
PRI is also losing its President Stephen Salver, who will depart in the fall to become president and CEO of the Salzburg Seminar, based in Middlebury, Vermont, and in Salzburg, Austria. PRI has set up a search committee of its board to find a successor.
It will be chaired by Lawrence Wilkinson, chairman of Heminge and Condell in San Francisco and a co-founder of the Global Business Network, who said in a statement, "Under Steve's leadership, PRI has become a leading force for innovation in public media. We want to select as his successor the person best suited to help take public radio to its next level of public service, and to assist stations and producers to establish sustainable business models in a period of change in how radio is created and consumed."
Salver commented, "When this call came, it was simply one I had to return because the Salzburg Seminar changed my life. For three weeks in 1974, I studied with fellows from Eastern and Western Europe, and learned at the feet of extraordinary faculty, including Fred Friendly, Douglass Cater, and Charles Guggenheim. I left Salzburg knowing that I wanted a career in public media and that somehow my life would involve international issues and understanding. The chance was irresistible to give others the same opportunity that Salzburg gave me."
2005-06-08: US radio delivers nearly half as much return on investment as TV advertising according to the latest study from the Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab (RAEL).
RAEL says its "real world" study, conducted by Millward Brown and Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), examined four pairs of radio and television campaigns in a range of product categories over a six-month period.
Product categories included Grocery Food, Grocery Non-Food, and two very distinct Over-The-Counter Drug products and it says it was able to create four test cells s - one with no TV or incremental radio; one with incremental radio only; one with national TV only; and, one with both national TV and incremental radio.
This it says showed "incremental radio campaigns showed significantly better ROI for these advertisers than did their national television campaigns, whether the TV ROI was measured by this test's results or by the advertisers' own historical return estimates for television."
In particular it says "incremental radio advertising consistently and significantly increased product sales and delivered meaningful profit for each dollar of advertising" and radio also showed it could be a primary medium for advertising.
It also says that the tests showed slightly more impact for radio when combined with a TV campaign than when used alone [RNW comment: UK studies by the Radio Advertising Bureau have also indicated this "multiplier" effect.].
Overall it says radio gave 49% more return per dollar than TV and it concludes, "We can only guess how much better that value might be if the creative quality of radio advertising received as much attention and investment as ads in other media. All the television campaigns in this test had received favourable advance testing; none of the radio ads were pre-tested."
Radio Effectiveness Lab web site ( Report is a 37 page 1,76Mb PDF):
2005-06-08: XM Satellite Radio has teamed up with Audible Inc, the leading U provided of digitally delivered spoken-word audio, with a deal that will see the introduction of hand-held devices that can handle both XM and Audible's content, the latter via downloads from the Internet.
In addition XM is to co-produce with Audible a new Audible audio book program that will be broadcast by XM and also on Audible's web site and will also supply XM talk programs such as "The Bob Edwards Show" and "Opie and Anthony" to Audible, which will make them available on its Web site.
XM has also announced that it has awarded the contract for its XM-5 satellite to Space Systems/Loral, breaking away from Boeing, which supplied its existing satellites and is also currently building XM-4, which is due to be available for launch next year. XM-5 is to be completed in 2007 and will be a ground spare for the company, the life of whose existing satellites has been affected by problems that have shortened their lives.
In other US radio business Bustos Media is to pay USD 20 million to Puget Sound Broadcasting for KAYO-FM, a 41,000 watts Class C that covers the greater Seattle market.
It will switch it from country to regional Mexican " La GranD" format; a message "Our Faithful KAYO Listeners" on the station web site noting the change says, "Hopefully, you will hear your favourite KAYO DJ's on other area stations in the Puget Sound area fairly soon."
Bustos already has one station in Seattle, KDDS-AM, the former English-language KNWX-AM that it bought from Entercom in a USD 6 million cash deal that was completed earlier this year.
Further south, Spanish Broadcasting System has hit back at Emmis, which has filed a USD 25 million lawsuit over its re-branding of KXOL-FM, Los Angeles, as "Latino 96.3" that highlights Reggaeton (See RNW May 27).
Emmis says a lease agreement under which SBS operates its transmitter from an Emmis-owned tower requires SBS to give it 45 days notice of any format change with details of the planned format, thus allowing it to object if the format conflicts with either of its own Los Angeles stations and to terminate the lease agreement.
SBS, which admits that it agreed the lease, suggests that the clause may be illegal as it gives Emmis control over its programming and has sought intervention from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It also claims that the change was not a format change as the station is still a Spanish language format even though the musical content changes are aimed at the same demographic as Emmis's hip-hop KPWR-FM (Power-106).
Emmis has also announced that it has satisfied the financing condition of its 'Dutch Auction' Tender Offer "(See RNW May 11) through an amendment to the credit facility of its principal operating subsidiary, Emmis Operating Company, and the delivery of a commitment notice for USD 300.0 million of Emmis floating rate senior notes due 2012.
Under the auction, Emmis intends to buy back nearly 40% of its Class A common stock.
Previous Bustos Media:
2005-06-08: Barring a referral to competition authorities by the Irish minister for enterprise, trade and employment, Michael Martin, UTV's GBP 98 million (USD 180 million) acquisition of the UK Wireless Group is now a done deal.
UTV says it had received acceptances by the first closing day of the offer relating to 77,332,645 Wireless Shares, nearly 93% of the issued ordinary share capital and the offer is now unconditional and will remain open until further notice.
The bid has been approved at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company and is only now dependant on the minister, who has until June 12 to refer it to the Irish Competition Authority.
The acquisition spells the end of his association with the business for Wireless Group chief executive Kelvin MacKenzie who had tried unsuccessfully to gain private equity backing for his own bid: He will have the consolation of around GBP 800,000 (USD 1.5 million) as a pay-off and around GBP 6 million (USD 11 million) for his 6.4% stake in the company.
Previous Wireless Group:
2005-06-08: The US gained 49 licensed broadcast stations in the first quarter of this year although the number of radio stations fell according to latest figures from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which showed the total at the end of March as 26,303, up from 26,254 at the end of 2004.
Within the figures, the number of licensed radio stations was 13,517, down eight from the previous total of 13,525 with AM station numbers down 13 to 4761, commercial FMs down 13 to 6205, and FM educational up 18 to 2551 and the number of FM translators and boosters was up by seven to 3897.
Previous FCC station numbers:
2005-06-07: Australian sports-talk radio network SEN (Sports Entertainment Network), which has just placed itself in voluntary liquidation (See RNW Jun 1) has been bought by Pacific Star Network, which leased its 3AK signal to SEN and whose station was co-located with Pacific Star's 3MP.
The deal was for an undisclosed amount but The Australian reports that creditors of SEN, including Pacific Star and some of the station's air staff, will be out of pocket: They also included Australian Radio Network from whom SEN leased the frequency for its Adelaide station.
Administrator Sal Algeria from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Australia, said five parties had expressed interest in SEN but not all had submitted offers.
The paper reports that Pacific, which had AUD 548,000 (USD 418,000) in cash at the end of March and has used all its loan facilities, also announced it had appointed former 2GB and 2CH managing director George Buschmann to run 3MP and SEN.
At 2GB strong ratings, boosted in part by extending breakfast host Alan Jones' time slot for an hour to run into morning show time, have led parent company MacQuarie Radio Network (MRN) to say it expects to beat the forecast it gave in its prospectus for a limited initial public offering in April (See RNW April 21).
MRN chairman Max Donnelly said ratings had been strong across the board and the company now expected to beat its forecast AUD 7.7 million (USD 5,9 million) pre-tax profit for 2005-05 and move up to AUD 10 million (USD 7.6 million) for the following financial year.
