September 2005 Archive
-August 2005 - October 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.
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RNW September comment - Looks at what was and - more importantly - didn't seem to be on the agenda at the 2005 NAB Radio Show.
RNW August comment - Could making choices too easy lead to narrower minds? We wonder what the effect of technology that makes it easy to listen to just what you "want" could have a wider effect in narowing minds and also affect broadcasters, who cannot narrow down to the same degree.
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.
2005-09-30: Emmis has reported net revenues for its second quarter to the end of August up 11% to USD 107.9 million excluding its TV stations, which have been classified as discontinued operations as it continues with its sale of them. If TV revenues are included the net revenue figure increases to UISD 168.1 million. Pro forma radio net revenues (including WLUP-FM and the Emmis radio network in Slovakia) increased 4%.
In the latest TV sale Emmis is raising USD 259 million from affiliates of the Blackstone Group and the SJL Broadcast Group who have agreed to buy four stations - KOIN-TV (Ch. 6, CBS affiliate) in Portland, Ore.; KHON-TV (Ch. 2, Fox affiliate) in Honolulu, KSNW-TV (Ch. 3, NBC affiliate) in Wichita, Kansas; and KSNT-TV (Ch. 27, NBC affiliate) in Topeka, Kansas.
Emmis's reported radio net revenues for the quarter were up 11% to USD 87.1 million and its publishing revenues were up 10% to USD 20.8 million.
Overall Emmis reported net income of USD 8.4 million for the quarter, only a little above half the USD 15.3 million a year earlier: Diluted net income per common share was USD 0.15, compared to USD 0.23 for the same quarter of the prior year, a decrease the company puts down to higher interest expense resulting from debt incurred to effectuate the company's Dutch Auction stock repurchase in June 2005.
Looking ahead it says it expects third quarter radio net revenues to be up 5-6% and its station operating expenses, excluding non-cash compensation, to be up 3-4%.
Commenting on the results Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said, "We're encouraged with how strong the quarter finished for our radio stations, which outperformed their markets for the sixth straight quarter. As we continue to focus on operations, the disposition of our TV assets continues. The sale of 9 of our 16 stations will result in proceeds that exceed expectations."
At the company's conference call, the question of an Emmis return to baseball ownership was raised and Smulyan, describing a deal to acquire the Washington Nationals baseball team from Major League Baseball as "quite speculative" said that if it were successful Emmis would invest up to USD 100 million in the venture and form a new subsidiary for the team holdings.
In Canada Toronto-headquartered Corus in an update says it will exceed its consolidated free cash flow target of CAD 60 million (USD 51.2 million) and will achieve its EBITDA guidance for fiscal year ending August 31, 2005.
President and CEO John Cassaday said in a statement, "Corus has just completed a very successful year in which we achieved all of our financial guidance targets. For fiscal year 2006, we are targeting free cash flow of between CAD 70 to CAD 85 million (USD 59.8 to 68.1 million) and consolidated EBITDA of between CAD 210 and CAD 220 million (USD 179-188 million)."
2005-09-30: Preparations for a marketing blitz by Sirius Satellite Radio to sell more subscriptions in the run up to Christmas based on the arrival of Howard Stern with the satellite radio provider in January, have created some 700 jobs in Canada according to the Nova Scotia Chronicle-Herald.
Stern's channels have just launched on Sirius. albeit silent and without the host himself - they began with silence and a scrolling message of saying,"Were building towards Howards arrival in January."
It reports that the Stream call centre in Cape Breton, which signed a deal with Sirius earlier this year, is looking to fill 300 full time and 400 part-time jobs to handle its contract with Sirius.
Katherin Dockerill, senior vice-president of marketing and business strategy at Stream's head office in Texas, told The Chronicle Herald that the new contract with Sirius secures the future operation of Stream's Glace Bay call centre, which already employs 900.
"With this additional contract, we'll be at a steady state of 1,200 workers, so we're not going anywhere for a long period of time," she said.
"It wasn't that long ago that we lost a significant contract," Dockerill recalled of an American company's pullout last year that threatened Stream's entire Nova Scotia operation. "We were pretty concerned," she said. "But the more diverse the accounts, the better the site. We have several contracts in place now, so this site doesn't get jeopardized by one client."
Dockerill said workers would be trained to handle Sirius complaints or irate customers or to offer computer technical support. Workers will also help launch a Sirius promotional blitz encouraging the public to buy portable satellite receivers this Christmas to tap into commercial-free music and sports radio programming.
2005-09-30: According to a report in law.com Florida prosecutors who have asked to be allowed to subpoena radio host Rush Limbaugh's personal physician, Dr. John Murray, and Murray's employees for testimony in connection with Limbaugh's alleged doctor shopping to obtain prescription painkiller drugs (See RNW Sep 28) are said to be looking for a signed statement from Limbaugh to Dr. Murray promising that if the doctor prescribed painkillers for him, including Oxycontin, in quantities sufficient to control his pain, Limbaugh would not try to obtain more prescription pills from other doctors.
The report cites an unnamed source close to the investigation and says many doctors insist on this type of signed letter from patients before prescribing powerful, addictive drugs such as OxyContin: In Limbaugh's case the prosecutors allege that Limbaugh also obtained drugs from other doctors as well.
Last month Circuit Judge Kenneth Stern, standing in for District Judge Thomas Barkdull quashed a subpoena for testimony from Limbaugh's doctors and ordered prosecutors not to communicate with Murray or any other of Limbaugh's doctors without proper notice and a hearing beforehand (See RNW Aug 18).
RNW comment: Should the prosecutors be able to produce evidence that Limbaugh signed a letter or letters that gained him prescriptions on the basis that he would not try to more prescriptions from other doctors and then did so, it would appear to a layman that this would be a pretty open-and-shut case. However Limbaugh has ample resources to keep fighting the points so we don't expect any speedy resolution of the matter even if Barkdull allows the subpoena.
2005-09-29: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has made a new offer to the Canadian Media Guild in an attempt to settle the lockout of staff that is now in its seventh week.
It says the offer "contains significant compromise on the key issues in an effort to end the current labour disruption and conclude a collective agreement."
"Our offer," it said, "includes considerable movement on the key issues - Contract Employees and Workforce Adjustment. It also includes further standardization of hours of work and improved overtime provisions for some employees, continuation of the long-service gratuity for current permanent employees, implementation of Job Evaluation and a generous monetary package for employees in addition to numerous positive developments that have been negotiated."
Amongst the prime details are a 3% pay increase on ratification followed by increases of 2% in April next year then 2.5% in April 2007 and 2008 and an offer to restrict the total number of contract positions to a maximum of 90 additional contract positions per year.
It is also to offer contract employees a full pension after two years of service on par with permanent full time employees and the ability for existing contract employees to retroactively buy back eligible service if they opt to join the pension plan.
So far no statement has been issued by the CMG but before the offer was made had said she remained unimpressed with the CBC position, saying it had "made no substantive movement on its positions on employment status or on layoff and recall provisions."
"Management," she then said, "has also refused to move away from its proposal that would allow it to engage more and more contract employees at the expense of permanent jobs. Management's position is virtually the same as it held before it imposed the lockout."
2005-09-29: Britain's largest radio company GCap Media has warned in a trading update that its revenues in the quarter to the end of this month will be down 8% on a year earlier; the company's revenues were down 11% year-on-year in the previous quarter and GCap says that for the six months its like-for-like revenues will be down 9%.
GCap said trading in the six months "continued to be affected by weak consumer confidence and low spends from key advertisers" but added, "October trading is currently looking slightly better."
Overall it said, "Before taking account of the additional costs and benefits outlined above in the current financial year, the Group continues to trade in line with the Board's previous expectations. However, visibility remains limited and we remain cautious about prospects for the October to December quarter."
GCap, which earlier this month had announced that former Capital Radio chief executive David Mansfield was to leave the company and be replaced as GCap chief executive by executive chairman Ralph Bernard, also announced the departure of two former Capital executives.
They are Commercial Director Linda Smith and Operations Director Paul Davies who, like Mansfield, are leaving the company but will remain with it in the short term "to facilitate a full handover of responsibilities and further assist in the integration process."
Following their decision to leave, GCap says it has changed its senior management structure with Operations Director Steve Orchard now taking responsibility for all operational aspects of the business including content and commercial areas: Duncan George, Managing Director of National Sales, will report to Orchard, and will oversee the Group's commercial activities pending the announcement of the appointment of a Commercial Director.
Although revenues have lagged GCap said it would make more savings than anticipated from the merger of Capital Radio and GWR and has revised its previous estimate of GBP 7.5 million (USD 13.2 million) in annual savings to GBP 25 million (USD 44 million).
It said in a statement, "These synergies will be realised in full in the year to March 2007, and we expect that around GBP 8 million (USD 14 million) of gross cost savings will be achieved in the current financial year. In line with the initial announcement on merger synergies, the majority of savings relate to staff costs as the Board introduces a clearer management structure designed to speed up decision-making processes and eliminate duplication."
GCap also announced that it was to invest some of the savings back in the business - around GBP 2 million (USD 3.5 million) in the current financial year and around GBP 7 million (USD 12.3 million) in the 2007 financial year. It said that it estimated that "further one-off costs of approximately GBP 7 million, mainly in the current financial year, will be incurred to achieve these additional synergies. This brings the total cost of achieving all merger synergies to GBP 18 million (USD 31.7 million)."
Chief Executive Ralph Bernard said of the announcements that the company had carried out a "thorough review of the cost base of the company" since the merger took effect and were thus able to announce the "potential for significant further cost savings."
"In addition to enhancing the benefits for shareholders," he added, "we are also investing in our analogue assets to attract more listeners and create value for advertisers whilst prudently investing in our digital future. Although current trading conditions remain difficult, we are taking the right steps to counter this and to position the business in the best way for the future."
Asked at a presentation to analysts if GWR executives had staged a takeover of the company he denied this and said that the company had chosen the best team from those available from both previous companies and that the departure of Mansfield was linked to the decision by Davies and Smith to leave the company but it had been their own choice and entirely "amicable."
Finance director Wendy Pallot said half the savings to be made were coming from the company's stations and the rest from combining head offices and sales teams and other operations: She added that less then 100 jobs would be lost -GCap has already reduced its workforce by 200 since the merger and now employs just fewer than 1400 people.
In an interview with the UK Guardian before the release of the update, Bernard suggested that "95.8 Capital Radio" might revert to its original "Capital Radio" name and also sketched out some of his company's digital strategy, saying the first priority was to "get our product in shape to challenge the BBC" and noting, "We need more challenging digital products. We are always experimenting."
GCap is already launching new music stations - two of the latest are a jazz station "Ella" (after Ella Fitzgerald) that has been launched on the Essex and Reading local digital multiplexes and Chill, a youth station being tried out in London - and Bernard told the paper he also thought there was "scope for speech."
"It's been the preserve of the BBC, and they do it brilliantly," he said. "I would love to do it on commercial radio. Whether it could be comedy, I just don't know."
Bernard also re-iterated previous statements that GCap would sue were UK regulator Ofcom to decide to licence additional rival national radio multiplexes to the current sole multiplex - Digital One in which GCap has a 63% holding.
"We have no choice, there isn't an appeals process. I hope it won't come to it," he told the paper.
"We have put in a strong case. I think there is an acknowledgement within Ofcom of the moral position. The company was given firm encouragement to invest and an exclusive licence for 24 years. We've spent the best part of £27m, and it is costing GCap £10m a year."
Initial market reactions to the report of additional savings sent GCap shares up 18% to GBP 3.28 but they later fell back to end the day up a little under 14% at GBP3.1575
UK Guardian -Bernard interview:
2005-09-29: US Broadcasting complaints, which had fallen dramatically in the first quarter of this year to half the level of the final quarter of 2004 (See RNW Aug 16) fell even more dramatically in the second quarter according to the latest figures released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
These show Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints down from 157,650 in the 1st quarter to 6,429 in the 2nd quarter; Cable and Satellite Services complaints were also down, falling from 718 in the 1st quarter to 191 in the 2nd quarter with the biggest decrease occurred in the Programming category, where complaints fell from 502 to 37.
As in previous periods indecency-related complaints were the massive majority of broadcast complaints totalling 6,161, evenly spread month by month, whilst general criticism accounted for only 234 complaints over the quarter- down from 555, accessibility issues for 13- down from 16, and other matters for 21- down from 63.
Previous FCC complaints figures:
2005-09-29: Quebec radio host Dr. Pierre Mailloux, who has been previously found to have breached Canadian regulations, most recently with comments about Sikhs (See RNW Apr 1) and blacks (See RNW Jun 24), is in hot water again following comments on a TV show saying that blacks have lower IQs than other people.
Mailloux said he based the comments on US studies but was unable to name them when he made the comment.
Dan Philip, head of the Black Coalition of Quebec, and Jean Dorion, of the sovereignist Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste have said that they will complain to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC): They say the CRTC should threaten broadcasters with the loss of their licences if they air such comments.
They also want the Quebec College of Physicians to investigate in the hope Mailloux will be sanctioned or have his licence taken away.
Toronto Star/Canadian Press report:
2005-09-29: The BBC's international radio and online division has launched its biggest-ever online marketing campaign in an attempt to promote the bbcnews.com web site in Europe and the USA.
The campaign, which will run for six months, targets the "inquisitives" who are mainly grabbing short bursts of time from their bosses by going online at work.
The BBC says it deploys innovative approaches to creative and media, including relationships with messenger services - bbcnews.com headlines will be built into both MSN Messenger and ICQ instant messaging service infrastructure, including dynamic desktop alerts -and RSS feeds direct from the BBC's news site.
The MSN Messenger alert service will run in Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and will be additionally promoted on the MSN network in these markets. The ICQ alerts will be available to the US audience, and will be promoted on ICQ inventory in this market as well.
Agency Republic, which is handling the campaign, says it has created a 'News Flash Module' which enables the BBC to instantly update rich media overlay and standard banner advertising creative with bespoke messaging and imagery by utilising integrated Atlas Rich Media and has brought together the leaders in ad-serving technology and web-metrics - Atlas and Neilsen - to deliver what it terms "the world's first definitive online campaign measurement solution."
Gavin Marshall, BBC Business Director at Agency Republic, said: "This is by far the most innovative campaign that we have ever run for the bbcnews.com site. The rich interactivity of the creative, the innovation in media and partnerships and the definitive measurement solution will make sure that this campaign sets a new global standard in effective online advertising."
2005-09-29: There is more bad news for radio in a study by Yahoo and OMD of the media usage of 13-24 year olds in 11 countries that shows a keen demand for personalization and that the Internet has now overtaken broadcast radio as "the preferred medium for music among youth in all countries."
The study - "From 'My Generation' to 'My Media Generation'" - says the preference for the Internet is greater outside the US - "among American youth, 47 percent prefer the Internet for music compared to 27 percent that prefer the radio. In many other countries, approximately 60 percent of youth prefer the Internet for music compared to 20 percent that prefer the radio."
It says, "Youth's use of interactive and wireless technologies has created a global generation highly accustomed to personalizing their experiences with interactive media. This so-called "My Media Generation," driven by a desire to personalize their media, has given rise to very different attitudes and responses toward advertising and marketing messages."
" What really sets today's youth apart is the expectation that they can customize and personalize everything in their world and daily experiences in ways previous generations never could. From individual play lists on MP3 players to personalized avatar wardrobes on instant messaging programs, to wallpaper and ring tones on mobile phones, the My Media Generation demands products and services that suit their moods and desires. And, they will actively search for, modify, or create their own tailored products and services."
It comments, "My Media Generation's three core needs: community, self-expression, and personalization, are best met through music, the Internet, and mobile devices. Traditional media (television, radio, and print), are still heavily used by this generation, serving vital but increasingly niche functions."
The report is also potentially bad news for many advertisers as it says that "as advertising channels become more personal, receptivity to seeing or hearing advertising through that channel decreases" although it adds, "Advertising in traditional media is generally considered more acceptable to youth than advertising in new media channels."
There were exceptions, however, and the report says 63% of Indian youth agree that it is okay to see advertising on web sites, while only 51-52% found advertising acceptable on outdoor, movie theatres or radio.
The study also reports on multi-tasking and Joe Uva, president and CEO, OMD Worldwide says, "A key finding from this study is that members of the My Media Generation can fit up to 44 hours of activities in just one day. Their ability to perform up to three tasks simultaneously, using multiple technologies, allows them to potentially increase their media consumption during their average waking hours. Combine this with the demand for personalization, and there's a clear message for marketers on the need to personalize and possibly increase the frequency of their messages in order to reach today's youth."
RNW comment: From those we know, they may be doing three or four things at a time but much of the information, to use an old phrase, goes straight in one ear and out of the other.
In fact as we write this, we have one digital radio channel and one Internet audio channel on but wouldn't claim to be really listening to either so much as keeping an ear out for particular elements of interest.
This pattern seems to be borne out by another line in the report that says TV is "frequently on in the background" - not so much cramming 44 hours of "activity" as multi-level little attention?
2005-09-29: The Australian Commercial Radio industry has named eight finalists - chosen based on their commercial radio potential by a panel of radio network program and music directors - in its New Artists to Radio (NA2R) showcase, formerly the New Music to Radio (NM2R) showcase when it was launched in 2002.
It was initially a joint effort between the commercial radio industry and the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA), as part of the Australian Music Development Initiative (AMDI) but last year it was run solely by the Australian commercial radio industry through industry body Commercial Radio Australia, although with the same aim of supporting emerging talent and enabling it to connect with and be exposed to commercial radio decision makers.
This year's eight finalists will initially perform to commercial radio programmers and music directors at a closed session at the annual National Radio Conference in Sydney on October 14 at which four artists will be selected for the next stage.
Those chosen will perform to around 300 senior members of the commercial radio industry at a special event that evening at the Sydney Convention Centre on October 14 and a winning artists will then be invited to perform to over 800 members of the commercial radio and music industries the following night at the 2005 Australian Commercial Radio Awards.
The artists chosen are After The Fall; Clint Crighton; Dead Day Sun; Faker; FiggKidd; Jake Nickolai; and The White Room.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2005-09-28: XM satellite radio says it has now topped five million subscribers and is on track to top six million by the end of the year.
XM Satellite Radio President and CEO Hugh Panero said the figures showed XM continuing to "to expand its position as the leader in the satellite radio industry and added, "Consumers are choosing XM because we offer the most choices, including the most commercial-free music and live sporting events, and the most advanced technology."
"With the winning combination of outstanding new channels and breakthrough products in advance of the holiday season," he said, "XM is poised for record growth during the fourth quarter."
2005-09-28: UK Emap in a trading update says group revenues for the six months to the end of September up 5% on a year earlier with underlying group revenues up 1%: Radio it says will leave the way with total revenues, helped by its acquisition of SRH, up 9% underlying and 20% overall (up 2% excluding SRH).
Of its other divisions it expects UK Consumer Magazines revenues up 5% (3% underlying) but those in France to remain flat (down 4% underlying); Consumer Magazines - International down 6% (up 9% underlying); TV down 2% (down 2% underlying); and Business-to-Business up 13% (up 3% underlying)
Regarding radio it notes that revenues are expected to outperform the market in the first half of the year and says National airtime is up 6%, reflecting Emap's ability to reach wider audiences than its competitors, primarily through its digital offering, whilst local airtime experienced a 9% decline.
It adds that during the period it successfully completed the acquisition of SRH and comments, "The Emap Radio strategy is based on strong local brands, wide distribution, and outstanding, award winning, content. The addition of these stations strengthens Emap on all three of these criteria and creates an even stronger independent local radio business reaching all of the major conurbations in the UK. The new business has a 23% share of UK commercial listening hours and a strong position in the Republic of Ireland. The integration of the new stations into Emap is going well. Emap Advertising is now selling national advertising opportunities across all Emap owned radio stations."
Looking ahead, Emap says it remains on target for the full year and noted that Forward bookings for radio airtime are "reasonable"
2005-09-28: Florida prosecutors who are investigating talk host Rush Limbaugh in connection with his use of prescription painkillers and suggestions of doctor shopping - he is alleged to have illegally deceived multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions for painkillers - have filed a motion to subpoena the host's doctors and their employees.
Assistant State Attorney James Martz said he would ask the witnesses only about matters relating to their investigation of Limbaugh's possible "doctor shopping.''
Prosecutors believe Limbaugh illegally deceived multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions for painkillers. He has not been charged with any crime.
Limbaugh's lawyers, who are opposing the move, have so far lost their argument in the courts that seizure of the host's records violated his privacy.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel/Associated Press report:
2005-09-28: The Board of Directors of the US Corporation for Public Broadcasters (CPB) has elected Cheryl Halpern and Gay Hart Gaines to one-year terms as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the nine-member board.
Halpern takes over from Kenneth Y. Tomlinson who had been CPB chair for two years during which he had been at the centre of controversy over his accusations that public broadcasting in the US was biased to the left and needed to be more balanced and for spending money on studies of the political leanings of guests on some Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) programmes (See RNW Jul 29).
Before she was appointed to the CPB Halpern had been a member of the Board for International Broadcasting and as a director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, posts to which she was appointed in 1990, and from 1995 to 2002 she served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors overseeing Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, RFE/RL, Worldnet, Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Iraq.
Both Halpen and Haines are Republicans appointed to the board by President Bush and between them their families have contributed almost a million dollars to the Republican Party.
2005-09-28: A judge has denied Clear Channel's request to dismiss claims against its WHJY-FM, Rhode Island, for damages relating to deaths and injuries in the February 2003 fire at the Station nightclub that killed 100 people: Clear Channel had denied responsibility saying it was not the promoter, sponsor or promoter of the event, did not hire the band, sell tickets, build the building, or look at the contract for the event. It simply accepted advertising for the event from the club owners. (See RNW Mar 12, 2003).
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 146 survivors and 80 victims' families names the radio station as one of 46 defendants, saying that WHJY advertised the concert, hung a banner outside the nightclub inviting people to "party with WHJY," gave out free tickets and took part in other promotional activities.
In his decision Senior U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux wrote, "To the extent that plaintiffs can establish that WHJY had control over the planning and operation of the concert, then the court can find that WHJY . . . failed to take any steps to prevent the ignition of the fireworks inside the small and crowded nightclub," Lagueux said in a decision written Thursday.
He also noted that the lawsuit claimed that WHJY was familiar with Great White, the band performing that night, and knew or should have known that it used illegal fireworks in previous shows.
Previous Clear Channel:
Boston Globe/Associated Press report:
2005-09-27: Canada's Labour Minister Joe Fontana has said that both sides in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) dispute have shown "willingness" to resolve the differences that led to a lockout of CBC staff seven weeks ago but no details have come out of any movement in positions that is likely to lead to a speedy settlement.
In a statement the minister said he and other cabinet ministers had been "inundated" with complaints from people fed up about the lockout and added, "Canadians are starting to question the need for a public broadcaster."
Fontana said he expected the two sides to find "common ground" without delay and commented, "Fifty-five hundred people have now been on the street for 43 days and Canadians have been deprived of the service to which they are entitled, because your committees can't reach a compromise. This is simply unacceptable You all need to keep in mind that the CBC is a public institution, not the private playground of the union and management."
After meeting both sides, he said in another statement, "Both parties have demonstrated a willingness to resolve this dispute. They have agreed, at my invitation, to remain in the building and resume negotiations on the remaining issues with the assistance of our mediator and the Director General of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Labour Program. I will be meeting jointly with the parties later today to get a status of their talks."
Fontana instructed Elizabeth MacPherson, head of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, to join the talks and push the two sides into agreement.
Both the union and management sides issues statements welcoming the minister's involvement and hoping that it would lead to a speedy settlement.
A statement from the CBC said, "The Corporation hopes the Minister's initiative provides the impetus needed to move toward reaching an agreement that not only reflects the business realities and requirements of the broadcasting world, but at the same time respects the career aspirations of its employees."
2005-09-27: Emmis has announced the USD 20 million cash sale of its new standards format WRDA-FM (Red FM) in St Louis to Radio One Inc. in a disposal that it says is in line with its policy of disposing of non-core assets.
Emmis says it will retain its four other stations in the market -- talk format KFTK-FM, classic hits KIHT-FM, alternative rock KPNT-FM and album-oriented rock and will also continue to air Red's programming via the Internet and is also planning to air Red's programming on KFTK-FM at weekends.
Its radio president Rick Cummings commented of the sale, "Red was a novel format that our staff in St. Louis executed well. But after 18 months, the results have not been robust. The station is not a core asset in St. Louis where Emmis has a three-station rock wall as well as a News/Talk FM. Radio One has been looking for some time for another property in St. Louis, and this was the ideal time for Emmis and Radio One to put the deal together."
For Radio One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III said they expected to begin operating the station under a local management agreement from the start of October but following completion, expected in the fourth quarter of this year, it intended to change the station format and call sign.
"This acquisition," he added, "is yet another example of our prudent approach to acquiring radio stations in an uncertain environment for the industry. Through this acquisition we will complement our current single station in St. Louis, thus greatly strengthening our competitive position in this large urban market."
In other US radio news, Disney-owned ABC Radio has flipped its Active Rock WZZN-FM (The Zone) in Chicago to oldies, taking advantage of the gap left when Infinity switched WJMK-FM to the Adult Hits Jack format in June although it continued to broadcast WJMK on the Internet and later brought it back on an HD side-frequency (See RNW Aug 18) .
The Zone had not fared well in recent ratings and was competing with four other rock stations and would gain audience substantially if it manages to approach the ratings that WJMK had in its previous oldies format - a 2.9% overall share compared to 2.0 for WZZN.
The new station is being promoted as "94.7 Chicago's True Oldies Channel", a format that could be considered as taking a leaf from Jack's book - president and general manager Jim Pastor says will involve a deeper play list than the typical oldies station, which has a play list of around 200 songs but will also have personality and energy missing from the Jack-style play anything formats.
The change began with a feed of ABC Radio Network's "Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel" that is to be aired non-stop until a local morning and afternoon show are in place.
The station's web site (RNW comment- in yet another typical example of US radio inefficiency) remained in its old format for some hours before switching to a message "WZZN-FM is now Chicago's True Oldies Channel - check back soon for an all-new website" and it posted no word of what was to happen to its former programming and air staff although rumours are that they are all out.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
Red FM web site:
2005-09-27: More than a month after Virginia Trioli left Melbourne to move to Sydney to host the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's morning show on ABC 702 (See RNW Aug 13), her former station ABC 774 has yet to name a replacement for her afternoon drive show.
The ABC has been trying out potential replacements - Tracey Curro and then Lindy Burns have each had a fortnight in the slot and Jill Singer, thought to be a favourite for the job, was given a chance to display her talents as fill-in host of the station's Sunday morning arts show.
Also still under consideration according to the Melbourne Age is ABC TV state politics reporter Josephine Cafagna, who has previously worked on air at Southern Cross Broadcasting's Melbourne commercial talk station 3AW.
The paper says ABC 774 general manager Ian Mannix would not comment on the search for a replacement host but adds that some of his rivals proffered sympathy for his dilemma.
It quoted Dan Bradley, program development director with DMG's Nova and Vega networks, as saying, "While it would be good to do it fast, it's more important to get the right person than to do it quickly."
Bradley's view was backed up by 3AW general manager Shane Healy who said, "I'm a bit surprised that they haven't moved more quickly but I suppose, in their defence, good people don't grow on trees either, and sometimes you are best to take a bit of pain in the short time to get greater gain in the longer term Normally, the way they're playing it now means there's just no one really obvious bobbing up or because there's someone they can get their hands on but not until down the track."
Previous ABC, Australia:
Melbourne Age report:
2005-09-27: The arrival of ABC's Prime Access network and strong performances by top-ranked ABC Daytime Direction Network and ABC Morning News Radio Network gave the company the top three spots in Arbitron's RADAR 86 (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) Radio Network Audience Report, figures from which have been published by Premiere Networks - for some reason they beat Arbitron to the punch as the latter has still not posted the figures.
There are now 51 networks in the survery- two more ABC Hispanic Advantage and Premiere Fox News were added since RADAR 85.
In the top three ABC Daytime Direction Network added 673,000 listeners on the RAJAR 85 numbers to end up with a weekly audience of 7.51 million and increased its AQH from 3.1 to 3.3; ABC's Prime Access network jumped in to second rank with 6.735 million and an AQH of 2.7 and in third spot ABC Morning News Radio Network added 380,000 listeners to take its AQH from 2.1 to 2.3.
In contrast a poor performance by Westwood CBS News Primetime Network, which lost 961,000 listeners and whose AQH declined from 2.7 to 2.3, meant that it dropped from second place to fourth followed by Jones MediaAmerica TWC Radio Network, which held on to the spot as it added 418,000 listeners and took its AQH up from 2.1 to 2.3: Premiere's Morning Drive Network, which had been third, dropped to sixth despite adding 134,000 listeners and increasing its AQH from 2.1 to 2.2.
Previous Disney/ABC, America:
Previous Jones MediaAmerica:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 85):
Previous Premiere Networks:
Previous Westwood One:
2005-09-27: The Word Network, the Michigan-based national satellite and cable TV network that broadcasts ministries, gospel music, religious conventions and special events and that was dropped by Sirius Satellite Radio earlier this month, says it is suing the satellite radio service alleging racial discrimination and breach of contract in its decision to cancel their contract.
Sirius has been carrying the service for three years (See RNW Sep 18, 2002) and when it began the broadcasts the Word Network complained loudly about XM 's decision not to carry the programming.
In a news release Lewis Gibbs, The Word Network's vice president of operations, said, "We did not want to file suit, but Sirius gave us no choice. We were dropped without warning and when pressed as to why, Sirius said ratings were poor. However, Sirius refused to say what the ratings were or if others with supposedly similar ratings were also unceremoniously dropped. We feel that was a pretext for racial and religious discrimination, and neither we nor our supporters will stand for it."
