November 2005 Personalities:
Kathleen Q. Abernathy - (3) - Republican US FCC Commissioner; Jenny Abramsky - (3) - BBC Director of Radio and Music; Jonathan S. Adelstein - (3) - Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Raúl Alarcón - Chairman & CEO, Spanish Broadcasting System (US); Michael Anderson - (2) - CEO, Austereo; Leonard Asper - President and CEO, CanWest Global Communications; Edward G. Atsinger III - President and CEO, Salem Communications, US; Mitch Bainwol - chairman and chief executive, Recording Industries Association of America (RIAA); George G. Beasley - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Beasley Broadcast Group, US; Sally De La Bedoyere - Managing director, UK radio ratings organization RAJAR; Ralph Bernard - (3) - Chief executive, G-CAP Media; John Bitove Jr. -- (3) - Canadian entrepreneur, chairman and CEO Canadian Satellite Radio; Colleen B. Brown - President and CEO, Fisher Communications; Paul Brown - Chief Executive of the UK Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA); Michael J. Copps - (3) - Democrat US Federal Communications Commissioner; Anthony Cumia - Anthony of US Opie and Anthony show; Patrice Demers- owner of /president Genex Communications Inc, Canada; Ian Dickens - chief executive, UK Digital Radio Development Bureau; Lewis W. Dickey Jr. - chairman, president, and Chief Executive Officer, Cumulus Media, US; Mike Carlton - Sydney 2UE breakfast host; Bill Caralis -Australian media magnate; Angela Clark - Chief Executive Macquarie Radio Network, Australia; Mark Collier -head of National Talk Radio ABC, Australia (Stepping down December 2005; John Dahlsen - chairman, Southern Cross Broadcasting, Australia; Paul Donovan - (2) - U.K. Sunday Times radio columnist; Kate Dundas -Head of Music Networks & Head of National Networks-designate , Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Bruce DuMont - founder and curator of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago; Robert Feder - Chicago Sun-Times media columnist; Sen Russ Feingold - Wisconsin Democrat; David J. Field - President and CEO Entercom, US; Michael Graham - Boston WTTK-FM host and former WMAL-AM, Washington, host; Ian Greenberg - President and CEO of Greenberg family owned Astral Media Inc, Canada; Ralph Guild - Chairman and CEO, Interep, US radio sales and marketing company; Ray Hadley -2GB, Sydney, morning host; Paul Harvey - ABC network commentator/ most listened to "radio voice" in the US; Peter Harvie - (2) - executive chairman Austereo; Richard Hooper- (2) Outgoing Deputy Chairman of Ofcom and former chairman UK Radio Authority; Quentin Howard - President, WorldDAB; Sue Howard - Director of Radio. ABC, Australia; Gregg Hughes - Opie of US Opie and Anthony show; Tim Hughes - Executive chairman, Macquarie Media Group, Australia; John Humphrys - (2) - BBC Radio 4 Breakfast show presenter; Terry Jacobs -Vice-chairman Regent Communications - formerly Chairman and CEO; Alan Jones - Sydney 2GB breakfast host; Mel Karmazin - (2) - CEO Sirius Satellite Radio; Garrison Keillor- U.S. author and broadcaster; Lenard Liberman - Executive vice-president, LBI Media (US); Alfred C. Liggins III - president and chief executive, Radio One Inc (US); Rush Limbaugh - (2) - conservative US talk-show host; Jeff Littlejohn - EVP of Distribution Development, Clear Channel Radio; Geoff Lloyd - breakfast host (with Pete Mitchell) for UK Virgin Radio - to move to late night show; Lyn Maddock - Acting chair, Australian Communications and Media Authority; Kevin Marsh - Editor, BBC Radio 4 "Today" breakfast show; Kevin J. Martin - (2) -Chairman US Federal Communications Commission; Gerry McCarthy - UK Sunday Times writer on Irish Radio; Pete Mitchell - breakfast show host (with Geoff Lloyd) for UK Virgin Radio- to leave at end of 2005; Tom Moloney -Chief Executive, Emap plc, UK; Annika Nyberg - (2) - former President of the World DAB Forum; Michael O'Keeffe - (2) - chief executive Broadcasting Commission of Ireland; Steve Orchard - Operations Director GCap Media; Hugh Panero - (2) - president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio; Robert Rabinovitch- president Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Charlie Rahilly- Executive Vice President of Operations, Clear Channel Radio; Mark Redmond - President and CEO, Sirius Canada; Sumner M. Redstone - chairman and CEO,Viacom (US); Bruce Reese - President and CEO, Bonneville International, US; Scott R. Royster - EVP and chief financial officer, Radio One Inc. US; Noah Samara - (2) -f ounder, chairman and CEO of international satellite radio company World Space Corporation; Tim Schoonmaker - (2) - former chief executive of UK EMAP Performance; Gary Slaight - President and CEO, Standard Broadcasting, Canada; William (Bill) Stakelin - President and CEO, Regent Communications; Howard Stern - (5) - US shock jock; Farid Suleman -Chairman and CEO Citadel Communications; Stephen Tapp - (2) - President and COO, XM-Canada; Deborah T. Tate -(2) - Republican - nominated as FCC commissioner; John Timpson - former BBC Radio 4 presented (deceased); Kenneth Y. Tomlinson- (3) -chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) , which oversees US government broadcasts to foreign countries and former chairman of the Corporation for Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) (Resigned amid controversy); Walter F. Ulloa - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Entravision(US); Dave Van Dyke - President, Bridge Ratings (US); Jim Waters - chairman CHUM Ltd and former president of CHUM Radio, Canadan
Numbers in brackets indicate the number of stories involving an individual mentioned more than once

November 2005 Archive

Prime Radio Stations
Streams are
Real Audio in
most cases: Some have Windows Media as well.

Radiofeeds UK -for comprehensive list of UK broadcast radio stations on the Internet

ABC, Australia
Streams list:
Radio Australia
News stream

ABC, Anerica
(Links to audio)

World Service:
(Links to audio services)
UK -Radio 1:
UK -Radio 2 :
UK Radio 3:
UK--Radio 4:
UK Radio Five Live:

BBC Where I Live (for local stations):
Radio 1 stream:
Radio 2 Stream:
Radio 3 stream:
Radio 4 stream (FM)
Radio 4 stream (AM):
Radio 5 stream:

Links to audio streams:

Hourly newscast:

US National Public Radio

Voice of America
Audio News reports:

WORLD RADIO NETWORK (listeners area has on-demand audio reports from various broadcasters from round the world)

Music Streams
King (US)
RTE Lyric FM (Ireland):

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-October 2005 - December 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 November comment - -Concludes that radio should get the core audio right rather than worry too much about adding video.
RNW October comment - Wonders whether convergence is really here and what it means for radio if so.
RNW September comment - Looks at what was and - more importantly - didn't seem to be on the agenda at the 2005 NAB Radio Show.

2005-11-30: US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J Martin has told the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that he shares their concern "about the increase in coarse programming on television and radio today" and that he also shares their belief that voluntary action from broadcasters would be the best solution.
He concentrated his comments on TV, calling for cable TV subscribers to be allowed to choose only the packages they wanted or alternatively that the same indecency regulations that apply to terrestrial broadcasters should apply to channels in basic packages but not to premium content.
"If cable and satellite operators continue to refuse to offer parents more tools such as family-friendly programming packages, basic indecency and profanity restrictions may be a viable alternative that should be considered," he commented.
The cable companies have resisted the idea of a-la-carte menus and Kyle McSlarrow, head of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association said the Martin suggestions clearly breach the First Amendment under current Supreme Court precedents.
Radio has so far escaped much of the controversy although the move of Howard Stern to Sirius and Opie and Anthony to XM could lead to organized protests as happened with his terrestrial broadcasts but Bonneville International CEO and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Joint Board Chairman Bruce Reese complained of an "uneven playing field" for terrestrial radio operators who faced an increasingly competitive marketplace against competitors who did not face the same restraints.
He was backed up by Clear Channel's SVP for Government Relations Jessica Marvencano, who argued for self-regulation rather than draconian penalties for indecency and urged the FCC to set up a task force of broadcasters to set indecency guidelines.
She said such action would be just as effective as the penalties being proposed by various lawmakers but said Congress couldn't apply tough penalties for terrestrial broadcasters but allow satellite radio and cable companies to operate without limits.
RNW comment: The satellite companies as well as being subscription services are barred from taking local advertising and providing local services and we would note that the technology is certainly there to allow terrestrial operators to run premium digital channels if they want.
Maybe the best plan is to allow an even playing field - give satellite the option of providing local services and the broadcasters the option of running paid-for premium digital channels. Somehow we don't think an even playing field is what NAB really wants though.

Previous Bonneville:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous FCC:
Previous Martin:
Previous NAB:
Previous Reese:

2005-11-30: The BBC says it has now topped 250 million requests for on-demand listening to its radio programmes, 100 million of them this year, during which cumulative listening to BBC radio online topped 134 million hours - 15,345 years.
The Corporation says that in October listening totaled 16.4 million house with 7.7 million unique visits: Commenting on the totals, Simon Nelson, Controller of BBC Radio & Music Interactive, said: "These incredible figures show that people really value the option of listening online and catching up with their favourite programmes if they miss them."
Total listening was up 0.38% month-on-month and 61.2% on a year earlier and of the BBC radio networks the largest month-on-month gain was by Radio Five Live with 17% whilst Five Live Sports Extra was at the other end of the range with a fall of 94%.
In terms of network listening in October this year, the rankings were - Total listening hours - live plus on-demand and percentage change compared to September then to October 2004:
Radio 1 - 4,647,114 + 9.9%; + 62.4%
Radio 2 - 3,340,378 + 12.8%; +68.6%.
Radio 4 - 2,623,027 +8.8%; +70.5%.
Radio 5 Live - 1,168,080 -17.7%% +44.6%.
BBC 7 - 1,422,528 + 5.9%; +82.6%
Radio 3 - 765,631 + 4.1%; + 52.4% (Up from seventh)
6 Music - 687,823 + 7.4%; 35.4% (Up from eighth).
1Xtra - 577,165 +13.3%; +15.4% (Up from ninth).
Asian Network 212,205 -1.3%; + 28.0%(Up from tenth)
5 Live Sports Xtra - 64,318 -93.5%; + 209.6%.
*5 Live Sports Extra was sixth in September.
The top five on-demand programmes in October were:
1- The BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers with 706,255 listens in October, up 23% on September, aided by strong storylines.
2 - Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 with 424,076 listens in October, down 5.4 % on September.
3 - Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 with 217,427 listens in October, up 10.8% on September.
4 - The Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1 with 202,735 listens in October, up 36.1 % on September.
5 - Empire, a new series on BBC Radio 4 with 189,236 listens in October.
* The Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4 with 187,913 listens in October, up 10.9% fell a rank to sixth.
Previous BBC:
Previous BBC Online figures:

Previous Nelson:
2005-11-30: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has announced that Adam Spencer is to replace Julie McCrossin, who quit the post after only a month for health reasons, as breakfast host on its Sydney station ABC 702. He will start his new role at the end of February.
Spencer, who hosted Triple J's breakfast show from 1999 to 2004 with Wil Anderson until taking a break to help raise his child, has recently been working for the station and ABC Local Radio NSW Manager Roger Summerill commented, "Adam is well known to 702 listeners and audiences across Australia and I know they'll appreciate and enjoy his sharp wit, creative intelligence and warm energy as they start their day with him."
Spencer, who has a first class honours degree in Pure Mathematics, is also an author and was once voted "Best Speaker in the World" at the World University Debating Championships.
He is a current member of the Senate of the University of Sydney; is also on the NSW Premier's Advisory Committee on Greenhouse and Global Warming; is part of the NSW Health Department's Clinical Ethics Review Committee and is an ambassador for the redkite organization and the Fred Hollows Foundation while continuing to support numerous charities.
Previous ABC, Australia:

2005-11-29: Entercom's WWL-AM, "The Big 870", which gained many plaudits for its cover of the effects of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding of New Orleans, is proving a lifeline to many people evacuated from the city according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 50,000 watts station can reach around 30 states at night time and the paper says for "many of the city's dispossessed, WWL has become a nightly ritual, a symbolic trip back home - presided over most weeknights by their host, advisor, therapist and friend, Deke "The Big Chief" Bellavia."
WWL says the report is a prime place for survivors to vent their anguish and to get a few answers although the size of the audience may not become clear until spring, since the Arbitron rating service temporarily has suspended audience surveys here. "But," it adds, "if the steady stream of calls and e-mails is any measure, the station's audience (also listening live on the Internet at has expanded hugely since the storm."
Bellavia takes over the airwaves at 1700 from afternoon host Garland Robinette, running his show with alternating partners - onetime oldies DJ Tommy Tucker and "Pal Al" Nassa and the paper says the others tend to distribute the facts, while Bellavia doles out the lovin'.
Amongst those expressing appreciation for the help received was school secretary Margaret Smith who said she was living alone more than two months after the storm and was desperate for repairs that she was ready to trade in a treasured playing-card collection, gathered over 25 years.
Bellavia and Tucker urged her not to give up her collection and pleaded with callers to help out leading to a stream of offers.
"Brother Deke and all them, they felt my cry," Smith said. "That's real, if you have a heart. They helped people. They are still helping people."
Previous Entercom:
Los Angeles Times report:

2005-11-29: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has announced the appointment of Kate Dundas, currently Head of Music Networks, to the expanded role of Head, National Networks with responsibility for the corporation's talk networks as well as the Triple J and ABC Classic FM responsibilities she already had.
She will take up the post when Mark Collier, Head of ABC Talk Networks, who has resigned, leaves on December 16.
Collier was one of the outsiders recruited to the ABC- he joined from talk station 2UE - by former ABC managing director Jonathan Shier and has been responsible among other things for introducing the corporation's large range of podcasts.
Sue Howard, Director of ABC Radio, paying tribute to his work, said in a statement, "Mark's contribution to ABC Radio and in particular, to the National Networks, has been immense. I will miss his energy, commitment and passion for radio enormously and wish him the very best in his new endeavours," adding, "I know Kate, with her extraordinary capabilities, will build on the networks' successes and will bring her own style and direction to the new role."
The ABC has also announced that Richard Aedy, formerly with its Media Report, is to replace Julie McCrossin as host of its Life Matters programme.
McCrossin left the programme to host the ABC 702 Breakfast show in Sydney but resigned from her new post after only a month for health reasons (See RNW Oct 6) and appears to have failed to get back a job at Radio National. So far no permanent replacement has been named for the breakfast slot that she left vacant.
Aedy will move into his new post at Life Matters, currently being hosted by Kate Evans, on January 23.
In Melbourne, ABC 774 has announced that Lindy Burns, currently filling in the Drive time slot is to take over the slot permanently: The role that was left vacant when Virginia Trioli moved to 702's morning slot in succession to succeeding Sally Loane, who quit the station when she learned the station was seeking a replacement (See RNW Aug 8). Loane is taking a public relations post with Coca Cola (See RNW Oct 31).
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Collier:
Previous Dundas:
Previous Howard:

2005-11-29: Former British cabinet minister David Blunkett, HSBC Chairman Sir John Bond; TV newsreader Anna Ford; Queen Noor of Jordan; and Steve 'Chandrasonic' Savale from the band Asian Dub Foundation are to guest edit BBC Radio 4's flagship Today breakfast show between December 27 and 31 this year under a scheme that began in 2003 (See RNW Dec 24, 2003 and Dec 10, 2004).
Under it the guest editors, with the assistance of BBC editors, producers, and reporters, are responsible for between a third and a half of their programme's output.
Today Editor Kevin Marsh said in a release, "Today's guest editors have been a great success. They've brought some fascinating and thought-provoking radio to Today listeners - and always from a fresh standpoint."
Blunkett, who said he intends to turn the table on regular Today show host John Humphrys, noted for his tough question of politicians, by interviewing him about the state of the media added, "Editing the Today Programme is something that I'm sure most listeners (and I am very much a listener now!) would want to have a go at. I'm particularly keen to reflect a better social and geographical spread, without alienating the traditional audience. I hope it will be entertaining - not full of heavy politics!"
Of the other guest editors, Queen Noor of Jordan says she will measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and Anna Ford will tackle ageism.
Previous BBC:
Previous Humphrys:
Previous Marsh:

2005-11-29: Conservative US host Rush Limbaugh has announced that he is to add video to his daily podcasts to Rush 24/7 subscribers from December 12 and including in the video his Morning Update, which is recorded the previous afternoon [RNW comment: Making it a late after date we'd have thought.]
There will be no extra charge to subscribers for the video about which Limbaugh says on his site, "The quality will be superb -- well, the content is flawless; you don't need to worry about the content because I'm in charge of that. Now, we've been testing this for the past two weeks, and I got a video iPod from my buds at CompUSA. I went out there, and I've been testing, looking at some of the video that we have prepared for the testing here, and it looks awesome. It's just awesome on a video iPod."
The video service is to be delivered using a Maven Networks Inc. platform and Limbaugh's syndicator Premiere Radio Networks has extended its agreement with Maven, whose technology is being used to deliver Limbaugh's audio podcasts.
Limbaugh is also continuing to promote his discounted offer - a mighty awesome USD49.95 a year (the normal price for the Rush 24/7 service -- the combined subscription including the Limbaugh letter is normally USD 59.90) for the "Rush 24/7 Limbaugh Letter Combo Subscription "to those who want to "adopt a soldier" by donating a subscription to Rush 24/7 and the Limbaugh letter to a member of the US Armed Forces. Members of the military who sign up are told that after the information they submit is verified they will be matched with a giver.
[RNW comment: When we first reported on Limbaugh's offer in our weekly look at print comment on media it was in the context of criticism, with which we fully agree, of Limbaugh's absence of shame at increasing his own income on the back of people risking their lives and we listed three other sites that were suggested as a better route to actually making donations to troops -See RNW Nov 21 Donations). If anything on reflection we find the man even worse since when we look at the detail we assume the names of those military members who sign up are likely to go into a list that Limbaugh will sell to give him even more income. To us the only positive note on the Limbaugh site is the one that says the Limbaugh subscription gifts are not tax deductible so at least other taxpayers are in no way forced to contribute.]
Previous Limbaugh:
Limbaugh web site:

2005-11-29: The UK Guardian is entering the podcast world with a weekly show from writer/comedian Ricky Gervais and his writing partner, Stephen Merchant, who will be reunited with their sidekick, Karl "the K Man" Pilkington, who produced their Saturday afternoon show that ran for two years on GCap Media's Xfm.
The paper quotes Gervais as saying of his decision to opt for the podcasts rather than return to Xfm, "I want to do a radio show where I can say what I want, when I want for as long as I want and that's free for anybody who can be bothered to listen anywhere in the world…We didn't want it to just be the best bits of a radio programme you'd missed so this is a show that is straight-to-Pod-cast. I suppose we're trying to create an exclusive club. We'd prefer this to be a few people's favourite show than a huge samey ineffectual broadcast."
The team will record 12 shows that will be posted by the paper on its site weekly from December 5.
Emily Bell, the editor in chief of Guardian Unlimited, commented, "Their humour is perfect for our audience, both here and in the US. GU has been experimenting with podcasting over the past year but this represents the start of a much bigger commitment to using different digital formats which give our users the best content in the most convenient way."
UK Guardian report:

2005-11-28: The broadcaster consolidation that happened in US radio following deregulation is now underway in the UK, where rumours abound of further deals, and likely to happen in Australia in the near future should current rules be eased as is expected and there, as in the US, there are fears about the likely effects.
Commenting on the plans, Jock Given in the Melbourne Age sums up his expectations succinctly with the headline, "The Government moves will mean more ownership concentration, not less."
"The Government," he writes, "has decided it wants to do the double. It is going to try to change the rules on media ownership in Australia, and those on introducing digital TV and shutting down analogue."
And of what is planned: "We know some of it already. The cross-media and foreign ownership rules are to go. That is a long-standing commitment. There will be no more commercial TV licences. That is a promise from the last election. There will be no new capital city commercial radio stations, in the most popular broadcast frequency bands, for six years after the start of digital radio services, expected in two to three years."
Givens says that already Australians had expressed concern about media ownership and notes that the 2003 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes found 81 per cent of Australians thought media ownership was too concentrated among a few rich families and adds that the concentration also affects Internet information with the country's top 10 news and information websites, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, almost all controlled by well-established players
He also notes the potential for misinformation, commenting, "Despite so many affordable technical possibilities, the juggernaut of the Information Age went to war on the basis of inaccurate information. Most Australians got through an election campaign unaware the "children overboard" pictures were not even taken on the same day as the acts whose motivation they were supposed to prove… These things run deeper than the structural question of who owns the media. But the fewer owners there are, the easier misinformation becomes. We need a smarter plan than simply freeing up the contest between commercial media organizations, and making our broadcasters digital."
In the US, where the consolidation is well along the road, two articles by David Lindquist in the Indianapolis Star last week showed something of the weakness of the market when it comes to giving the public what it wants, unless you are happy that the determinant is numbers measured in dollars rather than people.
Lindquist noted that five companies control 17 of the top 20 stations in the market and in one of two articles he reports comment by Susquehanna's Vice president and general manager Charlie Morgan (whose three Indiapolis stations and the rest of its radio business is being sold to newly formed private partnership - Cumulus Media Partners, LLC) about the of the killing of oldies WGLD-FM.
It was replaced by JACK-style free-form pop on the 104.5 frequency now occupied by the WJJK-FM and Morgan says that WGLD lacked a profitable future because advertisers were losing interest in its aging listeners.
"The business model of free radio is that we provide programming that accumulates a large enough audience of potential consumers so advertisers will want to support it," he commented.
The change to the new format initially took the station, which had frequently been ranked fifth, to sixth rank but it's subsequently dropped to tenth: It also changed the market for other players.
Shortly after the switch, Emmis switched its 17th ranked talk and adult pop WENS-FM to WLHK-FM or "Hank," that plays Nashville hits from various eras so as to take some of the audience from Susquehanna's top-ranked country WFMS-FM: The change worked and took WLHK to sixth in Arbitron's summer quarter.
Emmis executive Tom Severino, who was responsible for the change, said of 2005 "The entire market just changed dramatically. It wasn't just a normal evolution of change. This was a revolution."
In another reaction Entercom retired light-rock WTPI in October in favour of WNTR, "the Track," a 1970s to 1980s pop Jack variant that so far has been operating without on-air personalities although posts have been advertised.
Some former WTPI listeners complained of the demise of Indianapolis DJ Steve Cooper's long-running morning show with one woman saying, "When you wake up to the same voice for 20 years and then it's gone, they've taken the personality out of radio."
Both Radio One Inc, with four stations, and Clear Channel with three have so far resisted the temptation to flip formats, the former because its hop-hop WHHH-FM and R&B WTLC-FM are performing well.
The latter is putting faith in its less-is-more initiative to cut back on advertising clutter and the market's independent success story Indy Media's WKLU-FM has followed the same track: Owner Russ Oasis commented, "After four or five commercials, half the audience is gone. At only four commercials an hour, your audience stays."
His classic rock format, aided by some tinkering and a transmitter move, has risen from 22nd to seventh rank.
In California, Bob Sokolsky in the San Bernardino Sun comments on the impending demise of the Lounge adult music format on XTRA (690 AM). The station is dying because of a change in regulations that put Mexican-owned but Clear Channel operated station - via a lease - into the company's count for the market and took it above permitted limits.
Program director and morning host Brad Chambers says the format is likely to go in late December or early January. He says that since giving notice of the change he has been "getting literally thousands of letters, phone calls and e-mails" but that there's very little chance for the format.
"I'm guessing it will become a Spanish language news and talk station," Chambers says. "But we didn't want that change to come about in the usual way -- you know, when you tune in and suddenly find a totally different format and totally different on-air people. Our listeners have always been very loyal so we decided to tell them well in advance."
He adds of maintaining the format, "Advertisers don't pay attention to older listeners and you have to wonder why. People who are 45 (and older) make up 29 percent of our population and control 57 percent of our spending. You'd think someone would come to realize that. "But advertisers prefer to concentrate on the younger listener. And you'd be surprised at how many of them listen to this music too."
So on to listening suggestions and no apologies for eschewing the musical formats that make up most American radio - our view is that in general this is an area where there are so many sources for people to choose the music they want that the only reason for a recommendation would be particularly outstanding comment from a DJ that would make compelling listening a week later and we regard that as rather rare.
Strangely enough some of the same people seem capable of more compelling comment about things dating back much further, maybe because the source music on which they are commenting has stood the test of time.
In that category we'd put "I Will Not Let You Go... The Bohemian Rhapsody Story" from BBC Radio 2 on Saturday with comments from Brian May, Roger Taylor, members of Freddie Mercury's family, Ben Elton and members of the cast of We Will Rock You, record producer Roy Thomas Baker and others as well as Freddie Mercury himself in rare archive interview material.
And for variety we'd note that as well as the Queen version the programme includes various cover versions of an original that has attracted attention from amongst others Rolf Harris, G4, The Massed Bands of The RAF and the San Francisco Gay Men's Choir with versions for Christmas, brass band, and orchestra - it's quite interesting in Japanese!
Then from BBC Radio 4 last week the first part of a three-part series "Blowing the Music Away" looking at the musical history of New Orleans - past, present and potentially future. The first part will be on the station web site until tomorrow when the second part airs (13:30 GMT with a repeat on Saturday at 15:30).
And a mention for a first time of programme only available as a podcast or MP3: It's a little amateurish and not posted to a completely regular schedule but worth a dip into if only to sample some of the music of Native American Indian artists.
Host Michael Kickingbear, or more conventionally Mike Johnson, is a member of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe who has created his Indigenous People's Music show using MP3 audio files sent to him by Indian artists.
The techniques are simple and the audio quality variable - and we can't see it ever being profitable -but it does illustrate how much more easy it is now to make audio available without needing the big recording companies.
Next a couple of suggestions from BBC Radio 4 on Sunday that have a common theme in terms of the access to the corridors of power.
In File on Four, Sarah Spiller reported on the 15,000 lobbyists who try to influence and frequently succeed in influencing European policies and in Analysis Diane Coyle considers globalization in advance of next month's global trade talks in Hong Kong: Difficult not to conclude after them that it should be a legal requirement that lobbying companies publish the arguments they have used and the politicians and officials they have approached and evidence to back them up - not difficult to do now the Internet has made such things much easier - with automatic jail sentences for all directors of PR companies when there are breaches. Such a change might have made various politicians poorer but it could also have saved them from pushing noses too deeply into the trough.
Finally back to BBC Radio 2 and a couple of documentaries this week - on Tuesday at 20:30 GMT, Smile: The Genius Of Charlie Chaplin the first of two hour-long programmes and Saturday, also at 20:30 GMT - a John Lennon documentary, "Bigger Than Jesus." The remark made in an interview with a London newspaper - "…We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity" - attracted no outrage until it was reprinted in an American magazine four months later on the eve of a Beatles tour of the USA, leading to virulent attacks and boycotts -presumably from those whose faith was as significantly wanting as their knowledge of history, which should have told them not to take the comment that seriously.
Previous Columnists:
Indianapolis Star - Lindquist on new formats:
Indianapolis Star - Lindquist on major corporate owners:
Indigenous Music podcast/MP3 site:
Melbourne Age - Given:
San Bernardino Sun - Sokolsky:

2005-11-28: Sirius and XM are ramping up their sales and marketing efforts in the US and Canada -where XM launched last week (See RNW Nov 23) and Sirius launches on Thursday - in the rush up to the holiday period and in the US the next four weeks will be especially critical for the US satellite radio companies according to a Washington Post report that says the period from Thanksgiving will be the first major test of how many subscribers Howard Stern can pull in for Sirius.
For XM, the pressure is on to meet the six million-subscriber target it has forecast it will reach -a significant point on a move into operating profit - and XM is marketing its service on the basis of the service it offers.
Spokesman Chance Patterson, contrasting this with Sirius, said, "Our campaign this season is to make sure consumers know with XM they get the broadest range of choices and not programming tailored to just one segment of the population" whilst for Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has already told analysts, "No one will not know that Howard is coming to Sirius."
The Sirius marketing campaign featuring Stern is limited at the moment because of the host's contract with Infinity and will continue into next year, when it will feature him more prominently.
In Canada the two companies are also in a race with XM Canada beating Sirius Canada to air last week albeit broadcasting from temporary studios in Montreal: Sirius is to launch on Thursday.
In the Toronto Star, XM Canada president and COO Stephen Tapp spoke of a "whirlwind" of getting ready, adding, "Yes, we're ahead of schedule," said Tapp. "We've just been working really hard to meet the demand we've been getting from our retailers and GM (which installs XM radio in more than 50 of its 2006 models) and other automotive partners to get the service up for Christmas… The Christmas selling season is the most important for satellite radio. And, based on Decima polling, with the awareness of satellite radio skyrocketing in this country to almost 50 per cent, we wanted to ensure that we were providing Canadians with a legal alternative, because the longer we were on the sidelines, the longer the grey market could take hold."
At Sirius Canada, Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Standard Broadcasting that with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is partnered with Sirius, argued for his company on the basis of superior service - it costs CAD 14.99 a month compared to CAD 12.99 for XM - saying, We have more channels. It's going to come down to the quality of the product."
Slaight said he "started looking at satellite radio when it launched in the States," adding, "As a conventional broadcaster, I was sceptical. Then I realized the impact on commercial radio is going to happen anyway, so we may as well be part of it. It's a few years before we have to worry about (its impact on our main business); it's mostly subscribers, so we're not worried about it impacting ad support."
"We already had the infrastructure, studios, people, programming, expertise and marketing clout," said Slaight, who speculated that XM partner, Canadian entrepreneur John Bitove Jr., CEO of Priszm Canadian Income Fund - which runs KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell restaurants in seven provinces - will "use his other business to promote the hell out of it."
Slaight, whose company in 2001 teamed up with CHUM and Newcap in a deal giving them equal shares of Canadian Internet music streaming company Iceberg, expressed particular excitement over Sirius's Canadian rock station, Iceberg Radio, saying, "This is a great business for us, but it also gives us an opportunity to give Canadian talent a window into U.S., because all those American subscribers will be able to hear them."
Iceberg's programmer Liz Janik said of the channel, "Our mandate is 100 per cent Canadian talent. That would probably upset most broadcasters, but here we're pretty happy about that. We've put the word out that we're taking Canada to the U.S. …Our playlist will be 25 per cent that's never been on a music chart and 25 per cent of albums that have been out for less than six months. So right away, half of it will be brand new music to be explored."
And the launch music for Iceberg on Thursday? The first hour will feature songs with the word "radio" in them and Janik says, "Rush's `Spirit of Radio' is a good bet."
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2005-11-28: Britain's Sunday papers are reporting that the fall in the share price and its plans to get out of its problems have revived takeover interest in GCap Media from private equity groups with the Independent on Sunday saying that former Emap Performance chief executive Tim Schoonmaker is fronting a bid from Australian investment bank Macquarie for the group: Earlier this month the UK Guardian reported that Schoonmaker was heading a bid but said it was not thought to involve Macquarie (See RNW Nov 5). Other groups said to be evaluating a bid are private equity groups Cinven and 3i.
GCap chief executive Ralph Bernard played down suggestions of a takeover after the interim results were released, saying there had not been shareholder reaction and terming its institutional shareholders " a pretty stable bunch" who would not be bounced into reaction and adding, "Do I look bothered?" The speculation I read is just that: speculation. It's having zero effect. We have not had any approach."
The Observer suggests that this may change and notes that City reaction to Bernard's plans to run fewer adverts had been sceptical and noting they had recommended that investors sell their shares.
It said the fall of a fifth in the market value of the company over the past week had made it vulnerable to a bid and adds that the Daily Mail and General Trust, which has a 15% stake in GCap might opt to bid itself rather than sell its holding.
North of the border,The Scotsman focuses its report on the re-launch of GCap's regional dance and rock station Beat 106 as Xfm, noting that like Capital FM in London its audience has fallen significantly - down from a high of 509,000 listeners in 2001 to 379,000 in the latest ratings.
It quotes Stuart Duncan, marketing and operations controller for Beat 106, as saying, "Guitar-led music has become the first choice with the Scottish audience. The new format can offer something to new listeners whose needs are currently not being met while still retaining its specialist music appeal."
Radio consultant John Evington, who said strong brands will be more important in a digital future when there is more choice commented, "Xfm in Scotland can survive by targeting a niche audience; it will never have a massive audience reach but it will have a very clearly defined and sellable audience…But the transition has to be handled very carefully, as there is some equity in the Beat 106 brand."
The Scotsman also notes former BBC Radio 1 and Radio Clyde host Mark Page's attempts to keep a Lanarkshire local station going. Page's Garrison Radio, which has five stations providing radio programmes to British Army barracks, took over the licence of the former Edge 107, which Kingdom Radio closed down earlier this year after final attempts to find a buyer for it as a going concern failed (See RNW July 16).
Page said the re-launch of the former UKRD Clan FM as The Edge was an error, commenting, "They weren't running a local station for Lanarkshire. It was an image-station, a brand focused on playing new music for Glasgow even though the signal didn't properly cover Glasgow. They made the mistake of trying to take on Clyde."
Page, who remains based in Middlesborough, is broadcasting as L107 from a business centre in Hamilton and believes he can succeed by keeping a close grip on costs and concentrating on local news and sport.
"Real Radio and Radio Clyde are certainly not the giant commercial monopoly stations of a decade or two ago," says Page. "It's fine to mention them, but the competition comes from around twenty stations, not two, and we're uniquely placed as the only media outlet that specializes purely in Lanarkshire - there isn't even a newspaper that covers the whole of Lanarkshire."
In Ireland, the deadline for Zed FM to pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court against the award of the Dublin alternative rock licence to Phantom FM expires today: The licence was granted to Phantom FM last year (See RNW Nov 9, 2004) and earlier this month the High Court upheld the award (See RNW Nov 6).
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2005-11-27: The main regulator-related stories over the past week were two large penalties - a record fine in the UK and in the US Warner Music Group's settlement of a payola investigation by the New York Attorney General's office (See RNW Nov 23), an issue also being investigated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)..
There were no radio announcements from Australia but in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had a moderately busy week with radio decisions including the following (In order of province):
Approval of conversion of CKWA-AM, Slave Lake to 5,700 watts FM:
*Approval of new 5 watts English-language developmental community FM in Stella.
*Approval of transmitter relocation for Adult Classic Hit FM radio station in Kincardine approved in February.
*Approval of extension until 13 November 2006 of deadline to commence operation of new CBC English- and French-language FM radio station in Algonquin Park authorized in November 2003.
*Approval of transmitter relocation, power decrease from 700 watts to 485 watts and antenna height increase for new adult standards/easy listening FM radio station in Ottawa approved in June.
*Licence renewal until 31 August 2012 for CHPR-FM, Hawkesbury.
Prince Edward Island:
*Approval of 1,880 watts transmitter at St. Edward to rebroadcast the programming of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national French-language network service La Première Chaîne.
*Approval of 173 watts transmitter at Urbainville to rebroadcast the programming of the CBC's national French-language network service La Première Chaîne.
*Approval of subsidiary communications multiplex operations (SCMO) channel by CJPX-FM Montréal to broadcast a service predominantly in the Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Sinhalese languages.
*Approval of application by TVA Group Inc. for a licence to operate a French-language radio network to offer programming originating from CFTM-TV Montréal, a new network that will allow the live simultaneous broadcast of programs such as "Devine qui vient ce soir II" and "Star Académie 2005".
The CRTC also issues various public notices including in Manitoba the approval of transfer of effective control of Radiolink, licensee of adult standards and easy listening CHNR-FM , Winnipeg, from Radiolink to Newcap Inc.
The deal was opposed by Rogers Broadcasting Limited, CHUM Limited and Corus Entertainment Inc., all of whom own and operate commercial stations in Winnipeg. They claimed that CHNR-F had abandoned its format commitment and was currently operating in an adult contemporary format and also breaching regulations on Canadian content. Newcap contended that the station had not breached its licence conditions.
Granting the approval the CRTC noted that CHNR-FM is not profitable, nor is it expected to be in the foreseeable future, that Radiolink has indicated that it does not have sufficient resources to sustain the operation of CHNR-FM, and concluded that the station and the audience it serves will benefit from Newcap's broadcasting expertise and its ability to ensure that the station attains financial viability.
There were no radio decisions from Ireland although there the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is involved in the release of radio ratings, the latest of which came out last week (See RNW Nov 24).
In the UK, Ofcom levied a record GBP 125,000 (USD 215,000) fine on a radio station for various racist comments and jokes (See RNW Nov 26): it also gave reasons for its award of seven community licences earlier this month (See RNW Nov 12). The reasons given ranged from demonstration of local demand and support for the services, to broadening of choice, and provision of access and training.
Ofcom also published another Broadcast Bulletin, this time upholding no complaints against radio (See RNW Nov 22) and also appointed Philip Graf as its Non-Executive Deputy Chairman to replace Philip Hooper, former chairman of the UK Radio Authority (See RNW Nov 24).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as the issue of payola, also received a filing from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) calling on it to reject low-power AM (See RNW Nov 23).
The FCC also announced that it was now ready to grant six more FM construction permits to winners in its Auction 37, with final payments due on December 6: They are for stations in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, and Texas.
The New York permit relates to a USD 2.7 million bid from Radioactive, LLC., which is headed by former Clear Channel Radio CEO Randy Michaels.
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2005-11-27: Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has expressed interest in being involved in TV and FM radio in India but is concerned at the restrictions on news and current affairs programmes according to a Press Trust of India report in the Hindustan Times.
It quotes Director-General Erik Bettermann, who was visiting Delhi as saying that DW, which had revenues of about 300 million Euros last year, was open to making investments in the Indian market
Bettermann, who met top officials of public broadcasters All-India Radio (AIR) and Doordorshan, welcomed the government's decision to allow foreign direct investment in FM radio but expressed concern on the ban on news and current affairs programming in private FM radio and barring of foreign TV news broadcasters from running programming and advertising specifically designed for Indian audience.
DW, which is funded by the German government, transmits multilingual services, including a service in Hindi over its network, which has 29 radio channels as well as TV.
The report says that the BBC is understood to have already filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for a 20 per cent stake in a radio company.
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2005-11-26: Shares in GCap Media fell by another 5% on Friday to end the week at 268 pence following a fall of 17% on Thursday after the release of weak interim results (See RNW Nov 25): Comment in the financial pages of British newspapers had been solidly focused on the company's problems.
In the Financial Times, Media Correspondent Emiko Terazono terms the past 12 months "a lost year at GCap Media" and notes that it's market value, a total of more than GBP 700 million (USD 1.205 billion) for predecessor companies Capital Radio and GWR had fallen to GBP 465 million (USD 801 million at Thursday's close - it was down to GBP 439.6 million - USD 757 million- on Friday).
The FT quoted one analyst as saying of GCap's plans to cut back advertising at Capital Radio - which chief executive Ralph Bernard said would lead to a GBP 3.3 million (USD 5.7 million) fall in pre-tax profits on a GBP 7 million (USD 12 million) fall in revenues for the year to March 2007 - that it was "commercial suicide."
In The Times - not a related paper - Robert Cole under the heading "The road to radio recovery looks hard for struggling GCap" says "In two or three years' time these may be seen as wise. At present, however, the action taken on the dividend and the Capital Radio advertising rate card simply looks necessary. Investors will rightly question whether they want anything to do with a company that finds itself backed into a corner." And concludes after further analysis, "Things may get better, eventually. The immediate prospects for the share price, however, are poor. Sell."
The Telegraph uses Queen's hit single Radio Ga Ga as descriptive of GCap's plight, commenting, "Judging by the ghastly sounds coming out of GCap Media yesterday, the commercial radio group has gone all Radio Ga Ga, to use the lyrics of the Queen hit single which the company's Capital FM station used to play so much."
It concludes, "Having been ousted in September with a pay-off of at least £600,000, Mr Mansfield [former Capital chief executive David Mansfield who became initially GCap chief executive] can now watch in comfort from the sidelines as Mr Bernard desperately tries to clear up the mess of the Mansfield years. If he doesn't there will be plenty of time for him each afternoon to sing along with one of his favourite Queen songs:
The Guardian in one of its reports takes up the issue of blame under the heading "Capital's former management blamed for slump" and quotes GCap Media operations director Steve Orchard as saying Capital's management was "overwhelmed" by the many problems at Capital FM and kept hoping ratings would improve whereas in fact, the station lost half its audience in five years.
Orchard said the arrival of GWR executives, following the merger with Capital Radio, allowed the company an "outside perspective" on the problems at Capital FM that combined with most recent ratings figures so bad that an overhaul could no longer be put off.
"When you are in the middle of it, you always hope that the next Rajar would turn the corner and the management had been overwhelmed by those factors. But when you get a [Rajar] result like last time, and a new management, you can say 'we've got to do it'. Outside perspective is a very valuable tool," he said.
Capital FM is to re-launch on January 3 as Capital Radio to combat the four biggest problems outlined by Mr Orchard- being "too cheesy, too hype-y; DJs talking too much; playing the same songs over and over and playing too many commercials".
"We're going to have a more disciplined DJ style and play more music. We will improve programming and adopt a new music position as well as inventory," he said but he refused to say which DJs would be axed although he said every aspect of Capital FM - which is to be re-branded Capital Radio - was being reappraised, including DJs' styles and what they say and do on air.
The paper says Orchard admitted that "because of the sheer numbers of female listeners we've lost" the station was too blokey" and goes on to speculate which DJs could go.
It says "Johnny Vaughan's breakfast show job is believed likely to be safe - not least because it would cost millions to buy him out of his contract - although his waffle-heavy style will be curtailed" but adds that question marks hang over drivetime host Richard Bacon, even though he has a two-year contract, Neil Bentley, who hosts the weekday afternoon slot, and morning DJ James Cannon.
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2005-11-26: Radio One Inc CEO Alfred C. Liggins III sees his company outperforming the industry with a particular opportunity in black talk radio according to the Washington Post, which notes that on a recent conference call Liggins had spent much of his time explaining to analysts how this could be done.
Liggins, says the Post, has spent two years coming up with new ways for his company to reach black consumers - he commented, "We're in the black people business. We are in the business of aggregating audience for this particular demo and providing content to them."
He has launched cable network TV One LLC, bought a 51% interest in Reach Media, which syndicates the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" on about 115 radio stations nationwide, and is now planning a black talk network.
Liggins said he has not done any research to determine whether there is a market for such a national talk network for blacks, but the lack of black news programs convinced him there was room. "We think the market for talk is there," he said. "There are tons of talk options for non-African Americans…Our company was built off of an all-talk radio station. Now we are large enough that it makes sense to invest in this type of programming."
The network is still being developed for a launch early next year on some of Radio One's AM stations with syndication to other urban stations: It is planned to air from 10:00 to 19:00 weekdays and include a political morning show hosted by Al Sharpton and an afternoon drive hosted by Doug and Ryan Stewart, who currently host "The 2 Live Stews" sports show in Atlanta.
In support of Liggin's contention the Post notes that only around 7.5% of the audience of the nearly 2,200 news-talks stations in the US are black and quotes Holland Cooke, a talk radio consultant for Cleveland-based radio consulting firm McVay Media as saying, "I make my living advising talk radio stations, and I keep ending up in these meetings where everyone in the meeting is a white male 50-something-year-old Republican, and the reason we are having the meeting is that the [station's] ratings just came in and the only people who are listening are white male 50-something Republicans…They can't figure out where the women and black listeners are."
Wachovia Securities analyst Bishop Cheen said he thinks Liggins's talk radio plan will work. "He's trying to leverage his core skill set. He has [radio] talent, and he has content," Cheen said. "He also has a bunch of AM stations. He thinks he can serve literally hundreds of AM stations who want to reach the African American population."
Liggin's company began in talk when his mother Catherine L. Hughes acquired 1000 watts WOL-AM in 1980 for USD 900,000 - nearly all borrowed and converted it from soul music to talk: She herself was morning host from until the mid-1990s. Radio One's move into music stations began with the acquisition of WMMJ-FM in Washington seven years after the WOL acquisition - Hughes changed it from soft pop to R&B and most of its stations are now hip-hop and R&B.
RNW comment: It seems to us worth noting here that in the early 1970's three stations -- WOL-AM, WOOK-AM and Howard University's WHUR-FM where Hughes worked before she launched Radio One - all had active news departments serving DC's African-Americans, employing some 20 staff --- 12 at WHUR, five at WOL, and four at WOOK. Now WHUR is still in news but WOL has gone for talk. We presume it makes business sense - and the language being used by Liggins is often indistinguishable from that of other radio operators when it comes to talk of the business.
Maybe Liggins comment of being "in the black people business" needs the words "exploiting ill-informed" inserted before the word Black. We don't wish his talk network ill but would like to see more information and less opinion - often rabble-rousing to the already converted - on US radio in general. It would be good to see a future re-incarnation of Hughes with some of the same fire she had manage to bring back news successfully rather than just talk.

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2005-11-26: The Tawani Foundation has awarded the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) USD 250,000 to fund a digitisation initiative that will make more than 600 programs on U.S. military issues available to the public, both onsite - the museum is due to open in new premises late next year - and online. The grant will also support two public programs exploring the media and the military.
The museum already has a diverse audio-visual collection of documentaries, national news programs, and radio reports focusing on U.S. military history covering World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War and its Founder and President Bruce DuMont said the two organizations shared a "passion for collecting, preserving and presenting significant moments in radio and television history", many of which related to military history and also a passion for making the material available to the public.
"This partnership will allow the MBC and the Tawani Foundation to meet its mission of education," he added.
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2005-11-25: Shares in GCap Media, Britain's largest radio group, fell by nearly a fifth on Thursday spurring renewed speculation about a takeover bid by various venture capital groups following the release of interim results that showed group revenues in the six months to the end of September down 11% to GBP 111.6 million (USD 192.3 million), operating profit down 27% to GBP 14.7 million (USD 25.3 million) and pre-tax profit down 28.3% to GBP 12.4 million (USD 21.4 million).
At one point the shares hit a low of 275.75 pence before recovering a little to end down 17.3% at 282 pence.
GCap said that its most important priority was reversing the audience decline at its flagship Capital FM in London and to do this it would reduce advertising clutter- it will have advertising during the day and limit adverts to a maximum of two run together, survey listeners' views and reformat and re-launch the station." We believe that we have a very strong position from which to rebuild Capital FM's audiences and its revenues - but only if we make significant changes to the station," it said in a statement."
GCap says it is to concentrate its efforts on five areas - - London, south-east, Midlands, North West, Anglia, Wales and the West, North East, Scotland and dispose of nine stations - MFM, Buzz, Coast FM and Champion FM in the north-west and Plymouth Sound, Lantern, Gemini, Orchard FM and South Hams in the south-west; develop national brands to compete with the BBC - these would be the Capital FM/Century network/One network, Xfm, Core-Xfm is to replace The Storm digital station and Beat 106 will be re-launches as Xfm and Xfm launched in Manchester; Classic FM; Planet Rock and a Life & Capital Gold brand combining its existing Life and Capital Gold networks.
It also wants to develop non traditional revenue from CDs- including compilations from Xfm, Choice and Classic FM, books, licensing, the sale of ringtones and downloads and so on.
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2005-11-25: UK media regulator Ofcom has slapped a record GBP 125,000 (USD 215,000) fine on Manchester radio station Key 103, owned by Emap's Picadilly Radio, for racist comments and also for jokes about the death of hostage Ken Bigley, beheaded in Iraq, made by a late-night phone in programme host in October and November last year.
It's previous largest fines had been of GBP 75,000-penalties imposed on Virgin Radio in 2000 when then breakfast DJ Chris Evans breached impartiality rules by supporting Ken Livingstone in the election for Mayor of London - its largest radio fine at that time (See RNW May 17, 2000) and in 2002 when late-night host Jon Holmes made remarks encouraging a nine-years-old girl to repeat sexually explicit words for a contest called "Swearword Hangman"(See RNW Mar 20, 2002).
Ofcom's Content Sanctions Committee said it found the content "some of the most offensive material it had heard" and added, "In particular, the presenter's continual focus on race and religion as forms of abuse caused grave concern. The attacks on callers were verbally aggressive and highly offensive."
The station had admitted the breaches and Emap's Managing Director for Radio Programming said the material was "about the worst thing" he had ever heard on the radio. The station said it wanted "distance itself from any racist remarks and wanted to stress that the licensee was in no way racist" but defended Key's track record over two decades.
In making its judgment Ofcom said "the station had paid insufficient attention to the long history of problems with James Stannage. It had relied too heavily on the presenter's personal assurances that such content would not be repeated when it should have been clear to them that serious breaches were likely to occur again."
Ofcom noted that its predecessor, the Radio Authority, had also fined Key in April 1996 (GBP 1,000 -USD 1,700) and June 1997 (GBP 10,000 - USD 17,200) for comments made by Stannage and had also issued a warning over a breach of its Programme Code in November 2003 concerning a conversation with a Lupus sufferer, when Stannage graphically described how she should have carried out her suicide attempt. Ofcom itself had held that he breached its rules in jokes about the death of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay in February 2004 (See RNW May 20, 2004)
The comments concerned were jokes about Bigley made only two days after his death that were combined with remarks about his wife being Thai - he had asked, "What's yellow and got a spare hat? Ken Bigley's widow", and also commented, "Why do we give a shit about Ken Bigley? He went for the money … He's got a 25 year old tart from Thailand"
Other comments listed by Stannage were racially and religiously prejudiced - among other things he referred to Sharon Osborne as a "dirty old slapper … stupid, stupid Jewish princess wife" told a Moslem caller he fasted "because you're a brainless, moronic Islam baby. That's all … You're just a Muslim sheep" and commented to a woman, after asking her if her marriage had been arranged, "Your husband's gambling and whoring, baby. I see all the Muslim boys out all night when I go out at 2am baby. I go to the casino and the late night drinking clubs and all the Muslim boys are there … Why aren't you now, at this moment, shagging your husband? …Have you ever given your husband a blow job?"
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2005-11-25: The largest radio station owner in New South Wales, Bill Caralis 's 2SM Supernetwork, has pulled out of bidding for rugby league next year according to the Sydney Morning Herald, which quotes 2SM head of sports programming Mike Niu as blaming the decision on stalling by Macquarie Radio Network, owner of Sydney 2GB.
"The last 10 months have been just ridiculous," Niu told the paper. "Basically [Macquarie's] 2GB was delaying it [the bidding process]. We pulled out purely because we were getting nowhere and it was leaving us no time to sell [advertising]. The question for the NRL [National Rugby League] is how could they give a Sydney station the NSW rights when they don't have a regional network?"
2SM owner Broadcast Operations, which owns 33 radio stations in NSW and south-east Queensland, has bought cover from Macquarie in recent seasons but Liu said in 2006 it would launch its own syndicated weekend sports show which would cover rugby league.
Macquarie chief executive, Angela Clark, said she was surprised by the decision but if Caralis did not carry rugby league next year, a combination of community and commercial stations was likely to be found that would.
"Bill [Caralis] hasn't told me he's not interested," she said. "Maybe I'll get a call today. I'm getting a bit confused with Caralis's messages. If that network doesn't want to take the rights from us, it's really up to them. They haven't been locked out. There are other stations out there, whether they are commercial or community stations, happy to take the NRL."
NRL communications director John Brady said the NRL decided to extend the existing contract with Macquarie because most station owners wanted to bid for multi-year rights from 2007, when radio commentary for Monday and Friday night football games would be introduced and added that ABC Radio, which has the largest regional network in Australia, would still carry the 2006 season.
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2005-11-25: A small radio station in Muzaffarabad, capital of the Pakistani-held portion of Kashmir, is providing vital information to victims of last month's earthquake according to a feature in the Los Angeles Times.
Radio Muzaffarabad provides information to quake victims in tent cities and isolated villages that can hear its signal on battery-powered radios donated by aid groups and receives about 100 calls a day, either seeking help or giving thanks for its service, which has provided victims with a vital link to the outside world and informed them of the availability of critical services.
The station's studios and an adjacent television complex were flattened by the earthquake that killed nearly a third of its 80 employees and its broadcasting using equipment borrowed from its parent group, government-run Radio Pakistan.
Mohammed Bilal, a 25-year-old producer from nearby Peshawar who volunteered to help restart the station and who, like other employees lives in a tent near the sheet-metal studio that - along with a 750-foot radio tower - was trucked in along mountain roads, along with others dug through wreckage to rescue equipment: It broadcasts in English and Urdu as well as dialects such as Kashmiri, Gojiri and Pahari but only has around a 30-square mild coverage compared to its former signal that had a broadcast range of 100 miles, stretching into India..
It broadcasts 11 hours a day, down from the previous 17, to allow for maintenance and checks.
Bilal said his worst moment came during an interview with an 11-year-old girl whose parents were dead and older brother missing. "She was badly wounded and could not walk, but she was holding up," he recalled. "But as she talked about how she could not return to school, she began to cry. I just let my recorder run. Later, her sobs filled the airwaves. It was a terrible thing to me, but I had to tell the story."
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2005-11-24: US recording companies are bidding for royalty payments for radio broadcasts of their music according to Billboard Radio Monitor which says the demand was made at a recent House subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property panel hearing on broadcast and audio flags.
US radio stations, unlike stations in many other countries, have traditionally been exempt from such fees on the basis of the promotional value of their airplay but Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol said the change was necessary because digital radio broadcasts would allow songs to be copied directly from broadcasts and would thus cost sales.
The report says The RIAA, SoundExchange, the Recording Academy, the Recording Artists' Coalition and the music unions are also working to win the songwriting and music publishing community over to their cause but they admit that their legislative strategy is in its first stages and might take several sessions of Congress to reach their goal.
Clear Channel Executive Vice President for Law and Government Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Andrew Levin said talk of a performance right was "counter-intuitive" and added, "What they'd be ultimately doing is keeping their songs from consumers, because we certainly couldn't embrace HD radio like we're committed to now."
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2005-11-24: Jonathan James-Moore, head of BBC Radio Light Entertainment from 1993 to 1998, has died aged 59.
Paying tribute to him, Jenny Abramsky, BBC Director of Radio and Music, said: "If you ever had a meeting with Jonathan you knew it would be a laugh. He was an absolutely lovely man, terrific fun. I will miss seeing that huge galumphing figure with the mass of red hair wandering down the road. He was a real human being who didn't shut himself away. He cared about radio as a medium and was interested in all aspects of it."
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2005-11-24: Latest Irish ratings just released from the JNLR/TNSmrbi survey for the period October 2004 to September 2005 show radio reaching 85% of the country's adult population, down 1% on a year earlier.
For national stations weekly reach was up 1% to 56% with RTÉ Radio One retaining 26%, Today FM 16% and Lyric FM 3% whilst RTÉ 2FM lost 1% to 21%.
In terms of share RTE Radio One lost 0.7% to 22.8%. 2FM lost 0.5% to 14.7%, Today FM gained 0.1% to 11.1% and Lyric lost 0.2% to 1.6%.
Regional station Beat 102-103FM retained a daily reach of 19% reach (same) but lost 0.1% to end up with an 8.7% share; its weekly reach was 32%, unchanged on a year earlier but down 2% on the previous six months.
Among local stations the top performers were Highland Radio with daily reach up 3% to 68% - its weekly reach was up 2% to 84% and it also topped the share rankings where it was up 2% to 61%.
Limerick's Live FM had daily reach up 2% to 60% (up 1% to 84% for weekly reach) and Ocean FM also had a 60% reach, down 3% (weekly reach was up 1% to 75%) followed by Shannonside/Northern Sound with an unchanged 57% and Mid West Radio with 55%, down 2%.
Ranked by share, Shannonside/Northern Sound was second with 48.5%, up 1.9% (weekly reach was an unchanged 72%) followed by Tipp FM with 46.8%, up 3.8% (weekly reach was up 1% to 68%), then Mid West Radio with 46.6%, up 3.0% (weekly reach was down 1% to 76%), and Radio Kerry with 45.9%, down 1%(weekly reach was up1% to 74%).
In Dublin, weekly reach rankings were RTÉ Radio 1 with an unchanged 41% (down 1% on the previous six months); RTÉ 2FM with an unchanged 39% (up 1% on the previous six months);
Today FM with an unchanged 31% both on a year earlier and the previous six months and RTÉ Lyric FM with an unchanged 9% both on a year earlier and the previous six months.
In Cork, 96FM County Sound led with a weekly reach up 5% to 69% followed by RTÉ Radio 1-down 2% to 35% and Red FM - up 1% to 30%.
Previous Irish Ratings:
Previous RTÉ:

2005-11-24: Indian public broadcast overseer Prasar Bharati is likely to have revenues this year of INR 1,000 crore (INR 10 billion - USD 218.5 million), an increase of a quarter over the previous year according to
It quotes Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma as saying, "We have been doing quite well this financial year (April-March) and expect to close our books with a INR 1,000 crore (10 billion) revenue in March 2006."
Of the money All India Radio (AIR) is expected to contribute more than INR 200 crore (INR 2 billion - USD 42.7 million) with the rest coming from Doordorshan TV.
A financial restructuring of Prasar Bharati is being studied by a committee headed by a senior bureaucrat from the information and broadcasting ministry (See RNW Nov 21) and Sarma said of this, The restructuring will be good for the organization and the employees' union (that had petitioned the Prime Minister earlier this year to dismantle Prasar Bharati's existing autonomous structure) too is supporting us now."
Previous AIR:
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:

2005-11-24: UK media regulator Ofcom has appointed Philip Graf, former chief executive of the Trinity Mirror Group and current chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance - the body which funds the Press Complaints Commission - and the Broadband Stakeholder Group - the advisory group to the Government on the promotion of broadband services, as its Non-Executive Deputy Chairman to replace Philip Hooper, who was chairman of the UK Radio Authority before it was subsumed into Ofcom.
He will step down from the other two roles when he takes up his Ofcom appointment at the start of next year and in his new role will. Among other duties, chair the Ofcom Content Board, a committee of the main Ofcom Board with responsibility for the regulation of television and radio quality and standards, and will be a member of the Ofcom Remuneration, Audit and Nominations Committees.
Ofcom also announced that its Partner in the Competition Group, Sean Williams, will be joining the Ofcom Board as an Executive Director with effect from 1 January 2006 and the appointment to the newly created post of General Counsel of Polly Weitzman, who has been its Director of Competition Law since January last year.
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Hooper:

2005-11-23: Warner Music Group has become the second major recording company to settle "payola" allegations with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office with an announcement that it is to pay USD 5 million and has also agreed to end any payment of financial incentives or promotional items to stations or their employees in return for airplay for its recordings. It will also pay USD 50,000 for the costs of the investigation.
Sony-BMG agreed a settlement of USD 10 million in July, also allied with agreement to end such payments (See RNW July 26); As with the Warner settlement the money is to go to the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors for distribution to New York State not-for-profit to benefit New York State residents by funding programs aimed at music education and appreciation.
Warner in a statement said it was " pleased to work cooperatively with the Attorney General in resolving these promotion issues" and added that the reforms it had agreed were consistent with internal reforms instituted earlier this year by its new management team. It added that it felt that the "music that people hear on the radio always should represent the highest quality the industry has to offer."
In a statement Spitzer said, "Warner is the second major player in the music industry to come forward and acknowledge that these practices are wrong. Unfortunately, other companies continue to engage in them. I applaud Warner's decision to halt this conduct, cooperate fully with my office, and adopt new business practices."
Spitzer's office has posted on the Internet the settlement - a 56 page 515 KB PDF - that details the practices involved including what it lists as Warner "obtaining airplay for its songs through such deceptive and illegal practices as:
a). Bribing radio station employees on occasion to play its songs.
b). Providing a stream of financial benefits to radio stations to assist with stations' overhead costs or to benefit stations' listening audience on the condition that its records receive airplay;
c) Using independent promoters as conduits for illegal payments to radio stations to obtain airplay;
d) Purchasing spin programmes and using syndicated programs to manipulate chart positions of its music; and
e) Engaging in fraudulent call-in campaigns to increase airplay of its songs.
The settlement also details what Warner will or will not be permitted to do in future such as prohibiting payments to station employees and payment for airplay but allowing it to provide items to be given away on air or at a radio event or to charity but not to radio employees or their relatives and also to arrange for its artists to appear at radio events.
The settlement allows Warner to continue using independent promoters but sets boundaries as to what they may do.
The detail of the report singles out for mention former WKSE-FM, Buffalo, Program Director David Universal, who was fired by Entercom over allegations that he had accepted vacations in payment for airing songs (See RNW Jan 13). It says Warner paid for him to go on a personal trip to Miami and also provided him with a "laptop computer, tickets to sporting events, concerts, and a host of other promotional items for his personal use."
It says that according to Warner employees he "always required something in exchange for adding a song" and quotes an Atlantic Promotion Manager as saying," We all had to do business with Dave if we were going to get our records on. And it was a game you played or you didn't have a shot at getting your records on the air" but adds that he was not the only person to receive items for personal use in exchange for airplay.
It also gives an idea of the scale of payments involved, saying "At the time when Clear Channel, Infinity, Entercom and Emmis had exclusive arrangements with independent promoters, Warner Music's Indie budget could be as much as USSD 100,000 per song" and also lists individual promotion details, mainly for items of values under USD 1,000 a time.
Welcoming the announcement, Democrat Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, who noted that the FCC had launched its own payola investigation in August (See RNW Aug 9) said in a statement, "Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has once again achieved a breakthrough in the effort to combat payola and protect consumers from misleading broadcasts. The settlement with Warner Music Group adds more dirt to the mountain of evidence that payola is pervasive in the music business. This agreement once again raises serious concerns that not only has New York State law been violated, but Federal law under the FCC's jurisdiction, as well. The FCC needs to act on this evidence and conclude as soon as possible the investigation we are now undertaking."
Previous Adelstein:
Previous FCC:
Settlement document (56 Page PDF):

2005-11-23: WorldDAB, the international promotional and lobbying body for DAB, has unanimously elected Quentin Howard, chief executive of Digital One, the UK's national commercial DAB digital radio multiplex operator, as its new president
Howard succeeds Annika Nyberg, director of programmes for the Swedish Radio arm of Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, and will serve in the post for two years.
WorldDAB also unanimously elected Leif Lønsmann, managing director of the National Danish Broadcasting Corporation, as vice-president.
Both Howard and Lønsmann have seen major growth in DAB services - in the UK more than two million receivers have now been sold and digital listening, of which DAB reception is now the largest segment, is now more than a tenth of total listening (See RNW Nov 22).
In Denmark under Lønsmann's direction DR radio has moved from three FM networks to a portfolio that includes more than 30 digital radio services across a variety of platforms and the country now ranks second to the UK in the penetration and use of DAB.
Howard has worked in UK commercial broadcasting since the mid 1970's in various roles - as chief engineer at a number of radio stations and then at GWR (now part of GCap Media) as Director of Engineering with responsibility for all broadcasting and IT systems and also as a Programme Director and as a radio pres set up the company's digital broadcasting division, and then to launch Digital One.
Howard told the WorldDAB General Assembly in Prague he wishes to concentrate on several key areas, the first of which is "to ensure that DAB is seen as the best platform for multichannel radio and the primary replacement for domestic analogue FM and AM."
His agenda also includes convincing more commercial radio companies of the benefits of DAB a task of which he comments, "My message to commercial broadcasters is to embrace more choice, it's not a threat, it's an advantage."
Previous Nyberg:
Previous WorldDAB:

2005-11-23: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has followed up its opposition to low-power FM with a filing objecting to proposals for low power AM following a petition for rulemaking on the matter by the Amherst Alliance of Michigan.
In a 16-page filing it says LPAM would undermine the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) attempts to clean up the AM band and cites the FCC itself in its argument, saying," Only five years ago, during the low power FM ("LPFM") proceeding, the Commission specifically rejected pleas to authorize low power service also in the AM band because the propagation characteristics of the AM band make it a "poor choice" for introduction of an additional service."
The Amherst petition it says "provides no data or analysis to explain why LPAM is any more technically feasible now than it was five years ago" and the NAB goes on to argue that it has demonstrated "that LPAM stations are unwarranted because full power AM stations already provide vast amounts of coverage of local news and cultural events, and other community-responsive programming, as a matter of survival in the intensely competitive media market."
It also argues that what it terms the "rapidly increasing competition that AM radio faces from satellite radio services and Internet streaming, to say nothing of competition from other radio stations, television stations, cable and satellite video providers, DVRs, and video games" should be borne in mind by the Commission and adds that "Interference created by additional stations in the AM band, even low power stations, has the potential to delay, if not, cripple the digital transition by forcing receiver manufacturers to reconsider product development."
RNW comment: Although, as we have stated in the past, we consider much of NAB's objections to LPFM to be unreasonable in this case they do have some reasonable arguments in technical terms although as usual in our view they over-egg the argument - and throw in everything except the kitchen sink (they'd probably mention that if they thought it could in any way seem to bolster their argument) to the detriment of their credibility in the eyes of any reasonable observer.
We feel that making the technical argument well should suffice without the extra baggage of promoting current AM services as a reason that low power services are not required (if that were the case, presumably there would be no real desire to launch them for the sake of it.
We do think that community stations could affect the audience of some commercial broadcasters but that is only because they would provide programming that the commercial stations fail to provide, in some cases simply because of the very local nature of a service that makes it of interest to a small community but could never attract an audience large enough to finance the service by advertising.