"Our current forecast for financial year 2006 is an EBITDA of approximately $10 million," said Donnelly. "However, a further slowing of the advertising market or a greater than predicted impact of a new radio entrant in Sydney [DMG is to launch another station in Sydney] could alter the forecast."
The company also announced it had raised AUD 14 million (USD 10.7 million) by placing 10.8 million shares at AUD 1.30 per share with a group of institutional investors: Money raised he said would be used to fund acquisitions.
Previous MacQuarieRadio Network:
The Australian report:
2005-06-07: Arbitron has announced that its executive vice president, Finance and Planning, and CFO Bill Walsh, who has been with the company for more than 40 years, is to retire.
He has agreed to remain with the company until a new CFO is chosen and Arbitron has retained a leading executive search firm to conduct a search for a replacement.
Paying tribute to Walsh Arbitron President and CEO Stephen Morris said the company extended its "most sincere gratitude to Bill for his long and dedicated service to Arbitron."
In other US radio business, Radio One, Inc., has announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase programme for up to USD 150 million's worth of its Class A and Class D common stock over the next 18 months and Salem has increased its second quarter guidance.
Amounts and timings of any sales will be based on various business and economic factors and the programme puts no obligation on the company to make any purchases.
Executive Vice President and CFO Scott R. Royster said the company felt its "current stock price does not adequately reflect the fundamental value inherent in our Company and the fact that the M&A environment is not particularly attractive at this time."
"We believe that this stock repurchase program is in our stockholders' best interests, " he added, "and we intend to execute it in such a way that we will not overly burden our balance sheet or be unable to continue to maintain our leverage in our 'comfort zone' of 4-6x EBITDA."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2005-06-07: BBC Scotland has announced a new schedule beginning next Monday that includes 41 new programmes including a 13-part series "All Change" - which is comprised of interviews with people who have made changes in their professional lives - from its former lunchtime host Lesley Riddoch who left amidst some acrimony when her plans to take over the slot with a show made by her own production company were opposed by many staff (See RNW Dec 25, 2004).
The Riddoch shows air on Mondays and Fridays in the 11:00 AM slot for new conversation formats and the debut show will have First Minister Jack McConnell as a guest with Friday's show next week featuring an interview with Midge Ure.
The slot also features two more female hosts - Muriel Gray on Wednesdays with "The Book I've yet to write" in which she interviews guests on what they'd like to write - and Clare Grogan on Tuesdays with "Uploaded and Personal", a six part series looking at the listening habits of various celebrities.
BBC Scotland is also introducing new music and sports shows.
2005-06-07: Ford and Sirius Satellite Radio have agreed to extend the latter's exclusive deal with the former to run through until September 2011 during which period all Ford US brands will be factory fitted exclusively with Sirius receivers.
In addition the motor company expects to significantly increase factory installed numbers of receivers on the brands -- Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln Mercury, Mazda and Volvo.
Earlier this year, Ford and Lincoln Mercury announced plans to target up to 21 vehicle lines for factory installation of Sirius over the 2006 and 2007 model years, and said that they expect to generate up to one million Sirius subscribers over the two model year period.
Ford will have the option to move to a non-exclusive deal in 2009, albeit losing benefits from the current deal should it do so, and also to extend the deal until 2013.
Rival satellite radio company XM meanwhile has announced that its PGA Tour Network will debut on Thursday with cover of the Booz Allen Classic at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
XM has still however to receive a final ruling from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning its request for special temporary authority to operate one lower power - 2KW - terrestrial repeater at weekly Professional Golf Association ("PGA") tour events throughout 2005.
It has been given until June 10 to respond to opposition to the repeater from Total RF Marketing, Inc., which said it fears harmful interference to its wireless services at the PGA tour events.
Both the parties had requested the extension to try and negotiate a technical resolution to the concerns about potential interference
2005-06-07: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld just one TV standards complaint in its latest bulletin just published compared to none against radio or TV in its previous bulletin.
In addition it considered five TV standards complaints resolved and a further one where it published details not in breach; another TV fairness and privacy complaint was not upheld.
This compares with three standards cases - two TV and one radio - resolved, two TV standards cases not upheld and one TV fairness case resolved and two more not upheld in the previous bulletin.
In addition to cases where details were given a further 23 radio complaints relating to 23 items and 156 TV complaints relating to 120 items were rejected or held to be out of remit with no further details given: This compares to a further 17radio complaints relating to 17 items and 101 TV complaints relating to 101 items listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2005-06-06: This week we start our cover of print articles on radio with one would by many be seen as a counter-intuitive location for commercial crassness, one that many Britons would probably attribute to Americans - as would many Americans - but in this case the offender is London based.
As Richard Ingrams notes in his Diary in the UK Observer, "the commercial radio station LBC has launched its own Book of the Month feature" as has the magazine he edits.
"The difference," he adds, "is that their book is chosen not for its merit but because the publisher has paid LBC £10,000 (USD 18,000) for the privilege."
Ingrams says he'd expect his readers to "be more than upset if they discovered that our Reprint of the Month had been paid for by a publisher and had nothing to do with any editorial decision" and then quotes LBC, which has "refused demands to make clear that the Book of the Month is an advertisement" and whose spokesman said, "Anyone who is a savvy radio listener,' will be aware of how advertisements and sponsorship works. It is not the sort of thing you would explain to a punter."
Ingrams draws a logical conclusion: "What it amounts to is this: people, or punters, now will expect to be conned, deceived and lied to by the likes of commercial radio stations. When they hear talk of books of the month, these savvy folk know that they are being taken for a ride by a bunch of canny geezers."
RNW comment: We'd share Ingram's views except that we wouldn't term those taking their listeners for a ride "canny": We'd term them short sighted and greedy -- and think it would be a fitting regulatory rejoinder to force them to begin every programme for a month with a sentence saying, "Listeners should assume that any comment on this station may have been bought and paid for by a sponsor, although this company may prefer not to spell out details."
At the end of the period, we reckon listeners certainly would be savvy - and advertisers might well walk away.
On then to the US and another decision that may be canny or may yet turn out to be crass: In New York WCBS-FM as we have already reported, dumped oldies, which it had been carrying since 1972, in favour of Jack.
The station as noted in an AP report by Larry McShane in the Washington Post, was eighth ranked in the Winter Arbitron ratings but this was not considered enough.
He quoted WCBS-FM vice president and general manager Chad Brown as saying, "We did a lot of market research and found a hole in the market that wasn't being served by any other station." More to the point perhaps, he also quoted Tom Taylor, editor of the trade publication Inside Radio, as saying, "I'm sure this move angered and bewildered its listeners," and then adding, "Youth must be served. If you look at a lot of media, older Americans aren't important unless you're selling Craftmatic beds."
RNW comment: No consolation there either for Ingrams but maybe demographics will eventually tell since we rather calculate that there are many older Americans who have more spare money than many younger ones and, even if maybe not so gullible when it push comes to shove, make a large number of purchasing decisions from luxury items down to the basics.
On then to the latest technology to affect radio, podcasting - which we note was developed by two individuals who certainly aren't spring chickens - Adam Curry ( 40 plus) from earlier work by Dave Winer ( 50 plus)- and which was the subject of a Los Angeles Times report by Jon Healey.
He noted that Rush Limbaugh - also 50 plus - has moved into offering a podcast -- and comments, "The influx of popular broadcasters could help push mainstream audiences to adopt the new medium " and goes on to quote analyst Phil Leigh of Inside Digital Media as saying that the Internet is probably a better way to deliver media than live broadcasts and saying people are being conditioned to think "I want my media when I want it . Ultimately, media is going to be consumed on demand."