The Word Network, which says that 15,000 Americans wrote letters of protest, nearly 3,000 Americans sent e-mails and thousands who phoned "made it clear to Sirius that they had a duty to find room on their dial for wholesome broadcasting that serves the public interest."
RNW comment: The numbers of protest listed are miniscule when it is considered how many Americans there area and at the time of the original decision by XM not to carry this programming, we commented in terms of World Network's reaction that "words like shakedown come to mind."
We would have liked to have seen some figures from Sirius on the actual audience figures but noting other programming they carry - they list three spiritual channels - our inclinations are to believe that the audience size was the determining factor in the decision - maybe allied with not having to deal with the people of World Network who strike us as not particularly amenable to rational argument.
Without seeing contract details we have no idea whether there was any breach of contract but resisting temptations to speculate about an baser motives we reckon the rest of the argument would be more suited to the rear end of a quadruped than the mouth of most ministers of religion.
2005-09-27: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld just one complaint against radio in its latest Broadcast Bulletin, the same as in the previous bulletin. It also upheld in part on TV fairness and privacy complaint and considered complaints resolved in three more TV cases, one of which involved complaints against the BBC and two commercial broadcasters over pictures broadcast on July 7 showing a man, injured in the London bombings who was receiving heart massage on a stretcher.
The commercial broadcasters, who transmitted the pictures later within edited items were held not to have breached codes, and the complaint against the BBC, which had transmitted them "generically" whilst the events were still unfolding was held to have been resolved: The Corporation had apologised and said the tape had been transmitted in error and without first viewing it in its entirety and admitted that a more thorough check should have been made [RNW comment: In other words, because a total of 26 people in the UK complained of being upset, no live broadcasts should be made of tragedies! Shame on Ofcom and the UK!].
The radio case upheld was a standards complaint made by two listeners about Zane Lowe's 'Most Punk' that was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and included a warning about strong language that was immediately followed by what appeared to be an elderly lady saying: "Hello ladies, boys and girls, I thought that you might like to know - in the spirit of punk rock - the following show includes, what we often refer to as language. So if, like me, you are offended by such words and phrases as: arse; bollocks; tit, wank; tit-wank; rotter; mother licker; mother sucker; mother fucker; twat; minge juice; bottler and of course bastard - then you might wish to turn over, or fuck off - thank you".
The BBC said it had considered the issues involved carefully before the broadcast - only 1% of the audience, it said, were under 15 at the 7p.m. broadcast time.
Ofcom said in its decision that any programme about punk culture was inevitably likely to include some material that contained strong language and the figure provided of younger listeners was not relevant.
It said the use of the "elderly lady" was clearly intended to be ironic and provide a humorous introduction to the programme but then said, " the right to deal with such subject matter comes with the responsibility of ensuring material is appropriately scheduled with the potential child audience in mind. While this was a legitimate approach, its application here was seriously misguided."
" Given the potential child audience for Radio 1 [some 14% of the total audience] at this time, we believe that the use of such strong language, with such intensity, at the start of the programme was inappropriate. The item was in contravention of the Code."
Ofcom also gave details of two further TV complaints that were not upheld: The figures compare to one radio complaint and two TV complaints upheld, a further TV complaint partially upheld and six more TV complaints considered resolved in its previous bulletin.
In addition Ofcom listed with no details a further 121 complaints against 85 items that were rejected or held to be out of remit compared to corresponding totals of 106 complaints against 116 items in the previous bulletin.
These included 19 radio complaints relating to 19 items compared to eight radio complaints relating to eight items in the previous bulletin - and 102 TV complaints relating to 66 items compared to 108 TV complaints relating to 98 items in the previous bulletin:
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2005-09-26: It's not a new message but w nevertheless feel its worth starting this week's look at print comment on the medium of radio with an Associated Press report by Jennifer C. Kerr carried under the headline "Radio to the Rescue for Gulf Coast Updates" in the Washington Post.
It began with a statement of what should be obvious - buy may not have been to FEMA - "Their homes under water and without electricity, many Hurricane Katrina survivors could not turn to television or the Internet for news and information. So they turned to battery-powered radios, just as people caught in natural disasters have done for decades."
The report gives praise where it is due, particularly for Entercom's WWL-AM -" In New Orleans, WWL-AM had a local news staff and managed to stay on the air with backup generators. News director Dave Cohen said the news-talk station took dozens of calls each day from stranded people who asked how to find missing loved ones and where to go for shelter and food."
It also dropped the odd brickbat and takes up the issue of the effects of deregulation and consolidation, saying, "In many cases, local updates broadcast in the battered Gulf Coast came from reporters quickly sent in from outside the area and from disc jockeys pressed into service as news anchors. Many stations today do not employ reporters, so the scramble was on once the hurricane hit At one time, most stations employed at least a single newsperson. But deregulation of the industry in the 1980s and 1990s cleared the way for mega-companies to gain control of large numbers of stations and move away from programming aimed at a local audience."
The report notes that before its repeal in 1981 as part of deregulation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required radio broadcasters to devote at least 6 percent of their average weekly air time to news, public affairs and informational programming, a regulation that advocates say meant most radio stations had to employ some kind of news staff.
It quotes Rick Wright, Syracuse University professor of radio and television at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, as saying many stations now rely on computers to run the programming instead of DJs or news people and adding, "As long as the sky is blue and the weather's great, everything is all right" but when disaster strikes they cannot always provide the needed local coverage.
Andrew Jay Schwartzman, chief executive of the Media Access Project, said the lack of local reporters is felt most during a disaster: "The failure to have people in place in each community means that strangers will be attempting to do on-the-job training" in the middle of a disaster, he said. "Radio's critical advantage is that it is the most local of all the media."
RNW comment: Regulation in the UK and other areas does regulate formats and insist to a degree on local news cover but there is continual pressure to ease this regulation, often in terms of arguments in terms of the other sources of information that technology has made available.
In our view, should it be decided that it is in the public interest to have a suitable news information infrastructure available for then disaster does strike, there is no logical reason why those who benefit from providing services to an area - such as cable and ISP companies - should not be required as a condition of doing business to contribute to a system to ensure that local news is covered and available.
Perhaps it would be worth a levy of a percentage of revenues to subsidize a system of pool reporters - maybe under the aegis of an agency like the Associated Press or Reuters who would have to tender for contracts in an area - who would permanently report from an area and make their reports available to all the outlets involved without charge - as well as normally posting it on the Internet - and could also speedily be redeployed - maybe even moved into emergency areas when necessary, something news organizations already do - in the case of an emergency.
This suggestion, apart from effects on bottom lines, could hardly be seriously opposed by anyone serious about providing information to an area in such cases - the same article, for example, quotes Clear Channel spokeswoman Michele Clarke as saying that, like other national media companies, it sends reporters to trouble spots as needed and does not believe local coverage is compromised by having outsiders deliver news and information.
Another possible route could be to use funding to set up and aid low-power community stations, providing them with sufficiently robust transmission and emergency back-up facilities to keep going in all but the worst conditions and a remit that makes their licences conditional on having people to provide and broadcast in normal times an appropriate level of local news and information.
Still with Katrina - and now Rita - Tim Rutten in his media column in the Los Angeles Times, wrote of the lessons they had delivered in relation to news media. He gave particular praise to the New Orleans newspaper, the Times-Picayune, which for a while became an Internet-only publication.
He also noted the boost to TV news audiences from cover of the damage wrought instead of the more normal gossip and celebrity related material and then at the end of the article commented, "Speaking of numbers, here's a trend that has gone all but unnoticed in the recent agonizing over the news media's future. During the last decade, only one serious news operation has increased its audience dramatically and consistently. It's National Public Radio, which has doubled its number of weekly listeners to 26 million. Since 1999, its audience has grown by nearly 9 million, which is an increase of 60% Radio news now that was old media before there was an Internet."
And after the benefits of radio in an emergency, a note courtesy of Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times about its technological future.
"Ten years ago this week," he writes, "a button was pushed at Broadcasting House and radio, inside and outside the BBC, set off on a new and uncertain journey. Liz Forgan, then head of BBC network radio, switched on Britain's first digital radio transmissions. Nobody knew what would happen, and for years nothing did. No stations, no sets."
Even now, he notes digital radio receivers are only in 5% of UK homes whereas nearly two-thirds have digital TV and there's still no decision as to whether there should be a switch-off of analogue radio unlike analogue TV, which is to be ousted within the decade.
But for those who have made the move, Donovan suggests that it is a very positive one: "For millions, however, the birth of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is the greatest development in British radio for a generation," he writes. "It has spawned dozens of extra stations and, on DAB sets, ushered in blessedly hiss-free reception and ease of use. Many choose to listen not on DAB sets, but via Sky, Freeview, cable or the Internet."
Crucial to the success of DAB, says Donovan, was the price of receivers as much as the benefits in programme terms "For years, there were no DAB sets in the shops; digital took off only when prices dropped below GBP100 (USD 180). That is what I paid for my Pure Evoke-1, a design classic and my second favourite of the nine sets where I live (beaten only by a red retro Roberts, which is stylish, portable and loud). There are now 185 models available, with prices starting at GBP50 (USD 90). More go on sale all the time, including, this month, one that is said to be weatherproof (Oasis) and, next month, a hand-cranked model made by Free-play, a company established by the inventor of the wind-up radio, Trevor Bayliss."
Donovan then goes on to detail a little scepticism (RNW comment: And maybe the comments should also be borne in mind by those pushing HD in the US): "There are still boffins and technical commentators who think DAB quality is worse than FM; that quality (except Radio 3, which has by far the highest bit-rate) has been sacrificed to squeeze in extra stations; that those who sing its praises merely play into the hands of companies who want to boost interactive and multimedia services."
"They have some ammunition: Guardian Media Group, which owns Smooth FM and four other local stations, had to apologise last year for claiming that DAB offered "CD-quality" sound. It does not. Exaggeration helps nobody yet I do not think it is hype to champion a marvel of technology that, in the space of less than a decade, has done so much to transform the pleasures of radio listening.
Which of course has to be a cue for some suggested listening - and also to note the benefits of Internet audio - the ability to listen when one wants not at a pre-set broadcast time.
And first of all this week, we'd suggest the BBC World Service and the two-week "Who Runs Your World" series of programmes that it is now half-way through. The Service says the aim is to "create a global forum for debate among the 190 million people who tune into the BBC's news services every week" and the website when we last checked had a list of 18 programmes under the WRYW heading covering topics from "Does the US run the world?" and a profile of US President George W. Bush to comments from women in matriarchal societies, and segments on topics such as ho runs the giant corporations, the role of religious media in people's lives to discussion on the likely effects of technology
Staying with the BBC but moving to the domestic stations, we'd also suggest BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday when at 19:30 GMT the latest of its celebrity hosts - Johnny Depp in this case - presents "Rebel Without A Cause - The James Dean Legacy", an hour=long tribute to the actor who died 50 years ago. Its followed at 20:30 GMT by The Beale Street Blues Boy, the second of the four-part BB King at 80 series presented by blues musician Robert Cray - last week's first episode is on the station web site until then.
Staying with music but mixing in words of expertise, we'd also suggest from BBC Radio 4 last week's Interpretations - the title of a series in which two performers compare their own interpretation of the same work: This programme had tenors Robert Tear and John Graham Hall in a fascinating discussion of their approach to the role of Herod in Richard Strauss' opera Salome with such glorious lines as classic example of "dirty old man fancies young girl" - which brings the opera down to an essential but basic level and wide-ranging discussions of the nature of the relationships, class differences and so on. It'll be on the web site until Thursday this week when John Caird, Max Stafford Clarke and Simon Russell Beale talk about Macbeth.
On to science and the latest Ockham's Razor from ABC Radio National in Australia, which looked at infidelity from a historical and evolutionary perspective rather than a moral one (Available as an MP3 or a stream). We'd also suggest its sister programme, The Science Show, whose items on Saturday included on "Hate Radio in the Rwandan Genocide" that might even provoke thought from Rush Limbaugh (the introductory description of a show that eventually broadcast lists of people to be killed makes it seem like a benign version of his own shows - and Limbaugh gets his own mention -described as "foaming at the mouth" at one stage and "exercising prejudice on a realy heroic scale.").
Guest Elizabeth (Betsy) Levy Paluck from Yale University Department of Psychology makes some interesting points about the power of the media and particularly of power of the negative as opposed to the positive.
And still with psychology but back to BBC Radio 4 and "Losing it" at 10:00 GMT on Friday: In it Martin Plimmer examines the psychology of baldness - apparently 40% of men above 35 lose their hair - and examples cited include a man who lost his wife, others who mortgage their homes to finance expensive but ineffective treatment and a drug that might offer relief - but also turns out to reduce sex-drive.
Then BBC Radio 3 but not for classical or other music but the Sunday Feature that last week was "The Mouse That Roared": It looked at the interface between machines and humans with a whole swathe of contributors from Doug Engelbart, the inventor of the computer mouse, to various designers and developers.
The same station on Wednesday at 18:00 GMT has Radio Africa in which Zeinab Badawi hosts an evening celebrating the spoken word in all its guises across Africa - it covers oral traditions from those of village story tellers to urban talk show hosts and how change- the radio or mobile phone - has affected these.
It runs for three-and-a-half hours before Late Junction whose mix that evening includes music from Hamburg-based ensemble Elbtonal Percussion, plus Sudanese vocalist and oud player Abdel Karim El Kabli.
BBC World Service - "Who Runs Your World?" page:
Los Angeles Times - Rutten:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
Washington Post/AP - Kerr:
2005-09-26: As the lock out of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) staff enters its seventh week, hopes are growing that a meeting called today by federal Labour Minister Joe Fontana with CBC management and the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) may lead to a breakthrough.
The two sides in the dispute held no meetings on Sunday because they were travelling to Ottawa for today's meeting that comes after a week in which no obvious progress was made in negotiations and both sides issued statements attacking each other.
The CBC, whose board had backed its management, saying that it wanted to negotiate a settlement but that given the funding constraints it faces thought the management proposals were reasonable, had said it was "disappointed" with the latest settlement offer tabled by the CMG. "After some positive momentum over the past weeks, the CMG's offer fails to move us closer to an agreement," it said, commenting that the offer "didn't propose any compromise on the two key issues - Employment Status/Contract Employees and Staff Reduction" and also "moves us apart in five or six key areas by including additional issues never previously tabled."
CMG president Lise Lareau had expressed their "disappointment" at the board's backing, saying it had "a choice to set a new direction to bring a speedy end to the lockout Instead, they chose to endorse [CBC President] Robert Rabinovitch and his aggressive strategy, which has led to the biggest crisis in the CBC's history. The board statement does not provide any light at the end of the tunnel."
She said the board appeared to misunderstand one of the key issues when it said that contract employees would continue to be "a small fraction of the Corporation's workforce" and commented, that in fact already 30% of the CBC workforce was non-permanent.
Today's meeting, which follows pressure for government involvement from various groups including watchdog Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, was called by the Minister after he adjudged that neither side was prepared to make compromises to reach a settlement and "to develop a plan to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion without further delay."
*Last week saw the end of the Toronto Unlocked broadcasts mounted by CBC Metro Morning host Andy Barrie and other locked-out staff on University of Toronto station CIUT-FM.
The two-hour morning show had been airing on CIUT for three weeks.
2005-09-26: The departure of GCap Media chief executive David Mansfield and his replacement with executive chairman Ralph Bernard (See RNW Sep 20) far from relieving the pressure on the company may increase it according to the UK Independent on Sunday.
The paper says analysts and shareholders it contacted said it should have been Bernard leaving not Mansfield and expressed concern over Bernard's plans for investment in loss-making digital radio, which could threaten the company's dividend, and anger over lack of communication with the city by the group.
The paper quoted an un-named institutional investor as saying, "I would question whether the right man went. Bernard has made some questionable decisions in the past. He is married to digital. I would not say he is delusional, but he has been banging away on it for years."
It also quoted an analyst, who it said did not want to be named, as saying of prospects for GCap and Bernard, "It's an accident waiting to happen. If he disappoints on the trading update - if he thinks he can get away with blowing the dividend and not focusing on cutting costs - then his days are numbered."
RNW comment: GCap's problems stem partly from a slow advertising market but it could also be hit hard if UK media regulator Ofcom opts to release new spectrum for additional national digital radio stations as it has suggested (See RNW Jul 5): GCap has a controlling stake in Digital One, the only national commercial digital multiplex in the UK, and GCap says it may sue if there is any such spectrum release since when the licence for the current Digital One national commercial franchise was granted it was as a "sole" licence to operate national digital services (See RNW July 6).
As we have already commented we think Bernard has a case over this issue and we also think the city attitude of demanding dividends rather than investment in the future could quite reasonably be seen as akin to that of shortsighted pigs with noses in the trough.
We have no doubt that commercial radio cannot opt-out of digital and, although Bernard may well end up in a dilemma of the regulator's making, we would see his early commitment to digital as far-sighted although it may be some investors can make a sound case about how far GCap has a strong strategy for benefiting from the change to digital.
UK Independent on Sunday report:
2005-09-26: Veteran Los Angeles jazz DJ Sam Fields has died aged 55 after more than 30 years on air in the city: Fields, who had an afternoon show on KKJZ-FM, got his first break in 1972 at KBCA-FM and his career included appearances there and at KKGO, KROQ, KLAC and KMET.
Police found his body at his home last week after he failed to show up for his Thursday afternoon shift at KKJZ.
Saul Levine, the president and general manager of KMZT-FM who gave Fields his first job, told the Los Angeles Times, "It's a terrible shock and loss. He contributed so much to the field of jazz."
"He was one of the nicest persons we ever had working with us," he added.
Fields joined KKJZ, then KLON-AM, in 1990 along with another Jazz notable Chuck Niles - who died in March last year (See RNW Mar 17, 2004); he was described on the station web site as a "respected announcer at KKJZ/KLON since 1990, and before that at KKGO since 1972."
The station added, " His voice, insight and excellent musical taste will be deeply missed by all who knew him both on and off the air."
KKJZ broadcast director Payal Kumar said his taste in music was "never wavering and instantly recognizable" and added, "There was nobody better. People always commented on Sam's choice in music, and how it elevated the station as a whole."
KKJZ web site:
Los Angeles Times report:
2005-09-25: Last week was generally very quiet for the regulators with no major deveopoor issues anywhere.
In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has rapped Sunshine Coast commercial service 4MCY, Nambour, for breaching codes by not informing a complainant that she had the right to go to the ACMA if not satisfied with its response.
The ruling related to a complaint about an advert that the complainant felt did not "meet contemporary standards of decency" and the authority. Although not upholding the substantive complaint, ruled against licensee Hot 91 FM Pty Ltd. in relation to its handling of the complaint.
The advert involved promoted the services of a body-waxing business called Dare to Be Bare and featured a woman's voice that said the following over tinkling background music: "Here's a bedtime story that'll get you feeling warm and fuzzy. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy. Was he? Next time you want a warm and fuzzy bedtime story, try it without the fuzzy. Dare to be bare. Brazilian waxing for men and women. You'll feel the difference."
The ACMA also imposed additional conditions on the licence of community service Mt Helen FM, which broadcasts in the Muswellbrook area of New South Wales.
The licensee had been advised when its licence as renewed in October last year that additional conditions might be imposed to address concerns - relating to access and participation by members of the community in the operations and programming of the service, and the capacity of the licensee to continue to provide the service, including matters of corporate governance - that had been raised. The station was given the opportunity to respond to the proposed conditions before they were imposed.
In a statement, ACMA acting chair Lyn Maddock said the authority "hopes that the imposition of the conditions will provide the community living in the Muswellbrook licence area with an accessible service that meets their needs and is also accountable to the community
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has a quiet week with just one radio decision being announced- an approval of a power increase from 5 watts to 45 watts and reduction in antenna height for CFRM-FM, Little Current, Ontario.
The commission also published a public notice concerning various applications, the deadline for comments to which is October 28.
They included on radio application- by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to add an FM transmitter at Urbainville, Prince Edward Island, to rebroadcast the programming of CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown
There were no new radio decisions in Ireland and in the UK, the main radio-related activity by Ofcom was to release the reasons behind its grant of ten community licence at a meeting earlier in the month at which is also opted not to grant a further four community licences (See RNW Sep 10).
In most cases the stations awarded licences had previous experience through restricted service licences and had also forged community links.
The US was also quiet with attention still centred on Hurricane Katrina concerning which Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J Martin gave testimony and suggestions for improvements in future preparedness was to a Senate sub committee (See RNW Sep 23)
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-09-25: UK national commercial digital multiplex Digital One is to add another ten transmitters over the next 18 months, improving its coverage in Wales, East Anglia and Cumbria.
In all an extra 1.2 million people will be in range of the new receivers -- Presceli, Blaen-Plwyf, Arfon and Llanddona in Wales; Great Massingham, Sewards End, Great Yarmouth and Oulton in East Anglia; and Kendal and Penrith in Cumbria.
In addition further digital receiver announcements continue to be made.
In another DAB-related development, RadioScape and Texas Instruments say who earlier made announcements about the availability of chips and modules to enable companies to easily develop radios that can receive both DAB and DRM signals, say that a number of companies who attended demonstrations at IFA in Berlin expect to launch products within a year.
Amongst those who have unveiled designs are Morphy Richards, Roberts Radio and Sangean.
Meanwhile new DAB receivers continue to be introduced in Europe including new models from Pure Digital and Roberts: Pure expects its Evoke 3, which includes analogue and Dab capability, SD-card support, MP-3 playback, and USB upgradeability, to be in stores by November is and its DMX-50 microsystem, which includes similar capabilities, to be in stores by Christmas.
Roberts is following its earlier launch of the special edition Revival/Classic FM is introducing the Revival DAB including Pause Plus that allows a programme to be put on hold for up to 40 minutes.
There has also been a minor expansion of DAB broadcasting in Australia where DMG's new Vega station in Sydney has become the latest station to joint DAB trials.
There are now 14 stations taking part in the trial, which is said by Commercial Radio Australia to have received a "very positive reaction" from listeners.
Previous DMG, Australia:
2005-09-25: The 2005 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Awards for Legendary Station and Network Syndicated Personality of the Year have gone to WIBC-AM Indianapolis, and Rush Limbaugh respectively, the fourth time Limbaugh has received the award.
Other awards this year were:
Major Market Personality of the Year - Bill Handel, KFI-AM, Los Angeles, California.
Large Market Personality of the Year - Lanigan & Malone, WMJI-FM, Cleveland, Ohio.
Medium Market Personality of the Year - Don Weeks, WGY-AM, Albany, New York.
Small Market Personality of the Year - Ward Jacobson & Cathy Blythe, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska.
AC Station of the Year - WBEB-FM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Adult Standards Station of the Year - KJUL-FM, Las Vegas, Nevada.
CHR Station of the Year - WSTR-FM, Atlanta, Georgia.
Classical Station of the Year - KDFC-FM, San Francisco, California
Country Station of the Year - WIVK-FM, Knoxville, Tennessee.
NAC/Jazz Station of the Year - KIFM-FM, San Diego, California.
News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year - WIBC-AM, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Oldies Station of the Year - KCMO-FM, Kansas City, Missouri.
Religious Station of the Year - KLTY-FM, Dallas, Texas.
Rock Station of the Year - WFBQ-FM, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Spanish Station of the Year - KLVE-FM, Los Angeles, California.
Urban Station of the Year - WBLS-FM, New York, New York.
Major Market Station of the Year - WTOP-AM, Washington, DC.
Large Market Station of the Year WSB-AM, Atlanta, Georgia.
Medium Market Station of the Year - WDBO-AM, Orlando, Florida.
Small Market Station of the Year - WJBC-AM, Bloomington, Illinois.
2005-09-25: Two recordings, one a single and another an album compilation, are to be released to mark the first anniversary of the death of BBC DJ John Peel.
The single, a cover version of one of his favourite records, Ever Fallen In Love by the Buzzcocks, is being recorded by a line-up including guitarist Jeff Beck, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Peter Hook of New Order, and Peter Shelley of the Buzzcocks and writer of the song: Proceeds will go to the political campaign group Amnesty International, which Peel supported.
The artists were chosen by Peel's son Tom Ravenscroft who had the idea while working on a TV documentary, John Peel's Record Box, based on the small wooden box in which his father kept his 140 favourite singles collection. It is to be released on November 21 to coincide with Peel's induction into the UK Radio Hall of Fame.
The tribute CD, containing tracks that span the whole of Peel's career is to be released earlier - on October 17, four days after BBC Radio 1's John Peel Day - and in its case a portion of the profits will go to a number of charities including the Salvation Army, East Anglia's Children's Hospices and the Kariandusi School Trust.
Tracks will range from material by Lonnie Donegan, The Doors, Pink Floyd and Tyrannosaurus Rex, with punk and post-punk material including New Order, The Clash, The Ramones, Joy Division, and The Undertones and more recent artists donating tracks including Belle & Sebastian, PJ Harvey, Pulp, Super Furry Animals and Orbital.
2005-09-24: A report "Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting - Opportunity or threat to mobile operators?" by Eureca Research says that mobile phones that are combined with digital radio (DAB) receivers will boom and account for nearly a fifth of the total global market for mobiles in the next five years.
It estimates that this will amount to 29.5 million unites representing what it terms a "cumulative market opportunity of Euros 10.1 billion (USD 12.2 billion) for device manufacturers in the period 2005-2010."
Noting the development of technology that allows reliable delivery of TV and multimedia content to such devices as mobile phones it says this will give rise to a new mobile multimedia broadcast services (MMBS) business and will also being about convergence of mobile and broadcast industries.
However it warns that companies, stung by the problems they have had with 3G licences for which they made massive bids, will be cautious about the new business and its Research Director Gareth Owen commented, "Given the billions of euros that operators have invested in 3G and the limited response to 3G services to date, I believe that companies will be unwilling to invest vast sums of money until some of the key business risk aspects of MMBS are better understood."
Digital radio networks he suggested offered an interesting lower risk alternative, commenting, "I expect to see a significant acceleration in the take-up of digital radio via DAB during the next 12-18 months as more spectrum becomes available in the all-important VHF band"
"With mobile TV being such a hot topic nowadays, I believe that many countries will use a lot of this new capacity for mobile TV-type services. I also think that the present 20% data limit on DAB multiplexes will be relaxed in most countries, which would lead to more capacity."
Commercial mobile TV services based on the Eureka-147 DAB standard will commence in the UK and South Korea in early 2006 and the report says " increasing interest in other parts of Asia, particularly China, and in other European countries, means that Eureka-147-based technology could become a second global standard rivalling DVB-H, providing it can attract wider support amongst handset vendors Clearly, a lot will depend on progress in the UK and South Korea during 2006."
It also suggests that satellite-delivered mobile broadcast services will also be developed and says installed base of broadcast-enabled mobile phones will increase from approximately 450,000 at the end of 2005 to 155.5 million units at the end of 2010 representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 104.8%
The market value of these phones, says the report, will increase at a CAGR of 40.2% in the period 2005-2010 and will represent a Euros 13.5 billion (USD 16.3 billion) market opportunity for manufacturers in 2010.
2005-09-24: The 2005 US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) radio show in Philadelphia has generally sounded an upbeat note about the future of US terrestrial radio and has head from two national US radio chiefs who are due to step down.
One, NAB President and CEO Edward O Fritts, in his welcoming remarks poked some fun at himself saying that as this would be his last show in the post he had "planned to give an hour-long speech outlining some of Radio's accomplishments during my 23 years at NAB, but my buddy John David has only allotted me seven minutes."
"I guess that's what happens when you're a lame duck," he continued, " We all know that 'Less is More!' [RNW note: A reference to Clear Channel's policy of reducing advertising clutter]."
Commenting on what he had learned in the previous 23 years, he said, "You've probably heard me say that localism is what sets broadcasters apart from all of our competitors. Forty-two years ago, I bought my first radio station in Indianola, Mississippi. I quickly learned that the most successful stations are those that are deeply invested in the fabric of the community. "
"That hasn't changed," he said, " even in a world of iPods, satellite radio, BlackBerries and cell phones. There is simply no substitute for the immediacy of local radio. Localism is our franchise and ours alone."
Then referring to hurricane Katrina - and before Rita, Fritts commented, "Unfortunately, it sometimes takes an act of God to remind our critics of the importance of broadcasting. And nowhere has the power of Radio been more apparent than in the response of our stations to Hurricane Katrina Along the Gulf Coast, station personnel served as a lifeline to tens of thousands of citizens who were desperate for information. Against all odds, most radio stations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama stayed on the air and kept listeners informed."
He then paid tribute to stations in the affected area, saying, "I want to thank all of the Gulf Coast broadcasters who stayed on air during Katrina and its aftermath. Some of you lost your homes, and yet continued to broadcast. You have set a standard for excellence that can never be surpassed" and also noted that US broadcasters had already handsomely exceeded their target of raising USD 100 million for relief and "are on our way to USD 200 million."
The other outgoing executive, US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and CEO Gary Fries also urged broadcasters to be proud of their efforts during Katrina and urged his listeners to "Make sure everyone you talk to understands how important Radio was to the people of the Gulf States."
Fries also commended the work of the Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab (RAEL) and said its research was a key element in the success of RAB's National Marketing efforts to secure appointments with advertisers and agencies, adding, "Next month, the RAB National Marketing Department, along with a coalition from the Radio representative companies, is meeting with a major, national retailer to present the RAEL research studies. This is one in a series of meetings with the advertiser -- who had traditionally been a non-Radio user -- and its agencies... "You can't just walk in and say give me the money. You sow the seeds first. We've had several victories, but this is real-time, happening next month."