Previous FCC:
Previous NAB:
NAB filing (16 page 64 kb PDF):

2005-11-23: XM Canada - the name Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) appears to have been dumped and its web site re-directs to XM Canada - has announced the launch in Canada of its service but so far it would appear with no official Canadian listeners to the service.
The announcement that includes an exclusive offer to its Founders Club members, around 4,500 Canadians who have pre-registered for its service - to purchase XM satellite radios and sign-up for its service on-line and as an incentive to sign-up early XM is offering its Delphi RoadyXT at a reduced price of CAD 79.95 to the first 1,000 to order its service.
Various portable plug-and- play XM receivers will, it says, be available in retail stores across Canada next week but it has still not completed its terrestrial repeater network, meaning that those driving in urban areas with tall buildings may well lose the signal from its satellites.
Stephen Tapp president and COO, XM Canada, said in a statement, "This is an historic day for consumer choice, for music lovers, hockey fans and for all Canadians, rural and urban.
XM Canada is on the air and signing up subscribers. To our thousands of supporters, XM Canada has delivered on its promise to be the first to bring Canada the greatest technological evolution in radio in the past 60 years."
Previous Tapp:
Previous XM Canada/CSR:

2005-11-22: UK radio listening from terrestrial DAB broadcasts has now overtaken digital listening via the Internet and digital TV according to a RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) into listening via platform carried out in August and September.
RAJAR says that when results from this survey are equated to its main survey they show listening hours through all digital platforms has increased from 5.9% of total listening a year earlier to 10.5% of total listening with DAB listening up from 2.4% to 5.5%, listening via digital TV up from 2.3% to 2.9% and Internet listening static at 1.8%.
In terms of reach DAB again recorded the largest increase, going up from 12.9% in 2004 when all radio listening combined had a reach of 93.9% to 20.3% this year when all radio listening had a slightly lower reach of 93.7%: In comparison, analogue listening was down from 91.9% to 88.8% while digital TV listening went up modestly - from 24.0% to 24.7%- and Internet listening rose from 14.4% to 15.0%.
Commenting on the survey RAJAR managing director Sally de la Bedoyere noted that the DAB listening increase of 165% and shift from analogue to digital listening reflected the sales of increased sales of digital receivers and said the findings made "encouraging reading for the digital radio industry in the UK."
The UK Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) noted that the number of people who claimed to listen digitally had increased by 25% compared to a year ago to reach a total of 4.67 million and its chief executive Ian Dickens, noting its research that showed DAB receiver sales more than doubling year-on-year, said, "Consumers are delighting in the new, unique content available on DAB stations, both commercial and BBC, and this is translating into rapidly growing listening figures. The DRDB believes this trend will continue and forecasts DAB digital radio set penetration of 40% of UK households by 2009."
Previous de la Bedoyere:
Previous Dickens:
Previous DRDB:
Previous RAJAR:

2005-11-22: Clear Channel Radio has announced that 200 of its stations will be broadcasting iBiquity HD digital signals by the end of this month more than tripling the number of its stations on HD from the 65 it announced earlier this year: Clear Channel says that it is on track to aid HD on 95% of its stations in the top 100 markets by the end of 2007.
In a news release Jeff Littlejohn, the company's President of Distribution Development, said, "Clear Channel Radio's accelerated roll-out of HD digital radio is helping create a market for superior services for both radio listeners and advertisers. Our momentum in rolling out HD digital radio, which is ahead of schedule, is an indicator of the company's enthusiasm about the higher-quality listening experience, strengthened by the data services and multicasted programming available only through HD digital radio."
RNW comment: Although there are clearly quality gains in the move to digital, Clear Channel also says in the news release that HD delivers "FM radio that is CD-quality", something to treat with scepticism as it isn't necessarily so.
We'd also suggest that US radio companies are in the "too little, too late" category when it comes to HD - they've certainly missed out on Christmas sales this year -and we see no sign of commitment to the level of ensuring that reasonably priced receivers will be on sale, a prerequisite in our view for success of digital broadcasts.
If US terrestrial marketing of HD is compared to the satellite radio companies' marketing of their product, we'd have to conclude that the terrestrial broadcasters remain far too complacent and short-term in their outlook.

Previous Clear Channel:
Previous iBiquity:

2005-11-22: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld no radio complaints in its latest bulletin but it did consider four resolved whilst for TV it upheld three standards cases -and considered there was no breach in two further TV standards cases - and also upheld in part two fairness and privacy cases and considered there was no breach in a further two cases.
The radio complaints considered resolved were:
*A broadcast on Galaxy 105 of a recorded event where the word "fucking" had been broadcast twice - the station had accepted responsibility and set new procedures so that such things were no missed in future;
*A "Red Light Lottery" segment broadcast on West FM and South West Sound FM where the freelance presenter had, on the spur of the moment, introduced this segment in which listeners were encouraged to phone from their cars while waiting at red lights and to remain stationary when the lights turned green, receiving GBP 5 (USD 9) for every car horn that could then be heard on air.
Two complainants said this was likely to encourage road rage and West Sound Radio said it considered the competition thoughtless and "totally unacceptable" and had severely reprimanded the presenter.
*Comments made on Essex FM in response to a campaign in the Sun newspaper about the traveller community in which the breakfast show presenter and co-host made disparaging comments about travellers.
The station said the remarks were made as a reflection of the local community's main talking point of the day and the presenter was careful not to use language or comments as inflammatory as those printed in the newspaper. It added that the presenter was now aware that the traveller community is considered a race and hence of the racial implications of his comments while parent GCap Media said that, even in jest, such comments were absolutely unacceptable and were not condoned by the group management, which would do all possible to avoid recurrence.
* Comments made on LBC in which, during a review of newspapers the presenter picked up on a story about Gypsies gaining entry into a field and then went on to make a distinction between Gypsies and Travellers, saying, "nobody likes Travellers - filth, dirt, inbreeding - dreadful."
LBC said the comments were inappropriate and its Managing Director had already raised the matter with the presenter concerned and the production team and an apology had been broadcast at the same time of day as the original remark.
In addition to these complaints Ofcom listed with no details a further145 complaints against 123 items that were rejected or held to be out of remit compared to corresponding totals of 176 complaints against 157 items in the previous bulletin.
These included 19 radio complaints relating to 17 items compared to 15 radio complaints relating to 15 items in the previous bulletin - and 126 TV complaints relating to 106 items compared to 161 TV complaints relating to 142 items in the previous bulletin:
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:

2005-11-22: Radio Australia's FM103 and Sky Pacific Television have been launched in Tonga in a partnership with the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC), which was established in 1961 with one AM radio station.
It now has an AM, two FM's and Sky Pacific's 12 pay-to-view channels plus Television Tonga and expects to add Central China television next year.
Matangi Tonga report:

2005-11-21: This week for our look at print comment on media we concentrate on US talk hosts, many of who in view of various comments we have noted would seem to move past confidence to arrogance.
First up Al Franken who in comments made to Dick Kreck of the Denver Post in advance of a visit to host his show in Denver last week spoke of helping US President George W Bush if he confessed to his errors.
"The best way for us to start getting out is for the president to finally admit some mistakes," Franken said, adding, "This would be a several-hour apology. If he did that, I would say, 'Way to go, man!' and help him."
RNW comment: Regarding the offer, we'd love to know what help Franken could provide. Yes the article does note that Franken is making his third visit to US troops in Iraq next month but it might seem that it would require real genius to come up with any really positive suggestions as to what next for Iraq.
Still in Denver, the Post in a report by Cindy Rodriguez noted that Franken had outperformed Bill O'Reilly, whose show "The Radio Factor With Bill O'Reilly" had been dropped by KHOW 630-AM because of its poor ratings: He's being replaced by syndicated conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck and Rodriguez, who at one stage comments, "I'm thrilled I no longer have to accidentally come across him on the dial" said in response to the station's description of Beck's Show as independent and one that did not use talking points, "If that's true, it will be a refreshing change from O'Reilly's rants, which listeners are tiring of in some markets. In Seattle and New York, Franken beat O'Reilly. In Portland, Ore., Air America's Randi Rhodes beat O'Reilly too, according to summer Arbitron ratings."
The reason, she avers, "It's not because conservatives are suddenly becoming liberal and changing stations. It's because shows like O'Reilly's lack broad appeal..."
Rodriguez continues, "O'Reilly is in the same sphere as the Christian Broadcasting Network's Pat Robertson, who in August called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Such comments turn off sensible people of all political persuasions" and goes on to give examples including his comments in relation to the city's vote against U.S. military recruitment in public schools that his response would be to deny any Federal aid to the city if it is attacked and continue, "If al-Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower (a San Francisco landmark)? Go ahead."
Unsurprisingly counter-attacks on O'Reilly appeared in the local media with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford starting his column, headed, "Let Us Blow Up Bill O'Reilly. Of course the PR-sucking Fox News blowhard is off his nut. Again. Question is, Should you care?" with a rather verbose attack.
"It's almost too easy," writes Morford. He's too easy a target, really, Bill O'Reilly of the casually toxic Fox News, too bloviated and too silly and too undercooked, and no one whose opinion you truly value or with an IQ higher than their waist size actually watches him with anything resembling intellectual honesty or takes anything he says the slightest bit seriously. You hope."
"Especially when he, like Pat Robertson ranting about how gays caused Sept. 11 or that Dover, Pa., is now a doomed and godless hell pit, given how the town fired every single one the imbecilic, intelligent design-supporting Repubs from the school board, especially when Billy goes off his nut once again and essentially wishes al Qaeda would attack San Francisco, well, it is up to us to merely look at him like Shiva looks at a sea slug -- i.e., a moment of compassion for his regrettable incarnation -- and then laugh and shake our heads and move the hell on."
After more abuse which, were the political sides switched, many a right-wing host might well have uttered, concludes of O'Reilly," What is clear is that BOR has made a Faustian bargain of the ugliest kind, taken on a worldview where there is no room for humour and light and sex and joy and grace, whereby he gets to unleash streams of rather appalling ignorance upon the progressive segments of the nation -- like, you know, cities that dare to encourage peace and non-violence and a measured, respectful response to the world -- and he gets paid enormous sums and lives like an angry, sneering king, while the gods of karma can only sigh, and shake their heads, and wait.
Then of course there's the Excellence in Broadcasting host, Rush Limbaugh, who, irrespective of King Canute's problems in so doing, at times sounds as if he thinks that he could get the tides to stop for him
The latest attacks on Rush come on the basis of his greed - and exploitation of members of the US military - at least that's the way a number of commentators perceive his "Adopt a Soldier" programme.
To quote Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times, "You may have heard that Rush Limbaugh is offering complimentary subscriptions to his Web site to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. But as Keith Olbermann of MSNBC noted in naming Limbaugh his 'Worst Person in the World' for Nov. 15, Limbaugh isn't giving away the subscriptions -- they're being paid for by Ditto-Heads through Limbaugh's "Adopt a Soldier" program."
Limbaugh on his web site promotes the offer as support to US "men and women in uniform by giving a subscription to Rush 24/7 and the Limbaugh Letter to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces."
Of which Roeper comments, "All for just $49.95…I'll say this for Limbaugh, he's consistently shameless. Here's a guy who makes tens of millions of dollars per year spouting the company line to his legions of hardcore fans -- yet he's always coming up with new ways to make a buck. Limbaugh's site offers all kinds of crappy schnitzel, including:
*A three-pack of bumper stickers with wacky messages such as, "STILL VOTING DEMOCRAT? YOU'RE STUCK ON STUPID." Only $9.95.
*The "Jihad Java Cafe Travel Mug," $18.95, and the Club Gitmo Soap On a Rope" for $16.95. Funny stuff!
*A replica of "the same chair that Rush Limbaugh himself sits on each weekday while making broadcast history." The "Prestigious Attila the Hun Chair" goes for just $519.90."
"Yet with all those moneymaking endeavours," continues Roeper, "the man who avoided military service during Vietnam because of a pilonidal cyst doesn't simply donate subscriptions -- he sells them to listeners for $49.95 and THEN passes on the subscriptions to the troops…Using the war to line your silk pockets? Priceless."
The anti-Limbaugh rushlimbaughonline site is harsher in a page headed, "Rush Limbaugh's Adopt a Solider Program and Exploitation " that terms the programme a "tasteless marketing ploy" and adds, "There is not one thing stopping Limbaugh and Premiere from simply giving the subscriptions away. Rush 24/7 amounts to accessing content on This content is produced and costs Premiere the same no matter how many people are consuming it. The Limbaugh Letter amounts to a handful of printed pages. If Rush and Premiere Radio Networks wished the troops to experience the generous and supportive spirit of the show, they would simply provide this to the troops instead of making it a function of how many Rush listeners are willing to pony up $49.95 per soldier."
It ends on a more positive note with links to three "Resources for Making Meaningful Donations for Our Troops" - Network For Good, USO Care Packages and Operation Hero Miles.
And after the male hosts, to end up with a note of regret from Sue Javes in the Sydney Morning Herald about the axing by 2UE of its only female solo presenter, Ella James allied with notes about demographic problems for AM talk in Sydney.
Javes comments of James - who changed her name from Debbie Elsworth seven years ago - as "an experienced broadcaster with a warm voice and lively personality" whose sidelining "is another sign that, except for gardening experts and astrologers, commercial AM radio is a long way from putting women in key shifts."
Javes notes that the problem is one for AM, writing, "It's a marvel that Sydney's five ABC stations and five FM commercial stations seem to have no problem finding talented, entertaining, opinionated women" and also quotes 2UE general manager Ian Shepperd on the audience demographics for the station.
"If you take the 60-plus audience away from talk - 2GB, 2UE and possibly even 702 - you've really not got a lot left, particularly on Saturday nights," says Shepperd. "I don't think you're going to encourage baby boomers to listen to AM radio on Saturday night no matter who you put there."
"It is an admission," comments Javes, "that despite talk radio's eagerness to demonstrate to advertising clients that they have a growing baby-boomer audience, they are relying on a much older age group to maintain ratings … It's catch-22. Commercial AM talk stations need old-fashioned programs to maintain their ratings, but how can they hope to attract the younger baby boomers if they don't cater to their interests?"
But before listening suggestions, back to a male host from the US: Tom Joyner in an article we noted in the News Observer, Raleigh, North Carolina, tool up the issue of "obscenity on the air" and, we suspect, won't have much support for his conclusion from most US on-air staff.
He comments, "I spent 42 years in radio and television broadcasting. I ran a morning show on radio for more than 15 years at a time when we had to find a way to be funny without being profane. Even 'hell' and 'damn' were banned. Board operators (DJs) were licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, and it was not worth losing our livelihood over potty-mouthed humour."
He then goes on to the main thrust of his argument, writing, "Fines against the owners of media outlets have greatly increased, yet the problem remains. Apparently some in Congress feel that even greater fines against station owners will do the trick. They are wrong. Following my DJ days, I owned 44 radio stations in 13 states and so my perspective comes from both sides of the microphone."
Joyner's view is that "shock jocks" do not care about the fines on someone else but would if the money came from their own pockets."
RNW Comment: this is a view we'd suggest may well be true but doesn't adequately address the point Joyner had already made about his early days never mind the whole issue of what degree of censorship/speech restriction is justified.
We gained the impression that fear of losing the job rather than a heavy fine had been the effective sanction then and Joyner doesn't seem to be taking up that crucial point - it is after all the stations who make profits from the shows and if they dump people who attract penalties, it won't be long before the well of Joyner's "potty-mouths" dries up.
Maybe Joyner should join Rush in the ranks of those who don't let the facts and real argument get in the way of the polemic.

Now suggested listening and first BBC Radio 4's Koran and Country series of three programmes: The first two - "Biography of a bomber" about July 7 suicide bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan and Radio Ramadan about the s eponymous stations that are given temporary licences to broadcast during the month of Ramadan - have already aired and are on the station web site with the third -Inside a Muslim School- to air on Thursday at 20:00 GMT.
Based on the first two programmes, a series that certainly fulfils first two parts of the BBC remit to "to inform, educate and entertain" and that in terms of understanding a little more - not necessarily agreeing with - and in one particular one case in our view being concerned about the ignorance of their own religion by one of the faithful - about Islam is well worth the 90 minutes to listen to all three.
Then to follow up, tonight at 20:00 GMT the station starts a four-part series "In the Footsteps of Jesus" in which Edward Stourton explores the changing understanding of Jesus.
And still with religion, on Saturday BBC Radio 3's Between the Ears was "A Very English Ganges" which in the context of the Hindu tradition of scattering ashes of the dead on the holy waters of the River Ganges looked at the situation for the British Hindu community. Next week's edition of the programme Sound Relations considers whether people "inherit" voices and sound like long-dead relatives they've never met.
And while on different perspectives a suggestion of the latest Background Briefing on ABC Radio National. In last Sunday's programme former British minister and the last Governor of Hong Kong, (Lord) Chris Patten delivers an address on China past and present and its place in and relations with the rest of the world that also fits those two categories.
Back to Radio 4 and on Saturday the Archive Hour was on Hospital Radio, an institution that as well as benefiting patients has also provided a start to a number of well-known broadcasters and earlier The Saturday Play was Nuremberg Trials, which looked at the indictment and trial of a number of Nazi leaders through a combination of trial extracts and eye-witness accounts from victims, relatives, lawyers and prosecutors.
Then Tuesday on Radio 4 and a story from WW2 USA -The Bat Bombers in which Peter Day tells the story of Project X-Ray, in essence a plan to drop thousands of bats to which incendiary devices had been attached onto Japan.
The idea was that they would roost in wooden Japanese houses and when the incendiaries went off simultaneously create fires that would overwhelm the fire-fighting capabilities available to stop them spreading. The idea, dreamed up by a Pennsylvania dentist who knew First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt gained an imprimatur "This man is not a nut" from President Roosevelt and succeeded in a test to the extent that the new but uninhabited Carlsbad Auxiliary Army Air Base in New Mexico was burned down. Truly bats in more than one meaning of the word in our view.
And a final suggestion from BBC Radio 4, at 15:30 GMT weekdays this week's Afternoon Readings, which are Commonwealth Stories - largely made up from winning stories in this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition plus on Friday in the following slot at 1545GMT Engines On Song, 15 minutes of songs, stories and sounds relating to automobile engines - said to be "on Song" when they are in tune.
And to end with two dramas - last Sunday's Drama on 3, on BBC Radio 3 - a production of Macbeth directed by Sir Richard Eyre and next Sunday when Shakespeare's Pericles is given a contemporary twist in a production featuring a multicultural cast, world music and the poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
Previous Columnists:
Chicago Sun-Times - Roeper:
Denver Post - Kreck:
Denver Post - Rodriguez:
News Observer - Joyner:
Rushimbaughonline re Limbaugh's' Adopt a Soldier (to my benefit) moneymaker;
San Francisco Chronicle - Morford:
Sydney Morning Herald - Javes:

2005-11-21: John Timpson, for 16 years from 1970 one of the presenters of BBC Radio 4's flagship Today breakfast show and also chaired Any Questions and Any Answers on the station in the 1980s, has died in hospital in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, aged 77. Timpson, who was born in Middlesex and began his journalistic career on the Wembley News in West London, moved to the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich in 1951 and joined the BBC as a reporter in 1951: He became co-presenter of today with the late Jack de Manio and later with Robert Robinson and later with the late Brian Redhead.
He had retired to Norfolk which was the subject of many of his books, notably Timpson's Travels in East Anglia and Timpson's Norfolk Notebook. He also wrote a column for his local newspaper in Norwich.
BBC director of radio and music Jenny Abramsky described him as "one of the greats from radio broadcasting" and added," His partnership with Brian Redhead was one of the great broadcasting duets… His sense of humour and his humanity shone through in all his broadcasts, and during his time on Today the programme's journalism went from strength to strength."
Current Today presenter John Humphrys, who took over from him, said, "The partnership between John Timpson and Brian Redhead was the cornerstone for what the Today programme has become. They were a brilliant double act. John's droll humour made him a greatly loved figure. I took over from him 19 years ago and it was a very hard act to follow."
Previous Abramsky:
Previous BBC:
Previous Humphrys:
BBC Timpson obituary:

2005-11-21: The Indian government has announced that it is to allow foreign investment - including direct investors, non-resident Indians, PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) and portfolio investment schemes - of up to 20% in Indian FM stations easing previous regulations that only allowed portfolio investment schemes under India's Foreign Exchange Management regulations.
A statement from India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion announcing the change said the government had "decided to permit foreign investment subject to terms and conditions as specified from time to time by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for grant of permission for setting up of FM radio stations."
The announcement came as companies geared up for the next round of bidding for private FM licences for which so far some 100 companies have expressed interest in just fewer than 340 licences that are to be offered in 91 cities.
The government says it is optimistic that the companies who are expressing interest have done their homework: they come from a wide range of sectors including not just media companies but also areas with no obvious expertise in radio such as trading companies, clothing and dairy firms
Reporting on the bidders notes that a large number of those who have expressed interest could drop out if the experience of the first round of private FM licences is a guide: When they were offered in 2,000 more than 200 private sector companies initially expressed interest but many dropped out early and only a handful actually began broadcasting.
In all 108 frequencies in 40 cities were allotted in 2000 but only 22 stations are now on air in a dozen cities.
It comments of some of those who have expressed interest during the current pre-qualifying round - there is then a two-stage bidding system for the licences - that "names like (the company runs a greeting card and jokes portal in India), Aadi Shakti, Writers Private Ltd, Holiday Ventures, Kashmir-based Ghousiya Pvt Ltd, Shubhaka Entertainment, Sambhav Media and Systech Ltd only provide fodder for the doubters."
The Indian government is also said to be exploring various options to restructure the country's public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, which manages All India Radio (AIR) and Doordorshan TV, with the intention of making it financially self-sustaining.
Currently Prasar Bharati spends around INR 2,000 crore (INR 20 Billion - an Indian crore is 10 million - USD 437 million) a year but only has revenues around INR 800 crore (INR 8 billion - USD 175 million) with the balance being made up from government aid.
Previous AIR:
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati: report:

2005-11-21: Emap has laid off 20 staff - seven in Scotland and the others in London - as part of its integration with Scottish Radio Holdings, whose takeover was approved in August (See RNW Aug 9) and is warning that more jobs could be at risk in Scotland.
Any further job losses it says would not come as a result of the integration but because of market conditions: Chief executive Tom Moloney said that integration was going better than hoped but radio was going through a "slow period" so it was only right to look at costs.
Previous Emap:
Previous Moloney:

2005-11-20: The main regulatory notes last week were changes at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where Republican Kathleen Q. Abernathy announced that she was standing down on December 9 (See RNW Nov 18) and the Senate Commerce Committee has now set December 13 for hearings on the nomination of Republican Deborah Tate and re-nomination of Democrat Michael J. Copps as commissioners (See RNW Nov 10). Although it might be possible for President Bush to come up with another nomination to replace Abernathy -Tate fills in the post left when Republican Kevin J. Martin became FCC chairman - before the hearings, he is not expected to do so.
Elsewhere the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has rapped the knuckles of a number of New South Wales community stations for various regulation breaches (See below).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was again involved in a regular flow of radio related decisions: They included (in order of province):
British Columbia:
*Approval of frequency change for Hornby Community Radio Society's Developmental community radio station to resolve interference from a commercial FM in Sechelt.
Approval of frequency change and increase in nighttime power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts for CKDO-AM, Oshawa
Nova Scotia:
*Approval of transmitter location and antenna height increase for CITA-FM, Moncton, and addition for the station of a 50-watts transmitter in Amherst and a 48 watts transmitter in Sussex.
It also issued public notices concerning a number of radio matters, including the postponement from December 12 to December 19 of a hearing to be held at its HQ in Gatineau, Quebec, to whose agenda it has added an application by Radio Nord Communications Inc. (Radio Nord), to acquire the assets of the radio programming undertaking CKNU-FM Donnacona, Quebec and its transmitter CKNU-FM-1 Sainte-Croix-de-Lotbinière, from a corporation owned and controlled by Patrice Demers. The deadline for comment or interventions on this is December 14.
The CRTC also gave notice of a public meeting to be held in January at its HQ in which radio matters on the agenda, for which the deadline for comment is December 20, include:
*Application for an 897 watts commercial specialty (ethnic) FM in Winnipeg.
*Application for an 6,500 watts commercial specialty (ethnic) FM in Winnipeg.
Nova Scotia:
*Mutually exclusive applications to convert CHNS-AM, Halifax, to Fm and for a new 1,925 watts French-language Type A community FM in Halifax.
*Application for a 16,700 watts English-language specialty - mostly religious oriented - commercial FM in Chatham.
*Application for a new 50-watts English-language adult AC/Pop variety music mix commercial FM in Toronto.
*Application for a new 508 watts English-language commercial specialty - World Beat and Non-classic religious music - FM in Toronto.
*Application for a new 1,000 watts commercial (ethnic) AM in Toronto.
*Two separate applications for a 100,000 watts English-language Adult Contemporary FM in Moose Jaw.
*Application for a licence for a 46-watts English-language commercial specialty - Christian music service - FM in Moose Jaw.
The Commission also noted receipt of an application for a commercial service in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and has called for others interested in such a licence to make application my January 17: It notes that it has not reached any conclusion about such a service and says applicants will be required to provide evidence giving clear indication that there is a demand and a market for the station and the proposed service.
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced introduction of an Interim Radio Licensing Policy that it says facilitates the licensed re-transmission of existing radio services via satellite and also provides a framework for the establishment of new satellite radio services whether for reception in the state or elsewhere.
It also notes that since the formal adoption of the interim policy, the Commission has awarded contracts in principle to County Media Limited - Cork's 96FM/103 County Sound, Treaty Radio Limited -Limerick's Live 95, Independent Broadcasting Corporation Limited -LMFM, and City Broadcasting Limited -Q102 and says that once finalised, the contracts will allow for the retransmission of these services via satellite.
In the UK, Ofcom has now published its reasons for the award announced earlier this month of the Northallerton commercial FM licence to Mowbray Radio Limited (BTN FM) against competition from two other applicants and of the Swansea FM licence to Swansea Bay Radio Limited, also against two other applicants (See RNW Nov 9).
In the Northallerton case it notes that it had said it would place particular emphasis on the ability of each applicant to maintain its proposed service and says that the backing of The Local Radio Company (TLRC) gives BTN FM a strong degree of financial stability, coupled with extensive experience of operating smaller stations in similar markets.
It says TLRC already successfully uses the model of service proposed for Northallerton at Yorkshire Coast Radio in Bridlington and the group's board offers strong radio and management experience, as well as an understanding of the local area.
In the Swansea case it noted that it had not indicate a weighting of statutory criteria but had said it would attach significance to evidence of local demand or support for a proposed service.
Ofcom notes that two applications were full service programming proposals and the other a classic rock service with local news and a comparatively small speech commitment ands says it considered the winning bid the strongest on a balance of its criteria.
It comments that noted the success of neighbouring services owned by the investors in Swansea Bay Radio and also recognized that Swansea Bay Radio's ownership would enable it to form a new local cluster, and thereby benefit from synergies in terms of both programming and sales.
The business plan was considered to include appropriate audience expectations and cost assumptions, as well as realistic revenue projections. Moreover, the committee welcomed the fact that this group showed a clear understanding of the local marketplace and has previous experience of competing against the existing local commercial and BBC services.
Ofcom also issued a consultation document (a 38-page 123 KB PDF) - on the methodology for the review of the financial terms for the extensions to the independent national radio licences - those of Classic FM, Virgin Radio and talkSPORT- with a deadline for responses of December 23. It says it expects to publish a statement on the results of the consultation, including a decision on the final methodology for the reviews, in late January next year.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as Abernathy's decision to stand down and the presidential nominations for commissioners already noted, confirmed a USD 18,000 penalty on a Missouri FM (See RNW Nov 19) but has reduced from USD 6,000 to USD 4,000 a fine on a Montana licensee for broadcasting a phone call without giving prior notice to the caller of its intentions to do so (See RNW Nov 16).
Previous ACMA:
Previous BCI:
Previous CRTC:
Previous FCC:
Previous Licence News:
Previous Ofcom:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:

CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:

2005-11-20: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that four New South Wales community services breached conditions of their licence relating variously to conflict resolution policy, failing to keep records, and broadcasting advertisements.
In Bankstown, following a complaint, it found that Bankstown City Radio Cooperative Ltd, the licensee of community radio service 2BCR. had breached its rules by not having a written conflict resolution policy and procedure but, since it was a first breach of the rules, took no further action apart from requiring production of a code by March 1 next year.
In Kempsey it found that Hastings Community FM Radio Association Inc., the licensee of 2WAY, breached its rules by failing to keep records of broadcasts. The licensee had now put in place an Audio Digital Computerised Recording System, enabling it to retain broadcast material permanently in MP3 form and ACMA considered that this addressed the compliance issues raised in its investigation although it will continue to monitor the station's performance in this regard.
In Ballina and Forster stations were found to have breached rules concerning the broadcast of adverts.
Paradise FM Community Radio Association Inc., licensee of community radio service 2PAR Ballina, was found to have been in breach during the broadcast of its Radio on Toast programme as it broadcast sponsorship announcements that ran in total for more than five minutes per hour. The licensee has now taken action to reduce the maximum hourly sponsorship and tag sponsorship scripts and the ACMA considered this addressed the issue, although it will monitor the station's output on this matter.
In Forster, Great Lakes Area FM Community Radio Ltd, licensee 2GLA, was found to have breached rules by broadcasting advertisements during its broadcast of the John Laws Morning Show.
A complaint had also been made that the station breached the rules by airing more than five minutes of sponsorship announcements during the hour 11:00am to 12 noon on 10 May but the Authority found that there had been no breach in this regard. The licensee has taken action to redress the situation concerning the broadcast of advertisements and ACMA again found this addressed the issue, although it will monitor the station's output on this matter.
Previous ACMA:

2005-11-19: Wisconsin Democrat Senator Russ Feingold, a prominent critic of consolidation in US media, has now introduced into the Senate the "Radio and Concert Disclosure and Competition Act of 2005" that he says "proposes a multi-faceted approach to the various entrenched forms of payola" including a requirement for companies owning a radio station and concert venues in the same market to demonstrate that retaining both serves the public interest or that it would suffer "undue" economic distress if it could not be involved in both businesses.
Feingold says he has for years heard complaints from constituents "about the increasing concentration of ownership in the radio and concert industries and, in turn, the increasingly uneven playing field for small radio stations and independent concert promoters" and adds, "For consumers this has meant less diversity, less local content and growing dissatisfaction with the radio and concerts they are offered."
He says that while not traditionally considered payola there are abuses of power when a conglomerate owns both venues and radio stations: This he says, "sets up a situation where the same corporation that is negotiating a contract for an artist to perform at its concert also controls the lifeblood of that artist's success - airplay of his or her songs. The result can be intense pressure on artists to play radio station-promoted shows and, often, to do so for less than the normal rate. This practice hurts the artist, hurts competing independent stations and promoters and, ultimately, hurts the listening public, which ends up choosing from songs on the radio that have been selected based on where and for whom the artist is performing a concert, and for the songs' artistic merit."
His bill says Feingold, "would simultaneously strengthen the FCC's ability to prove and punish violators, close the loophole allowing indirect payola, prevent cross-ownership from hindering fair competition, and, perhaps most importantly, increase transparency through disclosure of the payments to radio stations from artists, labels, promoters and others who may have an interest in improperly influencing airplay decisions.
Amongst the measures proposed is a fivefold increase in the current USD 10,000 penalty the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can impose for violations, allowing the FCC to consider revoking a licence for breaches, and a requirement of record-keeping - and provision to the FCC of such records in the case of an investigation - of transactions related to airplay.
Previous Feingold:

2005-11-19: The UK's existing DAB digital radio infrastructure is to be used for a comparative UK mobile multimedia trial following agreement reached at a UK-Korea Round Table Meeting.
The trial will involve British radio and TV broadcasters, mobile operators and content companies in conjunction with British and Korean companies and is to start in April next year: It will be conducted in London using L-Band and possibly Band III spectrum and will compare applications of the WorldDAB Eureka 147 standard; the Korean T-DMB application and the enhanced packet IP based variant implemented in the UK by BT Livetime.
Those taking part will be able to receive DAB digital radio and video content on their mobile phones as well as interact with the content via the phone's return path.
Amongst those who are to participate in the trial are Orange, BT Livetime, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, SMG Television, Virgin Radio, GCap Media, Emap, Celador, Frontier Silicon, Samsung, and LG with equipment also being supplied by Radioscape and Harris.