Healey notes the copyright problems of podcasts when it comes to music and that Limbaugh stripped the music out of his podcasts, even the snippets at the beginning of each segment.
"You know, we pay a rights fee every year for the opening theme song, but it does not include the privilege of copying it hundreds of thousands of times for free so that people can have it on their computers," Limbaugh said, according to a transcript on his website.
Limbaugh's podcasts will available without extra charge to those who subscribe to his USD50-a-year online service and will include only national commercials.
Kraig Kitchin, chief executive of Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates Limbaugh's broadcasts said advertisers are interested in sponsoring podcasts and "will be happy to be time-shifted."
He also said the audience for them could grow rapidly, commenting, "The speed of adapting to new technology by the consumer is not to be underestimated. I want to be sure to be right there at their door when they wake up and say, 'I want to try that.'"
He was backed up by Infinity CEO Joel Hollander who said, "Advertisers are looking for new ways to reach consumers. We can't just sit here with our terrestrial signal and think technology's going to stop for us."
Infinity, of course, has switched one of its stations in San Francisco to a podcasting output, a move described in the Village Voice by Julian Dibbell as, "most inscrutable experiment in corporate radio since Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds."
Of the output, Dibbell comments, "Call it a broadcast podcast. Call it 'open-source radio' (if you don't mind parroting the station's marketing copy). But drift through a couple hours of the KYOU Radio current-a rambling ex-stockbroker's thoughts on time travel segueing into an armchair lecture on martinis followed by a half-hour of Gassaway, West Virginia's finest bluegrass music-and you won't be calling it anything but what it is: public access, 2.0."
He concludes, "You have to wonder, for one thing, just what blend of podcasting hype and moldy bubble-think Infinity's directors were mainlining when they approved this unprecedented big-biz foray into Wayne's world."
"For another, note how starkly the station's unbroken stream contrasts with the pick-and-choose modularity of podcasting proper (which, unlike KYOU Radio, lets listeners download their audio in discrete files). It's like stepping out of a multiplex into a Zen rock garden, and it's only with concentration that you start to notice the delicate pleasures in the flow: the Skvarek family's dryly intimate narration of their road trip to Arizona ("We're outside the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas," reports Dad from the driver's seat, almost reverently, while Pet Sounds plays in the background); the small miracle of somebody's favourite jazz fusion track actually sounding good to you. What Infinity was thinking we may never know, but here's hoping it's a while before they remember and think better of it."
So on to listening and the first suggestion - for anyone who wants a lucky dip - has to be BBC Radio 3's Beethoven Experience - in which at whatever time you tune in until Friday 2300 GMT you'll hear Beethoven, for whom the station has cleared its channels.
Of that experience, Paul Donovan who in his Sunday Times Radio Waves column terms the programming a One-man Show, comments, "Part-live, part-recorded, the ambition of the venture - which has already spread to television and online, spawning its own newsletter and a celebration at Hyde Park Corner today - lies not just in the fact that it includes everything Beethoven wrote, but in the way in which that has been juxtaposed in such an intricate web with high-quality speech that reflects, explores and sets in context. That meticulous choreography of programming is unique to Radio 3.
After one of the world's great artists - and as well as offering downloads of all of Beethoven's nine symphonies, the content is available again on demand - on to BBC Radio 4 and one of the world's greatest mariners albeit most westerners will not have heard of Cheng Ho - or Zheng He - the subject of Swimming Dragons on Friday and available as usual for seven days. In 1405 he set out from of Nanjing at the head of a 300-strong fleet of giant treasure ships set out on the first of seven epic voyages to western Asia, Africa and Arabia. Not exactly the career one might have expected for a peasant's son from Yunnan, even if he had been captured and castrated before being sent to the Emperor's court as a eunuch when he was ten. Incidentally Life magazine ranked him 14th most important person of the last millennium.
Back to pre-Beethoven Experience Radio 3 and last week's drama in The Wire series on Thursday was The Miracle of Reason by Nick Dear, a truly tension filled drama about a couple who leave London for weekend of passion in a remote house that ends up as one of abject terror.
For something that probably ought to concern us more - and in some ways scare us - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Background Briefing on Sunday was " Do we have medication for you!" that looked at the way big pharmaceutical companies are as much big marketing organizations as health-related ones, finding new diseased to sell new medication. Did the thought occur to us that Cheng Ho managed pretty well without them - and ne'er a psychiatrist in sight!
Another piece of little-known history was featured by Radio 4 at the weekend when in the first of three "Stand at East" programmes, Sir Mark Tully looked at the development of the Indian Army -- it was two million plus strong, bore the brunt of the Japanese attack on Burma and Malaya and also fought in North Africa and in the assault on Monte Cassino in Italy. Hang on - didn't Hollywood say America fought the war - and the Russian 20 million and
For history that's probably better known, that of Coldplay, BBC Radio 2 on Saturday had "Hello We Are Coldplay" in which Steve Lamacq told the story of the band's rise to fame and on Wednesday at 21:00 GMT the station has the second in the four part tale of "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: So Far" in which Bob Harris tells the story of the first Supergroup; Last week's first show will be online until then.
Los Angeles Times - Healey:
UK Observer - Ingrams:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post/AP - McShane :
Village Voice - Dibbell:
2005-06-06: Technology continues to move ahead in digital radio with further developments over the past few weeks including the launch by RadioScape of its RS500 module that can receive DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) plus DRM(Digital Radio Mondiale) plus analogue FM with RDS, and LW, MW and SW.
RadioScape says the module can "form the basis of the world's first affordable, integrated, multi-standard, digital radio receivers." It says multi-band, multi standard receivers could be on the market for under GBP 250 ( (USD 450), around a quarter of the price of current DRM receivers.
DRM Chairman and Deutsche Welle COO Peter Senger described the advance as "the breakthrough that DRM has been waiting for," adding, "Until now there have only been a limited number of DRM receivers available. This new module from RadioScape will open up the market with easy to use, consumer priced, multi-standard receivers in the same way that the company helped open up the DAB market. The broadcasts are already in place with dozens of broadcasters currently transmitting around the world."
Annika Nyberg, President of WorldDAB added, "There are synergies between DAB and DRM business models [that] will provide an added boost in many countries as multi-standard digital radios bought for DRM will also receive DAB providing broadcasters with large potential audiences."
RadioScape Marketing Manager for Receivers Andrew Moloney said because the company created modules using its own advanced Software Defined radio architecture it had been possible to add DRM "in an affordable and user friendly form to our existing range of receiver capabilities" and noted that the latest module was size and pin compatible with its RS300L module thus enabling radio manufacturers to use the new chip in existing designs and bring them to the market speedily.
Also just on the market, this time from Frontier Silicon, is what it terms DABplus that combines a sophisticated advanced electronic programme guide (EPG) and advanced recording and timer capabilities for its highly successful Venice module.
The Venice module requires only power source, antenna, display and keypad to be added for a manufacturer to market a fully featured product.
It will allow a user to look at up to a week of programming and then set the system to record onto a memory card for later playback on the same radio or any compatible audio player.
RNW comment: We value both the developments mentioned here - and also other ones such as combinations of mobile phones and radios - although we suspect there may well be more whinging from recording companies over the potential for recording a digital signal: Remember the objections from Hollywood to the idea of video recorders, a technology that in the end boosted their profits massively!