Fries also brought up topics of modernisation in back-room activities such as electronic invoicing and the need to move off diaries to electronic audience measurement and also of the need to move to digital broadcasting.
"It must be done rapidly and in every size market," he said of changing the ratings system. "You cannot have electronic measurement without saying the diary method is flawed, and you cannot sell a flawed device."
On digital he commented, "We need HD Radio in a lot better fashion. It's a digital world and we don't want to be left out."
" Advertisers will give us more money if we do these things," he predicted. "Advertisers are moving money to new media and we need to be in the mix Our advertisers need metrics that shows their advertising works. We need to move product for them. We need to change the way we work with them. Advertisers want accountability. They want confidence in the system and in the numbers. Most importantly, they want a partner -- a marketing partner!"
Fries also noted radio overall audience success, commenting, "Last year, according to RADAR, Radio gained 3 million new listeners. That's more than both satellite companies combined. But, we're being repositioned. We need to be part of that repositioning or we will become a secondary medium. Let's start beating our drums. Radio salespeople aren't excited and that's because management is not teaching them to be excited," he said.
"We're pretty darn good, but we need to get better," he concluded. " We need to understand who and what we are, and do what we can to improve on it."
2005-09-24: Canadian broadcasters are warning that the ruling that confirmed the grant of satellite radio licences is likely to lead to significant changes in the country's terrestrial broadcasting.
Toronto-based CHUM, which had said that its terrestrial subscription bid in conjunction with Astral Media would not be viable if both satellite applicants were granted licences, says the impact will start to be felt as the terrestrial broadcasters re-apply for their licences.
Its CEO Jay Switzer told an investor conference in Quebec City, "It will become a factor. It will send a shock through the system next time licences are renewed . . . and that may change the rules that conventional radio play by."
The satellite companies, around a tenth of whose channels will be Canadian content, are competing with terrestrial broadcasters who generally have to provide 35% of Canadian content.
CHUM and other terrestrial broadcasters had lobbied the government to send the decision back to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for reconsideration but lost the battle and Switzer told the Toronto Globe and Mail his company was considering several options when its licences came up for renewal but would not give specifics.
"I'll just leave it at that," he said in an interview. "It's literally just happened in the past two weeks. So we're having meetings this month to explore all our options and look at different scenarios as to how to best create a business around this new reality."
Robert Steele, CEO of Newfoundland Capital Corp. (NewCap), which owns 69 radio stations across Canada, commented, "The problem with 35 per cent is it obviously affects programming quality because it's pretty high," adding, "There are some terrific Canadian artists, no question. But, for example, at our smooth jazz [station] in Calgary, we're pretty challenged to come up with 35-per-cent [Canadian content]."
Steele said regulatory review was needed and he expected the issue to come to a head during the coming review of radio policy, which has been initiated by the CRTC.
"It's time to look at it and maybe perhaps modify it. I'm not sure what exactly [needs to be done], but I think it needs to be brainstormed a bit," he said.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2005-09-24: Briefings to fund managers and investors by Australia's Macquarie Bank over the past few days indicate that its media plans are much more ambitious than "at first flagged" according to the Sydney Morning Herald, which says the company's its media fund, which will be called Macquarie Media Group, "plans to own a lot more than just regional radio stations."
The fund is to list on the stock exchange in November and to lodge its prospectus on Wednesday next week and the paper says plans are to raise around AUD 1 billion (USD 760 million) with the first AUD 600 million (USD 456 million) to be raised this year and the remainder some time in 2006
The paper says the fund is saying it plans to buy newspapers, TV stations and outdoor advertising companies around the world as well as radio with which it began - it has spent AUD 366.5 million (USD 279 million) on acquiring RG Capital Radio for AUD 173 million, then USD 122 million, in June last year (See RNW Jun 2, 2004) and DMG Regional Radio for AUD 193.5 million, then USD 138 million in September last year (See RNW Sep 23, 2004) in Australia, giving it nearly 100 stations and a 65% share of Australia's regional radio market.
Previous Macquarie Bank:
Sydney Morning Herald report:
2005-09-23: According to testimony given by US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J Martin to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Hurricane Katrina took around 100 broadcast stations of the air as well as its effects on cable and phone services with consequent communications difficulties in the affected region.
Currently he said three TV stations are back on air but four remain out of action and, although it was not clear exactly how many radio station services had been restored, only 36 stations currently remain off air.
"Fortunately," he said, "satellite service providers did not experience damage to their infrastructure" and they have "helped to bridge some of the gaps left by the outages by providing satellite phones and video links to law enforcement officials, medical personnel, emergency relief personnel, and news outlets. Additionally, direct broadcast satellite providers provided equipment to over 100 shelters so that evacuees can receive critical information - as well as entertainment - from television."
Martin said that in addition to around USD 210 million of aid to be provided to restore services (See RNW Sep 16) the Commission had eased enforcement of regulations to allow speedy restoration of services. He also said that more robust communications networks needed in future and particularly stressed the need of "an interoperable, mobile wireless communications system that can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the country" for first responders in such cases.
2005-09-23: CanWest, which earlier this month became the first overseas company to win a bid for a UK radio licence (See RNW Sept 6) is now expending its radio interests in Turkey.
A Canadian-Turkish consortium in which it has a quarter interest - CGS Televizyon Ve Radyo Yayinciligi Ticaret Anonim Sirketi (CGS) - has won the rights to acquire the assets of Istanbul-based popular music station Super FM; CanWest also announced that its subsidiary CGS NZ TV Shareholdings (Netherlands) has reached agreement to provide certain non-regulated operational, sales representation and advisory services to Metro FM, Turkey's most popular national radio station. It broadcasts in the English-language popular music genre with a signal that covers the whole of Turkey.
In addition CGS, subject to a relaxation in current foreign ownership restrictions and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, has an entitlement to acquire up to a 75% interest in Metro FM.
In terms of current structure of Metro FM, private Turkish investment company Turkcom subsidiary Pasifik Televizyon Ve Radyo Yayinciligi Ticaret A.S. (Pasifik) won an auction conducted by the Turkish Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund to acquire the assets of Metro FM for USD 22.85 million in cash and Pasifik then entered into agreement for the services and purchase option for Metro with CGS NZ TV Shareholdings (Netherlands).
In the Super FM case, where the station is being acquired for USD33.1 million in cash following another auction, Turkcom holds the 75% interest in the station and Canwest an indirect 25% interest through CGS Televizyon Ve Radyo Yayinciligi Ticaret Anonim Sirketi (CGS).
The stations have come on the market as a result of a decision by the Fund to sell, by auction, the media assets formerly owned by Turkey's Uzan Group, which the Fund had acquired in 2003 as part of a larger transaction.
Commenting on the acquisitions, CanWest Global Communications Corp. President and CEO Leonard Asper said, "We have been working on radio strategies in the United Kingdom and
Turkey for some time and are delighted that CanWest is again in a position to move forward in a concrete way on its international agenda. We see Turkey as a market with considerable potential for CanWest as it moves forward in seeking membership in the European Union and takes important steps domestically to expand the participation of the private sector in the Turkish economy.
Tom Strike, President, CanWest MediaWorks International added, "This new CanWest investment in Turkey reflects CanWest's focus on international growth and our longer term goal of becoming a major participant in international media markets."
The stations are part of the Star Media Group - made up of seven radio stations, two television stations and a newspaper - that belonged to the Uzan family and that with some 200 businesses owned by the Uzans were taken over by the Turkish Saving Deposits Insurance Fund last year to collect debts stemming from the group's flagship bank, Imar.
The group's other media companies are expected to be sold in separate auctions later this month and CanWest says it is "considering" participating with Turkcom in the auction for the other assets.
2005-09-23: Entercom has reaffirmed its 2005 guidance despite the affects of Hurricane Katrina and says it expects third quarter revenues to the end of September including those for its New Orleans stations to be up around 3% on a year ago figures when third quarter net revenues were USD 111.3 million and station operating expenses were USD 61.8 million although it notes that it expects to "record a significant operating expense as a reserve against New Orleans accounts receivables due to the impact to the local business economy."
Announcing the update Entercom noted the wide praise for the critical role played by its WWL-AM in providing news and emergency information and the subsequent pooling of resources with Clear Channel for an emergency news and information service through The United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans or URBNO (See RNW Sep 4), with studios in the Jefferson Parish Emergency Operations Center and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
It says the URBNO signal is currently being broadcast on the frequencies of five of its six New Orleans stations although it "anticipates returning to its downtown broadcast operations and studio facilities and resuming normal programming formats on its FM music stations in the near future."
President and CEO, David J. Field said he was " am amazed by the indefatigable spirit and commitment of our team at Entercom New Orleans."
"The staff is working tirelessly to assist and inform the people of New Orleans and The Gulf Coast and will play a key role in the revitalization and rebuilding of the New Orleans market," he added. "We remain dedicated to helping our business partners rebuild and reconnect their brands with this great city in the near future."
Previous Clear Channel:
2005-09-23: US National Public Radio (NPR) Vice President for News Bruce Drake is to step down from the post at the end of this month although he will remain with the broadcaster until the end of the year to help launch its Local News Initiative, which aims to expand news operations at NPR member stations nationally.
Drake has been in his current role for five years: Before that he was with the New York Daily news in various roles before he joined NPR as Senior Washington Editor in 1991 and in 1993 was named managing editor.
Also at NPR, its chief technology officer and vice president of engineering and operations Mike Starling has been awarded the 2005 Radio World Excellence in Engineering Award: It was presented to him during the National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Radio Show in Philadelphia.
Radio World's U.S. Editor in Chief Paul J. McLane said in making the award, "You'd be pressed to name an engineer who has had more impact on radio, as an individual, than Mike Starling has in the past year" and noted not only his day-to-day work but involvement in the development of digital multicasting through The Tomorrow Radio Project (See RNW Apr 24) and also his work in establishing NPR Labs, an advanced technology research and development centre.
2005-09-23: Breakfast host Jamie Dunn has announced that he is to leave Austereo's Brisbane station B105 in December after topping the slot's ratings in the city for nearly 15 years: He is to move to Noosa 96.1FM, also in Queensland, to be nearer to his family.
His ratings had slipped over the past year and he was third-ranked in the slot in the latest ratings.
At the start of this year his co-host Ian Skippen left B105 for its Austereo sister-station Triple-M (See RNW Jan 11), which had just toppled B105 from top rank in the Brisbane ratings.
B105 station manager Richard Barker said the parting was amicable and told The Australian , "Jamie's got an opportunity to combine one of his passions, which is radio, with a lifestyle with his family."
Dunn said of the move, "I tried to get them (B105) to throw more money at me but the business has changed and there wasn't any more money. I took the better deal."
The paper reports that his departure will put his current co-host Penny Cooper out in the cold and Barker said the station had been given "an opportunity now to look at a fresh start in 2006 and that's what we'll do."
The Australian report:
2005-09-22: Online advertising specialist Ronning Lipset Radio, which already represents the other networks rated by Arbitron-Comscore, has now added Clear Channel's national business.
An announcement by Clear Channel says that its Online Music & Radio unit has named Ronning Lipset Radio as its exclusive, national third-party rep firm for its online properties although Clear Channel Radio Sales will continue to sell locally and will package online into broader clear channel pitches.
Under the agreement, Ronning Lipset will also consult on the creation of systems that will quantify the value of national advertising on the Online Music & Radio network and will be housed at the Katz Radio offices in New York: The firm already represents America Online's AOL Radio Network, Yahoo! Music's LAUNCHcast, Live 365 and Microsoft's MSN Radio and Windowsmedia.com and says that the addition of Clear Channel will boost combined listenership to "seven million online radio listeners weekly, creating an attractive umbrella buying opportunity for national advertisers."
"The market has been eagerly awaiting a traditional radio company to jump into the online radio space with both feet," said Andy Lipset, managing partner of Ronning Lipset Radio. "Clear Channel's innovative approach to online content and massive audience reach bring tremendous credibility to the market in general and greatly increases the unduplicated audience reach of online listeners."
In another deal, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Westwood One announced an extension of their current marketing alliance to include advertising representation for all Dow Jones radio programming.
Westwood One has distributed and marketed the MarketWatch Radio Network since 1999 and under the new agreement will all also will provide advertising representation for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network whose programs include The Wall Street Journal Report, Dow Jones Money Report, The Wall Street Journal This Morning and The Wall Street Journal This Weekend.
The combined Dow Jones radio programs air on more than 453 affiliates, covering 99% of the United States, with a total weekly audience of over 19 million people.
Todd Larsen, president, Consumer Electronic Publishing, Dow Jones & Company, said in a statement, "Westwood One has done a terrific job over the past several years building the MarketWatch Radio Network into a strong radio platform and we are delighted to expand this partnership with them. By putting the strength of both The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch brands together under one sales force, we can now offer radio advertisers a tremendous audience associated with great business content."
Peter Kosann, Westwood One Co-COO added, "For the first time ever, advertisers will have the ability to access the American business consumer on-the-go across a platform of hundreds of the top all-news and news-talk radio stations, in all the top markets. This radio platform will offer phenomenal advertiser benefits--a clutter-free environment, tremendous demographics, and multiple affiliates in every top market."
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Westwood One:
2005-09-22: BBC Radio 4's Autumn (Fall) and Spring schedule just announced will include broadcasts of "Margrave Of The Marshes", the autobiography of the late BBC DJ and broadcaster John Peel and of a first UK broadcast of an interview with the late John Lennon conducted by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner just after the Beatles broke up and which will be aired as part of a number of programmes marking the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death.
It was the last interview Lennon gave before he was shot and is to be broadcast in full for the first time ever along with Songs in the Key of Lennon, a series based on five of his songs.
The schedule also includes a new series of the station's landmark history programme This Sceptred Isle, first broadcast a decade ago. The new series, This Sceptred Isle: Empire, will look at Britain's empire from the invasion of Ireland in the 12th century up to Indian independence in 1947.
There will also be a weekly obituary programme to be aired on Friday afternoons that will cover notable figures who have recently died and a new weekly Profile slot on Saturday evenings.
Another new series, Faces of Islam, to be presented by Frank Gardner, the BBC security correspondent who was shot and injured in Saudi Arabia, will look at the lives and values of British Muslims including the evolution of jihadist ideologies.
There are also changed times for some existing programmes including the Film Programme which moves from Saturdays to Friday Afternoons and Great Lives, which moves from its current late-night slot on Fridays to Tuesday late afternoons whilst The Message goes turn-and-turn-about with Feedback on Friday lunchtimes and Law In Action and Word Of Mouth will occupy the 4.00pm slot on Tuesdays.
Commenting on the changes BBC Radio 4 Controller Mark Damazer said, "People are always fascinated by others' lives and what they can reveal about the way we are as a society - and these new programmes will strengthen Radio 4's offering in this area."
2005-09-22: ibiquity says the rollout of its HD in-band on-channel digital radio is now gaining significant momentum with more than 500 US stations on air including stations in each of the top 50 markets in the country.
Detroit has the greatest number of HD stations on-air (21), followed by Los Angeles and Chicago with 19 each.
iBiquity president and CEO Robert Struble said, "This has been a breakthrough year in the rollout of HD Radio technology. Broadcasters are converting stations at a pace of more than one per day as they ramp up efforts to market and promote the technology to consumers."
"And the emergence of multicasting as the system's first killer application has been critically important. There are now stations from Philadelphia to Seattle broadcasting additional streams of content to complement the programming on their main channels."
2005-09-22: Ingenious use of wind and sun power plus a transmitter in existence in the Preseli Hills that was only being used by a local taxi company has enabled a Welsh restricted licence service to go on air from a church vestry in Pembrokeshire.
Preseli FM, which broadcasts in English and Welsh, has a licence that runs to October 10 and has two main presenters Mark Tierney and Huw Meredydd George, a Baptist minister in the village of Llandysilio, but is hoping that locals will walk in to broadcast.
Although its transmitter is to be powered by eco-friendly means it does have mains electricity available as a back up.
The station is backed by funding from the Welsh Assembly and the European Union's Objective One scheme and is one of 60 stations that have currently been awarded restricted service licences (RSLs) in the UK.
Preseli FM web site:
2005-09-22: XM Satellite Radio says the three-millionth GM vehicle with factory-installed XM has now rolled off the production lines.
GM, which is exclusively partnered with and a major shareholder in XM, now offers more than 50 models with satellite receivers and nine-tenths of its 2006 year vehicles will offer factory-installed XM as standard or an option.
2005-09-21: BIA Financial Network (BIAFn) says the number of US radio stations sold in the first half of this year was slightly up on a year ago but the value of deals for the whole year is likely to be around a quarter lower although this would change were the anticipated sales of Susquehanna Radio and ABC Radio networks to go through in the period.
In all 500 stations were sold in the first six months of 2005 for around USD 950 million but for the full year BIA says it expects a total of just above USD 2 billion compared to USD 2.4 billion for each of the previous two years.
2005-09-21: In an editorial on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) lockout, which has just entered its sixth week, the Toronto Star says "With no end in sight, it is time senior CBC management fully explain to the public the reasoning behind its decision to precipitate the labour dispute and what it will take to restore CBC radio and television services across the country."
"If the current dispute lingers on much longer," it says, " the CBC faces the real possibility of alienating loyal viewers and listeners and giving vocal critics more ammunition to slash its annual grant from the federal government. If that happens, the CBC could be drastically changed in the coming years and its role as one of the key champions of Canadian culture threatened."
The paper says the CBC may have a good reason for its position, but it has failed badly in explaining it to the Canadian public and says its CBC president Robert Rabinovitch "should appear next week before the House of Commons heritage committee to tell MPs how this standoff will result in a better CBC."
CBC management meanwhile, stung by accusations from the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) that its negotiators cannot make decisions without gaining approval from senior management has issued a statement saying the "bargaining team has the full authority to make a deal and has the unanimous support of CBC senior management, our President and CBC's Board of Directors."
It says the Corporation's proposals are "the product of a broad consultation with program and operational management and represent our line managers' assessment of the needs of the organization" and the corporation "wants to get a deal and we want everyone back at work as soon as possible."
However, it adds, " More than five weeks into the labour disruption, there are still 16 unresolved issues on the table - most of which are fundamental to concluding a deal and getting everyone back to work... All of these issues, both small and large, must be dealt with before a return to work is possible."
Toronto Star editorial:
2005-09-21: Arbitron has announced that it has acquired New Orleans-based Integrated Radio Systems (it is currently operating out of Houston), a provider of software systems that help radio stations manage their advertising sales process and automate the daily tasks in a sales department, for USD 4.5 million in cash.
Arbitron's President of U.S. Media Services Owen Charlebois said the software solutions being acquired were "an ideal addition to the current portfolio of software services that Arbitron offers our radio station clients" and added, "By combining the talent and resources of both organizations, Arbitron will be better able to develop new software solutions, based on a common platform, that will give to our station customers powerful tools to manage their advertising sales and their commercial inventory."
Integrated Radio Systems president and owner John Poche, who is to become Vice President, Sales Management Software, at Arbitron, commented, "Arbitron is the perfect company to take Integrated Radio Systems software to the next level. We look forward to being an integral part of the Arbitron team. The increase in resources, training and support we gain with Arbitron will be a huge benefit for our clients."
Arbitron has also released more data from its Houston Portable People Meter (PPM) trials that shows the cumulative audience to be higher than measured using diary methods but time spent listening was lower.
It also showed people tuning in more randomly than had been thought rather than at the top of an hour: Diary entries had shown half listening as starting at the beginning of the hour.
The figures also have an explanation for differences between diary results and the PPM concerning morning drive figures in that when the total for "heavy listening" are removed the results are very similar.
RNW comment: Much of the above could we think have been anticipated. Diary keepers are unlikely to keep a very accurate note of when they tune in and are also likely to make approximations about their listening, particularly missing out odd spells when they depart from normal routines.
2005-09-21: Salem Communications has increased its third quarter guidance this year and is now predicting net broadcasting revenue to be USD 300,000 higher at a level between USD 50.3 and USD 50.8 million.
It has also announced that it is to acquire a second station in the Detroit market through a swap with Christian Broadcasting System in which Salem gets WLQV-AM in exchange for its USD 6.75 million plus its WBOB-AM, and WTSJ-AM, both serving the Cincinnati market.
President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III said the acquisition would give it a, "a full market signal already programmed in a Christian teaching and talk format, Salem's foundational radio format" and added, "We will continue to serve WLQV-AM listeners with many familiar names in Christian programming who represent the best in Christian teaching and talk. This acquisition, combined with our existing News Talk station WDTK-AM, gives us a two-station cluster in Detroit providing improved market presence and important operating efficiencies."
Its Web Network OnePlace.com, the largest Internet source of ministry program streaming, announced the addition of podcasting services, has announced that it is to add podcasting services to the site following the success of podcast from a number of other ministries and says it anticipates more than 125,000 program downloads in the month of September.
Sirius Satellite Radio has also increased its guidance and now says that it expects full year revenues this year of USD 230 million, up from its previous figure of USD 225 million
2005-09-20: UK GCap Media chief executive David Mansfield has stepped down and been replaced by executive chairman Ralph Bernard less than six months after the merger of Capital Radio (See RNW May 10), at which Mansfield was chief executive, and GWR, where Bernard was chief executive.
No details have been given of the pay-off that Mansfield, who is to remain with GCap until January in an advisory capacity, will receive.
GCap non-executive chairman Peter Cawdron, who chaired Capital Radio before the merger, said the dual executive structure was no longer appropriate although it made sense whilst integration was being completed following the merger.
When the two companies merged in May some financial analysts expressed concern about the idea of running the company with two chiefs and the possibility of clashes but the initial city reaction was muted and GCAP shares fell 1.2%, taking the loss over a year to nearly 35%.
Amongst those critical of the chief executive and executive chairman structure had been GCap's largest shareholder Fidelity, which holds a 14.6% share of the group; In 2003 one of its high-profile managers Anthony Bolton led a coalition that ousted Michael Green as chairman-designate of ITV plc, formed from the Carlton and Granada TV companies on the basis that the Carlton chairman would not be able to manage the company successfully in tandem with Granada's Charles Allen.
So far there has been no statement from shareholders or Mansfield but Bernard told the UK Guardian that Mansfield's departure was an "amicable affair" and denied any breakdown in their working relationship adding that it was a question of "whether it's appropriate to the group that the two of us are employed together as executives running the business We have got to the stage where we are a year on since we announced the merger [in September 2004], the integration is close to completion and we are in the process of a strategic review anyway. David and I agreed that this was right and the board supported the decision."
"We were both heads of our respective companies. We carved out roles which was exactly the right thing to do at the time," he added. "It is the right thing now, given the pressures on the business, to say that this now is the ideal structure. Moving forward it is a conventional structure. We have a conventional chairman [Peter Cawdron] and chief executive relationship which is appropriate."
UK Guardian report:
2005-09-20: Arbitron has announced that it will not release a summer or fall quarterly report for New Orleans and will also release no fall report Biloxi-Gulfport-Pascagoula this year because of Hurricane Katrina: It suspended survey operations in New Orleans after the hurricane and they currently remain suspended.
The ratings company says it will release the Summer Phase 2 Arbitrends as scheduled on September 26 if requested to do so by customers since the survey period ended before the hurricane and that it will monitor the situation in the Biloxi and New Orleans markets and discuss with customers when surveys should be resumed.
In the other three markets most affected by Katrina - Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama, the company says it will publish the Summer Phase 2 Arbitrends as scheduled on September 29 and plans to delay by two days the delivery of the Summer Quarterly Report for these three markets to allow time for additional quality assurance and review by Arbitron but notes that it was able to resume complete survey operations in these three markets within days of the storm and says early indications are that diary return rates are within an acceptable range.
Arbitron has also announced that it has added two more networks to the RADAR 86 report due to be released on next Monday - ABC Hispanic Advantage and Premiere Fox News.
The addition takes the networks included in the report to 51 and Arbitron also notes that it has increased the sample size for this survey from 85,000 to 90,000 with further increases to take the total to 100,000 when RADAR 88 is released in March next year.
Previous RADAR (RADAR 85):
2005-09-20: BBC Radio 1 has announced that it is to stage a John Peel tribute gig at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London on Wednesday 12 October, the day before its John Peel Day that was announced last month (See RNW Aug 24) in memory of the DJ who died whilst on a working holiday in Peru (See RNW Oct 27, 2004).
His widow Sheila commented of the event, "We've been to some incredible gigs involving John at the Queen Elizabeth Hall over the years, including his Meltdown festival. It will be odd being there on the 12th without him, but myself and the rest of the family are looking forward to what should be a terrific night."
"It's great that so many people have put so much effort into both this night and into all the gigs throughout Britain and other countries on the following night," she added.
The line-up so far includes New Order, The Fall, Super Furry Animals, Laura Cantrell, Jawbone, Misty in Roots and Venetian Snares.
On Peel Day itself the station is to broadcast a six-hour show from 18:00 GMT presented by a host of Radio 1 DJs and will feature live music from UK nationwide gigs as well as highlights from the London gig recorded the night before.
The day will now include more than 300 gigs across the UK - there is still time for more to be registered - as well as events in Canada, Germany, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and the USA.
The BBC is also to launch an interactive Peel website on 8 October with full details of all the gigs across the world, every track listing from every session, audio and video and a gallery of photographs, all celebrating Peel's life and work.
2005-09-19: This week we start with a little self-indulgence, remembering a fellow student who had rigged his TV aerial up in his room so that in one spot to the right of his armchair he could hold out a clipboard and kill the signal: The incident sprang to mind because of a paragraph in "Weaker signals create stronger community ties", an article on community radio in Marin Country from Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle.
It reported on one-watt all-Jazz Radio Sausalito that "boasts that it is the largest network of tiny FM transmitters in the United States" and the 18-watts KWMR- the call sign being for West Marin, whose signal with the aid of a simulcast at Bolinas covers an area from Tomales Bay to Bolinas Lagoon.
Of Sausalito he wrote: "The word at Radio Sausalito is that many of its listeners live on houseboats or other vessels. Because of the way the signal is broadcast on repeater equipment, floating listeners get the best reception when the tide is at a certain level in Richardson Bay" and quoted Jonathan Westerling of the station as commenting, "We don't come in too well at high tide."
On a broader note, however, the stations would appear to attract great local loyalty: Nolte writes, "It really is village radio. KWMR has such a grip on West Marin that, according to board President Abbie Walther, 1,200 of the public station's listeners are paying members of West Marin Community Radio, an incredible number when one considers that only 7,000 people live within the station's range. Membership starts at $36 a year. 'Every car out here has a KWMR sticker,' said Amanda Jones, who runs a bed and breakfast in Olema. 'There's a sense of pride in it.'"
And at Radio Sausalito, Westerling, who works as a lawyer in San Francisco and funds the station is, says Nolte, "so concerned that his signal doesn't reach all areas of the town that he says he'll come to someone's home to adjust the radio antenna, making Radio Sausalito the only station in the world that makes house calls."
After radio that none of the big companies seems likely to match, concern about the very future of US terrestrial radio from Lance Ulanoff in PC Magazine: under the heading, "Everything Kills the Radio Star" he writes of radio as "under assault by a raft of new technology choices and finds itself scrambling to expand, keep up, and hold on to its dwindling audience" and goes on, "The attack is arriving in the form of satellite radio and its portable receivers, online niche and genre 'broadcasts' from music services (MSN, Real, Launch), and even home grown podcasts. Now the radio industry is preparing its counterattack, and it's twofold: One part is forward leaning, the other completely retro."
" The forward-leaning part<" writes Ulanoff, "is the growing availability of podcasts from commercial and non-profit radio stations. The latter have made the best use of these time-shifting portable audio packages. NPR, for example, offers most of its popular programs as podcasts. It's a great way to let your audience listen when and where they want. But, as far as I can tell, podcasts are of little use to commercial, news, and Top 40 music stations. For them, the retro approach is taking hold. Station after station is reintroducing Internet radio."
After noting the early days of Internet radio - "not particularly well organized" but "especially welcome for sports and news radio fans who could not listen to AM radio on the 11th floor of a midtown Manhattan office but could get an Internet radio feed..." Ulanoff says today "companies like Clear Channel, Infinity Broadcasting, and NPR have all rethought their strategy. Of course, it's no longer about trying new things. This new interest in broadcasting online is all about survival."
"Satellite radio has taken the concept of local-market radio and blown it out of the water," he writes, later adding, "Terrestrial radio's rigid and restrictive formats look positively quaint next to what you can find on XM and Sirius."
But he does find the silver lining " Now the writing is on the wall, and we're the beneficiaries. The number of online radio stations has jumped into the thousands, and the list is full of commercial stations you know and love. It's also easier to find stations and manage your choices, since we no longer have to choose from a number of proprietary players. Quality is also much improved, thanks to better compression technologies and broadband."
He doesn't see this in the long term, however, concluding, "In the end, satellite, music services, podcasts, and even MP3 players (that now include FM radios, though never AM) will push terrestrial radio in an entirely new direction I fear that's right out of business."
Then praise for radio as opposed to TV from columnist Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times. He begins a column headed "blind to colour" by noting that when England won the Ashes [RNW note: A cricket trophy - See Wikipedia for a reasonable summary] he was listening to it on radio, writing of how it fared compared to TV, "I was listening to them on Test Match Special, which soared. Both gave you pictures, but they were of different orders. Television, when I switched over, proved that cricketers now have bleached hair and earrings. But TMS, on Five Live Sports Extra and Radio 4 long wave, had been my real, though proxy, companion.
Donovan uses cricket as a peg for a column focussed on the new BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial - "Northanger Abbey" in which David Harewood plays Henry Tilney (the son of General Tilney of Northanger Abbey), a role he could not take on TV because ". On television, it would look odd to see a black actor playing the Rev Henry Tilney, a man of the cloth in 1790s Bath, just as it would to see a black Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice."