2005-11-19: Veteran Australian broadcaster John Cargher this week recorded the 2,000th edition of his "Singers of Renown" programme that he first hosted in April 1966: It is to be broadcast on December 1 by the .Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The programme, an hour-long compilation of operatic arias features performances from stars past and present - the 2,000th edition will include recordings of Beniamino Gigli and Jussi Bjorling - and airs weekly on ABC Radio National at 16:00 local on Saturdays (0600 GMT) with a Sunday repeat at 18:00 local (0800GMT).
Cargher, now 86, was working in a record shop when he was asked to present the programme, initially to be aired as a 13-part series. It opened with the 'Ho sognato una cassetta' duet from Puccini's opera Il Tabarro; This is still used to open and close the programme.
Previous ABC, Australia:
Singers of Renown web site (Links to Real stream of most recent four programmes):

2005-11-19: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 18,000 penalty on a Steelville, Missouri, FM and denied an appeal by KNSX-FM licensee Twenty-One Sound Communications, Inc. against the forfeiture order, for failure to maintain Emergency Alert System equipment in operational readiness condition, failure to maintain a main studio in compliance with the Rules, and failure to maintain a complete public inspection file.
Initially the FCC had proposed USD 25,000 in penalties but it reduced this to USD 18,000 because it concluded the station's public file was incomplete, rather than unavailable.
The FCC had found the sole EAS unit for the station at the unattended KNSX transmitter site was in manual mode and a review of logs showed it had not unattended KNSX transmitter site - the owner admitted that he did not contact the local or state EAS coordinator to determine which stations he had been assigned to monitor, and, as a result, was only monitoring one of the three approved stations.
It also said that when an agent inspected the KNSX main studio -an unmarked guard shack at the entrance to a gated residential area near the station's transmitter site - there was no microphone or transmission or production equipment of any kind in the guard shack and when asked to demonstrate control over the KNSX transmitter, the guard on duty stated that he could not control the transmitter from the guard shack and added in the presence of the station owner that he was not part of the station's management.
Twenty-One Sound had argued that it was not liable for the EAS penalty because the system was not operational for less than 60 days but the FCC responded by saying that this period was not a "free pass" but one in which a station could repair defective equipment, having logged details of its removal: In this case it pointed out the problem was not defective equipment but setting it in the wrong mode.
Regarding the main studio penalty, Twenty-One Sound argued that that its main studio meets Commission requirements, because it maintained a meaningful management presence and asserted that the guard on duty during the inspection was the station manager. The station owner claimed, under penalty of perjury, that the guard was "afraid to admit that he was compensated for his time working with KNSX for fear that he would be turned over to the IRS for accepting compensation."
The FCC commented, "This explanation does not seem compelling…" and also noted that this did not "explain why the station owner failed to correct a contemporaneous statement made by the guard during the March 1, 2005 inspection."
It also dismissed other cavilling from the company, which said that it maintained a meaningful presence at the studio because the station owner and his assistant "could arrive at the station within minutes of being notified," and which asked for the public file penalty of USD 3,000 to be dropped because the station's ownership report and license renewal application were possibly removed by an individual who reviewed the station's public file.
It confirmed the USD 18,000 penalty.
Previous FCC:

2005-11-19: Former US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, who resigned earlier this month (See RNW Nov 5) e-mailed White House strategist Karl Rove, "bragging" about a push for conservative programming on U.S. public television according to the CPB's inspector general Kenneth Konz, who earlier this week produced a report saying Tomlinson broke federal laws (See RNW Nov 17).
Konz told Reuters that the e-mails show no evidence Tomlinson acted with White House guidance to push for right-leaning programming but they do show Tomlinson failed to keep the CPB board and management informed about what he was doing.
As well as the exchanges with Rove, Tomlinson was also involved in an e-mail exchange with the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot concerning the "The Journal Editorial Report" TV programme, whose deal to air on PBC he was involved in. The Journal has released details of the exchange and both it and Tomlinson have accused Konz of being motivated by politics, an accusation Konz denied.
RNW comment: The essence surely is the evidence. If Tomlinson did break laws, then Konz's motivation is secondary- it only assumes significance if he has misrepresented the details.
Previous CPB:
Previous Tomlinson:
Reuters report:

2005-11-18: Republican US Federal Communications Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy has announced that she is to step down on December 9 after four-and-a-half years on the Commission.
In a statement she defends the market-based approach she - and former FCC chairman Michael J, Powell - took, commenting, … "our decisions increasingly reflect the wisdom of relying on competition, rather than regulation, as the best means of assuring that consumers get the telecommunications services they want at affordable rates. "
She take sup the same theme again later, saying, "Where consumers have choices, and the ability to make them, pervasive regulation is unnecessary. In line with this realization, we targeted regulation to those comparatively few situations in which marketplace competition and informed consumer choice do not increase consumer welfare. For that reason, we have taken steps to make sure that emergency communications work reliably for us and for those who protect us, and we have provided parents with the information and tools needed to control their children's multi-channel TV viewing choices."
Democrat Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps - who has been nominated for a second term - both issued statements praising Abernathy and wishing her well.
No date has yet been announced for hearings on Copps re-nomination and the nomination of Republican Deborah T. Tate as Commissioners.
Previous Abernathy:
Previous Adelstein:
Previous Copps:
Previous FCC:
Previous Tate:

2005-11-18: Although it hasn't given a firm date, Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR), jointly owned by Canadian entrepreneur John Bitove. Jr. and XM Satellite Radio, says its service will be launched in early December with 80 channels including four English and four French-language Canadian channels.
It will be slightly cheaper at CAD 12.99 (USD 10.93) per month - than rival Sirius, which is to charge CAD 14.99 (USD 12.62) for its 100-channel service, which it has already announced is also to be launched next month but again for which it has not released a firm date (See RNW Nov 3).
The Canadian channels to be aired by CSR are:
Rock channel "(un) Signed" that will feature Canadian rock artists:
Comedy channel "Laugh Attack" to be programmed by Canadian entrepreneur Mark Breslin.
Hockey talk channel "Home Ice".
News and information channel "Canada 360".
News, talk, information and sports channel "Franc Parler".
Modern and classic pop, folk, rock and roll, "chanson" and soul channel "Sur La Route".
Punk, hip-hop, metal, electronic and alternative rock channel "Air Musique".
Arts and entertainment news and information channel "Quoi de Neuf".
Quoi de Neuf - Arts and entertainment news and information.
CSR is making great play of its ice hockey coverage- it will use an additional four "occasional" channels for play-by-play hockey, and a "quick update" hockey score and information service - and is promising play-by-play cover of 1,000 NHL games this season: it will become the exclusive satellite-radio home of NHL games for the 2007-08 season.
CSR director of programming, Ross Davies said the company hopes to eventually develop more Canadian music channels and added that it had appointed a Canadian talent coordinator whose role will be to boost Canadian content on XM's US channels.
Included in the service will be the "Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) " show whereas Sirius Canada has opted not to include Howard Stern, possibly because of Canadian content regulation; Davies noted that CSR was holding meetings with Opie and Anthony to make them aware of its position as members of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), although they hoped that satellite radio, as a medium of choice, would be regulated differently from terrestrial radio as is the case for cable TV.
Previous Bitove:
Previous CSR:
Previous Opie and Anthony:
Previous XM:

2005-11-18: APN News and Media has forecast in an update that its profits will be 13% to 15% higher this year than the AUD 149.4 million (USD 109.4 million) it made in 2004 thanks to continued advertising growth at its newspapers, strong outdoor improvement, and excellent performance from its radio stations.
APN issued the update in advance of a briefing to investors today and says that since its first six months announcement in August -when it said profits for the six months were up 17% on a year earlier (See RNW Aug 17) "trading across the group has remained in line with previous guidance, with continued positive growth rates moderating as trading is set against strong 2004 second half comparisons".
As well as strong advertising growth for its newspapers in Australia and New Zealand, APN said its radio division had produced "outstanding overall market share gains" with Australian radio revenues growing "significantly" above the market whilst in New Zealand, The Radio Network had increased its third quarter revenue share and delivered good EBIT growth despite a slowing advertising quarter.
Previous APN:

2005-11-08: UTV has announced that it is to launch Talk107, Scotland's first talk format commercial station on February 14: The company acquired the licence when it took over The Wireless Group in May this year (See RNW May 10).
The new station will employ around 40 staff and has appointed Dundee radio journalist Gwen Laurie as news editor with presenter details to be released soon. It will broadcast from new studios at South Gyle, Edinburgh, where it is converting a building on an industrial park.
Previous UTV:

2005-11-18: Veteran US broadcaster and producer Ralph Edwards, most famous for his creation of the "Truth or Consequences" and the spin-off from it, "This is Your Life", has died aged 92 his home in West Hollywood.
He began his career on radio in California as a teenager in 1929 after a school skit that he wrote and appeared in was broadcast in Oakland, whence his family had moved from their Colorado farm where he was born in 1913: It so impressed an Oakland station manager that he hired Edwards, then 16 - to write quarter hour shows at a dollar a script and as a part-time announcer and actor.
Edwards radio work on various stations helped pay his way through UC Berkeley and he graduated with a bachelor's degree in drama in 1935 after which he moved to New York where he was hired by CBS as a radio announcer in 1936.
"Truth or Consequences", which he developed and sold to NBC, was his first major radio hit - and also the first commercial TV show broadcast by NBC in July 1941, the month the FCC approved commercial broadcasts in the US: It ran for 38 years from its 1940 radio debut and in 1950 after Edwards had said he was looking for a town that would change its name to promote the show on its 10th anniversary the residents of Hot Springs, New Mexico, voted to change the town's name.
The initial vote was for the change by 1,294 to 295, a vote re-affirmed by another four-to-one majority when a repeat vote was held following a protest and Truth and Consequences has held on to the name with residents voting to keep it in 1964 and again in 1967.
"This Is Your Life" was launched on radio in 1948, moved to TV four years later and ran for nine-years on NBC with a syndicated version hosted by Edwards later running from 1971-3 and a later syndicated version hosted by Joseph Campanella airing from 1983 to 1984
As well as his pioneering broadcasting work, Edwards was also noted for raising more money for charity - notably for the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association - in the 1940's and 50's than any other US broadcast personality and, during the war, for being the only person to raise more than USD 500 million from War Bonds.
Edwards received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2001- among the techniques he delevoped was the the multiple-camera, live-on-film format, which was later adapted by Desi Arnaz for "I Love Lucy."
He was still going to the office as head of Ralph Edwards Productions when he was 90.
A memorial service is to be held in Beverley Hills on December 1st.

2005-11-17: Australia Macquarie Bank says it has raised AUD 936.9 million (USD 684.2 million) from its initial public offering of its media fund -- towards the bottom end of the AUD 927-996 million it had said it hoped to raise when it announced the launch of Macquarie Media Group (MMG) in October (See RNW Oct 5).
The institutional offer bookbuild set a price for the first instalment of AUD 2.75 (USD 2.00) per stapled security and investors will also have to pay a second instalment of AUD 2.00 (USD 1.46) per stapled security is payable in 12 months time.
The bank says institutional investors from Asia, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom together with domestic institutions bought 60 per cent of MMG with the remainder going to retail investors. Proceeds of the first instalment are to be used to acquire Macquarie Regional Radioworks (MRR), which bought the assets of RG Capital Radio Limited and DMG Regional Radio Pty Limited last year, from Macquarie and repay existing MRR borrowings. Macquarie Bank will use part of the funds raised to purchase 40 million stapled securities, a 20% share in MMG.
MMG executive chairman Tim Hughes said of the response that the broad interest shown demonstrated "the combination of a highly attractive initial investment - Macquarie Regional Radioworks, and the growth potential offered from making further media acquisitions in Australia and around the world."
The Sydney Morning Herald said analyst Paul Budde put the low-end price down to perceptions that the fund was too heavily tilted towards traditional media and quoted him as saying, "The writing is on the wall that now fewer people are watching broadcasting and fewer people are reading newspapers. Google and Yahoo are better positioned to start taking market share away."
Although Macquarie has said that it will look at a wide range of investments for the group, it is expected to benefit from a loosening of media regulations - they currently limit cross-ownership and also the percentage of foreign ownership in broadcasters and newspapers -expected next year in Australia that could launch a wave of deals.
Previous Macquarie Bank/MMG:
Sydney Morning Herald report:

2005-11-17: The investigation by the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting inspector general Kenneth A. Konz into the practices of the organization's former chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson has found that he broke federal law and also repeatedly violated the CPB's code of ethics and its rules as he tried to promote conservatives.
In his 67-page report - including responses by Tomlinson, former CPB CEO Kathleen Cox who resigned after differences with Tomlinson, and the CPB Board -- Konz writes that he "found evidence that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) former Chairman violated statutory provisions and the Director's Code of Ethics by dealing directly with one of the creators of a new public affairs program during negotiations with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the CPB over creating the show. Our review also found evidence that suggests "political tests" were a major criteria used by the former Chairman in recruiting a President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for CPB, which violated statutory prohibitions against such practices."
Konz also says "While we believe the aforementioned violations were primarily the result of the former Chairman's personal actions to accomplish his various initiatives, our review also identified serious weaknesses in the corporate governance system."
In his response Tomlinson does not accept any blame and hits back, saying he is "disappointed but not surprised " by the report and says it was "apparent early on that Inspector General A Konz would opt for politics over good judgment."
He says Konz, "in direct violation of his Code of Ethics" told Bloomberg his report would be critical of him six weeks before the report was released and comments, " He obviously reached his conclusion prior to completing his investigation…"
He adds, "Any suggestion by Mr Konz that I violated my fiduciary duties, the Director's Code of Ethics, or relevant statutory provisions is malicious and irresponsible. All my actions were open, lawful, and were taken after consulting and receiving advice from CPB's General Counsel, its President, or the CPB Board of Directors. Even the most cursory and objective examination of the evidence would have demonstrated this. "He then goes on to attack Konz further and says his "lawful and sincere objective from the outset in my role at CPB was to bring balance and objectivity in public broadcasting" and says that he was proud of bringing the [Wall Street] Journal Editorial Report to public television, concluding, "Unfortunately the Inspector General's pre-conceived and unjustified findings will only help to maintain the status quo and other reformers will be discouraged from seeking change. Regrettable, as a result, balance and objectivity will not come soon to elements of public broadcasting."
[RNW comment: As regards the release of information it would seem to us that if Konz did indeed make the remarks this was out of order. It does not necessarily, however, follow that Tomlinson is correct about reaching a conclusion prematurely since it is quite possible and not uncommon for an investigation to find conclusive evidence of wrongdoing in one area before completing investigation of other areas. As for some of the other comments by Tomlinson, either the report is incorrect or he is blind to his own failings or a liar. The comment by former CEO Kathleen Cox, some of the earlier discrepancies between Tomlinson's initial accounts and subsequent evidence, and the reaction of the CPB board would tend to indicate that, whereas Konz may not be pure, Tomlinson is definitely impure and that in an ethical society he should at the least be adjudged unsuited for public office-there is, as it happens, another investigation in progress into accusations of his malpractice at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government broadcasts including Voice of America, where he was Director from 1982-1984 and of which he is currently chairman. According to the New York Times the accusations include spending of federal money for personal use and hiring unqualified and ghost employees: If proven, his attitude in our indicates that jail is probably the best place for him.]
Cox's attorneys in their response take exception to comments in the report saying that CPB officers including her had not kept the full board adequately informed of some of the activities of Tomlinson and says that she had "followed the chain-of-command instructions" that Tomlinson had dictated as a "condition of her employment." They add that in 2004, as part of attempting to fulfil the requirement that she develop a "close and productive working relationship with the Board" she had phoned various board members only to be subsequently berated by Tomlinson for communicating directly to members without prior clearance from CPB board leadership and had subsequently made it clear he would not allow her to make direct contact. This, they say, "allowed Mr Tomlinson to direct and apparently distort the flow of information to the Board and provide what appears now to be false assurances to Ms Cox that the Board was properly informed about his activities."
They also say in relation to her leaving he had told her it was her "personal integrity" that got in the way of her continued employment and "we can only assume that he was referring to Ms Cox's objections to some of his questionable conduce as Chairman of the CPB Board."
The Board in its response takes up the issue of "premature or inappropriate public disclosures of confidential information", saying it found statements including the Bloomberg article "deeply troubling" but overall is positive in tone. It has responded point by point to suggestions in the report for improvements to the system and says " as difficult as the past months have been, we believe we will all look back upon your investigation and our response as a positive watershed event for the Corporation.
The Board has also announced various reforms including the establishment of a corporate governance committee and an executive compensation committee that will be responsible for "improving checks and balances within the Corporation; defining the respective roles of the board and senior management; achieving greater transparency to the public; and adopting policies for the hiring and compensation of senior executives, including policies designed to maintain CPB's tradition of non partisanship."
It said that in taking these steps it had "embraced suggestions made by the corporation's Inspector General, as well as suggestions received from PricewaterhouseCoopers" and added, "The board expressed its appreciation to Inspector General Konz and stated that it looks forward to working with him in the coming months as it moves forward with this program.
Current CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison, who received a unanimous vote of confidence from the Board, said of the announcement, "The board's adoption of these reforms is a signal event in the corporation's history and good news for the long-term health and well-being of public broadcasting."
Responding to the report and subsequent board actions, North Dakota Democrat Senator Byron Dorgan, one of those who had supported the investigation, commented that it appeared from the report that "Tomlinson had his political hat on most of the time, causing significant harm for the non-partisan public broadcasting corporation he headed, a broadcasting corporation whose non-partisanship was, in fact, its greatest strength."
He added, "Tomlinson violated CPB rules and procedures on numerous occasions, and apparently violated the law when he worked with an unnamed White House official to engineer the selection of an active partisan as his successor."
White House officials refused to be interviewed by the inspector general contending that he lacked jurisdiction to pose questions to officials outside federal agencies and Dorgan called for the official to be named.
"Unfortunately, this fits exactly with a long pattern of unbridled, all-out partisanship and cronyism in so much of what this Administration does," Dorgan said. "The Inspector General ought to identify the White House official, and make public the e-mail messages between Mr. Tomlinson and that official. We need to bring the disinfectant of public scrutiny to begin to heal the damage Mr. Tomlinson has done to this corporation."
Previous CPB:
Previous Tomlinson:
CPB web site:
CPB Inspector General's report (1 MB PDF):
Sen. Dorgan statement:

2005-11-17: Although overall talk formats are the most listened to by Americans according to the latest Arbitron American Radio Listening Trends data, it palls at work.
The figures show News/Talk/Information formats leading overall taking a 17.4 share in Summer, up from 17.0 in Spring, but at work listening gives it only a 10.0 share, (10.2 in Spring) compared to a 19.3 share (18.9 in Spring) of in-car listening and a 21.1 share (20.5 in Spring) at home.
Overall the top five are News/Talk/Information as above then AC with 12.9 (13.4 in Spring) with contemporary hits following in third place - 11.5/ 11.2 then Urban 10.2/10.2 and Spanish 10.1/9.8.
For at- work listening the top five rankings are AC -20.1/19.1; Rock - 12.4/12.4; Spanish 10.8/10.6; News/Talk/Information - 10.2/10.0 and Urban 8.2/7.9
For in-car listening top five are News/Talk/Information - 19.3/18.9; AC 11.9/12.3; Contemporary Hits - 12.0/12.1;Country 10.8/10.8 and Rock 9.6/9.5.
For at-home listening they are News/Talk/Information - 21.1/20.5; Spanish - 12.4/12.0; Contemporary Hits - 12.2/12.0; Urban 12.1/12.3; and AC 9.8/10.2.
Looking at the longer-term overall, the first figures listed, for Fall 1998, show the rankings as News/Talk/Information - 16.4; AC - 15.7; contemporary hits - 10.7; Rock 9.6; Urban -8.2; and Country - 9.5: Their corresponding figures in Fall 2004 were News/Talk/Information - 18.3; AC - 14.3; contemporary hits - 11.2; Rock 7.8; Urban -10,1; and Country - 8.8:
Previous Arbitron:

2005-11-17: Former Radio New Zealand chief reporter Catherine Delore has backed her former boss Lynne Snowdon - then head of news - in her claim of unjustified dismissal by the broadcaster.
Snowdon was given notice in April this year after two years of sick leave following clashes with former chief executive Sharon Crosbie, who had alleged that she had mismanaged the station's news budget (See RNW Apr 17) and is seeking disclosure of Radio New Zealand board minutes and financial records as part of her case: In August she lost a bid for re-instatement pending a full hearing of her claims (See RNW Aug 9).
Snowdon's lawyer Rob Moodie told the Employment Court in Wellington that Delore, who had just quit the station, had approached him with an offer to give evidence in favour of Snowdon.
He produced an affidavit from Delore but Radio New Zealand's lawyers said that it should not be allowed into evidence as it contained untested comments that were critical about Crosbie.
The judge suppressed the contents until later reconsideration of the issue.
Previous Radio New Zealand:
Stuff New Zealand report:

2005-11-16: Interep has announced third quarter commission revenues up 8.5% on a year earlier to USD 20.1 million and up 5.7% for the first nine months of the year to USD 59.3 million, reflecting improvements in national advertising.
Net income for the quarter applicable to common shareholders however was down from USD 9.7 million to USD 0.5 million (from 80 cents to 4 cents a share), primarily attributed to a fall from USD 18.84 million to USD 5.94 million in contract termination revenue.
For the first nine months Interep turned a USD 5.6 million loss a year earlier to a positive USD 600,000 (From a loss of 53 cents to a positive five cents a share).
Commenting on the results, with particular note of lost clients, Chairman and CEO Ralph Guild said, "We are very pleased to report our third consecutive quarter of improved commission revenue. While the fourth quarter will be more challenging with the recent loss of Radio One, we have already replaced approximately 50% of that revenue by signing on new clients. We have also expanded into Hispanic television representation with the recent opening of Azteca America Television Sales, representing Azteca America television station affiliates."
Guild added, "We remain focused on growing our revenue base, while managing our costs to reflect our current business needs. We continue to streamline operations to improve shareholder value" and looking ahead commented, "At this point, it appears that national radio in fourth quarter is sluggish with some pockets of strength. Major categories showing the strongest growth in the fourth quarter include foreign auto, broadcast television, electronics, insurance and movies."
In other US radio business NextMedia has announced successful completion of its tender offer for its 10.75% Senior Subordinated Notes Due 2011. It says it accepted for payment Notes validly tendered by holders of USD199.0 million, or 99.5%, of the aggregate principal amount outstanding of the Notes- paid at the rate of USD1, 129.13 for each USD1, 000 principal amount of Notes accepted for purchase.
XM Satellite Radio meanwhile has increased its competitive position with the launch of 72 of its channels on DIRECTV: Being offered in addition to XM music channels and children's programming, are XM's Major League Baseball "Home Plate" talk radio channel and XM's High Voltage channel, featuring talk radio stars Opie and Anthony.
Previous Guild:
Previous Interep:
Previous NextMedia:
Previous XM:

2005-11-16: UK Emap blamed tough trading in France and the cost of launching new magazines for a 2% fall in "normalized" first half profits to GBP 95 million (USD 165 million) and 5% fall in operating profit to GBP 103 million (USD 179 million) although revenues were up 6% to GBP 554 million (USD 962 million).
Its radio division revenues were up 23% to GBP 58 million (USD 101 million) including figures from the acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings that was approved subject to divestures and changes to meet regulations relating to digital multiplexes and services. (See RNW Aug 9) and up 2% to GBP 47 million (USD 82 million) excluding the acquisition with corresponding operating profit up 55% to GBP 13 million (USD 22.6 million) and 22% to GBP 9 million (USD 15.6 million).
Emap says the integration of the new radio stations is progressing well and adds that it is on track to deliver the GBP 5 million (USD 8.7 million) of cost savings identified at the time of the acquisition.
It notes that Emap Advertising is now responsible for selling national advertising opportunities across all Emap-owned stations and this is already benefiting both existing and new stations and says the enlarged Emap radio group is now a stronger local radio business reaching all of the major conurbations across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and providing advertisers with extensive opportunities for reach and value.
Commenting on current trading, Emap describes B2B non-recruitment advertising and B2B events as Strong; UK consumer circulation and advertising as Good; Radio airtime as reasonable; French subscriptions as stable; and France newsstand sales and consumer advertising, B2B recruitment advertising and Television airtime all as weak.
Previous Emap:

2005-11-16: Greater Media's WTTK-FM, Boston, has announced that Michael Graham, who was fired by Disney-ABC-owned WMAL-AM in August over comments describing Islam as a terrorist organization (See RNW Aug 23), has taken over its afternoon drive slot.
Graham, who had done various fill-in work and also had an online show, had completed a two-week trial when the announcement was made: He takes over from Jay Severin, a former long-time Republican political consultant- who in 2004 said that in response to a caller who spoke of befriending Moslems living the US had his view was that "we should kill them."
Severin is joining Infinity with a new show, "Jay Severin has issues" but at the time his Infinity deal was announced in September there was no announcement about the future of his "Extreme Games" show on WTTK and speculation that the station would take his new show in Syndication.
Last month WTTK said that it was in negotiations with Severin and added that he would remain off air until a decision was reached: The hiring of Graham would appear to make the decision.
When he was fired, Graham blamed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) campaign against him and the group is likely to monitor his new show closely.
Previous Graham:
Previous Greater Media:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
WTTK web site:

2005-11-16: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 6,000 to USD 4,000 a fine on a Montana licensee for broadcasting a phone call without giving prior notice to the caller of its intentions to do so.
Lisa Simm had said that in November 2003 she called the KZMN-FM, Kalispell, to complain about a turkey being suspended from a second floor window of the station's building: She was put through to host Paul Gray who was taking phoned-in donations for a local food bank drive called "Save the Turkey" live.
Grey put her call to air and told her to quit complaining and directed her to listen to the station: She later learned that the call had been transmitted live and a recording also aired.
Licensee KOFI Inc was had not denied that the call was made without the Simms' permission but said that Gay had believed she was calling to make a donation and all donors had told their calls would be broadcast. It accepted that once the host found out this was not so he should have ended the conversation and said it had subsequently fired him due to "his inappropriate actions discussing Ms. Simmer's complaint on the air and rebroadcasting a portion of her call," and adopted a written policy to ensure future compliance with the Commission's telephone broadcast rules.
It argued for a reduction on the basis of actions taken and a history of past compliance: The FCC in line with precedent did not accept the first part of KOFI's argument but made a reduction of USD 2,000 on the basis of the company's history of compliance.
Previous FCC:

2005-11-15: Chrysalis Group, the fourth largest radio group in the UK, has reported pre-tax profits for the year to the end of August down 72% to GBP 2.7 million (USD 4.69 million) on revenues down marginally from GBP 136.7 million (USD 237.4 million) to GBP 133.6 million (USD 232.05 million).
Radio revenues were down 8.6% to GBP 61.9 million (USD 107.5 million) whilst those of its music division were up 4.1% GBP 73.5 million (USD 127.7 million).
The company's books division, which the company last week confirmed as being sold to a group formed by Chrysalis Books chief executive Robin Woods and other senior executives for a GBP 12. 5 million (USD 21.7 million) lost GBP 2.8 million (USD 4.86 million) on revenues of GBP 27.4 million (USD 47.6 million). Chrysalis announced talks about the sale in September when the exchange rate made the deal worth USD 22.6 million (See RNW Sept 17), Chrysalis also put the profits fall down in part to the cost of restructuring its music recording business.
In a statement chief executive Richard Huntingford commented, "2005 was a difficult year for the Chrysalis Group, reflecting advertising conditions in the UK and continuing problems with our books division" but he was more upbeat about the current year, saying there had been a good start for both the radio and music divisions -radio revenues in September and October were up 4% on a year ago and music was boosted by a number one album from David Gray, and adding that this gave him "confidence that the current financial year will be a successful year."
Huntingford also defended the two-division structure of the company, which has come under criticism from some analysts, saying that he didn't think there was pressure from shareholders to change it and adding that there was "a lot of further organic growth" in both over the next few years.
Huntingford said Chrysalis had strong management teams in place in both divisions and that was the best way to drive "long-term value" for Chrysalis shareholders.
He also said that the company was looking to grow its radio business but would make acquisitions only if the price was right and the stations were in major markets and fitted in with Chrysalis's brand focus.
Chrysalis shares ended the say down 0.7% at 142 pence although at their low for the day they were down 4% at 137.5 pence.
Previous Chrysalis:
Previous Huntingford:

Next column:

2005-11-15: International satellite radio operator WorldSpace and Integral Systems, Inc. have announced a contract for the latter to provide a state-of-the-art satellite control system based on Integral's EPOCH IPS (Integrated Product Suite) for WorldSpace's AfriStar and AsiaStar satellites that the companies say will extend the life of the satellites' control system by at least 15 years.
Integral Systems, which says its EPOCH IPS is the only COTS (commercial-off the shelf) satellite control system with a proven capability to operate satellites from different satellite manufacturers in the same fleet from a single satellite control system, provides systems that operate satellites from every major commercial geo-synchronous communications satellite manufacturer in the world, including Alcatel, Astrium, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital and Space Systems/Loral.
Its Commercial Division executive vice president Stuart Daughtridge said the selection "further reinforces Integral's dominant position in the commercial satellite ground system market."
WorldSpace vice president for broadcast satellite operations Brian Park said they made the choice to enhance its satellite control operations and extend satellite life, adding, "The new system not only prepares us for the expansion of our satellite broadcast network, but enables us to continue offering our subscribers high-quality digital audio and multimedia programming anytime and virtually anywhere in our coverage areas."
XM Satellite Radio, which is a shareholder in WorldSpace, has launched its largest holiday marketing campaign, "Listen Large", which includes television, print, radio, online and outdoor advertising to promote XM's programming and satellite radios.
It includes TV spots featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Snoop Dogg, Derek Jeter, David Bowie and Martina McBride, and XM President and CEO Hugh Panero commented, "By showcasing the diversity of our programming, including our commercial-free music channels, the 'Listen Large' campaign appeals to millions of consumers who demand the high-quality listening experience that has made XM number one."
XM has also announced an exclusive multi-year marketing and programming partnership with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. under which it will become the official satellite radio network for the GRAMMY Awards starting with the 48th GRAMMYs on Feb. 8, 2006. XM will also broadcast GRAMMY special programming throughout the year.
Rival US satellite radio operator Sirius has appointed Stan Kozlowski, who has been in charge of its retail distribution since the company's 2002 launch, to the post of Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales Development and Mike Roberts, former North American Sales Manager for Delphi Corporation and previously Vice President of Mobile Electronics for Kenwood USA Corporation, as Vice President of Retail Distribution
Previous Panero:
Previous Sirius:
Previous WorldSpace:
Previous XM:

2005-11-15: Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL), which operates the Radio Mirchi FM stations in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and is also the only in private FM radio broadcaster in Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune has filed a Red Herring (draft) prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) under which it would offer around 1.2 crore (12 million - 1 crore is 10 million) INR 10 shares at a premium to be decided through book building in an initial public offering.
ENIL, which is promoted by Bennett, Coleman & Co., is India's largest private FM radio broadcaster in terms of stations operated and audience: It had total income of INR 76.2 crore (USD 16.7 million) in its fiscal 2005 and for the six months to the end of September this year of INR 49.5 Crore (USD 10.85 million), up 55% on a year earlier.
The new shares to be offered would amount to 25.88% of ENIL's fully diluted post-issue paid up equity capital, a share that would rise to 27.75% if underwriters led by JM Morgan Stanley and Enam Financial Consultants take up their green shoe (over-allotment) of 1.2 million shares.
Of the basic IPO offering 200,000 shares have been reserved for allotment to ENIL employees and half the remaining 11.8 million are reserved for qualified institutional buyers including 5% reserved for allotment to Indian mutual funds, another 15% for non-institutional investors and the remaining 35% for retail investors, to be allocated on a proportionate basis.
In marked contest to ENIL's story, state radio broadcaster All India Radio (AIR), is mired in bureaucratic delays and nearly a hundred of its stations - nearly half its total of 219 - are operating without a station director according to the Financial Express.
The paper says more than 200 eligible AIR officials are currently waiting for promotions because of non-existent recruitment and promotion policies and that around 3,000 of the organization's 52,000 employees retire each year only to be hired again. It quotes "sources" as saying, "Because of this, we have 70-year-olds working in newsrooms of AIR on late night shifts. Some of
AIR came under state body Prasar Bharati (the Broadcasting Corporation of India) when the Prasar Bharati Act came into effect in 1991 and the paper says in the programme cadre there have been no promotions or recruitment since then.
It quotes "an official who has been on the same post for 20 years" as saying, "Because there are no clear guidelines for recruitment and promotions, we are serving at lower ranks and we are not motivated to work now."
Previous AIR:
Previous ENIL:
Previous Indian Radio:
Previous Prasar Bharati:
Economic Times report (Also owned by Bennett, Coleman and Co., Ltd.):
Financial Express report:

2005-11-15: Demographics and radio again came to the aid of a Spanish-language broadcaster with LBI Media revenues in the third quarter to the end of September up 7% on a year earlier to USD 25.8 million with growth primarily from its Los Angeles and Houston radio operations.
Radio division revenues led the way - up 13% to USD13.6 million with operating income up 89% to USD7.9 million and adjusted EBITDA up 26% to USD8.1 million whilst TV revenues lagged with a 1% increase to USD12.2 million with operating income moving from a positive 4.7 million to a loss of USD 1.4 million - mainly because of a USD5.2 million non cash impairment charge to a broadcast license - and adjusted EBITDA down 14% to USD4.8 million.
Overall LBI reported net income down 86% to USD 500,000 for the quarter.
For the first nine months of the year net revenues increased 7% to USD72.8 million with radio division net revenues up 14% to USD37.5 million, operating income up 58% to USD20.6 million, and adjusted EBITDA up 25% to USD21.5 million whilst TV revenues were down 1% to USD35.3 million, TV operating income was down 61% to USD 5.7 million, primarily because of the same impairment charge, and adjusted EBITDA was down 19% to USD 13.6 million.
Overall net income for the nine months was down 27% to USD8.7 million.
Commenting on the Company's results Executive Vice President Lenard Liberman said they were "pleased with the revenue and EBITDA growth rates achieved at our radio stations so far in 2005."
"Our radio performance is industry leading," he added. " We are also optimistic that the ratings performance we have achieved at our television stations with our new internally produced programming will soon translate into increased revenues."
Previous LBI Media:
Previous Liberman:

2005-11-15: Connecticut State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says he is to sue Charles Butkiewicz, the former president of Connecticut College's WCNI-FM radio station for allegedly diverting USD11,000 in donations for personal use and that he would refer the matter to the chief state's attorney for possible criminal prosecution.
Blumenthal began an investigation in 2004 after a long time former WCNI disc jockey, Leo Bordeleau, alleged financial impropriety at the station that was formerly owned and operated by non-stock corporation Connecticut College Broadcasting Association (CCBA).
The CCBA board of directors dismissed Bordeleau in April, 2004 for "wilful or repeated violation of FCC or WCNI regulations" and Bordeleau, who said he may ask the college to permit him to return to WCNI, commented, "I'm glad to see the allegations were taken seriously. What I had been saying was true. I feel vindicated."
Butkiewicz told the New London Day, "I know that I did no wrong. I know I did right. I will retain a lawyer and prove my innocence."
Earlier this month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the transfer of WCNI's licence from CCBA to a new non-stock, non-profit corporation, Connecticut College Community Radio.
This will be governed by a board of directors made up of five college administrators and faculty and chaired by David Milstone, the college's dean of student life. A student broadcasting club will oversee the station's day-to-day operations and programming.
New London (Connecticut) "Day" report:

2005-11-14: As the departure to satellite of Howard Stern approaches ever closer we start this week's look at print comment on radio with two articles on Stern, one from the UK Guardian and the other from the Chicago Tribune.
The UK Guardian uses the heading, "Howard Stern: last defender of American freedoms" for its piece by media consultant Jeff Jarvis and the heading reflects his take on Stern and, more to the point, on those who have driven him off terrestrial radio. … "make no mistake about it," writes Jarvis, "Stern is being chased off broadcast radio by a small posse of prudes and their conspirators on the Federal Communications Commission. Together, they are hastening the collapse of mass media, kneecapping our First Amendment, and painting a new, fraudulent image of US popular culture: no sex, please, we're American."
Jarvis describes Stern as a "talented comic who fears no celebrity, who turns the lives and interactions of his co-workers into a comic soap opera sharper than The Office, and who actually says what he thinks" and goes on to say that and his popularity made him "a tall target for religious busybodies. The so-called Parents Television Council created an automated online complaint factory that let their followers send hundreds, then thousands of identical computerized kvetches to the FCC about Stern's penis, breast and gas gags, leading to USD2.5 million in fines."
Jarvis sees Stern as symptomatic of a wider trend because of censorship … "The result is that broadcast media must turn into tapioca, making sure they offend no one. And that fits our larger cultural ethos: we live in an age when the greatest sin one can commit in politics, media or culture is to offend anyone. We see that from the left in the form of political correctness and from the right in the mobs fighting indecency. They all believe they are making broadcast safe. But they're just making it dull…So the intelligent and the adult - most of us - are fleeing big, old media for new media, where the law says we still can get what we want because we pay to get it."
In the Chicago Tribune, media columnist Phil Rosenthal commences his comment by describing the self-styled King of All Media as "indisputably a Sultan of Self-Promotion" and goes on to comment that his "departure at the end of the year might be a crucial body blow to regular old over-the-air radio, already busy fending off poachers of its audience from Internet radio, iPods and other emerging diversions."
"Another scenario, however," writes Rosenthal, "is that it could be the hard shove needed to shake up the octogenarian broadcast radio industry, which survived the advent of television and cassettes in past decades."
And the way forward for terrestrial? "If satellite radio's strategy is to take to the skies in a bid to control the continent below, terrestrial radio will have to stake its claim to the ground, literally going back to its roots, one local market at a time."
To back his comment, Rosenthal quotes Paula Hambrick, president of Paula Hambrick & Associates, a local media buyer, as saying, "What is going to save radio is really the basics of radio from Day One. All radio is local. ... The people that listen to radio want something that is about them. They want to be told what is going on in their immediate world [from someone] looking out a window and seeing the same cloud pattern."
Backing up the comments further, Rod Zimmerman, who manages Infinity Broadcasting's seven Chicago stations, comments, "It's not that a national show can no longer be successful, but radio has always been a local medium."
Zimmerman says that this is the reason syndicated host Rover (Shane French) will move from Cleveland when he replaces Stern at WCKG-FM, commenting, "It was really a priority to be local and have the show originate from our studios here in Chicago. [Rover] will be talking about issues and day-to-day lifestyle issues that pertain to any market, not just Chicago. But for us here in Chicago, it's going to certainly have a local feel. ... It's important to live in the same market and experience [what the audiences does]."
And from Emmis, which is bringing Jonathon Brandmeier back to Chicago to host mornings at WLUP-FM, Marv Nyren commented, "Satellite can play every Bon Jovi song that we're going to play. Satellite can do a lot of the things we can do, but they can't do Jonathon Brandmeier, they can't do Mancow [WKQX-FM morning host Erich "Mancow" Muller], they can't do Eric and Kathy, they can't do Steve Dahl. Pick anybody. Going forward, that will be the biggest separator."
Changing continents before listening suggestions, we go to Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times and a plug for digital. "Cadfael, the 12th-century Shropshire sleuth, has just deduced that the virgin in the ice was murdered. Julie Andrews is singing Do-Re-Mi, Martin Jarvis is reading Hard Times and Raj and Pablo are preparing to tell their astrology-minded listeners about the signs of the zodiac," he writes and continues, "Varied as they are, these offerings from my morning's radio all have one thing in common. They are on digital-only stations - BBC7, Fun, Oneword and Asian Network respectively."
Donovan then notes that there are now more than 70 digital-only stations in the UK and that latest ratings show "huge growth over the past year for digital-only services from the BBC and commercial radio alike."
Donovan notes the importance of digital listening to most stations - nearly a quarter of BBC Radio 4's audience, as an example and then notes that the sharpest rise in listening has been for the digital-only offerings, partly because of the success of DAB receivers and increased listening via television.
He concludes by noting the audio advantages and ends, "But, for an increasing number of listeners, it is content that counts."
On then to that content and our first suggestion for listening is a BBC World Service series on Violence - now approaching the end but all transmitted so far is currently available online
Topics dealt with so far include suicide (two programmes); Health Aspects of Violence (two programmes with one still to air); Science of Aggression (One programme aired, three to come);
Violence begins at Home (Four programmes - all aired); and Violent Sport (Three programmes - one aired and two to come);
Also from the BBC, last week violence and religion of a political nature in the BBC Radio 4 Analysis series: The latest was an hour-long special Koran and country: How Islam got political by Frank Gardner, the BBC's Security Correspondent.
And for yet another perspective, BBC Radio 2 last Sunday featured the former speaker of the British House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd, as presenter of The Women's War, the story of more than seven million British women who served their country during the Second World War, either in the armed services or on the home front
Then BBC Radio 3 and two programmes from Sunday - the Sunday Feature in which John Tusa ended his interview series with an investigation into the origins of creativity itself with contributors including Bernardo Bertolucci, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Bill Viola, Simon McBurney, Merce Cunningham and Frank Auerbach and the Drama on Three slot, which featured Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado about Nothing. Macbeth follows next Sunday at 20:30 GMT
Also from Radio 3 this week we'd suggest a dip into Performance on 3 that features a series of concerts Sir Charles Mackerras at 80 to mark the conductor's birthday - it starts tonight (normal time is 19:30 GMT) with Mozart's Idomeneo, followed by Der Rosenkavalier on Tuesday; an Opera on Three performance of Handel's Julius Caesar at 19:00 GMT on Wednesday; a selection of Dvorak on Thursday; Don Juan and Mahler's Sixth symphony on Friday; Beethoven's Fidelio in another Opera on 3 slot at 18:30 GMT on Saturday and ends on Sunday with a selection of Janacek (18:30 GMT).
There is, of course much more around, but time is a constraint for anyone who can't spend the whole week listening - even if they are doing something else at the same time - but we have one non-BBC recommendation. It's WNYC's On the Media that last week included in its offerings an interview with Barton Gellman of the Washington Post on the use (abuse!) of the Patriot Act and mass storage - mandatory, thanks to John Ashcroft - by the FBI of records on around a million people who were in Las Vegas during a 2003 Orange Alert-the whole database collected yielded nothing but all those involved will now remain in the database ad infinitum. Shades of the former Communist bloc! Maybe not a police state but certainly a state police!
Finally to end on a rather more upbeat note, we suggest listening to a few short (1 min to 1:30) Radio and the Artist shorts in which eight artists (so far) commented - on Radio 4 - on the inspiration they received from radio and particularly speech radio:
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2005-11-14: New Zealand broadcasters are planning trials of digital radio next year with talks currently under way between broadcasters and the Economic Development Ministry about which systems - the Eureka 147 DAB system, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and iBiquity's HD radio - to endorse. New Zealand quotes John McElhinney, chief executive of The Radio Network (TRN), which is half owned by Clear Channel, as saying he hopes the consortium of broadcasters will trial all three and the report notes that state broadcaster Radio New Zealand has already conducted DRM trials for its short-wave service to the South Pacific that is to commence in February: These transmissions are generally retransmitted by regional stations meaning that only the receiving stations need to be equipped with digital receivers..
In terms of advantages and disadvantages the report notes that in New Zealand the "Band 3" spectrum is currently used for TV broadcasts unlike the UK where TV uses UHF and Band 3 is available for digital radio and that New Zealand has reserved the "L Band" for DAB transmission but trials in Australia have shown digital radio signals using the band don't penetrate buildings very well.
Regarding HD it notes the advantage of using existing analogue frequencies and of receivers being able to switch to analogue mode when digital signals are too weak but the disadvantage that in New Zealand it cannot be used for AM., New Zealand report:

2005-11-14: According to the Sunday Times, GCap Media, Britain's largest radio group, is preparing to announce "a wholesale reorganization of its business that will include the sale of several local stations and a large investment in Capital 95.8FM."
The paper says that when GCap announces its interim results on November 24 chief executive Ralph Bernard will announce a focus on the company's most import stations including Capital, Classic Fm, and Xfm and will also announce disposals of some regional assets including Essex FM, Plymouth Sound, and Trent FM - with potential buyers including The Local Radio Company and Australia's Macquarie Media - and the closure of The Storm digital station.
In the most recent UK radio ratings, The Storm only had 76,000 listeners a week, a tenth of the total for Xfm including the latter's 628,000 analogue listeners in London whilst GCap's Planet Rock had 341,000, none very strong figures compared to 1.21 million for Emap's Kerrang! including its analogue station and 971,000 for The Hits and 788,000 for its Smash Hits digital station.
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2005-11-14: The first major podcasting convention to be held in the US - the Portable Media Expo & Podcasting Conference at Ontario, California - attracted participants from 22 countries and heard varying forecasts of the technology's likely effect on terrestrial radio from an upbeat Bridge Ratings report that showed a boost to station listening (See RNW Nov 13) to potentially significant effects on music radio from "podsafe" music that comes mainly from independent musicians and groups but with much less effect on news-linked services.
As well as sessions on practical aspects of podcasting the conference also featured sessions on how to make it pay through advertising or subscription or combinations of the two, using podcasts as a marketing tool, its effects on terrestrial radio and other traditional means of distributing content and whether it is more effective to make existing material available as a podcast or create podcast-only content.

2005-11-13: Last week was a fairly quiet one for the regulators with no radio licence decisions from Australia, Canada, or Ireland although in Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced to coincide with its inaugural ACMA Broadcasting Conference that it may restrict future availability of spectrum for analogue AM services and also reduce reliance on VHF for digital TV to boost digital radio services in the country (See RNW Nov 10) and in Ireland, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) said it had completed its review of ownership and control policy in advance of radio licensing advertisements (See RNW Nov 11).
In the UK, Ofcom was rather busier, advertising a new commercial FM for Rotherham and also announcing the award of seven new community licences (See RNW Nov 12), announcing the receipt of four applications for a new Shrewsbury licence (See RNW Nov 9), and the award of new FM licences for Northallerton and Swansea to the BTN FM bid by Mowbray Radio Ltd., and Swansea Bay Radio Ltd. respectively (See RNW Nov 8).
Ofcom also issued a 48-page report on the "Cost and power consumption implications of digital switchover" but it was entirely related to TV, where analogue is to be switched off, with no references at all to radio where so far there is no such suggestion.
In the US, the main news relating to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was the nomination by President Bush of Republican Deborah T. Tate and re-nomination of Democrat Michael J. Copps to serve as commissioners (See RNW Nov 10).
The FCC also reduced from USD 9,000 to USD 1,000 a penalty on a North Carolina non-commercial FM (See RNW Nov 9) and has accepted 253 applications for filing in its FM auction 62 of 171 frequencies. A further 81 have been adjudged incomplete and five - non-commercial stations in competition with commercial applicants for commercial frequencies - have been rejected.
The auction has been delayed because of Hurricane Katrina and is now to begin on January 12 with initial payments due on December 2.
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2005-11-13: According to a preliminary release of basic date from a Bridge Ratings survey of the effect on a station's listening when it provides podcasts, listening can increase by up to 15% with an increase in cumulative audience of up to 7%.
The study, which involved 4,000 people, half of them listeners to non-commercial stations such as US National Public Radio (NPR), was conducted between January and October in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, St. Louis and Miami.
It showed that non-commercial stations achieved an increase in cumulative listening of 5% and boosted time spent listening by 10% from people who regularly - twice or more a week - downloaded podcasts and commercial stations did even better with gains of 7% and 15% respectively.
Bridge Ratings President Dave Van Dyke commented, that it was "apparent that a regular schedule of podcast listening is a key element in order for a radio station to receive the benefits of increased listening."
"In this study," he added, "we found that a frequency of listening to two podcasts per week over the course of a month was the minimum exposure to a station's podcasts which would yield the perception of increased listening."
In the US, NPR has taken a lead in providing podcasts of its shows and earlier this month almost doubled the number it provides, adding 16 more programmes to the 17 it launched at the end of August funded by sponsorship from Acura. It says there have now been more than five million downloads of its shows and its web site had links to 189 public radio podcasts when we last checked.
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2005-11-12: Clear Channel has priced its initial public offering of 35 million shares of Class A common stock of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings - some 10% of the company - at USD18.00 per share to make a total of USD 630 million.
The entire net amount raised is to be used to repay outstanding inter company indebtedness owed by it to Clear Channel Communications.
The Class A stock has one vote per share compared to 20 votes per share for the Class B stock, all of which will be held by Clear Channel Communications, thus initially giving it some 99% of the votes of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings' common stock.
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2005-11-12: UK Guardian Media Group's Smooth FM has hired David Prever from Chrysalis's LBC as its new breakfast host to replace Jon Scragg who had hosted the show at the station, formerly Jazz FM until it was re-branded in June, for three years and had worked there for eight years.
GMG Radio group programme director John Simons told the UK Guardian, which is owned by the same parent, the appointment is part of a bid to make Smooth a top-five London station and added, "David is well known in, and qualified to talk about life in London and will provide us with a definitive edge as the station strives to grow its audience to help it achieve its goal of becoming a top-five London station."
Prever, who launched the breakfast show at Chrysalis's Heart FM and spend seven years there before moving to Emap's Magic FM for a spell and then rejoining Chrysalis with his move to LBC, where he is currently on the afternoon show, will join Smooth on November 21. He said of his move, "There's clearly a battle at the top for breakfast audiences and Smooth FM is set to be a major player. This is an exciting time in the London market and I can't wait to get started."
Also on the move but on a fill-in basis, is BBC Radio 1 host Colin Murray, who will be on Radio Five Live this weekend in the first of three guest slots replacing Eamonn Holmes on the Saturday morning show.
Murray who normally co-hosts the Radio 1 afternoon weekday show Edith Bowman, will also fill in for Holmes on 10 December and New Year's Eve.
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2005-11-12: International satellite radio company WorldSpace, which is currently concentrating its efforts in India, has said it will spent USD 150 million in the country over the next two years.
The announcement came from CEO Noah Samara after he had signed a memorandum of understanding between subsidiary WorldSpace India Pvt. Ltd., and West Bengal Government-owned venture Webel Mediatronics "to explore technology transfer for the assembly, installation and commissioning of a broadcast infrastructure, including gap fillers, that work in conjunction with the WorldSpace Satellite Radio offering."
Webel is a pioneer in the manufacture of studio equipment such as audio mixing consoles, broadcast-grade CD players and community radio systems in India.
Commenting on his company's plans Samara said his company saw the agreement with Webel as "an investment that will position the company to continue growing our global subscriber base and potentially accelerate our business roll out."
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2005-11-12: UK media regulator Ofcom has advertised a new commercial FM licence for Rotherham with a February 8 deadline for applications. The borough has an adult population of some 200,000 but Ofcom notes that due to the limited frequency resource available for this service, the licence will not cover the entire borough.
Ofcom has also awarded seven new community licences but opted not to make an award in three more cases.
The new licences go to Lionheart Radio (Alnwick and surrounding area, Northumberland); Community Broadcast Initiative Tyneside (CBIT) (parts of Newcastle upon Tyne); LVR FM (Lune Valley Radio) (Kirkby Lonsdale and surrounding areas, Cumbria); Seaside Radio (Withernsea and surrounding area, East Yorkshire); Youth Community Radio (Worcester); Gloucester FM (City of Gloucester); Toradio (Torfaen, South Wales - an AM service).
It opted not to make awards in the cases of Ness FM, Inverness; NowRadio, Wigan; and Radio CD (Radio Cultural Diversity), Oxford.
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2005-11-11: The Drudge Report, citing a "top source" is reporting that Disney CEO Robert Iger is prepared to sign off on the sale of the network's ABC radio network and ABC radio stations and final bids from three major suitors are due this week with a 15-day window to follow in which to accept an offer.
"Sources" identified the bidders as Cumulus, Emmis and Entercom according to Drudge with one said to be "approaching Iger's asking price."
Drudge adds that the deal will not include Radio Disney or ESPN radio.
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2005-11-11: According to the Toronto Star CHUM Ltd could be put up for sale by the Waters family, which controls the company.
It says the suggestion is fuelled by speculation that founder and controlling shareholder Allan Waters is in poor health and his shares, and others controlled by his family, might soon be available for sale but then weakens the report by quoting CHUM's chairman Jim Waters as insisting his family isn't looking to sever ties to CHUM: Waters added that his 84-years-old father, the CHUM founder, was in a stable condition in St. Michael's Hospital to which he was admitted a week ago following "a bit of a trip-up with some of the meds that he was on."
Regarding a possible sale he told the Star, "I suppose there's always a possibility there might be some interest from other companies, but ... I and Ronny [his brother] and my father are certainly not interested in selling. My father spent his life building the company, and it was his wish that the family continue operating the company, and that's what is happening."
The paper quotes an unnamed media executive as saying that CHUM, which has a market capitalization of CAD 829 million (USD 697 million) would probably fetch more than a billion (USD 840 million) if the whole company were put up for sale: According to a 2004 circular to shareholders Allan Waters owned 87.9% of the company's common shares and a subsequent filing to the stock market in January this year said the Waters family directly or indirectly controlled around 89% of the common shares.
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2005-11-11: Filings from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show Viacom's split into two companies is now proceeding apace with more than a third of the company's 178 radio stations being transferred from Viacom to CBS Broadcasting so far this month.
Earlier this month Viacom chairman and CEO Sumner M. Redstone said the company expected to complete the split into a new Viacom and a CBS Broadcasting entity by the end of this year (See RNW Nov 2).
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2005-11-11: News International's Sky Radio, which became Denmark's first national commercial radio station two years ago and which employs 65 people, is to stop broadcasting on Monday.
It says it is only reaching 60% of the national audience not the 78% that it was promised when it won the licence with a bid of DKK 54 million (USD 8.5 million). The station was due make its next licence fee payment on Tuesday but said it could not do so because of the financial effects of the smaller audience.
After winning the licence in June 2003 Sky went on air in November 2003 (See RNW Nov 18, 2003) and has a weekly audience of some 1.1 million out of a Danish population of five million: It lost DKK 73.1 million (USD 11.5 million) last year and according to Danish Business News is asking the government to repay licence fees because it did not live up to its obligation to provide national cover.
The News quotes assistant general manager Kasper Krüger as saying, "We will demand between DKK 200 and 300 million (USD 31 to 47 million) in compensation from the state in connection with the fact that we never got the nation-wide coverage that we were promised."
"'We bought a national station from the Danish state that should reach 80 percent of the population," he added. "We've discovered that we only reach 60 percent. For the past year, we've tried to bring it up with the Radio and TV Board and the IT and Telecom Agency, but they've behaved like East German civil servants and denied making any mistakes."
Radio and TV Board chairman Christian Scherfig said according to its calculations Sky has been reaching the promised 78% of the audience according to its calculations and said Sky was using a German method of audience estimation to arrive at its figures.
"That's precisely the coverage they were originally promised. When they say they have less coverage, that s because they are using a different method than one normally used in Denmark," he said.
Liberal Party political spokesman Jens Rhode said that he was interested in finding out whether there were any grounds to Sky Radio's complaints against the board: He told the national daily Jyllands-Posten, "Of course things need to work as they should, but as far as I know, there's no reason to believe that Sky Radio has not gotten what they were promised."
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2005-11-11: Both Austereo and Southern Cross Broadcasting have warned of continued volatility in the Australian advertising market.
Austereo has re-iterated its guidance of 4% revenue growth for the industry but said it was difficult to forecast: Managing director Michael Anderson told the company's Annual General Meeting they were seeing an advertising market "that is very short term and very difficult to predict" and added, "It is hard to call exactly how Christmas is going to be, much less the second half, and I think you will find that right across the media at this point in time."
Chairman Peter Harvie said first-half earnings before interest and tax were on budget and "only marginally off" from a year ago and added that earnings per share would be maintained for the period.
At Southern Cross's annual meeting chairman John Dahlsen said the company anticipated higher revenue growth in the second half but it was too soon to make a reliable prediction for the year: He added that radio was proving the bright spot with revenues up 6% whilst that of TV was flat.
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2005-11-11: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) says it has now completed its planned review of Ownership and Control Policy and has outlined key policy objectives and guiding principles that will be in force for its round of radio licensing adverts that will start with the December 9th advertisement of a Quasi-National Speech-Driven Service re-advertisement of the National Commercial Sound Broadcasting Service.
The BCI said that in general its existing policy "continued to be appropriate and relevant" and left its definitions of 'control' and 'substantial interest' unchanged but is not to apply a minimum percentage threshold of 10% will now apply in respect of 'substantial interest'.
It is also to retain its current limits defining an "undue number" of licences between 15% and 25% but for all applications above 15% will request from applicants a compliance audit for all of its existing services over a twelve-month period.
It is also retaining its definition of what constitutes an "undue amount of communications media but will no longer examine the applicant's dominance of the local advertising market, as this aspect is examined by the Competition Authority, in making a determination regarding a media merge and will also in general retain two year moratorium on the sale of a licence although it will make an exception where licences have been renewed.
BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe commented, "Having given careful and detailed consideration to all aspects of the Ownership and Control Policy, the Commission is satisfied that the existing policy has worked extremely well in ensuring plurality of ownership and the sustained development of the broadcasting industry. The relatively small number of changes as outlined today reflects issues raised during the operation of the policy from 2001 and responses received in the consultation process. We are committed to a further review of the policy in three years' time".
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2005-11-10: President Bush has nominated Republican Deborah T. Tate and re-nominated Democrat Michael J. Copps to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Tate, who is currently Director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, was in 2003 appointed to the Federal Communications Commission's Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services.
The appointments, if approved, will give the Republicans a 3-2 majority on the FCC but only for a short period since Republican Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy must step down when the Senate's current session expires, which is expected later this year.
Her departure would mean that the Commission would revert to its current situation of being evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.
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2005-11-10: Howard Stern was back on air on Wednesday after his one-day suspension for talking too much about Sirius Satellite Radio on the show (See RNW Nov 8)and brought the topic up, noting his exchange on Monday with K-Rock [WXRK-FM], General Manager Tom Chiusano after he was told of the suspension.
Stern's account on his web site was that he said he didn't understand the logic behind the suspension and that he had always followed the agreement made with Chiusano and Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander about what he could say.
He said that Chiusano suggested a meeting with Hollander and Stern's agent Don Buchwald and that at the meeting on Tuesday Hollander had expressed concern about being insulted on air and that Stern was talking about Sirius too much. Stern responded that he "had a great time working for Infinity, but that he decided to leave because he wasn't able to do the kind of show he wanted anymore" and then said he had been a "gentleman until Joel took out a full-page ad in a trade paper that was a shot at him and continued to badmouth him in interviews."
Stern said that they had gone over the rules again and that "he and Joel decided that they'd call each other in the future and discuss their problems to avoid the possibility of this kind of incident happening again."
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2005-11-10: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced that it may restrict future availability of spectrum for analogue AM services and also reduce reliance on VHF for digital TV to boost digital radio services in the country.
Digital radio broadcasts in Australia will initially use the Eureka DAB 147 standard, using VHF Band III spectrum for wide-coverage applications, and notes that in future ", it appears highly likely that a dual standard will emerge, with Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) providing wider-coverage terrestrial services in regional areas."
ACMA adds that broadcasting services bands spectrum that is suitable for DAB and DRM is relatively scarce in Australia and ACMA will have to consider whether remaining vacant frequencies should be held back in order not to compromise the expected introduction of digital radio.
Acting ACMA Chair Lyn Maddock told the opening of the inaugural ACMA Broadcasting Conference in Canberra that "In considering whether to make spectrum available for other uses, ACMA intends to consider each situation on its merits, taking into account in its decision making the utility of spectrum for future introduction of digital radio services" and added, "This policy may have the effect of restricting the availability of additional analogue AM radio services as well as reducing the reliance on VHF spectrum for additional digital television services."
The conference heard a similar message from Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Senator Helen Coonan who said she was keen to switch off analogue TV to free up spectrum for digital radio.
A date of 2008 has been suggested for switching off analogue TV in Australia but Coonan said no date had been set to switch off analogue radio and added that digital radio would be introduced over a period.
"As radio is the only mainstream broadcasting platform to remain analogue-only, and with increasing competition from new digital platforms such as the Internet and mobile phones, the radio industry needs the certainty to plan and promote the potential benefits of digital radio," she said.
Coonan said the government had consulted widely about the introduction of digital radio and noted that international experience showed that it will supplement analogue transmissions for a considerable time and might possibly never be a complete replacement: As a result, she said, policy was to treat DAB as a supplementary system as opposed to the situation for TV where it would be a replacement.
Once digital broadcasting starts - with transmissions to commence in metropolitan areas as soon as practicable and be followed by regional and rural trials - there is to be a six-year moratorium on the allocation of new broadcasting band commercial licences.
Coonan also released a discussion paper on powers to be given to ACMA to enforce media rules: It includes suggestions of civil penalties for various breaches that can currently lead to criminal penalties, the ability to order on-air announcements of investigation findings, and the power to issue infringement notices.
Coonan said the introduction of such powers would enable a more responsive regulatory approach since the current powers are generally concentrated at the level of more severe penalties such as a criminal prosecution or the "draconian" measure of licence cancellation that were rarely appropriate.
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2005-11-10: Florida Circuit Judge David Crow has reserved his ruling on a request by prosecutors to be allowed to talk with conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh's doctors and medical suppliers as part of their investigation into possible doctor-shopping by the host.
He has also referred to circuit judge Thomas H. Barkdull III, the judge who issued search warrants for Limbaugh's medical records, the issue of whether to proceed further with to go forward with contempt proceedings against the state for allegedly leaking Limbaugh's medical information to the news media.
In court papers filed last month, Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black alleged that the State Attorney's Office leaked information about the talk show host's medical records to the media and called for the state to be held in contempt. He said the state violated a protective order put in place by Barkdull "specifically enjoining the state from disclosing to third parties any information relating to Mr. Limbaugh's medical records" and wants the court to also direct the state to disclose the source of the leak and release the names of all those who have had access to Limbaugh's medical records.
On the matter of prosecutors talking to Limbaugh's doctors, Black argued that the law required the host to give a waiver to allow the prosecutors to speak with them and said that even criminal investigators had no right to breach the confidentiality between a doctor and patient.
Assistant State Attorney James Martz argued that he needed to put some pertinent questions to be able to investigate whether a crime of doctor shopping has been committed. He said he did not want to put questions about privileged information but does want the doctors to authenticate Limbaugh's medical records, which he has already received through the court.
"I would be devastated, I kid you not, to go forward with a case against Rush Limbaugh or anybody else in the state of Florida to find out at trial... that we put somebody through a criminal prosecution wrongly or inappropriately," Martz told Judge Crow, "I have no idea if Mr. Limbaugh has completed the elements of any offence yet... unless we can ask several pertinent questions."
Limbaugh on his web site treats the latter comment not as a prosecutor seeking information to make a correct decision so much as improper behaviour, headlining it as "Prosecutor asks judge to waive doctor/patient privilege in order to find a crime he admits in open court has not been committed..."
Crow, in referring the matter to Barkdull, said Barkdull is familiar with the records because he determined which portions were turned over to the state and which were returned to Limbaugh in July.
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2005-11-10: Canadian lobby group Our Public Airways has launched a campaign to force the resignation of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) president Robert Rabinovitch, starting with a call for "concerned Canadians to write to Bob Rabinovitch to ask him to do the honourable thing and step down."
As part of its "Campaign for A New CBC" the group also asks Canadians to send a second message to the Prime Minister asking him, in the interest of greater CBC independence, to allow the CBC Board of Directors to appoint a successor to Rabinovitch. Under current practice, the CBC president is appointed by the government.
In a news release OPA's Executive Director Arthur Lewis says, " Bob Rabinovitch, has become a serious liability to the CBC. That was obvious to anyone who witnessed his appearance last week before a parliamentary committee to answer for the lockout [The eight-week lockout of CBC staff over a dispute that ended last month - See RNW Oct 12). Hostile questioning by MPs from all parties made it abundantly clear that he no longer enjoys their confidence. And it's not only because of the lockout. There are many other concerns over the direction in which he's been leading CBC…"
Lewis added, "To protect the independence of CBC, the president is protected from firing. That's why OPA wants Canadians to tell him that it's time to resign… At last week's parliamentary hearing, the CBC President was asked: 'Who is your boss?' And he replied: 'The people of Canada.' So it's important to tell Bob Rabinovitch that we no longer have confidence in him either."
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2005-11-09: In more US radio results various factors combined to reduce net earnings for Cumulus and Spanish Broadcasting System although revenues were up and international satellite radio operator WorldSpace both increased revenues and cut losses.
Cumulus has reported third quarter revenues up only 1.6% to USD 85.33 million and, with station operating expenses up 2.5% to USD 52.89 million, net income fell 1.6% to USD 9.13 million (an unchanged 13 cents diluted income per common share): For the first nine months of the year revenues are up 3.9% to USD 244.89 million, station operating expenses are up 14.1% to USD 171.70 million, and net income has fallen from USD 20.52 million to USD 4.98 million (from 29 cents to seven cents diluted income per common share.).
Same station figures were slightly better with third quarter net revenue up 1.7% to USD 78.43 million but station operating income was down 0.6% to USD 29.59 million: For the first nine months same station revenue is up 2.2% to USD 225.20 million and station operating income was flat at USD 79.95 million.
On a pro forma basis, net revenue for the quarter were up 1.7% to USD 84.96 million and station operating income edged up 0.3% to USD 32.39 million while for the nine months pr-forma revenues were up 1.9% to USD 243,49 million and station operating income was up 1% to USD 86.64 million.
Looking ahead Cumulus says it expects fourth quarter pro forma net revenue to be flat or slightly down on a year earlier and pro forma station operating expenses to grow by 2%.
Cumulus has also restated results for the second quarter and first half of the year to reflect a non-cash termination charge related to its dropping Interep in favour of Katz Media saying it had not done so originally since no payments to or by it were being made although Katz negotiated and agreed to pay Interep USD 14.4 million payable in 25 equal monthly payments commencing in May 2005. It has now amended the accounts to reflect the Katz deal with Interep.
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) reported net revenues for the third quarter up 5% to USD 43.0 million with most of the growth attributable to its new start-up station in San Francisco, KRZZ-FM.
Operating income from Continuing Operations before Depreciation and Amortization, however, was down 3% to USD 15.9 million and overall SBS had a loss from Continuing Operations before Income Taxes and Discontinued Operations of USD 22.4 million compared to income of USD 5.2 million a year earlier: This was mainly from the Loss on Early Extinguishment of Debt that included losses of USD 3.2 million relating to the repayment of its USD135.0 million senior secured credit facilities due 2009 and accrued interest and of SD 29.5 million related to redemption of all its 9 5/8% senior subordinated notes due 2009 were redeemed.
For the first nine months of the year, net revenues from continuing operations was up 11% to USD 123.0 million and Loss from Continuing Operations before Income Taxes and Discontinued Operations was USD22.3 million compared to income of USD6.1 million for the same prior year period, again because of loss on extinguishments of debt.
For the fourth quarter SBS is predicting radio Net Revenue growth to be in the low-single digit range and Radio Operating Income from Continuing Operations before Depreciation and Amortization growth to be in the flat to low-single digit range over the comparable prior year period. It notes that the guidance takes into consideration 2004 fourth quarter growth of 30%, the lack of political sales in 2005 in excess of USD 2.0 million and the potential impact of Hurricane Wilma.
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr said of the results, "Our third quarter revenue growth outpaced the radio industry, highlighting the strength of our market- leading stations during an otherwise challenging radio advertising environment. We have sustained a leadership position in the nation's largest markets through our popular on-air talent, cutting edge programming strategies and aggressive sales and marketing."
"Our radio portfolio," he continued, "finished the summer Arbitron ratings period with the nation's #1-rated Spanish-language station in the Tropical, Regional Mexican and Urban programming formats, as well as the #2-rated Spanish-language station in the Adult Contemporary format. … Looking ahead, we remain focused on strengthening our content and further building upon our ratings success to the benefit of our shareholders. We are very well positioned to capture a greater share of revenues in our markets, as more and more advertisers discover the importance of targeting Hispanic America."
International satellite radio operator WorldSpace outperformed the terrestrial companies in percentage terms but from a low base: It added 11,141 subscribers in the quarter, 78% more than it added a year ago, and in India, where it is concentrating its efforts added 7,737 subscribers to reach 35,670 subscribers at the end of the third quarter
Overall WorldSpace's loss narrowed from USD 57.3 million (USD 9.90 a share) in the third quarter of 2004, when it included USD 30.6 million of interest charges in the figures, to USD 15.4 million (USD 0.48 per share) .
Chairman and CEO Noah Samara commented, "During the third quarter we have made operational progress that puts us well on the path of delivering strong subscriber growth." … "We have significantly increased our marketing and retail presence in key cities in India, expanded our content offering to further enhance an attractive value proposition to the consumer and improved our distribution. We continued to make progress in our business development activities in Europe and in addition in October, we obtained terrestrial repeater licenses in Dubai and Bahrain, the first terrestrial repeater licenses for mobile satellite radio outside of North America, and rolled out new marketing initiatives to the US military and government personnel stationed in our coverage area."
Previous Alarcón:
Previous Cumulus:
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Previous SBS:
Previous WorldSpace:

2005-11-09: The inaugural Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Broadcasting Conference is being held today and tomorrow in Canberra and ACMA says it intends to build on the tradition set by predecessor body, the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) , with its annual conferences.
The two-day event will be started with an opening address by Sen. Helen Coonan, Australia's Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and will look at the way broadcasting is changing an the implications for regulation of the changes.
Today's conference will look at key trends affecting broadcasters with sessions on Content Creation; Aggregation; Transmission modes; Access devices; and Sales & marketing consumers & advertisers.
Tomorrow's sessions will include an address by Ofcom Deputy Chair Richard Hooper on the lessons that the UK experience of setting up a converged media and communications regulator could offer to Australia; The regulation of news and current affairs in a world that also included blogging and podcasting; Non-Commercial media; and whether platform-based regulation can cope with the blurred industry boundaries now developing.
Previous ACMA:
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2005-11-09: Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) chairman and CEO John Bitove Jr. is hoping to raise enough through an initial public offering to see the company through to break-even.
Commenting as CRS unveiled a preliminary prospectus for the IPO, Bitove commented, "We expect that if we raise CAD 50 million (USD 42 million) in the public markets, with some of the other plans we have that will be more than enough to take us through to cash-flow break even, which should happen within the first five years."
The Toronto Globe and Mail notes that the other plans include an issue after the IPO of around CAD 75 million (USD 63 million) of high-yield notes and that XM Satellite Radio, a partner in the venture, is committed to a CAD 45 million (USD 38 million) standby credit facility "although the prospectus says CSR does not intend to tap into this if it completes the notes issue."
Bitove has invested around CAD 15 million (USD 12.6 million) in CSR so far and said through a spokesman that a maximum of 10% of CSR was to be sold through the IPO, thus valuing the company around CAD 500 million (USD 420 million).
The spokesman said that Bitove would have more than half of CSR's equity and through a holding of multiple-vote hares, will control 80% of its votes.
The prospectus says that CM will own 23.33% company in the form of subordinated voting shares, and General Motors of Canada Ltd., which is to install XM satellite radios in some vehicles will get 7%.
In addition CSR is planning to issue CAD 5 million ( USD 4.2 million) in shares to broadcasters Corus Entertainment Inc., Rawlco Capital Ltd. of Calgary and Elmer Hildebrand Ltd. of Altona, Man., in part payment for advertising it plans to do on their radio and TV stations.
Rival Sirius Canada meanwhile, notes the Globe and Mail, quietly omitted Howard Stern from its Canadian line-up although this could change.
A statement by the company said, "Howard Stern is not part of the Sirius Canada initial channel line-up at this time. He is not scheduled to begin broadcasting with Sirius in the U.S. until January, 2006. In the normal course of business, Sirius Canada will continuously review the channel line-up to ensure they are providing the best programming available on radio anywhere in Canada. Sirius Canada brings to listeners today an unrivalled radio experience: the broadest selection of commercial free music, sports, talk and entertainment."
Previous Bitove:
Previous CSR:
Previous Sirius Canada:
Previous Stern:
Toronto Globe and Mail report on CSR:
Toronto Globe and Mail report on Sirius Canada:

2005-11-09: UK media regulator Ofcom says four applicants have bid for the new Shrewsbury commercial FM licence. They are:
Extra FM - Shrewsbury Radio Limited's bid with an offering of a full service station.
Radio Shrewsbury - offering local news and information plus a wide variety of popular music.
Shrewsbury FM - an offering of a local, classic hits radio station.
Shrewsbury Local Radio - a full service bid for 35 to 64 year olds with popular hits from the last 40 years.
Previous Ofcom:

2005-11-09: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 9,000 to USD 1,000 a penalty on the Trustees of Davidson College, licensee of non-commercial educational station WDAV-FM, Davidson, North Carolina, in respect to documentation kept in its public inspection file.
Davidson had argued for the reduction on the basis that the issues/programs lists for 1996, 1997 and 1998 were, in fact, prepared and timely placed in the station's public file, but that "during a move to a new building in December 2002" the lists were "misplaced": It said that they were missing from the file only for some eight months rather than the three years cited in the Notice of Apparent Violation.
The FCC accepted the argument and reduced the penalty.
Previous FCC:

2005-11-08: Infinity on Monday suspended Howard Stern for a day for overdoing his promotion of his move to Sirius Satellite Radio.
A posting on Stern's site leads to a story from Howard 100 News [Sirius Channel 100] in which it says "Sources tell Howard 100 News that Infinity Broadcasting has issued a one-day suspension to Howard Stern… for talking about Sirius Satellite Radio TOO MUCH! K-rock [WXRK-FM], Stern's current home station] General Manager Tom Chiusano made the announcement as The Howard Stern Show was ending Monday morning.
Infinity Vice President of Communications Karen Mateo said Stern would not be on the air today when a compilation of Best shows ill be aired and added that he Infinity expected him back Wednesday but did not use the term "suspension."
Stern spokesman Matt Traub in an Associated Press report carried by Newsday said the move was "an act of desperation by men who are losing their once-in-a-lifetime franchise."
Previous Sirius:
Previous Stern:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
Newsday-AP report:

2005-11-08: UK media regulator Ofcom has favoured local bids in its latest two commercial FM licence awards: That for Northallerton went to the BTN FM bid by Mowbray Radio Ltd., wholly owned by the Local Radio Company plc. and the Swansea licence went to Swansea Bay Radio Ltd., owned by Town and Country Broadcasting (65%), Haven FM (Pembrokeshire) Ltd., (20%) and three locally based individuals (15%).
The Northallerton bid was one of three and is for a news and information station aimed at a 25-54 demographic (See RNW Aug 6) as was the Swansea bid, which is for a gold and easy listening music station targeted at a 35 plus audience (Also RNW Aug 6).
The Swansea award was bad news for Australian Macquarie Bank, which was behind one of the rival Swansea bids - from Radio UK Holdings Ltd. that was offering a classic rock-based format: In September CanWest became the first foreign group to win a UK commercial license (See RNW Sept 6).
Previous Ofcom:

2005-11-08: Payment is expected to be made today to shareholders and holders of stock options in the former SBS Broadcasting S.A., the European broadcaster taken over by Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) (See RNW Oct 19).
The company is now SBS Broadcasting S.a.r.l. and distribution to the former company's shareholders is being made through "TVSL, societe anonyme" (TVSL S.A.), which has replaced it as the holding company at an amount of Euros 46.072 per share or, for shareholders who elected for payment in dollars, USD 55.087 per share.
Previous SBS Broadcasting S.a.r.l./SBSSA:

2005-11-08: US radio personality Paul Harvey will be amongst 14 recipients of the 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, to be awarded in a ceremony at The White House tomorrow.
The others are boxer Muhammad Ali; comedienne and actress Carol Burnett; Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, who designed the software code that is used to transmit data over the Internet; historian Robert Conquest; singer Aretha Franklin; outgoing US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan; actor, writer and producer Andy Griffith; former Mississippi congressman Gillespie V. (Sonny) Montgomery; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers; golfer Jack Nicklaus; baseball player Frank Robinson; and hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered people at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and thereby saved the lives of around a thousand people.
Harvey, now 87, is estimated to have a weekly audience of some 22 million for his News and Comment show that has aired on ABC Radio Networks since 1951 and "The Rest of the Story", which began as segments on his newscasts in 1946 but were spun off to become a separate series thirty years later in 1976.
His radio career began at KVOO-AM in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1933: In November 2000 he signed a ten-year deal guaranteeing him a minimum USD10 million a year.
Previous Harvey:

2005-11-08: UK media regulator Ofcom upheld four radio complaints in its latest bulletin, one of them in part, and also considered three radio complaints resolved: Concerning TV it upheld three standards complaints, considered four other complaints resolved, and listed details of four complaints not upheld.
This compares with no radio complaints upheld and one considered resolved in its previous bulletin in which it upheld eight TV complaints, upheld another TV complaint in part and considered four TV complaints resolved.
The radio cases upheld included two complaints against Restricted Service Licensee The Wireless Company FM Ltd, one a fairness and privacy complaint from a Mr Ian Perry concerning The Final Showdown broadcast on TWCfm that he said abused and ridiculed him unfairly. Perry also complained about infringement of privacy.
Ofcom held that abusive comments made about Perry were unfair but found his privacy had not been infringed since, although he was likely to be identifiable he had already put details of his name, location and occupation in the public domain.
In addition Ofcom noted that it had asked four times for a transcript of the comments made but TWCfm had failed to provide it, a breach of its standards rules.
Another standards ruling was made against Belfast Restricted Service Licensee Sweet FM, which had been the subject of a complaint from three people about comments they felt were sectarian.
Sweet FM had said it could not provide a recording because of a technical fault and this was ruled as in breach of Ofcom's standards. No ruling was made on the substantive complaints in view of the inability to listen to the station's output.
The other radio complaint upheld involved satellite broadcaster Sangamam Radio, which serves the Tamil community. In all 12 complaints were made about the broadcast of songs that they claimed were in support of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a proscribed organization in the UK.
Ofcom also noted in listening to some of the relevant output the broadcast of the 2004 "Heroes' Day" speech by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Like the other stations Sangamam Radio was unable to provide all the transcripts and English translations of the material Ofcom required during the course of our investigation; it said that it had lost the relevant recordings when it renewed its logging equipment but assured Ofcom that it would comply with these licence obligations in the future.
Sangamam said that it maintained editorial control of its news and noted that the LTTE leader's speech had been broadcast by other broadcasters but Ofcom commented that this was not relevant and that Sangamam had been unable to show it had broadcast any alternative view to that of Prabhakaran.
Regarding the songs broadcast Sangamam said that in future it would not broadcast songs that supported one side of a political debate or applauded violence.
Ofcom ruled that in glorifying and applauding violence, the songs broadcast were in breach of rules concerning Portrayal of Violence in its Programme Code, that there was also a breach of rules on General programming on matters of political, public or industrial controversy and of a condition of Sangamam's licence. Regarding the failure to provide recordings it said it intends to meet the broadcaster to explain both the seriousness of its compliance failures and that any repetition is likely to result in the consideration of a statutory sanction.
Considered resolved were complaints against Rick Shaw's morning show on Kerrang! and a film review on BBC Radio Five Live.
In Kerrang!'s case the broadcast included an unedited version of a song by Gwen Stefani that contained the word "shit" and of another song by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers that contained the word "motherfucker." Kerrang! provided Ofcom with a copy of its 'Language Policy in Music' document and regarding the Red Hot Chilli Peppers broadcast said the use of "motherfucker" was a scheduling mistake. It added that is rectified this immediately and took the track off its daytime playlist and also removed all tracks containing debatable language for the duration of the school holidays.
In the case of the film review, BBC Radio Five Live had broadcast a clip from 'Green Street' that included the dialogue: "they are lying fucking scum". The BBC said the film reviewer had joined the presenter in its studio at the Oval and the film clips were played in from Television Centre on verbal cues. When it had checked it found the offending clip was a "rough cut" that had been stored in the electronic programme production system along with a fully edited clip prepared for broadcast but inadvertently deleted, leading to the "rough cut" being aired. Following the incident staff had been told that clips had to be checked before broadcast to ensure this kind of mistake was not repeated.
In addition to these complaints Ofcom listed with no details a further 176 complaints against 157 items that were rejected or held to be out of remit compared to corresponding totals of 136 complaints against 117 items in the previous bulletin.
These included 15 radio complaints relating to 15 items compared to 12 radio complaints relating to 12 items in the previous bulletin - and 161 TV complaints relating to 142 items compared to 124 TV complaints relating to 105 items in the previous bulletin:
Previous Ofcom:
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:

2005-11-08: Seattle-headquartered Fisher Communications has announced third quarter revenues down 3.7% on a year earlier to USD 38.8 million but cut its net loss dramatically from a year earlier - down to a loss of USD 790,000 compared to a net loss of USD 5.9 million a year earlier when it had pre-tax losses on derivative instruments of USD 2.7 million (USD 1.8 million after tax) and also greater consulting and accounting expenses related to compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
For the first nine months of the year revenues were down 1.5% to USD 109.9 million and the net loss was less than half that of a year earlier - USD 6.9 million compared to USD 16.5 million.
Fisher noted that in October Colleen B. Brown became President and CEO in succession to Acting President and CEO Benjamin W. Tucker, Jr., who had taken over the role after the departure of William W. Krippaehne Jr. in January (See RNW Jan 8).,
Previous Fisher:

2005-11-07: Some tips about radio stunts to start this week's look at print comment on radio: They're from Tim Cuprisin's column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the headline "If it seems goofy, it probably is" is a fairly good summary.
Cuprisin lists a couple of stunts on Milwaukee station, neither particularly inventive in our view, and then continues with hints on how to spot a stunt starting with, "The first rule of radio listening is that if you hear something that sounds weird, switch to another radio station. If they're not talking about it, it's likely to be happening only on that first station."
He then quotes Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules whose origin lies in the 1938, Orson Welles broadcast of a version of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" that was made to sound like a news broadcast: They relate to, "broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe" and for an offence to occur the broadcast has to directly cause substantial public harm" and "the broadcaster has to know the information is false before the broadcast, and that it will cause "substantial public harm"
That means, of course, that in effect the rules are very unlikely to be successfully enforced pushing the listener back to the first rule and application of a little common sense about assessing the likelihood of something being both true but, if so, unlikely to interest any other station, especially if the story keeps being repeated on one station only.
After stunts, a station whose name sounds as if it is one: It's "", which was started last June by Adrian Martinez, who is also president of Marusa records, an independent record label in Los Angeles. In a typical Californian touch the report on the station in the New York Times by Dinitia Smith notes that as well as its English language broadcasts, "Since many pets are apparently bilingual, DogCatRadio also has a "Spanish Hour"… with Hispanic commentary and music."
The report says 34-years old Martinez "who owns six dogs and two cats, said he founded the station because 'my cat, Snickers, asked me to do it.'"
Martinez told the paper, "One day, Snickers was pacing the floor restlessly and meowing and he said, "What do you want? " then "turned up the music, and she was fine."
Apparently Snickers likes 80's rock, particularly the Eddie Money version of the song "Take Me Home Tonight: I feel a hunger /It's a hunger that tries to keep a man awake at night."
There is more in the report including a recommendation for the station from Albany, New York talk show host Dr. Larry Family, who on his show the Pet Vet recommends DogCatRadio to his patients' owners and told the Times, "It might be helpful with dogs with separation anxiety issues. Dogs, especially, are interested in watching TV with their owners and listening to music."
The report says so far, the six people associated with the station, four of whom act as D.J.s, are paid only a small stipend to cover expenses and Martinez said at the moment the station has no advertising and is making no money but added, "I'm not in it for the money" although he then further added the "Eventually, I'm sure, people will advertise."
RNW comment: The pet's choice reminds us of being in Scotland and having the radio on a classical station that attracted the attention of a herd of cows who came up and stood around peacefully. A retune to rock sent them scuttling away. Make of that what you will about the taste of Scottish cows and pampered American pets!
After stunts, cats and dogs, praise for rather more demanding radio from Paul Donovan in the UK Sunday Times: He began by quoting author and radio playwright Ken Whitmore as once saying that "his dearest wish was to write a drama that would stop people ironing."
Donovan says he has "heard plays so transfixing, I could not get out of the car until the end, but it would be no reflection on his ability if it remained an unfulfilled ambition."
Using the Whitmore quote as a peg Donovan writes, "Most people are more than capable of ironing and listening at the same time. Indeed, Saatchi's, in the 1980s, commissioned the Ironing Board Study, proving that people satisfactorily digested programmes while occupied with other tasks (in this case, testing a new starch product), and one of radio's great virtues is that you can do so many other things while listening to it."
He then notes that listening at work in the UK has risen by nearly a fifth in three years, and contrasts the situation now with that some years ago. "Music While You Work" ran for 27 years, but that was designed to keep human drones on factory floors content and therefore productive," he says. "What seems to be happening now is that workers listen to speech as well as music, and that the work they do is creative as opposed to repetitive."
Listening is also more varied as to location and Donovan cites figures from the BBC, which says that 19% of all British radio listening is done in the workplace with another 20% in cars and UK commercial radio says that 46% of its female listeners tune in on the way to the shops; that 65% of its audience listens in the kitchen, with 53% doing so also in the bedroom, 20% in the garden and 14% in the bathroom. More and more surf the net while listening. Three-quarters of 16- to 24-year-olds listen in their bedrooms, "their ultimate personal space".
Finally to Donovan's colleague Gerry McCarthy: In his Radio Waves column on Irish radio he picks up on the survey commissioned by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) about what offends the Irish, and starts with comment on a review of an interview on the subject carried by broadcaster RTÉ.
"Offence is utterly subjective and depends on the context," he writes. "This rather obvious point was the only salient one to emerge from an interview on Morning Ireland with Margaret Tumelty, standards officer with the Broadcasting Commission. Flagged as a contribution to the continuing debate about media standards, the piece was too vague and general to add anything of substance.
"Having consulted and surveyed widely," continues McCarthy, "the commission could reveal that some people object to coarse language, while others get into a lather over sex or violence. But hardly anyone complains. Indeed, no objective standard is possible because notions of offensiveness vary. The time of day, the tone of the programme and the apparent intent of the broadcaster must be taken into account."
RNW comment: Not unlike the US, we would suggest where recent FCC figures indicate to us that were the figures for what are obviously organized complain campaigns taken out of the totals, the number of people actually taking serious offence - as opposed to groups and politicians capitalizing on the issue - seems minimal. Indeed we would argue that anyone seriously offended could be expected to be willing to take the slightly extra effort required to post a complaint as opposed to forward a pre-prepared e-mail and the system would better reflect actual offence taken if e-mails were only accepted as an indicator rather than a means of filing a complaint (in other words e-mail numbers would be published as well but action only taken when written complaints were filed.)
On to suggested listening and first a couple of programmes from last Tuesday on BBC Radio 4 - firstly "You'll never get rich" in which Dick Vosburgh tells the story of the success of the Phil Silvers Show, more commonly known as Bilko; and secondly "Building a healthier Britain" that looked at diabetes and considers various theories as to its cause, particularly a theory that it is related to birth weight. Both will be available on the Listen Again facility on the web site until tomorrow.
And still on the topic of health a recommendation for last week's Health Report on ABC Radio National (Available as a stream or MP3): This was the second of two programmes - both still available - on hormone replacement therapy that was pitched as offering the benefits of "smooth skin, shiny hair, strong bones, good sex" but was also found to have not so promising side-effects such as increasing the risk of breast cancer if taken over the long term.
Moving onwards and backwards - the latter 400 years to the Gunpowder Plot, the failed attempt to blow up the British Parliament and King James 1 - the anniversary of the plot saw it marked with various programming: First we'd recommend drama and BBC Radio 3's Drama on Sunday slot that last week featured The Gunpowder Plot by Jonathan Davidson in a dramatized version of how the establishment reacted to a terrorist threat - with double-dealing and torture and religious bigotry amongst other things that made us reflect that Robert Cecil was - in a different time , of course - not that different from to some of today's leaders .
Then on BBC Radio 4, Sunday's edition of Bookclub featured historian Antonia Fraser talking about her The Gunpowder Plot, a book this time in which she looked at the events.
Later that day the station's weekly Children's programme Go4it was a special edition commemorating the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes plot.
Sunday's radio 4 also featured religious bigotry in another production, this time the first part of a two-part classic serial Father and Son, Edmund Gosse's memoir of his Victorian childhood being brought up in the strictly non-conformist Plymouth Brethren to whom Christmas and Catholics were of the devil rather than God. Evolution didn't get much of a better response either.
We'd also recommend last Friday's Great Lives on BBC Radio 4: It gave a sympathetic portrait of Zhao Ziyang whose reformist moves as Premier died with the massacre in Tiananmen Square but who long before then had reacted pragmatically to problems facing his country, much to his detriment when this conflicted with Mao's theories: Another programme to provoke comparisons with some of today's leaders.
On a more positive note another anniversary featured on BBC Radio 4 this week is the 200th anniversary of the first atomic table, being celebrated by the station today with a series of short reflections on various elements by well-known BBC radio voices: The Corporation has kindly provided a web page that links to audio of all ten items that will become available after transmission on its listen-again service.
Then there's Jazz and choral music, with last Sunday and the Radio 2 Young Choristers Of The Year 2005 and on next Friday BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3 at 22:15 GMT that this week features an extended show to mark the opening night of the London Jazz Festival: Artists on the show include the US piano trio The Bad Plus; Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen; saxophonist Roy Nathanson, who is leader of the Jazz Passengers, with his Barbes band; and saxophonist Archie Shepp.
Previous Columnists:
Previous Donovan:
Previous McCarthy:
BBC Periodic table tales:
Milwaukee Sentinel Journal - Cuprisin:
New York Times - Smith:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy

2005-11-07: DMG Australia's new Vega station in Sydney is struggling to gain an audience according to the Sun-Herald, which says Vega, is being ignored by four-fifths of its target 40-60 years-old audience and by advertisers.
DMG Radio group program director Dean Buchanan told the paper the demographic if notoriously hard to capture and added, "The over-40s are not incredibly motivated to sample it. Eighty per cent of our target audience haven't even sampled it yet."
First official ratings for Vega will not be published until next month and the final survey due this year and the absence of figures has made advertisers cautious but Buchanan denies talk of a crisis.
"It's deja vu. We went through all of this when we launched [sister station] Nova," he said. "People lined up to say 'this will never work, they have paid too much for the licence, people aren't happy there' When you are building something from scratch, you have got to expect that and take it on the chin."
Buchanan said the station had exceeded its advertising targets, although admitting that they had been set at a low level, and added that management was satisfied with audience growth so far.
"Vega is starting from zero and is building the most complex format anyone has ever attempted in Australian radio: a combination of entertainment, news, current affairs, music from the past 40 years and new music," he commented. "It takes a long time to build an audience and we have only been on air for 10 weeks. If we can keep growing at the same rate, that will be great."
Previous DMG:
Sun-Herald report:

2005-11-07: Garrison Keillor is to take his "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show on the road next year, abandoning - at least for now - the Fitzgerald Theater in St Paul: the show was first broadcast live from what was then The World Theater in March 1978 and began regular broadcasts from it in 1980.
There was then a hiatus in broadcasts from 1987 when Keillor quit the show and in 1989 he moved to New York to launch a new show, "The American Radio Company."
In 1992 he announced a return to Minnesota and in 1993 broadcasts of "Home Companion" resumed from The World Theater that in 1994 was renamed in honour of St. Paul writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The St Paul Pioneer Press quotes Keillor as saying of the move away from St Paul's, "I just want the show to thrive and go forward boldly. I don't want to end up doing the show in front of audiences that have seen too many 'Prairie Homes' already. When you're in sales, you have to go out in search of new markets."
The final two live shows to be broadcast from the Fitzgerald are Saturday and New Year's Eve and in January broadcasts of the current season will start from various other locations including the Orpheum Theatre and Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis and regionally in Rochester and Morris, Minnesota, and Vermillion, S.D. according to the paper.
The longer-term future of location is still undecided according to the paper, which quotes Keillor as saying he'd like to take it overseas.
"I'd love to be in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, York," he said. "Any foreign country where they speak English."
RNW note: The show has already been broadcast from abroad- it marked its Silver anniversary with broadcasts from Scotland and Ireland.
The show will continue to be broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio whose spokeswoman Jennifer Syltie Johnson wrote in an e-mail, "This year, the show will tour more in the winter season than it did last year. We don't expect the show to be back in the first half of 2006 after the New Year's Eve show at the Fitz. There is nothing unusual about the show touring in the winter or spring."
Previous Keillor:
Previous MPR:

St Paul Pioneer Press report:
2005-11-06: Last week saw a steady level of activity by various regulators with yet again indecency issues raising their head in the US but also in Ireland.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has asked for comment - to be submitted by November 25 - on proposals to make a new community radio service available in north east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory and also to make additional national radio services available in Dubbo City, New South Wales.
The former consultation follows a submission from the Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Inc (ARDS), which is interested in establishing a community broadcasting service in the Yolngu Matha language to be based in Nhulunbuy with AM translator services across north-east Arnhem Land and Darwin.
For Dubbo City, the Authority is seeking comment on proposals to make additional channel capacity available for the full suite of ABC radio services and to make additional channel capacity available for the 2ZOO commercial radio service at Dubbo City and Wellington.
In Canada, as well as routine licence-related work the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has rejected a request from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for it to delay its proposed review of its 1998 Commercial Radio Policy (See below).
On the licence front things were fairly quiet with only a couple of radio decisions.
One was to approve the use of a subsidiary communications multiplex operations (SCMO) channel by CING-FM, Hamilton, Ontario to broadcasting a predominantly Tamil-language radio service and the other to deny an application for a religious Type B community FM in Vanderhoof, British Columbia.
In its decision the CRTC noted that its Community Policy requires broadcasting by community stations to be varied and provide a wide diversity of music and spoken word but in this case the proposed schedule reflects a preponderance of Christian music and religious spoken word programs, that no details were provided about "balance" programming to be broadcast, and also that the applicant planned to limit membership to individuals who were members of a particular church or deemed suitable for membership by the board of the corporation to be formed to manage the station. It says these criteria would "unreasonably restrict accessibility to the proposed station by members of the community at large."
In Ireland the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has welcomed a High Court decision to uphold its award of the Dublin City Alternative Rock licence (See below).
It also published a synopsis of a survey" Towards Development of a Code on Taste and Decency" it commissioned concerning what offended people about broadcasts in the Republic. Top of the list came violence, sex and sweating with the first predominating - 46% mentioned violence of any kind, 23% cited sex, while 22% found swearing and coarse language offensive.
The BCI noted that respondents found context important - depiction of a rape scene was found more acceptable in a crime drama than a soap opera (88% to 68%) and use of swearing was found more acceptable in comedy than in a news item (64% to 39%).
The survey results showed no distinct differences across the various social classes, but found that those surveyed in Dublin were slightly more offended by issues of sex and coarse language than across the rest of the country.
In the UK, Ofcom claimed success for a drive against pirate radio operators in London (See RNW Nov 4): Ofcom has touted its new Community Licences as an option for the pirates to go legal and it announced the formation of a panel to administer its Community Radio Fund, which was established to support new community radio broadcasters.
The three-member panel will report to the Ofcom Board and produce an Annual Report: its initial members will be chair Kevin Carey, the founder Director of the charity humanITy, who is already a member of Ocom's content board; Richard Hilton, Head of Management Accounting at the charity Business in the Community; and Thomas Prag, Chairman of Media Support Solutions which specialises in setting up radio stations within developing countries.
In the US the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended its emergency alert system (EAS) rules to cover digital as well as analogue broadcasts (See RNW Nov 4). It also issued its latest report on complaints that showed a sudden jump in indecency/obscenity complaints in July, presumably indicating an organized campaign (See RNW Nov 5).
In other actions it considered various complaints with decisions including the following:
*In Arkansas, it admonished American Heritage for broadcasting advertisements on non-commercial educational LPFM KFLO-LP, Jonesboro, Arkansas, but denied an Informal Objection and Request to Revoke Construction Permit by Saga Communications of Arkansas, LLC., which had raised the issue of the advertisements that it said exceeded the allowable boundaries for such stations. American Heritage had said it had thought it had remained within the rules except possibly in one case and said it had "taken steps to ensure future compliance and keep abreast of the Commission's underwriting rules."
*In Florida, it denied a petition from Gulf Coast Community College for reconsideration of its denial of applications to relocate the transmitter of WKGC-AM, Panama City Beach, an increase in daytime power, and identifying Southport, Florida as the station's new community of license.
It also issued a Notice of Apparent Violation with a penalty of USD 3,000 for failure to timely file Form 301 in the filing window for AM Auction No. 84, noting that this failure resulted from a decision to initiate the electronic filing process fifteen minutes before the filing window closed at midnight on January 18, 2005 rather than because of problems with the FCC system.
It has however said that the late filing did not significantly affect the licensing process and allowed a waiver and accepted a late application.
In Indiana it refused applications filed by Chicago Newsweb Corporation and WNDZ, Inc. for major modification, changing the community of license, of stations WCPT-AM, Crystal Lake, Illinois, and WNDZ-AM, Portage, Indiana, respectively to Addison, Illinois as that community's first local broadcast transmission service, and to Calumet City, Illinois (2000 Census population 39,071), as that community's first local broadcast transmission service. The FCC said that under its current policies it did not find "sufficient public interest factors to offset the expectation of continued local service to Crystal Lake and Portage" were it to allow the changes.
*In Oklahoma it dismissed a petition from three petitioners for reconsideration of refusal of permission given to Educational Media Foundation (EMF) to construct an FM translator station in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
*In Texas it ruled that the licence of KHOS-AM, Sonora, was cancelled and dismissed a pending ruling application from Zacarias Serrato, noting that the station had gone silent in 2002 because it was causing interference to the studio facilities of KHOS-FM, which were located at the site where KHOS rented space on a tower owned by Sonora Broadcasting.
The FCC commented that KHOS was" taken off the air more than three years ago, and it has remained silent essentially due to a business decision on the part of the licensee not to find an alternative site promptly" and added, "Such considerations do not warrant reinstatement of KHOS-AM's license."
The FCC has also ruled on various disputes concerning mutually exclusive applications including the following:
*In Arizona, it refused as "repetitious" a petition from Green Valley Broadcasters, Inc. to reconsider the award in its AM Auction 32 of a licence for a new AM broadcast station at Las Vegas, Nevada, to Kemp Communications, Inc. rather than to competing exclusive applications from Nelson Multimedia, Inc. and Green Valley, which was applying for a station at Sahuarita.
*In Hawaii it has denied an application by Alvin Lou Media Inc. for review of its decision to refuse reconsideration of the award of an AM construction permit at Waipahu to a mutually exclusive application from KM Communications, Inc. for a new AM at Makaha.
*In Idaho it dismissed a petition for reconsideration, this time from Robert E Combs, who had filed an application to participate in AM Broadcast Auction No. 32 proposing a new AM broadcast station at Boise, Idaho.
Combs's application was mutually exclusive with three other Auction No. 32 applications, each proposing a new AM broadcast station at or near Las Vegas, Nevada and the auction had gone ahead with all four being told to bid.
Combs, as well as seeking reconsideration of this decision, claimed the applications were not mutually exclusive but the FCC said that he was incorrect and had also produced "new evidence or other factual matter" and rejected all of his arguments.
*In Mississippi, it has asked WUSW-FM, Hattiesburg, to show cause why it should not be reclassified from Class C to CO allow changes that would allow a first competitive local service to Sumrall, Mississippi. WUSW has been operating below minimum Class C requirements.
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2005-11-06: The British duo Pete and Geoff (Pete Mitchell and Geoff Lloyd) are splitting up after nearly a decade together: They originally teamed up at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester in 1966 and then moved to the afternoon show on Key 103 in the city and have been together at SMG-owned Virgin Radio for the past six years.
They are being replaced as breakfast hosts at Virgin in January next year by Christian O'Connell, who is moving over from GCap Media's Xfm and Lloyd is to take over the late-night 22:00 to 01:00 slot from current incumbent Kelly (Kelly-Anne Smith), who is moving to New York.
Mitchell is to leave Virgin at the end of the year and is considering offers from two broadcasters according to his agent.
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2005-11-06: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has rejected a request from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) for it to delay its proposed review of its 1998 Commercial Radio Policy saying that while it feels some "interesting points" were raised "it considers that a review of the Commercial Radio Policy is timely and that any further delay would not be advisable, especially given the many technological and other changes taking place and the impacts they may have on the radio and music sectors."
The Commission adds that it considers that a review will "amongst other things, provide an opportunity to discuss the most effective Canadian content and Canadian talent development measures in support of Canadian music and artists."
It then says that it regards the review as "the appropriate time to ensure that all regulatory, commercial and technological options are explored in order to facilitate radio's successful transition to digital transmission and reception" and says it is to set dates for the review shortly."
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2005-11-06: Sirius has launched a raunchy cinema advertising campaign to promote Howard Stern's move from terrestrial radio to its satellite service: It is to be used in around 2000 US cinemas that are showing R-rated films because of the content, which would not pass Federal Communications Commission rules for TV advertising.
The 60-second spot created by ad agency Euro RSCG in New York is set to the music from Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey" and opens with a night sky in which the stars align themselves to form a constellation in the shape of Orion's genitals followed by a strategically-located shooting star with an advert line "Howard Stern. Only on Sirius Satellite Radio."
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2005-11-06: The Irish High Court has upheld the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland's award of the Alternative Rock Music Service for Dublin City and County to Dublin Rock Radio Limited - Phantom FM and has dismissed a challenge by Scrollside Ltd. (Zed FM).
Welcoming the decision by the Hon. Mr Justice Philip O'Sullivan, BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said the Commission "strongly holds the view that the process for the award of the licence was fair, open and transparent" and added that the licence was awarded to Phantom FM "as they were considered to be the best applicant following a detailed and extensive consideration of all the applications."
"We are delighted that both the process and the decision have been upheld in today's judgment," he continued.
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2005-11-05: In yet another run of US radio results on Friday, there were no startling performances and signs pf a continuing difficult period.
Entercom reported record third quarter with net revenues up 2% to USD 115.0 million - same station revenues were also USD 115.0 million but were up 3% - with net income for the quarter up 9.1% to USD 13.95 million (from 41 cents to 48 cents per share): For the first nine months of the year Entercom's revenues were up 5% to USD 38.8 million and net income was up 11.3% to USD 62.6 million (from USD 1.10 to USD 1.34 per share).
Entercom, which has six stations in the New Orleans area six radio stations in the New Orleans market including news leader, WWL 870 AM, said pro forma net income per share for the quarter, excluding gain/loss on sale or disposition of assets, financial instruments and investments, loss from extinguishment of debt and expenses related to natural disaster, increased 12% from 43 cents to 48 cents.
President and CEO David J. Field singled out the response to Katrina for special mention, commenting, " I am pleased to salute the Entercom team for their impressive performance. Notwithstanding the dampening effect of several recent format changes and the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, which represents 6% of the Company's revenues, Entercom posted record-breaking results in the third quarter. Same-station revenue grew 3%, significantly outpacing our markets, which were flat during the quarter. Prudent expense management enabled us to grow same-station operating income by 5% and Net Income Per Share increased 17%."
… "I want to commend the Entercom New Orleans team for their extraordinary and heroic efforts during these trying times. They have exemplified local radio at its very best, providing a true lifeline to the community during its time of need… We could not be prouder."
Entercom says that for the fourth quarter it expects net revenues of $107 - $109 million, which includes the partial period results of acquisitions and divestitures but same station net revenues to be flat to minus 2% noting that New Orleans "is continuing to experience the extraordinarily disruptive effects of Hurricane Katrina" and adding, "Collectively, the impact of Katrina, the Red Sox and political comps are substantially altering the Company's Q4 reported same-station results."
Radio One Inc reported revenues up 20% to USD 101.4 million but operating income was down 2% to USD 38.0 million and net income down 31.6% and net income applicable to common stockholders down 2.3% to USD 11.5 million (from 16 cents to 11 cents per share overall and 11 cents per share applicable to common stockholders): The figures reflect a USD 5.3 million one-time charge related to the switching of national sales representation from Interep to Katz Media, which Katz has agreed to pay and will reduce the cost of sales over the four years of its contract -
For the first nine months the company's revenues were up 16.5% to USD 279.9 million with net income down 4.7% to USD 41 million and net income applicable to common stockholders up 37% to USD 38.2 million (down from 41 cents to 39 cents and up from 26 cents to 36 cents respectively).
Commenting on the performance President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III said it "was another good quarter for Radio One."
"Our radio stations outgrew our markets by 350 basis points and we posted solid overall results, inclusive of Reach Media," he continued. "During the quarter, we aggressively repurchased our common stock and expect that to continue, and perhaps accelerate, through the end of the year." Liggins said the company is "actively engaged in developing new ways to leverage our powerful media platform and look forward to sharing a number of new initiatives in the upcoming quarters… We are prepared to invest in our business to maintain the growth dynamics that we have seen over the past decade although, of course, our future growth will come from many different areas other than radio. Some of these investments may take a while to pay off, but for patient investors, we think the rewards will be great."
Radio One CFO Scott R. Royster was less sanguine about the current state of US radio at the company's conference call saying that people who thought radio was bouncing back were "just wrong."
"Other folks aren't even out with guidance right now," said Royster. "And why not? Because they don't have a clue what the industry is going to do." Royster said he " thought about not giving guidance" and added, "It's a really tough environment out there for radio right now - no ifs, ands or buts about it."
The guidance Radio One did give says that it expects fourth quarter net broadcast revenues including Reach Media to be in the mid-teens higher than 2004's USD 79.5 million with station operating income in the mid-single digit percent range higher.
Excluding Reach Media, is expects net broadcast revenue to be in the low-single digit percent range higher and station operating income in the high-single digit percent range lower than 2004 whose figures included one-time reductions to operating expenses of approximately USD4.5 million, associated with a reimbursement from one of the Company's vendors and the radio industry's settlement with ASCAP. Excluding this one-time amount Radio One Inc expects station operating income to be in the low-single digit percent range higher
Regent Communications reported net broadcast up 2.1% to USD 22.9 million for the quarter but station operating expenses were up 4.3% to 14.6 million and net income was down to USD 1.4 million (3 cents a share) compared to USD 8.1 million (18 cents a share) a year earlier. The 2005 figures include approximately USD 1.2 million related to the retirement package for former chairman and CEO Terry Jacobs.
For the first nine months Regent revenues were up 3.6% to USD 64.3 million, station operating expenses were up 3.9% to USD 43 million and net income was USD 4.0 million (Nine cents a share) compared to USD 10.7 million (23 cents a share) a year earlier.
Same station net broadcast revenues were up 3.6% compared to 2004 in the third quarter to USD 20.1 million with same station operating income up 2.5% to USD 7.7 million
President and CEO Bill Stakelin said they were "pleased with our third quarter results on many levels" and added, "We generated ratings improvements and revenue share gains in the majority of our markets. This reflects our success in providing listeners with quality programming and creating effective platforms for our local advertisers. We also met or exceeded all elements of our third quarter guidance."
"We are especially pleased with our ability to deliver same-station revenue growth, outpacing the radio industry," he said and noted, " In fact, on a same-station basis, we have consistently outperformed the industry. Our track record reflects our focus on building leading radio station brands in attractive small and middle-sized markets. We remain focused on translating our market leading positions and operational improvements into value creation for shareholders."
Looking ahead, Regent says it expects fourth quarter 2005 reported consolidated net broadcast revenues and station operating income of approximately USD21.2 to USD21.6 million and USD6.6 to USD6.9 million, respectively with expected earnings per share to be between four and five cents.
Commenting on the outlook Stakelin said October had been disappointing with a challenging local advertising environment and also noted comparisons with a year ago's strong political advertising revenues as many of its stations are in battleground states.
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2005-11-05: According to the UK Guardian former Emap radio head Tim Schoonmaker is heading a private equity bid for GCap Media that values the broadcaster's shares significantly higher than 400 pence.
GCap shares ended Friday up just under 3% up at 351 pence, valuing the company at around GBP 576 million (USD 1 billion)
The report is vague about the financial backer although it says it is thought that Australian Macquarie Bank is not involved and says that according to unnamed industry sources, the plan is fully costed and a management team is in place, with US investment bank Citigroup acting as adviser.
It adds that it is also believed that GCap chief executive Ralph Bernard is aware of the bidding team's interest and that the team behind the potential bid has considered canvassing major shareholders but quotes a GCap spokeswoman as saying the company had not "had any discussions about potential bids for the company."
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2005-11-05: The US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has announced the resignation from its board of its former chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson but had defended him over critical findings in the report by CPB's inspector general Kenneth Konz into accusations that he used corporation money to promote more conservative programming.
In a statement the Board says it "recognizes that Mr. Tomlinson strongly disputes the findings in the soon-to-be-released Inspector General's report" and continues, "The board expresses its disappointment in the performance of former key staff whose responsibility it was to advise the Board and its members. Nonetheless, both the board and Mr. Tomlinson believe it is in the best interests of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that he no longer remain on the board. The board commends Mr. Tomlinson for his legitimate efforts to achieve balance and objectivity in public broadcasting."
As well as issues related to Tomlinson's hiring of a consultant with Republican connections to study the political leanings of guests on some public broadcaster programmes and of lobbyists - reportedly without informing the CPB board (See RNW Columnists Jun 27
)- Konz had also been looking into whether agency procedures were violated in Tomlinson's recruitment of former Republican National Committee co-chairman Patricia de Stacy Harrison as CPB's chief executive and possible White House involvement in the hiring of two ombudsmen to critique news programs on US National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBC) TV.
North Dakota Democrat Senator Byron Dorgan, who was amongst those who had called for the investigation said in a statement that he welcomed the resignation although he noted he had not yet seen the Inspector General's report.
"There's no doubt in my mind that Mr. Tomlinson's legacy at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a negative one, and that he has done far more harm to the CPB than good," he added.
Dorgan described the political bias analysis commissioned by Tomlinson as "highly unprofessional" and added, "The conservative political consultant Tomlinson hired to conduct it had no professional standing as a media analyst."
Tomlinson, a former editor of Reader's Digest, is still chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors federal agency that oversees US government international broadcasting services, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Arabic-language Radio Sawa.
RNW comment: Without details, which we trust will be in the report, which we do not wish to anticipate, it is impossible to form any judgment about Tomlinson's behaviour but we find it disturbing that the Board refers without any details to disappointment in the performance of "former key staff", thus putting people under a cloud: We trust that their names will come out and they will be given the opportunity to answer the criticism - and that if it is ill-founded we think the whole CPB Board should be thrown out.
It is a matter of record that the CPB Board declined to renew the contract of chief executive Kathleen Cox - to replace her with Republican former Federal Communications Commission employee Ken Ferree - and that at least three other senior CPB officials with Democratic affiliations left or were dismissed. If the board is now trying to put blame on people it will not name all on it are deeply dishonourable people.

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2005-11-05: US Broadcasting complaints, which fell dramatically in the first half of this year, particularly in the second quarter (See RNW Sep 29), rebounded in the third quarter according to latest figures from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which note an increase from 6429 to 26,368 with the largest increase in the Indecency/Obscenity category where they rose from 6,161 to 26,185: Most of this increase came in July where such complaints totalled 23.547, compared to 1,716 in August and 922 in September.
Programming general criticism complaints in comparison totalled only 153 - 47 in July, 57 in August, and 49 in September. The next largest number of complaints about broadcasting was other programming issues -17 in total - ten in July, six in August and one in September.
Accessibility issues complaints totalled 13, five in July, two in August and six in September.
Cable and Satellite Services complaints also rose but by much less, up from 191 to 243 in the 2nd quarter with the largest increase in the Service Related category - up from 50 to 82 followed by a total of 67 Billing and Rates complaints.
Cable and Satellite programming issues complaints in the quarter totalled 36 and Accessibility issues ones totalled 15.
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2005-11-05: This years Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2005 are to be inducted in Chicago tonight with the event, which runs from 2100 CT (0300 GMT Sunday) at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel being streamed over the internet and syndicated by Westwood One.
The inductees are the late Bud Abbott and the late Lou Costello of the Abbott & Costello comedy team; Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman; ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton; Pittsburgh Steelers colour commentator Myron Cope; and the late radio humorist Jean Shepherd.

2005-11-04: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended its Emergency Alert System rules to include digital broadcasts and cable services in addition to the analogue services currently covered by them.
All services will have to comply with the new rules by the end of next year except for direct broadcast satellite services, which have been allowed extra time and have to comply by the end of May, 2007.
In addition the Commission has adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment, in its words, on "how the Commission can best help develop a next-generation alert and warning system that takes full advantage of digital media's potential."
Included in the latter are requests for comment on technical matters such as "effective integration of wireless technologies" and whether "traditional telephone companies that plan to provide high definition digital content to customers' homes through fiber optic connections should have public alert and warning responsibilities."
It also asks for comment on how emergency alerts can more effectively reach individuals with hearing and vision disabilities and those who do not speak English.
Commenting on the action FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin noted that recent hurricanes had emphasized the need for a system to be "comprehensive and robust" with "built-in redundancy features." Martin also said the system should incorporate the internet and take advantage of technological advances that "enable officials to reach large numbers of people simultaneously through a variety of communications media."
All the Commissioners issued statements welcoming the changes with Republican Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy first stressing "reliability", Democrat Jonathan Adelstein stressing the "importance of disseminating emergency information in multiple languages" and noting that when Hurricane Katrina struck the only Spanish-language station in the New Orleans area, where there were an estimated 50,000 plus Spanish speakers, was off the air before the city was struck and remained off air for seven days; and Democrat Michael J. Copps calling for exploration of a "more comprehensive" system and specifically the need "to make sure that all Americans receive emergency information, including those with disabilities and those whose primary fluency is in a language other than English."
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2005-11-04: In a run of further North American radio results, the Spanish-language broadcasters Entravision and Univision have significantly outperformed English-language broadcasters with the notable exception of Salem, which also took its revenues up by 8% or more.
Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. reported net revenue for the quarter up 1% to USD 32.1 million but operating income was down 7% to USD 7.9 million, and net income was down 7.3% to USD 3.8 million (from 17 cents to 15 cents per diluted share).
For the first nine months, Beasley's net revenue was up 5.5% to USD 93.7 million, operating income from continuing operations was down 5.2% to USD 20.2 million and net income was up 13.6% to USD 9.2 million (from 33 cents to 38 cents per diluted share); Beasley notes that the 2004 figure included a USD 2.4 million loss on extinguishment of long-term debt.
Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley said the results for the quarter reflected improved performance in Philadelphia and Fort Myers-Naples partially offset by decreases in Augusta, Las Vegas and Miami and noted that the Miami figures will be affected in the fourth quarter by the absence of political advertising revenue that totalled USD 1.1 million in 2004 and the non-renewal of its agreement to broadcast Miami Dolphins football games - for the quarter, Beasley is forecasting a net revenue decrease of 12% compared to the year-ago level.
"Despite these short-term operating challenges, we remain optimistic about our long-term prospects," he added. "We believe that many of the changes we are implementing in 2005 will make the company stronger and more competitive in 2006, and we are looking forward to reporting back on progress in the periods ahead."
CanWest Global Communications Corp. has reported revenues for fiscal 2005 to the end of August up 6% to CAD 3.1 billion (USD 2.6 billion) with those for the final quarter up 5% to CAD 702 million (USD 594 million) with a net loss in fiscal 2004 of CAD 13 million (USD 11 million - CAD 0.08 per share) turned into net earnings of CAD 10 million (USD 8.5 million - CAD 0.06 per share) but for the final quarter the company lost CAD 106 million (USD 89.7 million) after a non-cash charge of USD 51 million, losses of CAD 109 million ( USD 92.2 million ) related to interest rate and foreign currency swaps and a CAD 12 million ( USD 10.2 million) charge related to the termination of the Ravelston Management Services Agreement, were partially offset by CAD 47 million (USD 39.8 million) in foreign currency exchange gains on the settlement of debt in the fourth quarter. Excluding the effects of these charges, the net loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter ended August 31, 2005 would have been CAD 9 million (USD 7.6 million) compared to a loss of CAD 20 million (USD 16.9 million) for fiscal 2004.
Commenting on the results President and CEO Leonard Asper said, "The benefits of the Company's diversification were again evident in 2005 with outstanding results and contributions from our international operations" and also singled out the successful launch of the CanWest MediaWorks Income Fund in October, proceeds of which were used to reduce corporate debt.
Amongst divisional activities noted were strong radio results in New Zealand where RadioWorks' recorded an 8% revenue increase for the year to CAD 93 million (USD 78.7 million) although EBITDA was down slightly to CAD 27 million (USD 22.8 million due entirely to expenditures related to the re-branding of 16 radio stations under the More FM brand and the launch of Radio Live, a new national talk radio network, in the fourth quarter.
CanWest also noted its successful bid for the Solent licence in the UK (See RNW Sep 6) and its acquisition with a partner of Turkish national stations Super FM and Metro FM (See RNW Sep 23)
Citadel Communications reported record third quarter figures with net revenues up 2% to USD 109.6 million and operating income up from USD 6.1 million a year earlier to USD 40.8 million; net income, however was down from USD 90.1 million (69 cents per basic share) in the third quarter of 2004, when Citadel had an income tax benefit of $90.6 million compared to income tax expense this year of USD 14.9 million, to USD 20.75 million (17 cents per basic share).
For the nine months, net revenues are up 3.3% on a year earlier at USD 311.6 million, operating income jumped to USD 108.4 million from USD 14.6 million when the figures included a non-cash charge of USD 16.4 million primarily related to its switch from Interep to Katz Media; and net income was down 11.3% to USD 53.9 million (it went from 44 cents to 42 cents per diluted share reflecting the company's share repurchase programme that has reduced the number of outstanding shares from 127.9 million at the end of September last year to 117.2 million at the end of September this year.).
Chairman and CEO Farid Suleman said the record results came "in spite of a difficult environment for the radio industry and the loss of revenue from our New Orleans stations."
Entravision reported third quarter net revenues up 8% to USD 75.5 million and nine-month revenues up 9% to USD 207.8 million but net income for the quarter went from a positive USD 3.7 million to a negative USD 12.8 million and for the nine months from a positive USD 3.6 million to a negative 13.1 million: It notes that the 2005 figures include a loss on debt extinguishment of USD 28 million as a result of the refinancing of its former bank credit facility and the completion of a tender offer for all of its previously outstanding USD 225 million senior subordinated notes.
Chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa commented, "We continue to post results that are among the strongest in the media industry, highlighting the strength of our business model, the momentum of all three of our divisions and the dramatic growth of our audience. During the quarter, we recorded impressive revenue growth with our radio and outdoor assets delivering double digit gains."
"As a result of the superior positioning of our assets and the investments we have made in our sales and marketing resources, " he continued, "we are making significant progress in introducing new clients to Spanish language advertising. Looking ahead, our value proposition remains compelling. We connect advertisers with Hispanic America, driving brand awareness in the nation's most densely populated and fastest growing Hispanic markets. As we seek to drive our business, we remain committed to controlling costs, improving our bottom line and reviewing our asset base to ensure we are optimally positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities."
Salem Communications reported third quarter net broadcasting revenues up 8.3% to USD 51.2 million, operating income up 41.4% to USD 11.5 million and net income up 33.7% to USD 3.4 million (from 10 cents to 13 cents per diluted share); Same station Net Broadcasting Revenue was up 6.5% and Same Station Operating Income was up 7.9%.
For the first nine months Salem's net broadcasting revenues are up 8.9% to USD 150.5 million, operating income is up 13.8% to USD 31.6 million and net income is up from USD 3.6 million (15 cents per diluted share) to USD 9.4 million (36 cents per diluted share): Salem notes that these figures include 2005 entries of - a USD 700,000 litigation cost and a USD 600,000 loss on disposal of assets whilst those for 20054 included a USD 3.3 million loss on disposal of assets, a USD 6.6 million loss from the early retirement of USD 55.6 million of the company's 9.0% senior subordinated notes due 2011 and a USD 100,000 loss from discontinued operations, net of tax.
President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III said Salem continued "to report same station net broadcasting revenue and station operating income growth rates that are among the best in the radio industry" and noted strong "same station performance at our News Talk stations, where revenue grew 15.3% and at our contemporary Christian music ("CCM") stations in Atlanta and Los Angeles, which increased revenue by 13.5% and 12.1%, respectively."
"Looking ahead," he continued, "we are focused on five strategic growth initiatives: growing to maturity our CCM radio stations; continuing to deliver consistent growth at our Christian Teaching and Talk stations; rapid expansion of our News Talk stations; further development of our national advertising platform; and rapid expansion of our Internet business. We have made substantial progress in each of these key areas this year and are confident we will continue this growth well into the future."
For the fourth quarter Salem notes the absence of political advertising but nevertheless says it expects same station net broadcasting revenues to grow in the low single digits and overall net broadcasting revenue to be between USD 51.5 million and USD 52.0 million reflecting mid single digit growth and taking full year net broadcasting revenue to between USD 202.0 million and USD 202.5 million. It says net income per diluted share should be between 11 and 13 cents.
Univision reported net revenues for the third quarter up 4% to USD 497.5 million, operating income before depreciation and amortization up 7% to USD 180.5 million and net income up 8% to USD 79.2 million (from 21 cents to 23 cents per diluted share).
For the first nine months of the year net revenues are up 8.6% to USD 1.44 billion with operating income before depreciation and amortization up 37.2% to USD 479.7 million and net income down 15.4% to USD 159.7 million after a non-cash chare of USD 48.3 million.
Univision said its radio division net revenues were up 8% in the third quarter, significantly outperforming the overall industry growth of 1%.
It says it expects fourth quarter revenues to increase by high single digit percentages with diluted earnings per share up from 19 cents in 2004 to between 23 cants and 24 cents whilst for the full year it is predicting high single-digit revenue growth with diluted earnings per share up from 72 cents for 2004 to between 83 cents and 84 cents.
Chairman and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio said he was "pleased with the positive trend developing in Univision's operating performance in the third quarter, which allowed us to exceed guidance" and expected growth to accelerate in the fourth quarter.
Westwood One, whose figures in 2004 were boosted by the Summer Olympics, has reported revenues down 4.6% to USD 134.9 million although the nine-month figure was virtually flat - up from USD 410.6 million to USD 410.8 million as was operating income for the third quarter; overall Westwood One net income for the quarter is down 6% on a year earlier to USD 21.8 million whilst for the nine months it is down 8% to USD 60.6 million.
For the full year the company says it expects revenue and operating income before depreciation and amortization to grow in low single digits.
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2005-11-04: UK media regulator Ofcom says an operation it began last Saturday to take pirate radio stations off the air in Greater London resulted into the seizure of 53 illegal transmitters and the disabling of 17 transmitters and aerials disabled: It adds that 43 mobile and land line telephone numbers linked to illegal broadcasting operations will be used in conjunction with a further investigation to trace the subscribers and says 44 London area pirate stations have gone off the air since the operation began. It ended on Wednesday evening.
Ofcom says the pirate broadcasters cause interference to critical services such as the fire brigade and National Air Traffic Services (NATS) with the problem most acute in London, where more than half the estimated illegal broadcasters in the UK are based. It also alleges links with serious crime in some cases including the drugs trade and says raids on the studios of illegal broadcasters have uncovered drugs and weapons, including firearms.
In some cases it says cash raised through advertising events at nightclubs is used to finance the purchase of drugs for sale at these events and says it has sent nine letters of warning to night clubs that have advertised events on illegal radio stations.
Ofcom says some of the pirate operators boast of making thousands of pounds a week from their activities and it says this attracts crime and added that it was aware of high levels of violence by pirate operators against rivals.
Ofcom Head of Field Operations Robert Thelen-Bartholomew said in a statement, "Illegal broadcasting affects safety of life services and has links with serious crime. Ofcom will continue to pursue and prosecute those involved in this criminal activity."
Its warnings concerning interference were backed up by a number of organizations  including the London Fire Brigade whose Assistant Commissioner John Anthony said, "Pirate radio transmissions interfere with, and sometimes entirely disable, the communications systems the London Fire Brigade relies on. The interference makes it more difficult for the fire fighters to go about their daily business of protecting Londoners."
A NATS spokesman added, "Unauthorized broadcasts on or close to frequencies used by air traffic controllers can interfere with the passing of vital information between air traffic controllers and pilots. They can also affect the navigation aids used as landmarks. NATS has very strong working relationship with Ofcom who act promptly to take enforcement action when any interference with air traffic control is detected."
The broadcasts also frequently interfere with broadcasters' signals and speaking for the commercial sector Paul Brown, Chief Executive of the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA), welcomed the Ofcom action and added, "Commercial Radio provides properly regulated, socially responsible content to its 31 million listeners. Pirate radio broadcasters pay no copyright or licence fees yet they take revenue from commercial radio stations all of whom fulfil the terms of detailed licence conditions and who generate jobs and revenue in their transmission areas."
Cecil Morris, who was fined and given a suspended jail sentence after transmissions by People's Community Radio Link (PCRL) were said to have rendered fire-fighters' communications unintelligible, told the BBC PM programme that the pirate stations had sprung up because it was not possible for communities to broadcast legally and said people were " feeling very disenfranchised again."
He also denied that broadcasts by a Birmingham pirate station of an unsubstantiated rumour of the rape of a black girl by Asians had led to rioting - and the stabbing death of one uninvolved man - in the Handsworth and Lozells areas of the city last month, saying the rioting took place not because of the pirate broadcasts but because of what had happened in the area.
Ofcom has tried to entice operators to apply for the community licences it has now introduced but many pirate operators say they cannot get these licences.
Previous Brown:
Previous CRCA:
Previous Ofcom:

2005-11-04: Chicago-produced rock 'n' roll talk show, "Sound Opinions", which has aired on Infinity's adult rock WXRT-FM for the past seven years is to move to public radio from December according to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times.
He reports that the show, hosted by music critics Jim DeRogatis of the Sun-Times and Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, ended its WXRT run on Tuesday and will debut on December 3 on public station WBEZ-FM with an initial run on Saturdays and repeat later in the week: It is also expected to be distributed nationwide by American Public Media, the Minnesota-based syndicator of various programmes including "A Prairie Home Companion," and "Marketplace"
WBEZ president and general manager Torey Malatia is to be executive producer of the show and said his mission was "to find authentic Chicago voices and share them with our listeners, and, DeRogatis, who founded "Sound Opinions" with former Reader critic Bill Wyman in 1993 on Emmis's alternative rock WKQX-FM, paid tribute to Infinity, commenting, "We are incredibly grateful to 'XRT in this age of hamstrung corporate radio to have had the freedom for seven years to play challenging music and talk about it on the air."
WXRT program director and vice president of rock programming for Infinity Norm Winer, commented, "In an era when it's become popular to be critical of the efforts of commercial radio to provide unique programming, we're very proud to have been the home for 'Sound Opinions' and enabled the show to reach a devoted local audience."
WXRT is to replace "Sound Opinions" with rebroadcasts of "The Eclectic Company," the artists' showcase hosted alternately by musicians Nicholas Tremulis and John Langford.
Previous Feder:
Previous Malatia:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
Previous WBEZ:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder:

2005-11-04: XM Satellite Radio in conjunction with The Kennedy Center and The Night Kitchen Radio Theater is launching a new radio drama series of plays that will include a performance by actress Debra Winger and her husband, actor Arliss Howard.
Night Kitchen will perform a full-length radio play in front of a live audience once a month from December 21 for broadcast on XM's Sonic Theater channel and family channel: It will also be available to public radio stations around the country.
XM has also announced nominees for its first XM Nation Music Awards with winners to be chosen by online voting on XM's web site until November 27. The winners will be announced on December 5.
Previous XM:
XM Music Awards site:

2005-11-04: The WorldDAB Forum has unveiled a new logo and added the strap line "The future of DIGITAL Broadcasting. Radio* Mobile TV*Multimedia*Traffic Info" to reflect the Eureka 147 system's ability to deliver more than just audio information.
In a news release after the unveiling in Prague at the organization's General Assembly, the organization noted, "Today, the robust and reliable nature of this flexible technology is proving itself in a competing market as the system at the base of DAB, Eureka 147, is being used to bring radio, mobile TV, multimedia, and data packages to consumers hungry for entertainment and information on the move."
WorldDAB President Annika Nyberg said, "Making a mark in today's fast-moving world of consumer entertainment technology is a tough challenge. At WorldDAB we're meeting that challenge by supporting the development of new uses for Eureka 147. This new logo reflects our commitment to take DAB forward with renewed energy."
Previous Nyberg:
Previous WorldDAB:

2005-11-03: Sirius Canada says it is to launch its service with 100 channels including a total - in English and French- of 10 Canadian channels.
Announcing the plan, President and CEO Mark Redmond said the service would be the "true A-List" and would include "60 channels of commercial-free music, incredible sports coverage from the NFL, NHL, and the NBA, great entertainment programming from Maxim to Martha Stewart and up-to-the-minute news from CBC/Radio-Canada and the BBC."
He did not give a launch date but said the service would be "in time for the holidays."
The Canadian channel announced were:
CBC Radio One.
CBC Radio 3. Developed from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's web site and various music sites, this will be a 24-hour music station playing independent Canadian artists of all genres.
It will have four full-time hosts based in Vancouver and a number of part-timers.
Première Plus - A Radio-Canada French language news and information channel.
Infoplus - All French language news 24 hours a day, combining the best of Radio-Canada and public broadcasters from around the world, including Radio France Internationale.
Hardcore Sports Radio - Canadian sports news and talk provided by Score Media (See RNW Oct 28)
Iceberg Radio - commercial free Canadian Rock provided by Standard Broadcasting and programmed by leading Canadian music programmer Liz Janik.
bandeapart - a Radio-Canada channel dedicated to the best emerging Francophone pop, rock, electronica, hip-hop, punk and world music.
Rock Velours - A French-language channel playing the best Canadian soft rock provided by Astral.
Energie (2) - A French-language channel playing pop, modern rock and urban music in both French and English provided by Astral,
RCI Plus -Radio Canada International programming for Canadians in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian Mandarin, which will be enhanced by programs from around the globe.
Previous Astral:
Previous CBC/Radio Canada:
Previous Redmond:
Previous Sirius Canada:
Previous Standard:

2005-11-03: Macquarie Media Group (MMG) has said in a prospectus to institutional investors that almost any form of media including cinemas and events, internet and outdoor, will be a potential takeover target when it launches its AUD 900 million ( USD 667 million) float on November 17.
However executive chairman Tim Hughes, who says at least three deals may be under discussion, adds that MMG is in no rush to spend.
When the float has gone through Macquarie Bank will retain a fifth of the new company and Hughes 0.9% of shares; The remaining shares will be held by Radio 3SR with 2.4% and new investors, who will take 76.7%.
Previous Hughes:
Previous Macquarie Bank/Media Group:

2005-11-03: Cox Radio has reported third quarter revenues up 3.2% on a year ago at USD 113.2 million with net income up 16.9% to USD 21.5 million (from 18 cents to 21 cents per diluted share).
The figures for Cox's Atlanta operation were hit by the discontinuation of the Atlanta Braves broadcasting agreement in 2004 and net revenues for the quarter were down 11.3% there- down 7.7% for the first nine months of the year - and overall revenues for the first nine months were only up 0.6% to USD 329 million although net income was up 12.3% to USD 55.8 million (From 49 cents to 55 cents per diluted share).
Station operating income was up 5.6% for the quarter and year to date to USD 51.2 million and USD 139.2 million respectively.
Commenting on the third quarter results President and CEO Robert F. Neil said he was "pleased with the sound results our stations turned in this quarter, producing operating leverage in a soft revenue environment" and noted that "Excluding the impact of the discontinuation of the Atlanta Braves broadcasting agreement, our net revenues increased 2% for the quarter, outpacing the revenue growth of our markets, as well as the industry as a whole. "
"We actively managed our costs, spent dollars where we needed to, and delivered station operating income growth of almost 6%," said Neil.
Cox has not forecast its fourth quarter expectations, citing the effect Hurricane Wilma has had on its Miami cluster.
Previous Cox:
Previous Neil:

2005-11-03: Montreal-headquartered Astral Media has reported record profits for its fiscal 2005 with fourth quarter revenues up 5.% to CAD 140 million (USD 118.7 million) and full year revenues up 6.0% to CAD550 million (USD 466 million).
Profits were up 22.5% to CAD 33.3 million ( USD 28.2 million - from CAD 0.49 to 0.50 per diluted share) for the quarter and up 43.8% to CAD 107.6 million (USD 91.2 million - from CAD 1.37 to CAD 1.84 per diluted share), the first time Astral has topped the CAD 100 million mark.
In divisional terms radio revenues were up 6.5% to CAD 28.4 million (USD 24.1 million ) for the quarter and up 7.4% to CAD 110.4 million (USD 93.6 million ) for the year; TV revenues were up 6.0% to CAD 99.2 million (USD 84.1 million) for the quarter and up 5.2% to CAD 397.1 million (USD 336.7 million) for the year; and Outdoor revenues were up 2.1% to CAD 12.3 million (USD 10.5 million) for the quarter and up 9.4% to CAD 42.2 million (USD 35.7 million) for the full year.
Corresponding EBITDA figures were a radio decrease of 20% to CAD 8.3 million ( USD 7.0 million ) for the quarter- after taking into account CAD 2.9 million (USD 2.5 million ) of retroactive increases in music royalty fees ( without which they would have been up 7.8%) and up 4.0% to CAD 36.7 million (USD 31.1 million) for the full year; a TV increase of 15.8% to CAD 37.6 million (USD 31.9 million) for the quarter and up 12.2% to CAD 139.3 million (USD 118.1 million) for the full year; and an Outdoor increase of 22.6% to CAD 5.4 million (USD 4.6 million) for the quarter and of 28.1% to CAD 16.4 million (USD 13.9 million) for the full year.
President and CEO Ian Greenberg said Astral was "very proud to have been able to deliver solid results yet again in Fiscal 2005, with performance meeting the objectives we set for ourselves last year."
"These results," he added, "were driven by a keen understanding of our markets, distinctive programming across our Television and Radio divisions as well as a commitment to creativity and innovation that is the cornerstone of our business practice. Overall, strong increases in advertising revenues, particularly in our Television division, now mean that our revenue mix is balancing at a 60-40 ratio with just over 40% of the Company's overall revenues now coming from advertising sources."
Greenberg told the company's conference call that Astral remained keen on expansion and would be prepared to bid for an acquisition in any of the three divisional areas if an opportunity arose but added that there is "nothing on the horizon for the moment."
Previous Astral:
Previous Greenberg:

2005-11-03: UTV Radio has announced that Phil Quartly, currently with EMAP and former Managing Director of SIRS, Scottish Radio Holdings London Sales House, is to join it as Commercial Director in the New Year. He will have responsibilities covering talkSPORT and the group's 17 local stations.
He commented of his appointment, "I am extremely excited about being given the opportunity to work with the team at UTV Radio."
"The radio industry in the UK is currently in a period of transition," he added, "and I have no doubt that UTV Radio will be at the forefront in taking the business to a new level. UTV Radio already has a great offering of stations in the UK and is about to become even stronger with the imminent launch of U105 in Belfast and Talk 107 in Edinburgh. I look forward to working with the management and helping to make UTV Radio an even bigger force in the UK market."
Previous UTV:

2005-11-02: In further US radio results, Saga Communications has reported third quarter net operating revenues up 5% on a year earlier to USD 36 million but operating income was down 5% to USD 7.9 million and overall net income at USD 3.4 million (17 cents per fully diluted share), down from USD 4.3 million (20 cents per fully diluted share) a year earlier:
Saga says some 70% of the reduction was due to increased interest costs.
Saga notes that same station net operating revenue for the quarter was approximately even at USD 34.1 million despite the 2004 figures including an extra USD 955,000 gross political revenue.
In divisional terms, reported radio revenues were up 5.4% on a year earlier for the quarter to USD 32.2 million but were flat on a pro-forma basis as were same station revenues whilst reported TV revenues were flat at USD 3.7 million; radio operating income was USD 9.5 million, down marginally as reported but the pro forma figure was down 6% to USD 9.5 million whilst for TV the as reported and pro-forma figures were each down 33% to USD 316,000.
Viacom has reported this quarter revenues up 10% to USD 5.9 billion led by its cable networks, whose advertising revenues were up 17%, and TV, whose advertising revenues were up 7%; operating income was up 5% to USD1.4 billion and net earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2005 increased 12% to USD.47 per diluted share.
Overall Viacom turned a net loss of USD 486,5 million in the third quarter of 2004 to net earnings of USD708.5 in the third quarter this year.
In divisional terms, cable networks revenues in the third quarter were up 15% to USD 1.562 billion, TV revenues were down 2% to USD 2.155 billion, radio revenues were up 2% to USD 542 million, Outdoor revenues were up 3% to USD 494 million, entertainment revenues were up 54% to USD 844.6 million, and Parks/Publishing revenues were down 1% to USD 424.1 million.
Commenting on the figures, chairman and CEO Sumner M. Redstone, said, "Our operating results for the third quarter not only have us on track for achieving our guidance for the year, but also highlight the rationale and promise of our proposed separation into two companies, which we now expect to complete by the end of the year. The significant strengths of 'new' Viacom to deliver consistent double digit bottom line growth and the proven cash generation ability of CBS Corporation will underpin their performance and define their attractiveness to investors in the future."
Viacom says it is on track to deliver mid single-digit growth in revenues and operating income and high single-digit growth in earnings per share.
Previous Redstone:
Previous Saga:
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:

2005-11-02: Sirius Satellite Radio third quarter results just released show it, like its rival XM, recording record revenues but also showing an increased loss: It also raised its subscriber guidance to more than three million by the end of this year - half the six million that XM is predicting for itself.
Sirius said that at the end of September it had 2,173,920 subscribers reflecting net additions of 359,294 subscribers, a 97% increase over the year-ago figure of 181,948 net subscriber additions.
It also said it had cut the cost of acquiring a subscriber from USD 229 in the third quarter of 2004 to USD 149 and expects a figure of USD 145 for the year.
These figures compare with an addition by XM in its third quarter of 617,152 subscribers to reach 5,034,642 and a Cost Per Gross Addition (CPGA) of USD 89.
In all Sirius revenues were up to USD 66.8 million for the third quarter compared to USD 19.1 million a year earlier but its net loss increased from USD 169.4 million to USD 180.4 million (14 cents a share in each case).
CEO Mel Karmazin said the quarter represented "another quarter of solid execution" by its management team and continued, "We continued to gain retail and overall market share in the quarter, while meeting our guidance for third quarter net subscriber additions. As we move into the important fourth quarter, we believe that our mix of innovative and competitively-priced products at retail, combined with more Sirius factory installations by our automotive partners, will yield strong year-end results, and we are raising our subscriber guidance to over 3 million to reflect this expectation. The introduction of Martha Stewart Living Radio and the anticipation of Howard Stern's arrival in January 2006 should also generate unprecedented excitement for our service."
For the full year, Sirius says it expects total revenue of USD 230 million and an adjusted loss from operations of approximately USD540 million with average monthly churn of approximately 1.5% in line with previous guidance.
The markets reacted positively to the figures and Sirius stock ended Tuesday up 4.65% at USD 6.52.
Last month Sirius announced that in September it took 56% of US satellite radio retail sales (See RNW Oct 20) and XM has hit back with an announcement that in the third quarter it increased its retail market leadership with a 59 percent market share in the 3rd quarter compared to 56 percent in the 2nd quarter.
XM says its total industry share, which includes retail and new car subscribers, was 63 percent for the 3rd quarter and President and CEO Hugh Panero commented, "XM continues to expand its leadership position while adding subscribers at about one-third the cost of our competitor."
Previous Karmazin:
Previous Panero:
Previous Sirius:
Previous XM:

2005-11-02: Veteran British actress Mary Wimbush, who was a familiar voice on BBC Radio for six decades, most recently as Julia Pargetter-Carmichael on Radio 4 soap The Archers, died at the BBC's Birmingham Studios shortly after finishing a recording on Monday night. She collapsed in the arms of actress Alison Dowling, who plays her daughter-in-law Elizabeth in the programme and died of a stroke.
The role, which she had been in for 13 years, was her third in the soap - she had previously played village schoolteacher Elsie Catcher and Lady Isabel Lander.
Paying tribute Jenny Abramsky, director of BBC Radio and Music, said Wimbush had been "part of the fabric of BBC Radio drama since her first broadcast in 1945" and added, "Her contributin has been enormous and news of her death will sadden everybody who appreciates great performances."
Archers' editor Vanessa Whitburn said "Working with Mary was simply a joy," and added, "Julia Pargetter was every inch Mary's creation and she played her to perfection. She is a great loss and An Archers spokesman said it was too early to say what would happen to her character or what would happen to her recent recordings, which were due to be aired in December.
Previous Abramsky:
Previous BBC:
BBC News report:

2005-11-02: US radio revenues, which fell 2% in July but then rebounded by the same amount in August (See RNW Oct 4) matched the August increase in September according to the US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
It says the September increase on a year earlier was fuelled by a 4% rise in national revenues and non-spot revenues, which outstripped a 1% rise in local revenues.
Year-to-date figures show total combined spot and non-spot sales figures up 1% on a year earlier with both local and national sales up 1% and non-spot revenues flat.
The third quarter showed a similar pattern with Total combined local and national revenue and local revenues up 1% but national revenues were flat.
On RAB's sales index, that sets pre-dot com 1998 to 100, the sales indices for September are local, 139.9; national, 149.4 and total combined local and national, 142.3 whilst corresponding year-to-date figures are 141.4; 143.1; and 141.6.
Previous RAB & RAB figures (August):

2005-11-02: Genex Communications' Quebec City station CHOI-FM, whose licence renewal was rejected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in July 2004 (See RNW Jul 14, 2004) largely because of repeated offensive comments made on air despite warnings, is seeking leave to appeal to Canada's Supreme Court against a decision by the Federal Court of Appeal that upheld the Commission's decision, but allowed the station to continue broadcasting pending a possible Supreme Court decision (See RNW Sep 2).
Genex president Patrice Demers says the appeal raises questions that are important for broadcasters, government and the public in general.
Genex is being represented by constitutional lawyers Guy Bertrand and Julius Grey, and its submission asks whether the regulation has the "competence to control the entire content" of the station's programming: In an ill-timed (for Genex) twist of fate, Bertrand on Monday according to the Montreal Gazette admitted that he violated the Quebec Bar Association's code of ethics for suggesting there was a Jewish conspiracy to have one of his clients - Leon Mugesera, who allegedly promoted hatred, murder and genocide in his native Rwanda - deported from Canada.
The comments he made could lead to disciplinary action ranging from a warning to a lifetime ban on practising law in Quebec.
RNW comment: This case seems to boil down to whether the Canadian parliament does or does not have the right to restrict what is broadcast on the country's airwaves and to delegate this right on to the CRTC. Whether or not there is agreement on how appropriate the response is, we cannot but conclude that any government does have such a right, that in this case it properly gave the Commission the authority- and indeed the duty - to act, and that Genex had plenty of warnings and chose to continue offensive broadcasts rather than try to have the law overturned when there were rulings against it. In the ultimate analysis our view is that as Canadian law stands CHOI should lose its licence and Genex has had too much leeway in being allowed to stay on air.
Previous Demers:
Previous Genex:
Montreal Gazette re Bertrand:

2005-11-01: A newly formed private partnership - Cumulus Media Partners, LLC - set up by Cumulus Media, Inc., Bain Capital, The Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, has agreed a USD 1.2 billion deal to buy Susquehanna's radio business, which comprises 33 stations in eight markets.
Parent Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. has also announced agreement to sell Susquehanna Communications (SUSCOM), its Cable Television and Broadband services division, to Comcast in a deal valued at USD775 million: It had already sold off its other major subsidiary The Pfaltzgraff Co., one of America's leading marketers of casual dinnerware and accessories and its West Virginia-based SusQtech Internet consulting business.
The media deal was well received by the markets and Cumulus shares ended the day up 11.15% at USD 12.16 after more than two million shares had been traded, some four times its average.
Under the deal, Cumulus Media, Inc., will contribute its two FM stations in Houston and two FM stations in Kansas City, in return for its membership interest in the partnership and will initially own approximately 25% of Cumulus Media Partners, with performance incentives that can increase that stake up to approximately 40%.
Cumulus Media, Inc. will provide management services to the partnership for which it will receive a quarterly management fee.
Commenting on the deal, Cumulus Chairman and CEO, Lew Dickey said, "Susquehanna is one of the radio industry's most admired companies because of the quality of its assets and the quality of its people. We look forward to partnering with the management and employees of Susquehanna to continue their great tradition of serving listeners, advertisers and communities. The formation of Cumulus Media Partners has also helped us accomplish our goals of monetizing our station assets in Houston and Kansas City and enabling our shareholders to benefit from the next wave of industry consolidation."
Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. chairman Louis J.Appell, Jr. said in a statement, "We are extremely proud of both our radio and cable operations, which have outstanding reputations and management teams as well as dedicated and loyal work forces. As we announced previously, however, the passage of time has had a major impact on corporate and family circumstances, and the family shareholders reluctantly decided earlier this year to sell the businesses."
RNW comment: Should previous rumours be correct, we now expect Disney to move reasonably swiftly over a decision about disposing of its radio division since the uncertainties concerning Susquehanna's sale have now ended.
Previous Dickey:
Previous Cumulus:
Previous Susquehanna:

2005-11-01: Following the departure of John Gehron (See RNW Oct 25), Clear Channel Radio has appointed Earl Jones, most recently Regional Vice President for the company's Louisville, Kentucky radio cluster, as Regional Vice President of Clear Channel Radio's Chicago market.
The new role includes oversight of stations in Chicago, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee and Jones, who will be Chicago-based, will report to Charlie Rahilly, Executive Vice President of Operations for Clear Channel Radio.
A 20-year veteran of the broadcast industry, Jones joined Clear Channel Radio in 1998 as Director of Sports Marketing in Atlanta and has also worked for stations in the Detroit and Washington, D.C. markets.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Rahilly:

2005-11-01: Sirius Satellite Radio has announced an extension until September 2012 of its exclusive agreement with DaimlerChrysler and says it expects it generate more than three quarter of a million subscribers from the Chrysler Group alone in the 2006 model year.
Currently Sirius is available as a factory installed option - at a USD 195 price including a year's subscription - on 2006 model Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands.
Previous Sirius:

2005-11-01: Looking ahead to a post-Castro Cuba, Sunrise Communications has announced plans to raise capital to fund a radio and TV enterprise in the country in anticipation of changes that it expects to come about
Principal Jose Cancela says that, following a study conducted among South Florida Business Leaders that measured the capacity, interest, and preparation of the South Florida business community in anticipation of a democratic change in Cuba, he has identified nearly a billion dollars to invest in radio and television in a post-Castro Cuba.
"It is only a matter of time before the tired dictatorship comes to an end, and from all the intelligence we have been gathering from in and out of Cuba, there is a true desire from high ranking officials to move towards a democratic Cuba quickly," said Cancela.
"Investing in Radio and Television will not have the pitfalls of property rights. More importantly, with a population of nearly twelve million, we see a very profitable business model within a five to seven year period as democracy flourishes in a post-Castro environment."

2005-11-01: The chopping and changing at ABC 702 in Sydney - it first lost breakfast host Angela Catterns to DMG's new Vega FM station in June and then replacement Julie McCrossin resigned after just a month in the post (See RNW Oct 6) and has also changed its morning host - seem to have cost it heavily in the latest Australian ratings.
702 tumbled from second to sixth equal and was overtaken by classic hits station WS-FM, which gained listeners in the 40-55 demographic, seemingly at 702's expense. Older listeners over 55 appeared to have moved to talk rivals Macquarie Network's 2GB, which retained top slot and took its share up from 11.7 to 12.5, and Southern Cross Broadcasting's 2UE, which increased share from 8.6 to 8.9.
WS also performed strongly at breakfast time where its team of Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones moved up from sixth to third place, taking the top FM crown with an 8,8 share, up from 7.9 - Alan Jones at 2GB retained top spot with 16.5, up from 15.5, followed by ABC 702, which despite its difficulties over hosts was second with 10.1, albeit this was down from 12.0: The Nova breakfast team of Merrick and Rosso dropped from third to fourth with share down from 9.0 to 8.6 followed by Austereo's 2-Day, down to fifth from fourth with 8.5, down from 8.9 and then 2UE with with Mike Carlton taking an 8.2, up from 7.8 - up a rank from seventh to sixth.
In the morning slot, 2GB's combination of Jones followed by Ray Hadley retained top rank and increased share from 12.4 to 13.7 followed by John Laws at 2UE and WS, each with 10.1 up from 9.7 whilst 2-Day slipped back from second to fourth to as its share remained at 10.1.
Austereo, still the country's leading FM network, as usual highlighted the positives, this time saying it had "dominated the key 25 to 39-year-old age group" and won the audience share for it in all capital cities apart from Perth.
CEO Michael Anderson said it was the best national result for the group in more than a year and added, "It shows that our strategy has begun to work coherently, rather than just certain elements succeeding. We have delivered on the 25 to 39-year-old demographic, leading it in every city except Perth... The ratings are a result of the momentum we have built through delivering a consistent performance to our listeners, giving them the mix of music and compelling entertainment they want."
Austereo chairman Peter Harvie added, "We have made a commitment to be the number one group in the 25 to 39-year-old demographic and we have done that. The challenge now is to sustain our leadership in that demographic."
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
Adelaide: Mix 16.9 (18.5) - same rank; 5AA 15.9 (15.5) - same rank; SAFM 12.7 (11.6) up from fourth
*ABC 891 - 11.7 (13.5) - fell from third to fifth and Nova was up from fifth to fourth with 12.3 (12.2);
Brisbane - Triple M with 15.0 (15.8) - same rank; Nova with 11.8 (11.3) - same rank; 4BC with 10.0 (8.8) - up from fifth.
*NEW 97.3 FM with 10.0 (11.1) was back down to fourth but B105 improved slightly and was up from sixth to fifth with 9.2 (8.7).
*Melbourne - 3AW with 14.8 (14.1)- same rank; Gold with 11.5 (11.3) - up from third; ABC 774 with 11.4 (11.9) - down from second;
*Austereo's Fox fell back as did Nova: Fox in fourth rank had 10.5, down from 10.8; Triple M with 10.1 (9.7) was up from sixth to fifth with 10.1 (9.7), overtaking Nova, which fell from fifth to sixth with 9.5 (10.2).
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM 17.8 (17.5) - same rank; ABC 720 with 13.5 (13.2) - same rank; 96FM with 12.5 (11.5) - up from fifth.
*6PR with 11.1 (12.4) - fell from third to fifth and Nova remained fourth with 11.6 (11.9).
*Sydney: 2GB 12.5 (11.7) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.1 (9.4) up from third; WSFM 9.1 (8.3) - up from sixth.
*ABC 702 with 8.2 (9.5) - fell from second to sixth equal; 2UE with 8.9 (8.6) remained fourth, and Triple M remained fifth with 8.7 (8.4) while Nova with 7.7 (8.2) dropped from seventh to eighth, overtaken by Mix with 8.2 (7.9) - sixth equal with ABC 702. 2UE in fourth place increased share from 8.6 to 8.9.
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Anderson:
Previous Austereo:
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Carlton:
Previous DMG:
Previous Hadley:
Previous Harvie:
Previous Jones:
Previous Laws:
Previous Macquarie:
Previous Southern Cross:

2005-11-01: Infinity has taken 24 full-page adverts in the October 31 issue of Advertising Age to promote its Howard Stern replacement programming and hosts, the first time Ad Age has sold all its display-ad space to a single advertiser.
In addition, Infinity will also "take over" the home pages of two Ad Age Group Web sites, and, and buy ads in the November issues of two other publications owned by the Ad Age Group, Creativity and Point.
The New York Times says that no details of the cost have been given but the rate card would indicate around USD 800,000.
In another Viacom-linked deal, Westwood One, which is managed by Infinity, has announced an agreement for it to exclusively represent all POP Radio advertising inventory from the start of next year and has also taken an interest in Pop Radio, which is broadcast in over 6,000 food and drug stores across America.
Previous Viacom-CBS-Infinity:
Previous Westwood One:
New York Times report:

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