In particular the idea of a World Radio that will allow true worldwide use for people travelling is welcome albeit the price will still have to plummet to come anyway near that of the current options - for example the Sony analogue ICF-SW7600GRis a good quality receiver at half the mentioned price. Still it does offer hope that eventually manufacturers will get their act together to offer a receiver that can handle everything except the US digital terrestrial and satellite signals - there's not that much point in having a portable Sirius or XM receiver outside North America and we don't see much hope of Ibiquity's system gaining a toehold outside the US where in our view money and politics outweighed technological factors - where analogue is likely to remain for a long while.
Previous Digital Radio Mondiale:
2005-06-06: According to the UK Observer the large institutional shareholders in Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) are backing the company's management in rejecting a 1040 pence a share offer from Emap that SRH says significantly undervalues it.
The top five shareholders including Scottish publisher D.C. Thomson, which has nearly a tenth of the shares, account for 22% of the shares and are, says the paper, holding out for between GBP 11 and GBP 12 a share.
Emap already has a 27% share, which it bought from SMG, and has been expected to bid for the rest. It made its offer, which offered a premium of 19% on the share price before it was made, on the basis of an agreed deal but may choose to repeat the offer as a hostile bid.
Consolidation in the UK commercial radio sector was widely expected following passage of a new Communications Act that eased restrictions on ownership but was slow in starting. It speeded up this year when Capital Radio and GWR merged to form GCap Media, Britain's largest radio group (See RNW May 10), and has also seen Ulster TV take over the Wireless Group (Also RNW May 10).
There are also pressures on Chrysalis to concentrate on radio and sell other assets and suggestions that a large US company could move in to take over one of the big British groups if the price is seen as right.
UK Observer report:
2005-06-06: The BBC has confirmed that former British newspaper editor Sir Harold Evans, who has lived in America for two decades and is married to former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown, is to present a 13-week run of its Radio 4 programme " A Point of View" from July 29.
The programme, broadcast on Friday evenings with a Saturday repeat, is currently being hosted by former British MP Brian Walden and fills a slightly shorter slot at around the same time as the former Letter from America programmes by the late Alistair Cooke.
Commenting on his planned contributions, Evans said, "I was eager to find 'the real America' when I first crossed the Atlantic in the Fifties. Now I've lived here for 20 years and I'm still searching."
"I hope to get a little closer in the 13 weeks," he added, "and I hope listeners will join the random expeditions into its politics and money, history, culture and personalities. ..But a little indulgence, please. America doesn't fit on a postcard. It is just too diverse, too exhilarating and too maddening - and too big. England could fit seven times over into Texas. Or so they tell me whenever I check into Dallas."
2005-06-05: Last week saw a fairly steady flow of radio work at the regulators and also in the US, the appointment of new staff by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin.
In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has found no real competition for open narrowcast licences with only one place where there was a potential competitive bid for any of the 37 licences on offer (See RNW Jun 2) and even in that case one bidder withdrew to make it an allocation at the reserve price (See RNW Jun 4).
In terms of FM licensing the ABA has proposed to make channel capacity available for community radio service 7BOD Break O Day to provide its service to the Bicheno region of Tasmania: It is inviting comment on the proposal with a deadline of June 9.
The ABA has also found that Goulburn and Border Broadcasters Pty Ltd, licensee of commercial radio service 3SUN-AM, Shepparton, breached the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice 2001 by not providing a timely and substantive written response to a written complaint although it did not find any breaches in the matters complained about.
In Canada, where a decision is still awaited on the appeal by Montreal station CHOI-FM against a refusal by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRCT) to renew its licence, there was a steady flow of routine licence decisions including (in order of province):
*Approval of application to add 250 watts FM transmitter in Banff to rebroadcast the programming of CBR-AM, Calgary. The transmitter will replace existing AM transmitter CBRB Banff and simulcasts will be allowed for three months after the FM transmissions commence.
British Columbia and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories:
*Approval of application to add a 114 watts FM transmitter in Yellowknife to rebroadcast the programming of CBU-FM, Vancouver, which transmits the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national English-language network service Radio Two.
Linked with this decision is the revocation of the licence of the Yellowknife Rebroadcasting Society's radiocommunication distribution undertaking (RDU), which operates a transmitter in Yellowknife and broadcasts Radio Two originating from CBU-FM Vancouver.
*Approval of power increase from 25 watts to 50 watts and decrease in the antenna height and relocation of transmitter for new Christian music Fm authorized for Fredericton.
*Approval of second extension, this time until April 17, 2006, of time limit to commence operations of French-language community FM in Toronto approved in 2003.
Administrative renewal until 31 December of the licence for French-language community Type
B CHGA-FM, Maniwak.
*Administrative renewal until 31 August of the licences for 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.
*Administrative renewal until 30 April 2006, of the licences of CJMS Saint-Constant, Quebec and of CKNU-FM, Donnacona and its transmitter CKNU-FM-1, Sainte-Croix-de-Lotbinière, Quebec
The CRTC notes that these decisions do not dispose of any substantive issue in connection with the renewal.
*Approval of power decrease from 54,600 watts to 50,200 watts and increase in antenna height for transmitter CBKT-6, Yorkton, of CBKT-AM, Regina.
In Ireland there were no radio licence decisions from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) but it has launched a consultation on its policy for statutory news and current affairs requirements for independent radio stations.
The BCI is required by law to ensure that stations broadcast a minimum level of news and current affairs programming across the broadcast day but currently it allows a derogation from the provision of news and current affairs between the hours of 1a.m. and 7a.m.
The policy review is being undertaken in light of the Commission's plans to license further radio stations and in the context of its key policy objective of guaranteeing a diversity of radio services to listeners.
BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe noted that this will be the first review of policy regarding news and current affairs since 2000.
In the UK, where Ofcom's main attention has been on the switchover to digital of terrestrial TV, it has advertised a new FM for Ipswich (See RNW Jun 3) and has also announced receipt of four applications for a new Swindon commercial licence.
These are from:
*Moonraker FM - Offering a service of classic and contemporary music plus local news, weather, traffic and other information.
*Now FM - Offering music from the past decades until the present day plus local news and information targeted at a 25-54 audience.
*Radio Swindon - Offering popular music from the past four decades plus local news and information.
*Swindon FM - offering a full local service including specialist off-peak music programming catering for more specific tastes and interests.
It has also published its Race Equality Scheme (RES), required under UK law of public authorities, which are subject to a general duty to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.
As well as Ofcom's internal conduct, the scheme identifies areas where it will collect information to assess the impact of its policies and take appropriate action where required. Among key areas mentioned are community radio services," which make possible specific provision for ethnic linguistic minority provision", and "ensuring the provision of a wide range of TV and radio services of high quality and wide appeal" by measures such as "maintaining plurality in the provision of broadcasting by 'developing a new broadcasting licensing regime to foster self regulation and broaden choice' and a 'policy of applying adequate protection for audiences against offensive or harmful material and against unfairness or infringements of privacy by reviewing broadcast standards to ensure they appropriately reflect community standards and ensuring content complaints are dealt with effectively and efficiently."
In the US, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin has announced the names of those he wants for his media bureau staff (See below): The FCC has also imposed a USD 11,000 on a New York AM for power and tower offences (See RNW Jun 4).
Previous Licence News:
ABA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-06-05: The BBC today (08:00 GMT) begins a week in which its entire schedule Radio 3 is devoted to the works of Beethoven.
It says "Every single note of Ludwig van Beethoven" will be aired in the week running to midnight on Friday as well as associated TV programming.
Radio 3's web site has a special segment with full information and links to other material such as a three part essay on Beethoven - The Revolutionary by writer and broadcaster Stephen Johnson, presenter of Radio 3's Discovering Music and also to details of downloads of all Beethoven's nine symphonies that are to be made available in MP3 format.
They will all be performed by BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and will be available on the site the day after the performance for a period of a week.