He goes on to quote Harewood: "Radio is colour-blind. You can achieve anything, because the pictures are created in the mind of the listener."
Donovan goes on to say British film and theatre director Richard Eyre summed it up well recently: cinema and television are mediums of similitude, and radio and the stage mediums of metaphor and concludes that radio "remains a magic island of the mind."
In marked contrast to Donovan's upbeat view, we found it massively depressing when we dipped into Rush Limbaugh's web site at the end of last week.
The site carries a segment, "Rush 24/7 Member Contributions to The Limbaugh Plan" [for post-Katrina reconstruction] that makes it easy to believe that his listeners are a combination of all or some of ignorant, unintelligent and mean minded and almost impossible to believe that any of them are well informed, intelligent and generous in spirit - we'll be happy to post any response from his listeners or even the man himself.
Some of the gems "What a great time for a nuclear power plant to be built in the New Orleans area! With all the billions to be spent it would hardly be noticed and would alleviate a lot of the energy stress - to which we ask what about potential pollution, already bad enough from damaged refineries, were there an even more powerful successor to Katrina?"
Or in similar vein "Waive overly restrictive environmental regs in this area to encourage a company to build refineries or nuclear power plants."
Then there's Sam's market-led narrow response, "1. Stop sending money to Africa for AIDS. That's $1 billion or so. 2. Reverse the decision to federalize airport security. 3. Cut capital gains tax so businesses can revive devastated areas of the country. "
Or Phil "Close the Department of Education."
Or the snide Dennis, "Divert all of Nancy's Pelosi's future Botox expenditures. This would most likely cover most of the cost."
Either Limbaugh is deliberately choosing these responses because he thinks they'll appeal to his base despite having many much brighter suggestions to choose from - which says a lot about him and probably about them - or they're the best he's had, which would certainly say a lot about both.
It could even almost engender sympathy for some of British MP George Galloway's comments in his "debate" - not the word we'd have chosen- with writer Christopher Hitchens that was staged in Manhattan last week and forms the first suggestion for listening.
For sources we'd suggest either BBC Radio 4 and Iraq: The Galloway/Hitchens Debate that aired on Saturday and is on the listen-again part of the site or Pacifica Org, whose site includes part of the two-hour exchange relating to Katrina and suggestions that Iraq had detracted from post-Katrina efforts (real audio or MP3 within the Democracy Now! Programme of September 16.). This latter is around 42 minutes into a one-hour programme that is worth a listen - the programme overall is hardly pro-administration but Hitchens is allowed a reasonable run to put his view and at least he isn't into abuse as much as Galloway albeit his defence of US performance post-Katrina could have done with a little calm questioning rather than Galloway's histrionics.
Then still with US politics, we'd suggest another BBC Radio 4 programme, last Saturday's "Talking Politics", which we found a much calmer and more informative discussion of the confirmation hearings on the nomination of John G. Roberts and of the implications for future Supreme Court action if he is confirmed.
Also from Radio 4 is some US history in dramatic form in this week's Book of the Week, which is Judge Sewall's Apology by Richard Francis - it is based on the public apology five years later by judge Samuel Sewall, one of the judges in the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials.
And a final trio from BBC Radio 4 - last week's A World in Your Ear in which Rosie Goldsmith heard how space exploration is reported and dramatised on English language radio round the world; comedy with Dead Ringers, which has returned in the 17:30 GMT Friday comedy slot; and a little radio magic from the past in the Archive Hour whose most recent edition looked at children's programmes beginning with presenter Jean Seaton's memories of her listening as a child to "Listen with Mother."
Changing broadcasters, topics, and continents the latest edition of Ockham's Razor on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National dealt with Alzheimer's Disease - the title "Alzheimer's Disease: the rise and Fall of A Concept" -gives an indication of the content of the programme in which it is said research now suggests that Alzheimer's is actually a vascular disease.
And from a disease generally associated with the elderly to one that starts at a younger age in the ABC's latest "All in the Mind", which looked at autism and some of the research into the disorder.
For a combination of science, documentary and history, we then return to the BBC with three programmes Science at Sea starting at 22:30 GMT on Wednesday and running until Friday.
They deal with Joseph Banks, Francis Beaufort (of the Beaufort Wind Scale), and Robert Fitzroy, the captain of the Beagle during Darwin's voyage who was not just an accomplished sailor but also a dedicated and driven scientist himself, whose work led to the creation of an effective storm warning system, and the concept of 'weather forecasting'.
And then history but with Iraq today in mind we'd suggest Germany: Misery To Miracle on BBC Radio 4 at 19:00 GMT tonight: It's the first of three programmes in which Charles Wheeler looks at how the Nazi Germany whose destruction he saw in the Second World War was turned into an ally - well part of it at least.
PC Magazine - Ulanoff:
Rush Limbaugh web site:
San Francisco Chronicle - Nolte:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
2005-09-19: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) management and the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) continued their talks again over the weekend in their continuing attempts to settle the dispute that led to a lockout of staff a month ago. (See RNW Aug 16).
In its latest update management said that 18 issues remain outstanding including all the "key issues"- the dispute centred largely over issues of using contract and freelance labour rather than staff and the list of unresolved issues, which includes these, is:
*Employee Status/Contract Employees
*Workforce Adjustment/Demonstrated Occupational Qualifications (DOQ)
*Contracting Out (This has apparently been put aside for now because of significant disagreements over language to be used)
*Severance Pay at Retirement
*Purpose and Intent of Collective Agreement - Interpretation
·* Corporation Seniority
*Definition of Terms
*Hours of Work/Overtime
*Former CMG Contract
* Appendices to be deleted
There has been some progress with agreement reached on various issues this month including the Workweek and Days Off; Producer's Authority; Training and Professional Development; and Foreign Correspondents.
While the disputer has been on various CBC staff have been producing their own work and posting it on the Internet although the "Toronto Unlocked "morning show by CBC host Andy Barrie that has been airing on University of Toronto station CIUT-FM is to end on Friday this week.
As well as news material from various locations CBC workers in Vancouver have also produced and posted a situation comedy "Around and Around".
CBC Unplugged web site (Carries news of dispute and links to Around and Around video plus various audio and podcasts):
2005-09-18: The main regulatory news this week came from North America where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced aid to restore communications in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina and a cabinet committee backed up the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) its decision to grant two satellite radio subscription licences.
There were no radio decisions from Australia but Lyn Maddock, Acting Chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) speaking at the 2005 Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association Conference, although devoting most of her speech to mobile and Internet services mentioned the medium in relation breaking down of "traditional borders between types of services " because of technological change and also in terms of regulation of content.
Maddock said the ACMA would have a "strong emphasis on co-regulation with the preferred approach being industry development of codes of practice registered with the regulator" and added that "In broadcasting, the regulation has reflected the perceived degree of influence of the sector on public opinion and attitudes - with television broadcasting the most heavily regulated and narrowcast radio very lightly regulated."
In Canada the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as reported already had its decision to grant two satellite and one terrestrial audio subscription licences upheld (See RNW Sep 11) albeit the terrestrial service may now never go ahead (See RNW Sep 17)and is also now moving ahead regarding Quebec applications that had been delayed because of its action in refusing to renew the licence of CHOI-FM (See RNW Jul 14, 2004) and subsequent legal action by owner Genex Communications.
It was also as usual involved in a run of routine work:
Radio-related decisions included (In order of province)
*Extension until 15 June 2006 of deadline for commence the operation of the English-language, religious specialty audio service Forerunner Radio Network authorized in October 2003.
*Extension until 15 June 2006 of deadline to commence the operation of English-language religious specialty audio service The National Youth (Radio) Network authorized in November 2003.
*Extension until 31 August 2006 of deadline to commence operation of transitional digital radio undertaking CHKT-DR-2, Toronto.
*Extension until 31 August 2006 of deadline to commence operation of transitional digital radio undertaking, associated with CHWO-AM, Toronto. This is the second extension of deadline for this applicant.
The CRTC also issued a public notice, with a deadline for comment or interventions of October 20, relating to the following radio applications:
Application to change the frequency of CKER-FM Edmonton from 101.9 MHz to 101.7 MHz so as to alleviate interference in parts of the Edmonton area.
Application to change the frequency of Developmental community radio station approved in September last year for Hornby Island from 91.5 MHz to 96.5 MHz to resolve interference problems subsequent to approval in April this year of English-language FM commercial radio station in Sechelt.
Application to change frequency of CKDO-AM, Oshawa from 1350 kHz to 1580 kHz and increase its nighttime power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts.
The CRTC also gave notice of a public hearing to be held on 14 November 2005 in Québec City relating to various radio applications. Comments or interventions again have to be submitted by October 20.
Consideration of applications relating to a further frequency, that of 98.1 MHz being used by CHOI-FM, Montreal, is still being delayed until a final court ruling is issued over the CRTC refusal of a renewal to the station.
The applications were:
*Application for a new 27,000 watts English-language contemporary pop commercial FM in Bonnyville.
*Application for a new 9,500 watts classic Hits English-language commercial FM in Lacombe.
*Application for a 1.8 watts English and Native-language low power developmental community FM in Fort Vermilion.
*Application for licence for an English- language radio network for the purpose of broadcasting the football games of the B.C. Lions during the 2006 season.
*Application for a 16.5 watts English-language low power tourist FM in Osoyoos.
Application for licence to operate an English- language radio network to broadcast the baseball games of the Winnipeg Goldeyes during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
Application for a new 700 watts soft adult contemporary/easy listening English-language commercial FM at Perth.
*Application to relocate the transmitter of CFEI-FM, Saint-Hyacinthe, and increase its power from 3,000 watts to an average ERP of 33,200 watts, a change that meant the station could be considered as serving part of the Montréal market.
*Application for a new 1,900 watts French-language FM commercial specialty music FM in Montréal.
*Application for a new 324 watts Christian music French and English-language commercial FM in Montréal.
*Application for a new 250 watts French-language Type B community FM in Montréal.
*Application for a new 1,000 watts ethnic AM in Montréal.
*Application for a new 1,000 watts English-language campus AM in Montréal.
*Application for a new 100 watts mainly Jewish music French, English and Hebrew-language AM in Montréal.
Application for a new 5,800 watts Gospel music French-language commercial AM in Montréal.
Québec city market:
Three competitive applications - for renewal of licence of commercial station CKNU-FM, Donnacona, and amendments to its technical parameters and condition of licence regarding commercial messages plus an amendment to amend the technical parameters of French-language Type B community FM radio station CIMI-FM, Québec.
The application by CKNU-FM was for renewal of its licence and of its transmitter CKNU-FM-1, Sainte-Croix-de-Lotbinière, together with removal of licence condition prohibiting it from soliciting advertising outside the Portneuf area and also to relocate the transmitter from a site at Saint-Raymond to the summit of Mont Bélair and decrease its power from 3,100 watts to 1,585 watts. This change would mean that the station could be regarded as serving the city of Québec and also that the station, owned by Genex Communications as is CHOI-FM, had been found to have breached regulations concerning the broadcast of abusive language. It said that the "commission will wish to discuss the measures that the licensee has taken or may wish to take in response to the concerns raised by the complaints, and such regulatory measures as the Commission may consider appropriate, including possible conditions of licence and the issuance of a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with the Radio Regulations, 1986."
In the case of CIMI-FM, the licensee had requested a frequency change from 103.7 MHz to 106.9 MHz, transmitter relocation to Mont Reine-Malouin in Charlesbourg and a power increase from 20 watts to an average effective radiated power of 4,120 watts. These changes would mean it could be considered a station serving the Québec market, including Charlesbourg and also noted that it has received a number of complaints regarding the verbal content of certain programs hosted by André Arthur that the station had broadcast and these would be discussed at the hearing.
The hearing will also consider the following applications:
*Application for a new 3,400 watts talk-format French-language commercial specialty FM using frequency 92.5 MHz .
*Application for a new 177 watts popular, rock and dance music format French-language commercial FM in Lévis using frequency 92.7 MHz.
*Application for a new 2,100 watts classical music format French-language FM commercial FM in Québec using frequency 92.7 MHz.
The above three applications are technically mutually exclusive.
*Application for a new 3,400 watts rock format English language commercial FM using frequency 105.7 MHz.
Application for a new country music format French-language commercial FM in Lévis using frequency 105.7 MHz.
The two above applications are technically mutually exclusive.
*Application for a new 3,690 watts American, Canadian and European jazz and blues, Brazilian and Cuban selections, and other world beat music French-language commercial FM in Québec using frequency 106.9 MHz.
*Application for a new 1,410 watts Top 40 format English-language commercial FM in Québec 106.9 MHz.
The above two applications are technically mutually exclusive with each other and CIMI's frequency change request.
*Application for a new 50,000 watts country music format commercial French-language AM in Lévis.
*Application for a new 13 watts mostly religious French-language commercial FM in Québec.
*Application for new 16 watts English and 13-watts French-language tourist information FMs in
*Application to renew the licence of CJMS-AM, Saint-Constant, Quebec. The CRTC notes that this licensee may have failed to comply with regulations relating to provision of logger tapes and the broadcast of French music and says it had also received complaint about the verbal content of other programmes broadcast on the station.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has given further details of its plans for further community and special interest broadcast services in the republic (See RNW Sep 16). It also advertised the national commercial FM frequency currently held by Today FM whose contract expires in March 2007. (See RNW Sep 15) and announced the award in principle of a new Cork community of interest licence to Life FM, which will provide a service for the city's Christian community (Also RNW Sep 16).
In the UK, Ofcom has given details of its reasoning in awarding new commercial FM licences for the Solent region, Swindon and Torbay (See RNW Sep 16) but made no new radio decisions.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been largely concerned - in publicity terms at least- with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and switched its open meeting to Atlanta to ease testimony by various participants and also announced that it is to spend USD 210 million on restore telephone and telecommunications service to residents of the Gulf Coast region affected by Hurricane Katrina; it also announced the formation of an independent panel to look at the devastation caused by the hurricane (See RNW Sep 16).
It also found time to confirm a USD 10,000 penalty on a Florida pirate station operator.
The signal of "Radio Maximo" was traced to residence of Daniel Clephar of Orlando and his voice was identified as that used in the station identification.
Clephar denied that he was operating a radio station and claimed he was merely "testing the equipment"; he also said he could not afford to pay the fine.
The FCC noted he had provided no financial information in relation to the latter and confirmed the full penalty, noting regarding the operation of the station that there was no "testing" exemption in the regulations and also that his statement did not "comport with the factual findings in the record."
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-09-18: BBC Radio 1 DJ Nemone (Nemone Metaxas), who is being dropped as the station's early breakfast host (See RNW Jul 2) to make way for with JK and Joel (Jason King and Joel Ross) is to join BBC 6 Music as the presenter of its Monday to Thursday Dream Ticket late evening show from October 3.
Nemone, who has recently filled in on 6 Music's mid-morning and drive time shows, takes over from current Dream Ticket host Jane Gazzo who is leaving the station.
In a BBC news release she commented, "I can't wait to play some of the excellent wealth of archive material the BBC has to offer, in amongst the eclectic and exciting mix of new and established artists on the 6 Music play list. The Dream Ticket is a dream show."
BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music Controller Lesley Douglas added, "I am happy to be welcoming Nemone to the 6 Music fold. Her passion for music, energy and experience broadcasting at Radio 1 summer events and festivals make her a natural choice for Dream Ticket."
Previous JK& Joel:
2005-09-18: Salem launches FM news talk on its Sacramento KTKZ- FM tomorrow in a simulcast with its 1380 AM and has also moved its contemporary Christian music station KKFS-FM (The Fish) to 103.9 FM, which provides better coverage of the city.
As well as the news talk from the likes of Laura Ingram, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager and Mike Gallagher, KTKZ is home to Sacramento River Cats Triple A Baseball, Sacramento State Hornets and Cal Berkley Bears College Football as well as area high school football and basketball "Games of the Week."
2005-09-17: According to Bridge Ratings, Howard Stern could be a major factor in leading around 1.5 million new customers to subscribe to Sirius Satellite Radio by the end of January next year: It had produced the estimate from research in a number of markets (Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Syracuse, Baltimore and Detroit) in which since the fall of 2004 it has been tracking interest in satellite subscription by Stern listeners.
The interviews with current - and former listeners who can no longer hear the host in their markets - showed a tenth 10% of those interviewed who said it is "Very Likely" that they will subscribe to Sirius between now and December 31, also intend to give satellite subscriptions as holiday gift.
Bridge Ratings President Dave Van Dyke commented, "It would appear now that Sirius satellite radio will boost its subscriber base by over three-quarters-of a-million in the fourth quarter as our panels indicate not only a high passion-index for Stern's show and want it for themselves, but many also intend to give Howard for the holidays!"
"This quarter will be the tipping point as Sirius surpasses XM in quarterly subscriber count!" he added.
Bridge's figures show Sirius gaining 200,000 new subscribers next month, an additional 300,000 in November, 480,000 in December and 504,000 in January, the month Stern goes to air on the satellite channel.
Previous Bridge Ratings:
Previous van Dyke:
2005-09-17: The Toronto Globe and Mail, quoting Peter Miller, CHUM's head of regulatory affairs, says the company and its partner Astral Media are now most likely not to launch the full-scale terrestrial audio subscription services for which they were granted a licence in June along with Canadian Satellite Radio, the XM partner, and Sirius Canada.
Those plans were to commence operations with around 50 channels that would have a high level of Canadian content and they had warned in advance that they felt it unlikely the plan would be viable were both satellite applicants to be granted licences.
"It's highly unlikely we'll launch under the original plans," said Miller, adding that they were exploring the possibility that they could still offer a niche service. The companies will make that decision over the coming weeks, he added.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2005-09-17: Infinity has announced that Jay Severin, currently hosting an afternoon show at Greater Media-owned WTKK-FM in Boston, and a "cast member" on MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, is to be a talk host on several of its stations with details of which to be announced later.
The Jay Severin has Issues show will launch in January and in an Infinity news release Severin commented, "Talk radio is the frontier, the guardian, and the center stage of the issues of American daily life. We are the contemporary town meeting, the village square, the genuine vehicle of our greatest liberties - free speech and fun. This show will be for people who choose to know something new and entertaining about real life issues."
Infinity President of Programming Rob Barnett said in the release, "Jay has one of the most incisive minds in talk radio and brings passion and intelligence to every issue. He joins a growing roster of talent at Infinity committed to delivering compelling original content."
The release implies that the host has a neutral to left political bias, mentioning that he " was in private practice as a national political and media consultant, advising candidates and incumbents in more than thirty major campaigns for Governor, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and President" and referring to his having spent "considerable time during his teenage years engaged in the Vietnam era war protests with his early political/media mentors Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin."
In marked contrast Media Matters for America places him fairly and squarely in the loudmouthed right category: Commenting at the time he confirmed his position with the MSNBC show it noted that clients of his consultancy included "George H.W. Bush's 1980 presidential campaign and his political action committee (Fund for America's Future); Pat Buchanan's 1996 presidential campaign; the Republican National Committee; and the Reagan White House."
It also noted past comments attributed to him in the Boston Globe suggesting that, rather than befriending Muslims "I think we should kill them"; that he regretted calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a "lying bitch" because "technically, it's a redundancy" and also referred to her as "the Antichrist to anyone who vaguely regards themselves as a Republican" and that he believed "Al Gore would murder his daughter in order to become President."
RNW comment: Assuming Media Matters is correct the Infinity news release is a load of something else: We suspect the latter and have made a mental note to rate future Barnett comments as likely to have an association with the rear end of a horse.
He and Infinity obviously have the right to employ whatever hosts they think may be successful but can't they at least be a bit more honest about the nature os those they are hiring.
Previous Greater Media:
2005-09-17: UK Chrysalis has announced that it is in exclusive talks with a new company (NewCo) to be formed by Chrysalis Books chief executive Robin Woods and other senior executives for a GBP 12. 5 million (USD 22.6 million) sale of the loss-making division and will concentrate on what it terms its "core radio and music businesses, where it enjoys strong market positions that offer good growth potential."
The announcement was made in conjunction with a trading update that showed Chrysalis Radio revenues for the year to the end of August expected to fall 8.6% year-on-year to GBP 61.8 million (USD 111.8 million) and Chrysalis Music division to be adversely impacted by weaker than expected demand during the second half of the year for recordings from its Echo record label. Regarding this it said "swift and decisive action" has been taken to minimize the Group's ongoing exposure to recorded music, through a significant reduction in both overhead and the artist roster, the restructuring cost of which will be fully reflected in the 2005 results.
Chrysalis commented of the planned sale, "The rationale for exiting the Book Publishing activities has been reinforced by a further extremely disappointing year-end result from the business. These weaker than expected results reflect ongoing trading difficulties across a number of areas of the book publishing division, and include the costs associated with the redundancy programme that was implemented during the summer."
The purchase price is to take the form of GBP 9.0 million (USD 16.3 million) of 3% convertible 10 year loan stock and GBP 3.5 million (USD 6.3 million) of 3% cumulative redeemable preference shares to be issued by NewCo. The loan stock will be secured by a fixed charge over NewCo's assets and Chrysalis will provide a bridging facility to NewCo of GBP 1.5 million (USD 2.7 million) for the period through to 30 June, 2006 in order to provide an adequate level of working capital while new banking facilities are arranged by NewCo.
Chrysalis says the sale will give rise to a significant exceptional loss which will be dealt with in its 2005 financial year results, which are to be published in November.
Group Chief Executive Richard Huntingford said of the results, "2005 has been a challenging year for all divisions of the Chrysalis Group. However, our proposed exit from the Books business, together with the steps taken to focus our Music division on its successful and profitable international publishing and distribution activities and the market leading positions within our radio business, mean we start the new financial year with a much improved base from which to build long-term value for our shareholders. The positive current trading news from our radio and music publishing divisions gives us confidence in the performance of the Group in the current 2006 financial year."
Looking ahead, Chrysalis says its radio division is seeing early signs of improvement for the current financial year with September bookings marginally up on a year ago. It notes that the 2005 financial year result s "should be viewed against the backdrop of a weak radio advertising market which persisted for the majority of our financial year" and that the East Midlands licence acquisition in May 2005, should add around GBP 1 million (USD 1.8 million) to the company's revenues for the year to take the total to GBP 62.8 million (USD 113.6 million).
2005-09-17: Houston low-power FM Katrina Aftermath Media Project radio -- KAMP 95.3 - has now made it to air after being barred from broadcasting from the Houston astrodomebuy officials despite being granted a licence by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (See RNW Sep 10); the FCC subsequently granted a licence for it to broadcast from the parking lot of the astrodome.
The 6-watts station is broadcasting from an Airstream trailer that was up for auction on e-bay during operations and was bought by a member of the collective that set it up.
Station organizer Tish Stringer says in a posting that after the official refusal to allow them to operate from inside the Astrodome "resident [of the Astrodome] kept working with us, telling us the struggles they faced in getting the information they needed. So we didn't give up."
Houston indymedia web site (carries various links to stories on project and also audio):
2005-09-16: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which held its open meeting in Atlanta on Thursday, is to spend USD 210 million to restore telephone and telecommunications service to residents of the Gulf Coast region affected by Hurricane Katrina and has announced the formation of an independent panel to look at the devastation caused by the hurricane.
The panel will be made up of communications industry representatives and public safety officials and is to make recommendations for improving preparedness for disasters with particular reference to communications amongst first responders such as police, fire, rescue and medical personnel.
Both Democrat Commissioners- Michael J Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein - issued statements praising the decision but Republican Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy in her statement sounded a notion of caution about what should be done by government and what could be done better by private industry.
Adelstein in his statement commented, " I applaud the Chairman's decision to appoint a blue-ribbon panel to look at the effects of Hurricane Katrina - how we prepared, how we responded, and what we can do to improve. I also commend his efforts to reorganize and refocus the FCC so that we can best address public safety, homeland security, and disaster preparedness issues." I know
Copps, who noted that he once lived in New Orleans and his wife's family still lives there, brought up the issue of co-ordination of efforts, commenting, "The coordination challenge is enormous, but we need to have both strategic communications among groups charged with emergency response and tactical communications among those on the ground during a crisis."
"Some may call this 'pie in the sky,'" he added, "but when we watch search and rescue teams from Virginia, law enforcement officials from Florida, EMS medics from California and countless others selflessly make their way to the Gulf Coast to help, don't we owe them a system that enables them to communicate when they get there?"
Abernathy, although not dissenting from the main objectives and involvement in preparing for future emergencies, commented, "In doing this we need to be mindful of what government must do, and what private industry can do better without government mandates or micromanagement," she said. "The innovative partnerships that have been developed in response to the unprecedented destruction of Hurricane Katrina demonstrate the industry's tremendous resiliency and expertise in rebuilding its infrastructure."
In his statement FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin said, "It is our goal that the FCC learn from this disaster. We need to determine how we can help companies strengthen our communications infrastructure, create more robust and reliable networks and improve the ability to quickly restore service when disaster does strike. We also need to improve our own ability to respond in times of crisis. I believe the efforts I have outlined today are a good first step."
The funding that the agency is to provide will be used amongst other things to aid those eligible for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency ) assistance to have access to a cell phone or have landline phones reconnected and subsidize telecommunications services to health care workers in the affected region. The agency has also pledged nearly USD 100 million to assist schools in the region get back on the Internet.
Martin also announced that the FCC intends to create a new Public Safety/Homeland Security Bureau that would have responsibility for coordinating public safety, national security, and disaster management activities within the agency.
RNW comment: In view of the contributions made to problems by various officious officials, maybe the first thing that needs to be done is to fire a few people if allegations made prove to be true - like those who are said to have confiscated supplies being sent to a hospital in the area by its owner, those who stopped trucks with supplies of bottled water getting to New Orleans, and those who blocked technicians from getting to the city to get equipment back up and running.
Then private industry, Abernathy notwithstanding, needs to be told that emergency systems have to be compatible - they certainly aren't in the US - and private industry competition on patents and business is certainly potentially against the public interest in this area.
We'd like to see a common standard imposed so all services can talk to each other - with patent holders given the option of having to licence their patents to other suppliers so that all can compete in providing systems and if they are not prepared to do so barred from all government-funded business in perpetuity (which would mean they'd agree). We're not against competition but in this area the public interest to us seems to demand constraints on the areas in which the competition is allowed.
We see no problem with competition in provision of hardware and systems but do not think patent exclusivity should be allowed to cost lives on a continuing basis.
Equally modern technology should enable a fairly speedy resumption of basic services - there's no reason why back-up satellite phones should not be available on a pre-planned basis in all areas for emergencies (Maybe made in a bright orange plastic that indicates government issue and would immediately identify non-authorized users as likely thieves) and some basic provision made for mothballed antennas that could be airlifted to areas if need be.
If broadcasters can get satellite links working it should be beyond the authorities to set up the same for basic communications, even if they are available only in specific centres initially rather than effort being put into getting homes back on the system.
2005-09-16: A combination of broadening services in the market, catering for different tastes and interests to those already served, a sound business plan, and detailed research to show demand for its offering were the factors that gained CanWest the new Solent regional FM licence in the UK according to UK media regulator Ofcom.
The licence, the first to be awarded to an overseas bidder, was announced earlier this month (See RNW Sep 6) and Ofcom noted that 12 of the 14 bids for the licence were targeted at an older demographic.
The winning bid from Original 106 FM said Ofcom proposed an "eclectic and distinctive 'Adult Alternative' music policy" that "would be likely not only to extend commercial radio choice for its target audience of 40-59 year-old adults (with a male and ABC1 bias), but at the same time provide listeners of all ages in the Solent region with greater access to a number of different styles of music in a local commercial radio market which currently lacks specialist music stations."
It specifically noted the decision to focus on album tracks and lesser known singles and research that showed a "demand among its target audience for a service that featured a significant proportion of album tracks, and for a service which features a mixture of genres and eras."
"In addition," added Ofcom, "it was felt that the range and nature of Original's speech proposals, including around-the-clock local news bulletins and a minimum 40% speech commitment at weekday breakfast and drive time, would further extend choice in the local marketplace and would be likely to appeal to the station's target audience."
Of two other licences awarded at the same time it said that of five applications received the Palm FM bid for Torbay was "the strongest on a balance of the criteria" it had set. It also noted the benefits Palm would gain from the backing of Sunrise Radio "together with a thorough understanding of the local marketplace" and added, "The business plan was considered to include appropriate audience expectations and cost assumptions, although the Committee felt that the revenue projections, notably the anticipated level of national sales, could prove challenging."
The Swindon licence went to NOW FM, a bid from Ridgeway Radio Limited, which is wholly owned by The Local Radio Company plc. and here Ofcom noted the emphasis it had placed on the "ability of each applicant to maintain its proposed service for the duration of the licence period."
It added that it "felt that the backing of The Local Radio Company (TLRC) gives NOW FM financial stability, coupled with extensive experience of operating smaller stations in similar markets."
"The group's board," it commented, "offers strong radio and management experience, as well as an understanding of the local area. It was also noted that TLRC owns a number of neighbouring stations which are performing ahead of expectations."
2005-09-16: Badmouthing the opposition is a different thing from badmouthing the help according to Howard Stern who, as reported earlier this month (See RNW Sep 12), has hired former rival Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for one of the two channels he is to launch on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Talking to the Sponge on his show this week Stern commented "I've talked trash about Bubba in the past and he's talked trash about me. But there's something bigger going on now."
He then went on to refer to a climate of fear-induced censorship that he said was destroying creativity on terrestrial radio and both he and his guest accused Clear Channel, which fired who was fired from its 98 Rock in Tampa last year (See RNW Feb 25, 2004) of hypocrisy saying that it knew exactly what is was getting when it hired them but then piously fired them in view of the criticism they attracted.
