July 2005 Archive
- June 2005 August 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 July comment - Considers the issue of payola and why it should matter - and apply beyond music to giving information about payments for other air time.
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.
2005-07-31: Last week was one in which the main regulatory news was more a case of what was expected but did not eventuate - the nomination by President Bush of two Republicans to become Federal Communications Commissioners - one to take over the slot vacated when Kevin J. Martin was promoted to chairman and the other for the anticipated departure of Kathleen Q Abernathy.
The appointments are expected to see the Commission move on a number of contentious issues that are currently stymied by a commission evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans but so far, for all the kites flown and imminent nominations reports, no announcements have been forthcoming.
In Australia there were no licence decisions as such but the Australian Communications and Media Agency (ACMA) has set a six-month deadline for Macquarie Bank Limited to divest itself of one of the three stations it controls in the overlapping Gympie and Nambour licence areas in Queensland (See RNW Jul 27).
From Canada however there was a regular run of licence work by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) including, in order of province:
*Renewal to 31 August 2012 of the licence of CKHJ-AM, Fredericton and its transmitters CKHJ-1-FM, New Maryland, and CKHJ-2-FM, Oromocto.
*Renewal to 31 August 2012 of the licence of CHOY-FM, Moncton.
*Approval of application by Club Social La Grande for a licence to operate a radiocommunication distribution undertaking to serve James Bay: The RDU would distribute the signals of CFQR-FM, CITÉ-FM CKOI-FM, and CBF-FM, Montréal.
*Renewal to 31 August 2012 of the licence of CIBX-FM, Fredericton.
*Renewal to 31 August 2012 of the licence of French-language Type B community station CFAI-FM, Edmundston.
*Renewal from 1 September 20051 to 31 December 2005 of the licence for the English-language radio network to broadcast the baseball games of the Toronto Blue Jays originating from CJCL-AM, Toronto.
*Approval of a low-power English-language Type A community FM in Little Current.
Prince Edward Island:
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of the licence for radiocommunication distribution undertaking CKSF-FM that distributes the programming of programming of CBKF-FM, Regina, Saskatchewan.
*Approval of the application by Radio Chibougamau inc. for a French-language FM radio programming undertaking in Chibougamau to replace its pop-rock station CJMD-AM Chibougamau.
A three-month simulcast period will be allowed at the end of which the licence of CJMD Chibougamau and its transmitter CFED-AM, Chapais, will be revoked.
*Approval of a 1520 watts new French-language FM Type B community station in Louiseville, Quebec together with a 140 watts FM transmitter in Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, Quebec.
*Administrative renewal from 1 September 2005 to 31 August 2006 of the licence of the French-language radio network Réseau RockDétente: The CRTC notes that the decision does not dispose of any substantive issue that may exist with respect to the renewal of this licence.
The CRTC also published a list of transfers of ownership or changes in control of broadcast undertakings between March 1 and April 30. It included:
*A corporate reorganization involving the transfer to Evanov Radio Group Inc., the parent corporation of CKMW Radio Limited, of the 80% voting interest in CKMW on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated.
*Transfer of the effective control of Bea-Ver Communications Inc. to Blackburn Radio Inc. and change in the control of Blackburn Radio Inc. through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Blackburn Group Incorporated (the parent corporation) from the Estate of Martha G. Blackburn to 2061302 Ontario Limited, a corporation controlled by her son, Richard Costley-White.
* Change in the effective control of R.B. Communications Ltd. through the transfer of all the issued and outstanding shares, from David Holgate to Katlynx Communications Corporation, a corporation wholly owned by Mr. Holgate.
In addition the commission published notice of a public hearing in October in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to consider various applications for radio licences. Applications have been submitted for licences in the following provinces:
*Application to convert country music CKWA-AM, Slave Lake to FM.
*Application by Hector Broadcasting Company Limited to convert CKEC-AM, New Glasgow, to FM.
*Application by Astral Media Radio Atlantic Inc. for an Hot Adult Contemporary English-language
commercial FM in New Glasgow.
*Application by Acadia Broadcasting Limited for a Classic Rock English-language commercial FM in New Glasgow.
*Application by Atlantic Broadcasters Limited for an Hot Adult Contemporary / Pop mix music English-language commercial FM in New Glasgow.
* Application by Amherst Island Radio Broadcasting Inc. for an English-language FM developmental community radio FM in Stella.
Prince Edward Island:
* Maritime Broadcasting System Limited to convert its country music station CFCY-AM, Charlottetown, to FM.
*Application by Newcap Inc. to convert Classic Hits CHTN-AM, Charlottetown, to FM.
*Application by Coast Broadcasting Ltd. for a licence for an English-language adult pop music format commercial FM in Charlottetown.
*Application by Astral Media Radio Atlantic Inc. for a licence to operate a classic rock format English-language commercial FM in Charlottetown.
*Application by Newcap Inc. for a licence to operate an English-language rock format commercial FM in Charlottetown.
*Application by TVA Group Inc. for a licence to operate a French-language radio network to broadcast some programming originating from CFTM-TV-Montréal, on the radio network Rock Détente, owned and operated by Astral Media Radio inc., and on any other radio programming undertaking.
Ireland saw only one radio announcement, that by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) that it had agreed broad principles to guide it in issuing its planned new licences (See RNW Jul 29).
In the UK there were no radio announcements although Ofcom has issued details of further consultation on its plans for the use of the GSM/DECT guard bands; these, apart from some defence use, are not currently being utilised and are no longer required as guard bands and Ofcom is planning to announce further details towards the end of this year of its plans to auction the spectrum.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was in somewhat forgiving mood as far as penalties were concerned and reduced one on a Missouri FM by USD 7,000 to USD 18,000 and another on a former amateur licensee from USD 20,000 to USD 500 (See RNW Jul 28).
The FCC has also been involved in more work on low power FM licences: In one case LPFM licences that were at first to be denied to 14 Calvary Chapels have been awarded to them after their applications were revised following objections on the basis that they had not demonstrated enough commitment to local broadcasting.
Awards were made for stations in Florida, Georgia; Indiana; Michigan; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; and Texas.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-07-31: Canadian radio advertising in 2004 rose less than overall advertising revenues in the country for the first time since 1999-2000 according to latest figures from Statistics Canada that show the total up 3.3% on a year earlier to CAD 1.2 billion (USD 987 million): This compared to an overall advertising revenue growth of 5.4% for the country and was a significant slow-down on the year earlier increase for radio advertising revenues of 8.4%.
Statistics Canada says radio stations averaged a profit of 17.9 cents per dollar of revenues before interest and taxes, slightly down on the 2003 figure of 81.8 cents and notes that while FM revenues, which account for nearly 98% of the CAD 223 million (USD 183.5 million) of profit before interest and taxes from commercial radio, grew 4.9% those for AM fell by 1.3%.
The fall for AM is partly due to a reduction in the number of stations - down to 189 in 2004 whereas the total was 240 five years ago - but the rationalization has meant that for two years running the nations AMs have generated profits of 1.6% and 1.8% of revenues before taxes and interest for 2003 and 2004 respectively. Before that they had made losses every year since 1990.
AM per station revenues were up to CAD 1.6 million (USD 1.3 million) a year in 2004 having a year earlier passed the then historical 1989 high of CAD 1.45 million (USD 1.2 million) a year.
As in most countries large market broadcasters tended to outperform those in smaller markets in this case stations in the top five census metropolitan areas (CMAs) increased advertising revenues by 4.4% whilst for stations outside CMAs they were up only 1.1% compared to 2003.
Profits followed the same trend with larger market stations averaging a 21.9% profit margin before interest and taxes while those in medium-sized markets managed only 14.9% and those in smaller markets 13.4%.
Calgary took first place on the list of the most profitable large radio market for the seventh consecutive year. Its profit margin for 2004 stood at 26.6%. Toronto was a close second at 25.3%, moving ahead of Ottawa-Gatineau on the list of most profitable large radio markets.
In segment terms Ethnic and Native radio stations managed the fastest revenue growth - up 5.2% compared to 4% for English-language and a fall of 0.1% for the French language sector. Ethnic and Native radio also increased profit margins - up from a PBIT of 6.9% of revenues in 2003 to 10.6% in 2004.
Previous Statistics Canada:
2005-07-31: US funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has agreed a deal with the Luxembourg-based Orco property group to build it new headquarters on the outskirts of Prague with a target to move at the end of 2007 when its current lease at the former parliament building near Wenceslas Square expires. . The contract includes a 15-year initial lease and an option to extend every ten years.
RFE/RFL currently only pays a nominal CZK ( 4 cents) a year for its current lease which started when it moved to Prague a decade ago but it spends around CZN 10 million (USD 400,000) a year annually on maintenance and changes to it.
The station says it employs more than 400 people in Prague with an additional 1,500 stringers around the world.
Its current building was put under police protections after the 9/11 attacks in the US and according to the reports on the move it is being made partly because of security concerns.
RFE/RFL President Tom Dine said the new building would "ensure a secure environment for our staff while providing one of the most modern, state-of-the-art newsrooms in the world."
Dine, who in November is to become Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation after eight years in his current post , says in a message on the station web site that the company he is leaving is "healthier and stronger than the one I took over in 1997" and has changed from being a radio company to "a multiple media company, with the ability to reach its audiences on the radio, Internet, and even television."
"This transformation," he says, " has been the direct result of our convergence strategy, which has now set sail and will not be turned back. We have overseen an incredibly complicated relocation process that, touch wood, appears to be coming to a successful conclusion. The legacy of our hard work on relocation will be a new 'converged' facility in Prague that contains one of the most state-of-the-art newsrooms in the world."
RFE/RL, founded in 1949 to broadcast from then West Germany to the then Soviet and Eastern European bloc, now broadcasts to 19 countries in 28 languages, with most of these languages directed at predominantly Muslim populations including an Arabic service to Iraq and a Persian service to Iran.
Prague Monitor report:
RFE/RL - Dine message:
2005-07-30: The UK Guardian reports that iBiquity has hired UBC Media's digital software developer, Unique Interactive, to advise it on development of digital services in the US.
At the moment US radio is gearing up to launch digital stations using iBiquity's HD in-band-on-channel system on a large scale -- so far it is being used by only around 500 of the 13.500 licensed US radio stations although more are coming on stream regularly.
The latest to make the move was Greater Media that this week launched digital broadcasts on its three Detroit stations- Rock format WRIF-FM, Classic rock WCSX- FM and hits and favourites WMGC-FM.
Greater Media also took advantage of the multicasting capability of the system to add three independent digital stations - Riff 2, a "'made in Detroit' mix of alternative and indie rock, hip hop, punk and the best from today's Detroit music scene" targeted at an 18-24 audience; Deep Trax - a companion to WCSX that the company says "provides 24/7 access to those Classic Rock treasures that may be a bit outside the radio musical norm"; and More Magic, described as a "soft adult contemporary format, consisting of a mix of 70's and 80's icons and standards."
All three of the new digital stations are being funded by sponsorship announcements rather than advertising.
Commenting on the UBC deal chief executive Simon Cole told the Guardian the potential for digital radio in the US was huge because of the size of the market compared with the UK and added that the deal was strategically important rather than financially until the standard is more established in the US.
"Having been at the forefront of digital radio in the UK since its inception, we have considerable knowledge of how to exploit the technology successfully and are in a strong position to export this knowledge overseas," he said.
Unique Interactive has particular experience in EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) development and is to supply the EPG system to be integrated into the new mobile entertainment service by BT Livetime. It has also demonstrated its system at the WorldDAB Radio Programmers and the Munich Media Days Conferences in partnership with German broadcaster, DeutschlandRadio, and network operator Bayern Digital Radio.
UK Guardian report:
2005-07-30: Following a station exchange between Bustos Media and Salem Communications, the latter's Fish format has been moved onto Bustos' former Sacramento station KVMG-FM, which was swapped for Salem's KSFS-FM.
Bustos has put its adult contemporary "Magia" format on KSFS and the two companies are operating each other's stations under local marketing agreements until completion of the exchange.
In another deal Bustos Media will acquire KCEE-FM, which serves Grass Valley, Nevada City, Lincoln, Marysville and Yuba City, California, from Salem for USD 500,000.
Bustos Media president and CEO Amador S. Bustos described the deal as a "win-win' exchange" and noted that Salem only recently acquired KSFS-FM from "Univision, who originally used this frequency to serve the Spanish community."
" We are proud to return this signal, which super-serves the Spanish community from Modesto to Woodland, to a Spanish format," he added.
Bob Fox, general manager of the Salem Sacramento cluster, said its new signal reaches the entire Sacramento metro area and "provides excellent coverage of the target audience for our contemporary Christian music format."
In Sacramento Salem also owns News-Talk KTKZ-AM; Christian Teaching and Talk KFIA-AM; and contemporary Christian music KKFS-FM.
In other format changes this week Univision Radio launched its 'La Kalle' format in Las Vegas and San Antonio, and Mapleton Communications, which has now closed its acquisition of KMZT-AM in Piedmont, California, from Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters has dropped oldies on the station and is simulcasting its Triple A/Americana KPIG-FM, Monterey. It is also switching the call sign to KPIG-AM.
The Univision move means it is now airing theLa Kalle format, featuring Reggaeton along with a variety of Latin Pop, Rock and Hip Hop in New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Fresno, Las Vegas and San Antonio.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Gary Stone, said its research "demonstrated that young Hispanics in Las Vegas and San Antonio were anxious for a Reggaeton formatted radio station and we have delivered."
In other US radio business, Regent Communications has announced that its board has voted to increase its stock repurchase programme by up to an additional USD 20 million and said it had completed its previously authorized USD 20 million repurchase programme. In the second quarter, it said, it bought 3,347,443 shares for approximately $20.0 million at an average price of $5.97 per share including commissions.
Regent EVP and CFO Tony Vasconcellos said Regent believes its "stock represents an attractive investment and an appropriate use of our free cash flow at this time."
Previous Amador Bustos:
Previous Bustos Media:
2005-07-30: European Broadcaster SBS Broadcasting SA has reported revenues in the second quarter to the end of June up 30% on a year ago to Euros 243.6 million ( USD 295.3 million) but net income fell 21% to Euros 14.39 million ( USD 17.45 million - from Euros 0.58 to 0.44 per share) mainly as a result of a once-only loss on the extinguishment of its 12% Senior Notes; For the first six months of the year its revenues are up 26% to Euros 327.9 million (USD 397.6 million) but net income again fell 21% - for the same reason - to Euros 11.30 million (USD 13.70 million - from Euros 0.35 to 0.46 per share).
SBS notes that excluding the impact of newly acquired businesses and recently launched television stations, net revenue was up 10%.
In divisional terms, radio net revenues in the quarter were up 11%, mainly because of income from its newly acquired Romanian operations, without which it would have fallen as lower revenues in Denmark, Sweden and Finland outweighed increases in Greece and Norway. TV revenues were up 12% in the quarter and print up just 1%. Its premium pay division was only acquired in March this year so no comparative figures exist.
For the six months, radio revenues were up 11%, again mainly as a result of its Romanian operations excluding which they were up 3%, mainly from Norway while TV revenues were up 14% and print revenues were up 4%
SBS CEO Markus Tellenbach said of the performance, "We continued to produce solid operating results and strong cash flow generation across our asset base. Our strong performance during the second quarter was highlighted by the improved operating results of our television stations in Hungary, Sweden and Norway as we benefited from new programming initiatives and improving advertising markets. We also benefited from recent strategic investments, including our C More and Romanian acquisitions and the launch of our new digital entertainment services."
"With a strong balance sheet, including a new bank facility that significantly lowers our cost of capital," he added, "we believe we are well positioned to grow our core operations and capitalize on new opportunities to increase shareholder value."
Previous SBS SA:
2005-07-30: Radio New Zealand staff staged a two-hour walk out from 1600 to 18:00 on Friday over a pay dispute on Friday, taking its National Radio news and current affairs programme Checkpoint off the air: This was replaced by the BBC World Service " Science in Action" programme. The preceding programmes In Touch with New Zealand with Wayne Mowat that runs to 16:30 and arts and entertainment programme What's Going On? With Lynn Freeman were broadcast and RNZ communications manager John Barr told the New Zealand Herald that the broadcaster's Concert FM would not be affected.
The dispute is with the Public Service Association (PSA), which represents many RNZ staff, including journalists, librarians, technicians, administration and clerical workers and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
In a news release put out before the walk out, the EPMU said it expected around 180 employees to take part and added that further action was likely.
EPMU assistant national secretary Rosalie Webster commented, "Radio New Zealand is refusing to lift its pay offer above three per cent, which isn't good enough in this climate. Radio New Zealand has serious problems attracting and retaining staff, especially senior people. Turnover is high because people find that they can get jobs with more money and better hours elsewhere."
"Two years ago, we settled an agreement with a three per cent pay rise in the first year and a two per cent pay rise in the second year, and an explicit agreement that pay scales in Radio New Zealand would be addressed," she added. "This work has not been finished, and the workers are fast losing patience."
PSA Assistant Secretary Jeff Osborne said the unions were seeking "a 5 per cent pay rise and a one week increase to annual leave entitlement" in line with other recent public sector settlements in the country and added, "Our members want to see this dispute resolved speedily. They feel a great responsibility to provide high quality and impartial coverage during the general election campaign and this would be severely compromised if it becomes necessary to undertake industrial action."
Previous Radio New Zealand:
New Zealand Herald Report:
2005-07-30: Emmis and Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) have backed down over their lawsuit in Los Angeles that followed the latter's re-branding of KXOL-FM, Los Angeles, as "Latino 96.3" that highlights Reggaeton (See RNW Jun 8).
At the heart of the dispute were SBS's use of a transmitter on a tower owned by Emmis and the latter's claim that the re-branding amounted to a format change that meant SBS had to give it 45 days notice of the planned change that might lead to competition with its stations.
Under the settlement, KXOL-FM has vacated Emmis' broadcast tower at Flint Peak, Glendale, and Emmis will withdraw its lawsuit filed against SBS.
SBS in turn will withdraw its complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alleging that the clause could be illegal as it gave Emmis control over its programming.
2005-07-29: In more US radio results XM Satellite Radio has continued its pattern of lower losses and an increasing number of subscribers whilst Beasley Broadcast profits increased only marginally.
XM reported the net addition in the quarter to the end of June of 647,226 subscribers, 55% more than it added a year earlier, to end with 4,417,490, more than double the year-ago figure; it has now increased its guidance for subscriber numbers at the end of this year from 5.5 million to 6 million.
The increase propelled income up to USD 125 million compared to USD 53 million a year earlier and overall it trimmed losses from USD 166.1 million (84 cents a share) a year ago to USD 146.6 million (70 cents a share) but the earlier figure included a USD 35 million charge for de-leveraging activities.
XM said it had an EBITDA loss of USD 89.9 million compared to a loss of USD 107.8 million for the second quarter a year ago when the figure included a USD 35.0 million charge for de-leveraging activities.
The cost of adding subscribers was slightly down - from USD 101 a year earlier to USD 98
XM said the subscriber increase was strong both in retail aftermarket and automotive sales and in its news release highlighted its Major League Baseball coverage - it said around 23% of new aftermarket subscribers surveyed in May-June had cited MLB as the reason for opting to subscribe.
In equipment terms it highlights its agreement with Samsung for an MP3 player-XM combo and a deal with Napster over an "XM + Napster", a service scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of this year that will allow XM listeners mark their favourite music, and purchase and manage content through Napster for storage on MP3 devices. It also noted an agreement with an exclusive agreement with Audible that will allow its subscribers to purchase and download selections from Audible's 70,000 hours of online audio book and spoken-word programming.
Outside its existing service it noted its involvement in Canadian Satellite Radio, one of three applicants who were all granted audio subscription licences for Canada, a strategic purchase of stock in WorldSpace (See RNW Jul 20) and its all-stock purchase of WCS Wireless, whose main assets are spectrum that adjoins that of XM (See RNW Jul 15).
At the XM conference call chairman Gary Parsons was cagey about its plans for the spectrum but noted that apart from a bar on use for free over-the-air broadcasting they were "some of the most flexible frequencies licensed by the FCC."
The issue of Howard Stern's move to rival Sirius was taken up by President and CEO Hugh Panero who said they hadn't felt any impact from the deal, saying the announcement had now been in the open for 18 months and "we've seen no effect at all during that period."
Panero noted pluses and minuses for the host saying fans would move over but others had an unfavourable impression of Stern and would prefer a company not associated with him.
For Beasley Broadcast Group revenues in the second quarter were up 7% on a year ago to USD 33 million, station operating income was up 6% to USD 10.8 million, and net income was flat at USD 3.8 million although the income per diluted share crept up from 15 cents to 16 cents.
For the first six months revenue is up 8% to USD 61.6 million, operating income from continuing operations slipped back slightly from USD 12.8 million a year ago to USD 12.4 million, station operating income was up 1% to USD 17.4 million and net income was up 35% to USD 5.4 million (from 16 cents to 22 cents per diluted share).
Beasley is forecasting flat revenues compared to a year ago for its third quarter and chairman and CEO George G. Beasley said second-quarter revenue growth had reflected "increases at eight of our ten market clusters, including continuing strength in Philadelphia and Ft. Myers, which are benefiting from station programming and sales process improvements we implemented over the past year" but continued, "Higher program rights fees in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market will continue into the third quarter, as will certain other programming and promotion expenses in select markets. Given our revenue outlook for the third quarter, we will actively work to keep discretionary spending in line with revenues."
At the Beasley conference call CFO Caroline Beasley estimated that the loss of the Dolphins football contract for its Miami cluster would lose the company around USD 650,000 in revenues whilst in Las Vegas it had a one-off plus of around USD 350,000 in political advertising a year ago that could not be replaced this year.
Previous George Beasley:
2005-07-29: Police are campaigning for the dismissal of two Clear Channel DJs in St Louis following an on-air discussion that was said to have included comments on how to harm police officers and take away their radios so they couldn't call for help.
The comments were allegedly made on hip-hop station KATZ-FM (the Beat) on July 13 by Kaos and Syllli Asz, who were then suspended. They and the station also apologized.
The pair were still listed on the station web site when we last checked.
The St Louis Post-Dispatch reports that local and national offices of the Fraternal Order of Police say the suspension was insufficient action and Kevin Ahlbrand, president of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, told the paper that if the two were not fired he had been directed by the local Fraternal Order of Police board to call for a boycott of Clear Channel's advertisers.
He added that he also would promote such a boycott at the Fraternal Order of Police's biennial national conference, beginning on Monday in New Orleans.
Ahlbrand wrote to Clear Channel with the demands on July 21 and Chuck Canterbury, president of the national fraternal police group followed up on July 26 with a letter to Clear Channel chairman Lowry Mays also calling for the DJs dismissal.
Ahlbrand told the paper, "Under First Amendment rights they [the DJs] can say whatever they want. However with that freedom of speech comes added responsibility. We believe a line was definitely crossed."
RNW comment: As we understood the law, freedom of speech rights, First Amendment or otherwise, do not go as far as covering incitement to violence.
Unfortunately no transcript has been released of the comments as far as we are aware so we are not clear on exactly what was siad nor the context but earlier reactions from St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa, who was a little more tempered and temperate, seem to indicate this was more a case of "Silly Asses" than serious suggestions.
Mokwa told a local TV station that he didn't hold a grudge but said, "We just buried an officer [Kirkwood police Sgt. William McEntee last week. Nobody wants to hear some comic remark about disarming a police officer] and taking their radio away so they can't get help. That was outrageous. But by the same token, I also realize that they're sorry they said it"
Other officers were less forgiving and it would appear their calls for action have prevailed. We suspect however from comments on various hip-hop bulletin boards that the chief's initial response might well have been emotionally much less satisfying but in practical terms would much better PR for the police than the current campaign that we suspect will see the pair fired.
Previous Clear Channel:
KATZ web site (Beatjox page):
KDSK TV report:
St Louis Post-Dispatch report:
2005-07-29: BBC World Service is launching its first online soap opera, which is to be targeted at people round the world learning English.
The Flatmates, which starts on August 1, features a multi-cultural cast of young people who not only share a flat but also their everyday adventures studying, working, living and loving in the UK.
Its main characters are Tim, who works in a department store; Michal - Tim's cousin from Poland who has come to Britain to improve his English; Alice, a nurse from London; and Helen, born in China but a resident in Britain since the age of 12 and in her final year at university.
Nuala O'Sullivan, the writer and producer of the series, created the new interactive drama to appeal to active learners who want to be in charge of their own learning and commented, "Online is a fantastic way of learning English because people can go at their own pace and interact with the web in a way they want to, at a time that suits them We also know from experience that participation in learning helps make it fun and the more people participate, the more effective the learning."
She added, "The Flatmates appeals to people who also want to learn English as it is lived and spoken, rather than as it is sometimes taught in more traditional text-books."
BBC World Service Flatmates web site:
2005-07-29: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced broad principles adopted at its recent board meeting concerning further commercial radio licensing in the country.
They include the advertising of a range of regional youth-driven services and of a quasi-national speech driven service; in addition applications will be sought for a national religious service on AM with FM low-power relays.
The Commission says that it will consider at its September board meeting other services for which it has received expressions of interest but that it considers need further analysis. It has not outlined any timetable for the advertisements but says it will give first priority to the development of the regional, quasi-national and national religious services and will release further details following the board meeting, which will be presented with a detailed three-year licensing plan.
2005-07-29: Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), has told editors and reporters at the Washington Times that he will continue his campaign to bring "ideological balance" to US public broadcasting and also defended spending money on studies of the political leanings of guests on some Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) programmes.
The paper says he stressed that the call for balance is in public broadcasting's best interests and continued, " This is something the public broadcasting community is going to have to come to grips with In the future, [in order to get] the kind of Republican support they need to have a future, they are going to have to demonstrate that public broadcasting is for people across the spectrum."
Tomlinson, a Republican who was formerly a Reader's Digest editor and is also chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America international broadcasting service, came over as at-best half-hearted in terms of support for public broadcasting as reported by the paper which quoted him as saying, "For whatever reason, the American people seem to support it. ... I'm not for government getting into areas that are served by others. I do think public broadcasting is a fact of life in this country. You're not going to defund it."
He said he had worked quietly for 18 months to study and correct what he calls a liberal bias in PBS and NPR public affairs programming but a New York Times story in May had brought his efforts into the limelight.
He said there appeared to be an orchestrated campaign to derail his work at the CPB.
Tomlinson specifically attacked NPR and cited remarks by California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman who said the network's broadcasting on the Middle East was biased against Israel.
"NPR's got real problems," said Tomlinson. "I think NPR's leadership really should be more concerned about balance in their coverage because public television in many ways may be in real financial trouble and may be fading, but National Public Radio is important to Americans. In many, many communities, it is the only thing on the FM dial that isn't a complete wasteland."
NPR spokeswoman Andi Sporkin responded, "It's unfortunate that Mr. Tomlinson's chosen to use his waning days as CPB chairman to continue his personal publicity campaign built on groundless accusations about the industry he claims to support."
RNW comment: At the very least we find Tomlinson what would have been termed at one time a "slippery" character: If reports are correct (See RNW Columnists Jun 27) he at first said contracts had been approved and signed by someone else when he himself had approved them without informing others, and the ratings of his monitor - another Republican - characterised a number of Republicans as liberal simply because they departed from the administration line. He seems to be following what seems a standard tactic in his party at the moment of going on the attack and misrepresenting others rather than facing up to critics in a straightforward manner.
As for his comments on NPR cover on Israel our view has been made clear on a number of occasions when others - virtually all pro-Israel organisations - have attacked the NPR cover. Rather than being anti-Israel much of their reporting, like that of many mainstream US organisations, neglects the essential elements of much of the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and reports happenings without sufficient attention to the fact that Palestinian land has been occupied, the border fence being build for Israel's security has been put up on the Palestinian side of the internationally recognised border, and Palestinians live in poverty only a short distance away from settlers living in comparative luxury on land that in international legal terms is occupied. We don't think destruction of the state of Israel is justifiable but the logic of many settlers, if turned against them, would justify just this.
Washington Times report:
2005-07-29: Prasar Bharati, the body that oversees Indian public broadcasting, increased its revenues 22.7% to INR 8.236 billion (USD 190 million) in the year to the end of March according to figures given to the country's parliament.
Of the sum, Doordishan TV increased its revenues 25.5% to INR 6.653 billion (USD 153.4 million) and All India Radio (AIR) revenues were up 12.3% to INR 1.583 billion (USD 3.65 million).
AIR is effectively a monopoly in much of India with is 215 stations reaching more than 99% of the population and information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy said spending of INR 1.18 billion (USD 27 million) had been approved for the computerization of its networks: Competing private FMs so far operate only in a few large cities.
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
2005-07-28: Regent Communications has announced the retirement of its chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs who is to remain with the company as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Regent President and COO William Stakelin will become President and CEO whilst the chairman's role will be taken by William Sutter, who has been on the Regent Board for six years. In addition Regent SVP and CFO Tony Vasconcellos, has been promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO.
Jacobs, who is 62 and has been Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer and a director of Regent since its incorporation in 1996 was previously Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jacor Communications, Inc., which he founded in 1979 and that during his tenure grew to become the ninth largest radio company in the U.S. in terms of revenue: It was eventually taken over by Clear Channel in 1999.
He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of privately held "Regent Communications, Inc.", which he co-founded in 1993, under the name ("Regent I") and which acquired and operated 23 radio stations before its merger into Jacor in February 1997
He said in a statement, "It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement as Regent's Chairman and CEO, a company I founded with Bill Stakelin."
"I have been in the radio business for most of my career and working each day with Regent's fantastic professionals has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. However, I have been looking forward to working more closely with my sons in our real-estate business. I will continue to play an active role with Regent as Vice-Chairman, and will remain a significant shareholder."
Stakelin responded, "I speak for everyone at Regent in thanking Terry for his dedication, guidance and years of red-eyes, late nights and early mornings. Nobody has given more to this company than Terry and he will be missed. This is a very exciting time for Regent. We are financially strong, have proven we can consistently outperform the industry and are leaders in serving the vibrant middle and small-sized markets in which we operate. I look forward to building on the foundation that Terry has laid for long-term growth and value creation."
2005-07-28: US June radio revenues in all categories except for NTR (non-traditional revenues), which fell 5%, were flat compared to a year ago according to the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) which notes that for the second quarter of this year the picture was the same except for NTR, which rose by 2%.
For the year to date figures are slightly up with grand total all revenue, local spot, national spot, and total combined local and national ad sales figures all up 1% although BTR figures were flat.
On RAB's sales index, that sets pre-dot com 1998 to 100, the sales indices for June were local, 140.8; national, 123.2 and total, 137.9 whilst corresponding year-to-date figures are 141.7; 144.8; and 142.6.
Putting his usual optimistic slant on things, RAB President and CEO Gary Fries commented, "The Radio industry is very actively and aggressively pursuing new technologies, formats, and platforms which will drive the business as we move forward into the second half of 2005 and into 2006."
Previous RAB figures (May):
2005-07-28: DMG Australia has now started is advertising campaign for the launch of its new Vega FM stations in Melbourne and Sydney that are aiming at the 40-60 baby boomer demographic. Both stations go to air on Monday but the Melbourne station will run test music initially before a formal launch in September.
DMG has already announced that Angela Catterns, who jumped ship from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( ABC - See RNW Jun 11) will host the breakfast show in Sydney but is has not named a breakfast team for Melbourne.
The other major slots will be broadcast in both Melbourne and Sydney
Wendy Harmer, who hosted Austereo's breakfast show at 2-Day FM for 11 years, takes mornings; Francis Leach, formerly with the ABC for 14 years on various stations including Radio National and the youth station Triple-J and subsequently in afternoons with the now-defunct Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) takes over at noon; afternoon drive goes to journalist and TV host Tony Squires and sports columnist and TV host Rebecca Wilson; whilst nights are the province of and veteran Mike Perso, whose radio career included a spell as group program director at DMG Radio Regional.
The Australian reporting on the launch notes that DMG chief executive Paul Thompson joked the company had a star fetish - Vega means brilliant blue star and complements Nova (new star), whose name was inspired by one of the two earlier regional DMG networks, the Star Network.
Thompson said the target market was huge with 5.8 million boomers in Australia, 2 million of them in New South Wales, and that although they were the "wealthiest group in our history" no single station had catered entirely for them.
"We will try to challenge the existing mind-sets of world radio [that are] fixed in certain patterns," he said. "We try to break those patterns if we can. We'll be integrating 40 years of music and contemporary music in a way that is unique and unorthodox ... We will do it in a way that will break the rules, because that is what we do."
The paper notes that the Sydney advertising radio market this year is worth about AUD 235 million (USD 178 million) and the Melbourne market is worth AUD 200 million (USD 151 million) and although Thompson played down suggestions that the stations could command around a tenth of the audience in the two cities rivals anticipate that the new stations could take around 6% of advertising.
The paper also reports that Vega will not adopt Nova's policy of no more than two ads in a row, introduced specifically to appeal to the 18-34 age group, but relying on a greater tolerance in its demographic will probably double this number running up to a maximum of around 8 minutes an hour.
Media analyst Steve Allen of Fusion Strategy told the paper Vega would be more of a threat to the Australian Radio Network (ARN - Classic Hits), news-talk stations and the ABC than to Austereo's Today and Triple M networks: He added that he thought Macquarie Radio Network's Sydney talk station 2GB would probably be less vulnerable than Southern Cross Broadcasting's 2UE.
Previous ABC Australia:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Previous Southern Cross:
The Australian report:
DMG Australia web site (Flash but not particularly informative or easy to navigate):
2005-07-28: Nassau Broadcasting has announced a move into Cape Cod with agreement to purchase Rock format WPXC-FM, Hyannis and oldies simulcast WTWV-FM, Mashpee, and WDVT-FM, Harwich Port, from Qantum Communications Corporation, the Cape Cod Trust and other parties.
The stations involved were required to be held in a trust or sold after Qantum went over regulatory limits as a result of acquisitions including four Boch Broadcasting stations- WXTK-FM, WCOD-FM, as well as WTWV-FM and WDVT-FM, which jointly broadcast as "The Wave," in a USD 21.3 million all-cash deal announced in February (See RNW Feb 3) and that has just closed.
At that time Qantum President and CEO Frank Osborn said it planned to manage directly WXTK, WCOD, WRZE, and WCIB, all 50,000-watt stations and dispose of the less-powerful WDVT, WTWV, and WPXC.
Nassau chairman and President Lou Mercatanti said of the USD 10 million deal in a statement, "Like most of the other markets we serve, Cape Cod is a retail-rich destination with upscale demographics and high growth rates. In other words, it's a tremendous place for our staff to produce great local radio. These stations are great additions to our growing New England platform and we are very happy to be there."
In other US radio deals Bustos Media Enterprises LLC has announced a USD 2.25 million purchase of KQTA-FM (formerly KBNH), licensed to Homedale, Idaho and serving Boise, Idaho, from R & S Media.
Previous Bustos Media:
Previous Nassau :
2005-07-28: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 25,000 to USD 18,000 a penalty proposed on Twenty-One Sound Communications, Inc., licensee of KNSX-FM, Steelville, Missouri.
Twenty-One Sound had admitted failure to maintain Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment in operational readiness condition, failure to maintain a main studio in compliance with the Rules, and failure to maintain a complete public inspection file but sought reduction or cancellation.
It argued that a power outage or equipment glitch had tripped EAS equipment to manual instead of automatic mode and had questioned the fairness of the main studio rules for lower power stations.
The FCC accepted none of its arguments but did reduce the penalty.
The FCC has also reduced from USD 20,000 to USD 500 a proposed penalty on former amateur station licensee Raimundo P. Silva of Brentwood, California, for operating on a frequency authorized only for government use.
Silva had not denied the offence but had said that he was unaware that his unauthorized radio transmissions interfered with the federal government users' authorized operations and asked for reduction on the grounds that he had voluntarily relinquished his equipment and surrendered his licence and also on grounds of inability to pay.
2005-07-28: According to the Bronx News, a New York City Department of Investigation probe into the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club in Co-op City is now concentrating on the diversion of around half a million dollars to Air America radio, funds that the paper says was paid over as a loan to be repaid with interest.
It does not give details of any repayments made (if they have been? ) but says that the individuals at the centre of the investigation are Charles Rosen, the leader of the club for the past 15 years, and Evan Cohen, who at the time of the alleged transfer was director of Development for the club as well as chairman of Air America Radio, a post he resigned under fire in May last year (See RNW May 7, 2004): Research by the Wall Street Journal subsequently came close to accusing Cohen and fellow Guam-based entrepreneur Rex Sorensen of fraud in deceiving other investors and employees about the funding for the company (See RNW Jun 23, 2004).
The News says one source told it that the amount transferred was USD 480,000 and another unidentified source stressed that Rosen did not seek personal gain from the loan but was motivated by the interest to be gained. It says the Department of Investigations is involved because the Gloria Wise Club depends heavily on city funding- which is subject to extensive audits - for its operations.
RNW note:In legal terms Air America at the time of the loan was owned by Progress Media: It was subsequently taken over near the end of May last year by Piquant LLC., which currently owns and operates the network, but does not feature in the current investigation.
Previous Air America/Piquant:
Bronx News report:
2005-07-27: Entravision and Univision have announced a USD 90 million agreement, subject to regulatory approval, for the latter to acquire Entravision's Spanish Contemporary KBRG-FM and Tropical KLOK-AM, serving the San Francisco/San Jose market.
The deal will take Univision's holding in the market up to six stations - it already owns Spanish Contemporary KFFG-FM & KVVF-FM and Regional Mexican KSOL-FM & KSQL-FM in San Jose.
In making their announcement, the companies noted that when it acquired Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation (HBC - now Univision Radio) Univision agreed with the US Department of Justice that it would cut its stake in Entravision to 15% by March 2006: They say this transaction, which will reduce the holding to around 20%, is the first step towards meeting the requirements.
Ray Rodriguez, President and Chief Operating Officer of Univision Communications commented that the transaction "represents a unique opportunity for us to acquire two attractive radio stations in a market with a rapidly growing Hispanic population while fulfilling our regulatory requirements in a timely, responsible manner," and added, "We are confident that these stations will benefit from the tremendous cross promotion opportunities provided by Univision's two television stations and four other radio stations in the market."
Entravision chairman and CEO Walter F. Ulloa added, "This a very attractive transaction that we believe will enhance stockholder value as we efficiently repurchase a substantial portion of Univision's equity interest in our company. We have remained consistent in our strategy of focusing our resources on fast-growing, high-density Hispanic markets that offer us a clear path to building leadership positions. Going forward, we will continue to evaluate our portfolio to ensure that we are best positioned to capitalize on the tremendous growth of the nation's Hispanic population."
2005-07-27: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has given Macquarie Bank Limited a six-month deadline to divest itself of one of the three stations it controls in the overlapping Gympie and Nambour licence areas in Queensland.
Australian regulations currently prohibit a licensee from controlling more than two commercial licences in an area and the ACMA said that a recent acquisition by AMI Radio Pty Ltd of commercial 4NNN-FM, Gympie (The Heat 96.1), took Macquarie over the limit since it is held to be in position to control AMI through its wholly-owned subsidiary Macquarie Direct Investment Ltd (MDIL).
Macquarie Bank already controls two commercial radio licences in the Nambour licence area, 4SEE and 4SSS Nambour and there is a population overlap of nearly 60% between the Nambour and Gympie licence areas, twice the overlap allowed before two areas have to be treated as one for ownership provisions.
Commenting on the order for divestment, Acting ACMA Chair Lyn Maddock said, "While ACMA is satisfied that Macquarie Bank's breach was not deliberate or flagrant, the breach highlights the need for corporations to ensure that their internal compliance regimes are robust enough to address their regulatory obligations."
Macquarie is already in the process of making divestments made necessary through its purchases of RG Capital Radio Limited and DMG Regional Radio Pty Ltd that put it in a position to control more than two licences in 11 areas.
So far it has nominated seven licences for divestiture and recently advertised them - New South Wales station 2AY, Albury, and Queensland stations 4CCA, Cairns, 4MMK Mackay, 4CC & 4RO Rockhampton and 4RGR & 4RGT Townsville - as available for sale.
In addition three New South Wales licences held by AMI Radio that put Macquarie in breach of limits when it made the RG Capital and DMG acquisitions -- 2CS-AM, Coffs Harbour; 2MC-AM, Kempsey; and 2GZ-AM, Orange -- were recently sold to the 2SM Supernetwork.
Previous Macquarie Bank:
2005-07-27: Veteran New York DJ Joe O'Brien, whose radio career ran from 1935 until 2000, has died aged 90 following a car crash in Lenox, Massachusetts.
He started with WMCA-AM from a racing wire service that he had joined aged 19 having answered an advert whilst aspiring to be an actor and remained with the station, where he was one of the team of "Good Guys" in the late 1960s, for 34 years.
He left the station, where he had been top-rated morning man, for WNBC-AM and later after his morning slot there was taken over by two years later by Don Imus he moved to WHUD-FM in Peekskill as morning man. He remained with the stationuntil he retired in 1986 although even then he continued to do a Sunday monring show for the station until 2000.
2005-07-27: Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR), the XM- partner in Canada, says it has now begun construction of a broadcast and performance studio in downtown Toronto and over the next few months will complete the hiring of its production team to create and broadcast original Canadian programming to the North American market.
The Toronto facility will be the home base of its English channels and CSR says it will contribute CAD 35 million (USD 28 million) on Canadian talent development, equally split between English and French language artists.
In the US, the latest announcements from XM are on the equipment front with announcements of XM receivers for Harley Davidson motorcycles and of an alliance with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to introduce MP3 players with XM capability.
2005-07-26: Sony BMG has struck a USD 10 million deal with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to settle a "payola" investigation into its activities that revealed what Spitzer's office in a statement termed pervasive "pay-for-play" in the music industry. The office is continuing what it terms its "broad investigation of pay-for-play practices in the recorded music industry."
Sony BMG, the world's second-largest recording company has also agreed to stop payments and gifts to radio stations and their employees in return for airplay of its songs. It will pay the money to the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors for distribution to New York State not-for-profit to benefit New York State residents by funding programs aimed at music education and appreciation.
A statement from Spitzer's office said it had conducted a year-long investigation after tip-offs from industry insiders and found evidence of payola varying from outright bribes to station programmers through contest giveaways and expenses payments to stations to making payments disguised as advertising to increase recorded "plays" (It did this by including in the advert the "slice" of song used by BDS monitoring to supply data to Billboard for use in compiling its charts) - and to "independent promoters" who were used "as conduits for illegal payments to radio stations" and for whom a scale was devised relating payments to plays.
Sony BMG is also said to have orchestrated fraudulent call-in requests to gain more play for its songs.
Documents released with the statements, although heavily redacted - one for example from [name blacked out} "Program Director, WKKF, KISS FM, Clear Channel" talks of "Looking for laptop for promotion on Bow Wow" - show details of the recording company's strategy and of its practice of payments.
In one case a message sent in September last year says, "Two weeks ago, it cost us over $4,000.00 to get Franz [Ferdinand] on WKSE. That is what the four trips to Miami and hotel cost . . . At the end of the day, [David] Universal added GC [Good Charlotte] and Gretchen Wilson and hit Alex up for another grand and they settled for USD 750.00. So almost USD 5,000.00 in two weeks for overnight airplay. He told me that Tommy really wanted him to do it so he cut the deal."
Other documents list "spin" programmes with payments for plays on stations owned by most of the main US radio companies including Citadel, Clear Channel, Emmis, Entercom, and Infinity,
They make it clear that Sony BMG was ensuring that its staff got value for their money with specific times for play - overnight spins were not regarded as very valuable - and also that various tactics were used to disguise the payments.
Amongst programmers mentioned by name were Diana Laird, PD at KHTS-FM, San Diego, who was said to have disguised receipt of a slat-screen TV from Epic Records by saying the gift went to a fictitious "contest winner"; Blake Larson, PD at WRHT-FM, Greenville, North Carolina, who was said to have used the same tactic to hide receipt of a laptop computer and Sony PlayStation; Donnie Michaels, PD at WHYI-FM, Miami, who was also said to have accepted a laptop while at WFLY-FM, Albany but then moved to Miami - the note says the shipping address needs to be changed ; and Dave Universal, who was fired by Entercom over allegations that he had accepted vacations in payment for airing songs (See RNW Jan 13). Universal says he did nothing that Entercom was unaware of.
Michael Saunders at WWPR-FM, New York, was doubly unlucky if the document is correct - he is said to have been the planned recipient of a plasma TV but the investigation got in the way of delivery.
The news release from Spitzer's office - also posted by AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) on its web site, includes a comment from AFTRA's Director of Sound Recordings Ann Chaitovitz thanking Spitzer for "examining this pernicious issue" and adding, "Pay-for-play hurts both recording artists and the public. We look forward to his continuing investigation of the other record labels and the vertically integrated radio station owners."
There was also support for Spitzer from Democrat Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, who called for an investigation of the practices uncovered.
In a statement he said, "It's a real tribute to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that he has blown the lid off a potentially far-reaching payola scandal. I've been expressing concern about this for some time in terms of enforcing our federal rules, but it took someone with Spitzer's tenacity and subpoena power to bring forward solid evidence We need an immediate investigation to determine whether these practices violate federal payola laws. I've asked Mr. Spitzer to share all of the evidence that he has uncovered with the FCC."
RNW comment: The tenor of the news release indicates an expectation that there is much more to come. Unless Spitzer is going for very serious hype there must be a large number of worried executives at the moment.
AFTRA web site:
Spitzer Office news release (Links to PDF attachments - 43 page 369KB and 59 page 1.11 MB):
2005-07-26: Infinity seems set for some big audience losses when Howard Stern moves to Sirius according to a survey by Bridge Ratings of listeners to his show in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Boston, Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas.
The poll of a total of 2650 listeners, all above 18, showed that only 5% of them said they would stick with the current Stern terrestrial station, 23% said they would subscribe to Sirius to continue listening to the host, and 41% would try listening to another terrestrial station. The remaining 31% had not yet made up their minds.
The survey also indicated a significant dislike of too many adverts, a dislike that may cramp CEO Mel Karmazin's attempts to boost Sirius income through advertising - of the undecided plus those who said they would subscribe to Sirius to get Stern all those who said they would subscribe and 12% of the undecided said they would be very likely to subscribe were there no adverts on the show.
The figure became 91% and 10% with four commercials an hour; 71% and 8% with eight commercials an hour; but only 39% and 4% with 16 commercials an hour.
For those who said they were "somewhat likely" to subscribe the corresponding figures were: Not applicable (all had said very likely) & 26%; 9% & 25%; 12% & 18%; and 22% & 9%.
The "undecided" were also asked what were the major factors that might make them decide not to subscribe - 32% said cost, 12% show content; 30% that they didn't see the need (in other word's Stern isn't that important to them); 19% the numbers of commercials and 7% gave other reasons.
In New York the effect may be less pronounced than elsewhere according to the New York Post, which reports that the big talk radio names have been losing listeners in the city although talk formats are themselves more popular.
In a report in the paper John Mainelli says that Howard Stern with an average 237,000 listeners at any time according to the latest ratings had 100,000 more listeners six years ago and Rush Limbaugh with 139,000 is even more down on a peak of more than 300,000.
They are followed by Curtis & Kuby on WABC-AM and Mike & Mad Dog on WFAN-AM, who tied with 106,200, and then Sean Hannity who slipped from regular third place for WABC to a fifth-rank 103,700 following the election.
Air America on WLIB-AM is much further down with Al Franken in 16th rank with 61,400 and Randy Rhodes in 19th place with 42,300.
Previous Bridge Ratings:
New York Post report:
2005-07-26: UK Guardian Media Group's London station Smooth FM, the former Jazz FM, has signed a deal to broadcast all Chelsea Football Club's games for the next three seasons.
BBC Radio Five Live already broadcasts some Chelsea games but chief executive, Peter Kenyon said the club had been looking for a place where fans could go and listen to the club's games in their entirety.
The UK Guardian - owned by the same parent as the radio station - quoted him as saying, "Our club is going through an exciting phase and it's important to us that our fans can listen to each and every game on FM across the capital," he said. "For the first time we are able to point people to one outlet that is guaranteed to carry coverage of the Blues [The team's nickname]."
UK Guardian report:
2005-07-26: The European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) has approved the DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) standards for the delivery of multimedia content and services on the move.
DMB, which has its roots in the Eureka 147 DAB system, is designed to broadcast television and video to mobile handsets, in parallel with existing DAB services, both audio and data, and can be easily integrated wherever a DAB infrastructure already exists.
DAB has now evolved from a digital replacement of analogue radio into a much wider platform incorporating more recent audio and video coding technologies that will allow DAB networks to serve traditional services and mobile ones as synergies are developed between the two, which were designed for a one-to-many broadcast environment and a one-to-one communications one.
Licences have already been awarded for DMB services in South Korea (See RNW Jul 23 and RNW Feb 19) and in Germany BLM, the Bavarian Media Authority, has launched a pilot project -Digital Advanced Broadcasting - that that will aim to use DMB to broadcast radio and video content, as well as new data services, to new portable receivers.
The pilot is being conducted in Regensburg and is expected to last for two years with the aim to work towards comprehensive coverage of FIFA World Cup 2006 via mobile entertainment devices.
DMB is also to be demonstrated at key international exhibitions this year on WorldDAB stands.
WorldDAB Forum President, Annika Nyberg, said of the approval it was "an important step forward in the anticipation of a strong mobile technology in Europe and worldwide."
"Manufacturers, chip designers and solutions providers," she added, "are already poised to bring video, along with DAB audio and data services, to consumers using DMB enabled devices. WorldDAB expects DAB's DMB application to take a significant place in the emerging world of digital broadcast entertainment."
2005-07-26: Former UK Wireless Group Programme Director John Evington, who left the company following its purchase by Ulster TV, has set up his own company and is going to China for his first commission.
He will be on a training mission with Radio Foshan, which operates Colour FM and Love FM in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, and will in particular advise on sponsorship and programming, which the company has identified as a key potential source of new revenue.
Evington Web site:
2005-07-25: To start our look at print comment on radio this week, a comparison with TV from Laurence Zuckerman in the New York Times: Writing on the probable launch on TV of "This American Life", the National Public Radio show fronted by Ira Glass, he gives the radio show fulsome praise but then expresses doubts about the transition.
" Bill McKibben, writing in The Nation in 1997, " comments Zuckerman, "unwittingly pointed up Mr. Glass's current predicament when he bestowed this compliment: 'None of the pieces I've heard on 'This American Life' would work well on TV.'"
Zuckerman then continues, "Indeed, few shows since the era of Jack Benny and Burns and Allen have survived the transition. A number of public radio shows have tried and failed many times 'Television is the opposite of radio,' said John Hockenberry, who spent 12 years as a reporter and host at N.P.R., followed by nine years in television at NBC. 'TV speaks to a crowd, and radio speaks to a single pair of ears.'"
Glass says to the report has now spent more than a year on a pilot for Showtime, which had been persistent with its offer, and for Glass it says the lure was possible extra audiences for the radio show as well as extra money.
"'Public radio is a cocoon,'" Mr. Glass said one day in the editing studio 'Not too many people listen who don't know about it already. This would be a great way of drawing listeners to the radio show.'"
He also commented on the difference between the two media, saying, "On the radio, you become the character. But when you see someone on TV, you come to all sorts of conclusions about who they are, based on their hair and what they are wearing."
Giving a positive reaction, NPR senior vice president for programming Jay Kernis said after viewing the pilot, "It is the essence of the radio show on television. He has managed to translate the remarkable storytelling technique, the intimacy and his personality."
Glass himself seemed less certain: Should Showtime decide it wants to commission a series he has the option to walk away and according to Zuckerman is still not certain what he will do.
After comment on the difference between two media where at least there is significant professional skill going into the production on both, on to a column on podcasting by Rob Pegoraro in the Washington Post.
After referring to the hype surrounding the idea he comments, "Given time, podcasts may very well live up to the most optimistic predictions offered about them. For now, though, the programming available in the pod-verse teems with both brilliance and boredom. The software needed to tune into this bounty also could use more work..."
And as for the product! Not that good it would seem in many cased: " listening to the wrong podcasts may leave you wondering why anybody bothers. It's not that mediocrity is so much more prevalent among podcasters than bloggers -- or newspaper reporters. It's just more obvious."
He then refers to elementary errors in microphone technigue, the lack of tidying up "up the aural equivalent of typos - 'um,' 'er' and 'uh'; the fact that "many podcasters seem compelled to try to blitz through a podcast in a single take"; the absence of preparation " Scripts also often appear optional: Quite a few podcasts are ad-libbed -- even when their authors blather on for upwards of an hour."
"All that combines," writes Pegoraro, "to make for some spectacularly bad material: flat, rambling, filibuster-length monologues with awkward pacing, stilted pauses and maybe even a yawn or two. Listening to lengthy voice-mail messages on your answering machine can be more fun."
He does praise some output though: "Good podcasts, on the other hand, compete with anything you can hear on AM or FM. They're more than just one person's yammerings; they're built of lots of different bits weaved together artfully. (Some of the best podcasts come straight from radio ).
Pegoraro then deals with various programmes to access podcasts and concludes of the technology, "The most promising part about the podcast business is that, unlike radio, it has infinite room for anybody; there isn't a fixed set of channels that can be bought up by the big media conglomerates. Podcasting may be a mess, but at least it's a mess that everybody has the same access to."
RNW comment: As with so much on the Internet, the problem is sorting out the wheat from the chaff and that is much more speedily done with text: Somehow we see little to persuade us that most podcasts like most blogs are worth the effort but with podcasts the effort is greater.
In the end, therefore, we conclude that it's probably fair to conclude that the effort required to sort out the worthy from the unwanted will be so great that most offerings - whether good or bad - will fulfil no other function than the self-satisfaction of their creators.
Those who want more will have to be persistent and talented and very few we suspect will be able to compete with the professionals already broadcasting on radio. Their most valuable contribution may be in developing techniques that the more mainstream broadcasters adapt for their own use.
Which is as good a cue as any to one of Linda Knapp's "Getting Started" series in the Seattle Times. Most of "Taking satellite radio for a test drive" is concerned with the practicalities of satellite radio but the intro sums up to us what we suspect will be the attitude of many people when choosing what to listen to.
"Listening to the radio on long car drives gives me a headache," writes Knapp. "It's not the tunes or the news that makes me feverish; it's those inane ads that never cease. I keep hoping for longer music breaks because radio can be a great medium for discovering new artists and new songs, but the abundance of advertising ruins it for me."
"Alternatively, " she goes on, "I could record Internet radio shows and podcasts on a computer and transfer them to an MP3 player for listening in the car or elsewhere (Getting Started, July 16). They're typically commercial free, but that option requires doing more than pressing the radio's 'on' 'button."
Finally a Canadian perspective on satellite radio that also takes up the issue of more choice but from a different and more narrow perspective, albeit not necessarily a less valuable one.
Writing in the Toronto Star, independent Canadian recording artist Tom Barlow argues that the decision to allow Sirius and XM into Canada will hurt the country's artists.
"As a Canadian artist I feel that satellite technology offers unprecedented opportunities," he writes but then comments, "Putting Canadian content into CanCon-only channels will ghettoise and marginalize artists."
He then continues his argument in terms of there being a Canadian culture separate to that of the US and writes, "We have seen the devastating effect of erasing a people's culture in indigenous populations around the globe. People lose their centres and are unable to define themselves
There can be no mistake that we see the world profoundly differently than our neighbours do."
Giving examples of artists and the effects of current Canadian Content rules, Barlow comments, "We may listen to many of the same bands and enjoy some of the same music but we are more than northern Americans. The Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts, and K-OS are all successful Canadian acts who inspire our nation but don't resonate to nearly the same degree in the U.S."
" Twenty years ago, if you had asked a rock radio listener if they wished to hear Bon Jovi or some unknown local band called the Tragically Hip, no doubt the Hip would not have been chosen. But CanCon rules gave the Hip a turn at bat. That's all the rules do, they give us a chance to compete. The recent CRTC decisions have threatened to take us out of the game."
And of the current situation: "Here we have an American economic/political structure that has protected and fostered opaque, monolithic, monopolies at every level of the music business, from radio to live performance, trumpeting the consumer's right to choose."
"All the Canadian listener will have earned is the right to never hear the next great uniquely Canadian voice. They will have been effectively denied their right to choose."
So on to listening and first for those who may have been wondering what the Canadian artists beloved of Barlow have to offer we'd suggest a visit to the CBC Radio 3 site: This offers a weekly podcast that includes music from Canadian artists - since I-Tunes promoted it, it has increased downloads from around 500 a day to around 7,000 a day and is the most popular podcast on iTunes Canada (Those who would prefer to download as an MP3 directly can follow the podcast link and then look for the URL for the relevant week and simply download the MP3 - they are in near- CD quality 128KBPS).
Still with music, BBC Radio 3 continues its Proms season each evening this week (18:00 or 18:30 GMT starts with a repeat in the following afternoon and also available on a Listen-Again Basis) and BBC Radio 2 is still offering the REM Concert held in Hyde Park, London, on July 16 and broadcast last Saturday by the station and next Saturday at 20:30 GMT has the Cambridge Folk Festival 2005.
For speech programming we move on to BBC Radio 4 where this week the Afternoon Reading slot at 14:30 GMT is taken by "Americana", a series of stories by contemporary US writers, that is followed by "Precious Cargo" in which Dylan Winter talks to seafarers about sailing under the Red Ensign, the flag of the British merchant navy.
Then crossing to Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Media Report last Thursday (Available as MP3, podcast or streaming audio) included a report on Internet radio with particular reference to the creation of a youth sub-culture through the medium .
Back to Radio 4 and documentary and we'd suggest the latest edition of Analysis: "The Theology of Terrorism" broadcast on Thursday with a Sunday repeat: If nothing else the comments of the supposedly "militant" and "moderate" that feature are not quite as you might expect.
And still with religion in politics, "Lords Spiritual" within the "Westminster Hour" (and also repeated on Wednesday at 19:45 GMT) looked in the first of a two-part series at the 26 seats reserved for Anglican Bishops in the British House of Lords and their Lordships' views on their role.
Then comedy and the BBC Radio 2 Comedy hour on Saturday at noon GMT, which currently features "Jammin' " followed by " Lloyd Cole Knew My Father" plus from Radio 4 at 22:00 GMT on Thursday this week's "Radio9" and in the 17:30 GMT slot on Friday the "Now Show".
And ending with yet another different perspective, we'd suggest "Should we be Laughing?" from BBC Radio 4 in which disabled stand-up comedian Francesca Martinez presented various work from disabled comedians, some of which others might find disturbing.
CBC Radio 3 podcast site:
New York Times - Zuckerman:
Seattle Times - Knapp:
Toronto Star - Barlow:
Washington Post - Pegoraro:
2005-07-24: The past week was one of routine work rather than major decisions for the regulators with most decisions coming from Canada.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has made no new radio decisions although it has endorsed a report by predecessor body, the Australian Broadcasting Authority, which held that New South Wales community station 2CCR had breached its licence condition because it was not encouraging community participation but had not breached conditions relating to representing the community interest (See RNW Jul 21).
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has again been involved in a fair amount of licence decisions. These included (in order of province):
*Approval of power increase from 16 watts to 2,500 watts and reduction in antenna height to 74.1 metres for transmitter CKUA-FM-11, Fort McMurray of CKUA-FM, Edmonton. The change will mean a status conversion from that of a low-power unprotected service to that of a regular class A FM station.
*Approval of frequency 99.3 MHz and power of 100,000 watts for new Smooth jazz specialty FM radio station in Edmonton approved in April last year subject to finding a suitable frequency.
The Commission also says it has received an application for a commercial station to serve Fort McMurray and has asked for other's interested in a station there to submit applications by September 20.
*Approval of new ethnic AM in Vancouver for I.T. Productions Ltd. to broadcast a service directed predominantly to Vancouver's South Asian communities. This licence was subject to a number of conditions in particular regarding support of local talent.
The service will be to a minimum of 11 cultural groups in a minimum of 17 different languages, will all be ethnic programming of which 95% will be "third language", none of which will be Chinese and at least 73% will be in Hindustani and Punjabi languages.
*Approval of new commercial specialty FM (ethnic) FM in Vancouver for a service by South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. broadcasting predominantly to Vancouver's South Asian communities. This approval is also subject to conditions in particular regarding support of local talent. The licensee is proposing broadcasts in at least 15 languages to at least 15 ethnic communities, none of which will be Chinese and at least three-quarters of programming will be Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu.
In all eight applications had been made for licences: The six refused were from:
*Rogers Broadcasting Limited and Radio 1540 Limited, partners in a partnership to be established.
*Sukhvinder Singh Badh, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated.
*Radio India (2004) Ltd.
*Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation.
*Newlife Communications Inc.
All the applicants, except CHUM, which proposed "Modern Global" music format, had stations focused predominantly on Vancouver's South Asian communities.
*Approval of application by NL Broadcasting Ltd. to operate new 5,000 watts country music English-language commercial FM in Kamloops. Applications by Standard Radio Inc. for a country music format station and Evanov Radio Group Inc. for a broader musical format station were rejected.
NL is proposing at least 8% of spoken word programming, a minimum of 40% of all musical selections from category 2 devoted to Canadian selections and a minimum of CAD 178,500 (USD 146,500) in direct expenditures over the first seven years of operation to support Canadian Talent Development.
Concern had been expressed by Pattison Broadcast Group, licensee of CIFM-FM and CKBZ-FM in the market, and others that a fifth station could not be supported but others predicted growth in the area. The CRTC noted that Pattison had operated a country music station in the Kamloops market, but had chosen to replace that format with its current classic hits format in the summer of 2003. It said the market could support one additional station but not more than that.
*Approval of power increase from 40,300 watts to 70,000 watts, decreasing in antenna height, and transmitter relocation for News/Talk commercial FM radio station in Moncton approved in November last year.
*Approval of frequency 105.1 MHz and power of 32,000 watts for new Easy Listening English-language FM radio station in Halifax that was originally approved in November last year for a power of 100,000 watts but subject to finding a suitable frequency.
*Approval of application to increase the power of CFMX-FM-1 Toronto, from 13,300 watts to 24,500 watts.
*Renewal until 31 August 2009 of licence of CJBQ-AM, Belleville.
*Approval of increase power of CKMB-FM Barrie from 17,000 watts to 20,000 watts, by increasing the antenna height and by relocating the transmitter.
*Approval of frequency change, transmitter relocation and power decrease from 1,010 watts to 420 watts for transmitter CBF-FM-2, Magog, of CBF-FM-10, Sherbrooke.
The CRTC also approved an application from Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR) for yet further extensions for it to commence operation of stations approved for Calgary, Alberta; Vancouver and Abbotsford, British Columbia; and Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau, Quebec; but put AVR on notice that failure to commence operation of the undertakings within a reasonable period of time will cause the authority granted in the relevant decision to become null and void.
The Commission also issued a public notice concerning a number of applications received in Alberta - with an deadline for comment and interventions of August 25 - including:
*An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to add a 4,100 watts FM transmitter at Saskatoon to broadcast the programming of CBK-AM, Regina.
* An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to add a 3,931 watts FM transmitter at Edmonton to broadcast the programming of CBX-AM, Edmonton, to parts of the urban centre where building construction had affected AM reception.
* An application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to add a 3,931 watts FM transmitter at Edmonton to broadcast the programming of CHFA-AM, Edmonton, to parts of the urban centre where building construction had affected AM reception.
The Commission is also to hold a public hearing in Gatineau on October 24 to consider various applications, for which there is a deadline to intervene or comment of September 8 that included an application from Newcap for a 1,900 watts English-language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Lac La Biche.
There were no radio decision in Ireland nor in the UK although there Ofcom had announced a re-organization of senior executives (See RNW Jul 22) and also issued its annual report that amongst other things comments on greater savings than expected and consequent reduction of licensing fees (See RNW Jul 20).
It also issued another broadcasting bulletin but in this case no radio complaints were upheld (See RNW Jul 19).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was involved in no major decisions but it cancelled a proposed USD 2,000 penalty on a California FM (See RNW Jul 22).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-07-24: The world's first full time Americana Radio Network is to be launched next month with a streaming service from Americana Radio Network, LLC, which will follow up in September with a satellite service to terrestrial stations across the US.
Announcing the new service Americana General Manager T.J.Johnston said the entertainment content will highlight the music itself complete with industry knowledgeable announcers and commented, "It's old music, it's new music, it's heart felt, down home and serious fun. You can't pigeon-hole Americana music, so you'll just have to listen to know what we're all about." The company says it will support musicians including smaller independent record labels by offering this expansive, full-time outlet for their music.
2005-07-23: The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has given iBiquity's HD digital radio system a boost with a filing to the Federal Communications Commission that calls for the adoption of a single-standard set by the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) for In-Band/On-Channel Digital Radio Broadcasting (IBOC Digital Radio).
The CEA says the specified technical parameters of the NRSC-5 standard will provide the needed confidence to receiver manufacturers, broadcasters and consumers to invest in IBOC digital radio, ensuring its long-term success and its President and CEO Gary Shapiro commented, "CEA is enthusiastic about the progress and success of digital radio. To continue this growth, the Commission must specify the technical parameters of the IBOC digital radio signal in order for all receiver manufacturers to have confidence that the equipment they build will work for anyone listening to IBOC digital radio anywhere in the country."
The CEA also says that multicasting will fuel demand for IBOC receivers and says the FCC should allow permanent authorization for multiple audio streams in its adoption of the IBOC digital radio standard.
Shapiro commented, "CEA urges the Commission to immediately provide permanent authorization for multicasting and datacasting and to incorporate NRSC-5 into its rules. We know a single IBOC digital radio standard will provide companies with the confidence needed to succeed in the market."
The proposal has however met opposition from that in their filed comments say that although they favour a single standard for terrestrial DAB the system is currently not developed enough.
There are also concerns about interference with analogue systems from digital AM stations.
In an unrelated development iBiquity and Traffic.com, Inc. have announced an extension of a joint marketing and testing agreement, which allows the partners to further explore technological and commercial opportunities for digital HD Radio.
2005-07-23: Two Australian companies -- Grant Broadcasting's Countrywide Radio and Fred Armstrong's Air Media - have united to form a regional radio representation company,
The Radio Sales Network (TRSN) to be launched on August 1 according to the Australian Associated Press.
It says the company will try to attract new advertisers to regional radio and encourage those who have dropped the medium to return.
TSRN is to concentrate on independent radio operators and will have representation in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria.
Sydney Morning Herald/AAP report:
2005-07-23: The Korean government is to back moves to set up nationwide broadcasting service to cell phones next year following tests in Seoul and the surrounding area according to the Korea Times.
The paper notes that the Ministry of Information and Communication issued five mobile broadcast licenses early this month and says that at an economic policy coordination meeting the government decided on an expansion roadmap for the broadcast service.
It also reports scepticism about the plans and quoted an unnamed analyst as saying that as well as problems in finding suitable spectrum the government would have a hard time finding companies that are willing to pour money into the small regional mobile broadcasting market.
Korea Times report:
2005-07-23: News Corporation-owned Star Group is considering re-entering the Indian radio market according to TelevisionPoint.com, which says the return could be achieved either by moving back into Radio City or bidding for new stations.
The group sold its stake in Radio City earlier this year when India's commercial radio industry was struggling financially because of the licence fees that had to be paid to the government.
The system is now being changed from a fee to a revenue-sharing basis (See RNW Jul 3) and Televisionpoint.com says this change has prompted the decision to consider a return to the sector:
Previous Indian Radio:
2005-07-22: The UK Radio Advertising Bureau and Internet Advertising Bureau are proposing co-operation rather than competition as the most productive way forward for the two media following publication of research into them.
The report -" Using radio with online" - refers in its introduction to the "complementary functional characteristics of the two media - the parallel (or secondary) nature of radio makes it an ideal companion to the primary, and normally solitary, activity of surfing online" and says research "suggests that adding radio to online enables brands that seek to stimulate immediate response to reach out to and engage new customers, and prompt them to search, enquire, or purchase online."
It notes that online and radio are the only UK media predicted to see audience growth and says almost half of respondents say that in any week they listen to radio while online and a fifth of people who are online are also listening to radio.
The report describes the two media as complementary and comments, "Online is perceived as a convenient channel for helping people find what they want, when they want it, whereas radio is perceived as offering the human touch, helping to shape the moods and rhythm of the day. In conjunction, they feed each other by keeping the consumer engaged across each other's momentary low points, leading to an increase in overall time spent with this media combination."
It also says combining radio and online "significantly enhances response" and adds, "57% of the sample claim to have checked things on the internet after just hearing about them on the radio, with 59% claiming to use search to find more details. This isn't just restricted to editorial mentions - 39% claimed that advertising has prompted them to search for something on the Internet."
In terms of response to the two media it the report says radio operates mainly in "classic background mode" but the combination's strength also lies in different roles and radio "emotional" qualities are "especially important when working late or at home, helping to convert what is essentially 'chore' time into something more enjoyable."
"By alleviating feelings of isolation/loneliness," says the report, "radio really can make tasks feel more enjoyable."
"Qualitatively," it says, "there is evidence to suggest that when people listen to the radio when online at home, their online sessions tend to be longer Also, it appears that the two media harmonise in some way to help carry the user past temporary 'blips' with particular elements of each medium, e.g. such as frustration with a user-unfriendly website, or the boredom of hearing an oft-repeated song, thus increasing overall dwell-time."
The report suggests a five-point strategy for advertisers wishing to optimise the benefits of the radio and online conjunction, saying they should consider the following guidelines:
*Aim for a simultaneous display presence in both radio and online
*Invest in paid-for listings on search engines
*Consider advertising on radio at times when the highest proportion of listeners is online
*Develop greater creative synergy between radio commercials and online advertising/content
*Put measures in place to gain understanding about the additional effect of radio on online response
Previous RAB (UK):
RAB UK report (918 KB 23 page PDF):
2005-07-22: Arbitron has reported second-quarter revenues up 7.3% to USD 69.8 million, earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) up 17.2% to USD18.6 million, and net income up 78.7% to USD 15.4 million (from 27cents to 48 cents s share), helped by a 45% reduction in income tax expenses to USD 3 million due in part to the previously announced reversal of certain tax liabilities for contingencies related to prior periods.
For the six months to the end of June revenues were up 5.2% to USD 149 million, EBIT was up 7.3% to USD 51.3 million and net income was up 31.8% to USD 35.2 million (from USD 0.85 to USD 1.11 per diluted share).
Looking ahead Arbitron says it expects third quarter revenues to increase by between 4.5% to 6.5% over a year earlier with earnings per share between 59 cents and 71 cents compared to 77 cents a year earlier. It full year guidance is unchanged - of revenues up between 5% and 7% and earnings per diluted share between USD 1.99 and USD 2.03.
Commenting on the results for the second quarter, president and CEO Stephen Morris said the company had made "steady progress on our two key growth initiatives-the Houston market demonstration of the Portable People Meter and the pilot panel for Project Apollo, the national marketing research service which would collect multi-media and purchase information from a common sample of consumers."
"At the same time," he added, "we continued to invest in the quality of our core services in order to enhance the value that we provide our customers."
Referring to the report issued yesterday by the US Radio Advertising Bureau that forecast a decline in radio advertising if diary methods were retained and a boost if the PPM were fully adopted (See RNW July 21), he said, "The radio industry is now seriously considering how to make the transition from diaries to electronic measures. We believe that no other company has the infrastructure, the experience, and the resolve to see an initiative of this magnitude through in the rapid timeframe that the radio industry is likely to demand."
South of the border Mexican radio company Grupo Radio Centro has reported second quarter broadcasting revenues up 14.9% on a year earlier to MXN 140.7 million (USD 13.25 million), broadcasting income up 38.5% to MXN 40.75 million (USD 3.84 million), and net income of MXN 12.4 million (USD 1.17 million) compared to a loss of MXN 24.2 million (USD 2.28 million) a year earlier.
For the first six months revenues were up 1.2% on a year earlier to MXN 244.1 million (USD 23.0 million) with broadcasting income up 80.5% to MXN 60.8 million (USD 5.7 million), and net income of MXN 3.18 million (USD 3 million) compared to a loss of MXN 66.2 million (USD 6.24 million) a year earlier.
Previous Grupo Radio Centro:
2005-07-22: UK media regulator Ofcom has published details of an organizational re-structuring that sees Ed Richards, who was responsible for its recent review of public service broadcasting, promoted to the newly created post of Chief Operating Officer
In his new role he will "integrate strategy, economic analysis, consumer policy, market research and business planning with financial, resource and people management" and will also oversee Ofcom's Secretariat and its role in the Nations and Regions.
He will be one of five executives reporting directly to Ofcom Chief Executive Stephen Carter. The others are:
Peter Ingram - Ofcom's Chief Technology Officer who will lead the Technology and Spectrum Operations Group.
Kip Meek, Ofcom's Chief Policy Partner and Chairman-Elect of the European Regulators' Group (ERG), who will oversee Ofcom's engagement with key European and international decision-making bodies.
Philip Rutnam, Ofcom's Partner, Spectrum, who will lead the Spectrum Policy Group, responsible for spectrum management across all sectors, spectrum policy and spectrum deregulation.
Sean Williams, Ofcom's Partner, Competition, who will lead the Competition Group, responsible for all competition policy and economic regulation in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, including investigations, numbering and regulatory finance.
2005-07-22: According to the UK Financial Times, Emmis, Entercom and Citadel, have each made bids for Disney's radio business but the amounts were described as "slightly "underwhelming" by one insider.
The paper adds that Disney was said to have asked the companies to "sharpen their pencils" before determining whether to select any preferred bidders.
Disney itself, says the paper is refusing comment but it repeats previously published suggestions that Michael Eisner, who is stepping down as chief executive in September, had opted not to proceed with a sale because offers were too low but that the appointment of Bob Iger to take over has prompted renewed offers.
It also says that the likely price is around USD 3 billion and any sale would be structured so as to be tax-efficient by adding debt to the radio group to extract cash, followed by a spin-off of the radio business with Disney shareholders retaining half the shares of the new group (See RNW Jul 14).
CNN Money/Financial Times report (FT report is subscribers only):
2005-07-22: The BBC free downloads of all of Beethoven's Symphonies from live performances by the by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Gianandrea Noseda - launched as an experiment in connection with BBC Radio 3's Beethoven Week last month (See RNW Jun 5) - attracted a total of 1,369,893 download requests according to the corporation.
The figures were higher for the second block of downloads put out with the first in this run, the Sixth attracting 220,461 downloads, followed by the Seventh with 185,718 and the ninth with 157,822 and the eighth with 148,553.
In the first block the most popular offering was the first with 154,496 followed by the second with 154,496, the fifth with 139,905; the fourth with 108,958 and bringing up the rear the third with 89,318.
Roger Wright, Controller BBC Radio 3, said the "experiment began as an added extra to our Beethoven Experience and quickly took on a life of its own. "
"The remarkable number of downloads," he added, "has already sparked a healthy debate about the place of classical music in the digital world. I am thrilled that Radio 3 has shown how wide the interest is in quality classical music and demonstrated how innovation and the use of new technology can find new audiences."
Simon Nelson, Controller of BBC Radio and Music Interactive, added, "We hoped this trial would give us an idea of audiences' emand for radio downloads and it's certainly done that. Radio is changing and the BBC is working hard to give audiences more control over when and how they listen."
RNW comment; The figures for these downloads, albeit obviously heavily boosted by their "free" availability, seems to us to offer some lessons for the recording companies, particularly the classical labels that have already expressed concern over possible threat to their business (See RNW Jul 11).
The numbers vastly exceed anything on any of the paid music download sites - they are around 50 times the number of downloads of the Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which cost around USD 1 on I-Tunes - and it seems to us that the sensible reaction of the recording companies - and for orchestras - is to regard them as a sign that they are missing a vast untapped audience.
To tap it fully we think would require co-operation not lots of different go-it-alone offers: The London Symphony Orchestra, for example has made its catalogue available through iTunes and attracted more downloads than high street CD sales.
We suspect the most productive approach would be to accept that charges cannot realistically be pitched anywhere near the price of a CD and to co-operate on a common classical music site with fairly cheap downloads. If that is then tied to a price discount if CD's are subsequently bought to get extra quality there might be surprisingly good business both for downloads and CD sales- and maybe even for orchestral performances since such a site would offer the chance not only to allow easy access to music but also to promote CDs and concerts.
2005-07-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cancelled a USD 2,000 penalty proposed on a California FM for alleged Emergency Alert System (EAS) violations.
In cancelling the penalty the FCC comments that Morongo Basin Broadcasting Corporation's KCDZ-FM in Twenty Nine Palms had made "extensive efforts to implement a comprehensive EAS compliance plan prior to the FCC inspection" and also cites its "overall compliance record with the Commission's Rules, along with its exemplary efforts to ensure that KCDZ-FM was able to receive local primary stations in two counties, while situated in an area that the relevant County EAS Plan describes as having 'difficult coverage'."
2005-07-21: According to the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) full introduction of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) could add USD 696 million a year to annual US radio advertising revenues and continued use of the existing diary method could lead to a fall of USD 282 million in them.
The figures come from a study commissioned by a special committee of the RAB-PPM Task Force, conducted by Forrester Research, and funded by Arbitron.
Consultant David Pearlman, President of Pearlman Advisors, who spearheaded the study commented, "We talked to nearly 500 advertising decision makers who gave us a clear ratings roadmap as we hit a critical currency crossroad in Radio. One in four indicated that they would change their spending patterns with the implementation of a ratings system that is better and more reliable than the diary."
The study also showed that if the current PPM test results are borne out in full scale implementation there will be a shift in spending: Pearlman commented, "According to our sample, there would be a drop in Morning Drive spending, but the dollar difference would be made up proportionately across all of the other day parts. There will also be more Radio revenues directed to PPM markets versus those still utilizing a diary measurement methodology."
RAB President and CEO Gary Fries added, "The results of the study verify that advertisers and agencies are eager to embrace electronic measurement. Moreover, it is apparent that there is a risk of loss of advertising dollars for media that do not advance to a more reliable - and better - measurement platform. Our industry needs to review these findings very carefully to determine our future direction with a full understanding of both the perils and opportunities that electronic measurement holds."
The study was based on responses from 295 people in agencies and 189 with advertisers: It says advertisers were less aware of the technology than agencies by a margin of 34% to 77% and on average it says each plans a cut of around 2% in annual radio spend if the industry persists with diaries but an increase of around 3% if the PPM is put into operation.
There were significant divergences, however in what agencies and advertisers forecast about advertising expenditure with agencies suggesting a positive 0.4% for radio and 3.5% for TV but advertisers going for a negative 0.7% for radio and 2.2% to TV.
17% of agency respondents and 23% of advertisers said they would increase spending if the PPM were introduced and 8% in each case said they would reduce spending if diaries were maintained.
2005-07-21: Australian Commercial radio is this week starting airing a new series of adverts as part of the industry's AUD 60 million (USD 45 million) three-year campaign to promote radio as an effective advertising medium.
Latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Radio Revenue Performance figures released earlier this month showed the industry performing well with revenues for the past financial year up 11% on a year earlier to AUD 578.7 million (USD 437 million); they had been up about 12 per cent for the financial year ending June 04 and about five per cent for the year ending June 03
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body, Commercial Radio Australia, commented, "Attracting consistent growth over several years is indicative of a strong performance by the commercial radio industry and reflects the medium's' effectiveness and efficiency for advertisers."
She said the campaign had been a "contributing factor in raising the awareness about radio and has been very effective for the industry" and added they hoped the new campaign would "build on this growth and continue to communicate the benefits of radio to advertisers and potential advertisers."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2005-07-21: A survey of Digital Home Canada readers shows Sirius and XM services gaining equal support in the country and nearly two-thirds of the 413 readers responding said they would subscribe to satellite radio with 12.5% undecided and 23.1% saying they would not subscribe.
The publication stresses that the numbers only represent a limited cross-section of its readers and adds they should not be extrapolated to indicate the market share each provider might get.
The figures are in marked contrast to those from a survey conducted by Eastlan in the US; it shows similar results to a 2001 study with four-fifths of Americans saying they would have no interest in subscribing and one in twenty that they had never heard of the services.
Eastlan says 5% of those surveyed were already subscribers and 9% say they are likely to subscribe in the future.
RNW comment: The Canadian results strike us as more significant in terms of the equal ranking of the two satellite offerings than in the totals since the readers are more likely to be well disposed towards the technology than the general population but not necessarily that much different in terms of listening preferences.
Digital Home Canada report:
2005-07-21: The Australian Communications and Media Agency (ACMA) has found that Cumberland Community Radio Inc. breached its licence condition because it was not encouraging community participation but had not breached conditions relating to representing the community interest.
New South Wales station 2CCR had been the subject of a previous investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Authority into complaints last year that it was not representing the community interest and the ACMA, which has now taken over its predecessor's duties, has published its report.
Particular concerns had been raised in relation to a lack of local news and information in the programming, and the predominance of a particular style of smooth jazz music known as the Sound of Style (SOS) and the complainant also said the licensee organisation's Board of Management operates autonomously and does not entertain consultative processes with the community or with volunteers.
The station has a general community licence and the ABA noted that legislation changed soon after the licence was renewed in 2002 and said it considered that when the licensee of 2CCR next applies for renewal before the licence expires in October 2007, the licensee must carefully consider what community interest it intends to represent, and to represent that community interest accordingly.
If the community interest is to remain the general community of the licence area, it said, the service currently being provided is unlikely to represent that community interest in the future.
Regarding the lack of encouragement to participate, the station will have to give details to the regulator including details of the numbers applying for membership, of those approved and not and why not for the latter.
It will also have to provide minutes of its Board and Programming Committee meetings "with sufficient details to enable the assessment of community participation in the operations of the service, and in the selection and provision of programs" and also information received in the online listener feedback forms, including steps taken to address listener concerns and their suggestions.
2005-07-20: XM Satellite Radio has announced that it has made a strategic USD 25 million investment in WorldSpace, Inc., which through its two satellites - AfriStar and AsiaStar - provides satellite radio services for Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and which has in particular been marketing its services in India and the Middle East recently.
XM will also have warrants to acquire USD 37.5 million in additional WorldSpace stock and an option to invest along with WorldSpace and other partners in various countries around the world.
XM says that in connection with the investment it will cooperate with WorldSpace to develop satellite radio products, technology and distribution and supplier networks.
WorldSpace is planning to offer 8.8 million shares of its common stock in an Initial Public Offering and has increased the price range from USD 16-18 a share to USD 18-20, taking the value of the deal up to a potential USD 176 million.
2005-07-20: Despite substantial pay increases for senior executives and an increase in staff UK media regulator Ofcom says in its 2004/05 annual report that it made greater savings than anticipated and will be cutting licence charges with the largest percentage cut going to radio.
Networks and services operations will pay GBP 2 million (USD 3.5 million) less in licence fees- down 8% in "real terms"; TV stations will pay GBP 8.5 million (USD 14.8 million) less - down 26%; and for radio the reduction will be GBP 1.3 million (USD 2.3 million) - down 29%.
Although the regulator claimed savings it increased its staff numbers by 25, to 753 [This compares with a 2003 total of 1,152 for the five regulators that Ofcom replaced] and chief executive Stephen Carter saw his pay package go up from GBP 370,769 (USD 645,437) the previous year to GBP 413,965 (USD 720,584) with his base salary up from GBP 250,000 (USD 435,172) to GBP 267,500 (USD 465,743).
In all the regulator totalled just under GBP 3.54 million (USD 6.16 million) in remunerating the 27 most senior staff - members of its Ofcom board, executive committee and content board -in the year to the end of March compared to just under GBP 2.3 million (USD 4 million) in the previous year although then not all were with Ofcom for the full year.
After Carter the next most highly remunerated executive was Kip Meek, Ofcom's senior partner of competition and content who cost it GBP 322,578 (USD 561,583): In comparison chairman Lord David Currie cost it GBP 178,443 (USD 310,674).
In his message in the report Currie writes, "Effectively functioning markets, rather than regulation, are the most effective means of delivering innovation and expansion for the sector, and quality and choice for consumers and citizens Ofcom operates with a bias against intervention."
He then however wrote " in some areas it is clear that the market, unaided, will not fulfil the legitimate needs of consumers and citizens. Public service broadcasting is identified in statute as one such area, where Ofcom's role is to protect the wider interests of the viewer."
He also commented, "Another area where the market alone may not sufficiently address a wider social need is in access to communications services by elderly and disabled people and by people living in more remote and rural communities. Over the past year Ofcom has sought to address these needs through its review of the Universal Service Obligation in telecommunications and through work to develop new Access Codes in both broadcasting and telecommunications."
Although Currie paid little attention to radio as such, in his message Carter noted that during the year Ofcom launched the new FM local commercial radio licensing process with greatly simplified rules, and also launched community radio.
Looking ahead he said that Later this year Ofcom will complete its review of radio and noted " conclusions on the future expansion of digital radio will be of particular significance to the industry as companies continue successfully to exploit the benefits of convergence."
In further comments relating to radio the report notes work on a draft Broadcasting Code to replace the six separate Codes for television and radio which it inherited from the previous broadcasting regulators and its publication of the first part of its two-part review of the commercial radio sector, together with a broader analysis of options for the future of radio.
It also noted the approval subject to minimal divestments of the Capital-GWR merger to form GCap Media and its introduction of a "new FM local commercial radio licensing process designed to be as streamlined and as transparent as possible and which involves would-be applicants effectively writing their own formats" and the introduction of community licences.
Ofcom report (6.1 MB 153 page PDF):
2005-07-20: Two new US radio formats have been unveiled in Chicago by Clear Channel using extra HD digital channels on its smooth jazz WNUA-FM and adult urban contemporary WVAZ-FM.
The new digital services - "Straight jazz" and "dusties" (R&B oldies and blues) respectively - are so far airing just music with no talent or commercials according to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times- were not being actively promoted on the station websites when we last checked.
Clear Channel has also launched HD simulcasts of its AM stations Real Oldies" WRLL-AM and gospel WGRB-AM during the daytime; they also were not promoting the digital signal on their web sites when we checked.
Previous Clear Channel:
Chicago Sun-Times Feder column:
2005-07-20: Urban Radio Communications, LLC. has announced that it has received USD 17 million in financing from The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and 21st Century Group, taking its total capital raised to date to USD 21 million.
Urban, which was founded by its C EO Kevin Wagner, is focussing on providing a variety of urban formats in small and mid-size markets in the South-eastern United States: It and says that with the financing it has acquired ten more to add to its existing three to take it to 13 stations in four markets.
The stations acquired are WIMX-FM and WJZE-FM in Toledo, Ohio; WLAY-FM, WLAY-AM, WVNA-FM, WNVA-AM, and WMXV-FM in Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama; WACR-FM in Columbus/Starkville, Mississippi; and KBCE-FM and KMXH-FM in Alexandria, Louisiana.
2005-07-20: Focussing in on the switch by Infinity of WCBS-FM from Oldies to the Jack-FM format, John Mainelli in the New York Post sums up the effects on its ratings with the headline, "Change Didn't Do Jack for Ex-Oldies Station."
He notes that in the Spring Arbitron ratings, which included only three weeks of the new format, the station lost 12% of its listeners and fell from ninth to 12th place in the rankings.
"Worse," he writes, "mathematical "extrapolations" - used by programmers to guesstimate month-to-month changes - show, far from jacking up the audience, the new format chased away more than half of WCBS-FM's oldies fans between May and June."
However he notes that experts and a station spokesman caution that it is far too early to predict the ultimate fate of the new format and quoted an unnamed "industry source" as saying, "If the new format had started from nowhere, as most Jack stations do, they'd be happy to debut with a 1.8," said an industry insider."
Overall the ratings show Clear Channel's WLTW-FM (Lite FM) in first place with a 6.1 share, followed by charts WSJQ -FM with 4.8 and WRKS-FM (Kiss FM) with 4.7.
Previous Clear Channel:
New York Daily Post report:
2005-07-19: US Satellite Radio will attract more than 46 million subscribers and revenues of nearly USD 7.6 billion by 2014 according to a Kagan research study "Satellite Radio Outlook 2005: Analysis and Projections for the Industry".
The study offers 10-year predictions and says distinct interest in satellite radio from both consumers and companies ready to form partnerships with either XM or Sirius portends a favourable long-term outlook.
Demand for satellite radio service remains strong, customer satisfaction is high and churn has been low, it says and refers to industry's attractive business model, with revenue streams from both advertising and subscription fees.
It also notes that a high entry barrier assures limited future competition for XM and Sirius although it noted that the satellite companies could face future competition from alternative technologies and cannot neglect the appeal of local radio.
In particular it says strong automotive partnerships offer some protection from competitive challenges, and it estimates that by 2014, approximately three quarters of new subscribers will come from the OEM connection.
The report estimates that XM will reach positive cash flow by the third quarter of 2007 but Sirius will not reach this stage until 2008: It says that after this point each company will steadily increase earnings with EBITDA for XM topping USD 2 billion and that of Sirius reaching USD 1.4 billion in 2014.
Kagan web site (Note the full report costs US D995: The link just has a summary and list of contents):
2005-07-19: BBC London has now officially confirmed that Jono Coleman is to return to the station, where he began his UK broadcasting career, but with a weekday afternoon magazine show from next Monday rather than the breakfast show that had been rumoured (See RNW Jun 18).
Coleman was replaced as breakfast show host on Chrysalis-owned Heart FM in London earlier this year by Jamie Theakston and had subsequently hosted two weekend entertainment shows on the company's LBC-FM talk station.
LBC is also losing its managing director Mark Flanagan who is to branch out on his own as a political lobbyist. Flanagan joined Chrysalis in 1998 from Fox FM in Oxford, where he was managing director, and soon after the Chrysalis bought LBC AM station and its sister FM, News Direct moved to the LBC post from his previous position as Chrysalis operations director in which role he oversaw the company's Heart and Galaxy stations.
He will be replaced by David Lloyd, currently managing director of Chrysalis's Galaxy stations in Yorkshire and Manchester ; Martyn Healy, currently managing director of Galaxy's north-east station is to be promoted from to oversee all four of the company's Galaxy services.
2005-07-19: NextMedia has announced agreement to acquire KEZR-FM and KBAY-FM, serving the San Jose, California, market from Infinity, which had announced its intention to dispose of the stations when it agreed to purchase KEAR-FM from Family Stations, Inc. (See RNW Apr 20).
No financial details were announced of the deal, which is expected to close early next year and NextMedia says it expects to begin operating the stations under a local marketing agreement by August 1 this year assuming it gains regulatory approval.
NextMedia President and CEO Steven Dinetz said the deal was "an ideal transaction that will enable us to enter our first top-ten metropolitan market."
He described San Jose as "a rapidly growing city with exceptional demographics, including a population with the highest median household income in the nation" and added, "KEZR and KBAY are two well-established music stations serving the 18 to 54 year-old demographic, which are audiences that advertisers covet. The addition of these stations will significantly expand our growth outlook today and over the long-term."
Infinity Chairman and CEO Joel Hollander termed it a "welcome deal for both parties" and added, "NextMedia, a rapidly growing and well respected media company, expands their operations into California's third largest city, and Infinity is able to strengthen its operations in the San Francisco market with the pending acquisition of KEAR- FM."
2005-07-19: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld no radio complaints in its latest bulletin although it proposed penalties of GBP 18,000 (USD 31,500) and GBP 12,000 (USD 21,000) on two TV companies and also upheld another TV complaint regarding placing of an advertisement break during a Formula One Grand Prix race.
It also considered three TV complaints resolved: The figures compare to one radio complaint upheld and two considered resolved plus three TV complaints considered resolved in its previous bulletin.
In addition to cases where details were given a further nine radio complaints relating to nine items and 82 TV complaints relating to 71 items were rejected or held to be out of remit with no further details given: This compares to a further 19 radio complaints relating to 18 items and 146 TV complaints relating to 127 items listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2005-07-18: Technological change forms the main theme of our look at print comment on radio this week, starting with a commentary by Andy Sennitt posted on the Radio Netherlands site and focused on international broadcasting services.
This says Sennitt "used to be relatively simple. If you wanted to reach people more than a few hundred miles away, you used short wave. For closer targets, medium wave (if available) was a better option."
He notes that the advent of satellite led to change as it permitted feeding high quality to audio to local stations leading to deals by the major broadcasters to set up FM relays of their output and then, when Direct-to-home came along the development of the World Radio Network (WRN) that allowed smaller broadcasters to offer their output as "part of a package of international broadcasts from a variety of stations."
Of subsequent Internet offerings he comments, "The Internet companies, for obvious commercial reasons, tended to exaggerate in their promotional literature about what it could actually do, and some less enlightened management at international broadcasters thought they had found an alternative to short wave. "
As Sennitt comments, "It is, but still only for a minority of people" noting the absence of broadband in many parts of the world, the problems of Internet audio on dial-up and the comparatively small numbers who can receive a signal at any one time compared to the potential short wave audience.
Overall though Sennitt regards digital positively and he notes, "Despite some initially very negative comments from short wave listeners, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) looks set to become a major distribution medium, and is winning over people and organizations that were initially skeptical" and adds " in the longer term the widespread adoption of digital rather than analogue technology will result in much lower operating costs."
Sennitt also comments on WorldSpace's DTH service - "a pan-African (and now also pan-Asian) satellite service originally conceived as a means of allowing Africans to talk to other Africans about major problems such as Aids and poverty, has failed to make the breakthrough. Instead, it has become a partly subscription-based service affordable only by a lucky few who generally live in the major cities. Its programming consists largely of entertainment, including stations hardly anyone in Africa wants to listen to."
The latest technology being promoted to distribute audio is of course the podcast and Wharton Business School legal studies and business ethics professor Kevin Werbach raises the question pertinent to many: "Can This New Medium Make Money?"
Obviously it has for Apple judging by that company's latest results but for those distributing the podcasts the answer is less clear according to Werbach who writes, "Podcasting is a nice way to package up spoken audio content the way MP3s have already packaged up music For people listening to the radio or music on the go, it will increase the amount of non-music content they hear, but it won't dramatically change listening patterns."
Werbach notes that Apple's hardware sales have been boosted by podcasts and that it has integrated them into its iTunes offerings but that you don't need an iPod for a podcast - others are likely to offer them in their competitive services to iTunes - and comments, "Podcasting is a boon for Apple if it sells more iPods, but it's also a threat to Apple's control of the platform. If you use your portable music device mostly to hear non-commercial or retransmitted podcasts, what do you need Apple for?"
Arguing on the other side, Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a Campbell, Calif., consulting firm, is quoted as saying, "I don't see the downside for Apple. By integrating podcasts into iTunes, Apple draws more people to its world to buy an iPod."
Werbach is also more skeptical than Bajarin about the chances of companies other than Apple making much money from podcasts, although others may try through offering ways to find specific podcasts. He comments, I doubt there are many big businesses to build around it, even though it will be widely used. There are opportunities for aggregation of podcasts and for selling tools to make podcasting easier, but neither of those will be massive money-makers."
Bajarin, however suggests that it may be able to attract subscriptions to podcasts focusing on a particular topic and also advertising - the suggestion is that a scuba diving company might want to advertise with a podcast on scuba diving.
Another potential source of income mooted is sponsorship and the article cites PodTech.net founder John Furrier who sells sponsorships of interviews such as those with the CEO and CTO of sponsor Barracuda Networks, which makes network appliances to prevent spam and spyware.
RNW comment: Overall the Wharton article seems to us to suggest that terrestrial radio companies developing podcasts may well add a reasonable number of listeners but probably won't make much profit from the service.
While podcasting may provide limited extra income for terrestrial radio if Wharton is right, satellite radio has been seen mainly as a competitor but Olga Kharif writing in Business Week suggests that Sirius and XM might, rather than competing with each other, do better by merging.
She quotes Craig Mathias, founder of wireless consultancy Farpoint Group, as saying, "Financially, [a merger or an alliance] would make a lot of sense."
Kharif notes that the two companies may be denying talk of combining but are being less overtly aggressive towards each other and quotes XM Chairman Gary Parsons as saying, "It's more important to differentiate ourselves from the other technologies and services that are out there than for either Sirius or us to differentiate ourselves from one another."
She says that the costs of subsidizing equipment, enticing subscribers to take their services, and fighting for content could mount up to significant pressure on their cash resources and notes the additional competition from podcasts and digital radio developments.
"Motorola," she writes, "is planning to bring out an ad-free wireless audio service for the car market -- XM's and Sirius' bread and butter Just like that, the $310 million satellite-radio business is looking like a pond compared to the wider wireless ocean -- and the pond is getting crowded. Rather than duke it out, XM and Sirius may find it more advantageous to present a joint front to competitors."
Kharif says that costs would fall drastically if the two companies combined and that any merger would probably get past antitrust scrutiny from regulators or as an alternative they would form an alliance for content.
RNW comment: The Business Week article has attracted a number of comments, most of which dismiss the idea of a merger and the most constructive of which in our view is the suggestion that the business of both companies would be boosted by development of receivers that could handle both services and also offering various service packages such as sports so that people could choose more of what they wanted as with cable TV offerings.
All the above of course could bode ill for many terrestrial stations and in an "Online Spin" on Media Post Cory Treffiletti notes the decline in US terrestrial radio listening and cites some of the reasons before going on to suggest that there is one area where terrestrial can strike back.
"The one thing they [satellite radio, podcasts etc] lack, however, that traditional local radio stations offer, is the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the local consumer."
Treffiletti, the senior vice president and managing director at Carat Interactive, San Francisco, comments, "Local radio offers a very unique opportunity to engage the consumer from multiple locations and engage in a dialogue. If I were the owner of a station, I would want to focus on the consumer and having them call in to speak with the on-air personalities and become a part of the content."
"Think about it... the only segment of radio not experiencing rapid decline is talk radio. Sports talk radio and political radio are still growing and still considered successful. Why is that? Because they offer the opportunity to have a dialogue and they engage the consumer in the discussion."
"It's inevitable," he says, "under the current trend, that traditional radio is going to lose a significant portion of its audience base to digital and satellite, but they can still be relevant if they focus on their primary USP (unique selling proposition), which is local contact and local expression. Satellite radio, though offering a stronger selection of music, can never touch local radio in this area."
RNW comment: Which of course is good news for community-and local oriented stations but not so good for big media companies as voice-tracking and syndication is inimical to that local touch. But the local touch will cost more. And that means what for radio stock prices?
Finally the Internet and according to David Colker writing in the Los Angeles Times, "Nobody Does Web Radio Better Than BBC."
Coker says the first Internet radio station broadcast in December 1993- a speech by Larry King at the National Press Club in Washington- attracted an audience of nine and now, according to a tally from Live-Radio.net in London, "there are 3,834 broadcast radio stations in 151 countries that stream online" on top of other streams from individuals.
After giving some details of the range he goes on to the BBC and comments among other things, " you'll find live broadcasts of the network's hallowed World Service - in 43 languages - that debuted in 1932 and set the standard for international radio. But the Internet has also brought the rest of BBC radio - designed for domestic consumption - to a far wider audience. It is some of the most vibrant, entertaining radio in the world."
He notes that the "domestic service consists of 10 English-language, live channel streams with programming on business, current affairs, drama, comedy, science, religion and a variety of music genres, including pop, classical, hip-hop, jazz, country-western and world music [RNW comment- On top of which there are local stations].
He also notes that the popularity of the BBC news site meant he couldn't get onto it for two hours on the day of the London bombings but then goes on to the concept dear to our heart and missing from so much tightly-formatted radio: "Under normal circumstances, however, the service is so good that it can lure you into areas you never thought you'd find engaging Take hip-hop, for example. Even if you're one of those people who thought you'd never like the genre (my hand is raised), it would be hard to find the mixes by announcer Ras Kwame on the Radio 1 channel as anything less than enthralling."
."Conversely, any open-eared listener to "Discovering Music" - probably the best show explaining classical music since Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts" half a century ago - would find it hard to dismiss dead-composer music as no longer vibrant."
Like so many things though there is a sting in the tail: "In addition to the live streams, hundreds of archived programs are just a click away. And in the last few weeks, the BBC has begun making a few of the shows available via podcasting. BBC executives decline to release figures on how many foreigners are tuning in to these domestic channels, which went online in 1999. But given that about one-third of the visitors to the radio website are from outside Britain, there's no doubt they are globally popular."
"Maybe too popular. Enjoy it while you can; they might be taking it back. Sending BBC's domestic programs around the world for free amounts to subsidizing foreign consumption of a service that British citizens have to pay for, and BBC management is considering ending it."
The reason? Unlike over-the-air broadcasting, "the more people listen to online radio, the more bandwidth the broadcaster has to purchase."
"It's a complex situation," said Simon Nelson, controller of the BBC's radio and music interactive services. "I'm proud that we deliver a service that is valued all over the world. But I have to make sure we are not using the public license fee to subsidize free international services. We need to find the right balance."
So as Colker comments, "The message is that it's probably not going to disappear right away. But just in case, go for it now."
Which is a cue to mention the BBC first as we move to suggested listening - where thanks to its on-demand service we feature the corporation over most other broadcasters since programmes since it offers a range and quality and the fact that the programmes can be listened to by anyone online.
And in a look ahead to a BBC Radio 3 offering later this year in the Times of London Chris Campling reported on the success of the BBC's offering of downloads of all of Beethoven's nine symphonies, made available in conjunction with its Beethoven Experience around a million people are expected to have taken advantage of the offer when the final figures are in. From that peg he notes that later this year the station is planning a similar Bach Experience but " The bad news is that there are no plans as yet to offer the download option. Well, nine symphonies is one thing, but 222 cantatas . . ."
Sticking with classical music, this year's Henry Wood Promenade Concerts have now begun and BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting all but one of them live and also offering them on the listen again service for up to seven days.
Today's offering (16:00 GMT) is the new Covent Garden production of Wagner's Die Walküre featuring Plácido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Waltraud Meier and Lisa Gasteen
The link is below as is the link to the station's Discovering Music site - mentioned by Colker: this has an archive back to January this year although unfortunately some of the archives are truncated because of rights problems. The archives use Real Player and thus allow you to move back and forward through the programme to listen carefully when a particular point made strikes a chord although we'd suggest spending the first hour listening to a complete run is good preparation.
After that we thought we'd illustrate some of the BBC range of music with suggestions from other channels - Radio 2 for " 'Til the End of the Day ", the two-part story of The Kinks that began last Tuesday and ends tomorrow at 19:30 GMT. It's followed by the last of the six-part "Behind the Glass: The Phil Ramone Story."
For a run through what's on offer we suggest spending a few minutes on the various sites - Radio 1 for charts, dance and hip-hop; 1-Xtra for new "black" music and more; Radio 2 for an older selection including pop, rock, folk, jazz, and musicals; radio 3 for classical, jazz and world music; and 6- music for a varied eclectic selection mainly pop and album.
The same goes for speech (BBC Radio 4) and speech archive BBC7 (Speech including drama and comedy) and news/sport (BBC Radio 5 Live and Five Live Xtra) and, of course, World Service.
On though an across the oceans, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation also offers a good range of online listening out of which we'd suggest the latest Background Briefing that deal with the issues of household and personal debt and of the National Interest, the latest edition of which looked at issues of government advertising, the Gates Foundation's funding of research into technology to shorten the life of mosquitoes and help prevent them spreading Dengue Fever, and what happens to asylum seekers for are sent back home from Australia.
Those sent back of course are regarded as economic migrants rather than needing asylum and BBC World Service's Masterpiece last Tuesday (Still on the web site) looked at the Republic of Ireland's use of labour from Brazil to enable them to fill shortages of skilled workers.
Most of those concerned are men who stay a few years, sending money home to their families, but some have brought their families with them - one of four of the population in Gort is now Brazilian. There was apparently initial suspicion but one local summed up the situation by noting the Brazilians now are like the Irish when they went to America and England years ago.
Still with talk and documentary BBC Radio 4 in Can't Take, Won't Take on Wednesday looked at the billions spent by Britain's National Health Service on prescription drugs, around 40% of which are paid for but not consumed and the reasons for what is termed "non-compliance."
We'd also recommend from the station last week's Any Questions that featured amongst others George Galloway MP, expelled from the governing Labour Party and back in Parliament for the Respect Party and US Law Lecturer and Republican Professor Colleen Graffy. In the same way that Galloway clashed with a US Senate Committee - and in our view bested them with some withering comments about their respect for evidence, we'd say on balance, whether you agree with him or not, he bested the Professor in argument when it came to issues of Iraq and weapons of Mass Destruction
And as a final documentary we'd suggest last week's File on Four, based on the manner in which complaints and concerns about wrong-doing by prison staff - some by a woman prison officer, who has now won a large employment tribunal award against the service - are fobbed off. Not much concern that justice should be done, never mind seen to be done but more a case of closing ranks would seem to be a fair conclusion about the British prison service.
BBC Discovering Music web site:
BBC Proms web site:
Business Week - Kharif:
Los Angeles Times - Colker:
Media Post - Treffiletti:
Radio Netherlands - Sennitt:
UK Times - Campling
Wharton Business School report:
2005-07-18: According to the UK Sunday Times, Emmis, which was last week reported by the UK Guardian to be considering purchasing UK radio assets (See RNW Jul 15) , has the Chrysalis Group at the head of its British shopping list.
It adds that as well as Chrysalis, Emmis executives, who visited the UK to explore acquisition opportunities, are thought to be interested in the Local Radio Company, which operates 27 local stations across the country, and notes that speculation has also linked Emmis with a takeover of GCap.
The paper suggests that any Emmis bid for Chrysalis could face competition from Lagardère, the French media group, and Ulster TV, which recently bought The Wireless Group (See RNW May 10) and is thought to be interested in the idea of bringing together TalkSport and Chrysalis's LBC.
It says that Emmis is unlikely to be interested in Chrysalis's music or books publishing. [RNW comment: This last does not seem to tie in with comments by Emmis chairman, president and CEO Jeff Smulyan , who in a Q&A posted on the Emmis web site specifically played down any idea of selling off Emmis's publishing division in the US (See RNW Jul 12). Those comments would seem to indicate that the profitability of music or books would be the determining factor rather than any current market preferences for concentration on core operations. Bearing in mind market liking for conglomerates in the past, Smulyan would seem to be sensible here.
Previous Local Radio Company:
UK Sunday Times report:
2005-07-18: Despite funding concerns US National Public Radio (NPR) is going ahead with a USD 15 million expansion of its news division and is also to launch new multi-cast services and podcasting services according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last month House Appropriations Committee voted to slash funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by around USD 200 million although subsequent votes indicate that most if not all of this will be restored.
The paper quotes NPR Executive Vice-President Ken Stern, who had been to the city for planning conferences, as saying that new technologies "are going to change the way people listen to radio" and cited unnamed NPR officials as saying they would be paying special attention to podcasting which, the paper notes, has been a big hit on JNPR affiliate KCRW-FM in Santa Monica whose downloads hit 100,000 a day in summer.
Previous Ken Stern:
Los Angeles Times report:
2005-07-17: Last week the most important regulatory development was a postponement rather than a decision, that of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove from its agenda discussion of new media ownership regulation (See RNW Jul 15): Elsewhere it was a fairly quiet week with no major activity.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Agency (ACMA) made no radio decisions although it has issued a call for tenders for an FM radio planning consultancy for ABC services and SBS retransmission services with a closing date of August 12.
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has had a fairly quiet week with the main announcement concerning receipt of an application for a commercial licence to serve Lethbridge, Alberta, and advertising for applications from any other parties wishing to serve the area.
Licence decisions concerning radio included:
*Renewal until Aug 31, 2012 of the licence of emergency information service CKML-AM, Chalk River.
*Approval of transmitter relocation and antenna height reduction for community station CJMQ-FM, Lennoxville.
There were no radio decisions in Ireland and in the UK there were also no radio decisions from Ofcom although it did release its second annual Communications Market Report on the state of Britain's communications and broadcasting industries (See RNW Jul 14).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as postponing its media ownership discussions already mentioned has also a further list of winners in its FM Auction 37 whose construction permits it will now grant on payment of their outstanding balance. The 11 winners won bids for stations in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
The FCC also announced that on July 27 it is to hold a pre-auction seminar for its FM Auction 62 that is to be conducted later in November with 173 construction permits on offer.
Minimum opening bids are suggested in the range USD 1,500 to USD 200,000 and the permits are for stations in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wand Wyoming.
The FCC has also issued show cause orders to three stations, currently classified as Class C, but operating below minimum Class C facilities, that may be reclassified as class CO to allow new services in other localities.
In Arkansas City, Kansas, KYQQ-FM, could be reclassified to allow a first local service in Waukomis, Oklahoma, and in Kansas City, Missouri, KMXV-FM and KSRC-FM could be reclassified to allow an the upgrade of KWRT-FM, Boonville, Missouri.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-07-17: California is to get two more "liberal talk" outlets next week according to the Monterey Herald.
First to switch it says will be KOMY-AM-1340, Watsonville, a sister to right-leaning KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz, which on Monday will drop its current mix that includes Rush Limbaugh, Phil Hendrie and Michael Savage and switch to a line-up including six hours of Air America programming including shows from Al Franken and Randi Rhodes.
Michael Zwerling, who owns KSCO and KOMY, said that the latter would become "primarily a radio station for liberals" whilst KSCO would be "primarily be a station for conservatives."
The second change is at Spanish-language talk station KRXA AM-540 (formerly KXME) in Carmel Valley, which has been acquired from People's Radio Inc. by Washington, D.C., lawyer Hal Ginsberg and long-time California host Peter Collins, who will host a talk show on the station. Its other programming will include syndicated shows by Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz.
Ginsberg commented of the change, "We're going to be presenting the antithesis to the right-wing rants that are generally on talk radio [but] it won't be a situation like NPR, where we have talking heads or pundits. We will definitely be challenging our guests."
Collins, who has worked for talk show stations in San Francisco for almost 30 years, added, "We chose Monterey because it's a beautiful place... and we also believe that there's just a very strong interest among the people who live here in hearing more than right-wing voices."
Previous Air America:
Monterey Herald report:
2005-07-16: Toronto-headquartered CHUM has reported what it terms a "strong" third quarter to the end of May with revenue up 18% to CAD 175.5 million (USD 143.8 million), EBITDA up 52.4% to CAD 47.9 million (USD 39.2 million) and net earnings up 64.1% to CAD 23.4 million (USD 19.2 million- from CAD 0.52 to CAD 0.83 per share).
For the first nine months of the year its revenues are up 11% to CAD 477.4 million (USD 391.1 million) with EBITDA up 43.6% to CAD 105.4 million (USD 86.3 million) and net earnings up 63.1% to CAD 43.4 million (USD 38.8 million).
In divisional terms, TV outperformed other divisions: Its revenues were up 19.1% for the quarter to
CAD 136.1 million (USD 111.5 million) with EBITDA up 46.4% to CAD 37.2 million (USD 30.5 million) and 11.4% for the first nine months to CAD 367.3 million (USD 3009.9 million) with EBITDA up 34.1% to CAD 81.0 million (USD 66.4 million).
Radio revenues were up 12% for the quarter to CAD 36.6 million (USD 30.0 million) and 10.1% for the nine months to CAD101.7 million (USD 84.0 million) with EBITDA up 39.5% to CAD 14.6 million (USD 11.9 million) and 32.2% to CAD 36.1 million (USD 29.6 million).
CHUM comments that its "radio segment recorded excellent performance in the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2005. "
"The Company's radio stations," it says, "continued to record strong revenue growth on a same station basis in the third quarter. The growth rate was higher than in the first two quarters of this year owing to a stronger ratings position for the Company's radio stations in Fall 2004 compared with Fall 2003."
2005-07-16: As we anticipated yesterday it wasn't long before the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) raised concern about XM's planned acquisition of WCS Wireless (See RNW Jul 15).
Too late for our deadline NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts wrote to US lawmakers saying the acquisition showed satellite radio proving again "they simply cannot be trusted."
Noting that the Wall Street Journal characterized the transaction as "a move to expand and localize programming" he continued, "The proposed transaction is part of a longstanding pattern of deception by the satellite radio industry. In 2003, while publicly claiming it had no plans to insert local content on its network of terrestrial repeaters, XM spent months seeking a patent for technology to do just that. In December of 2003, the company finally relented and signed an agreement saying that the repeaters would not be used for local content. Just a few weeks later, XM Satellite Radio announced that it would offer local programming by earmarking some of its national channels for localized traffic and weather information. In February of 2004, the other satellite radio provider, Sirius, followed suit with its own localized content plans."
"In March of this year," he continued, "The New York Times reported, that Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin, "told a gathering of Wall Street analysts in Florida that Sirius might run various local feeds of Stern's show in such cities as Los Angeles and New York, whereby local weather and contests might be featured, in order to lure local advertisers."
Fritts then referred a measure that two of its pet lawmakers have put forward - H.R. 998 sponsored by Mississippi Republican Chip Pickering and Texas Democrat Gene Green - that would prohibit satellite radio companies from inserting local content on ground-based repeaters or use future technologies for localized content and instruct the FCC to examine the legality of putting local content on nationally distributed channels.
"Local radio broadcasters" wrote Fritts, "live by the terms of our FCC granted licenses. While a national satellite radio service may indeed offer worthwhile niche programming to a limited segment of the population, no company should be permitted to disregard the terms of their licenses. On behalf of your hometown radio stations, I urge you to join your colleagues in cosponsoring H.R. 998 and help keep the satellite industry to its word."
RNW comment: A little careful examination of the facts as usual shows Fritts' comments as one-sided lobbying that in our view misrepresents the situation.
It would seem to us clear that so far the satellite companies have not so far localised their output in ways that would attract local advertising - the outcome that Fritts fears. Were they to do so it would also seem clear that they would be likely to breach their licence conditions, a breach that would arouse furious protests and would certainly be taken up by the FCC enforcement bureau (Just ask why the FCC would have needed an enforcement bureau that dealt with broadcasters to treat Fritts' comments on his members living by the conditions of their licences in a sensible context and then apply the judgment to any action by the satellite companies).
2005-07-16: Scottish radio station 107 The Edge, Motherwell, which was to have been closed down yesterday has been given a two-week stay of execution by its owners, The Kingdom Radio Group.
The station, which was launched six years ago as Clan FM had a peak audience of around 36,000 listeners in North Lanarkshire but this has dropped to around 13,000, a decline blamed in part on competition from new rivals SAGA FM and Real FM in Glasgow, launched last year and in 2002 respectively.
The station went on air in November 1999 and UKRD, one of its principal backers, later took control later selling its Scottish radio assets to Kingdom in September 2003.
Kingdom, which re-branded the station to serve North Lanarkshire, has been trimming staff since last year says it has postponed its announced closure because of expressions of interest in the station.
Station manager Kevin Brady told the Glasgow Herald, "We are continuing to run the service for two more weeks due to substantial interest in the station. We are speaking to four companies who are interested and we are hopeful the station can be saved. It is important for Lanarkshire that it continues."
Glasgow Herald report:
2005-07-16: CNN Money reports rumours that Infinity is to take Howard Stern off terrestrial radio by Labor Day ahead of September's crucial ratings period, four months before his contract runs out and he joins Sirius Satellite Radio.
It also reports rumours that Infinity has signed David Lee Roth, formerly the lead singer of Van Halen, to replace Stern.
It quoted Talkers magazine publisher Michael Harrison as confirming the rumour, noting that Stern is a master at feeding rumour and also that previous rumours did not come to pass.
CNN earlier reported that Hyundai, which surveyed a number of customers on their views about satellite radio services before opting to choose XM, had received a number of "unprompted write-ins" indicating that customers were "not comfortable with programming from Stern." [RNW comment: The question arises as to why - and also whether the same customers are happy with Opie and Anthony on XM - or are merely ignorant about their show.]
CNN Money report:
2005-07-16: In yet another case of dissatisfaction with a US radio prize a California woman is suing Bakersfield station KBDS -FM (Play 103.9) over an April contest last year offering a Hummer as a prize and giving her a remote-controlled toy model: The station site still includes a series of pictures under the heading "On April 1st (Fool's) we ran a contest...'Win A Hummer'. Do you know how many people actually participated thinkin' we were gonna give away an actual hummer? Not on this day!!!"
Shannon Castillo says she hired a baby sitter for her two children so she could be at the station early on the day of the give-away and waited for two-hours before a DJ handed her and another listener toy cars as prizes for estimating the number of miles two Hummer H2's had travelled around town.
The station ran the contest for a week giving regular updates on the supposed vehicles travels and Castillo commented, "They put us on the radio all week long, just portraying how they couldn't believe that we believed they were actually giving away real cars. I just couldn't believe that they would actually humiliate someone like that."
Castillo's lawyer said the station's misrepresentation of the prizes being offered violated state law and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and the lawsuit seeks USD 60,000, about the cost of a real H2.
"Any time you conduct a contest you have to be brutally honest about how you're conducting the contest and what you're giving away," he said, adding that the station had indicated the H2 had 22-inch rims, suggesting the vehicle itself was full-sized.
RNW comment: Unless the rules for April Fool's jokes that limit them to the morning of the day itself have changed, running the contest for a week would seem to put the station in breach of tradition on this one. The station's posted photographs do not tell the tale clearly but on the surface we would think the litigant has a fair chance of extracting a settlement.
KBDS web site (Links to Hummer pictures):
Mercury News/AP report:
2005-07-15: Emmis, which could have USD 1 billion in cash to spend as a result of the sale of its TV division, is likely to use the funds to grow its radio operations according to the Indianapolis Star and according to the UK Guardian it has now confirmed interest in acquiring radio assets in the UK.
The Star says Emmis expects to announce a sale of its 16 TV stations by August 15 and adds that chairman, president, and CEO Jeff Smulyan said the company Emmis would look to buy radio stations in the largest markets, preferably where Emmis already operates, but also in new ones.
The paper added that other parts of the funds would be used to reduce debt and that Smulyan had also said Emmis's publishing division wanted to replicate its latest magazine, Tu Ciudad, an English glossy aimed at affluent Hispanics in Los Angeles, in other markets probably starting with New York.
Emmis has suggested as a possible buyer if Disney sells its radio operations (See RNW Jul 14).
In the UK, the Guardian somewhat undermined its Emmis "aim to buy British" headline in details it published of comment from Paul Fiddick, president of Emmis International, who it said had confirmed interest but added that British radio companies were currently overvalued and there was no deal at present on the table.
"Radio values in the UK are higher than they are in the US. My opinion is that UK radio values are on the high side compared to the world market," he commented at a seminar organised by independent think tank the Social Market Foundation at the UK House of Commons.
Fiddick also commented on potential dangers of consolidation, saying, "The US experience shows that media consolidation without the counter-balance of new entrants is not a positive force for the industry or consumers. Consolidation has not been good for pluralism or 'localness'. Using consolidation as a means to reduce competition is not pro-consumer."
"Buyers paid too much for the economic benefit they could never realise. As a result the US radio industry has fewer participants, more debt, lower growth rates and lower stock market values than before consolidation. The winners were those who sold their radio stations. The main benefactors of the policies were those that left the industry."
Also at the meeting, set up to explore the changes that have taken place in the UK radio industry in the two years since the Communications Act liberalised the sector, removed restrictions on foreign ownership and paved the way for consolidation, were Britain's Minister for the Creative Industries James Purnell, the Chief Executive of the Commercial Radio Companies Association Paul Brown and Ofcom head of Radio and Multimedia Peter Davies.
Indianapolis Star report:
UK Guardian report:
2005-07-15: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday delayed discussion of new media ownership regulation - required after a federal appeals court threw out part of its previous proposals made in June 2003 - and removed discussion of the matter from the agenda of its regular meeting.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia had criticized the FCC's methods of determining what should govern deregulation and the Supreme Court had decided not to hear an appeal by broadcasters who were in favour of the 2003 proposals to remove restrictions on cross-ownership of broadcasters and newspapers in a market.
Although no formal comment was made about the removal of the item from the agenda, FCC chairman Kevin J, Martin told reporters that commissioners are divided on how many public hearings to hold into the issue and on how much should be spent on new studies.
2005-07-15: Corus Entertainment has reported net income of CAD 19.4 million (USD 16.0million - CAD 45 cents a share) in its third quarter to the end of May compared to a loss of CAD 51.2 million (USD 42.3 million - CAD 1.20 per share) a year earlier on revenues up 4.9 % to CAD 171.9 million (USD 141.9 million).
In divisional terms TV revenues were up 7% to CAD 90.5 million (USD 74.7 million) producing profits up 15% at CAD 34.7 million (USD 28.6 million) and radio revenues were up 12% to CAD 68.3 million (USD 56.4 million) producing profits up 21% to CAD 22.2 million (USD 18.3 million) but content revenues were down 26.6% to CAD 14.6 million (USD 12.1 million) mainly because only 28 Nelvana episodes were produced in the quarter, as compared to 40 in the previous year. Content moved in the black despite this with a profit of CAD 100,000 (USD 82,500) compared to a loss a year earlier of CAD 89.3 million (USD 73.7 million).
For the first nine months of its financial year, Corus revenues are up only 0.8% at CAD 507.8 million (USD 419.2 million) and it has turned a loss of CAD 37.2 million (USD 30.7 million - CAD 0.87 per share) to a profit of CAD 61.5 million (USD 50.8 million).
TV revenues to date are up 7% at CAD 270.8 million (USD 223.5 million) producing a 14% segment profit increase to CAD 110.0 million (USD 90.8 million) and radio revenues are up 11% to CAD 187.4 million (USD 154.7 million) producing a 21% segment profit increase to CAD 53.2 million (USD 43,9 million).
Content revenues to date are down 35.9% to CAD 54,4 million (USD 44.9 million) and the division made a profit of CAD 1.8 million (USD 1.5 million) compared to a loss a year ago of CAD 83.8 million (USD 69.2 million) when they included a CAD 85.0 million (USD 70.2 million) write-down in Corus's film library.
Corus President and CEO John Cassaday said Corus was " very pleased" with the performance and added, "Radio markets, both locally and nationally, continued to be strong and Corus was well positioned to benefit. Our specialty television networks achieved excellent sales growth, offsetting hockey-related losses at our local TV stations,"
Executive Chair Heather Shaw added, "We are very pleased with our radio results in particular. Our strong competitive position and a continued improvement in our financial performance has been very satisfying."
2005-07-15: Former Emmis New York WQHT-FM (Hot 97) morning show personality Todd Lynn, who was fired by the station after protests at the station's "Tsunami Song" and racist comments made by him, has told the New York Daily News that the song was a "very, very bad mistake" but that it had been condoned by the station's management.
He reiterated his comments on Thursday in an appearance on the Opie and Anthony Show (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) on XM.
Lynn's comments come shortly after producer Rick Delgado, who was also fired, broke his silence following his appointment by Clear Channel to work on the morning show at KYLD-FM, San Francisco (See RNW Jul 11).
"Management heard the song and approved it," Lynn told the paper. "After it aired, they said keep playing it. They thought it was great until the protests started. Then they fired me and Rick Delgado and said, 'We don't condone this,' as if it were all Todd's and Rick's fault. But they did condone it."
Lynn, who the paper reports had "joked on the air, 'I'm gonna start shooting some Asians' - a gag motif he used often, but which he admits was ill-advised this time" has lost heavily because of the dismissal: He told the News that as well as other work and gigs "It's affected my family, too. I was engaged, and now that's shot all to hell."
Lynn said the reason the song was aired was because the station was afraid of competition from one of its former hosts Star (Troi Torain) who had been hired by Clear Channel's WWPR-FM (Power FM).
"They were terrified of Star," he said. "We were all under constant pressure to push the envelope. They told me to be an antagonist, be 'edgy.' They told me I was the agitator and Miss Jones was the mediator. As long as we didn't violate the FCC, they said, everything was cool.
"When Rick wrote the song, none of us really liked it, but it was the kind of thing they'd been telling us they wanted. This and Smackfest, which was the dumbest thing I ever heard of. So Rick, Envy, Tasha and I sang it. Miss Jones wasn't there. We recorded it on Friday, and on Monday Rick said management told him the lawyers had cleared it and go ahead and play it."
He added that after the controversy erupted, he asked if he could apologize on the air and was told no, adding, "So I'd like to apologize now. The song should have been pulled, and I should have been more sensitive."
On the Opie and Anthony show, Lynn fleshed out his criticism further, saying Hot 97 Program Director John Dimmick had come into the studio after the tsunami song was first aired and given a thumbs-up and General Manager had told Delgado, "this is what we need to move the needle and invoke passion in people to get listeners."
Opie and Anthony, who were fired by Infinity after the "Sex in the St Anthony's Cathedral " stunt aired by WNEW, also aired the song again on their show.
RNW comment: As we have made clear a number of times following this incident and other racist, bullying comments from Star, the bottom line here seems to be that the kind of comments made attract an audience in the US. The stations are commercial enterprises and in our view basically amoral: In this case Emmis seems to us to have reacted after boycotts and losing money as a result not because of any worthy moral standards. Lynn certainly seems too have lost out more than others but the root problem is one of boorish, ignorant, misogynist and racist Americans and of commercial enterprises that pander to them in this and a number of other areas.
Previous Opie and Anthony:
New York Daily News report:
2005-07-15: XM Satellite Radio has agreed a purchase - to be paid for by 5.5 million shares of XM Common Stock valued at around USD 200 million - of privately-owned WCS Wireless whose main assets are wireless spectrum licenses in geographic areas covering 163 million people throughout the United States, including 15 of the top 20 metropolitan markets.
XM notes that on average, WCS Wireless licenses include 10 megahertz in the frequency bands adjacent to XM's satellite radio service and says it expects the transaction to close by the end of the year.
It adds that the acquisition provided it "an exceptional opportunity to expand its existing business with a variety of multimedia subscription services, including innovative video and data offerings, transmitted over these new frequencies" and says it will offer more detailed plans in the future.
RNW note: Although indications are that it will be two years or so before XM can develop and commission equipment to use these frequencies, we expect the move to yet again arouse protest from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
NAB has already objected to any moves by the satellite companies to extend their services into any area that could be considered as providing a "local" service including the provision of weather and traffic information.
So far it has lost because the satellite companies have argued that all their services are being provided nationally - traffic and weather reports for an area, to take an example, can be received everywhere by subscribers not just in the area concerned.
Until XM gives more details we cannot make any sensible comment on how proposed services might go beyond this but we certainly expect NAB to object to any development that would allow XM to provide a service that covers less than the whole country.
2005-07-14: The UK radio industry had funding of GBP 1.2 billion (USD 2.1 billion) in 2004, up 4% on a year earlier, with commercial radio revenues - the balance was BBC expenditure - accounting for GBP 564 million (USD 995 million) of that according to media regulator Ofcom: It notes that of commercial revenues advertising amounted to GBP 302 million (USD 533 million) but commercial radio listening hours in the final quarter of the year were at their lowest level for five years and local commercial radio's share of listening fell below 35% in the year. UK commercial radio sponsorship income in 2004 was up 16.4% on the previous year to GBP 87 million (USD 154 million).
Television revenues in comparison rose by 9% to GBP 10.1 billion (USD 17.8 billion) from total UK communications revenues up 6% to GBP 47.4 billion (USD 83.6 billion).
The figures are given against a background in which it says there are now more TV and radio channels than ever before as "platform convergence began in earnest" allowing consumers to "use their broadband connection - and soon even their mobile phone - to watch TV or listen to the radio."
Ofcom puts forward a future of more broadband, digital and mobile services in the country's communications as people increasingly move over from analogue and fixed line services and notes that there are now more UK households with broadband than with dial-up connections - almost 30% of UK households now have broadband and by the end of this year more than 99% of UK homes will be connected to a telephone exchange that is broadband-enabled.
In its second annual Communications Market Report Ofcom notes that more than 60% of UK households now receive digital television and in them 36% of adults have at some time listened to radio via their TV sets.
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) has also made significant inroads with DAB now available in 5% of households. Stations only available on digital platforms accounted for 8.3% of all commercial listening hours in the final quarter of 2004, up nearly three-fold on a year earlier.
In contract to the rise in digital listening, listening to AM stations has fallen by a third since 2000 and for the full year was below 300 million hours for the first time.
Ofcom says the new distribution platforms have driven new radio services, such as on-demand listening, podcasting, streaming, text, and other interactive services: Nearly a fifth of adults who are online have listened to radio over the Internet as well as those who listen using digital radio and TV platforms.
In terms of changing consumer habits and their impact, the report says total revenues for the mobile telecoms industry now exceed those of fixed-line calls and Internet advertising revenues now exceed those of radio advertising.
It also notes that in 2004 - before the merger of Capital Radio and GWR to create GCap Media, the UK's largest radio company - more than one in ten analogue radio licences changed hands during 2004: Seven groups now control more than 60% of UK commercial radio licences, the largest being GCap with around a fifth of all licences and, based on figures at the end of 2004 some 35% of all commercial radio audiences. Since the report was published Emap has taken control of SRH giving it around 14%.
As well as commercial licences, Ofcom has also licensed the UK's first community radio services - when the report was prepared it had received194 applications and awarded five licences.
It also continued to issue restricted service licences - for special events, for digital services wanting to publicise their service for a limited period on an analogue frequency, and for groups wanting to "test the waters" before applying for a full-time licence - with the number authorized in 2004 slightly down on the previous year from 493 to 489.
Commenting on international developments in regulation, Ofcom notes the FCC crackdown over "indecency" and also the introduction of legislation in Italy and the Netherlands to allow the introduction and development of DAB although the Berlin and Brandenburg Media Authority (MABB) "stopped issuing DAB licences on the grounds that 'outdated' technology has been superseded."
RNW note: MABB, which made its decision at the end of last year is significantly out of step with almost everyone in its move including other areas of Germany. Overall DAB broadcasts have launched in all 16 German provinces and around 150 stations can now be received by almost 80% of the population in around 80% of Germany by area.
In other comments on technological developments the reports on the likely availability in a few years of DVB-H (primarily a mobile multimedia system) and the launch of services using the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard: Unlike DAB, which is bundled into multiplexes the DRM system, originally developed for international short-wave services, normally offers a single service on a given frequency.
DRM is now being developed for use in AM and FM bands and is already in use in France and Germany where it is seen as a complementary solution to DAB. In addition a pilot involving several UK radio stations is broadcasting from Austria into the UK, and RTL has announced plans to re-launch Radio Luxembourg broadcasting to the UK using DRM.
DRM receivers, notes Ofcom, are cheaper to produce than those for DAB and the audio quality is better than that of analogue broadcasts although not generally of as high a standard as DAB can offer.
China, it says, is considering DRM as a solution for broadcasting to its entire population and potentially, for broadcasts of the 2008 Olympics to European countries and combined analogue/DAB/DRM receivers are expected to be marketed in Europe.
It also notes the use in Korea of radio platforms to deliver multimedia content and mobile video to handheld devices and developments of services allowing multimedia, announcements in the UK by Digital One and BT Wholesale have announced plans to launch a multimedia service using existing DAB "data services" spectrum, by UBC to allow music downloads via digital radio, and by Emap and 3UK to offer a music video download chart.
Ofcom communications report (This page links to PDFs of full report - in two segments, one 180 pages 4.36 MB, the other 115 pages 1.48 MB covering TV including mention of radio services on digital TV platforms).
2005-07-14: CHUM and Astral Media along with a ten Canadian terrestrial broadcasters have filed a notice of appeal against the decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to award audio subscription licences to Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) - the proposed XM Canadian service - and Sirius Canada.
Calling for the decision to be set aside the group, which includes Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., Radio-Nord Communications Inc., and Newcap Inc. - they describe themselves as broadcasters serving large and small markets, English and French language, ethnic and aboriginal audiences - argue that the level of Canadian content proposed by and Canadian ownership in the satellite companies make granting their licences "inconsistent" with Canada's broadcasting policy.
They quote sections of Canada's Broadcasting Act that require broadcasters to make "maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources, in the creation and presentation of programming"; "serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights, the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society"; and say the "Canadian broadcasting system shall be effectively owned and controlled by Canadians."
CHUM had said before the licences were awarded that its bid would not be viable were satellite licences also granted and Paul Ski, Executive Vice President Radio, CHUM commented, "Irrespective of CHUM and Astral Media's interests as licensees, we do not believe that the regulatory framework created by these decisions allows for a sustainable broadcasting system. The low threshold of Canadian content requirements imposed on the U.S. supported satellite licensees is a dramatic departure from historical broadcasting precedent. If allowed to stand, this will inevitably cause significant harm to not only Canadian artists and radio broadcasters, but to the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole."
Astral Media Radio President Jacques Parisien added, "With the very low level of French-language programming (2.5%) and no specific expectations regarding ethnocultural and/or aboriginal services, it is hard to understand how these decisions reflect Canada's linguistic duality and cultural diversity."
The appellants say they believe the grant of licences to the satellite companies present potential implications for more than just audio services as at least one of the U.S. parents of the satellite licensees has announced its intention to begin providing video services and this establishes a precedent for the entire audio visual sector in Canada as new wireless entertainment devices emerge.
They say a full appeal is to be filed with the Privy Council in Ottawa before a July 31 deadline; two appeals have already been filed, one by a coalition of French-language cultural groups, including ADISQ, APFTQ, ARRQ, la SARTEC, SOCAN, SODRAC, la SPACQ and UDA and another broad-based coalition of English-language culture and labour organizations including Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, CRIA, CIRPA, ACTRA, Writers Guild, Directors Guild and member groups of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) chairman and CEO John Bitove Jr. responded to the filing by accusing CHUM of being more concerned about a "MUCHmonopoly"-- referring to CHUM's suite of music video TV channels- than about Canadian culture and said CHUM had tried to buy a majority interest in CSR, which he refused.
CHUM denied the comments and in a statement President and CEO Jay Switzer said, "Although a Confidentiality Agreement exists between CHUM Limited and CSR concerning our discussions, in order to correct the record, Mr. Bitove leaves us no choice but to comment on his false statements. Like other Canadian Broadcast groups, CHUM was approached by CSR and its financial advisors to explore CHUM's possible interest in acquiring a minority stake in CSR. CHUM did not accept the CSR offer, nor did we 'try to buy a majority interest' in CSR, as alleged by Mr. Bitove."
"Mr. Bitove's comments, construing CHUM/Astral Media's appeal as an attempt to acquire a monopoly in subscription radio, are completely untrue and misleading. Had the CRTC imposed conditions of licence on CSR and the other U.S. supported satellite service that are consistent with the broadcasting policy for Canada, CHUM/Astral Media would not have filed its appeal"
2005-07-14: According to the New York Daily Post, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin is considering a bid for Disney's radio division that the paper says is being touted for sale.
The Post says Disney has hired Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs to handle a sale and adds that incoming Disney CEO Bob Iger and Karmazin were spotted talking at investment bank Allen & Co.'s annual gathering of media moguls in Sun Valley, Idaho, last week.
Sirius and Disney have refused comment and the paper says the move would run counter to satellite radio's "constant preaching that the best days for traditional - known as "terrestrial" - radio are in the past" although an acquisition would give Sirius "much-needed cash flow".
The Wall Street Journal says Disney is considering structuring a disposal as a cash and tax-free spin-off that values the radio operations around USD 3 billion.
Disney does not give details of its radio division's finances but the Journal estimates annual income of around USD 700 million from the division - which includes 71 owned and operated stations and a network with 4.500 affiliates for programming such as ABC news and ESPN sports radio.
It says the deal would involve Disney selling to a buyer of similar size with Disney shareholders retaining at least half of the new company and suggests possible buyers could be Cox Radio, Citadel, Entercom and Emmis.
The paper says outgoing CEO Michael Eisner resisted getting rid of radio but Iger is more open to the possibility of some kind of sale although Disney has not invited offers or confirmed an intention to sell.
New York Post report:
Wall Street Journal report (Subscription site):
2005-07-14: Veteran BBC Radio Bristol broadcaster Roger Bennett has died aged 69: He joined the station on its launch in 1970 and remained on its staff for 33 years - as main presenter from 1974 - until his retirement in 2003 continuing after then as a freelance.
His last work on Friday (July 8) when, despite his cancer, he was at the station's studios to present its Pick of the Week.
2005-07-13: Hoping to build on the success of their programming in connection with the Live 8 concerts, sports and entertainment company AEG, AOL, and XM have joined forces with Kevin Wall, the Executive Producer of Live 8, to create "Network Live", which it terms the "First Multi-Platform Digital Entertainment Company for Live Programming.
In a news release they say," Network Live will produce a rich slate of live programming focusing on music and comedy performances - many originating from AEG owned or operated venues worldwide The programming will be promoted to AOL's web audience of more than 100 million* and to more than 4.4 million XM Satellite Radio subscribers. The company will also leverage the expertise of AEG's live entertainment division, AEG LIVE, one of the world's leading concert promoters. Network Live programming will add to AOL and XM's own popular original franchises, such as AOL(R) Music Sessions, which has featured many top recording artists, and XM's Artist Confidential and Then...Again...Live!"
Wall, who will be CEO of the new company, commented, "This is a network of the future, delivering digital programming to consumers who are hungry for live programming." said Kevin Wall, Co-Founder and CEO of Network Live.
... "We're thrilled to enter this market with the unique opportunity to immediately tap into AOL's vast audience, AEG's relationships with the most popular performers in the music industry, and XM's growing subscriber base. This will enable us to quickly establish the brand as the place where people can access and interact with live entertainment over digital platforms, guaranteeing the same excitement, energy and immediacy traditionally found when experiencing the event in person."
XM President and CEO Hugh Panero added, "This joint venture will produce an enormous variety of live, original entertainment programs. Live music has always been an essential part of the XM listening experience, and we look forward to producing more live content for XM, as well as an even broader audience working with AOL and AEG."
2005-07-13: The BBC's 2004/05 annual report just published comments on a "year of radical change" and shows annual licence fee revenue for the year up 5.1% to GBP 2.94 billion (USD 5.23 billion) - the annual fee last year was GBP 121 (USD 215): It notes that the combined weekly reach for all BBC Television and Radio was unchanged at 92.9% but this conceals a fall in TV viewing share and increase for listening to BBC radio.
Overall the BBC took a 43.4% share of viewing and listening in the year, down from 43.4%, within which TV shares of 36.2% of viewing was down 1.6% and radio's share of listening was 54%, up 1.2%.
The BBC Governors noted in particular the success of Radios 1 and 2 and their distinctiveness from others in the commercial sector
"The radio landscape in Britain continues to change very rapidly, driven by intensifying competition and the continual arrival of new technology, allowing people to listen in new ways," comments the report with particular reference to podcasting and on-demand listening.
Commenting on radio overall, the report says, "It has been a strong year for BBC Radio. In particular, the new strategy for Radio 1 is starting to bear fruit and Radio 2 goes from strength to strength. The new digital stations are bedding down well - although we will continue to monitor their performance."
Noting concerns that Radio 1 was perhaps treading too much on the toes of commercial radio, the report comments on the need to "remain vigilant that the distinctiveness of the Radio 1 offer is not diminished over time, and the particular reference to the distinctiveness of some peak-time output."
It also comments, "Radio 1 remains critical to the BBC commitment to reaching young audiences - and its health is central to the success of BBC Radio overall."
"While the research we have seen shows that there is no current cause for concern, we will remain aware and take account of the concerns expressed when we draft the service licence for Radio 1."
On other radio services, the report comments:
Radio 2: "Radio 2's remarkable grip on its audience has continued for another year. It remains the UK's most listened-to radio station We have noted the concerns raised during the Charter Review process by the commercial radio sector suggesting that Radio 2's success has been achieved at a cost of a drop in commercial radio's share of the market. However, the research we have seen has reassured us that the station's offer remains genuinely distinctive. We are committed to ensuring that this remains the case."
Radio 3: "BBC Radio 3 is centred on classical music, and also aims to provide a broad spectrum of jazz, world music, drama and arts programmes The distinctiveness of Radio 3's output is unarguable. We have been encouraged to see this recognised during the discussions on Charter Review.
Radio 4:" BBC Radio 4's remit is to use the power of the spoken word to offer programmes of depth which are surprising, searching, revelatory and entertaining Although it remains successful, Radio 4 must not be complacent. The challenge is to continue to innovate and refresh the network without losing authority and without damaging the valuable sense of ownership that the Radio 4 audience feels towards the station."
Radio 5 Live: "BBC Radio Five Live broadcasts live news and sport 24 hours a day, aiming to present events as they happen in a modern, dynamic and accessible style. It sets out to cover national and international subjects in depth, using wide-ranging analysis and debate to inform, entertain and sports fans of all ages "
On the BBC digital radio channels the report comments:
Radio 5 Live Extra: "The service has enabled the BBC to widen choice for listeners - for example, by continuing to broadcast sports commentaries when sports coverage on Five Live is curtailed."
1 Xtra: "1Xtra aims to play the best of contemporary black music, with a strong emphasis on delivering high-quality live music and supporting new British artists. 1Xtra also brings listeners a bespoke news service, regular discussion programmes and specially commissioned documentaries, plus information and advice relevant to the young target audience, particularly - although not exclusively - those from ethnic minorities Last year we drew attention to concern over the quality of some of the speech programming on 1Xtra. Progress has been made. TX Unlimited has produced notable journalism on the issue of the homophobic lyrics of some Jamaican dancehall music. But there is more to do "
6 Music: "BBC 6 Music aims to engage with lovers of popular music, offering them current releases outside the mainstream, new concert and session tracks and music from the BBC sound archive. It concentrates on music and artists that are not well supported by other radio stations, and is committed to providing context for the music it plays We have accepted Tim Gardam's recommendation that the remit for 6 Music should be redrafted to reflect better the station's character, and its performance in its first two years. The new service licence for 6 Music will take this into account, and it will include a quantitative commitment to archive music BBC 6 Music has also taken steps to ensure a clearer definition of its speech output."
BBC 7: "BBC 7 is a speech-based digital radio service offering comedy, drama and readings, mainly from the BBC archive Tim Gardam, however, raised concerns over the impact of the station on its nearest commercial competitor, Oneword. Although we note Gardam's conclusion that the BBC did not deliberately set out to harm Oneword, we recognise that BBC 7 has been controversial because of its alleged market impact. The public value test that we will apply to any proposed new services in future will include an independent assessment of the potential market impact."
BBC Asian Network:" challenging debate, informed journalism, music, sport, entertainment and drama to audiences of British Asians from different generations The main challenge ahead is to develop the network's editorial ambition. This should be helped by the formal relationship that the network now has with BBC Radio News and with BBC Radio Five Live - since the start of 2005, the controller of Five Live has been responsible for BBC Asian Network's strategic direction. We are looking for an improved commitment to current affairs, and we are encouraged by the network's new focus on delivering more original journalism."
Regarding services outside the UK the report says, "Overall this has been a strong year for the Global News division. We were pleased to note the increased collaboration between the services which has enabled strong integrated coverage of big stories resulting in greater editorial impact across radio, television and online "
It notes a 1.5% increase in spending on the World Service in the review announced in July last year and says, "The additional funds will be invested in strategic initiatives including strengthening the impact of BBC World Service in the Middle East and the wider Islamic world; increasing interactivity; and improving audibility by expanding local FM distribution in key markets. We note that this investment will be accompanied by a vigorous programme of efficiencies to cover rising operational costs and a review of value for money of the current support services BBC World Service faces increasing competition from local and national stations."
"It has responded well by making its output available on FM, and we note its continuing success in this area. By the end of the year, BBC World Service output was on FM in 144 capital cities, up from 139 in 2003."
BBC report (1.4 MB 151 page PDF):
2005-07-13: Syndicated US host Don Imus is being sued again, this time by a doctor who worked at his New Mexico ranch, where he offers holidays to sick children who have cancer and blood diseases and who says the host slandered him on his show.
Dr. Howard Pearson, a paediatric blood and cancer specialist who is professor emeritus of paediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, says in his suit that Imus termed him "one of the worst doctors in the world" and also said Pearson "did not care if children suffered."
The case is being handled by law firm Morelli Ratner, the same firm that represents former Imus nanny Nichole C. Mallette, who alleged that he called her a "terrorist" and said he had been forced to "disarm" her when she took a cap gun and pocket-knife with her on a trip to the ranch at Thanksgiving in 2003 (See RNW Dec 2, 2004).
Its suit also names NBC, MSNBC and Westwood One Inc.
Pearson says he was working at the ranch in July last year when he was called about a girl who was complaining of back pain: As it did not seem to be an emergency he walked to the infirmary and treated her.
Shortly afterwards Imus confronted him yelling and cursing according to Pearson and on the following day he says Imus attacked him in a tirade on his show that led several people he worked with, including a representative of actor Paul Newman's charity for children, to raise the issue with him. Newman had enlisted Howard in 1986 to help create a special camp for children with cancer and serious blood disorders.
Imus, says the filing, repeated the criticism on two further shows and in November last year.
Imus repeated criticism of the doctor to the Associated Press, saying the doctor had refused an offer for a ride and instead walked the quarter mile to where the girl was and adding, "He's about 80 years old, and the way he walks, who knows how long it would take him to get there? I thought it was just the most outrageous and repulsive behaviour in a doctor. It's disgraceful."
Imus said the girl, who died months later, "had been up all night in abject agony and pain."
Newsday/Associated Press report:
2005-07-13: The Smulyan family is to sell its remaining radio station, WNTS-AM, to the Davidson Media Group for USD 2 million according to the Indianapolis Star.
It says the agreement by Natalie Smulyan and the estate of Sam Smulyan - the parents of Emmis chief executive Jeff Smulyan - is likely to see the station change its focus towards the growing immigrant population of the city.
It has been broadcasting religious format since 1976.
The Sam Smulyan Estate sold its other radio property, Omaha's KCRO-AM in 2002.
Indianapolis Star report:
2005-07-12: UK radio ratings organisation RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) is pushing ahead with a move towards electronic metering and has issued an invitation to tender for a revised specification system.
It is continuing field tests of Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) and the Eurisko Media Monitor, the two systems that performed best in tests last year, and has also commenced testing a new audiometer developed by IPSOS-RSL, which uses mobile phone technology to capture encoded signals.
RAJAR says it intends to start operation of a metering system in 2007: It will allow three months for submissions in response to the tender after which it expects to be able to review submissions and award a new contract to be awarded in the first quarter of 2006: This it says should allow sufficient time for a series of parallel runs to take place during 2006 as well as a period for manufacturing, prior to the introduction of the new survey in 2007.
Managing director Sally de la Bedoyere commented, "I am happy to report that we are progressing with the national fieldwork tests. Both the fixed panel and rolling sweep are underway with the Arbitron PPM and field tests are to begin later this month on the Eurisko Media Monitor, for which we have been awaiting product delivery. In addition, we have been able to adapt some aspects of the testing programme to incorporate the emergence of a new audiometer, just announced in May 2005. This new audiometer is currently undergoing laboratory tests and if these are promising, then RAJAR should be able to test it in the field in the autumn (fall)"
"All tests, " she added, "should be completed by the end of the year and will enable RAJAR to consider the results alongside the tenders before awarding a new contract early in 2006."
The new specification for the system includes the ability to measure broadcasts on both analogue and digital platforms including digital TV and digital audio terrestrial broadcasts, and services on satellite TV platforms and the Internet.
It is also proposing to base TSAs (total survey areas) be based on postcode sectors rather than postcode districts to simplify the radio map and "produce a more uniform and robust sample."
"In addition," says RAJAR, "more effective and stable samples are sought, as well as improved demographic quotas for traditionally difficult sectors, especially young men and ethnic minorities. "
It also notes that as well as listening related to geographical area it also wants an additional "all listening" figure "to reflect increased out of area listening in a digital age."
Previous De La Bedoyere:
2005-07-12: Emmis chairman,president and CEO Jeff Smulyan says his company's recently completed stock buyback was an "excellent use" of resources but any further purchases will depend on the Wall Street reaction to the anticipated sale of its TV division: He also plays down suggestions that Emmis might also dispose of its publishing division and says threats to radio from satellite and iPod are "overblown."
In a question and answer posted on the Emmis web site, Smulyan says the Dutch auction purchase of nearly 40% of its shares "unlocks a significant and greater degree of value for remaining shareholders.
He says the response to it putting up its TV business for sale has "interest has been stronger than we expected, and I think that's driven by the fact that there haven't been many TV groups for sale, along with the fact that we have attractive signals in good markets" and adds regarding the possible sale of publishing to become a "pure radio company" he comments, "We haven't seriously considered it. We like the business, we're good at it, and we have very strong franchises. It's small, with a good return on investment. I've learned to never say never, but selling publishing truly is a long shot."
On potential threats from portable listening devices and satellite, Smulyan says, "Wall Street is sceptical of all media right now, but we're seeing data on satellite and iPod consumption that show us that some of the threats against terrestrial radio are overblown. The results of industry ad studies and the NAB marketing campaign also show us that this industry is looking better than the conventional wisdom might indicate."
He also notes strong performances for Emmis in Chicago and Phoenix.
2005-07-12: Historic US former RCA Morse code radio station KPH goes back on the airwaves temporarily tonight night to commemorate the last commercial Morse message sent in the US six years ago as part of the annual "Night of Nights "event of the Maritime Radio Historical Society.
The station, which is now operated by the Society in cooperation with the Point Reyes National Seashore, part of the US National Park Service, has been in existence for a century: It was established in 1905 and was once known as the "Wireless Giant of the Pacific" according to the society. KPH closed in 1997 and the use of Morse code ended in the US two years later.
As well as KPH the society says a number of other Coast Stations including WLO, KLB, NMC and NOJ will go on the air for the transmissions that will begin at 00:01 GMT on July 13 and are expected to continue until around 07:00 GMT
During them veteran Morse operators, including former KPH staff members, will be on duty at the receiving station at Point Reyes, CA listening for calls from ships and sending messages just as they did before Morse operations were shut down.
The transmitters are 18 miles south of Point Reyes in Bolinas, California, at the transmitting station established in 1913 by the American Marconi Co. and original KPH transmitters, receivers and antennas will be used to activate frequencies in all the commercial maritime HF bands and on MF as well.
KPH will send traffic lists, weather and press broadcasts as well as special commemorative messages, many of which will be sent by hand. At other times the KPH and KSM "wheel" will be sent to mark the transmitting frequencies. Details of frequencies to be used and planned transmissions have been posted on the Society web site.
Maritime Radio Historical Society web site:
2005-07-12: BBC Radio 1 head of music and live music Alex Jones-Donelly is to leave the corporation and joint EMI as senior vice president, A&R (artists and repertoire).
The UK Guardian quotes Guy Moot, the managing director of EMI Music Publishing UK, as saying he hired Jones-Donelly in a bid to look beyond record companies for a fresh perspective and commented, "Alex has done a fantastic job at Radio 1 picking the right bands and pushing music policy forward. He has all the attributes of being a fantastic A&R executive. His extensive knowledge of music, his list of contacts and eye for spotting new and emerging talent is all proven."
Jones-Donelly joined Radio 1 in 1997 from Emap's Kiss FM in London as music scheduler and was promoted to head of music three years later, taking his current job in June last year.
He said he had "mixed emotions" about leaving but needed a new challenge.
UK Guardian report:
2005-07-11: Last week was again a time in the UK when radio, to paraphrase a UK Guardian headline, came into its own in an emergency and also a week when there were quite a few upbeat items about the medium.
The Guardian report, "Radio comes into its own" by radio correspondent Julia Day, said, "...an 'old-fashioned' reliance on radio proved the medium's mettle in a crisis."
Amongst those quoted was BBC Radio 5 Live controller Bob Shennan who noted, "Late in the day I was driving up the M1 and the motorway signs were flashing up 'London closed. Turn on radio'. It was a strange moment of recognition that in this kind of momentous occasion radio has never had a more important part to play."
In the UK, some BBC and commercial stations switched to rolling news as word of the London bombings came out and others increased news cover and in many cases altered schedules to drop programming that it was presumably felt might well jar with the mood of the situation including on the BBC the Thursday 1830 comedy slot "The Hudson and Pepperdine Show" and BBC Radio 2 later comedy "It's been a bad week."
The events also gave a major boost to UK news web sites, slowing down the BBC servers, which took by far the brunt of the demand: The BBC News site took a 28.59% share of news web site traffic, followed by BBC.co.uk with 6.42% then Sky news with 3.78%. Most visited newspaper web site was that of the Guardian, in 5th rank with 2.41%.
There was also some realistic praise for radio from Paul Donovan in his Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times, this time on the value of the medium as an archive source prompted by the programming on Sunday that marked the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2: It included a mention of Desert Island Discs in which illustrator and satirist Ronald Searle, whose art was developed whilst a prisoner of the Japanese, spoke of his experiences in particular waking up to find the body of a dead friend either side of him (RNW note: For copyright reasons this show is not available on the BBC Listen Again service but it will be repeated at 08:00 GMT on Friday).
Donovan also paid a rare tribute to US radio, writing, " knowledge is kept alive, and memories are handed down, by stories, pictures, archives, museums, families, the study of history - and radio. In America, there already exists a Sonic Memorial Project, created by National Public Radio as a permanent repository in cyber-space for sounds and stories about the World Trade Center. And there they stay for ever: the heartbeat-like rotation of the doors that are no longer; the last voicemails; the Latin music played by the night cleaners, many of whom were illegal immigrants from Mexico; the roar of the twin towers' collapse. A trip to its dignified website is a deeply emotional experience."
"Britain does not often borrow from American radio," he continued, "- it tried with shock jocks, an experiment that fortunately proved short-lived - but this is different. Directly inspired by that project, the BBC has just announced that it is launching a similar Tsunami Audio Memorial, which will evolve into a detailed aural portrait of the region before, during and after its devastation. Conch shells blown at dawn, paddy fields being cleared of debris, glass walls being smashed by water, rickshaws, cars, cicadas, frogs, screeching monkeys, children's voices speaking of loved ones lost."
The results will air in programmes on the BBC World Service, Radio 4 and Asian Network in December, the first anniversary of the tsunami, and Sue Ellis, the BBC producer co-ordinating it all, commented, "It seems to be acting as a catharsis, with people writing long accounts of their experiences. So far, it has been mentioned only on Today, so the responses have come mainly from British holidaymakers. We would like to hear more from people abroad, so we are drawing attention to it on the Sinhala, Hindi, Indonesian, Tamil and Thai parts of the World Service."
And from the Philadelphia Inquirer an upbeat note about US radio in general from Commentary Page Editor John Timpane who wrote that he was "feeling pretty great about the future of radio" and contended as the headline said that "'Podcasting' and self-designed broadcasts will combine with traditional radio to give you unheard-of levels of choice.
" in industrialized countries certain aspects of traditional radio may die," wrote Timpane, "But probably those will be the bad aspects. As for radio itself, I don't think so. Radio shall not die - it shall merely be changed. We're shaking out the bad stuff and moving to a richer aural future."
"True, we'll need to stretch the old definition of radio - audio content transmitted via radiant waves from a central station to you, the human receiver who has little say in the matter."
" Radio will still be radio - the human voice, in discussion, in argument, in storytelling, in song. But this new radio will widen its embrace, to more and better kinds of programming, greater variety, higher quality. It will involve the listener, who can now shape what comes to the ear, even create it and send it back out to the world. Listener becomes broadcaster, and vice versa."
Timpane was positive about the effect of rejection of narrow formatting, writing, "The Revolt of the Listeners - or should I say Revenge? - has been wonderful to watch."
"We are in the midst of a great, wide-reaching rejection of that format. Thank you, listeners everywhere. You went and listened to other things. Restricted-format networks watched their book share dwindle in market after market."
After a positive reference to satellite radio he commented, "Now the corporate fronts will have to scramble. They'll have to be innovative to stay in the game. I love it. Radio is having to step lively, and that will lead to what I'll call Perfect Radio."
He suggested for the future there will be an ability to move from one form of audio to another including the ability to mix local and global information sources, in real time and from archived on-demand, from material a user has self-programmed to that from other sources, to either select or allow the selection to be unpredictable.
On the technical side there was also a positive note from Washington Post writer Marc Fisher who had taken a test drive in a vehicle with a receiver for iBiquity's HD radio digital signal.
At the moment notes Fisher nine stations in the DC area are broadcasting HD although there "probably aren't 100 digital radios in use in the region."
Looking ahead he says, "By this fall, the hype for digital radio will be omnipresent. Radio stations will run promotions giving away receivers; buying the units will still set you back somewhere from USD250 to USD 1,700. By next year, when the industry expects to sell 2 million digital radios, prices may fall below USD200."
He adds that the sales pitch will focus on the superior audio quality combined with multicasting - the ability to add a second and maybe a third channel to its frequency and notes that NPR plans to offer public stations five program streams to choose from for their second channels -- classical, jazz, folk, progressive rock and electronica- possibly enabling stations that have dropped music channels for concentrate on news and public affairs to bring them back as an extra.
And as to what commercial stations will put on their extra channels he posits, "Second channels will likely be jukeboxes at first, playing music without deejays or commercials, but Vicki Stearn, spokesman for iBiquity, expects more ambitious, local programming to evolve as the number of digital radios grows. Others aren't as optimistic. Satellite radio executives, for example, say free digital radio will appeal to listeners who are reluctant to shell out USD13 a month for radio, but likely won't threaten satellite's success because radio companies won't want to spend money on the staff needed to create local new programs."
After the positive, a few notes of caution - well there was already a significant one in the figures given by Fisher when, even in the UK where digital receivers are now down to around USD 70, the comparison to be borne in mind in purchasing a receiver is around USD 20 for a portable AM/FM that will give reasonable quality for most speech and pop music (except for those who want to deafen themselves and those around them).
One came in some reservations about podcasting in a New York Times report "Big Media Wants a Piece Of Your Pod "by David Carr.
Although the main focus is about the way corporations are trying to use podcasts for their own ends - "major media are attempting to transform a grass-roots movement into an Astroturf replica that resembled the new, new thing, but would still allow them to hold the high ground" - Carr has a number of general reservations as well as noting benefits of the technology.
On the plus side: "'On the Media,' a media analysis program produced by the New York public radio station WNYC, has been podcast-friendly since January. They have picked up almost 40,000 new listeners a week, the equivalent of adding a major American city to their distribution."
On the sceptical: "In New York, WINS-AM 1010 is about to make a daily podcast available, but it seems a bit beside the point. It has been said that nothing ages faster than the future and the idea of listening to four-hour-old news and traffic hardly seems to have significant appeal."
and: "The very specific charms of podcasting - its freshness and unexpectedness - make it a difficult business proposition. More often than not, when big media steps into the fray, the outcome reaffirms the fact that they have a finite set of skills. (For proof positive, download an audio version of this column at nytimes.com/media.) And like much of the Web, podcasting is virulently anti-commercial. People who take the time to download programming are not going to be interested in a lot of advertising. And if they do get it, they can easily skip it by hitting fast forward.
His conclusion: "For the time being, podcasting is a cipher, a technology that seems to further threaten established media's stranglehold on public consciousness, but offers little opportunity in the way of a real actual business. Big media are aggressively attempting to get their arms around the next big thing. But it remains elusive, a medium that is viral and uncontrollable by nature, and that does not threaten to become a business any time soon.
RNW comment: The one big question mark to us in all the above is what model will provide adequate funding to produce an informed public with a range of choice in news, sports and other information as well as cultural programming from drama through to classical and pop music.
Outside the US, providing the public pushes the politicians hard enough to resist the siren calls of media moguls who are feeling the pinch from the effects of technological change on media, there are many countries that have strong public-service broadcasters. These of course cost much more than is spent on US public broadcasting - from around USD 25-100 a year for radio and TV services compared to under USD 2 - albeit a lot less than it costs for satellite radio never mind the cost of subscribing to cable or satellite TV channels.
As has often been noted there are no free lunches -those the politicians get from the lobbyists end up being paid for by others - and it may yet be to the benefit of all if the US ends up with more diverse sources of funding for its media with public funding growing, direct subscription growing and advertising - which as shown by the numbers subscribing to satellite radio show isn't seen as a benefit by all - slipping back.
After the above, we were tempted to give some balance on the negative side but for once decided balance isn't everything so on to suggested listening.
And first for once, a source we wouldn't have even have thought about a year ago. That is CNN, which has started offering podcasts (or MP3s) of a few special programmes.
On its site currently are three offerings - on Identity Theft (from April), File Sharing and Hollywood Sci-Fi (from June). They each run just under 45 minutes and are confound the normal perceptions associated with the US that nothing more than a few minutes long will keep an audience listening.
Then for a whole range of podcasts we'd suggest a dip into the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National site now that it has doubled the number of shows it is offering as podcasts/MP3s (See RNW Jul 9).
We'd also suggest a visit to WNYC's "On the Media", which we have mentioned above and of course the sonicmemorial site.
Then for some more conventional programming we start with another programme that features fascinating archives - in this case the latest programme in the BBC Radio 4 Archive Hour: Broadcast on Saturday, The Torres Strait Expedition includes digitally-restored audio from more than 50 wax cylinders recorded on an 1898 expedition that recorded the sounds of local people and their music.
Then on to music and the BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week slot (11:00GMT weekdays for an hour) that this week features Cole Porter. Also from Radio 3, the Performance on 3 slot in the evenings this week (starting at times between 18:00 GMT and 18:30 GMT) includes a look ahead to this year's BBC Promenade Concerts, the first of the concerts (Friday 18:00 GMT) and two performances from the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005.
For completely different music, try "Putting on the Style" from BBC Radio 4 (First broadcast Tuesday but with a repeat so we are not sure how long it will remain available).
It features self-confessed jazz snob, Laurie Taylor, returns to the Picton Hall in Liverpool, where he first encountered skiffle in the mid-50s, in the shape of Lonnie Donegan. With the help of skiffle lovers Laurie sets out to discover the true role of this DIY music explosion in the development of popular music.
Then for drama and this week we'd suggest the Radio 4 Woman's Hour drama slot (09:45 GMT with a repeat at 18:45 GMT), which this week in Animal Show features five stories exploring the ways humans relate to animals.
The station also has a strong set of stories in the Afternoon Reading (14:45 GMT Monday to Friday), followed until Thursday by The Real Just So Stories in which, inspired by Rudyard Kipling's tales, natural historians, folklorists and fossil experts come up with their own suggestions. On Friday the 14:45 GMT slot is taken up by Jumping Six Foot in a Top Hat in which former jump jockey and trainer Charlie Brooks uncovers the truth behind the tall tales about his great grandfather - The Honourable Marshall Brooks - the first man in the world to high jump six feet.
We'd also suggest last week's Friday Play on Radio 4, The Goldilocks Zone by Lucy Catherine for some really first class dialogue.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - podcast web site:
New York Times - Carr:
Philadelphia Inquirer - Timpane:
Sonic Memorial web site:
UK Guardian - Day:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post - Fisher:
WNYC - On the Media web site:
2005-07-11: Former New York WQHT-FM (Hot-97) producer Rick Delgado who was fired by Emmis following the row over the tsunami song parody that led to threats of boycotts because of anti-Asian content and comments made by the Miss Jones in the Morning team to a Korean-American member of the team who protested (See RNW Feb 3), has now been hired by Clear Channel in San Francisco.
According to the San Jose Mercury News Delgado starts on KYLD-FM (Wild 94.9) today on the" Strawberry in the Morning Show" and is not particularly repentant about the New York row.
KYLD managers Kim Bryant and Dennis Martinez told the paper they consider Delgado to be a major talent in morning radio but added that he will be carefully supervised on the show where he will team with local DJ Strawberry and Fay Carmona from Miami: In April the station fired members of its controversial "Morning Doghouse'' for making offensive sexual comments off and on air and Bryant commented of Delgado's situation, "His job is to say he won't be censored, but he will be We are in it for the long run. We are going to protect our license, and we are here for the community and the listeners.''
Delgado said of the Tsunami Song, "It was a matter of bad taste, like a blond joke" and was intended to parody a then-promised tsunami song by Sharon Stone and Sharon Osbourne "It was meant to be a bad spoof of celebrities and telethons My job is to put stuff out there and see what gets a reaction. Hopefully, people will get a kick out of it.''
Delgado, who is of Spanish and Puerto Rican descent, said he thought racial humour was still acceptable, so long as the person making fun of a race is of that race.
"When you hear it from your own people, it doesn't make it seem as racial. It's not supposed to be racial. It's supposed to be a goof.''
Previous Clear Channel:
San Jose Mercury News report:
2005-07-11: BBC Radio 3's offering of free MP3 downloads of all nine of Beethoven's symphonies, now ended but which attracted around 650,000 downloads for the first batch (See RNW Jun 19) and more than a million overall, has come in for criticism from classical radio companies.
According to the UK Independent, the companies regard the downloads as potentially unfair competition and say they devalue the perceived value of music.
It quotes Anthony Anderson, managing director of the Naxos label, as saying, "I think there is a question of whether a publicly funded broadcaster should be doing this and there is the obvious issue that it is devaluing the perceived value of music. You are also leading the public to think that it is fine to download and own these files for nothing."
Chandos label managing director Ralph Couzens backed the criticism, commenting, "We have to pay premium prices to record big orchestras and pay full union rates and we have to pass those costs on to the consumer. If the BBC is going to offer recordings for free, that is going to be a major problem."
The paper quotes Radio 3 controller Roger Wright as not ruling out further downloads but saying there was no current plan to extend the experiment and adding, "We are as surprised as everyone that this has been so popular."
UK Independent report:
2005-07-11: XM Satellite Radio has announced that it is to pay a regular dividend on 8.25% Series B Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock on August 1. The rate will be USD 1.0313 per share of Series B Preferred Stock owned, with fractional shares to be paid in cash
2005-07-10: Last week was more one of routines than major matters for the regulators with probably the most important development being the Federal Communications Commission decision to put the issue of media ownership regulation back on its agenda in a meeting on July 14.
In Australia there were no radio-related announcements from the new regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) although according to the Australian the government has made a decision not to allow narrowcasting network WorldAudio to gain digital broadcasting licences (See RNW Jul 8).
In Canada there were again a substantial number of licence decisions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which has also decided that from the beginning of August it is to drop requirements for hard copy filings and require all applications to be filed electronically using its Epass system that was introduced in April last year.
Licence applications included:
*Approval of 950 watts transmitter in Manning for CKKX-FM Peace River.
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licence of radiocommunication distribution undertaking CHFB-FM serving Bonnyville.
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of the licences of:
CFOX-FM, Vancouver, and its transmitter CFXX-FM, Whistler.
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of the licence of CHIQ-FM, Winnipeg.
Renewal until 31 August 2012 of the licences of:
*CHWV-FM, Saint John.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Approval of third extension of time limit, this time until 27 February 2006, to commence operation of new community station in Forteau.
Renewal until 31 August 2012 of the licences of:
*CKXG-FM, Grand Falls, and its transmitter CKXG-FM-1, Grand Falls.
*CICQ-FM, Mount Pearl
Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licences of:
*CKNR-FM, Elliot Lake.
*Use by new Adult Classic Hit FM approved for Kincardine with transmitters in Goderich and Port Elgin of frequency 90.9 MHz for 1600 watts Port Elgin transmitter: The frequency originally applied for was not acceptable.
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licence of religious station CION-FM, Québec, and its transmitters CION-FM-1, Beauceville, and CION-FM-2, Saguenay.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2008 of licence for Type B community station CHGA-FM, Maniwaki. The Commission granted only short-term renewal because of apparent breach of conditions of licence related to the amount of specialty music played although the most recent analysis of logger tapes had shown it to be in compliance.
*Approval of fifth extension, this time until January 2 next year, of time limit for Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. to submit application for use of suitable frequency for Native FM station approved for Montréal in July 2003.
The Commission warned AVR that it could lose its licence if it does not commence operations within a reasonable period of time.
*Administrative renewal until 31 August 2006 of the licence of CHNC-AM, New Carlisle, and its transmitter CHGM-AM, Gaspé: The Commission notes that this does not dispose of any substantive issues that exist in relation to the renewal of the licence.
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licence for CJOS-FM, Caronport, and also reduction from 25% to 15% portion of its output devoted to news and spoken word.
Renewal until 31 August 2012 of the licences of:
*CHQX-FM, Prince Albert, and its transmitters CHQX-FM-1, Waskesiu Lake, and CHQX-FM-2, La Ronge.
*CJCQ-FM, North Battleford, and the FM transmitter CJCQ-FM-1, Meadow Lake.
The Commission also issued a public notice with a deadline for comment of August 9 relating to the following applications:
Application to add a 20,500 watts FM Transmitter at Yarmouth to *broadcast the programming of CBAX-FM Halifax.
*Use by new 50 watts low-power English-language FM tourist information service in Moncton of 101.9 MHz: The frequency originally applied for was not acceptable.
Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licence of CJWL-FM, Iroquois Falls.
*Application to add a 50 watts FM transmitter at Arnprior for CHMY-FM Renfrew
*Application to delete transmitter CFPS Port Elgin from licence of CFOS-AM, Owen Sound, following start of operations of new station CFPS-FM Port Elgin.
*Application to change frequency, reduce the power from 34,000 watts to 2,600 watts, and increase the antenna height of CKBN-FM, Bécancour.
*Application to renew the licence of CIHO-FM Saint- Hilarion and its transmitters CIHO-FM-1 La Malbaie, CIHO-FM-2 Baie-Saint-Paul, CIHO-FM-3 Petite-Rivière-Saint-François and CIHO-FM-4 Saint-Siméon: The CRTC notes that on four occasions this licensee has found to be in breach of its licence relating to the broadcast of traditional and special interest music.
*Application to increase the power of CFOU-FM Trois-Rivières from 250 to 3,000 watts and reduce its antenna height.
In Ireland there were no radio decisions although the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the receipt of twenty-nine submissions in response to its recent consultation on the current policy on the statutory news and current affairs requirements for independent radio stations.
In the UK, Ofcom has advertised a new commercial FM licence for the Warwick area (See RNW Jul 8) and in addition its chief executive Stephen Carter has outlined much of the agency's policy in a speech to the Radio Festival in Edinburgh (See RNW Jul 6).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the matter of media ownership regulation on its agenda next week (See RNW Jul 20): it has also been involved in a number of enforcement actions, one of which proved to be good news for Saga when it refused to reconsider a North Carolina acquisition and another not so good for a Puerto Rico licensee (Both also Jul 20).
Earlier it had released details of its fees adjustments to meet its 2005 fiscal year budget and confirmed a USD 8,000 penalty on a Florida non-commercial station for broadcasting adverts (For both See RNW Jul 8). It has also cancelled a USD 10,000 penalty it sent to Mega Communications having found that the penalty had in fact already been paid.
Previous Licence News:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-07-10: Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) has announced that it is to spend CAD 100,000 (USD 81,000) on the band Les Trois Accords and singer-songwriter Stefie Shock as part of its supporting initiative to help develop Canadian francophone artists on the international scene.
President and COO Stephen Tapp said in a statement, "We have chosen Les Trois Accords and Stefie Shock because they represent the vibrant and flourishing Québec music scene, which is already making waves in Europe. We expect that these exceptional talents will have huge careers internationally, and we're proud to be able to be there to support them as they grow."
CSR, the XM Satellite Radio partner in Canada that was granted a subscription audio licence for its service last month, plans to invest CAD 35 million (USD 28.7 million) throughout its first licensing term to support the growth of the Canadian music and entertainment industry, from which 50 per cent will be reserved for francophone artist
Shock, who is currently promoting her album LE DECOR in France, said the funding came "at a very good time for me and I really appreciate this support " and Olivier Benoit of Les Trois Accords commented, "It's really awesome to receive CSR's assistance since it helps us with our efforts in France I hope that many other groups from the independent scene take advantage of this opportunity, because today's young artists represent the future!"
2005-07-10: In further signs of the health of digital audio broadcasting, RadioScape, a world leader in Software Defined Digital Radio and digital audio receiver modules, has opened new offices in Hong Kong as part of a multi-million dollar expansion into the Asia Pacific region.
In less than a year since it opened offices there it has outgrown its initial premises and is to treble its staff from six to 20; the office provides local sales and engineering support for radio manufacturers who are primarily based in southern China, particularly around Shenzhen, and is also the hub of RadioScape's module manufacturing and logistics team.
RadioScape CEO John Hall said he was delighted with the way that the Hong Kong operation had grown and commented, "China is the centre of digital radio manufacturing for the world," he added. "Having a dedicated team here in Hong Kong enables us to provide the best possible levels of customer assistance and support for this rapidly growing market. We are also located close to our module manufacturer, Zastron Ltd, part of Nam Tai Electronics Inc. in Shenzhen, so that we can ensure that module production runs efficiently and that innovations and customised modules progress through rapidly. Our head office may be in London, but the commercial heart of our operation is rapidly moving east."
2005-07-09: BBC World Service radio increased its weekly worldwide audience by three million on 2004 figures to an estimated 149 million in its latest audience figures just released, more than half as large again as any competitor: In particular it notes an increase from 1.8 million to 3.3 million a week in Iraq, making it the most-listened to speech station in the country with an audience share of 22% up from 13% a year earlier.
Overall the service currently broadcasts in 43 languages including English and has online news services in English, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese (for Brazil), Russian, Spanish and Urdu including audio in 42 languages; it is funded by a grant from the British Foreign Office that for 2005-6 is GBP 239 million (USD 414 million).
The increase in its Iraqi audience was boosted by the establishment of FM relay stations round Iraq including transmitters in Al-Amara, Al-Kut, Al-Nasirya, Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, Mosul & Irbil, and Salahuddin.
The Iraq survey also showed nearly half (43%) of "opinion formers" in Iraq listening to the service weekly and BBC World Service Director Nigel Chapman said the "performance in Iraq was one of the year's outstanding achievements. "
"The BBC's new FM transmitter network in the country made a crucial difference in ensuring we remained competitive," he added, noting, "The BBC news bureau in Baghdad gives us an important edge in reporting from a country that remains difficult and dangerous to cover."
The BBC also surveyed audiences in five provinces of Afghanistan despite limitations because of safety considerations and says these showed a weekly audience of 2.8 million compared to 800,000 for Kabul, the only area surveyed a year ago and where the recent survey shows its programming in Pashto and Farsi had a 60 per cent reach.
As well as the radio success the BBC international news site - bbcnews.com - saw its monthly page impressions up from 279 million in March 2004 to 324 million in March this year
Monthly page impressions to the BBC's international news site -- increased 16% to 324 million in March 2005 from 279 million exactly a year ago - a rise of 45 million with the "unique users" figure up 31% from 16 million to 21 million: In the US a survey showed the site attracting 40% of online news users in the country.
In terms of individual countries, India saw its first increase for a number of years: Figures there had fallen by more than 12 million between 1995 and 2002, partly as a result on a ban on local FM stations carrying news from foreign broadcasters, but rebounded last year and were up 4.8 million to 16.4 million a week.
Other "success stories" came from the US where listening was up to 5 million a week from 4.7 million a year ago; Bangladesh, where following a drop after the war on Iraq, listening to the Bengali service was back to pre-war levels having risen by 2.6 million to 13 million and where more than 80% said they considered the service to be trustworthy; Indonesia, where listening was up by 1.2 million to 4.4 million; and the UK itself, where provision of the service on cable and digital radio and TV channels has taken the weekly audience up to 1.3 million.
Losses occurred in a number of areas including Nigeria where a ban introduced in April 2004 on local FMs re-broadcasting news from foreign broadcasters led to a drop of 1.5 million a week although the audience is still 20.2 million, 17.6 million in Hausa; Pakistan where listening to the Urdu service dropped 3.2 million to 9.4 million; Kenya where the audience was down by 2.1 million to 4.5 million; and Tanzania where listening to the Swahili service fell by 1.3 million to 10.2 million.
Previous BBC World Service listening:
2005-07-09: Canadian radio listening has fallen by an hour and a half a week on average over the past decade according to latest figures from Statistic Canada that also showed listening moving from at home to in automobiles and at work.
In the fall of last year Statistics Canada says average listening was 19.5 hours a week, the same as a year earlier but down 90 minutes on ten years ago: Of the listening 49% was in the home, down from 56% in the fall of 1995, 27% was in automobiles, up from 22%, and 23% was at work, up from 20%.
Date for the survey came from a variety of sources including the BBM Bureau of Measurement and includes information on the demographic make-up of survey respondents: This showed the least amount of at-home listening was by males between 18 and 34 - 26% compared to 37% for females in the same age group.
In terms of day part most at home listening was early morning, most at work listening was between 10:00 and 15:00, and most in-vehicle listening during commutes to and from work.
The survey shows teenagers listen least, only for 8.5 hours a week in the fall last year, and the gap between their listening and that of adults has continued to widen over the years: In 1995 adults listened ten hours a week more but by last fall the difference was 12 hours.
The next shortest listening was those from 18-24 at 15.7 hours a week and the most by women 65 and over at 23.6 hours a week.
In geographic terms most listening was in Prince Edward Island at 21.2 hours a week and least in British Columbia at 17.8 hours.
In format terms, adult contemporary was most popular overall with a 24.6% share followed by Gold/oldies/rock with 15.3% and then the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) with 11.1%.
There were significant regional variations - in Newfoundland and Labrador AC accounted for only 14.8% of listening compared to 25.4% for talk but in Saskatchewan talk accounted for only 6.8% of listening whilst AC took 22.5% although much of the variation is due to local circumstances - talk, for example, having no listening in Prince Edward Island - where country had the highest share with 33.4% ahead of contemporary and the CBC with 25.1% each and Nova Scotia - Where AC led with a 26% share followed by country with 22.7% and the CBC with 17.1% - and listening to Sport only being listed in four provinces.
In language terms, English stations have prospered better than French ones with French AMs having a particularly hard time with only 9% of all AM listening whilst French language FMs had a 26% share of FM listening.
Previous Statistics Canada annual report:
Statistics Canada web site:
2005-07-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to start taking up the issue of US media ownership rules again next week and has put media ownership on its agenda - as "Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning its 2002 biennial review of its broadcast ownership rules " - for its open meeting on July 14.
Amongst matters to be reconsidered are radio market caps and cross-ownership rules, both of which were matters where the commission's proposals were sent back by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
The FCC has also given a final go-ahead to Saga's acquisition of North Carolina station WOXK-FM from Liberty Productions and has rejected petitions for reconsideration from Willsyr Communications and Sutton Radiocasting.
The latter had in 2001 challenged the FCC grant of the original construction permit for the station to Liberty and the FCC refused to take the matter up again. Regarding Willsyr, which had also competed for the CP in the 2001 auction, it rejected claims that its status as a bidder and competitor gave it any standing to challenge the sale.
Saga has been operating the station under a time brokerage deal since November 2002, having filed for approval of its purchase in January 2001.
In another enforcement ruling, the FCC denied a petition from Clamor Broadcasting Network, Inc., the former licensee of station WPLI-FM, Levittown, Puerto Rico, to reconsider a USD 3,000 penalty for failure to register its tower.
Clamor had not denied the breach but sought reduction or cancellation on financial hardship grounds. The FCC said it had not provided documentation to justify this.
2005-07-09: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, reacting to the success of its podcasting trial of programmes from its Radio National service, which attracted 3,700 downloads in its first week of operation in May but had gone up to 100,000, is to double the number of shows that will be offered as podcasts.
The new additions, which will be available from Sunday, are Books and Writing, Ockham's Razor, Spirit of Things, Health Report, Law Report, Religion Report, Media Report and Sports Factor.
They join an existing line-up of All in the Mind, Background Briefing, The Deep End, Late Night Live, Life Matters, The Night Air, The Science Show and Street Stories.
The Corporation says a survey showed 98% of those who have downloaded shows say they will continue to do so and more than three-quarters have recommended the service to their friends.
Even more encouragingly for the ABC, half say they are downloading shows that they normally do not listen to.
The ABC stresses on its podcasting web site that the offers a "a pilot project" that it hopes "to widen the service to include other programs in the coming months."
The shows can also be manually downloaded as MP3 files, which range in size from around 7MB to 25 MB
Previous ABC, Australia:
ABC Podcasts web site:
2005-07-09: Production of Chicago public radio show the "Odyssey", produced by WBEZ-FM and hosted by Gretchen Helfrich, is to be ended by the station as of September 30.
The show only attracted 30 affiliates for its national syndication and could not justify is annual budget of some USD 600,000.
Six staff work on the show and Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times said WBEZ expected to re-deploy them and quoted WBEZ president and general manager Torey Malatia as saying, "Wherever possible, we will use the talented staffs associated with these programs in future endeavours."
Feder also reports that WBEZ is to cease production of its weekly comedy show "Schadenfreude" from the end of August and will suspend production of "Stories on Stage" for a year and end its educational outreach programme.
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder:
2005-07-08: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now released details of its adjustment of fees required to collect fees that will total USD 280.1 million - up 2.6% on the previous year - for its fiscal year 2005.
The amount is mandated by Congress and the FCC has used fees set in 2004 as a base for the year's calculations: It denied a petition for reconsideration of its 2004 fees filed by Cingular Wireless.
In making its order the FCC notes that it had asked for comment about imposing digital spectrum fees but had received no responses and has for the moment therefore maintained its current policy of levying fees only for analogue spectrum although it notes that when a broadcaster has moved completely to digital this would currently mean there were no fee obligations.
It also noted that AM expanded band stations are only assessed fees for their standard band spectrum and says that here it will maintain the exemption for now although noting that this is not a permanent exemption.
The FCC has also issued a USD 8,000 penalty, reduced from an initially proposed USD 10,000 on Hispanic Broadcast System, Inc., licensee of Florida non-commercial station WQQZ-FM for broadcasting adverts that were aired a total of 288 times from May 31 through June 27, 2004.
Hispanic admitted that it had breached FCC regulations but had sought cancellation or reduction on the basis that this was its first violation and on financial hardship grounds. It also said it had implemented changes that would prevent recurrence.
The FCC after examining financial statements covering 2000 to 2003 found that no cancellation or reductions was warranted on this basis but reduced the penalty by USD 2,000 on the basis of a past history of compliance.