BBC Radio 3 Beethoven web site:
2005-06-05: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin has announced that he intends to appoint former Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Donna Gregg, who began her legal career in the Commission's former Cable Television Bureau, to head the agency's Media Bureau.
Martin has also announced that Roy Stewart, most recently the Media Bureau's Chief of the Office of Broadcast License Policy, is to be Senior Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau and Deborah Klein, who has served as Acting Chief of the Media Bureau, will serve as Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau.
2005-06-05: CBC Radio 3 is joining the podcast ranks with a new Canadian music podcast, the corporation's first music podcast although the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) already offers a Quirks & Quarks podcast with host Bob McDonald's weekly programme on the latest in science, technology, medicine and the environment, and a Nerd podcast with a weekly new technology show from Tod Maffin.
The music podcast will be comprised of independent music, live concert recordings, studio sessions, plus stories and audio from across Canada and the site comments that the podcast is "full of amazing, 100% Canadian music from new and emerging artists It's great news for music fans and it's even better news for independent Canadian musicians. We are extremely excited about the potential for exposing Canadian artists to a wider international audience with this new technology."
It also asks independent musicians who want to get involved and who are members of NewMusicCanada (NMC) to log on to their member page and agree to the Corporation's podcasting waiver, which it notes was not a feature when NMC began because there were no podcasts at the time.
CBC Podcasting site - links to podcasts:
2005-06-04: US radio revenues in April were flat compared to a year ago according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) although on a year-to-date basis combined national and local figures are still up 1% with national revenues up 2% and local revenues up 1%: Non spot revenues for the year to date were flat.
Within the April figures, there was a significant divergence with local revenues up 1%, national ones down 2% and non-spot revenues flat.
RAB's Radio Revenue Index that equates the pre-dot com base year 1998 to 100 showed a total spot index of 138 in April with the local sales index 139.9 and the national one 131.5: The comparative year-to-date indices were total spot 142.8; local 142.3;and national 144.5.
Commenting on the results RAB President and CEO Gary Fries who in the previous month had said, radio is "evolving at a rapid pace, both technologically and creatively Growth should remain steady throughout the year, as the medium and its advertisers explore how to maximize the advantages emerging from this new landscape" stuck to a similar line, saying, "Radio is in an evolutionary phase Radio's growth is on the horizon as recently introduced technologies, programming formats, and advertising platforms take root and propel the industry forward."
Previous RAB & RAB figures (March):
2005-06-04: Infinity has flipped two big market Oldies stations to the "Playing what we want" Jack-FM format - WCBS-FM in New York and WJMK-FM in Chicago. Both station sites now begin with a Jack FM home page and an "About Jack" link that carries almost messages identical apart from the city and station names.
"Jack in New York (Chicago) is a dramatic change from traditional radio formats," it begins, "You told us that you are tired of stations that play the same 300 songs over...and over...and over."
"101.1 (104.3) Jack FM is playing what we want the best songs from the 70's, 80's, 90's, right up through today no matter where you first heard them. Just listen, it's like your iPod on shuffle."
"Join Jack as we blast away the traditional rules of radio with something different...It's fun, it's fresh, it's what New York (Chicago) has been looking for. "
In New York the site lists both Jack FM - on AOL - and CBSFM 101 streams but the Chicago site only had a link to a WJMK oldies stream when we checked it.
Infinity launched its first Jack format station in Dallas where it flipped KJKK-FM in July last year - the station has subsequently moved from 28th to 5th in the ratings - and flipped KCBS-FM, the former classic rock Arrow 93.1 in Los Angeles in March this year. It has also flipped WQSR-FM, Baltimore, WBUF-FM in Buffalo, WXPT-FM in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and KRQI-FM (K-Rock) in Seattle to the Jack format.
2005-06-04: UK SMG, which owns Virgin Radio, has delivered a mixed message about its business at its Annual General Meeting with chairman Chris Masters saying, "Progress in 2005 has been good - both in terms of operational achievements and trading performance" but adding, " there is undoubtedly more caution on the part of advertisers due to the slowdown in consumer spending" that had "led to the market becoming more short term" although SMG had not so far "seen evidence of a major downturn in advertising spending."
Overall said Masters prospects for 2005 remained "encouraging" adding that although "the strong first quarter, reported at the time of our preliminary results in March, has been followed by more moderated growth in a quieter Q2, this was, at least in part, anticipated in light of the early Easter, the general election and the effect on comparatives of Euro 2004."
"Our businesses, " he said, "continue to see growth and we remain cautiously optimistic that we will achieve our current expectations for the Group in 2005."
Regarding its radio division, SMG said it had "made excellent progress on a number of fronts Listening performance on Virgin Radio has grown - by some 20% in comparison to last year - and our two new digital stations have achieved over 1.3 million listening hours between them since their launch last autumn."
SMG also said it had "been successful in attracting some top grade talent to the business" and mentioned new chief executive Fru Hazlitt, who was named for the post in April (See RNW Apr 19) and will join the company in summer, and Christian O'Connell who is to launch a new breakfast show in the New Year (See RNW May 19).
SMG shares ended the day up 1.1% at 92.75 pence, valuing it at GBP 292 million (USD 530 million).
Its rival Scottish Radio Holdings, which has rejected a 1040 pence a share takeover bid from Emap saw its stock which had jumped just under 15% on news of the bid (See RNW Jun 2) also saw its stock move up, albeit by only 0.05% to 1002 pence.
According to the UK Times, should Emap succeed in buying SRH, it has already lined up a sale of SRH's Scottish and Irish newspapers to Johnson Press, publisher of the Yorkshire Post at a rice between GP 130 million (USD 234 million) and GBP 150 million (USD 272 million), thus immediately recouping around half of the GBP 270 million (USD 489 million) in its current offer.
The paper suggests that Emap might also dispose of SRH's Irish radio stations - national station Today FM, and Dublin station FM104, and potentially also Donegal Highland Radio, which SRH has just agreed to acquire (Also RNW Jun 2).
UK Times report:
2005-06-04: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a USD 11,000 penalty on a New York AM for operating with excess power during the day, post sunset and at night, and also for failure to enclose its tower effectively.
WYLF-AM, Penn Yan, was found to be operating above its authorized levels at all times in checks made in February last year after a complaint was made about its night-time levels. A check on the tower enclosure showed slack in a long-cabled lock to the gate, allowing access, and also a gap beneath the bottom of the fence.
Licensee M.B. Communications did not deny that it operated at power levels above those authorized but claimed the excessive power levels were the result of an equipment malfunction, which prevented the transmitter from automatically changing power levels at the required times.
Regarding the enclosure it contended that the slack did not make the gate inadequately secured and said the gap resulted because a "section of the enclosure lifted out of the ground during the winter" and it "was an excessively snowy winter which covered up the open area below the fence."
The FCC did not accept that the response was cause to reduce the penalty in its initial notice of apparent liability and confirmed the full penalty. It also it had received information that led it to believe that M.B. Communications continues to operate station WYLF in excess of the station's authorized power and directed M.B. Communications to report to Regional Counsel for the Northeast Region within thirty days, whether station WYLF is operating consistent with the station's authorization.
2005-06-04: An auction announced for a narrowcasting licence for Wagga Wagga in New South Wales (See RNW Jun 2) became a straight allocation exercise for the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) when one of the two bidders withdrew leaving only 2KY Broadcasters in the bidding.
As the sole applicant it has to pay a reserve price of AUD 4,000 (USD 3,000) for the licence.