RNW comment: Not to mention a significant change in climate and some very large fines. Indeed whilst no great defenders of media conglomerates, we'd suggest that Stern also knew what he was expected to provide- and negotiated a pretty good deal for it - and had experience of previous penalties. The charge of hypocrisy goes both ways and Stern should perhaps note that US companies are legally tasked in terms of making profits not being moral - a good reason to take comparatively little notice or treat them with contempt when they blather on about regulation that brings other dimensions into the profit calculation.
New York Daily News report:
2005-09-16: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced plans for further community and special interest broadcast services in the republic: It also announced the award in principle of a new Cork community of interest licence to LifeFM, which will provide a service for the city's Christian community.
Regarding community radio it agreed a licensing plan and timeframe for the re-advertisement of existing community and community of interest radio services whose licenses are set to expire in June 2007.
Four proposed new services are to be advertised within the plan in October this year but the BCI decided not to re-advertise for a community service in North West Dublin for which no expression of interest was received within the deadline set.
The services to be advertised in the first Phase of proposed services are for Castlebar town and environs - Co. Mayo; Claremorris town and environs- Co. Mayo; North West Connemara - Co. Galway; Sligo town and environs- Co. Sligo; and South Dublin- Dublin City
In the second phase, to be advertised in February next year, are Cork City (student community); Dublin City (Irish Language community); Galway City (student community); Limerick City (student community); South West Dublin- Dublin City and Youghal town and environs - Co. Cork.
In the third phase to be advertised in July next year are licences for Charleville town and environs- Co. Cork; North East Dublin- Dublin City; North Inishowen Peninsula - Co. Donegal; Shannon town and environs - Co. Clare; South West Clare- Co. Clare.
2005-09-15: Figures from the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia (CEASA) show that in the first half of this year, Australian radio revenues were up more than 3% on a year earlier to AUD 395.1 million (USD 304.8 million) and in metropolitan markets grew 8.7% to AUD 275.3 million (USD 212.4 million).
The latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Radio Revenue Performance figures also just released show an even better performance for August with advertising revenues in major metropolitan markets up 10.6% on a year ago to AUD 51.2 million (USD 39.5 million) although July revenues were down, reducing the gain for the combined July and August figures to 4.8%.
Industry body Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner put the growth down in part to the industry's three-year AUD 60-million (USD 46.3 million) campaign to increase awareness of radio.
Noting that the campaign had targeted " big spending and growth sectors like finance and insurance, by using successful business executives to promote the effectiveness of radio in the most recent campaign" she pointed to figures from Nielsen Media Research that showed non-traditional advertiser categories such as recruitment, pet care and the communications industry recording large percentage increases in radio ad spend.
Retail remained the biggest advertiser, spending AUD 72.2 million (USD 55.7 million) on metropolitan commercial radio advertising in the first six months of 2005 but this was down 1% whilst insurance spending -with a total in ninth rank - was up 68%, government - in seventh rank - upped its spending 25% and services - in sixth rank - increased its spend by 15%.
Other significant increases were recorded by pet care - up 74%, recruitment - up 33%, and communications - up 33%, food - in tenth rank and up 9%, motor vehicles - in third rank and up 8% but there were falls in advertising on entertaining and leisure - down 7% and real estate - down 9%.
2005-09-15: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has now advertised the national commercial FM frequency currently held by Today FM whose contract expires in March 2007.
Expressions of interest have to be submitted by October 12 this year and the BCI says it " is open to suggestions on the nature of the proposed service."
It adds that it "will assess the expressions in terms of the quality, range and type of programming proposed and, in particular, the extent to which the service will add to the diversity of services available to Irish listeners. Issues such as viability and efficient use of spectrum will also be considered."
2005-09-15: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced yesterday that it is to change the venue for its open meeting that will hear presentations from Commission staff and various industry representatives concerning their role in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts form its Washington headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.
The meeting will now be held at BellSouth Telecommunications Inc.'s Emergency Control Center in Atlanta, a venue that the FCC says will be more convenient for those testifying.
RNW comment: And coincidentally, of course, make it less likely, especially with the short notice of the change, that it will be attended by the same number of media representatives who might just, after years of torpor, start to ask awkward questions. The move may make sense but the short notice should attract some criticism.
2005-09-15: CNNRadio is to air an hour-long special focusing on the legacy of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on the Gulf Coast and beyond this afternoon (1400-1500 ET/ 1800-1900 GMT).
"The Legacy of Hurricane Katrina" is scheduled to include among its guests former FEMA official John Copenhaver, who was in charge of the Southeast region and is critical of the agency's response; Louisiana State University engineer Joseph Suyhada who was part of a 2002 New Orleans Times-Picayune series on New Orleans' hurricane vulnerability in which he predicted what would happen in a worst-case situation; and chemical toxicologist Harold Zeliger who says Lake Pontchartrain will take years to recover from the storm as well as CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will participate, offering his observations from the Gulf Coast in a special reporter's notebook.
Like other long-form CNN radio programmes a podcast/MP3 will be made available on the CNN web site.
CNN podcasting site:
2005-09-15: York, Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. officials have so far announced no details of approaches to purchase its Susquehanna Media subsidiary that has been for sale since April but had said before the deadline of Tuesday that it expected more than 20 bidders.
The company's finance and administration vice president and CFO John L. Finlayson told the York Daily Record they expected bids for the whole company as well as separate bids for its radio division, which runs 33 stations and cable operations and would need an extended period to review the offers.
The company is expected to get at least USD 2 billion for the combined cable and radio businesses but according to Reuters their sale has been slowed by Disney's continued talks over the sale of its ABC Radio division.
As well as potential trade bidders including Citadel the agency says current and former Susquehanna Media management are to bid for the entire company in conjunction with private-equity firms Providence Equity Partners; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ; and Madison Dearborn Partners.
York Daily Record report:
2005-09-14: Only days after a Canadian cabinet committee finally gave the go-ahead for satellite radio in the country (See RNW Sep 11), XM has moved to ensure a significant Canadian subscriber base from hockey fans with the announcement of a 10-year USD 100 million deal that makes XM the exclusive satellite radio network of the National Hockey League (NHL) beginning with the 2007-2008 season.
XM will begin broadcasting NHL games with the launch of the 2005-06 season - non-exclusively since Sirius has a deal to broadcast NHL games for the next two seasons - and says that in addition to providing live play-by-play coverage of more than 1,000 games per season it will create a dedicated NHL radio channel. The service will be available in Canada through XM's partner Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR), which is picking up part of the tab.
XM president and CEO Hugh Panero said in a statement, "We are thrilled about the National Hockey League's decision to partner with XM Satellite Radio. The clear winners of this partnership are the millions of hockey fans here in the U.S. and in Canada who are incredibly passionate about their favourite NHL team, and who will now be able to follow them regardless of where they call home."
XM's coverage will include games from every team, as well as the NHL All-Star Game, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final and will begin with cover of Opening Night on October 5.
XM has also announced a boost to its cover of the 2005 Major League Baseball (MLB) League Championship Series and World Series.
It will offer multiple play-by-play broadcasts for each game and will carry the home and visiting teams' broadcasts for every game of the American League Championship Series (ALCS), National League Championship Series (NLCS), and the 2005 World Series, as well as the national ESPN Radio feed for all these games.
In addition XM's MLB en Espanol (XM Channel 190) will provide Spanish language coverage of the 2005 League Championship Series and World Series with national feeds from ESPN Deportes Radio.
RNW comment: This NHL deal - assuming that the parties have had enough of the dispute that cost the entire 2004-05 season - allied with what has looked like greater commitment from its Canadian partner looks as if it will give XM the edge in Canada over Sirius and, allied with other sports deals including NASCAR auto racing and PGA golf, position it well in the sporting market. Sirius does have the National Football League - and Howard Stern on the way - but we rather suspect the subscriber lead that XM has attained means Sirius is always going to be playing catch-up. Even its exclusive auto deals- BMW has just opted to extend its exclusive deal with the company and it has links with more automakers than XM - won't ultimately count for that much if the content isn't there.
2005-09-14: Bonneville International has won the latest round in its fight to continue using the slogan "Today's New Music . . . and Whatever We Want": SparkNet Communications, which in July announced that it was the exclusive licensor of the JACK FM format in the US (See RNW Jul 7), had claimed that Bonneville's use of the slogan - and also Clear Channel's use of similar phrases, infringed the slogan "playing what we want" slogan that it had trademarked (See RNW Aug 20).
In his ruling in a U.S. District Court ruling in Chicago Judge Morton Denlow said the battle over the matter would be "better fought in the marketplace than in court" and added, "If every radio station that adopts a slogan containing one or more overlapping words, which describe the music they play, is brought to court, only the lawyers will benefit."
Sparknet says it is to appeal and claims that the slogan is not merely descriptive but relates to the format's attitude in the same way as Nike "just do it" slogan.
RNW comment: as we said last month, our view of such matters, where often a powerful organisation can use its clout to unfairly intimidate lass powerful competitors, is that the law should be amended to allow a ruling not merely that the trademark claim is unjustified but also in particularly egregious cases - on their own or in conjunction with other actions - should have the power to rule that the organisation claiming the trademark has to re-submit all its trademarks and copyrights again for approval.
Previous Clear Channel:
Chicago Sun-Times report:
2005-09-14: There was some good news for Austereo and corresponding bad news for DMG's Nova in the latest Australian ratings that show 2-Day up from fifth to third in Sydney whilst Nova dropped from second to seventh. ABC 702 also performed strongly, moving up to second rank.
In the Sydney breakfast ratings, Alan Jones retained the lead for Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB but share was down -from 15.6 to 15.5 - as was that of talk competitors second-ranked ABC 702 - from 12.4 to 12.0 - and fifth-ranked 2UE, owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting - where Mike Carlton 's share fell from 8.2 to 7.8.
Third-ranked Nova also lost share -from 12.1 to 9.0- putting the Kyle and Jackie O Breakfast Show on Austereo's 2-DAY, which increased share from 8.5 to 8.9, within striking distance.
In the morning battle 2GB's mix of Jones followed by Ray Hadley increased its share from 12.3 to 12.4 whilst John Laws dropped from second to third rank at 2UE as share fell from 10.6 to 9.7 allowing 2-DAY, which took its share up from 8.6 to 9.9 to move from fifth to third.
Austereo commented on "solid gains" for its Today network in Sydney) 2-DAY) and Melbourne (FOX-FM) and CEO Michael Anderson said the strategic changes made to the network at the start of the year were beginning to show in the results.
"It's a promising result for the other Today network stations around the country," he said. "We've put a lot of work into the network and Sydney and Melbourne were the first to experience the improvements. We'd expect those changes to begin to flow through to the other capital cities in the next few months."
DMG said its Nova network had posted "consistent results in key demographics" and emphasised its "leading position overall for All People 18-24 in every capital city" and for the 18-34 demographic in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: Mix 18.5 (17.9) - same rank; 5AA 15.5 (16.8) - same rank; ABC 891 13.5 (11.8) - up from fourth;
* SAFM fell from third to fourth with 11.6 (12.7) and Nova remained fifth but increased share from 11.2 to 12.2.
*Brisbane - Triple M with 15.8 (15.3) - same rank; Nova with 11.3 (12.4) - same rank. NEW 97.3 FM 11.1 (9.9) up from fourth.
* B105FM with 8.7 (10.0), which had fallen from second to third in the previous ratings continued its slide and dropped to sixth.
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.1 (13.7) - same rank; ABC 774 with (12.1) - up from third. Gold with 11.3(12.2) - down from third;
* Triple M with 9.7 (10.8) - continued to fall - it dropped from third to fourth in the previous ratings but is now sixth behind Nova, which, with an unchanged 10.2, remained fifth.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM 17.5 (18.2) - same rank; ABC 720 with 13.2 (12.4) - same rank; 6PR 12.4 (10.5) - up from fifth.
*Nova with 11.9 (11.3)- same rank fell from third to fourth and 96FM with 11.5 (10.6) - went down to fifth.
*Sydney: 2GB 11.7 (11.7) - same rank; ABC 702 9.5 (9.9) - up from third; 2-DAY with 9.4 (8.9) up from fifth.
*2UE with 8.6 (9.0) remained fourth, and Triple M was up from eighth to fifth with 8.4 (7.4) while Nova with 8.2 (10.2) dropped from second to seventh and Mix also continued to slip - it was down from fourth to sixth in the previous ratings and this time was eighth with 7.9 (8.6).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
2005-09-14: The Long Island-based Morey Organization is dropping most of its air staff to switch its three stations on the island - Top 40 WDRE-FM, classic rock WBON-FM (the Bone) and modern rock WLIR-FM - to what it is terming "FM Channel Casting" from tomorrow : The stations will be funded by sponsorship and will carry no advertising.
The stations will be re-branded FM Channel 105: Party Hits, FM Channel 98: Long Island Rock and FM Channel 107: NeoBreeze and WLIR move to an AC/Chill format.
Morey says the move is a reaction to fend off satellite and Internet radio and portable music devices; the stations are to be programmed by WLIR PD Harlan Friedman with OM Andre Ferro assisting with the transition but most other staff, including air staff and much of the promotions staff are out.
TMO president John Caracciolo said in a statement, "The advent of satellite radio has presented the industry with a bigger challenge than ever before and we as broadcasters cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend that it won't affect our medium We cannot stop technology. We must live with it, grow with it and keep competitive with it . . We are confident that FM Channel Casting is the wave of the future for stations throughout the country."
2005-09-13: Ulster TV has announced record results for the six months to the end of June and is moving further into radio with the announcement that it has now acquired the remaining 67% of Juice FM in Liverpool to take total ownership of the station.
Juice FM is be integrated into UTV Radio, which includes talkSPORT and the 16 independent radio stations which previously formed The Wireless Group, acquired by UTV in June and whose name has now been dropped.
UTV radio is also going into partnership with the Local Radio Company in a 50-50 joint venture in which the latter will put its advertising sales house into the venture and UTV will put in GBP 500,000 (USD 910,00) in cash and move its contract for national and regional advertising on its local stations to the new venture: UTV's Impact sales division will continue to handle talkSPORT and will be renamed talkSPORT Sales.
Overall UTV revenues were up 17% to GBP 35.8 million (USD 65.2 million), operating profit before exception items was up 11% to GBP 9.6 million (USD 17.5 million), and pre-tax profit before exceptional items was up 11% to GBP 9.0 million (USD 16.4 million).
Within its broadcast operations TV operating profit was steady at GBP 7.3 million (USD 13.3 million) on revenues down 3% on a year earlier to GBP 22.49 million (USD 40.9 million) (it was up5% in the first three months, down 11% in the second quarter) whilst radio operating profit soared by 150% to GBP 1.9 million (USD 3.5 million) on revenues, fuelled by acquisitions, up 90.6% to GBP 9.58 million (USD 17.44 million).
Chairman John B McGuckian highlighted radio in his comments, saying, "UTV is now a significant player in the UK radio market through the acquisition of The Wireless Group. Good progress has been made in integrating talkSPORT and the 16 local radio stations, which we are re-branding as UTV Radio. This division will also include Juice FM in Liverpool, which UTV now owns outright.
"The outlook is promising in radio and in television tight cost control should help us to overcome a soft advertising market," he added. "New Media has had a strong first half with turnover up by 56% representing significant growth in its customer base in internet and telephony services."
He was backed up by Group Chief Executive John McCann who said, Radio has performed well with operating profit up by 150% and strong listenership growth in our Republic of Ireland stations. Radio advertising revenue in Ireland continues to experience good growth and is expected to be up, on a like-for-like basis, by 13% in the third quarter. Q102 almost doubled its market share in the competitive Dublin market and is on target to break even this year. U105, our new station for Belfast and the surrounding area will launch ahead of schedule in November 2005."
He continued, "Cost synergies of £1.5m will be fully delivered on UTV Radio in Great Britain in 2006. talkSPORT is performing very well and should achieve revenue growth of about 7% in the third quarter. Overall revenue in that quarter at UTV Radio GB should be up by approximately 3%. We expect to see further significant improvement in revenue performance in our local radio sales with the integration of our national advertising for those stations into a new joint venture sales house (FRS) with The Local Radio Company. FRS will now represent 113 stations throughout the UK making it a compelling proposition for national advertisers. Our new radio station in Edinburgh TALK 107 will go on air in February 2006."
The Local Radio Company as well as announcing the joint venture issued a trading update showing a like-for-like revenue increase of 2% in the first 11 months of the year, down from a 4% rise in the first six months.
Previous Local Radio Company:
2005-09-13: The five online networks rated by Arbitron-Comscore reached 6.76 million listeners a week in July and for the first time topped the 1.0 rating benchmark for a key demographic with a 1.06 rating for women aged 25-34.
Within the ratings, Yahoo retained its lead and all but Clear Channel increased their cumulative audiences, Yahoo by more than a third.
The latest ratings in order of rank and compared to June figures were:
Leader Yahoo had a cumulative overall audience of 2,955,700, up 9.98% on May and weekday cumulative audiences were 1,909,300, up 19.6% on June: its AQH figures went up from 220,700 to 274,800 overall and from 337,700 to 442,200 on weekdays.
Second ranked AOL had an overall cumulative audience up 10.8% on June to 1,785,400 and its weekday cumulative audience was up 15.9% to 1,041,000: AQH figures went from 91,700 to 116,200 overall and from 128,100 to 166,500 weekdays.
Third ranked Clear Channel in its second ratings had a cumulative audience overall down from 860,900 to 848,600 and from 683,000 weekdays to 678,300 but AQH was up from 59,700 to 74,200 overall and from 103,900 to 135,400 weekdays.
Fourth-ranked MSN had a cumulative audience overall of 824,300, 17.3% up on June and of 649,800 on weekdays, 15.9% up on June: AQH figures went from 66,200 to 69,300 overall and from 109,300 to 122,900 weekdays.
Fifth-ranked Live 365, had a cumulative audience overall of 630,800, 17.7% up on June, and of 439,200 on weekdays, up 13.4% on June: AQH figures went from 37,000to 45,000 overall and from 59,600 to 76,100 weekdays.
In contrast to the Arbitron-ComScore figures, Ando Media's Webcast ratings for July showed falls compared to June.
Overall its two leading networks Net Radio Sales Network and Digitally Imported Radio had AQH figures down 10.8% to 68,034 and 15.6% to 19,794 respectively.
The next two in the rankings, AccuRadio and radioio Network saw AQH down from 9,925 to 9,270 and from 9.317 to 8.663 respectively.
Previous Arbitron-comScore ratings:
2005-09-13: After four bulletin in which no complaints against radio were upheld, UK media regulator Ofcom upheld what might be called an honourable breach of regulations against a number of broadcasters, both radio and TV who had broadcast adverts by Make Poverty History ("MPH").
MPH, a body representing around 300 charities, celebrities and other organisations, was set up in 2004 for the purpose of campaigning for the elimination of poverty in developing countries and the broadcasters had carried - in donated airtime - the adverts that directed viewers to the MPH website which encouraged viewers to lobby the Prime Minister/government directly to make this poverty elimination a high priority on their political agenda.
Some broadcasters had asked Ofcom whether the adverts were permissible or amounted to prohibited political advertising and Ofcom ruled that they were the latter because the organisation had aims that were objects "wholly or mainly of a political nature."
Ofcom also upheld a further TV complaint and partially upheld another and considered six more resolved. These figures compared to one TV complaint upheld and three TV complaints considered resolved in the previous bulletin.
In addition Ofcom listed with no details a further 106 complaints against 116 items that were rejected or held to be out of remit compared to corresponding totals of 159 complaints against 131 items in the previous bulletin.
These included eight radio complaints relating to eight items compared to 17 radio complaints relating to 14 items in the previous bulletin - and 108 TV complaints relating to 98 items compared to 142 TV complaints relating to 117 items in the previous bulletin:
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2005-09-12: This week yet again it's difficult not to start looking at print comment on broadcasting without thinking of hurricane Katrina but nearly all the comment is on TV cover - with a general tenor seemingly beginning to develop that US TV has found a week of asking questions about obvious discrepancies in official accounts and what was really happening too much to bear and is going back to more normal ways of letting entertainment, soft questions, and upbeat angles have precedence.
As regards radio and Katrina we reported one disappointment - an official bar that prevented the opening of a micro-station in the Houston Astrodome despite the granting of a licence (See RNW Sep 10) - and for the rest suggest that radio can perhaps do the job well itself for which we suggest a dip into WWL-AM and also the BBC Radio 4 World in Your Ear programme whose most recent edition was devoted to radio cover of Katrina.
On therefore to other topics and first the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) dispute, mainly about the management insistence on a new contract that would permit much greater use of contract labour, that has now led to a lock-out of staff for a fortnight.
The dispute has led to a number of articles in Canada, mainly predictably either because it offers a free-market "We don't need the CBC anyway" view or alternatively a cultural argument in favour of the CBC with reasonable reporting in some cases about the financial implications and details of how far Canada has cut back support to the broadcaster.
Putting the market argument at its bluntest, Brian Dobbin, the publisher of The Independent - a weekly newspaper in St. John's, Newfoundland, headed his editorial comment (No longer on the site as far as we could see) "Die Die CBC die" and wrote in part, "I have a number of friends and family who work or have worked for this venerable Canadian institution, and they represent some of the brightest and most creative people I know, but I wish the CBC would fold up its tent. Perhaps a privatisation is the answer, but I philosophically have a huge problem with supporting this broadcast empire out of tax dollars each year."
From the angle of valuing the CBC however the comment that in the end we had most empathy with was not from a name or publication as such but a letter in the Toronto Star from Paul Morris who's obviously a radio fan since the names and programmes he highlights are radio not TV, took a contrary view.
He wrote, "I've had enough. The 'best of CBC' is not reruns. The best of CBC is Andy Barrie with my morning coffee. It's Anna Maria Tremonte and the voice. It's Canada at Five and The World at Six. Above all, As It Happens is certainly the best of CBC. The managers are making their best efforts and I'm sure they are very good at their regular jobs. They are lousy newsreaders.
"The richest country in the world just experienced one of its worst natural disasters and I'm missing the most objective and informative source of information that I have. The CBC is no ordinary corporation. The CBC is a public service. And right now this member of the Canadian public is not getting very good service. CBC upper management exists solely for the purpose of ensuring the delivery of said service. They are not doing their job. Stop this nonsense and end the lockout now."
The issue of Canadian culture, particularly that of Canadian content, of course was at the crux of Canada's other main broadcasting story last week, that of whether the decision to approve satellite radio should be sent back for further reconsideration: It won't be as we reported at the end of the week (See RNW Sept 11).
In an editorial published before the decision the Toronto Star summed up the dilemma quite well:" For some Canadians, the dream of being able to listen to static-free, commercial-free satellite radio broadcasts in their cars, cottages, homes or workplaces has been a long time coming. For others, though, it represents a serious threat to Canadian-content rules that have governed radio stations in this country since the 1960s and are credited with fostering the early careers of some of Canada's biggest international music stars."
It then gave more detail before concluding," In its private debate tomorrow, the cabinet must ask itself whether Canadian culture should still be nurtured, as it was in the 1960s. Are we prepared to maintain a distinctive Canadian broadcasting system? Or do we just give up and accept that North America is one big audience? Does Ottawa need to rewrite the broadcast laws so they mean something or not? Does the CRTC have any future in an age of satellite radio, the Internet, podcasts and systems that can bring TV to your cell phone?
"All these questions are too important for Canadian culture and the future of Canadian broadcasting for cabinet ministers to ignore. That's why it is critical that if it has major concerns, the cabinet should order a reasonable extension on the appeal process for the satellite radio licences. After all, if we are going to debate these issues - and we must - then Parliament, not the CRTC hearing room, is the place to do it."
Our view, expressed a number of times in the past, is of course to favour public service broadcasting and in radio terms we find that the public broadcasters in the English-speaking speaking world at least offer a range, particularly in terms of current affairs and informational programming such as that on science on technology that is not matched by the commercial radio industries in their countries.
This week one element of the material that they broadcast but that would be very unlikely to reach air from commercial broadcasters formed the core of Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times.
He quotes from two letters he received about the reasons for an audience fall at BBC Radio 3, both objecting to its move away from concentrating as much as at one time on classical music and to a mix that includes jazz, ethnic and world music.
Donovan says that the station has a problem because the classical listeners still stay away when it does concentrate on classical and notes, "This was glaringly obvious between April and June, when, towards the end of that period, nothing except Beethoven was played for six days and nights. There was huge publicity. You would have expected the audience to go up, but the opposite happened. It went down. The network gained its smallest audience ever, a mysteriously low weekly average throughout the quarter of 1,913,000."
He then notes that on Thursday this week the station will play the entire works of Webern on the 60th anniversary of his death and in December in 10 days up to and including Christmas Day it is to broadcast the "the complete works of Bach - and nothing but Bach. How wonderful."
He then quoted Radio 3 controller Roger Wright on the ratings for the Beethoven Experience, "We should not be measured by audience figures alone, but by the distinctiveness and impact of our output," he says. "Our audience tends to flutter around 2m. I don't relate the fluttering below to the Beethoven Experience, which was only one week in the quarter. It was encouraging to see the impact it made. Some listeners did say 'Well, I like cheese, but I wouldn't want to spend all week eating it', but most were overwhelmingly positive. We heard from schoolchildren, a septuagenarian who insisted on walking round Birmingham with his Walkman, and an immigrant who said the broadcasts made her proud of her adopted country. Some told us it had helped them through difficult experiences. It does seem to have touched people's souls." "
And concludes Donovan, "If Radio 3 does not touch souls, it has no reason for being; and it has no need of high ratings, because it does not have to deliver audiences to advertisers. I like a station whose Bach is better than its bite. And before long, I hope, it will also consider reaching out to people whose culture has given so much to the world and whose plight now can barely be imagined [This last a reference to a suggestion he makes earlier that Radio 3 could " mount a New Orleans Night, raiding the incomparable BBC archives to showcase the city's music (King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino) and the area's most enduring fiction (William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Anne Rice)].
So on to suggested listening and first that relating to Katrina: We have already suggested listening to WWL-AM for the audio posted on its web site and also the BBC Radio 3 "World in Your Ear " programme, to which we'd like to add WNYC's "On the Media", whose most recent edition considered amongst other reports related to Katrina considered the requests - ill thought through in our view- that media use the term "evacuees" rather than "refugees" for those who have fled New Orleans: Maybe now it could be an accurate term but in the beginning these people certainly had not been evacuated but many had fled to seek refuge (the technically correct term is the awful-sounding Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs- the term DPs was of course in common use I Europe after the Second World War) and it is beginning to look as if many could now be "forcible ejected" from their homes. In effect to us the suggestion is to use weasel words to cover up uncomfortable reality much as "discrimination" - a useful word - came to be used when "prejudice" and "bigotry" were much closer to the reality.
Which is a reasonable cue for our next suggestion, the most recent edition of Ockham's Razor on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National: In it Dr Peter James talks about on disinformation, among things drawing parallels between the legendary reasons for the Trojan Wars and those for the war in Iraq.
Away from news and rats form our first suggestion: or rather "Soundscape: The Rats' Tales" that airs each afternoon this week at 14:45 GMT on BBC Radio 4 and is a series narrated by Jane Lapotaire that follows the lives of three brown rats and their struggle to survive and raise their families alongside their human companions.
The tales are preceded at 14:40 GMT each day by the Afternoon Reading - The Laws of Evening by Mary Yukari Waters, five stories exploring post-war Japanese society.
RNW note: Pressure of other work limited out listening last week but we hope to catch up a little today and maybe update this list tonight.
Toronto Star - Editorial:
Toronto Star - Morris letter:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
2005-09-12: A Federal judge has overturned a USD 90 million award made in March against Clear Channel in a case brought against it by Chicago-based Jam Productions for lost profits and damages after finding Clear Channel deliberately interfered with Jam's contracts and business relations regarding a Supercross contract. (See RNW Mar 23).
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly found inconsistencies in the jury's ruling that based punitive damages awarded on inducing Paradama Productions to breach its agreement with Jam and also a second claim of interference because it was motivated by "ill will or spite" and not a desire to enhance its business.
The award was made up of USD 17 million for lost profits and USD 73 million in punitive damages and the judge allowed the first part to stand but vacated the punitive damages award and ordered a new trial; he had said in August that no jury "reasonably could find that Clear Channel acted as it did completely out of ill will or spite toward Jam Sports."
Previous Clear Channel:
Chicago Tribune report:
2005-09-12: Sirius Satellite Radio has now published its new schedule to be introduced from September 29 that includes two new Howard Stern channels that are to be launched in advance of the host's expected debut in January.
Stern, who is still under contract to Infinity, has continued to publicize his Sirius plans on his show including an announcement that it will include appearances by former Clear Channel Florida host Bubba The Love Sponge (Todd Clem), who was fired from its 98 Rock in Tampa last year after a heavy indecency fine (See RNW Feb 25, 2004).
Stern says his show will be a home for personalities fired from terrestrial radio - even including rival Erich "Mancow" Muller whom he said he would hire were FCC action to put the Emmis Chicago host off the air.
Other new channels include Martha Stewart Living Radio and music channels including BBC Radio 1, Super Shuffle and The Coffeehouse and Sirius has also has enhanced its Traffic & Weather service for New York and Los Angeles by devoting individual 24-hour channels to their metropolitan areas.
Scott Greenstein, Sirius President of Entertainment and Sports, said of the new line-up, "Our new channels and personalities, added to our already compelling programming, gives our subscribers even greater depth and variety of programming to choose from. New categories in our channel line-up, such as Especially For Women, Families & Kids, Religion, and News & Public Radio, reinforce Sirius' pre-eminent position of having the best programming in all of radio."
2005-09-11: Last week was yet another in which extraneous matters were of more importance in the regulatory world than the routine work of the agency - in the form of Hurricane Katrina in the US and the continuing political discussion in Canada - decided at the very end of the week in favour of the satellite licensees by a cabinet committee - of whether the grant of satellite radio licences there should be referred back to the regulator.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Agency (ACMA), is seeking comments on proposals, which follow requests from the licensees of 8-SAT (Freshstream FM) and 4RBL, to change the technical specification of the services that include increases in maximum effective radiated power, change of transmitter sites, frequency changes, changes to antenna height and to radiation patterns.
8-SAT services would be affected at Bourke, NSW; Jabiru, Northern Territory; Ceduna/Smoky Bay, Coober Pedy, Coonalpyn, Kapunda, Karoonda, Kingscote, Kingston SE, Maitland, Minlaton, Padthaway East, Pinnaroo, Roxby Downs, Streaky Bay and Woomera, South Australia; and Lake Mountain, Victoria, and those of 4RBL at Chinchilla, Dirranbandi, Taroom, Wandoan and Weipa, Queensland.
In addition ACMA is proposing to make FM channel capacity available for a second commercial radio service, Rebel Radio Network's 4BRZ (Breeze) at Bourke, Chinchilla and Weipa.
The ACMA also rules that Sydney talk station 2UE had breached the Australian complaints handling code and that New South Wales community radio station 2BCR, Bankstown, had exceeded limits on broadcasting sponsorship announcements (See RNW Sep 6).
The ACMA also published the first edition of its new monthly magazine ACMAsphere: The 24-page publication gives details of its activities since it was founded.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is still awaiting, as noted, to hear if the Canadian government will send back for reconsideration its June approval of two satellite radio services for the country.
It was also involved in a number of routine radio licence decisions including:
*Approval of power increase from 1,800 watts to 18.700 watts for CJLF-FM, Barrie.
*Approval of new 750 watts transmitter at Huntsville for CJLF-FM, Barrie.
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licence of CJLF-FM, Barrie, and its transmitters CJLF-FM-1, Owen Sound, and CJLF-FM-2, Peterborough.
The CRTC also issued a public notice regarding various applications with a deadline for comment of October 12: They were for:
*Application to add a 48-watts FM transmitter at Sussex, New Brunswick, and a 50-watts FM transmitter at Amherst, Nova Scotia, to rebroadcast the programming of Christian music CITA-FM, Moncton, New Brunswick, and also to relocate the transmitter and increase the antenna height for CITA-FM.
Application by CING-FM, Hamilton, Ontario, to broadcast a Tamil-language service using a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channel.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced plans to develop a Code of Programme Standards (See RNW Sep 8) and also announced details of its radio licensing plans in the republic (See RNW Sep 10).
In the UK, Ofcom has announced the award of three new commercial FM licences - for the Solent region, Torbay and Swindon (See RNW Sep 6) and also advertised new North East regional FM and Plymouth FM licences as well as awarding a further ten community licences (See RNW Sep 10)
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is again remaining open this weekend in view of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina; the commissioners have praised the work done in the affected areas by communications and media companies (See RNW Sep 7) and following a visit to the affected area chairman Kevin J. Martin and commissioner Michael J. Copps issued a statement saluting the "Herculean efforts" of the employees of carrier companies to restore services to the area.
Its open meeting, to be held next Thursday, will focus on "presentations regarding the effects of Hurricane Katrina on communications services in the Gulf Coast states."
The FCC has also issued a USD 7,000 penalty on Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc., licensee of KRIT-FM, Parker, Arizona, for failure to maintain a local main studio and a public phone number in its community of license. Farmworker had not denied the offences but argued for cancellation of the penalty on the basis that it had established the main studio for KRIT at the KRIT transmitter site but that rules did not require that it maintain a meaningful staff presence at the studio; it also argued that it was unable to obtain either a local or toll-free telephone number due to a dispute between the local telephone company and the tribe which owns the KRIT studio/transmitter site. The FCC rejected the arguments and confirmed the penalty.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-09-11: Both Sirius Canada and XM have formally welcomed a Canadian Federal Cabinet committee decision to approve their subscription radio licences granted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in June (See RNW Jun 17) but the decision was condemned by groups that had opposed the licences because of Canadian content concerns- the service will carry only eight Canadian channels, half of them French language.
The decision is expected to lead terrestrial broadcasters to query current Canadian content regulation - generally 35% for music although it is less for some formats such as "oldies" and
Ian Morrison, a spokesman for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting termed it "a black day," adding, "In effect, the Americans have won."
His comments were supported by the Canadian Recording Industry Association whose president Graham Henderson said in a statement, "Our country's long-standing and successful Canadian content policy has been dealt a blow."
"I know that all of us, on both sides of the satellite radio debate, place enormous value on a vibrant, home-grown culture," he added. "We look forward to working with our colleagues in the broadcasting and cultural communities to heal the rifts opened by this debate, and to working together to secure a strong future for Canadian culture."
On the satellite radio side, XM President and CEO Hugh Panero said in a statement that they were "very pleased" by the decision and looked forward to working with our Canadian partner CSR to provide Canadians with the world-class programming and leading-edge technology that have made XM Satellite Radio the industry leader and one of the fastest-growing consumer electronics products ever."
Sirius Canada CEO Kevin Shea said they were "delighted that cabinet has confirmed the CRTC's decision and we look forward to bringing satellite radio service to Canadians as quickly as possible."
"Having listened and responded to the concerns expressed over the recent weeks, we are confident that will be bringing a stronger product to market, a product that meets the unique needs of Canadian listeners, and artists," he added.
Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Standard Broadcasting, which with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Sirius Satellite Radio is a partner in Sirius Canada, said the decisions was "good news for Canadian artists because it will provide an unprecedented platform to reach a larger audience," and added, "In addition, Canadian artists will benefit from Sirius Canada's planned CAD 22 million (USD 18.7 million) investment toward French and English talent development initiatives over the next 7 years."
For the CBC, Michel Tremblay, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development said "As the national public broadcaster we are particularly pleased that subscribers will have access not only to its core services, Radio One and La Première chaîne, but also two new music services available exclusively on satellite radio throughout North America."
Previous Sirius/Sirius Canada:
Previous Standard Radio:
Canadian Recording Industry Association web site:
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting web site:
2005-09-11: India's FM broadcasters, following two meetings last week, are to lobby the government over its latest plans for the industry, in particular over its proposed financial requirements that bidders for some 335 licences in 90 cities will have to meet.
They complain that these requirements - up to a minimum net worth of INR 10 crore (INR 100 million, USD 2.3 million) for a company that wants to have stations in all cities (See RNW Aug 19) are onerous because of the effect on their valuations because of losses made under the earlier regime of high fixed licence fees.
The meetings were steered by A. P. Parigi, CEO of The Times of India Group-owned Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL -which runs Radio Mirchi), and he also commented on the stipulations that a licensee will not be allowed to sell the business for five years, saying that this could cause significant delays in re-allocating frequencies should an operator go out of business.
The group wants the requirement cut to three years: Parigi noted that the fate of most new businesses would be decided within this period.
He also commented adversely on the exclusion of foreigners from the boards of radio companies although foreign investment of up to a fifth is to be allowed.
Other comments by the operators are to allow ownership of multiple frequencies in India's top nine cities - at the moment a company will only be allowed one frequency in any city - and that within a limitation of ownership of up to 15% of the total number of licences and also to allow them to broadcast news and current affairs.
On the latter they point out that this restriction does not apply to satellite radio - WorldSpace, which is the only satellite operator currently in operation in India, already offers several news channels.
Yet another concern is that of transmitter requirements - in 81 cities transmitters would have to use existing All India Radio (AIR) or Doordarshan towers and in others towers would have to be constructed by the Information Ministry through Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL). The operators say that these requirements should be changed and also, in view of heavy penalties to be levied on operators who fail to get on air to deadline, that should BECIL cause delays it should suffer the penalties.
Previous Indian Radio:
2005-09-11: Former Capital FM host Neil "Dr" Fox joins Emap's Magic FM in London hosting the breakfast show from tomorrow; he takes over from Graham Dean, who had been in the role for seven years.
Dean, who is also a former Capital FM DJ, will switch to afternoon drive, moving in the opposite direction to Fox who was afternoon drive host on Capital until he was replaced by Richard Bacon in May this year.
2005-09-10: As Canadian broadcasting remains mired in two disputes, one that has led to a lock-out of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) staff and the other over the future of satellite radio for the country, little progress appears to have been made on either front.
Regarding satellite radio, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian federal cabinet, following failure of an ad hoc cabinet committee to reach consensus earlier in the week, has taken the unusual move of putting the matter in the hands of its 13-member operations committee.
The paper says the move "is the latest sign that the Liberal government is deeply divided over the issue and that the furious lobbying on both sides of the issue is having an effect."
The government has until Wednesday next week to decide whether to approve grant of satellite radio licences or send the matter back to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for reconsideration.
The paper says ministers from Atlantic Canada and Quebec are largely in favour of sending the ruling back to the CRTC, while most of those from Southern Ontario and the West are seen to support the regulator's decision to give the okay to three applicants for subscription-based radio licences.
As well as the companies directly involved - Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR), which is a partnership with XM, and Sirius Canada this is a partnership including Sirius, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Standard Radio, plus CHUM and Astral, who were awarded a licence for a terrestrial subscription service are opposing the satellite licence grant and say that their service cannot be viable if the two satellite operations go ahead, there has been significant lobbying from other groups.
Automobile manufacturers back the satellite bids and say they need a speedy decision to be able to install receivers in their vehicles whilst opposition, centred largely over Canadian content issues, includes that from a group of Canadian artists who say the current proposals will put Canadian content into a "Ghetto": Other artists welcome greater exposure for their work in the US.
In the case of the CBC dispute, centred on the use of contract rather than staff workers, talks are continuing with updated indicating more agreements on what management have termed "minor issues" but some hope that the nomination of screenwriter and journalist Guy Fournier as new chairman of the CBC's board of directors could lead the board to move to resolve the dispute.
The appointment was welcomed by the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), which represents most CBC staff and union president Lise Lareau told the Toronto Star, "None of us really know too much about Mr. Fournier, but I'm happy there's finally a chair, or at least a proposed chair. I think the fact there hasn't been a chair has led to some of this tumult."
Lareau said the Guild hopes Fournier will curb the influence of CBC President Robert Rabinovitch, who the union contends has had a free hand since former chairperson Carole Taylor stepped down in the spring.
"There has effectively been no checks and balances in the system, the man who has managed this lockout has also effectively been chair of the board," she said, adding, "What we're hoping is the whole board of directors seizes more control over this whole situation."
The paper says the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, an independent watchdog group, was more sceptical about the appointment changing things.
Ian Morrison, a spokesperson for the group, said, "Guy Fournier is a very talented person, but Canadians would be misled if they thought this will affect the current situation. The president is not accountable to the board ... until that issue is dealt with nothing can really change."
Previous Sirius/Sirius Canada:
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
Toronto Star report:
2005-09-10: UK media regulator Ofcom has advertised two more commercial FM licences and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced details of its three-year plan for additional commercial stations in the republic that its Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said will significantly change the Irish broadcasting landscape.
The BCI is planning, subject to approval from the country's Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), to seek applications for a range of services throughout the country that will include three new regional youth services, a quasi-national speech-based service, a national Christian service on AM with FM relays, a classic rock service for Dublin and the commuter belt, a multi-city classic gold/smooth service (single contract), and Country and Irish music services for the North-East and Mid-West regions.
The awards are to be made in two phases, the first of which will include the following:
*Existing National radio service - Expressions of interest September 2005
*Quasi-national speech-based service- Applications October 2005
*Existing Limerick City and County Local service plus Broad-based local FM radio service Limerick City and County -Expressions of interest January 2006
*Regional youth service South West: Counties, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary and South-west Laois- Applications February / March 2006
*Regional youth service North West: Counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon and Galway - Applications May 2006
*Regional youth service North East/Midlands: Counties Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Kildare, North-east Laois, Offaly and Westmeath - Applications September 2006
*Christian and Religious Service - Quasi-national AM with low-power FM relays - Applications July 2006
In the second phase will be
*Country and Irish music service Mid-West Region: Counties Limerick, Galway, Clare and parts of Co. Tipperary and Co. Kerry
*Country and Irish music service North-East Region: North Kildare, Co. Meath, Co. Louth and parts of Counties Cavan and Monaghan
*Classic Rock service Dublin and Commuter Belt Area
*Classic Gold/easy listening/smooth service Multi-City and County: Dublin City and County and commuter belt, Cork City and County, Limerick City and County, and Galway City and County (single contract).
In the UK Ofcom has advertised a new North-East regional FM licence to cover the main Tyne & Wear and Teesside conurbations in North-East England that have an adult population of around 2 million and a new commercial FM for Plymouth in Devon with around a tenth of that.
Applications for both have to be submitted by December 8 with a non-refundable fee of GBP 25,000 (45,900) for the regional licence and of GBP 5,000 (USD 9,200) for the Plymouth licence.
Ofcom also announced the award of ten new community licences and opted not to award licences to four more applicants.
The licences awarded went to:
*BCB (Bradford), which is currently broadcasting a pilot access/community radio service, which commenced in March 2002.
*Phoenix Radio, (Halifax).
*ALL FM, (Ardwick, Longsight, Levenshulme and surrounding areas to the south of central Manchester), which began broadcasting one of the pilot access/community radio services in June 2002.
*Wythenshawe FM, (Wythenshawe, South Manchester).
*Chorley FM, (Chorley, Lancashire).
*Crescent Radio, (Rochdale, Lancashire).
*Future Radio, (Norwich).
*The Superstation, (Orkney Islands).
*Radio Scilly, (Isles of Scilly).
In addition Ofcom noted that it turned down applications from four stations and is still considering further licences for the West Yorkshire areas but is unable to make decisions on these applications pending further work on the availability of suitable FM frequencies in these areas. It also noted that it had opted not to award licences to the following:
*Canalside Community Radio in Bollington, Cheshire.
*Wayland Community Radio, Watton and Swaffham, Central Norfolk.
*The Edge FM, Haverhill, Suffolk.
*Drive FM, Derry/Londonderry.
Ofcom also announced the appointment of two new members to its Advisory Committee For England: They are Azam Mamujee from Leicester, who is Chief Executive Officer of Mcubed, a company which provides business consulting and accountancy services and Anne Scorer from Bristol, a former independent producer who ran her own documentary production company before creating and managing the broadbandshow, a Department of Trade and Industry funded initiative which demonstrated the impact broadband can have on small businesses.
2005-09-10: Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) speedily granted a low power FM licence, efforts by Austin Airwaves to set up 3 micro-radio stations, inside the Houston Astrodome and other emergency shelters in Houston to disseminate information to survivors of Hurricane Katrina appear to have been pole-axed by the Harris County Official and Incident Commander of the Joint Information Committee, RW Royal.
According to a posting on its web site by Houston indymedia the project had received national support from radio activists, service providers, City Councillors, FEMA Public Information Officers, and Texas Governor Rick Perry's office, as well as approval from survivors of Katrina.
A posting by Jacob Applebaum says people he spoke to on the ground were "overjoyed to hear that they would get a radio station with emergency information, with information on job interviews, food, housing, lost children, found person, clothing and other important information."
The Village Voice reported that security concerns were given as the reason to bar the station and quotes Gloria Roemer, a spokesperson for Harris County, which has jurisdiction over the Astrodome complex as saying,"They wanted unlimited access to the buildings, which we could not give to anyone in the media."
She also said that FEMA officials felt they could not allocate "scarce" electricity, office space, and phone and Internet access to the volunteer station - although the volunteers had said they could run it on batteries, that they would provide, had their own cell phones, and had also, following expressed fears of fights over radio receivers, agreed to provide 10,000 cheap, Walkman-style radios with batteries.
Donated radios continue to arrive at KPFT-FM, the local Pacifica network station, and volunteers say they plan to begin distributing them anyway in hopes they can set up some kind of station in the Astrodome parking lot, or else partner with KPFT to provide news for hurricane survivors.
Council member Ada Edwards, who represents a mostly black district in central Houston commented, "I'm very disappointed. One of the real challenges of this big tragedy has been access to communication--open and honest communication. I really hoped this would be an open outlet for people to get information that was unscripted and that would really address their needs."
Freelance radio consultant from Austin Jim Ellinger said, People were asking things like how can I get my FEMA check, do my kids need shots for school, can I get a free cell phone, how do I get out information about missing family members. This is complicated stuff that you can't really address on a booming public address system. The mainstream radio stations are more focused on broadcasting to the general public about where to donate to hurricane relief, so there was no place for survivors to go to get what they need. "
"We talked to cops, volunteers, church groups-everyone said it was a good idea."
RNW comment: Not being on the ground it is unwise to dismiss security fears but we do tend to feel they were probably being overblown and certainly once things have settled down a little it would be a considerable public service for the Houston media to do speak to people who were in the dome and report on whether the decision to bar the station was justified on the grounds given.
If it was, it clears the officials concerned to their benefit in view of the various comments being made to the effect that the true purpose was to clamp down on information from the site: If not their deserve to come under proper public scrutiny.
In either case our gut reaction to decisions that have barred media from the dome except on 15-minute guided tours is to wonder what the US has come to and why it is felt that reporters, who presumably can be made aware of any risk to themselves, cannot be allowed unaccompanied to speak to people.
Houston Indymedia web site:
Village Voice report:
2005-09-10: BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra are to host the first offerings from the BBC's Creative Archive Licence project that allows people in the UK to watch, download and edit BBC clips and programming for non-commercial purposes.
The project was launched in April this year by founding members the BBC, the bfi, Channel 4 and the Open University and the BBC has inaugurated it with the launch of a video jockey competition.
For it material will be posted - in QuickTime, Windows Media and MPEG1 formats- on the two station web sites and listeners will be invited to download all the BBC clips and build a three-minute VJ mix from them.
The best mix will win VJ equipment and the winner will VJ live to a mix of their choice on Radio 1 or 1Xtra.
The footage available is taken from BBC programmes and includes material covering natural history, wildlife, science, locations, and art.
Radio 1 Controller Andy Parfitt commented of the competition, "It's a great opportunity for Radio 1. We are increasing the visual aspects of Radio 1 and 1Xtra and this is going to be spot on. My experience of the creativity of our audience leaves me in no doubt that together we'll make some great material."
2005-09-10: Radio One Inc. has announced that October 2000 loans of USD 7 million and USD 2 million made respectively to EVP and CFO Scott Royster and Chief Administrative Officer Lina Vilardo to purchase company stock have now been partially repaid by the former and fully by the latter.
The loans were made to enable the purchase of 1 million and 250,000 shares of common stock and Vilardo's loan, due in October 2008, has been fully repaid with 174,754 Class D shares whilst Royster's loan, due in October 2010, was partially repaid with 300,000 shares of the Company's Class A common stock and 230,000 shares of the Company's Class D common stock: He now owes approximately USD 1.5 million.
Radio One says it is retiring the shares that were used for repayment thus reducing its issued and outstanding shares by 704,754.
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2005-09-09: Disney's ABC Radio Networks has announced an exclusive licensing agreement with SparkNet Communications L.P. to develop and market the Jack-FM radio format for national distribution in the US.
The agreement gives it exclusive rights to create, market, and sell a fully produced and locally integrated broadcast of Jack-FM programming to stations across the country and Jack-FM will be marketed and sold to stations through ABC Radio Networks from the start of October.
"The explosive growth and popularity of Jack-FM has spawned numerous imitators but none have the research and depth of the original," said Jim Robinson, president of ABC Radio Networks. "We are very excited to be working with SparkNet Communications to offer Jack-FM in a turn-key package. This unique product will enable station owners and operators to create new marketing opportunities for their advertising partners."
2005-09-09: SMG has reported a 68% increase in underlying pre-tax profits to GBP 6.7 million (USD 12.3 million) with operating Profit up 21% to GBP 13.7 million (USD 25.1 million) on revenues up 7% to GBP 94.9 million (USD 174.1 million) in the six months to the end of June with growth in all parts of its business.
In divisional terms its Out of Home revenues were up 9% to GBP 22.1 million (USD 40.5 million), made up from a 15% increase in its Primesight outdoor operations, and a 5% increase at its Pearl & Dean cinema advertising operation; TV revenues were up 7% to GBP 62.2 million (USD 114.1 million) - operating profits were up 28% to GBP 10.4 million (USD 19.1 million); and Virgin radio revenues were up 4% to GBP 10.6 million (USD 19.5 million), compared to a 3% fall in the overall radio market in the period. Radio operating profits were up 13% to GBP 2.6 million (USD 4.8 million).
SMG said all its businesses all outperformed the market during the period "as they continued to benefit from strong market positions and the shifting pattern of advertising spend" but warned that the "advertising markets remain short term and erratic and the anticipated slowdown in the second quarter, due to seasonal effects, the General Election and the absence of major sporting events, was exacerbated by concerns over consumer spending and the wider UK economy."
"These conditions," it said, "have persisted through the summer, although we are now seeing some firming up of advertising spend."
Chairman Chris Masters commented, "This improvement in operational performance, coupled with the number of growth opportunities we have identified across our businesses, has underpinned our confidence in the longer term prospects of the Group" and chief executive Andrew Flanagan, Chief Executive, added, "We have made significant progress across the Group in the first half of the year with improved margins, the benefit of positive regulatory decisions in television and strengthened development prospects."
SMG has fought off a bid for Virgin Radio from a group led by Lord Waheed Ali and rumours of a bid from Clear Channel for its outdoor operations came to naught (See RNW Feb 28) and Flanagan added that there had been no further takeover approaches in the and that radio remained a "core part of the group" with potential for Virgin Radio, especially with digital development - Virgin's national signal is on AM thus giving it significant technical improvement when on digital channels.
SMG says it has made good progress in developing its digital services -- Virgin Radio Classic Rock introduced live daytime programming in June and has extended its distribution with a launch on the Sky digital satellite platform and cable terms now agreed with Telewest and the company at the start of this week launched Virgin Radio Xtreme, which is available online, on Sky and on DAB in London.
In US radio business Entravision has priced its Tender Offer, issued last month, for the yield of any or all of USD 225 million worth its 8.125% Senior Subordinated Notes Due 2009: This will be 4.189%, determined by reference to a fixed spread of 0.50% over the yield to maturity based on the bid side price of the 1.50% U.S. Treasury Note due March 31, 2006.
Also in the US, the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina has led Entercom to reduce its guidance issued in August of 2005 same-station revenue growth of 3% to 4% although it says it will make the figure for its operations excluding its New Orleans stations.
Entercom has six stations in the city - WWL-AM, WSMB-AM, WTKL-FM, WKBU-FM, WLMG-FM and WEZB-FM - that together accounted for around 6% of its revenues.
Commenting in the same release as the latest update, President & CEO David J. Field said, While this disaster is a horrible short-term blow to the communities of The Gulf Coast, I could not be prouder of the staff of Entercom's radio stations and WWL in particular for providing critical information and life-saving communications throughout the hurricane and its unfortunate aftermath."
"Operating under extremely hazardous conditions, the team has provided hundreds of thousands of citizens with their only lifeline for news and information," he added. "While it is painful to know that so many are suffering, we are comforted by the vision of a vibrant future New Orleans that will retain its spirited, soulful exuberance and remain one of America's most special places."
As well as involvement of its stations in general fund raising for Katrina Victims that Entercom and many other groups and stations and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) are involved in, Entercom has also set up the Entercom New Orleans Employee Relief Fund, to provide financial aid to its approximately 150 New Orleans-based employees with initial contributions including YUSD 250,000 from the company and what it terms significant personal donations from Field and the company's chairman Joseph M. Field who founded Entercom in 1968.
The NAB has designated today a "BroadcastUnity Day" and is asking all US radio and TV stations to dedicate at least one minute each hour to promote relief efforts: An eponymous web site was set up by NAB serve as a central repository for PSAs, BroadcastUnity Day information, resources, charities and stories about what broadcasters are doing around the country to aid in Hurricane Katrina relief.
President and CEO Edward O. Fritts commented, "As the association that represents America's local radio and television stations, we felt it was imperative that we provide a timely, easy-to-access resource to our stations. We encourage all broadcasters to check the site frequently for updated information, and to gather ideas from other broadcasters on what can be done for victims of this natural disaster."
BroadcastUnity web site:
2005-09-09: In further developments in digital radio, consumer electronics manufacturers are showcasing HD AM and FM receivers at CEDIA Expo 2005 in Indianapolis this week and in Europe DAB and DRM receivers will be showcased at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, which opens tomorrow.
At CEDIA, iBiquity HD radio can be heard at booths run by ADA, Boston Acoustics, Rotel and Yamaha: Indianapolis has a total of 14 stations broadcasting using iBiquity's HD technology and the company's President and CEO Robert Struble commented, "Following a successful introduction in the mobile audio market, we are now seeing the first HD Radio receivers for the home begin to reach consumers. The excitement for these new products has been further heightened by the recent explosion of interest in multicasting, which allows FM stations to offer new programming channels."
In another HD receiver launch, Kenwood has announced that it is now shipping its USD 480 KTC-HR100TR HD Radio auto sound tuner, "the first in the industry built from scratch to feature FM Multicasting": Kenwood says the tuner can connect with over 40 current Kenwood mobile audio receivers, mobile video receivers, and controllers to provide HD Radio with Multicasting.
It supports the simultaneous broadcast of three or more independent audio and text streams on a single FM frequency and will indicate the station name, artist and song title on the head unit display.
In Europe the attention is on combined DAB/ DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale)"/AM-FM and Short Wave receivers that were unveiled at IFA in Berlin (See RNW Sep 9).
RadioScape has supplied four digital radio multiplexes for use in a major trial of digital radio in the Netherlands, which will be showcased during IBC 2005 in the RAI Exhibition Centre, Amsterdam
RadioScape says the trial will cover a number of different transmission modes including standard DAB audio and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) video and audio using enhanced DAB MPEG2-TS streaming, which will be used for IBC TV broadcasts during the show.
Other options include multimedia transport using EPM (Enhanced Packet Mode) and innovative enhancements to the existing DAB audio format.
WorldDAB announced the ETSI publication of the DMB extensions to the Eureka-147 DAB Standard in July this year, and is currently in the process of ratifying the EPM standard.
RadioScape's Broadcast Infrastructure Manager Nick Banks commented, "Being able to broadcast these different technologies is a testament to the flexibility that our Software Defined Digital Radio approach provides. We can address this requirement using our existing broadcast platforms by simply updating the relevant software stacks. The combination of our software defined radio architecture and close cooperation with WorldDAB has allowed RadioScape to implement the new standards very quickly and hence allow our customers to be first to market with advanced services."
Amongst broadcasters already airing DRM services are BBC World Service, which transmits 18 hours a day to the Benelux countries, and neighbouring parts of France and Germany, RTL Group, which announced at IFA that it is broadcasting three DRM services, in German, French and English; Deutsche Welle, which is broadcasting 90 hours of DRM content per day, and will launch a new channel designed for European listeners in 2006; and Deutschland Radio, which is broadcasting 24 hours of DRM content per day on both medium-wave and long-wave, and has announced that all its transmitters will be DRM-capable by 2006 for German national broadcasts.
In addition, UK commercial broadcasters Virgin Classic Rock, Classic Gold Digital, Asian Sound Radio, Premier Christian Radio and CVC conducted a medium-wave DRM pilot scheme in the
UK, provided by VT Communications andDRM programs from Radio Sweden, TDF Radio, Radio Vatican, Radio New Zealand International, Radio Australia, Radio Taiwan International, TalkSPORT, Radio Kuwait, Radio Korea International, BYU Radio, SWR Das Ding, biteXpress, Bavarian Radio B2-B5akt and Campus Radio are also available in Europe.
RadioScape has also announced that it is to show its new Enhanced Packet Mode (EPM) technology for transmitting live multimedia services to mobile devices at IB: this is similar to Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) in that it is based on Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) with additional forward error correction and interleaving and the first commercial deployment of EPM technology is as the heart of the recently launched BT Livetime trial service in the UK.
The trial uses the latest version of RadioScape's IP Gateway that allows for the removal of UDP/IP headers to maximise bandwidth and is RTP-aware to ensure that there is no packet loss from the data source. RadioScape says EPM is better than DMB in circumstances where the delivery of data is bursty or the data rate of the streams is relatively low.
RadioScape is already one of the leading providers of DMB broadcast equipment with systems already installed in China, Korea, and Europe.
2005-09-09: International satellite radio company WorldSpace has reported a net loss in the second quarter of the year cut to less than half that of a year earlier at USD 22.0 million (USD 0.95 per share) compared to USD 52.3 million (USD 9.04 per share) a year earlier.
WorldSpace, which went public last month, raising USD 224 million (See RNW Aug 7) had revenues of USD 2.3 million, up 21% on a year earlier, and said it had nearly quadrupled subscriber revenue which was up 390% to USD 800,000: It has continued the rollout of its service in key cities in India, including Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad and at the end of June had 63,930 subscribers, an increase of 11,427 for the quarter.
Chairman and CEO Noah Samara commented, "The second quarter of 2005 was a critical time for WorldSpace as we prepared for our initial public offering, ramped up our marketing campaign in India and continued planning for the rollout of services in Western Europe and China -- markets where we enjoy a first-mover advantage. We also continued to form strategic partnerships and add new customer-driven content to our satellite radio offerings, especially in India, an under-served and highly attractive market for our products. Lastly, we continued to provide services to U.S. government agencies under existing contracts, all of which position us well for growth and expansion in the year ahead."
2005-09-08: According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, a seven-strong group of Canada's federal cabinet ministers has been unable to agree over the future of satellite radio in the country and is to make no recommendation to the cabinet as to whether the June grant of satellite radio licences should be sent back to the Canadian Ratio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for further consideration.
The 45-day window for responding to appeals against the grant is September 14 and it is still unclear how the government will proceed; the Prime Minister's Office or the Privy Council could tell the ad hoc committee it must make a recommendation, or hand the issue to another cabinet committee.
Alternatively the cabinet, which has only one meeting scheduled before the deadline, could make the decision itself or give authority to one of its committees to decide without full cabinet approval, although this kind of action would be rare.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2005-09-08: According to the New York Sun then-Air America Radio chairman Evan Cohen and host Al Franken were amongst those who in November last year signed a confidential agreement concerning repayment of USD 875,000 to Bronx organisation the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club.
Cohen had worked as a fundraiser for the club at the time and was also chairman of then-Air America owner Progress Media at the time the funds were loaned; Air America was subsequently taken over by Piquant LLC, which has said it will repay the money, although not legally bound to do so. It says the arrangements between the company and Gloria Wise were the work of Cohen, and the now defunct Progress Media.
The Sun says, however, that the November "settlement agreement" was also signed by the Piquant LLC, and Cohen's business partner, Rex Sorensen: It adds that in the 61-page document, seen by paper, the parties indemnified each other from lawsuits.
Lawyers representing Multicultural Broadcasting, which is suing Piquant and other parties for more than USD 1 million it says it is owed, received the agreement after issuing subpoenas in connection with the pending lawsuit.
Franken told the paper that, on the advice of his lawyer, Gunnar Erickson, he signed the agreement last fall that erased legal claims he had against. Cohen and Sorensen because they owed him money, but he said he did not see the list of liabilities that included the Gloria Wise transfers. "I am not an investor, and I didn't see this thing," he said.
Cohen told the paper no one at the radio network knew about the transfers while they occurred, - between October 2003 and March 2004- but added he resented Air America's insinuation that it was repaying the Bronx non-profit group out of a "moral obligation."
"It absolutely was a legal obligation on their behalf," he said, referring to the confidential settlement "
Of his dealings he said he was proud to be involved in launching the network but he regretted the Gloria Wise transfers, which he termed "loans" that were to be paid back with no interest.
"I'm saddened by my behaviour in that realm," he said.
New York City is investigating what it terms "inappropriate transactions" and has frozen all grants to and contracts with the Club.
Previous Air America/Piquant:
New York Sun report:
2005-09-08: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced plans to develop a Code of Programme Standards that would apply to all licensed radio and TV broadcasters in the country and "address the concepts of taste, decency, harm and offence with regard to radio and television broadcasting": It expects the code to be in place by Autumn 2006.
Speaking at a media briefing to launch the plans, BCI chairperson Conor Maguire said, "Making determinations on what is likely to cause harm or offence to viewers and listeners is not a new phenomenon, broadcasters have had to grapple with such issues since broadcasting began. The challenge for the BCI will be to develop a Code which balances appropriate protection with freedom of expression and broadcasting is a key means by which that right to expression is exercised in society."
"Our aim," he continued, " is that this statutory Code will provide a broad set of principles and rules which provide clarity to broadcasters and audiences, but crucially which will acknowledge the diversity of taste and interests that exist and facilitate broadcasting that caters for this diversity".
The BCI says it is to develop the code in three phases with public consultation, a workshop with broadcasters and a national attitudinal survey to capture views on what is offensive to viewers and listeners in Ireland.
For the first phase it has produced and posted on its site a 28 page consultation document in the introduction to which it says the code will aim "not to censor, sanitise or deconstruct, but to promote responsible broadcasting where entertainment, education and access to information is enhanced and offence and harm reduced. The code will afford broadcasters the opportunity to offer a range of content and choice without mitigating against its potential to inform the viewer and listener and provide protection for children and for those viewers/listeners who do not wish to be exposed to particular programming material."
BCI Consultation site (With links to consultation document 608 KB 28 page PDF and to comment):
BCI Research report: Taste and Decency: A review of national and international practice (225 Page PDF 1.57MB):
2005-09-08: Salem Communications has announced that it is to enter the Orlando, Florida, market through a station swap with James Crystal Broadcasting valued at more than USD 6 million.
Under the deal it acquires business talk WORL-AM in exchange for its gospel KNIT-AM in the Dallas, Texas, market; Salem acquired KNIT - which is on the frequency formerly occupied by KBOX-AM, the first 24 all country 24-hour radio station in the US - by as part of a station swap with Univision agreed in 2004 and completed this year (See RNW Apr 7). The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year assuming it gains regulatory approval.
In Canada, Rogers Media has announced details of the locations of its three new Maritimes English-language news-talk FM stations - in Moncton, New Brunswick (40,300 watts CKNI-FM), Saint John, Newfoundland (79,000 watts CHNI-FM) and Halifax, Nova Scotia (22,100 watts CJNI-FM) - for which it was awarded the licences in November last year (See RNW Licence News Nov 28, 2004).
The stations are due to launch in October and Rogers says it expects to employ some 50 people.
2005-09-08: UK Chrysalis finance director Nigel Butterfield is to take early retirement and will leave by the end of the year according to the group although it says he will be available to it part time next year. It has appointed headhunters to find a replacement.
His departure comes as the group is seen as a potential target in consolidation of the UK radio industry and some investors have criticised it for missing out in acquisitions.
2005-09-07: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin and his fellow commissioners Kathleen Q. Abernathy, Jonathan S. Adelstein, and Michael J. Copps have publicly praised the work of broadcasters and others in the communications industry for their work following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
In a joint statement they say, "In addition to its other tragic consequences - including tremendous loss of life and widespread property damage - Hurricane Katrina severely shook the communications network in the Gulf Coast and restoring all these links will be as challenging a communication mission as we have ever confronted. "
"Dedicated employees from wireline, wireless, broadcast, cable, and satellite companies are working around the clock to restore communications services to millions of customers. We commend the rapid response we have witnessed from all segments of the communications industry. We know that the industry, like those of us at the Commission, is sparing no effort in restoring service to the Gulf Coast."
" Our deepest thanks go out to the thousands of communications company employees who, at great sacrifice, have been working non-stop for the past week to repair the communications infrastructure that is relied upon by the entire nation."
2005-09-07: Interep has lost yet another account to Katz Media with the announcement by Radio One Inc. that it has moved all its business covering 69 stations in 22 markets: The company had in the past dealt with both companies and it warns in the announcement that it may need to take a non-cash charge in the third quarter of 2005 to reflect the termination payments Katz will make to "the other national sales representation firm with which the Company had previously done business" and adds, "The future operating expenses of the Company will be reduced by the amount of this charge over the life of the contract with Katz."
Radio One President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, commented, "We are excited to expand our partnership with Katz Media. Over the years they have proven to ably represent approximately half of our station portfolio. This new Agreement expands their responsibilities to our entire portfolio. We look forward to Katz's historical successes carrying over to these additional radio stations."
Interep President and COO George Pine commented in a statement that noted that Radio One's business formed was only 4% of Interep's total commission revenue, "We have had a long, successful partnership with Radio One. They have always supported and been an integral part of our ongoing efforts to educate the ad community about the importance of Urban Radio. We remain more committed than ever to serving our current partners in the important Urban community." He added, "While we understand their desire to consolidate all of their stations under one national rep, we believe Interep is the best home for independent broadcasters and offers them the best prospects for long-term growth Interep continues to add new stations to our roster so we are confident that we will replace this revenue with additional clients in the near future."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2005-09-07: A BBC report has criticised its Radio 4 "Today" breakfast show presenter John Humphrys for making what it terms "inappropriate and misguided" comments in a speech made at the Communications Director's Forum in June and publicised in the Times newspaper last Saturday. It is not to take further action.
The UK Guardian subsequently reported that Tim Allan, a colleague of British Prime Minister Tony Blair who had courted him to become his director of communications, had admitted passing details to the paper after the event organiser had said that he had been the only recipient of a video and transcript of the speech.
In a news release the BBC said that although Humphrys "was speaking in an informal and personal capacity at a private conference and not at a BBC event some of the comments could be "used to question his - and therefore by extension - the BBC's own impartiality."
In the speech, which were posted by the Times and Sunday Times as a transcript and video, Humphrys poked fun or took digs at a number of Labour ministers or former ministers including Blair, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, and former minister and now EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson as well as officials, notably Blair's former director of communications Alastair Campbell whom he termed, "pretty malevolent force . . . who has been waging a vendetta against me for a long time."
He also said that Today correspondent Andrew Gilligan's report on the programme alleging that Downing Street had deliberately inserted false information to "sex up" intelligence on Iraq, was largely true and that Members of Parliament had to be prepared to lie if they were to become a minister.
On the latter the Times reported him as subsequently saying, "I genuinely do not believe that all politicians lie. The point I was trying to make, perhaps ham fistedly, is that there are occasions when politicians cannot tell the truth because of issues like collective responsibility. If you are always going to be open, frank and honest you will not get on."
The BBC says its Director-General Mark Thompson, for whom the report was compiled by Deputy Director-General, Mark Byford, who heads all BBC journalism, had accepted and endorsed the findings and communicated them to BBC Chairman Michael Grade.
Thompson commented, "John Humphrys is one of our finest news presenters. He is widely admired by the public for his vigorous and forthright interviews with politicians and others.
"Having read the report prepared for me by Mark Byford, as well as the full transcript of John's remarks, I am satisfied that John did not show any party political bias or lack of impartiality and that he did not intend to be contemptuous or dismissive about politics or politicians.
"However, some specific remarks were inappropriate and ran the risk of calling into question John's own impartiality and, by extension, that of the BBC. We've made it clear to him that this must not happen again.
"BBC presenters should be free to discuss topical issues in journalism in public, but they must do so in a way which does not risk undermining our audience's confidence in their - and our - objectivity, impartiality and courtesy."
UK Guardian report:
UK Sunday Times (Transcript of comments):
UK Times report (Carries link to video):
2005-09-07: Canadian cabinet ministers have been discussing the Canadian Ratio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision to grant two satellite radio licences to consortia including Sirius (Sirius Canada) and XM (Canadian Satellite Radio) and are reported by the Toronto Globe and Mail to be split over the issue.
They are to take a final decision at a full cabinet meeting tomorrow as to whether they will allow the decision to stand or to refer it back to the CRTC for further consideration, a move that would be highly unusual and that the satellite radio companies say would cost many jobs.
The paper quoted an unnamed senior government official as saying, "It would be fair to say there is no consensus view at this point. There is policy versus politics on this."
The politics relate to the amount of French language content - the satellite companies have each said they will increase this from two channels to four to stem this concern - and also to issues of preserving Canadian culture.
CHUM Ltd. and Astral Media Inc., who were granted a licence for a rival terrestrial audio subscription service that would have to carry a higher percentage of Canadian content, had led lobbying against the satellite licences, which they say makes their venture uneconomic.
CHUM vice-president Peter Miller told the paper, "I think this is fair to say this has become a highly politicised file. For those of us that are part of the appeal or advocating appeal, it's a fundamental issue of 'Cancon' [Canadian content] regulation and whether we believe it should continue or whether we believe that new technologies should be used . . . as an excuse to do away with [Canadian content regulations]."
Currently Canadian content regulations generally require 35% Canadian content on music stations although this is lower for some oldies formats whilst the satellite providers would only have 10%.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2005-09-07: SMG-owned Virgin Radio has announced that comedian Vic Reeves, who has already presented the station's Suggs' Virgin Party Classics show last month whilst Suggs (Graham McPherson, the front man of the ska band Madness) was on holiday, is to get his own weekday show.
Called Vic Reeves Big Night In the show will run from 1900-2200 on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting on September 21.
Reeves said in a statement, "I love Virgin Radio already, it plays my favourite music, and I will be like an ape in a confectioners. I have free reign on my show and I intend to abuse it by talking to parishioners from all over the UK in dulcet tones with quizzes and all manner of nonsense whilst playing the finest pop in Christendom."
Programme director Paul Jackson added, "I am amazed that Vic has not had his own radio show before, and after hearing him standing in for Suggs, we had to find him a slot. Our listeners grew up with Vic and his humour is perfect for the station."
2005-09-07: Australian and Canadian hosts Julie McCrossin and Erin Davis have returned to the airways with new breakfast shows this week, McCrossin on the (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ABC 702 breakfast show in Sydney and Davis back at CHFI-FM, Toronto.
Two years ago Davis was fired from the breakfast show that she had co-hosted with Bob Magee at Rogers' CHFI for 15-years (See RNW Jun 22, 2003) when general manager Julie Adam dropped the show in favour of former EZ-FM duo "Jay & Billie" (Jay Oliver and Billie Jo Ross- they were "Mad Dog and Billie" at Standard's E-Z Rock (CJEZ-FM)).
The change flopped and Davis, who had been given stand-in work as co-host of EZ Rock's breakfast show with Mike Cooper, of the "Mike & Christine" team while Christine (Cardoso) was on maternity leave helped boost EZ in the ratings; the show went to top rank in the time whilst CHFI fell from third to sixth.
Initially The Erin Davis Show, running from 05:00 to 09:00 will be co-hosted with current fill-in Darren Osbourne after which Cooper, who has left EZ, is expected to join her.
In Australia McCrossin, formerly host of ABC Radio National's Life Matters programme, has taken over the slot from former host Angela Catterns who moved to the same slot at DMG Australia's new Vega FM station.
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous DMG Australia:
2005-09-06: UK media regulator Ofcom has announced the award of three new commercial FMs - for the Solent region, Swindon and Torbay- including with the Solent award its first licence to be awarded to a foreign company.
In all 14 applications had been made for the Solent licence (See RNW May 7): it was awarded to an Adult Alternative bid from Original 106 FM Ltd: Original is 95% owned by CanWest MediaWorks UK Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CanWest Global Communications Corp, with the remaining 5% held by Seven Broadcast Ltd.
Amongst the other bids were a classic rock and sports from Emmis and bids from Emap, Saga, and SMG-owned Virgin.
CanWest is one of three foreign groups that have bid for UK licences, the others being Emmis and Macquarie Bank of Australia, which is backing bids for licences in Ipswich and Swansea.
The Swindon licence attracted four bids with the winner being NOW FM, a bid from Ridgeway Radio Limited, which is wholly owned by The Local Radio Company plc. and is offering a local news and information-based service (See RNW Jun 10). The win will give the company its 28th licence.
In Torbay where there were five bids the licence went to Palm FM, with a fuller-service bid of classic and contemporary music plus local news and information (See RNW May 7).
The Swindon award may be a bonus for Emmis, which, according to the UK Guardian, expects to take over a British radio company within a year and has been looking at the Local Radio Company and Chrysalis.
Emmis already owns stations in Hungary , Slovakia, and Belgium, with a Bulgarian deal close to completion and the paper quoted Emmis International president, Paul Fiddick as predicting that its next move would be into Britain, where it has formed a partnership with the Atlantic Radio.
"The UK is both the most lucrative and challenging market in radio outside the US," Fiddick told the paper yesterday. "There is a well-developed radio advertising market; professional competition, transparent regulation ... It's very attractive but we have no illusions it will be easy."
Fiddick added that Emmis, which has a substantial cash pile from the sale of US TV stations - it sold nine of its 16 stations last month for USD 681 million (See RNW Aug 23) - would not over-pay for acquisitions and stressed that Emmis would not engage in hostile takeovers to gain a foothold in Britain, commenting, "If we're to have any merger transaction ... it would be done in a collaborative way."
The paper says that the most obvious purchase would be Chrysalis and it could also consider buying stations if big groups such as GCap Media and Emap made disposals. In addition Emmis intends to bid for every big city licence to be offered by Ofcom.
Previous Local Radio Company:
UK Guardian report:
2005-09-06: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ruled that Sydney talk station 2UE, owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting, breached the Australian complaints handling code but comment about Carson Kressley, one of the hosts of the US television program, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, did not breach the country's vilification code.
The ruling related to a November 2004 edition of John Laws morning show on the station about which there was a complaint that it had "incited homophobia and vilified homosexual-identifying people as a group." The complainant had not received a response two months later and another complainant did not receive a reply for three months.
The ACMA noted comments including the following from the host: "Who is this pompous little pansy prig3 who was strutting around everywhere yesterday telling Australian blokes how to wear their 'pocket square', as he called it? That's poof-speak for handkerchief
Now what the hell does a pillow-biter know about judging girls? They should have
had a few truckies down there, or me, or the co-driver even. Fair dinkum Aussie blokes,
judging fair dinkum Aussie girls. Not this pompous little pansy.
Why this sudden proliferation of pansies I don't know Anyway, the sooner this
fairy flies out and lets us judge our own women on our own criteria the better."
It also noted that Laws had facilitated opportunities for homophobic listeners to phone in and air their views but said that under Australian codes it was "not sufficient that the program was likely to have induced dislike or a mild degree of contempt or ridicule. The code requirement is that the reaction be strong."
The ACMA found that while the Show included comments that were offensive and tasteless, the licensee of 2UE did not breach regulations on vilification but the delay in responding had been beyond the time permitted and thus did break the regulations.
In another ruling the ACMA found that New South Wales community radio station 2BCR, Bankstown, had exceeded limits on broadcasting sponsorship announcements but had not broadcast advertisements in breach of its licence conditions.
The station had broadcast more than five minutes of announcements in an hour during the Radio Rim Jhim Ka Sangam program broadcast on 20 February 2005 and the Radio Jhankaar program broadcast on 13 March 2005.
In another ruling the ACMA found that News South Wales community radio station 2BCR, Bankstown, had exceeded limits on broadcasting sponsorship announcements but had not broadcast advertisements in breach of its licence conditions.
The station had broadcast more than five minutes of announcements in an hour during the Radio Rim Jhim Ka Sangam program broadcast on 20 February 2005 and the Radio Jhankaar program broadcast on 13 March 2005.
Previous Southern Cross Broadcasting (2UE licensees):
2005-09-05: Although the effects of Hurricane Katrina dominate the news today, there were comparatively few reports that mentioned radio's performance apart from giving details of fund raising efforts, the pooling of efforts by radio in the New Orleans area that we have already reported (See RNW Sep 4) and, yet again, the occasional mention of the value of ham radio operators in a situation where so many normal routes of communication have collapsed although in the case of Katrina, unlike that of the tsunami, many operators had left the area before the disaster.
For how US media in general have handled the story we suggest a listen to WNYC's "On the Media" (Available as MP3 or streaming audio)
One report we did note from Cathy Heng in the Saginaw News reported on the use of ham radio by the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network - SATERN.
Salvation Army major Pat MacPherson, who helped found the organization in 1988 when it had just four people, told the paper, "In an event like this, we have 2,800 amateur radio volunteers ready to relay messages."
SATERN is used to supplement normal communications when landlines and cell phone towers go out and in the case of Katrina MacPherson said the system took 700 calls in the first 12 hours helping helps relatives find those affected and learn conditions, sending terse messages such as "We're OK" and where to reach them.
Away from Katrina, apart from listening to WWL-AM that we have already suggested (See RNW Sep 4) and also at least one National Public Radio interview - that with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff on All Things Considered (See link below) - we start by moving north to Canada.
There the staff lockout at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has prompted much comment on its implications, mainly it has to be said in terms of TV and quite a lot of it noting that the absence of commentators has not hit the sports audience, but leading former CBC broadcaster Kildare Dobbs in a column in the Toronto Globe and Mail to think "about the role of public broadcasting."
In two paragraphs he fairly succinctly makes his point: "From its invention, there has been debate about the uses of broadcasting, whether it should be a public service like roads or defence or education, or a business enterprise for profit, helping advertisers to sell products and politicians to influence our minds."
"The two uses are hardly compatible. The function of public broadcasting is to inform and enlighten, while that of advertising is to dazzle and deceive. News broadcasts are supposed to provide citizens of democracies with reliable information on which they can make rational choices. Commercial broadcasts function to sell products and in politics to use the arts of persuasion and "spin" to urge acceptance of a government's story."
Dobbs goes on to suggest three books for possible reading, one the story of Canadian broadcasting (The politics of Canadian broadcasting, 1920-1951) another published by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and a "very funny novel" - The Chartered Libertine (1954) - that dramatizes the conflict between public and private interests in broadcasting.
RNW note: The first appears to be available through Amazon but the others certainly aren't easily available - a good argument in our minds for changes to the copyright laws so that all books when they have been out of print for a few years have to be made available online for a reasonable fee through an international copyright body that would distribute the fees (in our view to the creators and their families not the companies that could not be bothered to keep them available.
Still in Canada, we appreciated the headline in another Toronto Globe and Mail comment, this time by Simon Beck - concerning satellite radio.
In "Minister goes radio gaga over lack of French content", a headline that expressed the tenor of the comment, Beck notes the pressures on Quebec MP and Heritage Minister Liza Frulla who is "urging cabinet to send the issue back to the CRTC so it can waste another two years in deliberation, by which time Canada could be the only country in the solar system without digital radio."
"Even though the Canadian music industry would rather Sirius and CSR carried nothing but Cancon round the clock," he adds, "the thought of another long period sans satellite radio royalties was enough to rally it behind the corporate cause. It urged cabinet to let the CRTC decision stand, while the two companies sweetened the pill by promising that they would increase the francophone quotient to half of all the Cancon channels."
And in the end, he suggests, a compromise that would share the Canadian channels equally between English and French language services - taking French content up from the 25% minimum stipulated for their licences - would be acceptable, concluding, "if more Roch Voisine means less Jann Arden -- tragic though that would be -- surely English Canada can pay the price."
And finally before suggested listening a couple of Radio Waves columns. The first from Ben Fong-Torres in the San Francisco Chronicle is a plug for his book "The Hits Just Keep on Coming" in the form of a column on payola.
Much of the column is anecdotes of particular examples and details of the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) battle for influence against the newcomer, the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc. - set up with help from broadcasters who objected to what they felt were exorbitant licensing fees being set by ASCAP), but we were taken by one comment from Joey Reynolds, who has confessed to accepting payola
He suggests, "Let's use another word. Let's use 'lobbying.' 'Payola' really doesn't mean anything to anybody. Lobbying does. It means getting your own way by bribing people or seducing them emotionally." To some, it means paying for airplay.
"Well," Reynolds responds, "I really don't know that anybody really had an arrangement to pay for play, until the pigs and the greed set in."
Indeed and what did the industry think when it arrogantly got into an act the politicians have made into a fine art??
And then the UK Sunday Times and Roland White whose introduction in his Radio Waves column struck a chord:" One of my favourite radio stations cannot be heard in this country, or indeed anywhere else in the real world. It is KBHR, which broadcasts to the small Alaskan town of Cicely in television's Northern Exposure. [RNW note- There is a real KBRH-FM in Big Bear City, California].There is no real playlist on KBHR: people bring in their records, and Chris, the local hippie-artist-DJ, plays them. In one episode, the doctor breaks up with his fiancée, so Chris plays the blues. All morning."
"What I like about KBHR is that it is quirky and full of surprises, which is how you can tell it is fictional. Most radio these days is depressingly predictable. I have in front of me a list of UK radio stations and what they do. Here's one playing "popular contemporary music". Another plays "adult contemporary music". Next on the list we find "contemporary hits" and "classic hits" and "latest hits" and - ah, here's something different - "melodic adult con-temporary music". The overwhelming majority of radio stations are like Radio 2: middle-of-the-road music, an engaging presenter and news on the hour. Tell me, Mr Marconi, was it worth all the effort?"
He then goes on to write: "Yet it needn't be like this. On Radio 4 tomorrow there is a reminder that you can gather an audience for even the most unlikely subjects. In The Broadcast, the presenter, Sean Street, examines the longest-running daily radio programme in North America. The Fisheries Broadcast, a radio version of the novel The Shipping News, was launched in 1951 and goes out every weekday at 5.30pm to listeners in Labrador and Newfoundland Although it concentrates on the market price of fish and the weather at sea, The Fisheries Broadcast manages to attract a large non-fish- related audience, all no doubt trying to escape from the Canadian version of popular adult contemporary hits."
White uses the introduction to promote the idea of community radio, something he says the UK has been slow to take up, ending with an anecdote concerning Radio Scilly, which is applying for a community licence.
"It began life in a hotel room, on a temporary licence, before moving to a shed," he notes. " Two of its presenters are dentists; they co-host a show in which they play music and give dental advice to callers."
And an accolade to ingenuity: "It might be very local, but Radio Scilly knows how to rise to the occasion. The station was alerted to the 9/11 attacks by a visiting bird-watcher, who arrived at the shed in great agitation carrying a pager on which the news had just flashed. Within minutes, the presenter had phoned a friend in America and was receiving news feeds from a station in Massachusetts."
So on to listening and the first suggestion after the above has to be The Broadcast, which airs on BBC Radio 4 at 19:30 GMT tonight (The presenter Dr Sean Street of Bournemouth University has incidentally posted here his feedback report on his exchange visit to Newfoundland that formed the basis of the programme).
Then also from Radio 4 is one we missed last week, from last Monday's Front Row, which airs weekdays at 18:15 GMT, so it may not be on the web site for more than a few hours.
The programme as devoted to Paul McCartney discussing how he writes his songs, concentrating mainly on one song - Blackbird, from the "White Album".
Then another programme, also from Radio 4 tonight which again takes what might be thought an uninspiring topic and presents fresh perspectives, this time "Leaves on the Line" at 20:00 GMT that looks at the work of the UK railway industry's first tree specialist, Neil Strong. His job is to manage the land owned by Network Rail. It borders 20,000 miles of track and is home to hundreds of different plants and animals, including many rare and endangered species. The title of course is taken from problems caused by "the wrong kind of leaves" on the track.
And moving stations but sticking with the idea of expanding perspectives, BBC Radio 3's Composer of the Week slot this week (weekdays at 11:00 GMT) is The English Mystics in which presenter Donald Macleod considers how for at least four centuries, mystical thought and ideas have become woven into English music. His examples run from Taverner to Tavener - John Taverner (c1495-1545) to John Tavener (1944 to the present).
Sticking with Radio 3, next Saturday is the finale of the 111th Proms season (starting 18:30 GMT) and next Sunday Performance on Three features Curlew River, Britten's church parable based on Japanese Noh theatre is performed in a new EIF production by Olivier Py (17:30 GMT).
It is followed in the Drama on 3 slot at 19:00 GMT that features The Orchid Grower, a co-production with CBC, Canada, that tells the story of Yuri Nosenko, deputy chief of the Seventh Department of the KGB with recruitment of foreign spies as a main responsibility.
He defected to the USA in 1964 only to end up facing four years of interrogation and imprisonment without trial as CIA factions argued over whether he had genuinely defected (he was kept in an unheated cell in solitary confinement for 1,277 days.).
Then changing tack completely - and continents - we'd suggest the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Health Report on ABC Radio National: Today sees the final part of its three-part series "Cancer Screening, Benefits and Harms" that looks at cancer screening and evidence that that finding small cancers earlier and earlier is doing more harm than good. This programme and the first two will be online as MP3 or streaming audio from this evening.
Also with health - or potential very ill health - the ABC's Background Briefing programme on Sunday was BioWar, a programme looking at the way in which the US has beefed up biological weapon research: This has given around 11,000 people access to virulent biological agents and some scientists and analysts question the sanity of such a strategy, especially since weapons-grade anthrax mailed in 2001 to two senior Democrats turned out to be biologically identical to bacteria secretly manufactured at a US germ warfare facility - only after a Baltimore Sun investigation and report did US officials, including those investigating the anthrax attacks, who had maintained that the American military stopped producing germ warfare materials in the late 1960s, before the signing of an international treaty banning the development of such weapons, admit that production had continued. The Pentagon now says that the development of weapons-grade anthrax was legal under the treaty because the production of small quantities is permitted for "peaceful and protective" purposes, i.e., to prepare countermeasures to a germ warfare attack. (Moral- it may be sensible to always assume the US military may be lying unless there is irrefutable independent evidence to support their statements. In fairness from a military standpoint this may also be a defensible policy but the assumption of dishonesty remains sensible for outsiders.).
Back to the UK and for Jimi Hendrix fans we'd suggest Johnnie Walker's documentary "Jimi Hendrix - Made In London" that aired at the weekend and is on the site (We'd also note here that the Bruce Springsteen documentary that airs tomorrow night will only be available on airwaves not the Internet for fights reasons).
Then radio around the world and the latest edition of A World in Your Ear from BBC Radio 4, which looked at business radio round the world, and to finish with, also from Radio 4, the current classic serial - a two-part dramatisation of Michael Frayn's 1967 comic Fleet Street novel Towards the End of the Morning that began on Sunday (online and to be repeated next Saturday).
Saginaw News - Heng:
San Francisco Chronicle - Fong-Torres:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Beck:
Toronto Globe and Mail - Dobbs:
National Public Radio - Chertoff interview:
UK Sunday Times - White:
2005-09-05: RadioScape and Texas Instruments say a number of companied including Morphy Richards, Roberts Radio, and Sangean, are demonstrating prototype DAB/Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) receivers using TI's DRM350 digital baseband and RadioScape's RS500 module at the IFA World of Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin that opened on Friday.
The TI chip allows manufacturers to create DRM.DAB receivers and the RadioScape module includes all of the hardware and software necessary to support any combination of DRM, DAB, FM-RDS and AM.
Gerry Thorn, Product Director, at Roberts Radio said they had been able to develop working prototypes in less than three months and added that TI and RadioScape "continue to provide the innovations we need, allowing us to focus on key product features, creating new markets for digital radio and enhancing the user listening experience."
Also to being shown at IFA is an automobile DRM receiver developed by Visteon Corporation in conjunction with European broadcasting and production group RTL whose CEO Gerhard Zeiler said his company was "very committed" to DRM.
Noting that the non-proprietary DRM is already being aired in 30 countries he added, "DRM radios will soon be available in mass-market quantities at affordable consumer prices, and the co-operation between TI, RadioScape and ourselves has played a crucial role in enabling manufacturers to design them in such a short time."
2005-09-05: Chicago sports radio gets a shake-up this week with a new line-up starting tomorrow at Infinity's WSCR-AM (The Score) as it tries to overtake its rival ESPN WMVP-AM.
Under the new line-up, the latest of a series over the past few years, the Score's most popular hosts Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein take over the 2-6 p.m. slot, putting them head-to-head against WMVP's "Mac, Jurko & Harry" show, and their place in the 10 to noon slot will be Mike Mulligan with various partners to be followed by Mike Murphy until 2P.M.
Following Boers and Bernstein will be Doug Buffone, who will host a Bears/NFL show from 6-8 P.M., again with various partners through the week.
Unchanged are mornings where Mike North continues as co-host alongside Anne Maxfield and Fred Huebner.
2005-09-05: European Broadcaster SBS Broadcasting S.A. has commenced sending out its shareholders' circular for the Extraordinary General Meeting of its shareholders that is scheduled to be held on October 3, 2005 in Luxembourg to consider acquisition of the business by funds advised by international private equity firms, Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.
The USD 2.55 billion purchase has been unanimously approved by a special committee of independent directors of SBS, as well as by the company's board of directors and shareholders representing a minimum of 21.9% of the total outstanding common shares of SBS (See RNW Aug 23).
Previous SBS SA:
2005-09-04: North America provided the main regulatory news this week with a ruling by the Canadian Federal Court that upheld the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision not to renew Montreal station CHOI-FM's licence (See RNW Sep 2) and to a lesser degree in the US where Howard Stern lost yet another affiliate - North American Broadcasting's WBZX-FM (The Blitz) in Columbus, Ohio - because of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation's of indecency complaints against his show (so far there's no word on progress of the investigation.). Elsewhere there was a steady flow of radio decisions apart from Australia where no radio decisions were announced.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as well as welcoming the Federal Court decision on CHOI-FM, was involved in a run of radio decisions including (in order of province):
*Administrative renewal of licence of CKGF-2-FM Greenwood and its transmitters CKGF-1-FM Christina Lake and CKGF-3-FM Rock Creek, to 31 August 2006: The Commission notes that this does not dispose of any substantive issues related to a full term renewal and that interested parties will be given an opportunity to comment.
*Short-term renewal until 31 August 2009 of licence of CHMJ-AM, Vancouver. The commission notes that the short-term renewal will enable it to ensure at an early date that the "content of CHMJ's programming does not contravene the Broadcasting Act or the Radio Regulations, 1986", a comment relating to complaints against two syndicated US shows aired by the station - an edition of the Tom Leykis Show that was held to have breached regulations relating to abusive comment and of Loveline that, although not abusive, was held to have "failed to meet a number of Canadian broadcasting policy objectives."
*Renewal until 31 August 2012 of licence of community-based campus station CKDU-FM, Halifax.
*Approval of application by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a 20,500 watts FM transmitter in Yarmouth to broadcast the programming of CBAX-FM, Halifax.
*Approval of 50-watts FM transmitter in Arnprior for CHMY-FM, Renfrew.
*Approval of application to delete the transmitter CFPS, Port Elgin, that was used to rebroadcast programming of CFOS-AM, Owen Sound, following the commissioning of new station CFPS-FM, Port Elgin.
*Administrative renewal until 28 February 2006 of 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 commission notes that it will not be able to rule on the renewal application before the current licence expires.
*Approval of extension until 28 August 2006 of the time limit to commence operation of a new French-language AM in Ottawa/Gatineau that was authorized in August 2003.
In Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has signed a ten-year contract with Dublin Public Service Radio Association Limited - Dublin City Anna Livia FM - for the provision of a talk-based, broad format, special interest service in the franchise area of Dublin City. The station has already been operating for 12 years.
In the UK, Ofcom yet again upheld no radio complaints in its latest Broadcast Bulletin (See RNW Aug 31) and announced that it had received eight applications for a new FM licence for Ipswich (See RNW Sep 3).
It has also released its latest Communications Market Quarterly Update that showed radio lagging behind other media (See RNW Sep 1).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has eased regulations in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina to aid the restoration of broadcast services (See RNW Sep 3 and Sep 1).
It has also been in enforcement mode again with the reduction of a penalty on a New York state pirate operator and confirmation of penalties on a Maryland FM and FM transmitter distributor (See RNW Sep 2) and also in confirming USD 30,000 in penalties on Pilgrim Communications of Colorado (See below).
Previous Licence News:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2005-09-04: New Orleans area radio stations have joined together to form the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans, a joint effort to provide the region with the most complete, reliable and consistent radio broadcast of emergency recovery and relief information.
So far signed up are Clear Channel and Entercom stations in the area plus independent stations 1470 KLCL in Lake Charles and 1290 KJEF in Jennings, around 15 in total.
Other independent stations are invited to join the effort in which programming and engineering resources are being combined; the stations will broadcast continuous news, information and coverage of local relief efforts, including live feeds from street reporters and interviews and updates from local officials and relief coordinators. The Louisiana Network out of Baton Rouge is also providing important facilities support.
The stations will share a helicopter to transport engineers to transmitter sites and assist in the evacuation of employees as needed.
Commenting on the arrangements, Clear Channel Radio President and CEO John Hogan said, "Given the state of New Orleans, we believe it is critical for the community to have the most current and accurate information available. Radio is best positioned to provide this service and by coming together and pooling our resources we will be able to provide the community with news, updates and a connection with the outside world."
Entercom President and CEO David J. Field added, "The people of New Orleans are now, more than ever, depending on radio to keep them informed and connected. Our staff at WWL-AM has provided a vital lifeline of critical news and information to the community throughout the storm and its unfortunate aftermath. We are combining our resources with our radio colleagues to enhance our collective service and support to the people of New Orleans as they struggle to cope with this horrific tragedy."
RNW comment: For those interested in local cover of the developments Entercom's WWL-AM has been posting audio on its web site.
This includes a strong interview by Garland Robinette with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in which the Mayor attacks strongly (and in strong language) -most justifiably in our view - the slow pace at which federal aid was sent to the city: it also carries President Bush's comments when he paid a brief visit.
It is worth listening to the Mayor first - around 12 minutes that almost makes one weep and comes across as a politician being honest about the situation - and then the President's response - around 4 minutes that to our ears came over as self-serving uninspired platitudes matching some of the other comments from administration figures.
We are in considerable sympathy with Nagin's call for a moratorium on all news conferences until action has been taken and only hope that at the next Presidential news conference some reporters have the courage to take the President to task firmly - and not let him off the hook for his comments to Diane Sawyer on ABC TV that included the horrendously ignorant and unimaginative comment "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" -- just get your staff to check Google Mr President as that's exactly what had been warned about for years. Or maybe they could read the Times-Picayune 5-part series forecasting just what could happen in great detail.
Previous Clear Channel:
CNN - transcript of Nagin Interview:
Times-Picayune New Orleans series:
WWL-AM web site (Links to audio):
2005-09-04: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed penalties totalling USD 30,000 on Pilgrim Communications, Inc. relating to regulation breaches at its KWYD-AM, Colorado Springs, and KSKE-AM, Vail, both in Colorado.
The USD 19,000 penalty related to KWYD and July to August 2001 checks that found it did not have operational emergency alert system equipment, did not reduce Station KWYD's power to the authorized night-time power level and it did not increase KWYD's power to the authorized daytime power level, and did not have a full-time management and staff presence during normal business hours at KWYD's main studio.
The USD 11.000 penalty related to KSKE and failure to maintain the requisite main studio presence at Station KSKE and a May breach when it did not reduce Station KSKE's power at sunset to the level required by the station authorization and operated with power exceeding KSKE's authorized night-time power level.
Pilgrim had sought reduction or cancellation of both penalties saying that in the case of KSKE it "maintained a fully operational main studio for the station at all times"- the FCC said..." when the investigating agent attempted to inspect Station KSKE, he found what appeared to be storage space at the address of KSKE's main studio. The agent found no indication that there was a studio at the location. Employees at adjacent businesses were not aware that KSKE supposedly had a main studio at that location. The telephone number listed in the phone book for Station KSKE had been disconnected and no alternative phone number could be obtained from directory assistance."
In the case of KWYD, Pilgrim did not claim that it had not broken the regulations but sought reduction or cancellation on the basis of inability to pay, an argument it had also put forward for KSKE.
The FCC having looked at documentation provided rejected all the arguments and confirmed the full penalties.
RNW comment: It seems to us that if the FCC agent is accurate in terms of the KSKE studio presence it is impossible to treat Pilgrim's response other than as a direct lie. If that is the case, our view is that there should at the very least be examination of whether it is fit to hold licences at all.
2005-09-04: The Canadian Broadcasting Commission (CBC) says that it has made what it terms "minor progress" in its talks with the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) over the contract dispute - mainly related to the use of casual or contract labour - that led it to lock out workers a fortnight ago.
In an update it says "We are pleased to report that we have made some progress at the table and have reached agreement on Turnaround, Hiring and Promotion, Transfer and Relocation, Jurisdiction, Parental Leave, Technological Change, Introduction to New Work Methods, Statement of Qualifications, Out of Country Work, and Internships" and adds that the two sides will maintain contact over the weekend.
On the journalists' web site there are further signs of some thaw in relations with a story saying that CBC management has reversed its policy of directed unfriendliness towards pickets. It notes an August memo to non-CMG employees saying that in the case of a strike or lockout "there should be no other managers or other non-CMG staff visiting the line, nor should there be any attempts to 'improve the mood' on the line, by providing food or drink, for example. "
The authors of the e-mail Fred Mattocks and Krista Harris, respectively the CBC's executive directors of production and resources for television and radio, continued, "It's very important, if there is a lockout, that we bring a quick resolution to the work stoppage. A quick resolution will be helped by picketers focussing on the reality of their situation "It's very important, if there is a lockout, that we bring a quick resolution to the work."
A further e-mail says the report said there had been some confusion about the implications of the memo and that, after reconsideration once the lockout began, it was issuing new guidelines.
These say, "In terms of interacting with picketers on the line, we need to keep in mind that these are our colleagues and friends, and they will be our colleagues and friends when things return to normal and we're all back to work We should interact with them as we would any colleague or friend with whom we are having a disagreement - with respect and openness. Don't hesitate to communicate as normally as possible with picketers on the line but with the following advice:
*Do not get drawn into anything which might be perceived as negotiating directly with employees;
do not display any animosity and do not react to animosity;
*show empathy for their personal situations; and
*communicate our resolve to do what we think is right for the organization."
In other moves the CBC unplugged site reports that CBC staff have now dropped plans for an alternative radio newscast (See RNW Aug 27) saying that while there "remains a great deal of enthusiasm for a national radio news/info show, we're concerned that it isn't sustainable at this point and don't want to launch something only to see it wither in a week or so."
Efforts are to be put into the Toronto Unlocked morning show on the University of Toronto's CIUT-FM (See RNW Sep 1) and the CBCunlocked.ca site they are to launch next week.
CBC ontheline report:
CBC Unplugged report:
2005-09-03: In further actions related to Hurricane Katrina, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to open this Labor Day Weekend from 09:00 to 17:00 to deal with emergency special temporary authorizations (STAs) and handle queries about recovery efforts.
It has also suspended until November 1 its rules so as to allow non-commercial educational radio and TV stations in New Orleans to rebroadcast programming from commercial stations that includes commercial matter.
2005-09-03: US radio revenues in July were down 2% on a year ago according to figures from the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), which said within the fall local revenues were also down 2% and national revenues were down 3% with non-spot revenues, which rose 3%, the only bright spot.
Year-to-date figures were a little better with total combined spot and non-spot dollars up 1% on 2004 - all categories were up 1% except for non-spot revenues, which were flat.
On RAB's sales index, that sets pre-dot com 1998 to 100, the sales indices for July were local, 141.2; national, 124.9 and total combined local and national, 137.7 whilst corresponding year-to-date figures are 140.4; 141.1; and 140.7.
For the first time we can remember the figures were left to speak for themselves and no comments were posted.
Previous RAB figures (June):
2005-09-03: Live online listening to BBC radio in July was nearly 15% higher than in June but a counterbalancing fall of nearly 12% in on-demand listening hours took the overall increase down to a little above 5% according to latest figures from the corporation. The relative figures were significantly affected by the Live 8 event in early July and Wimbledon tennis where listening appears to have been live rather than post-event.
In all online listening hours totalled 13,554,022 hours, up 5.19 % on June and up 53% on July last year; within the total live listening was up 14.95% on June to 9,411,174 hours - up 66.94% on July 2004 - whilst on-demand listening was down 11.82% on June at 4,142,848 hours - up 28.60% on July 2004.
In terms of network listening in July this year, the rankings were (Total listening hours-live plus on-demand and percentage change compared to June then to July 2004 in brackets):
Radio 1 - (3,435,875 -5.82%; + 41.7%)
Radio 2 - (2,431,076 + 1.21%; +55.0%).
Radio 4 - (2,232,235 + 3.52%; + 65.8%).
Radio 5 Live- (1,442,486 +85.01%; + 116.0%).
BBC 7 - (963,888 -7.07%; +41.3%) - *BBC 7 was fourth in June and 5 Live was fifth.
Radio 3 - (625,9351 -8.03%; +48.4%).
6 Music - (547,995 -7.80%; +6.9%).
1Xtra - (493,565 -6.15%; +3.9%).
Asian Network (191,890 + 1.92%; +20.6%).
5 Live Sports Xtra - (562,126 +89.99%; +28.4%).
The top five on-demand programmes in July were:
The top five on-demand programmes in July were:
1- The BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers with 387,476 listens in July, down 3.00% on June.
2 - Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 with 249,618 listens in July, down 29.58% on June.
3 - The Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1 with 166,776 listens in July, up 0.99% on June.
4 - Just A Minute Radio 4 with 164,448 listens n July. This series was not on air in June but it still managed 14th rank then with 97,003 listens to repeats on BBC 7
5- Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 with 160595 listens in July. Down one rank and 20.25 % on June.
*5 - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Radio 4 was fifth in June when it ended its run.
Previous BBC Online figures:
2005-09-03: Disney's efforts to sell its ABC Radio business are progressing slowly according to a Reuters report that cited unnamed "sources close to the sale process" who said talks were continuing with Citadel, Emmis, and Entercom.
It adds that the sources said it may take until the middle or end of this month for Disney to put together audited financial data on ABC Radio that it needs before asking for final bids for the business: They added that Disney had been disappointed by initial bids of its valuation of USD 3 billion for the business and the valuation of ABC Radio remains at issue, meaning that combined with the structure Disney wants -- to spin or split off up for tax reasons ABC Radio and then merge it into the winning bidder's company with Disney shareholders would take ownership of half the new company - mean a sale is not guaranteed.
Citadel, notes the report, is also in the bidding for Susquehanna Media, which was been put on the block by parent Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. (See RNW Apr 21)
2005-09-03: UK media regulator Ofcom has received eight applications for a new commercial FM licence being offered for Ipswich including a second bid by a consortium led by former Emap Performance chief executive Tim Schoonmaker who is backed by Macquarie Bank, Australia's largest investment bank: The same team are also bidding for a new Swansea licence (See RNW Aug 6).
The eight applications are from:
*Town FM - the Tindle Radio bid with a speech and music led station.
*HR 102 FM- a bid from Highgrove Resources Limited offering a service targeted at the over-40s.
*Ipswich 102 - a bid from Ipswich Local Radio Limited targeted at the 35 to 64 demographic.
*Lite FM Ipswich - a bid from eponymous Lite FM (Ipswich) Limited with an AC and soft-rock format targeted at the 35-64 demographic.
*Orwell FM - a bid from eponymous Orwell FM Limited of a full service station with a variety of contemporary and classic music targeted at the 25-54 demographic:
*Silver 102 FM - The Radio UK Holdings bid backed by Macquarie Bank and headed by Schoonmaker with a full-service offering.
*Switch FM - a bid from The Radio Business Limited offering a music-led mainstream service with AC songs from the past 50 years.
*Today FM 102 a bid from the eponymous Today FM Limited targeted at the 25-54 demographic.
Previous Macquarie Bank:
2005-09-02: The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) July 2004 decision not to renew the licence of Genex Communications Inc.'s Montreal station CHOI-FM, made partly because repeated offensive and abusive comments by the station's former host Jean-Francois Fillion (See RNW Jul 14, 2004).
The station can remain on air for around 20 days while it decides whether to pursue an appeal, a course of action owner Patrice Demers has said he is likely to follow. He has said in the past that he would take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada if he lost the federal court case.
In its ruling the three-judge panel rejected Genex arguments that the action amounted to censorship and Mr. Justice Létourneau commented, "The appellant makes much of the guarantee of freedom of expression in paragraph 2(b) of the Charter and seems to want to treat it as unqualified, something that the courts have never recognized. I do not think I am mistaken in saying that freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of speech do not mean freedom of defamation, freedom of oppression and freedom of opprobrium."
His decision said the power to issue, revoke or renew a licence had been "expressly and exclusively given by Parliament to the CRTC and the court could not "appropriate that power to ourselves."
Reacting to the decision the CRTC said in a release, "In carrying out its mandate, the Commission has recognized the importance of the principle of freedom of expression, which both protects those who express their views and those who hear them. The freedom of expression of broadcasters is thus counterbalanced by the right of listeners to programming that complies with the Act and associated regulatory requirements. In the Commission's view, remarks which are abusive and that risk exposing an individual or a group to contempt or hatred contravene the objectives of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in section 3(1) of the Act. "
Its chairman Charles Dalfen added, "This is an important decision for Canadians. It confirms the CRTC's approach in protecting Canadians against abusive comments and personal attacks on the airwaves."
2005-09-02: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been back in disciplinary mode with a USD 2,500 penalty on a New York State pirate operator, confirmation of a USD 4,000 penalty on a Maryland FM and of USD 14,000 on a Utah company.
The proposed USD 2,500 penalty was issued to Jean L. Senatus for unauthorized operation of an FM transmitter in Spring Valley, New York: Originally a USD 10,000 penalty was proposed but this was reduced on the basis of inability to pay.
The USD 4,000 penalty was imposed on Snow Hill Broadcasting, L.L.C. licensee of WQMR-FM, Snow Hill, Maryland, for failure to retain in its public inspection file a political file, "The Public and Broadcasting" manual, a file of letters and e-mail from the public, and a file with quarterly issues/programs lists for the year 2003. Snow had sought reduction or cancellation of an original penalty on the grounds that the omission of the items from the public file was unintentional, it has taken appropriate remedial measures, the forfeiture amount is excessive given the nature of the violation, and payment of the forfeiture would impose a substantial financial hardship.
The FCC dismissed all the arguments, noting that financial records produced did not support the claim, but did reduce the penalty to USD 4,000 on the basis of comparison with previous penalties for similar offences. .
The USD 14,000 penalty went to Gibson Tech Ed, Inc of Orem, Utah, for marketing two models of unauthorized FM broadcast transmitters, USD 7,000 for each model. The FCC upheld the full penalty and also noted that Gibson is apparently continuing to advertise the unauthorized Ramsey equipment on its Hobbytron.com website so additionally required that within 30 says it submit a report describing measures taken to come into compliance.
2005-09-02: The UK Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) is predicting a major take-up of digital radio in the UK with digital receivers in 40% of households by 2009 by when it says there will be 20 million receivers in UK homes compared to only 1.2 million at the end of last year.
In its 2005 DAB Digital Radio Five Year Forecast the bureau predicts that in 2009 the UK digital radio market will have risen from GB P 87 million (USD 160 million) in 2004 to GBP 456 million (USD 836 million), a compound annual growth rate of 39%.
The DRDB says the biggest growth is expected to come in products such as boomboxes, hi-fi systems, personal radios, clock radios and the in-car sector with increases in the hi-fi sector from a forecast GBP 41.2 million (USD 75.5 million) this year to GBP 166.2 million (USD 304.6 million) in 2009, in boomboxes from GBP 11.2 million (USD 20.5 million) this year to GBP 47.1 million (USD 86.3 million), in personal radios combined with MP3 players from GBP 2 million (USD 3.7 million) this year to GBP 55.3 million ( USD 101.4 million) and in car retail from GBP 2.2 million (USD 4 million) this year to GBP 50.1 million ( USD 91.8 million).
DRDB Chairman Ralph Bernard commented in a statement, "The latest figures from the DRDB show that DAB Digital Radio continues its healthy climb to mass market penetration in the UK. It is encouraging news that consumers are continuing to buy new receivers to enjoy the new digital stations on offer."
The BBC has also been boosting digital radio with the launch on Thursday of a digital radio service in English to the Benelux countries and neighbouring parts of France and Germany and confirmation of its participation with other broadcasters in demonstrations of Digital Radio Mondiale broadcasts at IFA 2005 (See RNW Aug 12).
The new digital service used a medium-wave frequency, 1296kHz, to provide the core service 18 hours a day, supplemented by digital transmissions on short wave and transmission providers for the new service are Telenor in Norway, and VTC in the UK, who operate and manage the BBC's analogue and digital networks internationally.
2005-09-02: Internet radio is given a strong rating in a report from BIGresearch that says its listeners are not only growing in number but also are likely to be young and spend more than average.
It says the "typical web radio listener is most likely to be young- 74.5% are between 18 and 44; Male- 59.6%; and well paid, with an average household income of USD 54,334."
In all the survey indicates that around 16 million US adults regularly listen to Internet radio and around 52 million listen occasionally: their favourite formats are rock, alternative, oldies, top 40/pop and talk.
It says a high percentage of them are planning to spend on the following big-ticket items-car/truck, computer, furniture, home appliances, house, jewellery, major home improvement, stereo equipment, TV, DVD, digital camera, and travel.
Big Research report:
2005-09-01: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has eased regulations for broadcasters in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina and is to allow them to erect antennas without prior authorization to get services back on air.
AM stations will be allowed to use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna as an emergency antenna and will also allow them to use full daytime facilities during night-time hours to broadcast emergency information, provided all operation is conducted on a non-commercial basis.
The commission will also waive rules requiring that it be informed of such operations within 24 hours.
As well as easing rules for operations for stations affected by the hurricane the Commission has also extended by 21 days until September 28 the deadline for filing their regulatory feeds, noting that those who use the facility must include certification that payment could not be made on time because of the hurricane.
Where stations are under construction within the declared Federal Disaster Area the FCC is to allow an extra 90 days on the deadline to complete construction and it also says requests for special temporary authorities (STA's) will be handled "as expeditiously as possible."
For those outside the disaster area rules will continue to be enforced as normal and the commission has confirmed a number of penalties.
In Washington State it has confirmed a USD 8,000 penalty on Rafael C. Guerrero, licensee of KRSC-AM, Othello, for failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment and in Puerto Rico it confirmed a USD 5,600 penalty on Angel Vera-Maury, licensee of WRSS-AM, San Sebastian, for failure to enclose the station's antenna structure within an effective locked fence or other enclosure.
It also reduced from USD 10,000 to USD 650 a penalty on a Florida man for unauthorized use of marine VHF frequencies: Agents from the FCC Tampa office had overheard a conversation between hunters about the location of their dogs in the forest in Dixie County and traced the signal to a pick-up owned by Jeremy R. Riels.
Riels had admitted using the radio in his vehicle instead of a CB radio because of too much interference on the CB band but had asked for reduction on grounds of inability to pay. After examination of Riel's tax returns the FCC trimmed the penalty to USD 650.
2005-09-01: UK media regulator Ofcom has grim news for radio in its latest Communications Market Quarterly Update covering the latest data available to 31 March 2005 that shows telecommunications revenues up 5% on a year earlier, that the Freeview digital terrestrial TV has now reached more than five million households - but that local commercial radio's share of listening fell to a new low of 33.9%, although it does add that this rose in the second quarter.
It also highlights Emap's acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings that will create the UK's second largest commercial radio group in terms of the number of stations owned - behind GCap Media that was formed by the merger of Capital Radio and GWR - and also "bolster Emap's position as second largest group by listening hours; and the quadrupling from five to 20 in the number of community licences awarded.
Ofcom has approved the Emap deal subject to digital multiplex divestments (See RNW Aug 9)
Also noted in comments on consolidation in commercial radio during the period are UTV's acquisition of the Wireless Group - UTV has now applied to de-list the Wireless Group - and the Local Radio Company's acquisition of Bath FM.
In terms of technology the update notes a Chrysalis deal with Enpocket to run a series of mobile music promotions and Sky's introduction of the 'Sky Gnome', a portable and wireless device that will enable customers to listen to the audio output from digital TV and radio channels throughout the home.
As well as details of commercial and community licences awarded the Update also includes a six-page "Focus on the BBC" feature detailing the Corporation's output.
Ofcom Update (1 Mb 76 page PDF):
2005-09-01: In the first signs of a potential break in the dispute over working conditions that has now seen Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) staff locked-out for nearly a fortnight, negotiators from the Corporation and the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) met for preliminary talks on Wednesday.
Statements from both sides welcomed the talks about which the Guild said it believed that "with a spirit of co-operation and compromise, an agreement can be achieved in the near future."
The CBC On the Line web site run by locked-out CBC journalists quoted CMG chief negotiator Dan Oldfield as saying that, in discussions with his management counterpart Monday and Tuesday, they agreed to tackle some of the smaller issues and move forward from there.
"Neither of us would be making this attempt if we didn't think there was a chance to succeed," Oldfield told the site. "We'll start with the things that are a little less ambitious. There are 40 outstanding articles, so there is no shortage of things to talk about."
The site also reported that CBC Toronto radio host Andy Barrie and his Metro Morning crew are now due to return to the air on Monday from 6a.m. to 8a.m. on the University of Toronto station CIUT-FM. The show is normally the top rated weekday morning show in the city with some half a million listeners a week and Barrie commented that its listeners did not like what they were now hearing from CBC's broadcasts.
The new show is to be called Toronto Unlocked and will feature all the voices Torontonians are used to hearing on Metro Morning, along with some television personalities and Barrie stressed that the show will not be used to voice the union's position but to fulfil the mandate that Metro Morning worked to.
"If we do a really good job and our listeners are as loyal as we think they are, when the ratings come out next winter, CIUT will be the number 1 rated morning show in this city," added Barrie.
2005-09-01: Former Culture Secretary Chris Smith, now Lord Smith, who proposed switching off analogue TV in the UK, is now urging the government to consider subsidizing a move to digital by radio.
In a report he says local radio stations might need extra financial support to make the - of 270 local commercial stations in Britain, only 125 have digital licences, although nearly three-quarters of BBC national and local services are now on digital.
Smith says the move to all-digital "is an objective to be sincerely sought. It is a desirable aim both for the industry and for consumers" and then, noting its wider choice, greater ease of use, and a range of data options and interactivity, adds, "These are goals that are worth striving to achieve and represent the reason why policy decisions to enable and encourage the switch from analogue to digital need to be taken."
The report says "Incomplete coverage of local radio services represents the greatest obstacle to the move to an all-digital environment" and recommends that regulator Ofcom should give urgent consideration to reconfiguration of existing frequencies to make more efficient use of existing DAB spectrum and for a wider range of multiplexes with a view to resolving all configuration issues within a twelve month period.
Smith recommends that a cross-industry working group be established to identify possible financial arrangements to assist smaller stations to bear the costs of moving to digital and the report also calls for new frequencies to be earmarked for radio and for the government to shed its "technology neutral" stance and act as a champion for digital radio - it adds Government, Ofcom and radio broadcasters should use Britain's Presidency of the EU to "persuade excite and encourage" EU partner nations to progress the development of DAB radio in Europe.
DRDB chairman Ralph Bernard, who is also executive chairman of GCap Media, commented, "Digital radio is the most important development in UK radio broadcasting in more than 30 years. The move to an all-digital future is inevitable and this important report starts the process for setting a timetable for analogue switch over. I agree with Lord Smith that we should be working towards an analogue cut-off date."
RNW comment: As has been our consistent position, although we welcome the benefits of DAB, we are also concerned at the cost to listeners rather more than to the industry since it is still possible in the UK to get a reasonable quality AM/FM receiver for around GBP 10 (USD 20) whilst the cheapest DAB receiver is around five times this-we have at least six analogue receivers as well as digital.
We see no reason why digital cannot be promoted leading to a gradual move over but this would not be good financial news for British commercial radio and since they aren't prepared to pay we see no reason why they should call the tune.
Our preferred route would be development of combined analogue, digital and DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) receivers to the point where the marginal extra cost over a straight analogue set is such that people decide the additional benefits more than outweigh the cost but even then we can see reasons to keep analogue.
2005-09-01: All India Radio, India's state-owned radio, has begun to start moving to digital news production in its regions with the introductions of a news automation system designed and developed by its research and development wing at its Guwahati station in Assam.
Digital is to replace analogue tape in around half of AIR's stations with introduction due in Lucknow, Jaipur and Mumbai soon.
All India Radio has spent around INR 60 crore (INR 600 million - 1 crore is 10 million - USD 13.6 million) on a new automated broadcasting centre in Delhi to handle external and domestic services.
Previous All India Radio:
Previous Indian Radio:
New Kerala.com report:
2005-09-01: CanWest, which moved into commercial radio in New Zealand with the acquisition of the More FM Hot AC network and whose brands now include the Kiwi Network, Radio Pacific, The Rock FM network, and The Edge nationwide Contemporary Hit format, is expanding again in the country with the acquisition of Orewa-based Times FM from Times Media Group.
No financial details of the deal have been announced; it included two frequencies that cover the Rodney district, north of Auckland, one of New Zealand's fastest growing regions.
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