2005-07-08: WorldSpace, which is expanding aggressively in India and has just announced its expansion into Delhi, is to spend USD 10 million this year in advertising and promotional activities in the country according to Sify Finance.
It quotes Deepak Verma, managing director of WorldSpace India, as saying announcing a refurbished launch of its services in Delhi that would spend the funds and adding, "We will also set up three WorldSpace lounges in Delhi and Mumbai each, which will serve as a unique 'experience zone' where customers can experience the service and its variety of radio stations."
WorldSpace is scheduled to launch its service in Mumbai (Bombay) next week with Ahemdabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Cochin and Pune to follow by the end of this year.
It already has lounges in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad where it started services recently.
The Bangalore-based company launched its service in India four years ago and currently offers 39 channels of audio including seven news channels, channels in regional languages and music channels including current Hindi music, Hindi classics, Hindistani classical, country, classic rock, jazz, international hits, western classical, and pop hits.
Previous Indian Radio:
2005-07-08: UK media regulator Ofcom has advertised a new commercial FM to cover Warwick, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth and the immediately surrounding areas. In all the station to be set up should reach an adult population of around 100,000.
Applications have to be submitted, with a non-refundable fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 8,700) by October 6.
2005-07-08: According to The Australian, WorldAudio, which has set up a network of AM transmitters around the country using frequencies outside the Broadcasting Services Band, has lost its lobbying effort to be recognized as an incumbent broadcaster and thus be granted digital frequencies when Australia moves to digital radio broadcasts.
WorldAudio paid around AUD 5 million (USD 3.7 million) in total for its narrowcasting licences, a miniscule amount compared to the record AUD 155 million (then around USD 84 million) paid by DMG in 2000 (See RNW May 25, 2000) for just one licence - for the frequency it is using for its Nova FM in Sydney.
Commercial Radio Australia, which represents the country's mainstream commercial radio industry, has lobbied against WorldAudio and has also called for a ten-year moratorium on new licences and the paper says unnamed "highly placed sources" have told it Australia's federal Government has decided its model for digital conversion will apply only to the main commercial licensees.
WorldAudio has been taking part in digital audio trials in Melbourne and hired lobby firm Jackson Wells Morris to push its case for digital spectrum.
It claims an "estimated aggregate reach of approximately 12 million people. (all ages) - including those in an estimated 1.4 million homes Australia-wide that can receive it from the Austar / Foxtel subscription TV platform currently and Internet listening - but industry sources doubt the claim according to the paper.
WorldAudio has just closed a non-renounceable rights issue that invited existing shareholders to contribute AUD 5.8 million (USD 4.3 million( in new capital following a similar exercise in July last year.
In March this year (See RNW Mar 4) it reported losses for the six months to the end of 2004 up 2.7% to AUD 2.69 million (USD 1.2 million) and advertising revenues down 65% to AUD 94,000 (USD 73,000).
It had then lost around AUD 43 million (USD 33.6 million) but the paper notes that in a statement to the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) last month WorldAudio chairman Peter Solomon said the company was actively selling advertising inventory and had "existing anticipated revenue" of AUD 1.2 million ( USD 890,000) , with a further AUD 1 million (USD 740,000) expected within two weeks.
The paper says WorldAudio managing director Andrew Thompson told it "existing anticipated revenue" was defined as "minimum spend commitments from advertising agencies "and added, "It's a contractual obligation. If they agree to a minimum spend, we offer a discounted rate."
The Australian report:
WorldAudio Internet stream:
2005-07-08: The BBC has announced an indefinite contract with Singapore-based MediaCorp Technologies to continue broadcasting BBC World Service radio on FM in Singapore.
The service has been on FM in the country since 1976 and has broadcast through MediaCorp for the past decade.
2005-07-07: The long-stalled proceedings against conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh in connection with allegations of doctor shopping for pain killers to which he had been addicted now seem to be on the move again following the release by Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull III of some of the host's medical records to prosecutors.
According to Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black most of the records were returned to him - witnesses also said the size of the pile of records given back to Black exceeded that of those given to the prosecutors - and he said in a statement, "I am confident that the State Attorney will find nothing in these records to support a charge of doctor shopping, because there was no doctor shopping."
..."The records show that Mr. Limbaugh received legitimate medical treatment for legitimate medical reasons Most of the records were returned to me today, and were not given to the prosecutors. This proves our point that the State's wholesale seizure of Mr. Limbaugh's medical records was improper."
The judge had earlier refused an application from Black to allow only three investigators to see medical records he ruled pertinent to the investigation; Black told the judge that he wanted to limit access to the records because the case has turned into a "soap opera" complete with leaks to news media but for the prosecutors Assistant State Attorney James Martz said Limbaugh's request was like letting a suspect pick his prosecutors and investigators..
According to Black the records show that of 2,130 pills prescribed, 1,863 were painkillers, of which 1,733 were for hydrocodone and were to be taken over a period of 217 days, from the date of the first prescription until 30 days from the date of the last prescription: The dose said Black averages out to eight pills a day, which he said is a lawful dose.
Black also said 92% of the pain medication was prescribed by two doctors who were treating Mr. Limbaugh for back pain, adding that they work in the same office from the same medical file and thus there could be no doctor shopping between them.
Regarding prescriptions by the other two doctors involved, Black said one was the California surgeon who implanted the cochlear implant to restore Mr. Limbaugh's hearing and had prescribed 180 pills, 100 of which were vitamin pills, and the other was a Florida doctor the host was seeing for follow-u on the surgery and prescribed 110 pills of which 50 were non-painkillers prescribed for tinnitus.
"The bottom line, said Black, "is that these prescription records might tell a story, but it is not a story of doctor shopping. "
He said he and the host continued to believe " that Mr. Limbaugh is being pursued by overzealous prosecutors and that he should not be charged with any crime" and also that the search warrants were issued "based on faulty and misleading statements from investigators and that the search was improper."
If necessary, he concluded, " we will renew our motion to suppress all of the records at a later date."
The records, seized under a search warrant from the Judge, has been sealed for 19 months as Limbaugh and his attorney Roy Black fought to keep them from being used in the case.
RNW comment: Black's comment, presumably fully backed by Limbaugh concerning a soap opera and leaks to the media seems to us a prime example of Chutzpah, almost on the level of the son who has murdered his parents pleading for leniency because he's an orphan.
From the start of this case the host has used - abused ? - his radio show as a platform to put his side of the case including presentations that clearly misrepresent the positions of others.
As we have commented before, Limbaugh's attitudes to the misfortunes of others leave us completely without sympathy for him but he is nevertheless entitled to the same treatment by the courts as others have received in as far as their circumstances have been similar.
We think the evidence is that court rulings throughout the case have been scrupulously fair to him and have no reason to believe that the vetting of the records was unfair. Indeed the details given by Black himself seem to make the case of fair treatment by the courts, which had already barred the State Attorney's Office from disclosing the records to anyone not involved in the investigation, an order that still stands.
We will now be interested to see if the facts are as clearly in Limbaugh's favour as his attorney's statement suggests: If so we would rather doubt that any prosecution will follow although it would still seem that there was a prima facie case to justify an investigation by prosecutors.
Palm Beach Post report:
2005-07-07: British DJ and former radio mogul Chris Evans has further dashed suggestions that he might return to UK commercial radio to host a national show by signing a contract to host a weekly Saturday afternoon show - from 14:00 to 17:00 for BBC Radio 2. Evans has hosted a number of one-off shows for the station this year.
With show business panache the signing was staged at the Radio Festival in Edinburgh while Evans was on stage and in conversation with his former boss, BBC Radio Five Live host and former BBC Radio 1 controller Matthew Bannister.
Evans had walked out on Bannister when at BBC Radio 1 and apologized to him for his treatment of him at the time, saying he went "off the rails" and was "horrible" to Bannister.
Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas said in a statement, "Chris is one of the UK's most innovative broadcasters and I'm delighted that he's joining Radio 2's roster of first class presenters to host this weekend show."
Evans told the UK Guardian it was a "Big opportunity " that he was unable to resist despite earlier saying he would only go back to radio for one-off shows. "
"I can't wait," he added of the show. "Radio 2's as good as it gets, as big as it gets. It's nice to have a big stage to play on."
The current host of the slot, Dermot O' Leary remains with BBC Radio 2 but no details have been given of his future plans although he is expected to move to a later slot.
UK Guardian report:
2005-07-07: Australian Macquarie Bank subsidiary, Macquarie Regional Radioworks, has now advertised seven stations it has to divest following two large purchases of regional stations last year - of DMG Australia's 57 regional radio stations that it bought in an AUD 193.5 million (then USD 138 million) deal last year (See RNW Sep 3, 2004) following an earlier AUD 173 million (then USD 122 million) purchase of RG Capital Radio, which owned 35 stations (See RNW Jun 2, 2004).
Australian regulations prohibit ownership of more than two stations in a radio market and the then regulator, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) had made divestment of the stations a condition of approval: Both deals gained final approval from the competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in September last year (See RNW Sep 13, 2004) and Macquarie was given a year to dispose of the stations - an AM in Albury and two AMs in Rockhampton plus an FM in Cairns, another in Mackay, and two in Townsville
Previous Macquarie Bank:
2005-07-07: Indian FM radio advertising is predicted to grow five-fold over the next three years in a report in the Indian Financial Press by Farokh T Balsara of Ernst and Young.
Writing after the Indian cabinet had approved a new revenue-sharing licence fee system for FM and also allow up to 20% Foreign Direct Investment, he says the new radio FM policy will certainly provide a boost both by enhancing market penetration and attracting newer players.
After commenting on losses made by the private FM industry under the old licence fee regime - fees were around a fifth higher than the losses incurred - he says the advent of the new policy could take FM's share of advertising expenditure in India from around 1.75% at the moment to 3-4% and that allowing foreign direct investment will also boost the industry.
He also suggests that with 330 licences in 90 cities to be made available in the second phase of FM licensing the medium would be able to better serve large advertisers by providing cover across the country rather than just in major cities.
Previous Indian Radio:
Financial Express report:
2005-07-06: US radio revenues in May were up 1% compared to a year ago according to latest figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) as were overall year-to-date revenues; Within the monthly figures, national and local revenues were each up 1% but non spot revenues were flat.
Within the a year to date figures local revenues were up 1%, national revenues were up 2% and non-spot revenues were flat.
RAB's Radio Revenue Index that equates the pre-dot com base year 1998 to 100 showed a total spot index of 136.8 in May with the local sales index 136.3and the national one 139.1: The comparative year-to-date indices were total spot 142.3; local 141.7;and national 144.5.
Commenting on the results RAB President and CEO Gary Fries said he anticipated that "that Radio revenue will continue to progress as a direct result of the significant programming, operational, and business advancements that are being implemented by the industry."
Previous RAB figures (April):
2005-07-06: UK Independent radio production companies through the Radio Independents Group (RIG) have negotiated new terms for commissioned programmes from the BBC that will for the first time allow them to retain copyright in their productions.
Under the deal, which applies to all work commissioned from independent producers since December last year, the BBC will have a licence to use programming across its networks for ten years and to public service new media rights for the productions.
The corporation will be able, subject to an advance against future repeat fees, to extend its licence for five years and on an ongoing basis for long-running commissions.
For all programming except comedy, drama and specialist music, there will be an automatic "break clause" after five years if the BBC no longer intends to exercise public service rights in the programme.
RIG had sought a five-year licence deal - the period negotiated for Independent TV producer agreements with the BBC by their trade body PACT - but settled for the longer deal on the basis of higher repeat fees.
When the BBC licence expires the independents will control all distribution rights including format rights, and programme sales internationally and within the UK.
BBC Director of BBC Radio & Music Jenny Abramsky said the corporation was "delighted" to agree new terms and BBC Director of Rights & Business Affairs Debbie Manners said the discussions "with RIG and the independent radio sector generally over the last 12 months have helped cement a truly collaborative, professional relationship between BBC Business Affairs and the Radio Independent Sector."
She added, "We look forward to building the relationship further as we implement the new deal, which we believe represents a real opportunity for radio independents to maximise the commercial opportunities in their programming, whilst delivering continued value back to BBC listeners."
RIG chair Mike Hally said they were "delighted to have been able to represent the industry so effectively in our first year of existence."
He added, "It's involved a lot of patient work - and some hard bargaining - on both sides, but the BBC team have engaged positively and constructively with us and the results amply justify the effort. Both our members and the BBC will benefit from what we are all agreed is a fair deal that consigns the 'all rights' contracts to history."
2005-07-06: The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) , the partnership including XM Satellite Radio that was one of three applicants who were granted licences for a subscription radio service for Canada, says it is to spend CAD 100 million (USD 80 million) over the next seven years on Canadian programming and infrastructure.
CSR and Sirius Canada, the other satellite radio service granted a licence, had expressed concern over the requirement for programming eight Canadian channels that was made a condition of the licences. The two companies had proposed five channels and Sirius Canada has so far t confirmed that it will go ahead with a service nor has the CHUM-Astral consortium that made a bid for a terrestrial service and had said it would not b viable if the satellite licences were also granted.
CSR COO Stephen Tapp told the paper much of its investment will go on a repeater network to provide its signal in urban areas and added that they had to " prevent expansion of the grey market in Canada [estimated art around 100,000] and the subsequent loss of Canadian revenue, jobs and opportunity."
CSR chairman and CEO John Bitove Jr. said in the statement, "While we are still evaluating . . . the eight Canadian channels requested by the CRTC, the pressure from retailers and automotive manufacturers to commence service this fall has resulted in us beginning our major investments now"
CSR has hired Montreal firm Yves R. Hamel et Associés Inc. to tests to determine where it will need repeater stations (See RNW Jul 3) and Bitove said it would begin the testing needed for these because of the long lead time involved in getting them in place.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2005-07-06: Comments by UK media regulator Ofcom's Chief Executive Stephen Carter to the UK Radio Festival about its consultation on adding new national digital multiplexes (See RNW Jul 5) have led GCap Media, which with NTL owns the Digital One national multiplex,to again threaten legal action should Ofcom move to add a further national multiplex.
Digital One was awarded the sole UK national multiplex licence for DAB digital radio by the then regulator, the Radio Authority, in 1998 under a renewable 12-year licence and started broadcasting in November 1999.
GWR, which was the founder broadcaster in Digital One had said in April following the launch of the consultation but before its merger with Capital Radio that it might take legal action (See RNW April 2).
Now GCap executive chairman Ralph Bernard, formerly chairman and chief executive at GWR, has again spoken of action to stop the move.
He told the UK Guardian that GWR had been "seduced" into investing in digital as the sole national multiplex operator and that Digital One had invested more than GBP 50 million (USD 90 million) in transmitters and marketing activity.
Now, he said, there was anecdotal evidence that Ofcom was planning one or two more national multiplexes and said, "I'm sick of fighting regulators... but I'm now about to be pitched into battle with Ofcom Less than a quarter of the way through [Digital One's] licence period Ofcom is about to flood the market with as many as 20 more national stations."
"Ofcom has no legal right to change the basis of the investment that was seduced from my company and neither has it a moral right," he added, "It's not just unfair, it is legally wrong."
Other companies would benefit from another multiplex but Bernard said they had been unwilling to invest in digital at the start and should not now be allowed into the market.
Dee Ford, Emap Group Managing Director of Radio, however welcomed the idea of new national digital multiplexes, telling the paper, "We need the white space filling in the gaps in coverage. There should be another national multiplex, I absolutely believe it's about listener choice."
RNW comment: As we said in April, we think GCap has a case here and at the very least to be fair the licence fees for any new multiplex should include a suitable amount of extra one-off fees at the start that would go to Digital One to compensate for its loss of promised exclusivity.
We suspect of course that Bernard has such an idea in mind and that GCap well be prepared to settle if the sums are right but would go to court - and might well win - if they are not.
UK Guardian report:
2005-07-06: The growth of the Jack-FM format in the US has now spawned a company to manage it as Bohn & Associates Media and Wall Media have formed SparkNet Communications L.P. as the exclusive U.S. licensor and owner of Jack.
Jack first aired in December 2002 with Rogers in Vancouver, Canada and is currently aired on nine Infinity stations in the US plus stations owned by Backyard Broadcasting, Midwest Television Inc., NRC Broadcasting, Simmons Media, South Central Radio Corp, and Susquehanna Radio Corp.
Garry Wall, Co-President of SparkNet Communication's commented in a news release, "Radio listeners have been crying out for something different; something that features music they love but without being so tightly play listed as to lose that "Oh Wow!" factor that comes from hearing a song you weren't expecting to hear. The Jack-FM format has given them just that...with a little bit of attitude."
2005-07-06: Ulster TV (UTV), which took over the UK Wireless Group following a May bid of GBP 98 million (USD 185 million), has appointed Scott Taunton, previously its Business Development Director responsible for radio and new media, as CEO of the Wireless Group to success Kelvin MacKenzie.
MacKenzie has left the group as have Wireless Group Sales Director Ashley MacKenzie and talkSPORT managing director Michael Franklin.
Taunton, an Australian who has been working in the UK for the past decade, said of his appointment, "Kelvin has done a great job at building awareness of the talkSPORT brand. I will now focus on growing our audience nationally and locally to provide a compelling commercial offering to advertisers, and ensuring the highest quality output for our listeners."
2005-07-05: The chief executive of UK Media regulator Ofcom has told the 2005 Radio Festival organized in Edinburgh by the UK Radio Academy that convergence in communications technology has meant no areas now operate in isolation and that development and marketing of digital radio needs to continue if DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is "not to be bypassed rather than complemented by broadband and other forms of digital."
Stephen Carter, who was delivering the 2005 Guardian Lecture to the Academy, said he and Ofcom cared about DAB and that the "best answer to worries about whether it will remain the leading European standard is to make it a commercial success in the UK market."
"We will do our bit," he added, "but we cannot and should not try to make that happen at the expense of other options."
DAB, he said has a "pretty substantial head start" and he went on to comment that serious consideration by manufacturers of offering combined DAB/DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale - system that offers digital on AM frequencies) receivers "could well assist the universal adoption of digital radio."
"How? It could overcome the economic hurdle facing the smaller stations making the transition to digital since DRM can be allocated on a single channel rather than single multiplex basis."
Commenting on audiences he noted that after several years of rising radio listening last year was flat with the BBC up a bit but commercial was down and within the sectors national stations have had a good year but local station audiences are down.
Hardest hit had been chart-led programming - down over the past five years from 40% of listening to 30% and still falling - and the big gainers had been the more specialist digital-only stations which now have an 8% share of commercial listening.
Those "who seem to have moved most aggressively into the use of new forms of distribution," said Carter, " be they streaming or PodCasting- are those radio groups whose portfolios were more weighted towards AM radio."
He said this was perhaps understandable since AM revenues and listening are already in decline giving more incentives to embrace change.
The other big audience challenge he said was maintaining a young audience as a generation grew up who were not introduced to the habit of radio listening. "Two thirds of today's young mobile users," he said, "have their phones on and within easy reach for between 21 and 24 hours a day. I earnestly hope that radio- possibly using the mobile as delivery medium - can capture at least some of that time."
Carter said Ofcom's approach had been to "facilitate market-led consolidation" because larger companies would have the "the economies of scale and scope necessary to meet the costs of investing to address the challenge of technology and market developments."
He noted proposals to make new spectrum available for local multiplexes and consultation on adding more national ones plus allowing changes to allow "innovative data services on DAB" -currently there is a cap of 20% of capacity being used for date but if demand took off he said Ofcom was ready to recommend increasing this up to 40%.
He also spoke positively of the introduction of community radio saying, "Some commercial radio operators I know are nervous about this new sector, and we shall review its impact. However, commercial radio and community radio are different and we are confident that these new stations will generally contribute to the radio market in a positive way."
As far as analogue radio was concerned Carter said it had been a near "no-brainer" to continue offering new franchises as had been proposed by the Radio Authority and Ofcom had proposed to move away from input regulation through such changes as allowing news hubs, removing limits on automation and allowing more syndication but with a corollary of a greater emphasis on ensuring operators' commitment to the format they had proposed to gain a licence although formats should be allowed to "evolve more flexibly to respond to changing local tastes, the changing availability of digital and other new media services (and, dare it be said, changes in what the BBC does)."
Carter also took up the issue of funding as radio advertising revenues slipped and in 2004 were overtaken by internet advertising partly he suggested because of perceptions of the accuracy of its audience measurement compared to that of radio: Here he welcomed changes to electronic measurement being evaluated in the UK, referring to it as an "oddity" that "that 8% of listening to digital-only stations converts into only £1million of advertising revenue."
Carter also took up the question of the competition from the BBC, which spent GBP 610 million (USD 1.08 billion) last year on radio compared with GBP 564 million (USD 994 million) by the commercial sector and had 54% of the total audience.
The BBC's investment and development of online and digital services, he said, were "many ways that is a good thing: it has certainly helped drive digital."
"For the commercial sector, understandably ambivalent, that may be a double edged benefit" he added, commenting in particular on issued of the BBC being allowed to change format at will 0 he noted that: "Radio 2 used to cater for a 60+ audience. The commercial sector was happy. But were listeners? And has public value been increased by the changes? The answer may be yes even if the commercial sector has been discomfited."
He said the response to this was partly a tighter rein on the BBC and partly allowing commercial formats freedom to evolve and also referred to cross-promotion about which he commented: "A long-standing gripe. We can, and probably should, do little about the BBC being a great content aggregator. As long as it generates genuine public value. But again, we can level up. Increasingly, radio companies are part of multi-media commercial players. If commercial TV wants to cross promote commercial radio that is part of the same group then that too can be building public value and we will review the rules that we inherited to see whether there are unnecessary obstacles to reasonable cross promotion between television and radio in the commercial sector."
Previous Radio Academy:
2005-07-05: Two Florida pirate stations have been taken off the air and their operators arrested under new state laws that make their operation a third -degree felony.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel quotes a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as saying the arrests were probably the first under the new laws and adding that action was taken after a complaint of interference to the signal of student-run rock station WKPX-FM.
The stations' equipment has been seized and the operators may also face Federal Communications Commission (FCC) penalties as well as state action.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel report:
2005-07-05: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld one radio complaint -against a Manchester host who abused an Iraq war veteran - and considered another two resolved in its latest broadcast bulletin: It also considered three TV complaints resolved.
This compares with one TV standards complaint upheld, a TV fairness and privacy complaint partially upheld and six TV cases and one radio case considered resolved in its previous bulletin.
The complaint upheld involved Emap's Key 103 in Manchester and The Hits digital station, which rebroadcast selections from Key's late-night host James Stannage.
Stannage has had a track record of controversial comments at the station including reading out jokes about the death of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay in February last year, an incident that resulted in a previous complaint being upheld (See RNW May 18, 2004).
In the latest case, Stannage was upheld to have breached two broadcasting codes in an exchange with an Iraq war veteran who was interrupted when he called to explain why he supported British involvement in the war on Iraq - one of failing to allow an appropriate and adequate response and the other for personal abuse that was held to have breached taste and decency standards.
In the broadcast, first transmitted by Key in April 2004, but then repeated on The Hits in March this year leading to a complaint - Stannage at first interrupted the caller to say, "You went in there 'cos you were told to - you don't give a shit." and then
When the veteran responded, "I might sound naïve but at the end of the day I'm not the one that's pretentious and don't give a shit about the world; I'm the one that went in the army" Stannage went on to abuse him: He referred to the veteran as a "brainless little dickhead", told him to "shut yer gob" and challenged his "right to join up and go and fire weapons at innocent people".
Stannage then called the veteran, "a naïve little baby a silly little boy", adding, "I'm disgusted by you, I'm disgusted by people like you and the people who join up you're a little sperm. Please don't insult my intelligence you're a little baby boy. You know, and if you'd got blown up and had your head blown off, right, maybe it would've taught you a bleedin' lesson you stupid bastard, you went there 'cos you were bleedin' told to, 'cos you join up and they'll send you anywhere in the friggin' world they bleedin' want you - you sad pathetic brainless little toerag!"
The Hits in response to the complaint said Stannage was well known for his "robust, provocative, challenging and, occasionally, argumentative style" and that the clips chosen for The Hits reflected this.
It added that it had a system of logging compilation items so that, in the event of a complaint about the original broadcast on Key 103 FM, the repeat clip could be withdrawn from the subsequent broadcast on The Hits.
In this case, the station acknowledged that when Stannage had disagreed with the caller, he had shouted him down and terminated the call without giving him an adequate opportunity to express his view or challenge those of the presenter and also that comments about the caller and other members of the armed forces may have caused offence.
It also referred to disciplinary action Key 103 FM had taken against Stannage in February this year in response to a number of complaints concerning his live output.
Stannage left Key 103 last month after nearly a decade with the station; AT the time the station issued a statement from Programme Director Anthony Gay that said in part, "James' challenging and direct style on the Key 103 late night phone in has entertained people in the North West for almost 10 years and has always courted controversy. However, despite numerous warnings and a history of run-ins with the regulators, recent broadcasts have left us with an unfortunate situation where we have had to part Company."
The two radio cases considered resolved were one relating to a sponsor's credit on Jersey Channel 103 FM's Breakfast Show and the other relating to the BBC Radio 2 programme The Day The Music Died.
In the Jersey case the station had not submitted the message to the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) but said it had changed its system to ensure all financial sponsorship credits would be cleared in future. It was told to remove the credit from air until clearance had been obtained.
In the BBC case, two listeners complained about a spoof item in which a singer was suggested to be a 'preoperative transgender' person. The listeners were offended by the item, which contained references to male genitalia and shaving which they felt mocked transgender people.
The BBC said that this comedy programme intended to satirise some of the well known figures of the music industry but agreed that it had misjudged the offence that the item might cause and confirmed that it has drawn the potential sensitivities in this area to the attention of producers in radio light entertainment.
Ofcom in considering the case resolved noted a previous case involving BBC TV that had led the corporation to discuss the issue of depiction of transsexual people at a forum for senior editors and expressed "disappointment" that it had become "necessary for the BBC to revisit the issue with producers in radio light entertainment."
In addition to cases where details were given a further 19 radio complaints relating to 18 items and 146 TV complaints relating to 127 items were rejected or held to be out of remit with no further details given: This compares to a further 12 radio complaints relating to nine items and 119 TV complaints relating to 97 items listed in the previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2005-07-04: This week we begin our look at print comment on radio with one of many reports and comment on the current controversy over the funding of public broadcasting in the US as further details emerge of monitoring set up by Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes public funds to US public broadcasters.
Tomlinson, a Republican who has said openly that he viewed public broadcasters' output as *"liberal" hired consultant Fred Mann to monitor public broadcasting for bias and last week more than 100 pages of Mann's informal summaries were released for the first time by North Dakota Democrat Sen. Byron L. Dorgan who had obtained a copy from Tomlinson.
(*American use of the word as currently perverted politically rather than the various meanings from the Oxford English Dictionary pertaining to such qualities as - "Free from bigotry or unreasonable prejudice in favour of traditional opinions or established institutions" or indeed "Favourable to constitutional changes and legal or administrative reforms tending in the direction of freedom or democracy" the latter of which makes President George W Bush either a liberal when it comes to Iraq or a hypocrite).
Amongst Mann's listings that purported to show clear bias were characterizations of radio host and former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock as "anti-Bush" for saying the military was underpaid [RNW comment: Hedgecock's "liberal " persuasions would presumably be a surprise to various conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh since the latter has allowed him to be a stand-in host on the Rush Limbaugh Show] and of Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel who was tagged "liberal" for an interview with Tavis Smiley on National Public Radio (NPR) in which he criticized White House policy in Iraq.
The Los Angeles Times in its report by Matea Gold and Cynthia H. Cho quotes NPR host Diane Rehm, amongst those listed by Mann for her "liberal" views, as saying, "I think it's pretty outrageous, frankly, and a fairly simplistic way of going about evaluating the worth of a program."
Tomlinson it says had declined to comment through a spokesman who gave as his reason an ongoing investigation by the corporation's inspector general into Tomlinson's actions.
The paper reports that Tomlinson said he commissioned the report without informing the rest of the CPB board in order to learn more about the programming without alarming people in the system but Dorgan said Tomlinson originally told him that the former CPB president, Kathleen A. Cox, approved hiring Mann but later admitted that she had not. [RNW comment: Which means either Dorgan is mistaken or Tomlinson has a problem of pretty poor memory or is ethically challenged by any reasonable set of standards.].
On then to a report on a group who must presumably be beyond the pale since they awarded Air America host Al Franken the first "World Achievement Award for Breakthrough Radio" in this year's New York Festivals' International Radio Programming And Promotion Awards
The Festivals web site says the award, which is "selectively and only periodically given to a radio on-air talent who has made a significant impact on the radio industry in his or her country and/or throughout the world" went to Franken for his "very unique perspective and commentary on his daily radio show, "The Al Franken Show" [RNW comment: And while we're on perversion of language, unique is unique is unique meaning only one. The qualified "very" is a perversion - either Franken perspective or commentary is unique or it isn't. ].
The award was used by the UK Guardian (which also mixes up labels like left-wing and liberal but could fairly be described in our view as in part leftwing and in part liberal - and in part careless about clarity of meaning) as a peg for an interview with and report on Franken by James Silver.
Commenting on Franken's show Silver says the host's routine "uses wry humour to debunk inaccurate claims made by rightwing commentators and politicians."
He notes the use by Franken of the services of 14 students in "Team Franken" to do the fact-checking and research required to write his best-selling "Lies" books and quotes Franken as saying, "I'm very entertained by the debunking process and also at the same time I'm outraged by the lies. I really do see the serious corrupting effect Fox, talk radio and many commentators on the right have on America. A lot of people in the mainstream media think it's beneath them to debunk it. And it's not. These people need to be subjected to scorn and ridicule. Someone has got to be willing to get down in the weeds and fight them."
The article gives examples of what Franken terms "Deliberate misrepresentation" by Bill O'Reilly, whom he terms " splotchy bully and liar" and also notes Franken's views of Rush Limbaugh (subject of another book) whom he terms "a talented radio guy. It's just that he has no fidelity to the truth at all."
After examples of bias on one side of the Atlantic, we move across an ocean and to a contrast in the UK, where in his UK Sunday Times Radio Waves column Paul Donovan looked at what he termed the "acute problems" for the BBC from "Live 8, and the vast moral crusade associated with it."
"Many in the corporation," writes Donovan, "share the idealism, noble or naive, of Bob Geldof and his cohorts. They are inspired and galvanised by his vision of ending extreme poverty. But, as Jenni Murray so pertinently pointed out in Radio 4's The Message nine days ago, the BBC has to be neutral when it comes to Live 8's political objectives. It can cover campaigns, but it must not endorse them."
He then goes on to comment favourably on the way BBC Radio - as compared to TV - handled its brief.
"On radio," he writes, "balance has been more rigorously maintained through a simple and proper policy of allowing numerous points of view to be heard Thus it is that Five Live yesterday [Saturday, the day of the event] not only spoke to critics of Live 8, who think the concerts could do more harm than good, but advertised that in advance. Airtime has also been given to a Red Pepper writer who thinks it is absurd to expect rich nations to solve a problem they themselves have caused; to Mark Tully, who emphasises Africa's spirituality today; to those who claim that poverty is often caused by the corruption, brutality and incompetence of African governments, citing Zimbabwe as the obvious example; and to Africans such as the Ugandan broadcaster Andrew Mwenda, who will argue on the World Service's Analysis programme, on Tuesday, that 'aid and debt relief are fostering a culture of irresponsibility by encouraging bad economic behaviour. Because our government has always been able to rely on donors for aid - even the chairs in the parliament building are donated by Denmark - it hasn't bothered to establish a decent tax- collection service'."
And to end with, praise from that left-wing haven the Guardian for Virgin Radio's new line-up and in particular for the syndicated US show "Nights With Alice Cooper."
Elisabeth Mahoney terms it the "undoubted highlight of the new schedule", notes that it is obviously intended for an American audience - "when Cooper mentions Portugal he adds 'go to your little map and say, where's Portugal?'" - and obviously cut (Virgin airs only four hours from the five-hour show)
She comments, "...when it flows, this is a distinctive music show, if only for Cooper's way with links. He describes himself as 'the most psychotic prolific mutant on the radio', which he isn't, but he does have some pleasingly meandering comments about the world of rock... Cooper makes an entertaining host with some unique one-liners. 'If my voice sounds a little scratchy,' he says, 'it's because I scream for two hours a night on stage while dancing around putting my head in a guillotine.'"
On then to suggested listening and first the Media Report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that in its most recent report considered the editorial issue of speed v accuracy in the context of the BBC's decision to opt for the latter, a move seen as being fraught with problems particularly when it comes to delays on live signals - and one broadcaster is actually going live and another obviously has a delay loop.
We wonder what happened in the US with Live 8 and some of the - gratuitous in our view - swearing by a number of performers that was aired by the BBC but would certainly break the rules for US terrestrial broadcasters.
Which takes us on to Live 8 and a different perspective on the event from that of those putting out Saturday's shows: It comes courtesy of BBC Radio 4 today when at 10:00 GMT in "Live 8: A Backstage Story" comedian and writer Danny Robins delivers his view of the event complete with comment from various of those working on the event
For another perspective, BBC Radio 3 on Saturday in World Routes carried an hour of performances by African musicians from the Africa Calling Concert from the Eden Project in Cornwall. For a two-hour highlights version try Performance on 3 tonight at 18:30 GMT. You could also try Andy Kershaw's Show from Sunday in which he featured highlights of a concert given in London by one of Sudan's favourite musicians, Abdel Gadir Salim - if nothing else the mixture of natural and farmyard sounds and music that started the programme is worth dipping into for a few minutes.
And for yet another perspective on Africa, the Sunday Feature from BBC Radio 3 featured poet and playwright, Gabriel Gbadamosi investigating the role of the book in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The station also has a strong week this week including on Wednesday from 18:30 to 23:00 GMT, a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest interspersed with various items of music and sea poetry between each act.
It's also strong on drama - the Drama on 3 slot on Sunday featured a production of Peter Nicholls' 1967 play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and the Wire slot on Thursday (21:00GMT) has Medium Risk by Mark Norfolk concerning a man who is on the Sex Offenders Register as a result of an earlier unsubstantiated incident and the fear and paranoia he has to face from various quarters when a child goes missing in his area.
And before leaving Radio3, we'd note that for a little longer it is still offering MP3's of its second batch of Beethoven symphonies - No 6 thru 9 but six is only available today before the offer expires.
Moving down one in the channels BBC Radio 2 also has a fairly strong week with the Fifth Annual BBC Jazz Awards at 18:00 GMT tonight; Face the Music: The ELO Story tomorrow at 19:28 GMT (yes they bill it as at 20:28 local time) the second of the six part Robert Johnson story "Hellhounds on his Trail" on Wednesday (21:00GMT - the first part is available until then); and comedy on Thursday with It's Been A Bad Week (21:00GMT) and Saturday with Jammin at 12:00GMT followed by a repeat of It's Been A Bad Week.
Up channels again and BBC Radio 4 from which we'd suggest The Real Amos 'n' Andy - the story of the remarkably long-lived US radio show: Part one aired on Sunday and Part 2 is due next Sunday at 19:30 GMT.
On Thursday (19:45 GMT) we suggest the final Mad as Hell programme in which Simon Jenkins gives his views on over-regulation in the UK. The first two of the series are still available through the Westminster Hour web site (they were first broadcast as part of this programme).
Also from Radio 4 tonight at 19:00 GMT, Arizona Senator John McCain presents the first Alistair Cooke Memorial Lecture.
And finally for fans of CSI et al, on Wednesday at 20:00 in textual evidence author PD James looks at the emerging field of Forensic Linguistics using real-life criminal cases and actual police recordings to illustrate how linguistics and judicial procedure increasingly overlap.
Los Angeles Times - Gold and Cho:
UK Guardian - Mahoney:
UK Guardian - Silver:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
2005-07-04: Rush Limbaugh's lawyer is again trying to chip away at access to the host's medical records by prosecutors who are investigation allegations that Limbaugh was involved in doctor shopping for prescription painkillers - an offence that is a felony in Florida.
Roy Black, who earlier this month was refused permission to be involved in the vetting of records that Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull III ruled he would carry out to determine which of the seized records are within the scope of search warrants he originally issued (See RNW Jun 24), is now asking that only three named investigators be allowed to see the records, which have been sealed by the courts.
Black has asked that only Assistant State Attorney James Martz and police officers Asim Brown and Max Del Valle be allowed to see the files, contending that employees of the State Attorney's Office cannot be trusted to keep private their details.
Black says that news reports on the case have included "inflammatory, misleading and simply untrue" statements that have been attributed to unnamed sources or sources "close to the investigation" and says that by limiting access the court will ensure that "should any details of Mr. Limbaugh's medical records be divulged to an unauthorized party, the source of the leak will be more easily determined and appropriately dealt with by this court."
Barkdull is to hold a hearing on the motion tomorrow.
2005-07-04: After more than three decades in which newsreader Peter Donaldson was an authoritative voice reading news bulletins on BBC Radio 4, the station will be without him on the staff from now on although he said in an exchange with host John Humphrys on his last Today Show on Friday that he would still be on the show in autumn (fall) if "I have anything to do with it."
Donaldson, who was born in Cairo when King Farouk was on the throne, is on a holiday that will take him up to August 23 and his 60th birthday, the official retirement age for BBC staff. He has yet to negotiate any contract or freelance work and there are fears that in a climate where the BBC is involved in cutting thousands of jobs there may be no room for him.
He was educated in Egypt, Cyprus and England, was a member of Britain's National Youth Theatre, and went on stage when he left school: His first broadcasting work resulted from responding, while on holiday in Cyprus, to an advert for an announcer on the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).
He was taken on and worked for the service in Cyprus, Aden, Libya and Malta.
He joined the BBC in 1970, beginning on BBC Radio 2 where he presented Night Ride and the Early Show as well as announcing and news reading: In 1973 he moved to BBC Radio 4 and in 1988 was appointed the BBC's Chief Announcer a role he relinquished in 2003: Earlier that year he had made his opinion of some of the BBC's policies clear by writing to the BBC's in-house journal, Ariel, to say that he had thrown then Director-General Greg Dyke's latest mission statement in the wastepaper bin.
Donaldson also featured as the first Newsreader on the recent BBC radio 4 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
Donaldson has attracted a number of tributes including one at the end of June from Paul Donovan in his UK Sunday Times Radio Waves column in which he was described Donaldson as a "wonderful announcer" and described his voice in a paragraph comparing him to other newsreaders on the station: "His voice is not the sepulchral mahogany of Brian Perkins (the one lampooned by Dead Ringers) or the full dairy milk of Charlotte Green. It is a polished and fragrant rosewood, with elegant cadences and a certain good-humoured humanity."
UK Sunday Times - Donovan column:
2005-07-04: Quebec radio director, producer and host Guy Mauffette has died aged 90: He began his career as an actor and was also known for his radio work, and as a TV host writer and poet.
He is probably best known for his "Le Cabaret du soir qui penche", which ran from 1960-73 on CBC Radio-Canada but had been involved in radio for much longer in a broadcast career that included his 1939 direction for CBF-AM of the soap opera Un homme et son péché; this ran for 22 years and was based upon the popular Claude-Henri Grignon novel.
Maufette's last programme was" Ce vendredi-là" in 1997.
Previous CBC Radio-Canada:
CBC-Radio Canada obituary:
2005-07-04: Unlicensed micro station Berkeley Liberation Radio, which went off air at the start of last week following action by its landlord to end its lease because of complaints from other tenants that it had been interfering with their reception of other signals and the issuing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of cease-and-desist order remains off the air and also off the Internet although the collective that runs it says it will be back soon.
The station put the interference down to a short in the station's amplifier that they say has been fixed and says they will be back on the air soon.
They are also planning to stream audio but so far their site is still under development with no indication given of when it is likely to be completed.
Berkeley Liberation Radio is a successor to Free Radio Berkeley, which was on air from 1994 until 1998 when the FCC closed it down.
In its reincarnation as Berkeley Liberation Radio it was raided in 2002 and its equipment seized but was back on air shortly afterwards. The station has gained considerable support including that of Berkeley's City Council, which last year passed a resolution urging federal and local law enforcement officials to allow it to stay in operation.
2005-07-03: Last week was notable more for an administrative change - in Australia where two former regulators have now been subsumed into a new regulator - than for specific licence decisions although there was a steady flow of activity in most areas.
Australia, where the new regulatory body, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken over from predecessors the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) and Australian Communications Authority (ACA) saw only one radio-related announcement in the week.
This was from the ABA, which sought comments - with a deadline of July 14 - on its proposal to make channel capacity available to commercial radio service 4VL, Charleville, at Mitchell Airport, Queensland to improve coverage of its service in the eastern part of its licence area.
The ABA also sought comments on a request from 4VL to extend its licence area to include Mitchell, which is mainly in the licence area of commercial radio service 4ZR Roma although parts of the town including the airport are in the Charleville licence area.
Canada saw rather more announcements from theCanadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) including a significant number of licence renewals as well as approval of changes. In order of province these included:
Renewal from 1 September 2005 until 31 August 2012 of the licences of:
Commercial station CKLE-FM, Bathurst/Caraquet.
Commercial station CKNB-AM, Campbellton.
Commercial station CJVA-AM, Caraquet.
Specialty commercial station CKOE-FM, Moncton.
Commercial station CKCW-FM, Moncton,
Commercial station CFQM-FM, Moncton.
Commercial station CIOK-FM, Saint John.
Commercial station CHTD-FM, St. Stephen.
*Approval of power increase from 250 watts to 700 watts, increasing in antenna height and transmitter relocation for CFFF-FM, Peterborough.
*Change of frequency for transmitter CBL-FM-1, Huntsville, of CBL-FM Toronto: The change follows interference caused by the existing transmissions to the signal of CFBK-FM, Muskoka-Parry Sound.
The two parties had been unable to agree on a solution and Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting Limited opposed the current proposal, arguing that tests on the new frequency had also caused interference, adding that the proposed power of 70,000 watts was excessive, unnecessary and unwarranted. It said 5,000 watts was sufficient.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which uses the transmitter for its Radio 2 service, said the proposals complied with the requirements of Canada's Department of Industry, which said it would eliminate interference. The Commission want with the Department's advice and allowed the change.
Renewal from 1 September 2005 until 31 August 2012 of the licences of:
Type B community station CHCR-FM, Killaloe, and its transmitter CHCR-FM-1, Wilno.
Tourist station CHQI-FM, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Commercial station CJUL-AM, Cornwall.
Commercial station CJKL-FM, Kirkland Lake.
Commercial station CIQM-FM, London.
Commercial station CHUR-FM, North Bay.
Commercial station CKAT-AM, North Bay.
Commercial station CJMJ-FM, Ottawa.
Commercial station CFRA-AM, Ottawa.
Commercial station CHVR-FM, Pembroke.
Commercial station CKPT-AM, Peterborough.
Commercial station CJTN-FM, Quinte West
Commercial station CJET-FM, Smiths Falls.
Commercial station CJCL-AM, Toronto.
Renewal from 1 September 2005 until 31 August 2012 of the licences of
French-language Type B community station CHAI-FM, Châteauguay.
Renewal from 1 September 2005 until 31 August 2012 of the licence of French-language Type B community station CKAJ-FM, Saguenay.
French-language Type B community station CHOC-FM, Saint-Rémi.
Type B native radio station CFIC-FM, Listuguj
Short-term renewal from 1 September 2005 to 31 August 2009 of licence of Type B French-language community station CKMN-FM, Rimouski and Mont-Joli: The decision to restrict the term followed requests made in 2003 for logger tapes, at which time recordings for some of the period were missing, and then in 2004 for logger tapes and details of the musical selections played on the station at which time some recordings were also missing. The Commission noted action taken to ensure future compliance but opted for a short-term renewal.
The CRTC also issued the sixth edition of its Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report showing listening to radio down, especially amongst younger Canadians, although revenues still rose (See RNW Jun 30)
It is also facing a challenge to its decision to award satellite radio licences from groups who claim that the decision weakens requirements for Canadian content (See RNW Jun 29).
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has announced the in-principle award of a new community licence for the South Inishowen Peninsula area to South Inishowen Community Radio.
It also opted not to award community of interest licences for the towns of Athlone, Carlow and Dundalk saying that none of the three applications received was of a sufficient quality to merit further consideration.
Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe thanked the groups for "their time and effort in making these applications" but said there were "a number of fundamental weaknesses in each application, particularly in relation to the nature of the proposed programme schedule in each case."
It also advertised for Expressions of Interest in 18 Community and Community of Interest Services to be offered nationally. The licences involved include those applying to 13 existing franchise areas that are to be re-licensed and an additional five new community-based services in Charleville, Claremorris, Knock, Shannon and Sligo town.
It also produced a produced a Guideline document to assist groups in making their expressions of interest.
The BCI has also had to delay work on introduction of its Broadcasting (Funding) Scheme, which is being set up to support and develop new television and radio programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, because of queries raised by the European Commission (See RNW Jul 2).
In the UK, there were no radio announcements from Ofcom apart from mentions in various reports including one following a symposium on rural communications and in a report following Ofcom's conclusion of its conclusion of its Spectrum Framework Review. This latter is recommending a market-led approach to most spectrum management.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a Los Angeles AM USD 10,000 for tower lighting breaches (See RNW Jul 2). It also gave permission for more extra HD digital channels including one for Infinity using the frequency of former Chicago oldies station WJMX-FM, whose analogue signal was converted to Jack FM (See RNW Jul 1).
The FCC also announced decisions relating to a number of mutually exclusive applications for new non-commercial educational ("NCE") FM stations.
In order of state these included:
Grant of licence to the State of Oregon Acting by and through the State Board of Higher Education for the Benefit of Southern Oregon University for a licence for major modifications to KNCA-FM, which serves Burney, California, to extend its reach and refusal of applications from
North Valley Educational Community Radio, Inc. for a station to serve Tehama, and Northern California Educational Broadcasters for a station to serve Paradise.
Grant of licence to Marshalltown Education Plus, Inc. to serve State Center and refusal of applications from American Family Association, Inc and CSN International for stations to serve Marshalltown.
Grant of licence to New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority a station to serve Netcong and refusal of application from Christian Educational Association for a station to serve Dover.
Grant of licence to New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority for a station to serve Toms River and refusal of applications from Community Media SNJ for a station to serve Beach Haven and from JC Radio, Inc. for a station to serve South Toms River
Grant of licence to American Family Association, Inc. of licence for a station to serve Mart and denial of University of Texas application for station to serve Waco.
Grant of licence to American Family Association, Inc. of licence for a station to serve Athens, and refusal of applications from Lufkin Educational Broadcasting Foundation for a station to serve Hudson and from Houston Christian Broadcasters, Inc. for one to serve Lufkin.
Grant of licence to North Texas Music Foundation of a licence for a station to serve Stephenville and refusal of an application from American Family Association, Inc. for a station that would also serve Stephenville and from CSSI Non-Profit Educational Broadcasting Corporation for a station to serve Bluff Dale.
Grant of licence to Educational Media Corporation for a station serve Spotsylvania, refusal of application from Educational Opportunities, Inc. for one to serve Brokenburg.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-007-03: Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) has hired a Montreal engineering firm to conduct tests to determine where it will need terrestrial repeater stations for its planned service.
CSR, which along with Sirius Canada and an Astral-CHUM consortium was granted a licence to start a subscription audio service for Canada is still in discussions with US partner XM Satellite Radio about the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requirement that the satellite companies provide eight channels of Canadian material rather than the five they had proposed.
2005-07-03: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has welcomed the Indian government decision, made in the face of mounting losses at the country's private FM operators, to move from its current licence fee system to a revenue sharing model.
Indian FM operators have been pressing for the change, which was also supported by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which said the industry could not survive unless there were changes and recommended a change to a system under which stations would pay an annual licence fee of 4% of their revenues (See RNW Nov 29, 2004).
In the 2003-2004 financial year, the industry lost INR 120 crore (USD 27.6 million - a crore is 10 million) but the government collected INR 100 crore (USD 23 million) in licence fees, which are graded according to cities - INR 15 crore (USD 3.5 million) for a Delhi licence, INR 12.5 crore (USD 2.9 million) for Mumbai (Bombay) and lower amounts for other cities with annual 15% increases.
Revenues in 2003-04 were double those of a year earlier at INR 116 crore (USD 26.7 million) and later figures from KPMG indicate 2004-05 revenues of around 220 crore (USD 50.6 million).
Although the Indian government had issues 108 licences only 21 private FM stations are now operating in 12 cities and the CII says the high licence fee has put most of them into loss.
The CII says the change to a revenue sharing system combined with a government decision to allow up to 20% foreign investment in FM radio and offer 330 more licences will usher in a new era for radio in the country.
"The Government's fresh radio package would energize the expansion of FM radio in the country," it said in a statement. "We appreciate the regulatory corrections which would result in more growth, more revenue, new employment across the country.''
The government is not planning to allow news and current affairs on private radio a policy the CII says should also be changed.
Previous Indian Radio:
2005-07-02: XM Satellite Radio says it now has 4.4 million subscribers, having added more than 640,000 customers in the second quarter of this year.
This is 53% more than were added in the second quarter of last year and 18% more than in the first quarter of this year.
President and CEO Hugh Panero said it was the "best second quarter" the company had seen and added, "The momentum behind XM's subscriber growth is undeniable. In just one year, XM has more than doubled its subscriber base from 2.1 million in the second quarter of 2004 to over 4.4 million subscribers today."
XM is also offering the most comprehensive cover that we have noted of today's Live-8 concerts with a total of seven channels dedicated to them, one for what it terms "Global" coverage and the six others for signals from Barrie in Canada, Berlin, London, Paris, Philadelphia and Rome.
The BBC is also offering fairly comprehensive cover that on BBC Radio 3 will include an hour of live cover from the associated "Africa Calling" concert being given by African artists in Cornwall today (1400-1500GMT in the World Routes slot) and also highlights from the event in the Performance on 3 slot on Monday evening from 18:30 GMT to 20:30 GMT.
2005-07-02: BBC Radio 1 has announced that it is to replace Nemone (Nemone Metaxas) as host of its 0400-0700 Early Breakfast Show with JK and Joel (Jason King and Joel Ross) who currently host the Sunday Radio 1 chart show: The duo, who were hired from Emap's Key 103 in Manchester last year (See RNW Jan 17, 2004) will continue to host the chart show and will start the new show in September.
They will only host the new show from Monday to Thursday and the station is to announce a new show to fill the slot on Fridays.
Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said JK and Joel were Radio 1 talents and added, "They've done a great job on the new Chart Show and we felt it was time that our audience got to hear a lot more of them."
Paying tribute to Nemone, who is to leave the station, he said, "We are always sad to lose a team member and Nemone has been brilliant in her five years at the station. I've been impressed with her recent work on Radio 5 Live and I wish her all success for the future."
Previous JK and Joel:
2005-07-02: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced that it will not now be able to launch its Broadcasting (Funding) Scheme, which is being set up to support and develop new television and radio programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, this month as it had originally hoped because of comments from the European Commission.
The latter, after examination of the scheme, has told the Irish Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources that it needs clarification and further information before it can make a determination on the proposed scheme.
EC approval is required for the Scheme, which is financed through 5% of the licence fee fund, under European regulations concerning state aid.
The BCI had appointed Catherine Fitzgerald as the Commissioning Officer of the Scheme in May (See RNW May 19).
2005-07-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed a USD 10,0000 penalty on Lotus Communications for failure to comply with the antenna structure lighting, monitoring and notification requirements for a tower used for its KWKW-AM.
Lotus had argued against a notice of apparent violation (NAL) on the basis that red warning lights on the tower had been out of action only for a small part of the time it had owned the structure, that it had an history of "unblemished compliance" with FCC regulations for 42 years, and "vigorous corrective action taken long prior to the issuance of the NAL."
The FCC, which noted that after it had drawn the problems to the attention of Lotus on March 24, 2004, had been thanked for doing so and told the problem would be fixed by March 31 - but was still there when a check was made April 6 that also showed no logs of outages, said that Lotus had in fact only taken action after the FCC contacted it, that it did not have an unblemished record, and that the offences were repeated after the contact. It confirmed the full penalty.
RNW comment: As we read through FCC report after report that indicates falsehoods being included in licensees responses to Notices of Apparent Violations it seems to us that the system if deficient in that there is no cost to the licensee apart from reputation for truth, which is lightly valued by those involved, in pursuing appeals on such a basis. It would seem to us that the rules should be amended to automatically double the penalty in each such case, thus giving the licensee an incentive to be truthful or not egg the cake in terms of "record" - if it's going to cost you when you say you have an unblemished record but you only know about the past five years, say, you'll probably try and be accurate in your submissions.
For repeat offences we'd double up each time - and we doubt that any organisation would then get it wrong more than a couple of times - a fifth USD 10,000 offence at USD 160,000 would be persuasive even for the big corporations.
2005-07-01: Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan has told MarketWatch that his company would be interested in purchasing Disney's ABC radio stations were they to be put up for sale as rumoured and provided the price is right.
He was quoted as saying, "We have, and will continue to have, a very keen interest in improving our portfolio. There are a number of stations that Disney owns that we could very easily add to our existing portfolio, and do very well with."
"The question is, at what price? We have a long history of having a very responsible financial model that we apply to potential purchases, and if we could do it, and have it make sense, we would certainly be interested.
Previous Clear Channel:
2005-07-01: Three factors - Radio 1's Big Weekend, the Eurovision Song Contest which boosted Radio 2, and the final Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series on Radio 4 helped to boost demand for BBC online services in May:
In all online listening hours totalled 12,939,619, up 9.7% on April and 62.8% on a year earlier with live listening totalling 8,199,367 hours, up 9% on April and 73.8% on a year ago and on-demand listening totalled 4,740,252 hours, up 11% on April and 46.7% on a year earlier.
The corporation gave no figures for MP3 downloads for the month but did note that a live video webcast of the Eurovision song contest was requested 43,000 times and on demand video content generated over 880,000 requests.
In terms of network listening in May this year, the rankings were (Total listening hours-live plus on-demand and percentage change compared to April in brackets):
Radio 1 - (3,662,451 +7.67%)
Radio 2 - (2,532,433 +7.64%).
Radio 4 - (2,221,418 +12.24%).
BBC 7 - (1,104,172 +6.31%).
Radio 5 Live- (839,342 +15.97%).
Radio 3 - (610,607 + 7.58%)
6 Music - (603,145 +11.65%).
1Xtra - (548,896 +11.39%).
Asian Network (196,540 +9.68%).
5 Live Sports Xtra - (65,590 +194%).
The top five on-demand programmes in May were:
1- The BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers with 408,561 listens in April, up 5.56% on March.
2 - Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 with 363,693 listens, up 43.24%.
3 - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Radio 4 with 281,806 listens. It was not on air in April.
4 - Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 with 226,418 listens. Down 7.93% from April when it was in third rank.
5 - The Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1 with 169,323. Up 0.41% on April when it was fourth.
Previous BBC Online figures:
2005-07-01: Infinity has announced that it has now been given experimental permission by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to add a digital second service WJMK HD-2 to the frequency used by its former Oldies outlet WJM K that it switched to the Jack FM format last month (See RNW Jun 4).
Earlier this week Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander, in Chicago for a meeting with Infinity executives, had indicated that the company had plans to bring WJMK, which it is streaming online, back as a digital service (See RNW Jun 30).
The new station is to be programmed independently of Jack FM, which will be transmitted on a digital channel as well as its analogue service, and is expected to be launched some time this month.
Dave Robbins, Vice President and General Manager of WUSN-FM and WJMK-FM, commented in a statement, "This is a great next step in the evolution of HD Radio, and a very exciting age for radio and our company. WJMK HD-2 will be the same great oldies format that Chicago has come to know and love for the past 21 years."
In May, Infinity announced a similar move at WUSN-FM in Chicago, creating WUSN-FM 99.5 HD-2 "Chicago's Future Country" using the digital HD spectrum that transmits country-format WUSN-FM, claiming it as the first commercial HD multicast station in the US (See RNW May 13).
2005-07-01: Australia's broadcast media regulation landscape changes today when the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) takes over the regulation of broadcasting, radiocommunications and telecommunications previously divided between the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) and Australian Communications Authority (ACA).
Initially ABA and ACA staff, who will become ACMA staff, will work from their existing offices and will be contactable on their existing phone numbers and at their e-mail addresses.
ACMA web site:
2005-07-01: US shock jock Howard Stern has told his listeners he thinks he may be off the terrestrial airwaves as soon as the end of summer - he is due to join Sirius Satellite Radio in January next year when his contract with Infinity ends - but according to the New York Post.
Stern told his audience he had heard, "Technically, we're working for the summer, and then we're done here The theory is that if we're here for the ratings period in the fall, they can't sell advertising because [ad buyers] are going to go, 'Those were Howard's ratings and we're not going to pay.' So they figured [they'd] get the new morning show in here and, even if the ratings go down, at least there's something to sell."
The Post cast doubt on the comments by quoting Infinity as saying it currently has no plans to take Stern off air and also two advertising executives who said it didn't make sense for Infinity to drop the host as they could exploit his presence as the last opportunity to advertise while he is still on terrestrial radio.
New York Daily Post report:
2005-07-01: US Public radio attracts a very loyal audience of well educated and mainly prosperous white listeners according to Arbitron's Public Radio Today report recently released: It is the first such report and joint other reports - Radio Today, Hispanic Radio Today and Black Radio Today - issued by the company this year.
The study looks at information from 808 of the 950 or so public stations in the US out of a total of some 13,500 licensed stations.
P1 listeners - those who listen to a station more than any other - were 90% of its listening overall, a figure that ranged from 88% for Variety and New AC/Smooth Jazz to 91% for Alternative and Educational. The average age of these P1 listeners ranged from 42 for alternative to 53 for classical.
The report shows slightly more men than women listening until the age of 50 after which listening by men is significantly higher it peaks at a 17.4% share for men in the 50-54 group compared to a 14.2% share for women: In this demographic men spent 9 hours 30 minutes a week listening compared to 8 hours 45 minutes for women although for the 65 plus demographic where the male audience was still higher - a 16% share compared to 13.4, women listened for longer - 9 hours 45 minutes a week compared to nine hours 30 minutes: females also listened more in the 12-17 group, three and a half hours a week compared to three minutes for males.
Peak listening is in the 07:00 to 09:00 slot on weekdays with most listening until 08:00 at home after which there is more listening from other locations until 19:00. At weekends most listening is between 08:00 and 13:00 and most of it is at home.
In terms of day part and demographic, there is comparatively more listening by older people (50 plus) between 10:00 and 13:00 on weekdays and most night time listeners are 50 plus males.
The report also indicates that most of public radio's audience are white - it breaks figures down into other, black and Hispanic - with the others category accounting for the vast majority of listeners for most formats.
A notable exception is New AC/Smooth Jazz, which has a 34.2% black and 5.5% Hispanic listenership and "educational" stations also fare fairly well with 6.6% black and 9.2% Hispanic listenership: Blacks and Hispanics each form around 13% of the US population.
Arbitron looked at six of the most common formats - Alternative, Classical, Educational, New AC/Smooth Jazz, News/Talk/information and Variety and found significant regional variations in listening to them.
Educational stations attracted most listening in New England, the South Atlantic and Mountain regions; Alternative attracted most in the Middle Atlantic and West North Central Regions; Variety attracted most in the East North |Central and South Central regions; and new AC/ Smooth Jazz in the Pacific region.
Alternative (34 stations) listeners were 57.8% male and it attracted the more highly paid - 48% were from households with incomes of more than USD 75,000 a year and 58% were college graduates.
Classical (229 stations) attracted slightly more women than men listening - 50.8% of the audience being female and 58% overall being 55 or older; they were also fairly well off and educated with 62% in households with incomes of USD 50,000 or more an 38.6% had household incomes of USD 75,000 or more. 64% were college graduates.
Educational (university and college) stations (60 stations) attracted slightly more males (52%) and 43% of their listeners were 55 or older; they were generally well off and educated, 40.2% with household incomes above USD 75,000 and 64.4% from USD 50,000 upwards. Two thirds were college graduates.
New AC/smooth jazz (40 stations) attracted far more males - 57.2% - and 49% were college graduates with household incomes of USD 50,000 above for 54.5% and USD 75,000 or above for 34%.
News/Talk/Information (225 stations) attracted more males - 53.1% and were well educated and well off -- 70.5% college graduates 69.3% with household incomes of USD 50,000 or more and 47.2% with household incomes of USD 75,000 or more.
Variety (190 stations) attracted more males (55.5%) and 58.6% were college graduates with 69.9% of listeners in households with incomes of USD 50,000 or more and 34.7% in households with incomes of USD 75,000 or more.
Arbitron Public Radio Today report (37 Page 386 KB PDF):
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