2005-06-03: Infinity, which last month launched "the world's first all podcast programmed radio station" when it converted KYCY-AM to KYOU, with programming made up from podcasts has now said all its All-News stations are to offer free daily podcasts to its listeners featuring a menu of the day's top local and national news, sports, business and entertainment headlines, plus weather and traffic updates.
The podcasts will vary in length and will include news broadcast by the stations and content developed especially for the downloads. The rollout will begin with WINS, New York, next month.
Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander said of the move, "We are increasingly living in an on-demand world, where listeners want to receive our award-winning content via alternative means. Podcasting, while relatively new, is being adapted by more and more users everyday, and is a perfect complement to our business model."
US radio giant Clear Channel has also made moves into podcasting and says it plans to offer edited versions of its on-air shows, focusing on popular interviews and comedy sketches. Amongst hosts syndicated by Clear Channel who are to offer podcasts are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Phil Hendrie.
RNW comment: As per our May comment we take the view that if the radio companies have the imagination to develop the idea, podcasting should be positive for them. We will be interested to see how the radio giants develop podcasts since for advertisers podcasts can potentially offer a well-defined audience and escape strictures that apply to broadcasts, a reason why, as we reported last month, Durex has taken to using pod casts for condom advertising (See RNW May 16). We are however concerned that, as with many things, the greedy unscrupulous may tarnish the whole idea as in our view is already beginning to happen with some of the adverts/promos that have been issued posing as podcasts.
There may also be concern by broadcasters that some companies may drop broadcast adverts in favour of podcast ones but in that case if they're not in the marketplace with their own product they will lose all rather than retain some of the pie.
Infinity has also announced the launch of the next phase of its "How Far Will You Go?" Branding Campaign to promote the value of advertising with the company.
The campaign started in January with adverts in trade magazines and newspapers plus outdoor advertisements on bus shelters and billboards.
In this next phase Infinity radio stations will broadcast a series of locally customized: 60 commercials promoting their value and how they are doing more to help advertisers reach their audience then ever before.
Commenting on the campaign Hollander Infinity had in January "made a bold move to position radio's strengths and amplify the message that we are one of the most effective components in a client's marketing mix."
"Through a highly targeted campaign," he added, "We have been able to raise the visibility of Infinity in the ad buying community."
2005-06-03: BBC unions have welcomed an offer from the Corporation's Director-General Mark Thompson to meet them for talks next week to clarify the BBC's latest offer in relation to planned job cuts.
In a letter sent to Amicus, BECTU, and the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), Thompson says he believes the latest offer "represents a significant movement by the BBC to meet the concerns you have raised with us about the change programme."
Thompson added, "Unfortunately, we simply do not have any further movement to make on the offer we tabled at ACAS and to suggest otherwise would be disingenuous. Although we want to minimise compulsory redundancies as far as possible, the BBC cannot give a blanket commitment to no compulsory redundancies given the sale and scope of the divisional change plans. No organisation could."
The corporation has offered a freeze on compulsory redundancies until 1 July 2006 -" only achievable if we can canvass for voluntary redundancies immediately", a review in two years to see if reinvestment in content areas can mitigate the net job losses, no sale of BBC Resources before 1 June 2007, and a commitment to ensure people and HR issues are a top priority in the sale of BBC Broadcast.
The unions after their meeting on May 31 had said the concessions made during talks at conciliation service ACAS were inadequate and threatened further strikes but NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear, said: "We are pleased to hear that Mr Thompson is willing to get round the table again. We hope that this will result in some real negotiations about the scale and impact of any cuts."
Dear added, "We are certain that savings can easily be made without compulsory redundancies and we look forward to achieving such an outcome."
No date has been published for the meeting but it is expected to be held next week, probably on Thursday.
2005-06-03: Florida Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff has opted not to decide if conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh's records should be released to prosecutors and has instead transferred the case and the sealed medical records to Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull III who signed the initial search warrants that enabled the records to be taken from four doctors in 2003.
The Palm Beach Daily News reports that in making his ruling Winikoff cites a 4th District Court of Appeal ruling that he says binds the court and would allow Limbaugh to ask Barkdull to review the files and return records not relevant to the investigation.
Palm Beach Daily News report:
2005-06-03: Tribune-owned WGN-AM, Chicago, has named veteran Len Weiner, program director for ABC's ESPN sports/talk WMVP-AM, as its new program director to replace Mary June Rose who resigned in January (See RNW Jan 13).
In a statement posted on the station web site Tom Langmyer, vice president/general manager of WGN Radio, said, "Len's leadership skills, experience in the Chicago market and his knowledge of the spoken word formats make him the perfect choice for WGN. He has a proven track record and strong experience in talk, sports and news. Len will do an excellent job leading the WGN programming team."
Weiner, who was born in New Jersey, began his career as a desk assistant on NBC Radio Network News in 1982, working his way up to the post of news producer before moving to WFAN-AM, New York, as executive producer and then to KMPC-AM, Los Angeles, after which he joined ESPN. He remained with ESPN for ten years before moving to WMVP in 2003.
WGN web site:
2005-06-03: UK media regulator Ofcom has advertised a new local commercial licence for Ipswich. It says the licence could cover an area with an adult population f between 200,000 and 250,000 adults.
Applications have to be in by September 1 together with a non-refundable fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 9,000).
2005-06-02: Shares in Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) ended up 14.6% at 1,000 pence on Wednesday following the release of a statement by Emap that it had approached the company with the proposal of an offer of 1040 pence per share if its board was prepared to recommend the offer: The offer values SRH at GBP 270 million (USD 489 million).
"The Board of SRH has declined to entertain an offer on these terms," said Emap and went on, "The Board of Emap is disappointed by this reaction to a proposal which it believes fully values SRH, both on the basis of its current performance and its future prospects, as well as crystallising a premium for control."
Emap noted that "SRH's share price has not closed at or above 1,040p since 11th June, 2001" and said it would continue to review the situation and might make an offer below this level should the SRH board not recommend acceptance.
SRH, which said the bid significantly undervalued" the company, has already fought off a previous merger bid from SMG but then saw SMG sell its 27.8% stake to Emap last year, expressing disappointment at the time that SMG had not taken up its offer to help place the shares.
In response to the Emap statement it said that it had been approached on April 22 "with an indicative proposal at this level" but Emap "stipulated that its proposal was not intended to be a formal offer or one that could give rise to any form of announcement by SRH."
It said it understood that Emap's valuation was based on a cash flow analysis and a premium on the basis of "synergies of some GBP7.5 million that could be available from combining the two radio businesses" and then went on to add that it "would like to point out that Emap's valuation of the core radio business of SRH was referenced to a 2006 EBITA multiple of less than 10x, which
is at a significant discount to current market estimates of GCap's 2006 multiples. Furthermore, EMAP had not ascribed a value to SRH's Vibe stations beyond their development stage cash flows, despite the fact that the recent precedent of Chrysalis' acquisition of 106 Century FM would suggest a much greater value for these turnaround stations."
It then said," The Board of SRH is confident about the independent future of the Company and believes SRH is well-placed to continue to generate significant long term shareholder value. The Board would only support a bid that adequately reflects the full and fair value of the Company's strong future growth prospects, market-leading radio companies and established regional press titles."
SRH had also just announced further expansion in Ireland through a cash purchase for around Euros 7 million ( USD 8.5 million) of Donegal Highland Radio group.
The exact amount of the deal will be related to ten times the EBITDA of Donegal Highland Radio for the financial year to 31 March 2005 with some adjustments.
The transaction has been approved in principle by the Broadcasting Commission for Ireland (BCI) but is conditional on the approval of the Republic of Ireland Competition Authority, the Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and upon satisfaction of certain other conditions relating to operational matters.
Donegal Highland Radio is based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and has been in operation since 1990. Its current broadcasting licence runs until 2014 and in the financial year to the end of March this year- when its net assets were valued at Euros 1.18 million (USD 1.44 million) - it had turnover of Euros 2.15 million ( USD 2.62 million) and operating profits of Euros 275,000 ( USD 335,000) As at that date, the net assets of the company were Euros 1.184 million (USD 1.45 million).
SRH already owns national station Today FM and Dublin station FM104 in Ireland and its Chief Executive David Goode said the acquisition underlined its "strong commitment to the Republic of Ireland."
2005-06-02: Arbitron's first-ever survey of radio listening by "Chinese language consumers" - in New York and Los Angeles - has found that 56% of their listening in the two markets by Chinese speaking Asian Americans was to Chinese language stations with 6.4% listening to English AC stations, 6.2% to English language news stations, and 5.2% to English-language hits stations.
In all says Arbitron, 82.5 percent of Chinese-speaking Asian Americans in New York and Los Angeles, age 12 and older, listen to the radio during a week, spending on average 16 hours listening.
The community is a fairly prosperous one with 53.6% having attended some college and 23% being in households with incomes about USD 75,000 a year.
In New York the top three stations for Chinese speakers ranked in reach were Chinese-language WZRC-AM with a weekly audience of 175,400, listening on average 18 hours 30 minutes and taking a 53.5% share followed by All News WINS-AM (67,200, 4 hours 45 minutes and 13.9%) and Pop CHR WHTZ-FM (64,500 3 hours 45 minutes and 13.3%).
In Los Angeles, the top three were Mandarin KAZN-AM (110,200, 10 hours 45 minutes, and 25.1%), Cantonese KMRB-AM ( 90,100 , 14 hours 45 minutes, and 28.0%), and AC KOST-FM (57,500, 4 hours 45 minutes, and 5.9%).
Commenting on the results, MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting CEO Arthur Liu said, "The Chinese-language community represents a significant up-and-coming niche market for advertisers
"Similar to the Hispanic market 20 years ago, " he added, "the Asian population in this country is growing at an extraordinary rate with unparalleled education and income levels. Through these surveys, broadcasters and advertisers are able to quantify the size, composition and listening habits of the Chinese-language radio audience for the first time."
Zan Ng, president of Admerasia, a leading Asian American advertising agency, said media measurement has always been a challenge for Asian-American marketers "as the majority of available third-party research data do not provide an accurate representation of the Asian population The studies are only conducted in English and does not account for Asians who may not be English-proficient."
He termed the Arbitron data "a pioneering step for a more accurate measurement of Chinese-American radio consumption habits"
Arbitron has also updated its financial guidance for this year to reflect a net benefit of USD 3.9 million in reversal of tax contingencies following an income tax audit. The change means it now expects net income between USD 62.7 million and USD 64 million , up from a range of USD 58.7 million to US 60 million, with earnings per diluter share between USD 1.99 and USD 2.03 in place of the previous estimate of USD 1.87 to USD 1.91
2005-06-02: Sydney 2UE general manager Bob Miller has resigned from the Southern Cross Broadcasting station and his duties are to be taken over by Southern Cross's general manager Graham Mott until a permanent replacement is found.
The Australia reports that an un-named senior 2UE staff member said Miller was forced out by poor ratings at the station but Miller, a former marketing executive for Toyota, said he resigned to return to his marketing consulting business.
"My story is I got them stable," Miller told the paper. "We were going along very well" and Southern Cross managing director Tony Bell added, "(Mr Miller) was brought in to stabilise the station and he feels as though he's done that and he's going The revenue is growing (but) we would be happier if it was growing a bit quicker."
The paper disputes the revenue comment, reporting that contrary to predictions last year by Miller that he would take 2UE's revenues up by half to AUD 30 million (USD 22.5 million) media buyers say that revenues, like audience ratings, are trending down.
The paper also suggests that the departure may be bad news for morning host John Laws as Miller was a long-time associate of his. Laws has suffered significant audience losses after rival Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB extended the breakfast show of his former 2UE colleague Alan Jones by an hour, moving it into Laws' time slot- Laws share was down from 11.4 to 8.8 and fell back from second to fifth in the latest ratings (See RNW May 11).
Previous Southern Cross:
The Australian report:
2005-06-02: Florida Judge Jeffrey Winikoff still has not given any indication of when he will rule on what, if any, access Palm Beach Country prosecutors are to be given to conservative US radio Rush Limbaugh's medical records in connection with possible charges of doctor-shopping - obtaining multiple prescriptions from a number of doctors - when he was addicted to the painkiller OxyContin.
Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black argued before the judge that prosecutors should not be allowed access to the records, which are currently sealed, until the Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull, who issued the search warrants, determines what records are applicable to the investigation.
Assistant State Attorney James Martz said he did not object to keeping the records from being disclosed publicly until they are reviewed for relevancy, but wants investigators to have access to them whereas Black says they should not be seeing material that has nothing to do with any possible case.
The case has allied Limbaugh with strange bedfellows including the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization he would appear to share few views with judging by his on-air comments, and according to Lloyd Grove's "Lowdown" column in the New York Daily News he may be about to repeat the practice in a radio context.
The paper reports Limbaugh's comments on his show that he might give some tips to the Reverend Al Sharpton, touted as a "Limbaugh of the Left" in connection with a syndicated radio show he is to host.
The paper says Limbaugh's producer, Kit Carson, gave it assurances the host is in earnest and said that, although the host is undecided, he is "still considering giving him some pointers, some tutoring."
On his website Limbaugh has posted a transcript of his comments on his show in which he starts by deriding the very idea-" they've been trying and they've been failing for 12 years to come up with a Limbaugh of the left."
Regarding Sharpton, who he says "probably represents the best shot" as a left Limbaugh, he comments, "I thought that Reverend Sharpton, admitting in this story last Friday in the New York Post, Sharpton admitted that he didn't know much about what he was doing and that he was studying all the successful people at this, including me, the big guy on the block, or whatever he called me. Why, I thought I detected a note of humility. But now Reverend Sharpton has told Lloyd Grove that it would be interesting to see what he could teach me."
"My friends, what -- do I say here? I mean, this would be like Picasso being told he could learn from Dennis the Menace. It is a non-sequitur. It makes no sense."
Limbaugh then goes on to comment, "This offer was made only in the best of good faith, to try to genuinely impart, by virtue of mentoring and critiquing the time-honoured and tested techniques, skills, and required necessary before one even gets to the substance of one's comments on the radio. So I'm going to continue to hold this under advisement. Because I'm not sure that Reverend Sharpton understands exactly what I meant and I'm not sure he understands the goodwill in which I mentioned it. I'm not interested in debating Al Sharpton on this program."
RNW comment: So don't hold your hope up that there's to be any Sharpton on Limbaugh's Show but maybe do check Limbaugh's site and try and find a reasonably constructed paragraph of English anywhere -you don't need to agree with the content - just find English that's well put together.
Limbaugh web site:
Palm Beach Daily News report:
New York Daily News column:
2005-06-02: The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) is today holding an "auction-style licence allocation exercise" for a high powered open narrowcasting service in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, for which it received two applications, one from Ms Marion Brown (Rig Radio) and the other from 2KY Broadcasters Pty Ltd : The ABA had also offered a further 36 licences, receiving single bids for nine of them and none for the remaining 27.
The nine licences will be sold at the reserve price of AUD 4,000 (USD 3,000): They were for one licence in Yulara, Northern Territory, and eight in Queensland - One each in Alpha, Injune, Mitchell, Surat, and Yuleba, and three in Blair Athol,
2005-06-01: NextMedia has announced a USD 34 million cash deal to sell eight stations - four in Lubbock, Texas, and four in Reno, Nevada- to Wilks Broadcast Group: Stations involved are Hot AC KMMX-FM, Country KLLL-FM, Classic Rock KONE-FM and CHR/Rhythmic KBTE-FM in Lubbock and Smooth Jazz KJZS-FM, Alternative KRZQ-FM, Classic Rock KURK-FM and Triple A KTHX-FM.
In a statement NextMedia President and CEO Steven Dinetz commented that the deal was " in-line with our strategic plan to monetize non-core assets within our portfolio, allowing us to strengthen our balance sheet and apply greater focus to our core out-of-home media clusters."
Wilks President and CEO Jeff Wilks said they were " very pleased to be acquiring these radio stations in strong and dynamic markets" and added, " We are looking forward to working with the talented people at these stations as we continue to grow the business."
2005-06-01: The three BBC unions - Amicus, BECTU, and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) - have expressed dissatisfaction with the current BBC proposals for around 4,000 job cuts despite concessions by the corporation that led them to cancel a strike planned for yesterday and today.
Following a meeting on Tuesday they want a further meeting with BBC Director-General Mark Thompson and have warned they might launch further industrial action for which they say they need not call another ballot although they are to put the BBC proposals to their members.
The unions say that the required job cuts can be made without compulsory redundancies and add that they are prepared to negotiate at local level to reach agreement.
2005-06-01: Australian radio sports-talk network SEN (Sports Entertainment Network), which has AM stations in Adelaide and Melbourne, has now placed itself in voluntary liquidation.
Sal Algeria, one of two liquidators from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Australia, said SEN had been making losses since its launch in January 2004 and they would conduct a thorough review before deciding whether to restructure the company or close it down completely. While this is being done they will control SEN operations working with existing management to assess the best option.
Trading was suspended in the shares of Pacific Star Network, owner of former talk station 3AK, Melbourne, which converted it to the sports format after its former radio sales director Danny Staffieri developed the idea of 24-hour sports radio broadcasting.
Pacific's Easy listening 3MP-AM in Melbourne is co-located with SEN, which was paying it around AUD 83,000 (USD 63,000) a month for a lease and also had a shared services agreement. The breach of the lease would allow Pacific Star to take ownership of SEN according to Algeria.
The Adelaide frequency is leaded from Australian Radio Network (ARN), which formerly used it to air talk format 5DN: ARN, which has investments in 12 Australian stations and more than 110 in New Zealand has a dual-band strategy of MIX and Classic Hits music stations in Australia although there has been speculation that they could resurrect 5DN as a talk station (See RNW May 30).
2005-06-01: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rejected a petition to deny Hispanic Target Media, Inc. construction permits for two FM stations in Zapata, Texas, for which it placed the winning bids in the Commission's FM Auction 37.
Fireside Media has called for Hispanic to be denied the permits on the basis that by awarding both Zapata permits to Hispanic the Commission is permitting "dangerous media ownership concentration and control in the small Zapata, Texas market."
Fireside also argues that Hispanic "may be fronting or have an agreement with an existing broadcaster to whom [Hispanic] would ostensibly sell all or a part of its awarded frequencies."
The FCC noted that Zapata is not in an Arbitron metro and that using the contour method to determine the market would allow any one entity to own up to a maximum half the stations in the market and up to five stations in total. It said that Hispanic had provided evidence to show that using the contour method there are two stations in the Zapata market, KBAW-FM, Zapata, and KDBR-FM, Mirando City. It has no interest in either and is thus permitted two stations.
Regarding allegations that Hispanic may be fronting for another organization, it says Fireside did not provide evidence as required but just conjecture.
2005-06-01: Australian football commentator Sam Newman has been suspended from calling games by Austereo's Triple-M, Melbourne, for constant "negativity" towards the game according to a report in the Herald-Sun.
The paper quotes Triple-M general manager Gary Pert as saying audience feedback and in-house opinion had forced the station to act and adding, "In my view listening to the matches the past few weeks, there is a real negativity and sort of vibe that's been created in the broadcast which is not healthy and indicative of what we want the Triple M broadcast to be."
"When the whole broadcast is being, in effect, dragged down for the whole game with a bit of an obsession . . . that's something we had a chat about today. I just believed Sam needed a few weeks off away from the game broadcast."
Newman, who was suspended for three-weeks after which a meeting will decide if he returns, says that as a special calls commentator he has to give his honest opinion.
"They can do one of three things and they know that and I know that: they can sack me, they can suspend me or they can have me do something different," he told the paper. "I have no argument with Triple M. They are entitled to be represented by the people they want."
" they've suspended me, because they said I'm a bit counter-productive to the call. They think I turn people off and I probably do."
"I said to them the trouble is the game's got worse and as it's got worse I'm afraid I've become more cynical and just more disenchanted with it."
Newman will be replaced on the game call by station staff but will continue on the station's M Sport on Friday night and pre-game on Saturday.
2005-06-01: The UK General Election gave a major boost to the number of visitors to BBC online services in April but online listening - both live and on-demand listening - was down significantly on March: In all total listening was 10.2% down on March but up 43.2% on a year earlier at 11,797,203 hours: Live listening held up better than on-demand; it was down 6.3% on a month earlier -41.6% up on a year earlier - at 7,525,869 hours whilst on-demand listening of 4,271,334 hours was down 16.2% on March albeit up 46.2% on a year earlier.
In addition there were 150,000 MP3 downloads of BBC radio programmes, taking the total number of downloads to date past 600,000.
In terms of network listening in April this year, the rankings were (Total listening hours-live plus on-demand and percentage change compared to March in brackets):
Radio 1 - (3,401,481 -7.36%)
Radio 2 - (2,352,613 -6.49%).
Radio 4 - (1,979,167 -8.53%).
BBC 7- (1,038,675 -13.40%).
Radio 5 Live- (723,741 -17.77%).
Radio 3 - (567,587 -14.84%)
6 Music - (540,222 -15.46%).
1Xtra - (492,776 -14.62%).
Asian Network (179,193 -19.23%).
5 Live Sports Xtra - (22,344 -40.46%).
The top five on-demand programmes in April were:
1 - the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers with 387,039 listeners in April , down 13.09% on March.
2 - Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 with 253,908, down 36.82%.
3 - Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 with 245,914 - up 6.71%.
4 - The Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1 with 168,628 - down 16.67% but nevertheless up from fifth.
5 - Radio 1's Chart Show with JK & Joel with 147,598- down 29% and falling from fourth.
Previous BBC Online figures:
2005-06-01: Following its "pirate station" stunt in Akron, Ohio (See RNW May 29) Clear Channel has now flipped sports-talk WTOU-AM, Akron, to a progressive talk format WARF-AM (Radio Free Ohio) featuring among others Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller of Democracy Radio and Thom Hartman but without any Air America programming.
Clear Channel already airs Air America programming on WJMP-AM, Kent: It is to retain some sports on WTOU including cover of the Akron Aeros minor league baseball team and the University of Akron's football and men's basketball.
Previous Clear Channel:
Links note: As far as possible we provide site links to the previous related story. Should these links not work, please advise us so we can sort out the problem.
Regarding external links, we give links where we can but an ever-increasing number of newspapers and stations either require registration or only keep items available for a limited period or move them to a pay-per-use archive (typically after 7 or 14 days in the USA).
Thus some links become outdated or sources you would have to pay for or subscribe to access. See links page for notes regarding various sites we think of value
Back to top :
- May 2005 July 2005-
Radionewsweb.com, 38 Creswick Road, Acton, London W3 9HF, UK: