June 2006 Archive
-May 2006 -July 2006 -
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 previous relevant story. Regarding external links see note at end of page.
RNW June comment - in "Advertisers, demographics and maybe damaging the future." says broadcasters must think digital and that neglecting young and older groups less attractive to advertisers may damage them.
RNW May comment - in "Real choice: Quality, the internet, and the need for public service broadcasters" argues that public broadcasters are if anything even more important as the internet allows wider listening horizons.
RNW April comment - in "Live or later: Implications of on-demand audio" looks at the implications for radio of the change from a mainly live-reception mode to a listen when you want one.
2006-06-30: Mercury Radio Research sister company hear2.0, which looks at strategy for audio entertainment, says a nationwide study of 1,000 people contacted by phone shows a marked preference amongst Americans to listening to streaming audio from specialist sites rather than their local radio station.
In all some 40% said they had tuned in to a specialist site such as Live 365, Launchcast, or Yahoo Music compared to only 26% listening to local radio stations online and 22% listening to distant stations.
The listening was more in favour of specialist sites amongst those 12-24, marginally higher for the 25-34 demographic and even for those above 34.
hear2.0 Executive Vice President Harve Alan commented, "These statistics indicate a usage for established online brands over brands that may not have fully committed to an online streaming presence."
"This was a national study, and many stations are still not taking seriously the opportunities for online radio," he added, commenting, "Broadcasters should be alarmed at the strong usage of non-terrestrial radio online options among persons under 35. This is both a threat and an opportunity for local radio, and now is the time to act."
hear2.0 web site:
2006-06-30: BBC online and download cum podcast figures jumped back up again in May after a fall in April following a record March. The April figures were affected by the Easter break.
In May the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers attracted a record - for the BBC and the programme - of 756,730 listens, up 105,948 on the April figure of 650,782 (which had been down a little on March when it was 651,484).
The figures for the month were boosted by storylines that included one character admitting to his wife that he owed GBP 100,000 (USD 180,000) in gambling debts and an accident to baby George Grundy that led to the disappearance of Ed Grundy, the brother of his father and who was living with his mother.
Overall listening online was up 13.1% on the month before to 19,970,822 hours, with live listening up 17.4% to 13,294,451 hours and on-demand listening up 5.44% to 6,676,371 hours.
Listening was also up to MP3s cum podcasts where there were a total of 52 in May compared to 48 in April.
In terms of network listening in May this year, the rankings were - Total listening hours - live plus on-demand and percentage change compared to April 2006 then to May 2005:
Radio 1 - 6,184,126; +13.1%; + 68.9%
Radio 2 - 3,940,651; +12.8%; +55.6%
Radio 4 - 2,929,958; +7.6%; +31.9%
BBC 7 - 1,494,415; +3.1%; ++35.3%
Radio 5 Live - 1,435,152; +7.5%; +71.0%
Radio 3 - 870,501; -0.5%; +42.6%
6 Music - 705,144; +7.7%; +16.9%
1Xtra - 535,429; -1.8%; -2.5%
Asian Network - 213,428; -23.4%; +8.6%
5 Live Sports Xtra - 888,819; +551%; +1251%
The top five on-demand programmes were unchanged:
1 - "The Archers" on Radio 4 with 756,730 listens - up 105,948 on April;
2 - "Chris Moyles" on Radio 1 with 536,745 listens - up 84,926;
3 - "The Essential Selection" on Radio 1 with 229,304 listens - down 11,616;
4 - "The Afternoon Play" on Radio 4 with 216,162 listens - down 13,819;
5 - "Essential Mix" on Radio 1 with 177,866listens, down 31,573.
Amongst daily podcasts cum MP3s the top five were also unchanged:
1- BBC News "Radio Newspod" with 559,786 listens, up 91,818;
2 -Radio 4 "Today 8.10 Interview" with 367,231 listens, down 25,626;
3 - Radio 1 "Scott Mills Daily" with 236,908 listens, down -124,366;
4 - World Service "World News Bulletin" with 184,067 listens, up 55920;
5 - Radio 4 "Today lead interviews" with 106,473 listens, up 23,423;
Previous BBC Online figures:
2006-06-30: European broadcaster SBS Broadcasting Sarl, now controlled by funds advised by two leading private equity firms, Permira and KKR (See RNW Oct 19, 2005) has appointed former Capital Radio executive Graham Bryce as Senior Vice President of SBS Radio Group.
In the role he will be based in Amsterdam and will have overall responsibility for the SBS Radio Group, focusing on the development and execution of the business strategy, driving growth and increasing profitability.
Announcing the appointment SBS Broadcasting Group COO and acting CEO Patrick Tillieux described Bryce as "a highly successful and experienced radio operator with a proven track record of building radio stations across different music formats and markets" and said he would "play a major role in expanding SBS's existing stations and in enhancing SBS Radio's leading position in the high-growth markets in the Nordic region and Central and Eastern Europe."
Bryce was managing director of the Xfm, Choice FM and Classic Gold stations until October last year when he left in a restructure of GCap Media following the departure of former Capital Radio and GCap chief executive David Mansfield (See RNW Oct 4, 2005).
Tillieux added that Eric Hansen will continue to steer the radio operations in the Nordic countries and Nora Marcovici, head of the Kiss FM in Romania, will steer SBS's radio operations in Bulgaria and Romania.
SBS Radio has 14 radio networks and 10 stand-alone radio stations in eight countries and is the leading radio broadcaster in the Nordic region with more than 6.9 million weekly listeners in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Last month it completed its acquisition of its first Bulgarian operator - Vitosha FM, which controls the Radio Vitosha national network in Bulgaria, as well as Radio Atlantik in Sofia and Radio Ritmo in Plovdiv. Vitosha FM covers all major cities in Bulgaria, plays international hit music and is a leading station in the 15-30 year-old target group.
Previous SBS Broadcasting Sarl:
2006-06-30: Sirius and Variety have announced a tie-up to launch Variety Radio News in the fall from a radio news bureau based in the magazine's Los Angeles offices.
The new service will provide regular reports of entertainment news on Sirius and will include contributions from Variety reporters and editors covering film, TV, publishing and online media as well as industry gossip.
Sirius President, Entertainment and Sports Scott Greenstein said of the deal, "Variety delivers an insider's view on film, TV, music, the internet, and publishing with concise and provocative insight. Variety Radio News will become as indispensable to the industry as the magazine itself, and also make it possible for anyone in the country to be as up-to-date as any movie insider.
2006-06-29: Although Rush Limbaugh has been making light of the matter, it is still not clear if the host or his doctors will face further action over the discovery of Viagra with someone else's name on a vial in his luggage when he returned to Florida after a brief trip to the Dominican Republic: The syndicated right-wing host was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's health writer writing third-party prescriptions - in this case Limbaugh's lawyer said in a statement the Viagra was "prescribed by Mr. Limbaugh's treating physician but labelled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes" - leaves doctors open to disciplinary action. Black said two layers had prescribed the Viagra for Limbaugh under their own names.
Bob LaMendola cited two attorneys and a Florida Medical Association spokeswoman as saying Florida rules governing doctors and pharmacists require that the true patient's name and address are on the label and Tallahassee attorney Allen R. Grossman, who defends physicians in disciplinary cases and is a former general counsel to the Florida Board of Medicine said doing otherwise "is technically a violation of dispensing and prescribing by the doctor."
So far authorities have refused other than the most general comments and federal agents referred the case to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for further investigation: Prosecutors, say reports, will among other things consider whether Limbaugh violated an agreement he struck in April with prosecutors that avoided charges against him over previous allegations of doctor-shopping in obtaining the painkiller oxycontin (See RNW Apr 29).
On his show Limbaugh joked about the matter saying commenting - and subsequently posting the comments on his web site, "'I've been racking my brain... I'm trying to figure out how Bob Dole's luggage got on my airplane. I told the doctor, 'Look, I'm worried about the next election'"; "The people at Customs were as nice as they could be; they just didn't believe me when I told them that I got those pills from the Clinton Library gift shop. They told me at the Clinton Library gift shop that they were just little blue M&Ms"; and "I know a lot of people in Washington don't even need Viagra; they just look at themselves in the mirror and the problem is solved."
RNW comment: Irrespective of anything else the spin is coming out all over this story with those for Limbaugh predictably claiming - yet again - political persecution. Fox host Bill O'Reilly said on his show "I believe powerful people in his home county are trying unjustly to harm him" and in response to a suggestion that the drug had turned up in a standard search responded, "Bull! That's bull! They wouldn't do it with anyone. ... It was a malicious, cheap, cheap, cheap tactic by the Palm Beach authorities, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves."
The facts unless reports are wrong clearly indicate behaviour that would not be the norm and there is no evidence that the check was other than routine. Without it 0'Reilly's argument taken to a logical conclusion would allow celebrities to avoid checks that are made on other people routinely and this is clearly no treating people as equal before the law..
The brouhaha if nothing is done is likely to intimidate checks on other celebrities and that would clearly be unjust and in our view it is now incumbent on the authorities as a matter of sound public policy to scotch such suggestions of celebrity privilege.
This could yet make Limbaugh to a degree a victim of his blowhard supporters as well as of his own actions but this would be less damaging than ignoring the matter. If nothing else it's a matter of arrogance and/or stupidity by Limbaugh.
Limbaugh web site:
South Florida Sun-Sentinel report:
2006-06-29: US recording and radio industry representatives have clashed over the idea of a broadcast flag for digital audio during a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and in the Senate a sub-committee has endorsed the idea.
The measure, part of a wider-ranging communications bill, will still require approval by the Senate Commerce Committee and full Senate and has also to be aligned with the House of Representatives bill that does not so far include the flag.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already endorsed the broadcast flag but the courts later ruled it did not have the authority to enact such a measure and overturned it.
In the Senate debate, according to ZDNet opposition was voiced to the measure is "is a technology mandate and because the technology mandate may actually discourage innovation and discourage different products from coming into the market,"
In the house Recording Industry of America (RIAA) chairman and chief executive Mitch Bainwol testified concerning negotiations with broadcasters and argued that HD and satellite digital broadcasters were becoming download services by delivering the signal to devices with storage and replay capabilities and said that people should not be allowed to use technology to easily "cherry pick" which songs they save although recording companies did not object to recording a block pf programming or manually recording songs.
The broadcasters argue that they should not have to make additional payments because a signal is digital and say recording and storing offered is covered by fair use to allow home recording and later listening.
Clear Channel chief legal officer Andrew Levin argued that the flag could hold up development of digital radio and commented according to Billboard Radio Monitor, "We need to take a hard look at what consumers are entitled to and what their expectations are before we agree on usage rules -- before they get memorialized in statute or regulations", adding that negotiations with the RIAA remained incomplete because of the long "laundry list" of rules proposed.
Previous Clear Channel:
Billboard Radio Monitor report:
2006-06-29: The UK Guardian reports that Guardian Media Group Radio, which is owned by the same parent, has bought Paisley station Q96 from UTV, which acquired the station with its purchase of the Wireless Group last year.
It adds that GMG is seeking permission from UK media regulator Ofcom to house the station within its Real Radio Scotland building in Glasgow and move it from its current base in the Kinning Park district of Glasgow, and also plans to change the station name but not its hits cum classic hits format.
Paisley Local Radio launched the station in September 1992 broadcasting from Paisley to Paisley and Renfrewshire.
It has struggled in the ratings and UTV Radio Chief executive Scott Taunton said of the sale that it would allow UTV to concentrate on its other stations, adding, "in a highly challenging time for the radio industry, the key to success comes from portfolio management."
Real Radio Scotland managing director Billy Anderson said, "Q96 is a great opportunity for us to deliver a different radio station for the area and it will benefit from a huge array of expertise including marketing, programming and news coverage which in turn will create new job opportunities that can only be good for the local community."
Also in Scotland, Ofcom has accepted that Emap Radio has transferred control of the Ayr digital multiplex to Arqiva Ltd: The licence was originally awarded to Score Digital in 2001 (See RNW Licence News Jul 8, 2001) and passed to Emap when it took over Score's parent Scottish Radio Holdings in a deal announced a year ago (See RNW Jun 22, 2005).
Ofcom subsequently ruled that its regulations prohibited Emap from controlling both the Glasgow and Ayr digital multiplexes (See RNW Aug 9, 2005) and that following completion of the takeover Emap had to take suitable measures to bring itself into compliance.
UK Guardian report:
2006-06-29: Arbitron has added a further deal to use its portable people meter (PPM) in Texas, signing a multi-year commitment to use the PPM when deployed with Service Broadcasting Corporation, which owns KKDA-FM, (K104), KKDA-AM and KRNB-FM, in Dallas.
It has also claimed success for the PPM in Houston where it is currently carrying out trials and says that the system has shown up a ratings boost for Spanish language stations KEYH-AM and KXGJ-FM during world cup soccer games when it says the stations topped the ratings. According to PPM figures the audience for the stations during the games soared more up to six-fold - from a typical combined figure for their regular Spanish Oldies programming of around 24.500 to a total ranging from more than 80,000 to 153,200 on June 12 when games included the Czech Republic match against the United States (which the US lost 3-0) and 126,100 on the June 9 opening of the tournament.
Commenting on the ability to produce results for the games, John Snyder, vice president, Portable People Meter Sales, Arbitron Inc., said the PPM could "document extraordinary sales opportunities for radio that simply can't be tracked by the paper and pencil diary system By embracing the PPM, radio will be better able to win the advertising dollars that it had been leaving on the table for other, electronically measured media to grab."
2006-06-29: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ, which has recently concluded a successful six-month DAB (Digital audio broadcasting trial) along the eats coast near Dublin had said it is to seek a licence for a regular DAB service.
It says that once the service if fully operational it will work with the Irish radio industry towards a national rollout of DAB in the country working with "policy makers, regulators, commercial broadcasters and retailers."
2006-06-28: Univision has announced that it has signed an agreement for a consortium of equity capital groups led by media entrepreneur Haim Saban to purchase it for USD 12.3 billion in cash - at a price of USD 36.25 per share - in a deal valued at around USD 13.7 billion in all including approximately USD 1.4 billion of debt.
Announcing the deal, Univision President and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio said in a statement, "I am delighted to announce this blockbuster transaction, which provides a unique opportunity to deliver substantial current value to our shareholders, while establishing a partnership for Univision and its employees with five of the world's pre-eminent investment firms."
"This blue-chip group," he added, "brings to Univision in-depth knowledge of the rapidly changing media landscape and an exceptional track record of supporting growth and enhancing value. The outstanding cash flow multiple our shareholders will receive reflects the extraordinary growth of the Hispanic population, Univision's unique bond with its community and our ability to deliver tremendous audiences to our mainstream advertising partners. I am proud of all the Univision employees who have, along with our partners Televisa and Venevision, contributed to the success and growth of this great company. Univision has a very bright future."
When 75-years old Perenchio, who acquired Univision for USD 500 million in 1992, put the group up for sale in February he was reported to be hoping for offers of up to USD 40 per share
The Saban consortium includes Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group and a statement from them said, "Univision is truly a one-of-a-kind property. It is an outstanding media brand with exceptional positions in the fastest-growing markets in the country, world-class assets, strong management, popular programming and unmatched ratings."
They added, "This transaction presents a unique opportunity to contribute to and participate in the continuing growth of the clear leader in Spanish-language media and to further the company's commitment to serving the Hispanic community. Univision has tremendous long-term growth opportunities in each of its businesses and we look forward to working together to build on its success and enhance its value in the years ahead."
The deal needs both regulatory approvals and that of Univision shareholders leaving a possible opportunity for a rival bid from a group headed by Mexican TV Group Televisa to increase its offer: Televisa had missed the initial deadline after the last-minute withdrawal of the Carlyle Group and subsequently a number of other backers of its bid also pulled out (See RNW Jun 27).It was reported to have then offered USD 35.75 a share, topping the opening bid from the Saban consortium of USD 35.50 that had been rejected.
In a statement following the Univision sale agreement it said it was "disappointed about the outcome of the Univision auction" and continued, "Notwithstanding our repeated offers to discuss all aspects of our proposal including price, Univision and its advisers refused to enter into any discussions with us after we submitted our initial bid. Given this action by Univision's board, Televisa has a number of alternatives it is considering."
Televisa has some leverage through Univision bylaws that give it and Venezuelan TV group Venevision a veto on the company's sale that can only be overridden by a 60% vote of the shareholders but it is likely to have more problems with regulatory approval because of US laws limiting foreign ownership of domestic broadcasters and thus would have to pay a premium if it were to counter-bid, something many analysts think it will baulk at, preferring to use its clout to get a deal that suits it from the Saban consortium.
According to Reuters many analysts still consider the Televisa group the most likely long-term buyer of Univision and it cites a Merrill Lynch report that commented, "The winning consortium will ultimately want to sell Univision and Televisa remains the logical buyer."
Televisa already owns 11.4% of Univision and has a long-term programming deal with it that runs until 2017 and Reuters quoted David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets as saying Televisa's best option is buying Univision's TV network from Saban but not going for its TV and radio stations where regulations limit foreign ownership.
Univision shares, which had fallen back by just under 2.8% on Monday to end at USD 32.30 picked up on the news and rose to touch USD 34.48 before falling back a little to end Tuesday at USD 34.00.
2006-06-28: BBC Radio 4 has announced that TV news anchor Kirsty Young is to take over from Sue Lawley as the host of its "Desert Island Discs" programme that the corporation has been airing since 1942.
Lawley, who was only the third host of the programme, announced in April that she would step down after 18 years as presenter (See RNW Apr 13).
The programme was first presented by its creator Roy Plomley, whose sting ran from 1942 until his death in 1985. He was followed for two years by Michael Parkinson and Lawley took over in 1987.
Young, who began her broadcasting career in 1989 as a newsreader for BBC Radio Scotland, said in a statement, "I've loved Desert Island Discs for as long as I've been listening to radio" adding, "Its enduring success is testament both to the brilliant format and consistently fascinating guests."
BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer said Young's "warmth and curiosity" would be "the perfect combination" for Desert Island Discs from this autumn.
2006-06-28: The US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) in its 2005 Non-Traditional Revenue (NTR) Survey says that survey results show "a sustained effort in the Radio industry to grow revenue from non-traditional sources and activities" and adds that the numbers of stations involved in NTR activities continues to grow. In all 51% of stations responding said NTR had been part of their strategy for more than five years, 14% said they pursued NTR for the first time in 2005, and 90% said NTR efforts would increase this year.
The clear leader in NTR activity continued to be event marketing, participated in by 94% of stations that pursue NTR, and the greatest growth was in Internet-related activities, with a 12% increase in such activity compared to 2004.
For the first time RAB included sports marketing in the survey and reported that more than half the participating stations said they were involved in some form of sports marketing with nearly 40% of them planning to increase such activity this year.
NTR activity was highest in large and mid-market stations with 32% of stations with a million plus reporting NTR activity and 29% of those in markets with 50-200,000 but only 15% for those with 200-500,000 and 11% for those below 50,000.
In terms of sectors, event marketing led with 78% - up from 74% in 2004, followed by Internet with 58% - up from 49%; cause related marketing - down from 55% to 47%;In store (Vendor) Programs - up from 39% to 40%; Sports Marketing with 39% in the first year it has been reported; Recruitment - up from 32% to 36%; and Dealer Group - down from 36% to 32%.
In terms of challenges with NTR selling, Time management was listed at the top - 56%, down from 65% in 2004. It was followed by lack of resources - up from 40% to 49% and lack of leads - up from 26% to 44%.
In revenue terms, 3% of stations reported more than 30% of total revenues from NTR, an increase from 1%; 5% reported 21% to 30% - down from8%; 26% from 11% to 20% -up from 23%; and 66% from nil to 10%, down from 68%.
2006-06-28: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved the CAD 12.5 million ( USD 10.9 million) take over by Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. of six FMs from Island Radio Ltd that was applied for in January (See Licence News Jan 22).
Pattison is proposing a tangible benefits package totalling CAD 750,000 (USD 670,000), 6% of the value of the transaction, in the takeover of CHWF-FM and CKWV-FM Nanaimo, CIBH-FM and CHPQ-FM Parksville, CKLR-FM Courtenay and CJAV-FM Port Alberni.
2006-06-28: Clear Channel has fired two staffers from its adult top 40 WMTX-FM, Tampa, Florida, after a recorded weather update including an "f-bomb" was aired in error according to Billboard Radio Monitor, which cites Tampa Bay Online as the source for its report.
It quotes news and weather reporter Dennis Roper, who was working for Clear Channel's WFLA-AM supplying news and weather updates during Hurricane Alberto as saying , "It was an accident, and I'm sorry that it happened. There's really no excuse for this because I know better, but I was frustrated with the equipment that night . Things were rushed, and I let the 'f word' go on one of the taped updates. It was never intended for air. I didn't even know it would be aired."
Roper said he thought the tape had been erased but it had been put into the station's automation system and was played out accidentally by host Amy Newman.
"I don't think she had any control over it," Roper said. "It was programmed in the system and it's unfortunate for her I think the station only got two calls, and those listeners were laughing about it. But everyone in broadcasting is paranoid now, not just Clear Channel."
Tampa Bay Online said no complaints have been filed with the Federal Communications Commission, and Roper said he did not think the FCC would issue a fine.
RNW comment: In this case, it would seem that a host was fired for something that she could not realistically have been expected to check. Unless there are more facts to come the error was made by Roper, who seems to have behaved responsibly after the airing and who could have expected a penalty. However Newman would seem to be as innocent a party as Clear Channel unless company policy is that hosts have to play all reports in advance for a check.
We think any fine in such cases of a clear error would be an over reaction but have to admit that where a company has over-reacted as appears in this case the imposition of a penalty, even the maximum, would have a tinge of natural justice.
Previous Clear Channel:
Billboard Radio Monitor report:
2006-06-27: UBC Media is to begin testing a music downloading service using Digital Audio Broadcasting spectrum on Chrysalis's Heart FM in Birmingham next month and says it plans a full-scale rollout by December of the technology that allows instant purchase of songs as people listen to them.
UBC also says that it expects DAB-enabled mobile phones to be available later this year.
The technology, which will work by broadcasting encrypted music files along with the broadcast stream thus allowing them to be cached for a short period by the mobile device, is intended to make purchases a single-stop process as opposed to the music-buying services offered in the US by the satellite radio companies that enables recording of songs but requires synchronization with a computer to then make the purchase.
After purchase the material can be decrypted and the song can then be transferred to a user's web-accessed music library, allowing them to download the song to a PC and subsequently transfer to a portable player that supports Digital Rights Management.
Managing Director Simon Cole told Reuters that "very, very, conservative " estimates - based on 1.2 million users and only five digital radio stations, out of approximately 40 available now - were that digital music downloads (DMDs) would generate GBP 173 million (USD 316 million) in annual revenues by 2012 , producing a profit of around GBP 10 million ( USD 18 million), adding "Because we own most of the interactive digital spectrum in the UK, we're in position to create a barrier to entry," and saying that UBC was working with the other spectrum owners, BT Group and Carphone Warehouse founder and CEO Charles Dunstone.
The plan for the mobile downloads is to use pre-payment systems commonly used on mobile phones with each song costing GBP 1.25 (USD 2.27) compared to the GBP 0.79 ( USD 1.44 at current exchange rates compared to the 99 cents charged in the US) charged by Apple's iTunes but rather less than many ringtones cost.
Cole commented that UBC believed there "is a premium of some kind in the mobile environment" and said the forecasts assumed that in six years a quarter of mobile devices will be able to use digital radio services and that a tenth of those who own them will buy downloads with each purchasing six songs a month on average.
[RNW comment: The sceptic in us would reduce this in making an investment decision to around a third based on other material such as videos that is likely by then to be available on DMB - Digital Multimedia Broadcasts - systems and that are likely to compete albeit UBC may well take much of this market in the UK. In addition were the world economy to weaken, we suspect song purchases using this method might well be curbed in favour of later downloads over the Internet of more songs for the same and subsequent transfer to mobile devices including DMB-enabled mobile devices. Of course, when it comes to spending, we may be completely wrong and it may well be there's no spendthrift like a young spendthrift].
Cole did get support from Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan who told Reuters," "It's the right sort of model, and one of the key factors is that the mobile content-buying demographic has a much younger skew than on the PC" and added, "I don't think it's destined to be the mobile iTunes, though, because that dominance on the PC is unique The mobile space has so many dynamics in the strategy chain and is balkanized by all the different operators, that the net result is there won't be a dominant model on the mobile."
UBC also released its annual report showing its pre-tax loss in the year to the end of March down to GBP 234,000 (USD 427,000) from GBP 1.16 million (USD 2.12million) a year ago on revenues up 21.8% to GBP 19.44 million (USD 35.5 million) and also revealing that its recent share placement raised GBP 3 million (USD 5.5 million) gross that is indeed for development of the downloading service.
UBC turned an operating loss before goodwill amortisation of GBP 427,000 (USD 780,000) into operating profit of GBP 349,000 (USD 637,000), the first time it had had profits at this kind of level and Cole said the results showed that investments made by the company were now delivering profits in a changing industry.
UBC described the year ahead as exciting and challenging and said it had shown nobody else was better placed to exploit digital radio with Cole saying the results show investments made by the company over the last four years as delivering profit in a changing radio industry.
"This is a company that understands the digital radio business. Our results show that the investments we have made in the last four years are now delivering profit as the face of the radio industry changes," he said.
'We believe that the pace of change will accelerate and particularly that the opportunities provided by our successful trials of music purchase from digital radio stations have the potential to create transforming business models."
2006-06-27: GCap Media in its annual report published on Monday reveals that former chief executive David Mansfield was paid GBP 1.13 million (USD 2.06 million) in compensation for loss of office after he was ousted from the company in September last year (See RNW Sep 20, 2005).
The payment took his total remuneration for the year up to GBP 1.64 million (USD 3 million) including salary of GBP 212, 000 (USD 387,000 ) and a bonus of GBP 285,000 (USD 520,00 )
When Mansfield left he also had 146,374 shares and 307,170 conditional share awards, worth more than a million pounds (USD 1.8 million) and options on another 290,917 shares. He was also credited with an extra year's service on his pension.
Other pay-offs listed GBP 596,000 (USD 1.1 million) to former commercial director Linda Smith, whose total remuneration was GBP 774,000 (USD 1.41 million) and GBP 511,000 (USD 933,000) to former operations director Paul Davies, whose total remuneration was GBP 691,000 (USD 1.26 million).
These payoffs follow a GBP 285,000 (USD 505,000) pay-off to Nathalie Schwarz, who left her job as Capital's strategy and development director in January last year and is now Director of Radio for Channel 4, an amount that led a number of investors to vote against the company's remuneration report at its Annual General Meeting (See RNW Oct 21. 2005).
The report notes that current Executive Directors - Chief Executive Ralph Bernard, Operations Director Steve Orchard, and Finance Director Wendy Pallot have service contracts with unexpired rolling terms of one year and a notice period by either party of one year.
In the 2005-06 financial year Bernard's remuneration was GBP 718,000 (USD 1.35 million) including salary of GBP 403,000 (USD 778,000), bonuses of GBP 292,000 (USD 550,000), that for Orchard, who was appointed on November 24, 2005, was GBP 269,000 (USD 507,000) of which salary was GBP 93,000 (USD 175,000) and for Pallot, who was appointed on May 9, 2005, was GBP 416,000 (USD 784,000) of which salary was GBP 215,000 (USD 405,000).
Gap's total bill for directors, executive and non-executive was GBP 5.38 million (USD 11 million) for the year, a year in which its pro-forma results - taking out one-off costs and assuming that the merger had taken place a year earlier, recorded pre-tax profits down 40% to GBP 22.2 million (USD 41.8 million) and revenues down GBP 220.2 million (USD 414.7 million - See RNW May 25).
Part of the revenue shortfall has been put down to the company's policy of innovative 'no more than two ads in a row' policy that it introduced first at flagship station Capital Radio. It has claimed that this has increased the "efficiency" of advertising on the station by 38% and this week extended the policy to its classic rock format Planet Rock digital station, saying it is confident the policy's success "success will be replicated on Planet Rock."
National Sales Director Simon Dogfish said of the move, "We want to continue to drive the radio market with innovative programming and this gives us the platform to deliver this. We believe it provides a cleaner clutter free environment for both advertisers and listeners and further encapsulates GCap Media's pledge to drive radio's digital future."
Planet Rock has also announced that it has signed rocker Alice Cooper as its new breakfast DJ from the start of next month.
GCap annual report (5.2 Mb 118 page PDF):
2006-06-27: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reduced from USD 10,000 to USD 3,000 penalties it imposed in 2004 on American Family Association (AFA), licensee of non-commercial educational KBMP-FM, Enterprise, Kansas (See RNW Nov 7, 2004).
AFA had argued that the statute of limitations barred the FCC from assessing a forfeiture for its (admitted) violation of the commission's main studio rule, saying that the violation ended on October 21, 2002, but the Notice of Apparent Liability was not issued until July 28, 2004, more than the maximum period of a year allowed to issue a penalty.
The commission agreed on the basis that at the time of the violation AFA did not hold a licence for the station and was thus a permittee rather than a licensee: It substituted an admonishment for the USD 7,000 penalty it had proposed but upheld the USD 3.000 penalty that it had additionally imposed for failing to comply with a bureau order.
2006-06-27: ABC's Daytime - ABC is currently in the process of being taken over by Citadel - retained top rank and its Prime Access moved back into second place pushing Jones MediaAmerica TWC Radio Network back to third spot in Arbitron's RADAR 89 (Radio's All Dimension Audience Research) Radio Network Audience Report just released covering the period from March 31, 2005- March 29, 2006 and covering 56 networks.
In the top three, ABC Daytime Direction Network lost 174,000 on the RADAR 88 numbers to end up with a weekly audience of 7.106 million and an unchanged AQH of 2.9; ABC's Prime Access network lost 198,000 to end up with 5.518 million and an AQH down from 2.3 to 2.2 whilst Jones MediaAmerica TWC Radio Network lost more - down 260,000 - to end up with 5.492 million and AQH also down from 2.3 to 2.2
Following them Dial-Global Complete FM Network gained 59,000 listeners to move up from fifth to fourth rank with 5.323 million listeners and AQH an unchanged 2.1 whilst Westwood CBS News Primetime Network dropped a rank to end up fifth with 4.995 million and an AQH down from 2.1 to 2.0.
ABC Morning News Radio Network was in sixth rank and Premiere Networks then took the next three slots, as in RADAR 88, with Premiere Morn Drive Network followed by Premiere Emerald Plus Network and Premiere Mediabase Network.
For RADAR 89 Arbitron increased the sample from 100,000 to 106,299 diaries as part of a planned increase to 125,000 diary keepers by the release of RADAR 92 in March next year.
Previous Disney/ABC America:
Previous Jones Media:
Previous RADAR ratings (RADAR 88):
Previous Premiere Networks:
Previous Westwood One:
2006-06-27: In more US radio deals, Regent Communications has announced agreement on a USD 4.9 million cash purchase from Vox Radio Group of WNYQ-FM serving the Capital Region in Albany, New York
WNYQ moved its facilities from Queensbury, New York, last month so as to better serve the Albany market and is currently dark: With its acquisition Regent will own and operate five FM radio stations and one AM radio station in the Capital Region.
President and CEO Bill Stakelin said of the deal, "This transaction once again reflects our commitment to prudently pursue opportunities to expand our station footprint in our middle-and small-sized markets. Adding a fifth FM station in Albany will allow us to better serve both our listeners and advertisers, while expanding our audience and revenue shares."
In another deal, Journal Communications Inc., which recently purchased several TV stations including KMTV-TV, Omaha, has announced the sale - required to comply with FCC ownership regulations - of KBBX-FM ("Radio Lobo 97.7FM") to Connoisseur Media but has not announced financial or other details.
On closure of the deal, Journal will own and operate six stations in the Omaha market.
A rather larger US deal, the sale of Univision has now stalled following the withdrawal of a number of partners in a bid for the company from a consortium led by Mexican broadcaster Televisa: As already reported Televisa missed the deadline for a bid after the Carlyle Group pulled out from the consortium (See RNW Jun 22)
The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Venezuelan media investor Gustavos Cisneros, also dropped out of the consortium, although Cascade Investment, the investment firm controlled by Bill Gates, and equity firm Bain Capital are still backing the Televisa bid and have increased their share, making them the lead partners.
Another group - consisting of Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Haim Saban - submitted an offer by the deadline but was subsequently reported to have offered USD 35.50 a share and have seen its bid rejected.
Televisa is now reported to have countered with a bid of USD 35.75 a share, significantly less than the USD 40 Univision had indicated when it put itself up for sale in February, leading to speculation that Univision may cancel the sale.
2006-06-27: British media Regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin highlights its imposition earlier this month of a record fine of GBP 175,000 (USD 323,000) on Emap for a number of breaches of regulations at its KISS FM in London (See RNW Jun 21) and also the issue of broadcasts failing to keep recordings of programmes as required by their licences.
Relating to the latter it found breaches in three TV and one radio standards cases, the radio one involving Asian Gold and a complaint that its Christian-focussed programme "Evening Blessing" in April criticised members of the Christian community, who were phoning in to criticise the conduct of the presenters and also criticised a former presenter of the programme.
In addition Ofcom considered a further TV complaint and two radio complaints resolved by action taken by the broadcaster: One radio case involved a phone-in on BBC Radio Sheffield when a caller, said to have been reasonable when spoken to in advance, had called the hone side's goalkeeper a "fucking cunt" when on air.
The BBC said the presenter had made it clear the language was unacceptable and immediately closed the call and made an unreserved apology to the audience.
In the second case, a fairness and privacy complaint against Isle of Wight Radio's "The mid morning boogie with Alex Dyke" was considered resolved in view of a broadcast by the station of an apology combined with a written apology and undertaking not to rebroadcast the material.
The totals compare with two radio and three TV standards complaints upheld in the previous bulletin in which a further six TV complaints and one radio complaint were considered resolved and gave details of a fairness and privacy complaint that was not upheld
In addition Ofcom listed with no details a further 78 TV complaints involving 69 items and 16 radio complaints involving 16 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld. The totals compare with 99 TV complaints involving 83 items and 20 radio complaints involving 17 items that were out of its remit or not upheld in its previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2006-06-26: We couldn't resist temptation this week and so start our look at print comment on radio with a more general comment on "Dropping the F-Bomb" as Joel Achenbach refers to it in the Washington Post.
Achenbach starts "The most versatile word in our language can do almost anything, other than be printed in a family newspaper. It can be a noun, a verb, a gerund, an adjective or just an expletive. It can be literal or figurative. Although it has an explicit sexual meaning, it's usually used figuratively these days, as an all-purpose intensifier."
He then notes that it remains "taboo. But just barely We may be entering an era in which this fabled vulgarity is on its way to becoming just another word -- its transgressive energy steadily sapped by overuse."
Achenbach then goes on to note widespread use of the term..."From hip-hop artists to bloggers to the vice president of the United States, everyone's dropping the F-bomb", says many young people may not "grasp how special this word has been in the past" and continues, "For the good of human communication we must come together, as a people, to protect this word, and ensure that, years from now, it remains obscene."
Unfortunately in his view too may people aren't helping, from the President, who before he was elected used the word repeatedly in an interview, the vice-President, who used it on the Senate Floor, John Kerry who used it of President Bush's competence in conducting the war, and many more.
Achenbach says he doesn't "want to make a federal case out of all of this -- but that's what the government is doing", comments on the Bono "fucking brilliant "comment that was at first ruled out as not indecent followed by a reversal of the decision, and later details routine use by real people but a taboo on use in print and on air.
"We must not overharvest the swear words that are part of the commons of our language," argues Achenbach. "It is an adults-only commons, of course. Kids need to be told that they still can't use it. How can a 13-year-old be transgressively vulgar with the word if his 5-year-old sister already uses it? This word is supposed to be a reward of adulthood. We have to conserve it, so that our children and our children's children can use it when we're gone."
After the (potentially expensive) word that must not be said, on to the other issue topping the US regulatory list at the moment, that of media ownership, and a report in Media Life by Diego Vasquez.
Its heading "On the evils of consolidation in media" indicates the point of view from which it is written and the article is primarily comments by Bob McChesney, president of Free Press, "a watchdog group that encourages competition in media and has crusaded against radio payola and for net neutrality."
As might be expected it concentrates on TV but many of the points made apply generally and in terms of net neutrality McChesney makes a telling point about the finances at issue commenting that those who want to be able to charge extra to prioritize certain data on the Internet are "probably spending a million dollars for every USD10 we spend to privatize the internet."
McChesney says his organization is "driven by a conviction that we need to have multiple voices in every community. There's been a pattern toward fewer and fewer owners, fewer and fewer newsrooms, less coverage, etc. It's only good for a handful of owners. I think we'd like to see there be a serious debate about local media, I think it's a debate the FCC needs to encourage."
"Our biggest concern," he continues, "is there's so much political pressure to ram through a change in the media rules without public participation. We want the public to be allowed to participate in the process that the FCC takes part in, meaning numerous public hearings around the country that are taken seriously, unlike 2003 when the FCC boycotted public hearings and ignored what was said."
McChesney promotes the Stop Big Media group that has been launched to lead opposition to further US media consolidation and comments, somewhat acidly it might be thought, "We've got to make clear in our comments that the FCC is no longer a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street. It needs to represent the public."
The main issue he says is cross ownership and monopoly of information in an area and of radio he comments, "Radio became much more profitable when it became more consolidated. It became a cash register for Clear Channel. The situation that is heaven for these companies is our hell. If you understand it that way, you understand it's not really a left versus right issue. We've got all the numbers on our side; they've got all the money on their side. It's organized money versus organized people. But we've got to organize enough people to match the millions of dollars these companies are willing to spend for monopoly ownership."
McChesney says this time round, as opposed to 2003 when what stopped the introduction of eased regulation was a court decision, he thinks the chances of stopping major consolidation "are vastly superior" but warns, "But I also don't want to act like we can take it easy and coast. The profit potential for media companies is off the charts, and they'll stop at nothing. They're battling like their lives are on the line. "
He then comments, "In fairness, they aren't the bad guys here. Clear Channel, Rupert Murdoch, Tribune Company, they're not the bad guys. They're doing what they should be doing, making as much money as they can for their shareholders. So they're not the bad guys per se The bad guys are the politicians who let them own all the media. They're supposed to be representing our interests, not the interests of these companies."
RNW comment: McChesney makes a very sound point up above - corporate law puts duties on company boards relating to financial conduct and general law limits the activities of companies, as for instance regulating medicines where it is impossible for the individual to check on their safety and efficacy.
In that context our view is that there is not enough debate about the overall balance of costs and benefits of measures but within that debate our view is fairly simple in that it should allow companies to argue their points - but force them where they deliberately pervert factual evidence to correct this immediately with very severe consequences when they do not do so - so as to ensure that debate is informed.
That balance can never be a fair one when politicians are bought for whatever reason, even if it is simply when the nature of a political system makes massive financial demands in terms of getting elected. But to expect the turkeys to vote for Christmas? Not on unless the public in general is concerned enough to vote a lot of them out regularly, irrespective of party affiliation, whenever there is evidence of corruption.
Enough however of the problem areas an on to some praise for radio in the context of sports coverage: It came from Chris Campling in Saturday's UK Times where in his Radiohead column he notes that Wimbledon tennis starts this week whilst World Cup soccer continues and then continues, "Luckily, tennis is a game well suited to radio. I'm not sure of the exact statistics, but apparently the average best-of-five-set match consists of about 70 seconds of blurred action and about four hours of sitting around. Into this vacuum BBC radio has traditionally poured its greatest wits. Any sport can be interesting if the people describing it have entertaining things to say, and tennis is stuffed with them."
Campling says of the commentators involved - "They tend to be a pretty amiable bunch " and concludes," All this, and not having to watch the mob on Henman Hill (aka Murray Mount) clapping themselves for appearing on the big screen. Radio really is miles better, isn't it?"
Finally before moving on to suggested listening, a column that puts our first suggestion into context: It was Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times - devoted to Nick Clarke, the BBC broadcaster who "announced last December, that he had cancer and his left leg was about to be amputated" but is now back on the airwaves and over the next few months will have spells on BBC Radio 4's "World at One" - a programme he has hosted since 1994 and for which he will initially work two days a week; "Any Questions" - he stands in for Jonathan Dimbleby this Friday; this week introducing excepts from an unpublished book by the late Alistair Cooke, whose biography he wrote; and "Round Britain Quiz."
Clarke told Donovan of his voice - "firm, calm, measured" - that "It did lose its oomph while I was ill, but that came back after the operation. We aren't sure why. Maybe it was a release of tension, who knows?"
Clarke ended chemotherapy on his 58th birthday on June 9 and his return to the airwaves came with "Fighting to Be Normal", a programme aired on BBC Radio 4 last Friday and made from a taped diary kept by Clarke and his wife Barbara.
It includes comments from them and their three-years-old twin sons, about their lives from shortly after he was told that to save his life his left leg would have to be amputated.
Next we suggest "On the Media" from WNYC and two items on the programme last week - available either from an MP3 of the whole programme or as individual item streams: One was "Watching You Watching Me ", which featured outgoing US National Public Radio ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin talking to Mike Pesca, and the second "All About Dan" - comment on and a sound portrait of Dan Rather who last week left CBS.
After items centred on individuals, a programme by an individual but centred on an event: It is "Live at Leeds Again", aired by Radio 4 last Saturday and a programme in which Andy Kershaw in the third and final part of his "School of Rock" series, goes behind the scenes for a return concert at Leeds University by The Who and tells the tale of how the return concert came about
Then drama and three very different offerings from different eras, first in BBC Radio 4's "Friday Play" last week: That was "Consideration" by Robert Messik in which Peter Balam's wife Eleanor donates a kidney to him but when he walks out on her and their children for another woman she wants it back. An interesting divorce settlement negotiation!
And then in Sunday's "World Drama" from BBC World Service - a radio version of Thea von Harbou's novel "Metropolis" that her husband Fritz Lang turned into the 1927 silent movie classic: This was preceded in "Close-up" with a picture of science fantasy writer Philip K. Dick.
Finally, also from Sunday, BBC Radio 3's "Drama on 3" slot featured "The Orchid Grower" by Sebastian Baczkiewicz, the story of the 1964 defection to the USA of KGB officer Yuri Nosenko and his subsequent sufferings as a victim of internal conflict within the CIA .
Following drama issues and current affairs and first a suggestion of items from three days of "Late Night Live" on ABC Radio National last week: Tuesday included a report, timely in a sense in view of the current crisis of North Korea's missile programme, about the kidnapping in November 1977 by North Korean agents of 13 year old Japanese girl, Megumi Yokata who was seized on her way home from school and is one of at least 13 Japanese nationals kidnapped by the North Koreans between that year and 1983. Maybe the regime has changed somewhat or maybe it hasn't!
On Wednesday it featured a report on the new US embassy in Baghdad - some 104 acres in size and costing around YSD 600 million: It's one of the few building projects in the country that has proceeded ahead without much disruption.
And on Thursday the programme included a report "Brisbane Ideas Festival 2006 - Nanny State" - a discussion about state regulation and whether too much regulation is being accepted too easily.
This made an interesting companion to Sunday's "Background Briefing" on "Water in India", a look at the surge in demand for water as India booms and the best way to handle the competing demands.
And to end with tales of two small recording labels, one from next Saturday's "Jazz File" on BBC Radio 3 (17:00GMT): In "Let Freedom Ring", a title taken from the landmark LP title, Jez Nelson starts a series about the albums recorded by the late jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean for the Blue Note label in the 1960s.
And BBC Radio 2, last Saturday saw the first of a two-part series "Tighten Up: Story of Trojan Records" telling the story of the small label, known as reggae's Motown, that was hugely influential in introducing Jamaican music to Britain. In 1970 it released 500 singles and sold 1.5 million records. The first half is on the Radio 2 web site and the second programme airs on July 1 at 19:00 GMT.
Media Life -Vasquez:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Times - Campling:
Washington Post - Achenbach:
2006-06-26: This year's Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) are to be presented by actor and comedian John Cleese, who will also be the keynote speaker at this year's Australian Radio Conference.
Both events are to be held in Sydney in October - the Radio Conference at the Crystal Palace Conference Centre at Luna Park on October 13 and the Awards the following day in the Big Top at Luna Park.
2006-06-25: The main regulatory news last week was the imposition by UK media regulator Ofcom of a record GBP 175,000 (USD 323,000) fine on Emap, which in November last year had been fined the previous record amount for a UK radio operator of GBP 125,000 (USD 175,000) and the start by the US Federal Communications Commission of its review of media ownership regulations: Elsewhere there was a steady flow of radio-related decisions except for Australia where no radio-related decisions were announced.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has again been involved in a steady flow of radio-related work including the following (in order of province):
*Administrative renewal from 1 September 2006 to 31 March 2007 of the licence of CKGF-FM-2, Greenwood and its transmitters CKGF-1-FM, Christina Lake and CKGF-3-FM, Rock Creek.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CFWB-AM, Campbell River and its transmitter CJGR-FM, Gold River.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CHQB-AM, Powell River.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CKKS-FM, Sechelt (formerly CISE-FM) and its transmitters CIPN-FM, Pender Harbour, CISC-FM, Gibsons, and CIEG-FM, Egmont.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CISQ-FM, Squamish.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CISW-FM, Whistler, and its transmitter CISP-FM, Pemberton.
*Approval of application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. to use frequency 106.3 MHz for its Vancouver FM, which was approved in 2001. There seven interventions supporting the application and 7,000 opposing it, primarily on the basis that it will result in interference to reception in the Vancouver area with the signal of U.S.-based single-faith Christian station KLYN-FM Lynden, Washington.
The CRTC in granting the application noted that the interference would be within Canada to a signal originating from outside the country, the variety of services available to most Canadians in the area but absence of programming for its urban Aboriginal population, and the existence of other options for those who wanted religious programming including cable, and Internet audio.
*Denial of application to increase the power of CJDV-FM, Cambridge, 2,500 watts to 6,800 watts, an increase that would increase the status from a Class A to Class B1 and significantly increase its contours. Licensee Corus had already been allowed in December 2003 to change the frequency of the station - then CIZN-FM- and increase its power from 560 watts to 2,500 watts to correct severe technical limitations but said the changes, although making an improvement, still had deficiencies and experiences recurring co-channel interference from CKMB-FM Barrie, Ontario: It said that it thought the problem was due to "thermal ducting", an interference-causing phenomenon due to atmospheric conditions causing variations in the propagation of signals through layers of warm and cold air that can conduct the signals over long distances causing high signal levels at distances well beyond the normal range of reception.
The additional power increase was opposed by CanWest MediaWorks Inc., which operates CKBT-FM, Kitchener-Waterloo, on the same frequency as CJDV-FM and said while Corus uses a new competitive environment - because of the entry of two new commercial stations in the region - as a rationale for these amendments, the licensee is projecting an increase in financial health in the same environment, as well as an increase in the potential listener base in nearby regions that are already well-served by radio stations licensed to serve those areas.
The CRTC said no evidence had been given to support a claim of thermal ducting and its existing realistic contour was well beyond its theoretical one and denied the power increase.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CING-FM, Hamilton.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CHML-AM, Hamilton.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CFMJ-AM, Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CKRU-AM Peterborough.
The CRTC also renewed until 31 August 2007 the licences for the transitional digital radio programming undertakings below:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
Corus Premium Television Ltd:
CKNW-DR-2, New Westminster
CFMI-DR-1, New Westminster
Corus Radio Company:
O.K. Radio Group Ltd:
Rogers Broadcasting Limited:
AM 740 Primetime Radio Limited Partnership:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
CHUM (Ottawa) Inc. :
CIRC Radio Inc.:
CJRT-FM Inc. :
CKMW Radio Ltd:.
Corus Premium Television Ltd:.
CILQ-DR-1, North York
Corus Radio Company
Fairchild Radio Group Ltd.
Milestone Radio Inc.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Radio 1540 Limited CHIN-DR-1, Toronto
Standard Radio Inc.
Sur Sagar Radio Inc.
(No call sign)* Toronto
Trafalgar Broadcasting Limited
Trumar Communications Inc.
Astral Media Radio inc.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Cogeco Diffusion inc.
Standard Radio Inc.
The CRTC also posted a public notice concerning various applications. On with a deadline for comments or interventions of July 25 included a request from CJVR-FM, Melfort, Saskatchewan, to add a 45 watts FM transmitter at Carrot River and the other with a July 27 deadline an application to increase the power of CKPC-FM, Brantford, Ontario, from 50,000 watts to 80,000 watts.
In Ireland, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), has sent forward for further consideration two of the three applications for a new youth-based South West Regional Licence (See RNW Jun 21).
In the UK, Ofcom as already noted has imposed a record fine of GBP 175,000 ( USD 323,000) on Emap (See RNW Jun 21). It has also agreed format changes for Emap's Vibe stations and posted for comment an application by Sunrise Radio to move part of the programming on its London AM station Sunrise Radio to its other London AM, Kismat Asian Talk Radio (See below).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as noted has now started to move ahead with its review of media ownership regulations, amid early signs of a partisan split (See RNW Jun 22).
It has also proposed a USD 6,000 penalty on Clear Channel for what the company termed a "prank" in which hosts on its Orlando station WRUM-FM repeatedly mentioned a prize competition they said was running on a rival station, causing many calls to the station about the non-existent competition (See RNW Jun 23).
On other matters the FCC is being lobbied by the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to clamp down on devices used to transfer a signal from a portable player or satellite receiver to a standard car radio (See RNW Jun 24 ).
The FCC also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning satellite spectrum that could be used to provide a "new generation of broadband services to the public, providing a mix of local and domestic video, audio, data, video-on-demand and multimedia services to residential and business subscribers in the United States."
Allocation of the spectrum involved, for the 17/24 GHz Broadcasting Satellite Service, will become effective on April 1 next year and the FCC says its goal is to "promote prompt commencement of services in this newly allocated band."
As well as domestic uses the NPRM also considers proposals for use of the 17.7-17.8 GHz BSS spectrum for provision of international services outside the United States.
Previous Licence News:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-06-25: UK Media Regulator Ofcom has given the go-ahead to Emap for a format change for its East of England station Vibe FM and Severn Estuary station Vibe 101 that was requested last month.
In its request Emap said that since acquiring the Vibe stations it had been reviewing its dance format and wanted to make the format changes that would allow it to "make some small, but significant, cost savings whilst enhancing the current programming on both Vibe stations."
Emap asked to be allowed to network programming during non-peak daytime hours and said that in return it would guarantee localised informational windows to ensure local content is provided at least 3 times each daytime hour and an increase in the minimum number of hours of specialist programming on both Vibes from 16 to 36 hours per week.
Emap said that in comparison to its Kiss 100 dance format, "has always had a very clear sense of purpose", the Vibe stations "have failed to establish such a strong identity and lack real credibility with, or attachment to, their audiences."
Ofcom agreed to the change, commenting that it "welcomed the increase in specialist music and felt the character of service would not be substantially altered."
Ofcom has also published a format change request from Sunrise Radio, whose Greater London AM station - the only full-time Asian service in London when it was launched 15 years ago - broadcasts mainly in English and Hindustani to a target audience of the Asian community and also has obligations to broadcast 18-hours a week in Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil and Sinhalese.
Sunrise wants to move this latter element of its service onto its Kismat Asian Talk Radio, which also serves Greater London on AM and it targeted at an "older, speech-oriented Asian listener."
Sunrise says this demographic is now more likely to appreciate these languages.
2006-06-25: Cumulus Media says its modified "Dutch auction" tender offer earlier this month ended with it agreeing to buy 11,500,000 shares of its Class A Common Stock at USD 11.15 per share, making a total of USD 132.3 million: The offer had been to purchase up to that number of shares at a price between USD 11:00 and USD 12.50 and in the event it was offered 15,345,112 shares at or below the purchase price. Which means it will purchase just less than three quarters of the shares tendered.
The shares purchases represent just above 24% of the company's 47,697,508 shares of Class A Common Stock issued and outstanding as of May 9
Cumulus also notes that on June 29 it expects to repurchase 5,000,000 shares of its Class B Common Stock from BA Capital Company, L.P. ("BA Capital") and Banc of America Capital Investors SBIC, L.P. at the per share purchase price established in the tender offer of USD 11.50 per share.
2006-06-24: Former Michigan Public Media deputy director Michael Coleman, now general manager at Detroit public radio station WDET-FM, has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay USD 3,500 in restitution by Washtenaw County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to embezzling under USD 200. He will also have to do 50 hours of community service.
Coleman was one of three former Michigan Public Media employees charged with embezzlement for illegally accepting gifts for on-air considerations whilst working for WUOM-FM, the University of Michigan public radio station (See RNW Mar 19).
A felony embezzlement charge of under USD 10,000 was dismissed in the no-contest plea sentencing agreement according to his attorney, Tom O'Brien, who told the Detroit Free Press, "I think he's relieved. He wanted to accept responsibility."
The paper reports that Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Blake Hatlem charged in March that Coleman took food and alcohol in exchange for on-air announcements while he worked at WUOM - including an allegation that he took about USD 3,500 in meals from the Aut Bar in Ann Arbor in 2000-03 as part of a trade agreement that he did not disclose -and adds that earlier reports indicate Donovan Reynolds, the former director of Michigan Public Media, discovered a trade agreement between Coleman and a company for a lawn irrigation system that didn't appear valid last fall. Coleman initially denied the charges.
Detroit Free Press report:
2006-06-24: Air America Radio president Gary Krantz is to leave his post at the end of this month to pursue "other opportunities" after just over a year in the post: He joined the network after a variety of network radio posts including that of Premiere Radio Networks' EVP/Music Operations (See RNW Mar 27, 2005).
Krantz told Billboard Radio Monitor he is considering several opportunities and added, "I am very proud of my accomplishments over the last year in terms of increased revenue, affiliation, audience, and our Web presence. Air America is -- and will continue to be -- a great force in talk radio."
Previous Air America/Piquant (its parent):
Billboard Radio Monitor report:
2006-06-24: The US National Association of Broadcasters is lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and politicians concerning interference from devices used to transmit signals from portable audio devices or satellite radio receivers by creating an FM signal for reception by a standard car radio: It says tests it carried out on 17 such wireless devices and four wires ones currently on sale in the US showed that 13 exceeded field strength limits set by the commission.
Six devices, it says, exceeded the limits twenty-fold and one was two-thousand times the permitted limit and adds that many of the devices also exceeded their permitted bandwidth, resulting in potential interference to 1st and 2nd adjacent channels as well.
The NAB tests follow recent comments about interference to terrestrial transmissions from satellite radio signals, including break-through of the Howard Stern show into public and Christian radio signals (See RNW Apr 30), and it has written to FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens and Co-Chairman Daniel Inouye about the matter calling on Martin to ensure that the commission "vigorously enforce" its rules for such devices.
NAB has also posted the report - a 688kb 31-page PDF - that shows the devices tested and notes some details of the tests: The figure of 13 devices in non-compliance came from the list published when tests were done in the open and went down to three wireless devices and two wired ones on tests of some devices installed in a vehicle and checked at a distance of three metres from the vehicle antenna. Of these the wireless devices - the Hobbytron FM25B, Lenmar AI-MODAM, and Sirius S50 - failed tests at three sample frequencies.
The report notes that under a quarter of devices tested met FCC field strength requirements and a number of others did meet the Commission to vigorously enforce its Part 15 rules with regard to these devices and says, "Based on these tests it is reasonable to conclude that significant interference to licensed FM broadcast stations exists from these devices."
RNW comment: It does seem that NAB has a point with these figures but as normal with NAB we are sceptical about the scale of the problem. No mention is made of how many such devices are on the market in the US so it could be that NAB chose to test 17 devices out of many more available that it felt were likely to have problems: This would make the figures then published accurate but misleading.
The report then refers to tests in a vehicle of a sub-sat carried out at NAB's request and only lists five models. Are we therefore to conclude that when used in a vehicle only five had any problems?
Or that NAB is a cheapskate in only carrying out additional tests on some models but did so at random. NAB in our view, makes a case that there have been and are problems with some of the devices on sale in the US and that some are not labelled as compliant as required but does not necessarily make any sound case as to the scale of the problem and is almost certainly exaggerating it.
NAB tests report (688 KB PDF):
2006-06-23: A Canadian senate report has recommended that the federal government should automatically review significant media mergers that could give one company too much market share and also that the state-owned broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), should end commercials on its TV networks and also stop broadcasting sports programming.
The Senate standing committee on transport and communications in its report says that the country's major media companies should also regularly state who their major shareholders are, either during broadcasts or in print, as a public service.
Regarding the CBC it said the corporation should be given sufficient public funding to operate without commercials - currently of its annual budget of around CAD 1.4 billion (USD 1.25 billion ), CAD 1 billion ( USD 895 million) is from federal funds with the balance from advertising .The report said that in general Canadians remain well served by news organizations but there are
"areas where the concentration of ownership has reached levels that few other countries would consider acceptable."
Senator Joan Fraser, the committee's chairwoman, said the committee didn't call for a particular threshold for how much media one company can own in a given market, but that 35 per cent is a number that is "not far off" and seems to work well in other countries.
Responses to the report included scepticism from industry sources with Gary Slaight, chief executive officer of Toronto-based Standard Radio Inc., telling the Toronto Globe and Mail that evaluating a media company is difficult and saying, "There's a whole bunch of pieces in the pie, so I'm no really sure what they're getting at. And with audiences being so fragmented now, I think we're headed toward less media consolidation anyway."
Arnold Amber, president of the CBC branch of the Canadian Media Guild, said the report should have been more forceful in setting the threshold to review media deals, rather than suggesting a rough 35-per-cent figure.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2006-06-23: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a USD 6,000 penalty on Clear Channel after a complaint about a broadcast on WRUM-FM, Orlando, Florida, concerning a competition that was said to be being conducted by Mega Communications' WNUE-FM, Orlando.
Mega said the WRUM hosts announced over several hours from around 7:40 a.m. on February 24 last year that the 100th listeners to call and state the name of the show "John Musa Y Los Anormales De La Mañana" (translated as "John Musa And The Abnormals Of The Morning"), would win a cash prize of USD 1,000. They gave two numbers that belonged to WNUE, which was inundated with calls and Mega says many callers became angry when informed by WNUE-FM personnel that no such contest was being conducted and that no money would be awarded.
When Mega found the cause of the calls it contacted WRUM, which by then had stopped making announcements about the contest.
Clear Channel confirmed that the hosts had aired information about a false contest and urged listeners to call Station WNUE-FM's toll-free and local telephone numbers but had said near the end of their show that there was no such contest.
It said the hosts had been told by station management that the broadcast was unacceptable but contended that because there was no real contest this was a matter of a "prank" and this did not breach FCC rules.
The FCC ruled that Clear Channel had breached its regulations "not fully and accurately disclosing the material terms of its contest and by not conducting the contest substantially as announced and said that in this case a penalty of USD 6,000 rather than the normal base penalty of USD 4,000.
It commented that "the licensee's actions were intentional and maliciously harmed the listener goodwill of its competitor, WNUE-FM" and added, "WRUM-FM made no on-air apology and took no disciplinary action against its employees, instead sending an email apology to WNUE-FM and informing the Program Director and station hosts that such behaviour was 'unacceptable.' we note that Clear Channel has a history of violations of the Commission's rules, including this rule."
RNW comment: In this case it seems to us that penalty is derisible for the offence. The ideal penalty would be for the FCC to have the powers, set against licence revocation if not promptly complied with, to in any such future cases say that any names and all names noted by a station receiving calls in such a case had to be contacted promptly by the offending station and each and every paid the prize and we would be delighted to see a rule instituted for all malicious pranks that harm a competitor that would allow the FCC to immediately instruct the offender to agree suitable remedial actions with the injured party with licence revocation as a remedy if reasonable remedial action were refused.
As no such rule exists it would seem reasonable to use that were Mega to object to licence renewal for WRUM the latter should have its licence revoked that would give Clear Channel some time from now to broadcast suitably grovelling apologies to WNUE - we'd suggest every 15 minutes every show for three months would be about right - so as to mitigate against or avoid any such objection. It would also ensure that Clear Channel would not treat such matters lightly in future.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mega Communications:
2006-06-23: The Prometheus Radio Project in response to opposition from the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to plans put forward by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain Washington Democrat Senator Maria Cantwell that would remove third-adjacent channel protection requirements that prohibit many low-power FMs from being launched has accused the NAB of deliberately misleading the Senate Commerce Committee.
NAB in opposing the McCain amendment to the big telecommunications bill Senate Bill 2686 that would add his Low Power FM Bill (S205) refers to a demonstration of third adjacent channel interference that it has posted on its site and that demonstrates interference in 2004 from Bonneville's full-power station WWZZ-FM (104.1 -the former Z104 pop station) to the 103.5 FM frequency the used by its classical station WGMS-FM (a frequency now being used by WTOP).
NAB in its news release comment of its demonstration, which starts with WGMS effectively taken out by interference, comments "These recordings give you a sense of how aggravating 3rd adjacent channel interference can be for listeners. Imagine if hundreds of these stations were licensed all over major urban areas and you have an idea how harmful S. 2505 (the McCain proposal's number) could be."
As Prometheus points out the demonstration is of full-power station interference and it comments that the NAB CD delivered to the committee "claims to demonstrate something that isn't true."
It adds, "With their CD the NAB says that allowing small community organizations, schools and churches to operate 100-watt radio stations will cause devastating interference to other stations on the FM band The tone of the recording was authoritative, but the implied conclusions were pseudoscientific. These recordings demonstrate nothing but the desperation of the NAB in its quest to protect its members and their 1,934 business models from new competition."
Prometheus also points out - accurately - that the NAB says there is interference "inside the protected contour" but does not give details and notes that the signals concerned were 41 kilometres apart when the normal minimum required is 74 kilometres. - and adds that in 1966 the NAB lobbied the FCC to allow greater flexibility to stations that they knew could result in such interference.
RNW comment: NAB, of course, denies being misleading, but in our view the value of its assertions when it comes to its perceived self-interest are those of a three-dollar bill. As we recall, LPFM stations would have a maximum power of 100 watts whereas the stations involved here had powers of some 20KW and 44 KW.
We have argued in the past that were NAB being consistent it would be arguing for the revocation of short-spaced full-power licences and in this case we regret that the FCC cannot act by taking the NAB recordings seriously and ordering one of the frequencies closed down. It might incommode Bonneville but they chose to conduct demonstration tests for NAB's propaganda so would simply be hoist by their own petard.
We can but hope against hope that there will be enough senators with integrity to bridle at NAB's attempts to foist this demonstration on them as having some real relationship with the actual facts of interference and pass the McCain amendment. Betting odds? Around 1000-1 against?
McCain amendment (23kb 2-page PDF)
NAB news release (Has link to audio of demonstration):
Prometheus Radio Project site
2006-06-23: ABC and CBS radio share network honours in the 2006 Edward R. Murrow awards, organized by the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), with their Hurricane Katrina cover that tied for the "Continuing Coverage" National award and also overall with each getting three more national awards.
ABC took awards for Overall Excellence; the Use of Sound; and Writing -to Gil Gross for Hurricane Katrina - and CBS for Newscast for the CBS World News Roundup; Sports Reporting for Washington Nationals; Spot News for the London bombings;
Other national awards were Feature - Hard News to CBC National News for "This is How they Teach AIDS Awareness in Thailand"; Feature Reporting to US National Public Radio (NPR) for "Returning to the Ruins"; Investigative Reporting to American Public Media for "Power Trips (2005 Series)"; News Documentary to Homelands Productions for "Saints and Indians"; News Series to NPR for " Katrina Odyssey"; and Website to Public Radio International (PRI) for "The World, The World Online."
There were also a number of Katrina-related awards in the large market radio section where the winners were:
Continuing Coverage to -WWL-AM, New Orleans for "Hurricane Katrina":
Feature - Hard News to KIRO-AM, Seattle for "Katrina for The Return Home":
Feature Reporting to WTOP Radio, Washington for "Scary Clown":
Investigative Reporting to WWL-AM, New Orleans, for "Hell Inside Hospitals":
News Documentary to WNYC Radio, New York for "Communication Breakdown":
News Series to KIRO-AM, Seattle, for "Long Road Home":
Newscast to WWL-AM, New Orleans:
Overall Excellence to KCBS-AM, San Francisco:
Sports Reporting to KIRO-AM, Seattle, for "Stitch-and-Pitch":
Spot News Coverage to WTOP Radio, Washington, for "Capital Chaos":
Use of Sound to KCBS-AM, San Francisco, for "County Fair":
Website to KCBS-AM, San Francisco, for KCBS.com:
Writing to KCBS-AM, San Francisco, for "About the Bay."
The Small market radio awards were:
Continuing Coverage to KFDI-FM/KFTI-AM, Wichita, Kansas, for "Dennis Rader is BTK":
Feature - Hard News to WMSI/WQJQ-FM, Jackson, Mississippi, for "Saved by the Bush":
Feature Reporting to KGOU Public Radio, Norman, Oklahoma, for "Okie Noodling ":
Investigative Reporting to Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, Vermont, for O'Neil Walker:
News Documentary to KBIA-FM, Columbia, Missouri, for "What's on the Line":
News Series to WILM-AM, Wilmington, Delaware for "Chasing Dreams in the First State":
Newscast to KRMG-AM, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for "KRMG Morning News":
Overall Excellence to WATD-FM, Marshfield, Massachusetts:
Sports Reporting to WABB-AM, Mobile, Alabama, for "A Team Evacuated ":
Spot News Coverage to VOCM Radio, St. Johns, Newfoundland, for "VOCM News":
Use of Sound to WMSI/WQJQ-FM, Jackson, Mississippi, for "Building Dreams":
Website to New Hampshire Public Radio, Concord, New Hampshire, for NHPR.org:
Writing to WGLT-FM, Normal, Illinois, for Charlie Schlenker Compilation:
Previous (2005) Murrow awards:
RNDA web site (Lists awards):
2006-06-22: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now started on the process of trying to ease US media ownership restrictions with a unanimous vote by all the commissioners to move ahead but also with early signs of yet another party-line split as the two Democrats on the Commission released statements dissenting in part.
At its Open Meeting on Wednesday the FCC adopted a "Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on how to address the issues raised by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Prometheus v. FCC, which two years ago stayed and remanded several media ownership rules that the Commission had adopted in its 2002 Biennial Review Order" and also opens a statutory quadrennial review of all of the media ownership rules.
Amongst the matters on which the Commission is seeking comment are the local radio and television ownership limits, newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership bans, radio-television cross-ownership limits and the Dual Network ban and the FCC says it will hold six public hearings in locations around the US.
FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin said of the move that the dialogue was starting "in a neutral and even-handed fashion" and added that the Commission should "take into account the competitive realities of the media marketplace while also ensuring the promotion of the important goals of localism and diversity."
His fellow Republican Commissioners broadly endorse his stance with Deborah Taylor Tate saying in her statement that "The future is under construction right now, and we need to be addressing issues like this one in order to create an environment that allows markets to work while still protecting the interests of consumers" whilst Robert M. Mcdowell said, "Our rules must take into account the dramatic changes that have occurred in the media landscape since the Commission adopted them. At the same time, we must ensure that the rules continue to promote the long-standing values of competition, diversity and localism that lie at the foundation of our nation's broadcasting system."
In their statements both Democrat commissioners accepted that the FCC had to move forward on the issue but both expressed some dissent. Jonathan S. Adelstein said, "Unfortunately, the manner in which the Commission is launching this critical proceeding is totally inadequate. It is like submitting a high-school term paper for a Ph.D. thesis. This Commission failed in 2003, and if we don't change course, we will fail again. ..The large media companies wanted, and today they get, a blank check to permit further media consolidation."
"The Notice," said Adelstein "is so open-ended that it will permit the majority of the Commission to allow giant media companies to get even bigger at the time, place and manner of their choosing. That is the reason I have refused to support launching this proceeding until now, and it is why I am dissenting from the bulk of this Notice" and he highlighted what he termed the lack of commitment to "three basic building blocks of a successful rulemaking on media ownership - an issue that affects the daily lives of every single American First, the process does not commit to giving the public an opportunity to comment on specific proposals before any changes to the rules are finalized. Second, it does not commit to completing the localism proceeding and rulemaking before changing the ownership rules. Finally, it does not commit to making any final decision in a comprehensive manner. Given the history of this proceeding, these failings are astonishing. "
Michael J. Copps in his statement said," Since we last voted on this issue three years ago, there have been more than 3300 TV and radio stations that have had their assignment and transfer grants approved. So even under the old rules, consolidation grows, localism suffers and diversity dwindles. For these reasons, I agree that we need to start this proceeding now."
He then referred to the previous attempt at rulemaking, accusing the then Commission majority of going ahead "without seeking adequate input from the American people, without conducting adequate studies and without even revealing to the country what the new rules would be before forcing a vote."
"Americans," said Copps "know the difference between a fig leaf and a real commitment" and eh continued, " If you see hearings in your hometown, instead of a just a few pre-selected cities, you'll know. If you see FCC Commissioners come to listen to your point of view personally, instead of expecting you to hire a $500 an hour lobbyist to get heard, you'll know. If the FCC contracts for independent, well-funded studies and seeks public comment on those studies, instead of buying a few-half hearted, time-crunched papers that slide into the record without comment, you'll know. And, critically, if the FCC shows you the specific rules that will reshape the American media before forcing a vote, instead of rushing from this short document to a final vote, you'll know."
He then expressed disappointment at the lack of emphasis on localism saying the "Commission will apparently choose to leave localism stuck at the starting gate" and said he was also disappointed about failure "to commit to specific efforts to advance ownership by minorities. "
Concern at the FCC move was also expressed by New York Democrat Congressman Maurice Hinchey, the founder and chairman of the Future of American Media (FAM) Caucus.
Hinchey, who led the fight in the House to overturn the previous FCC changes to media ownership regulations, said in a statement, "The FCC's decision today to review regulations limiting media consolidation comes as no surprise; Chairman Kevin Martin has made it quite clear that he intends to overturn the existing rules, which are our last backstop against the concentration of print and broadcast media into the hands of a few major corporations."
"Media consolidation," he continued, "is one of the most dangerous issues confronting our democracy. As control of the media is concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer conglomerates, local reporting disappears, the diversity both of viewpoints and ownership disintegrates, the marketplace of ideas shrinks and, as a result, the media will cease to be the crucial check on the power of the federal government that the founding fathers intended."
2006-06-22: BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, speaking at the launch of "The Memory Experience", which the corporation terms its "first cross-media science season exploring the world of memory across radio, television and the web" has said that the stations replacement for "Home Truths", the programme hosted until his death by the late John Peel, is likely to go on air in mid-September.
He gave few details although he did say the yet-to-be-named show would be produced by the BBC in-house and include live feedback from listeners: Damazer also said there would be an announcement soon on who would take over from Sue Lawley as the presenter of "Desert Island Discs", saying the replacement would be an "experienced broadcaster" and also ruling out former BBC Political Correspondent and "Start the Week" host Andrew Marr.
The Memory Experience launches on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 22 July with a special two-hour programme, presented by Mariella Frostrup and Dr Mark Porter, and will include a Radio 4 search for personal memories through a dedicated web site and also a series of six programmes "Sharpen Your Memory" presented by Frostrup and Porter.
Information collected will be given to the Economic and Social Data Service which is the data repository for the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council).
The survey has been devised by leading memory expert and Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Leeds University, Martin Conway, and aims to collect memories that define individuals including peoples' very earliest memories, memories of self-defining experiences and memories of important national events.
Conway commented that the scientific answer to the question "Who are we?" is that we are a product of genetic inheritance and individual experience and added, "By taking part in this fascinating experiment, the public can contribute important new insights into the rapidly developing field of memory research and produce a collection of memories that define and record the individual and collective lives of our times."
Damazer commented, "It's exciting for Radio 4 to be involved in a project that aims to extend our scientific understanding of a key human attribute - memory - while at the same time providing a huge range of programmes designed to inform, amuse and touch the audience. I'd like to think that the scale of The Memory Experience is something that no other broadcaster would attempt."
2006-06-22: A consortium of investors led by Mexican television giant Grupo Televisa that was tipped as most likely to end up buying Univision missed the Tuesday deadline for placing an offer although according to executives it is likely to put in a late offer.
According to the New York Times the deadline was missed after last-minute decision by one member of the consortium including Televisa - the Carlyle Group - to drop out at the last minute following an internal dispute over the bid price.
The Times notes that the fierce bidding once expected has not so far materialised and says some executives thought that the missed deadline was not due solely to market factors but was also a part of a strategy to disrupt the auction process in an effort to drive down the price.
A consortium consisting of Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Haim Saban was reported to have submitted an offer by the deadline but no details have been given of the amount offered. Univision may now accept late offers or even withdraw the company from sale.
New York Times report:
2006-06-22: Latest Australian radio ratings from Nielsen Media Research saw Sydney and Melbourne talk stations Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB and Southern Cross Broadcasting's 3AW increase their dominance with 2GB taking its overall share up from 12.9 to 13.7 and 3AW increasing its share from 16.7 to 17.0.
On 2GB breakfast host Alan Jones increased his share from 16.4 to 17.1, helped in part by his popular campaign against the sale of Snowy Hydro whilst on 3AW fears for the ratings following a frequency change (See RNW Mar 23), various staff changes, a slogan "3AW football, the best" that some saw as tempting fate, and the revelations that "family-friendly, fish-kissing footy caller" Rex Hunt had paid for sex for many years (See RNW Columnists May 22) failed to affect the ratings. The station in the event performed particularly well in the important Saturday afternoon pre-match and match call period where its share rose slightly - from 15.9 to 16.0 whilst Austereo's Triple M dropped from 16.5 to 13.3 and ABC 774's share was down from 12.0 to 10.5.
Austereo had some better news in Sydney where 2-Day was again the highest rating FM station and Triple M displaced DMG's Nova in the coveted 25 to 39 demographic: For DMG it was a picture of gloom with Nova plunging from third to eighth and its new Vega station, which was re-launched last month lost share - down from 2.3 to 2.0: Vega did no better in Melbourne where its share went down from 1.4 to 1.2.
There was good news in Sydney, however for the Australian Radio Network's WSFM and Mix 106.5 as the former, in fourth place, increased share from 7.3 to 8.0 and MIX, in seventh place, increased share from 6.3 to 7.4 and also for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as ABC 702 moved up a rank to third and new breakfast host, Adam Spencer again increased share - up this time from 8.2 to 8.4, probably at the expense of Southern Cross's 2UE whose breakfast show hosted by Mike Carlton and Peter FitzSimons slipped back from 8.5 to 7.9 although they went up a rank to fourth as Nova dropped a rank to fifth with 7.6, down from 9.2. In mornings John Laws at 2UE retained a 7.7 share although yet again there was a sting as 2GB increased share from 14.4 to 14.7
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA 16.3 (13.3) - up from third; Mix 14.6 (14.1) - Down from first; SAFM 14.6 (13.4) - Down from second..
Nova with 10.9 (12.4) fell back but remained fourth with ABC 891 with 10.6 (11.5) holding on to fifth.
*Brisbane - Nova with 16.0 (15.2) - Up from second; Triple M with 13.4 (15.0) - same rank;
97.3 FM with 10.9 (9.8) - same rank.
*Melbourne - 3AW with 17.0 (16.7) - same rank; Fox FM with 11.7 (11.3) - same rank; ABC 774 with 11.4 (11.2) - same rank.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 15.3 (17.5) - same rank; Nova with 12.2 (12.0) - up from third; 96FM with 12.0 (12.6) - down from second.
*ABC 720 with 11.1 (10.6) pulled up a rank to end fourth:
*Sydney: 2GB 13.7 (12.9) - same rank; 2-DAY with 9.3 (9.8) same rank; ABC 702 with 8.5 (8.2) up from fourth.
* Nova with 7.1 (8.7 ) plunged from third to eighth whilst 2UE with 7.7 (7.9) was down a rank to sixth, behind WSFM up from seventh to fourth with 8.0 (7.3) and Triple-M up a rank at fifth with 7.9 (7.6)
Previous ABC, Australia:
Previous Australian Radio Network (ARN):
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Macquarie Radio Network:
Previous Southern Cross:
2006-06-22: UK national commercial sports station talkSPORT, now owned by UTV, has launched on the Northern Ireland Digital multiplex meaning that it is now available on DAB across the UK.
The station is already on the Freeview terrestrial digital TV platform, the Sky satellite platform and various cable offerings and on some WorldSpace services.
UTV Radio Chief Executive Scott Taunton said the launch timing couldn't be better as it coincides with World Cup soccer and added, "talkSPORT will continue to pioneer new digital platforms. Aside from broadcasting in Germany during the World Cup on DAB, the station has completed two test broadcasts on DRM platforms both in the UK and across Northern Europe."
2006-06-21: UK media regulator Ofcom, which last November slapped what was then a record fine of GBP 125,000 ( USD 215,000) on Emap's Manchester station Key 103 for racist comments and also for jokes about the death of hostage Ken Bigley made by a late night host James Stannage whom it subsequently fired (See RNW Nov 25, 2005) has now imposed another record radio station fine on Emap, this time of GBP 175,000 (USD 323,000) following complaints about comments on the breakfast show on its London Kiss FM by former host Bam Bam (Peter Poulton) who was dropped in a shake-up in April this year (See RNW Apr 29).
In all Ofcom fined Emap GBP 75,000 (USD 138,000) for an upheld fairness and privacy complaint (taking into account another similar complaint) and GBP 100,000 (USD 184,000) for a total of eight standards complaints that were upheld.
It also severely criticised Emap management saying that in its view "the number and seriousness of the breaches between April and November last year suggests that for a substantial period of time the compliance of the show was evidently not under proper control. There appeared to be a total inability of management to impose structures to ensure that there was adequate compliance with Ofcom's Codes It appeared to Ofcom that Emap Radio had little control or sight of local management and was not seeing any warning signs until it was too late."
Ofcom noted that senior management at the company admitted to, what they referred to, as taking their "eye off [their] core duty" because of involvement in the takeover of Scottish Radio Holdings but also that since November 15 last year there had been no further code breaches by Kiss.
The fairness and privacy complaint related to a wind-up call made by Bam Bam's sidekick "Streetboy", who is still with the station, after the complainant, listed only as "R" and who wishes to remain anonymous, left his telephone number on Streetboy's voice mail, believing it to be his Human Resources officer's voice mail.
The complainant had hoped to discuss redeployment opportunities following his redundancy but Streetboy returned the call posing as the Human Resources officer: The call was recorded and broadcast on air without the complainant's permission
During the call Streetboy denigrated the complainant's capabilities with comments like "it doesn't seem like you have the qualifications I mean you are really not what we are looking for you thought you had a chance! could you not bother calling me again, 'cos you're wasting my time to be quite frank" and then went on to tell an increasingly distressed caller "to go and flip burgers or something."
When the item ended, says Ofcom, the presenters were heard laughing and acknowledging that Streetboy was "dealing with this guy's whole future and career oh my God". It said Emap Radio told the Committee that it agreed that this was a "horrible intrusion into someone's privacy and degrading someone in public it was also extremely bad for the radio station" and said its view was that this was "the most serious case of unwarranted infringement of privacy it had heard" and added, " the broadcast was devoid of any justification of public interest and could have had a serious effect on the individual concerned, whose deep distress was evident."
Ofcom said "to have conducted the hoax telephone call with Mr R was a serious offence in its own right, to then broadcast it was incomprehensible, but to broadcast it without consent was inexcusable, and to broadcast it without anyone with responsibility for the station's output listening was an abject failure of both compliance procedures and management."
The standards cases, said Ofcom, "breached rules primarily concerning the protection of children" and it went on to give details including "inappropriate" comments about anal sex; comments about group sex; inappropriate language during a Streetboy wind-up call in which he said someone was "were driving like a proper wanker"; comments about people who squirted water over actor Tom Cruise in which the words used included "crap", "shite", "shit", "arsed", "what cocks are writing that", "cacked" and "vagina"; a broadcast in which the presenters asked for suggestions which involved substituting the word 'muff' ('muff' refers to the female genital area) for love; another programme when a presenter spoke of shagging a woman in the shower; and yet another wind-up in which a man who was being asked to pay a parking ticket, told the presenter to "fuck off" several times."
Emap said it had fired the breakfast producer and moved the Programme Director as well as setting up new procedures and although they could not give a "cast-iron guarantee" that there would not be complaints in future because of the nature of live broadcasting they thought they could guarantee they would not again to have to try "to defend a cumulative number of complaints or any individual cases that were as serious as Mr R's case."
RNW comment: Admittedly this was not just for one offence but the penalty did top the current maximum for an indecent broadcast in the US. What does seem to us unjust about this case is the effect on the complainant Mr. R, who presumably in the US might well have been suing for massive damages.
Often we feel such cases are not to the overall public benefit but here we're not so certain and feel that it would be fair for Emap to offer Streetboy an involuntary option, assuming he is paid more than Mr. R, to exchange incomes for a year or face his own redundancy!
Previous Poulton (Bam Bam):
Ofcom ruling (23 page, 100KB PDF):
2006-06-21: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the issue of media ownership on the agenda for its Open Commission Meeting today, a move long expected as soon as the commission was at full strength.
The issue has already led a number of those critical of the previous proposals for easing ownership restrictions to call for more public input into the process this time round including the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) which says that this time the commissioners should provide for a timeline that will allow for meaningful public discourse on any re-write of media ownership regulations.
AFTRA National Director of Legislative Affairs Thomas R. Carpenter said in a news release, "In 2003, the Federal Communications Commission attempted a sweeping re-write of regulations governing media ownership, which, had it prevailed, would have resulted in alarming consolidation of media ownership" but that the commission did not listen to the public outcry leading the courts and Congress to intervene.
"The 2003 consolidation juggernaut was stopped briefly, but now, the FCC is once again preparing to gut its ownership regulations," he added, saying AFTRA members were contacting the FCC to "let them know that the public needs to be heard before any new ownership rules are enacted."
Similar calls have been made by others including members of the Future of American Media Caucus- primarily made up of Democrats, which is calling for the FCC to "strengthen existing rules to create a more diverse media." The caucus in a letter sent to FCC chairman Kevin J Martin earlier this month said, "Put simply, we believe that any action on media ownership similar to what was proposed by the FCC in 2003 would be an unmitigated disaster" and added, "We hope that the FCC will move to strengthen existing ownership rules to guarantee an array of content and wide variety of viewpoints for everyone seeking news, information, and culture across our country."
The FCC has also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and called for comment on the report of the recommendations of the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks:
The report skirts around making any direct criticisms but reveals many shortcomings in communications after the hurricane. It notes that radio broadcasters reported few tower losses with the biggest cause of broadcast outages being "the wind displacing and causing misaligning antennas" allied with "lengthy power outages - which substantially exceeded back-up generator capabilities". It says that "Power outages at the viewer/listener end were also an issue as they prevented broadcast transmissions from being successfully received" and notes, "Additionally, the lack of security for broadcast facilities and repair personnel impeded recovery efforts."
"Nevertheless, " it says, "within three weeks after Katrina, more than 90 percent of broadcasters were up and running in the affected region.53 However, in the areas most impacted by the storm, the vast majority of stations remained down much longer."
All the commissioners issued statements, which are posted on the FCC web site, about the issues raised.
FCC web site:
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ( 600 kb 82 page PDF):,
2006-06-21: The BBC has launched an inquiry into a spoof news item - for which Radio 2 host Jeremy Vine has apologized - saying that Soham murderer Ian Huntley, found guilty of murdering two schoolgirls in 2002, had been killed in his cell: BBC Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas said some items in the fictitional news should not have been broadcast.
The "news" was broadcast around 13:08 during a discussion about what the UK might be like if it were run by tabloid newspaper editors and Vine introduced a news bulletin from "Radio 2 and a quarter" before a female newsreader read a bulletin with a lead story that Huntley had been killed in prison and continuing," The Home Secretary, who is also the editor of the Sun [The top selling UK tabloid newspaper], said the people who did it would be caught and placed on the Queen's honours list."
It was followed by a second item saying health and safety laws were to be scrapped and quoting the trade secretary - who was also editor of the Daily Star - saying, "At last children will be able to play conkers and snowballs again but we aren't sure what we'll put in the paper."
The programme came amid criticism that the current government was making laws according to tabloid newspapers' agendas including comments from a senior police officer who said government plans to toughen the law on paedophiles were being driven by tabloid newspapers.
The spoof news bulletin was followed by Vine saying, "That was not the real news, by the way, just our idea of how it might sound if Britain were to be run by tabloid editors" before going on to discuss the issues involved with Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun newspaper and chief executive of the former Wireless Group, and Guardian newspaper columnist Polly Toynbee.
Some listeners took the report seriously and at the end of the show, which runs from noon to 2 p.m., Vine apologised, saying, "Some of our listeners may have been misled. We would like to apologise for any offence this may have caused."
Of the programme he said," "We were discussing what Britain would be like if it was run by tabloid news editors. We ran, labelled completely clearly, a bulletin of spoof news items which might happen if the country were to be run by tabloid news editors."
BBC news reported that journalists made calls to the Home Office and the police after rumours spread that Huntley had died
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police, which investigated the Soham murders four years ago, criticised the BBC for being "irresponsible" and said they had been put in a position where they had to contact the families of the murdered girls to let them know the reports of Huntley's death were untrue.
The BBC normally makes audio of the programme available for a week on its web site but has removed all the audio of Tuesday's show.
2006-06-21: Satellite Radio web site Orbitcast has posted details of a patent application by XM for combining XM reception with an iBiquity HD transmitter rather than FM modulator to allow it to be received with better technical quality.
The 10 page Patent application goes into some detail not only of use of the idea to re-transmit XM but also to allow the transmission of signals from a CD or MP3 player.
RNW comment: This is an idea that we welcome but a patent application that in our view should go straight into the rubbish bin - and ideally ought to land XM - and others who try to patent such ideas with a significant penalty.
In essence it seems to us to outline a process rather than particular invention and were it to be granted could stifle development of a promising idea and one that would be much better left to a free market to advance in much the same way as equipment to convert various TV signals to a different standard, although rightfully patentable when it comes to detail of how the process is carried out, serves the market much better because a number of manufacturers could develop the technology rather than having to get a licence for the idea.
So full marks for thinking the obvious - stay in the digital domain - and a big black mark for trying to patent it as an idea.
Orbitcast web site - links to 620 KB PDF of patent application:
2006-06-21: The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has sent two of the three applications for a new youth-based South West Regional Licence (See RNW Apr 20) forward to an oral hearing on July 17 and has also awarded the Galway City community of interest service in principle to student station Flirt FM for a further ten-year term.
In the case of the regional licence the applications from Carrarush Ltd. (Red FM South West) - backed by Cork station Red FM - and Spin South West Limited - in which Dennis O'Brien's Communicorp, would own 45%, Clare FM 15% percent and Setanta Radio Holdings 10% - go forward as each being of sufficient quality to qualify for the second phase of the licensing process: The third application from Fresh FM Ltd., backed by publican Louis Fitzgerald and Con Scanlon of Eircom has been rejected. A final decision on the licence award is expected in early September.
2006-06-21: UK Channel 4 Radio has announced a tie-up with Universal Music UK Limited in its bid for a new national digital multiplex that is expected to be advertised at the end of this year.
In a statement on the agreement it says Universal will not provide a branded station but will work closely with Channel 4 radio to help it achieve its ambition to "innovate and revitalise commercial music radio in the UK.."
Channel 4 says a "key role of the partnership will be to identify new opportunities for music exploitation on digital platforms, new radio and music formats, cross-promotion and content exploitation across the new multiplex" and its Director of Radio Nathalie Schwarz commented, "We have always said that music programming will form a key part of our plans and partnering with Universal Music is an enormous measure of support from the music industry."
"Digital technology," she continued, "offers the music industry some incredibly exciting opportunities but it needs to act now to embrace this change. We want to give control back to the people that matter, the artists and listeners - people with a passion for music - to create really groundbreaking music programming."
Previous Channel 4 Radio:
2006-06-20: Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin in an interview with Broadcasting and Cable argues against government regulation of broadcasting and says in relation to calls from the National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) for regulation of satellite radio that he is "a little embarrassed to see where the NAB is today."
Karmazin adds that in his view it has taken a "foolish position" and continues, "And now the NAB is spending more time talking about who should be regulated as compared to defending the industry against regulation. I feel sorry to see what their viewpoint is; I think it's misguided. I would've hoped the NAB would have been talking about why the content shouldn't be regulated and where the government should go the other way, rather than pointing fingers and saying, "But why aren't you regulating all of these others?" It just is a silly argument for an organization to make."
He strongly opposes suggestions that subscription services should be regulated, saying the only point of regulation should be to protect children from some speech and as far as subscription services are concerned, "It's a totally lame argument, but the facts are that satellite radio is a subscription service that you are paying for With satellite radio, like cable television, if you don't want it to come into your car or you don't want it in your home, you can program your receiver. But if you don't want to program it, you can contact us, and we will make sure that that channel, whichever channel it is, won't get into your car and home. Unlike with free, over-the-air broadcasting-where there is no way you can block the radio signal from coming into your car AM/FM radio-there is an easy solution to have it blocked if a parent doesn't want it."
Karmazin adds that he thinks the US government "is causing more harm to America than a view of Janet Jackson's top for two-tenths of a second", not defending the breast baring but opposing the reaction saying "it's hard for me to find any harm that has been caused."
Karmazin says small broadcasters won't be able to risk the kind of penalty they now risk and will shy away from airing any risky content.
Karmazin also emphasises the primacy of content as a driver to gain subscribers saying, "The reason people are, in huge numbers, becoming Sirius subscribers is not the cool-looking satellites we have or the cool-looking radios we have. It's our content great content doesn't come cheap, and I'd much rather focus on monetizing that content than not having that content."
He also comments that the settlement of the lawsuit with CBS that gives Sirius "20 years' worth of Howard Stern content, which amounts to over 20,000 hours of his show, for what amounts to about $400,000 a year" as "probably the best content deal I have done in my career. "
Broadcasting and Cable interview:
2006-06-20: Arbitron has announced that, continuing increases it began in 2002, it is to boost the sample size for its RADAR network radio ratings service a quarter to 125,000 diary keepers by the release of RADAR 92 in March 2007
The increase will be staged and for this month's release of RADAR 89 Arbitron has increased the sample from its current 100,000 to 106,299 diaries.
Previous RADAR (RADAR 88)
2006-06-20: UK Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday "co-hosted" [RNW comment: The BBC description but it seemed more to us that he was more of a guest who was actively involved but mainly reactive to questions asked] soccer phone-in show "606" on BBC Radio Five Live with regular host Adrian Chiles, commenting on the eve of today's England v Sweden World Cup Group B game.
In his comments he said Owen Hargreaves, who is expected to take a midfield role in place of Stephen Gerrard, should be given the opportunity although he also said he would ideally like to play Gerrard and fellow midfielder Frank Lampard together.
The Prime Minister, reportedly an England and Newcastle United fan, made no comments that were especially contentious and went along with the current views on the England team's performance after it won its first two games but did not play particularly well, saying, "I don't think we've been really, really tested and I think the players know they can play a lot better than that."
In another comment he said the World Cup had dominated proceedings at last week's European Union summit in Brussels, saying there was no "huge, burning issue" to discuss so most people were talking about football.
RNW comment: On the basis of the latter, our vote would be a deduction of at least half the expenses of the meeting from the pay of those present but then we wouldn't allow politicians any free tickets for sporting events unless they were actually performing an opening ceremony or presenting an award something that might reveal just how keen they really are - and some are - on events as opposed to freeloading at major competitions and claiming genuine interest.
We also noted that the BBC has now posted audio of the programme as an MP3 (17MB) as well as streaming audio .
2006-06-20: US National Public Radio (NPR) ombudsman Geoffrey A. Dvorkin, who is leaving to become executive director of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, says in a farewell posting that his six-and-a-half years as ombudsman taught him much and he was grateful for listeners' insistence that "public radio must live up to its own high standards", saying that "When NPR listens to its audience, it becomes a better news service."
He also expresses gratitude to NPR for "allowing me to do what I consider to have been the best job in journalism" and offers a number of tips for his successor. Among those are to be "a good listener"; "stay in touch with the newsroom" and "never turn down " a chance to meet listeners; and to take comments "seriously, but never personally".
NPR - Dvorkin farewell column:
2006-06-20: ABC Radio Networks' Satellite Sisters are promoting a fundraising campaign to keep Baghdad radio station Radio Al-Mahaba on the air.
The station has received death threats to staff and also suffered the loss of a transmitter, which was blown up by a car bomb, and the failure of its rented transmitter and the organisers are hoping to raise around USD 100,000 to keep the non-religious, non-governmental and non-sectarian station operating.
Liz Dolan, one of five Satellite Sisters, who launched the campaign at the American Women in Radio & Television's Gracie Allen Awards event, commented, "It is critical that women's voices be heard in the new Iraq. The women of Iraq are at a critical time in their history. They need information, validation and community in order to succeed in a new and free society. That's why Satellite Sisters is reaching out to Radio Al-Mahaba's broadcast colleagues and friends here in the United States. They will not be able to continue their critical mission without our help."
National radio awards presented at the Annual Gracie Allen Awards Gala were:
*Outstanding Feature - Hard News Radio to ABC News Radio for "Perspective";
* Outstanding Feature - Soft News Radio Awards to the World Vision Report "Angel of Burundi" and the WNYC Radio - Studio 360 report "Born Into Brothels";
*Outstanding Program Host Radio to Lia Knight for "The Lia Show" syndicated by Jones Radio Networks;
Outstanding Talk Show Radio awards to "Life's Work with Lisa Belkin" on XM Satellite Radio and ABC Radio Networks' "Satellite Sisters";
* Outstanding Magazine Program Radio award to Prairie Home Productions' "Literary Friendships with Garrison Keillor";
* Outstanding Documentary - Short Length Format Radio to ABC Radio Networks' "Multitasking Mindfully"; and
* Outstanding Documentary - Long Length Format Radio to "No Place for a Woman" from American Radioworks and Minnesota Public Radio.
2006-06-19: In our look at print comment on radio over the past week, one oddball Associated Press item stood out both for the report itself and the initiative shown by the broadcaster, in this case Sirius Satellite Radio.
The intro - courtesy in this case of the Washington Post - sums it up: "John McHugh (39) and Maggie Lee (22) expect about 50 people at their wedding Friday. Their wedding reception could draw more than 4 million. The La Crosse (Wisconsin) couple decided to forgo hiring a band or DJ and let Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. provide the music."
Lee e-mailed Sirius in February asking if a DJ there could play a few special songs for them and, she recalls, "They e-mailed us back and asked us to send them a playlist, so we sent them our top 10 list. Tuesday they called and said, 'Hey, do you mind if we make this bigger?'"
Sirius spokeswoman Elise Brown said DJ Lee Arnold will play the couple's songs and add personalized dedications over the air on the Sirius's Standard Time channel, which plays standards and big band music: She added, "We just thought theirs was a neat little story" and said she was intrigued by the couple's request because Lee was a fan of that musical era.
McHugh said the music brings back memories for his fiancée, commenting, "She was raised on a lot of this music. For me, I just like it because you can understand the music and there's nothing questionable so it's good for a setting where there are multiple generations."
Lee added, "We have family and friends throughout Wisconsin who won't be able to join us so we just told them to listen in."
After the happy start, a less happy second item from Gerry McCarthy whose Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times concentrated on reactions and reports on the death of former Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey and summed up quite neatly some of the dilemmas in reporting on the death of a politician with what at best could be considered a somewhat mixed reputation.
First noting an "elegiac edition of "Tonight with Vincent Browne" on Tuesday [The RTÉ Radio 1 programme is still available online] he said of this, "In a week when every careworn yarn was dusted down and banal interview clips from the most guarded politician since Eamon de Valera were recycled, Browne's reflections were among the few fresh insights into Haughey; but so sepia tinted were the recollections that Browne's programme was more a wake than a serious appraisal of Haughey."
Others got shorter shrift: "Elsewhere, John Waters mourned the great tribal chieftain. Positions already rehearsed to exhaustion were assumed one more time, from the mean-spirited ranting of Conor Cruise O'Brien ("The fart", as Haughey used to refer to him, according to Des Peelo on the News at One) to the posturing of Bruce Arnold ("A windbag" who fawned on Haughey when in power, as Browne indignantly asserted)."
And as for a brutal appraisal, "Only Fintan O'Toole, speaking from China to Shane Ross on NewsTalk 106's Breakfast Show, ignored the polite conventions and assessed Haughey in the starkest terms. Haughey, said O'Toole, was an organised criminal who undermined the state and prostituted his public office for his personal aggrandisement and enrichment."
And after one "decency" issue on to the question of "indecency" and the signing into law of the US Broadcast Indecency Act of 2005. Of the many reports on this that from Fortune we noted on CNN Money headed "Television's indecency problem" but considering radio as well, was the best summary we saw of the potential impact.
Considering the impact Marc Gunther wrote succinctly, "Cable's a winner. So is satellite TV and radio. Over-the-air TV and radio broadcasters are losers."
He noted that fines already levied were "meaningful" - "a record USD 7.9 million worth in 2004 alone - against the stations that aired TV programs such as the Super Bowl halftime show, Fox's Married by America and CBS's Without a Trace and noted that during that year "the FCC settled complaints against Viacom for USD 3 million, Clear Channel Communications for USD 952,500 and Emmis Communications for USD 258,000"
Terming the effects of the Act "A burden for broadcasters" Gunther said the broadcasters are hit in "two distinct ways. First, they must bear the costs of defending themselves against FCC enforcement actions and paying fines, which are likely to get bigger with the new legislation Second, they must live with programming constraints that don't apply to cable "
After further comment about cable taking better programming, Gunther says, "The same goes for satellite radio. Whatever you think of Howard Stern, Sirius Satellite Radio gave him a multimillion dollar deal to leave Viacom - and get away from the FCC's rules and fines."
The combination of the effects of this and technology - such as the V-Chip for TV that allows easy blocking of shows - writes Gunther "argues for less regulation, not more" and he quotes Utah federal judge Bruce S. Jenkins who wrote in a decision saying that cable could not be regulated by the state government: "That's one of the nice things about TV. There is no law that says you have to watch. There is no law that says you have to purchase a television set. There is no law that says you have to subscribe to a cable TV services...One of the greatest virtues of our system is the freedom to choose."
"The trouble is," concluded Gunther," the nation's broadcasters are gradually losing their freedom to choose what to put on the air."
Finally back to the UK Sunday Times and Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column - this time on UK as opposed to Irish radio that it McCarthy's patch - and commentary on current BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer's attitudes to late schedule changes.
Donovan notes a number of changes made at the last moment - certainly too late to go into the printer Radio Times listings but then concludes, "I think all this will make Radio 4 more agile and, in the best sense, unpredictable. But there are dangers with last-minute changes. Few things are more irritating than wondering why what you are listening to is not what is in the listings. News of the imperialism phone-in, for example, was evidently not given to the BBC's website, even though it was being trailed on the airwaves. If Radio 4 wants to be fleet of foot and dump advertised programmes in favour of something more exciting, great; but it must come up with a foolproof way of letting us know."
And now on to suggest listening and first for those with an interest in New Zealand we'd suggest a dip into the Radio New Zealand site and evaluation of the MP3/podcasts now on offer as it extends its range of offerings from today (See below).
Next for those with an interest in Ireland - and also politics and corruption - RTÉ's web site and that of NewsTalk 106 for the programmes on Charles Haughey that we have just mentioned.
The relevant edition of "Tonight with Vincent Browne" aired on Tuesday, June 13 whilst for NewsTalk 106 the relevant breakfast show is from the Wednesday June 14 when Shane Ross began the programme with vox pops and continued with more comments from the great and good and less great - the Finlan O'Toole excoriation of Haughey is around 25 minutes into the podcast of the show for that day (Those who don't want to bother with subscribing can get the MP3 directly from the link below as long as it is on the site). It will come as no surprise that a number of reactions to O'Toole's comments were along the lines of not speaking ill of the dead but a surprising number of comments agreed with the criticism.
Then to two programmes that dealt with the evolution of language: The first was BBC Radio 4's "Feedback" programme last week that included a number of young people commenting, in the light of criticism of Radio 1 Breakfast DJ Chris Moyles for using the term "gay" about a ring tone with the meaning lame" or "rubbish". The BBC Board of Governors had opted not to censure Moyles for the use and most of those spoken to agreed as they commented on how they used the term - which of course, before being appropriated as a synonym for homosexual had various older meanings, most commonly disposed to joy but also including being a term for a prostitute and also at one time a conventional form of praise for a woman as in Chaucer or Shakespeare.
The second suggestion in this light is next Saturday's "The Verb" on BBC Radio 3 (19:00 GMT), which looks at the changing language of the Book of Common Prayer.
Earlier in the evening "Jazz File" (17:00GMT) has the sixth and final programme of "Miles Davis at 80", looking at Davis's life from the early 1980s until his death in 1991.
Then BBC Radio 4 beginning with this week's "Woman's Hour Drama" - at 09:45 GMT inside the "Woman's Hour " programme or repeated at 18:45 GMT - "The Paxton Letters", a look at medieval Britain based on letters written by members of the eponymous Norfolk family between 1430 and 1495.
Also from BBC Radio 4 in the 17:30 GMT comedy slot on Wednesday is "28 Acts in 28 Minutes" - a radio variety show giving each act just 60 seconds for its routine. Later that evening (19:45 GMT) the station features "How to Beat...Jeremy Paxman" in which Steve Hewlett picks apart the technique of a man regarded as Britain's toughest television interviewer.
This in turn is followed by "The Vaccine Hunter" (20:00 GMT) in which Jeryl Lynn Hilleman presents the incredible story of her father, Dr Maurice Hilleman who may be little known apart from by specialists but is credited with saving more lives than any other 20th century scientists and is the only scientist ever to make a flu vaccine in advance of a pandemic.
And finally a half-hour from Thursday and BBC Radio 4 with "Imagining Albion: The Great British Future" (10:30 GMT) in which Francis Spufford charts the history of Britain - through its Science Fiction
CNN/Fortune - Gunther:
NewsTalk 106 - Podcast site:
NewsTalk 106 - Haughey programme MP3:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
UK Sunday Times - McCarthy:
Washington Post/AP - Sirius wedding programme:
2006-06-19: Radio New Zealand has announced a "significant " extension of its podcasting/MP3 output following what it terms a "very successful three month trial of the new service" that began in February and has now reached around 10,000 downloads a day.
Announcing the extension, which begins today, of the service Radio New Zealand Chief Executive, Peter Cavanagh said, "Over the past three months we estimate that there have been 400,000 programme downloads from the Radio New Zealand website - and the popularity of the new podcasting service is growing at more than 10% per week The rapid growth in sales of iPods and MP3 players means that more and more people are choosing to download their favourite radio programmes and listen to them when they want to hear them - rather than being restricted to listening live when we choose to broadcast them."
Radio New Zealand's website records more than half-a-million page impressions each month, with about 60% of the traffic coming from overseas audiences and Cavanaugh noted that the "audio-on-demand and podcasting services have proved particularly popular with New Zealanders living abroad who can now stay in touch with news and issues from home by listening to their favourite shows on the web. "
The programmes now available as podcasts or MP3s are:
Nine To Noon
Saturday Morning with Kim Hill
This Way Up
The Arts On Sunday
One In Five
The broadcaster offers more programming on demand as streaming audio.
Previous Radio New Zealand:
Radio New Zealand web site:
Radio New Zealand Podcasts/MP3s Web site:
2006-06-19: Arbitron's 2006 edition of Hispanic Radio Today, which related to a rapidly-growing section of the US population that is already the biggest minority in the country, illustrated it says that they are " heavy users of radio, spending significant time in particular with Spanish language-radio."
It notes that because of various countries of origin "Hispanics display sharp regional differences in their consumer and media preferences" and says radio is "uniquely situated to address these differences through highly-targeted programming that appeals to distinct groups."
"This, it adds, is one of many reasons why no other medium comes close to radio's extraordinary reach among Hispanics despite a proliferation of media options. Another is radio's mobility, which enables it to reach Hispanics whenever and wherever they prefer."
Arbitron notes that there are now more than 700 Spanish-language stations in the US out of a total of nearly 14,000 stations, a number up tenfold in the past two decades and up from 533 in 1998 to 715 in 2005.
The top five markets for Hispanic listeners are Los Angeles with a Hispanic population of around 4.4 million, New York with around 3.3 million; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood with around 1.62 million, Chicago with around 1.34 million and Houston-Galveston with around 1.31 million.
Radio according to Arbitron reaches more than 90% of most age groups of Hispanic listeners each week, peaking amongst women 12-17 at 97.7% and reaching a higher percentage of women than men in all groups except for those above 65 when it reaches 90.5% of men and only 86.8% of women - the only group where it falls below 90%. The peak listening group amongst men is the 53-44 demographic with 96.7% listening each week. The figures compare with an average for all Americans 12 and over of 95.4%.
In terms of time spent listening, Hispanics spend more time than the general US population and males spend more time listening than females for most demographics with peak listening of 24 hours 30 minutes for those over 65 and 24 hours 15 minutes a week from 25-44 whilst for females the peak is 23 hours 30 minutes for those 35-44, figures that compare to 22 hours 15 minutes for all Americans above 12.
For most of the day, listening is greater away from home although at home listening overall is greater from around 18:00 to 06:00.
In terms of formats overall, Mexican Regional is the most popular Spanish-language format with a 19.4% listening share followed by Spanish Contemporary with 13.1%, Spanish Tropical with 7.6%, Spanish News/Talk with 3.3% and Spanish Variety with 3.2%.
In terms of regional listening, Mexican Regional dominates the map with the exceptions of the East Coast where Spanish Tropical has the edge to the north and Spanish Contemporary to the South.
Amongst general music formats surveyed, CHR attracts nearly 8.9 million Hispanic listeners a week, just over 53% of them women, out of an overall total of just over 30 million listeners weekly followed by Adult Contemporary with a little over 5 million Hispanic leaders, nearly two-thirds of them women, out of an overall total of a little over 31 million listeners weekly.
Amongst Spanish-language music formats Mexican Regional attracts around 7.43 million listeners weekly, 58% of them men, out of a total overall of some 7.92 million; Spanish contemporary attracts around 7.36 million listeners weekly, 58% of them women, out of a total overall of some 8.17 million; and Spanish Tropical attracts around 3.52 million listeners a week, 53% of them men, out of a total overall of around 3.85 million.
Spanish news/talk attracts around 1.61 million listeners a week, 52% of them men, out of a total for the format of around 1.69 million.
Arbitron Hispanic Radio Today 2006 report (2.61 Mb 53 Page PDF):
2006-06-18: Yet again the most important regulatory news last week related to what may be to come rather than what has - in this case the signing into law of the Broadcast Indecency Act of 2005 with its consequent ten-fold increase in penalties by US President George W. Bush (See RNW Jun 16) and also the confirmation that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), now at full strength, will soon have another go at re-writing media ownership regulations: Elsewhere activity was more routine.
In Australia, during a quiet week, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has praised the imposition of fines totalling AUD 5,000 (USD 3,700) on the former licensees of an open narrowcasting service that broadcast at hundreds of times its authorized power (See RNW Jun 16).
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)has called for comments on a request by the Governor in Council to prepare a report examining the future environment facing the Canadian broadcasting system (See RNW Jun 13) as well as publishing a number of radio related decisions including the following (In order of province):
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language instructional campus station CKMO-AM, Victoria.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English- and Native-language Type B native station CICY-FM, Selkirk, and its transmitters CIPM-FM, Peguis, and CIFR-FM, Fairford.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language low-power specialty (Christian music) station CINB-FM, Saint John.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language community-based campus station CFMH-FM, Saint John.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of - and Native-language Type B native station CKUN-FM, Christian Island.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language Special interest music station CJRT-FM, Toronto, which is owned and controlled by a not-for-profit corporation and is in the CRTC's "Other Special FM" category.
The licensee is also authorized to use Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) channels for the purpose of broadcasting a predominantly Tamil-language radio service and a predominantly Korean-language radio service.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CHST-FM, London.
The CRTC also issued a public notice, with a deadline for interventions or comments of July 20th that included the following radio-related matters:
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CFMI-FM, New Westminster, and its transmitter VF2341, Whistler.
*Application to renew the licence of specialty (Christian music) station CHVN-FM, Winnipeg.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CIQB-FM, Barrie.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CJDV-FM, Cambridge.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CKCB-FM, Collingwood.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CJOY-AM, Guelph.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CIMJ-FM, Guelph.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CFFX-AM, Kingston.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CFMK-FM, Kingston.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CKGE-FM, Oshawa.
*Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CKWF-FM, Peterborough.
* Application to renew the licence of English-language commercial station CFQR-FM, Montréal.
Another public notice from the CRTC referred to a public hearing to be held at its headquarters on August 1 with an agenda including consideration of the following radio-related matters:
Another public notice from the CRTC referred to a public hearing to be held at its headquarters on August 1 with an agenda including consideration of the following radio-related matters:
*Application by CIMM-FM Radio Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the current licensee, to acquire, as part of a corporate reorganization, the assets of the new English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking approved to McBride Communications & Media Inc. in March this year.
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec:
*Application by Standard Radio Inc. on behalf of a limited partnership to be established (SR Limited Partnership), to acquire the assets of Standard's broadcasting operations - 51 radio stations and related transmitters, seven transitional digital radio undertakings, two conventional television stations, and three radio networks - as a result of a corporate reorganization through which Standard will create SR Limited Partnership and cause it to acquire all of its broadcasting undertakings.
*Application by MZ Media Inc. to acquire the assets of the English-language commercial station CFMX-FM-1 Toronto, its transmitter CFMX-FM, Cobourg and of the transitional radio programming undertaking CFMX-DR-1, Toronto, Ontario from Trumar Communications Inc., a corporation owned and controlled by Mr. Martin Rosenthal. The value of the transaction is estimated at CAD 12 million (USD 10.7 million).
*Application by Jiska Westbroek to acquire the assets of the tourist radio programming undertaking CKFW-FM, Sorrell Lake, Ontario.
*Application by Groupe Radio Antenne 6 inc., to acquire the assets of the French-language commercial radio programming undertakings CFGT-AM and CKYK-FM, Alma, as a result of a corporate reorganization involving the wind-up of Radio CKYK FM inc., the current licensee of the above undertakings. The applicant is also requesting new licences to continue the operation of CFGT and CKYK-FM under the same terms and conditions as those in effect under the current licences, except for the transmitter CKYK-FM-1, which has been taken out of operation. Control of the stations continues to be exercised by Groupe Radio Nord inc.
There were no radio decisions announced in Ireland but in the UK Ofcom has now published the reasons for its award of the new commercial FM licence for Newry in Northern Ireland to Five FM (Newry and Mourne FM Ltd) (See RNW Jun 17):
Ofcom also announced the receipt of six applications for a new Bristol commercial FM licence and five applications for a new Oxford & South Oxfordshire commercial FM licence (See RNW Jun 13).
In addition Ofcom also published its sixth media literacy bulletin, an issue that ignored radio, and, in an echo of attitudes in the US, hinted at potential large fines on the BBC should Radio 1 not curb bad language, which it had ruled breached its regulations (See RNW Jun 13): The BBC has already said that it will consider fining hosts who offend twice within 12 months.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as already noted, now has the power to levy a USD 325,000 penalty - ten times that it could formerly levy - following the singing into law of the Broadcast Indecency Act (See RNW Jun 16).
The FCC also announced that it is ready to award 36 more construction permits relating to its Auction 62 (See RNW Jun 13).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-06-18: Not content with interrupting programming with mere generalised advertising, Google envisages personalized advertising on automobile radios according to a post on ZD Net.
In it Donna Bogatin says Google CEO Eric Schmidt "believes that when he is listening to the radio in his car, radio ads should personally address him about his needs. For example, while driving past a clothing store, a radio ad should remind Eric that he needs a pair of pants and instruct him to turn left at the upcoming clothing store."
The blog says Schmidt gave some details of his vision for GPS location-based delivery of highly targeted and personalized advertising via in-car radios at a luncheon with a group of publishing executives in New York City and predicted that it would be realized within the next one or two years but did not elaborate how dMarc Broadcasting, that it bought in January (See RNW Jan 18) would enable such delivery.
RNW comment: As we find adverts generally a turn-off we can't exactly see this as a great advance. In addition the idea of the car radio telling Eric he needs a new pair of pants is guff unless he's prepared to enter this into a database - or allow Google to not only track his online searches for potential purchases but also tie them into advertising to be delivered by radio as well as when on the internet where it is easier to ignore it. Google may well solve some of the problems associated with technical delivery- we can just hope that the reaction to any introduction of the idea is such as to hit them hard in the pocket. Maybe time to change search engines.
2006-06-17: Mexican radio group Grupo Radio Centro says it is to initiate proceedings in the Mexican courts to recover up to USD 15 million in amounts that it had prepaid for future services to be provided by Infored, producer of its former top-rated "Monitor" news programme and Gutierrez Vivo, host of the programme, under the contract between the parties.
The decision to take action follows a final Mexican court ruling that set aside the arbitration award issued against Grupo Radio Centro in a proceeding brought before the International Chamber of Commerce (the "ICC") by Infored, S.A. de C.V. and the host that led to the award of USD 21 million against Grupo Radio two years ago (See RNW Mar 4, 2004) .
The matter has been before the Mexican Courts since then and Grupo Radio says Friday's court decision is not subject to further judicial review in Mexico.
It notes that it had recorded a provision for liability related to the award that amounted to MXN 253.6 million (USD 22.4 million) at the end of March this year, a provision that will now be reversed and recorded as an extraordinary income item.
Grupo Radio says that in addition to plans to recover the money it had paid for future services it also plans to continue the two legal proceedings against Mr. Gutierrez Vivo and Ms. Maria Ivonne Gutierrez Vivo that had been suspended pending a final determination on the arbitration award.
It, a subsidiary four minority shareholders brought the suits to seek rescission of a stock purchase agreement relating to two radio stations that had been entered into in connection with the contract that was the subject of the arbitration proceeding.
Previous Grupo Radio:
2006-06-17: Denis O'Brien's Communicorp Group, whose plans to expand in Ireland we reported on earlier this month (See RNW Jun 12) is reported to be close to finalising its purchase of Bulgarian radio stations Retro Radio and Gong.
Dnevnik, Sofia, reports that all that is now needed is regulatory approval and values the deal for 70% of the stations at more than Euros 3 million ( USD 3.8 million) and quotes Communicorp's local representative Atanas Genov as saying it will retain the station's formats but make them more commercial.
Two years ago Communicorp bought Metromedia International Inc. (MII) which, in turn, owns 100% of Metroradio EOOD, the holder of the broadcasting licences of the Bulgaria's BG Radio and Nova radio stations, and 75% of Radio TNN OOD, the owner of Radio 1. Genov said the company will develop the six radio brands it owns in Bulgaria independently and will bid for new frequencies in the country.
There is now considerable foreign ownership of Bulgarian radio stations that began with Emmis International's purchase of a two-thirds stake in radio group FM+ which comprises the FM+, Fresh and Mila Gold stations and was followed by SBS SA's purchase of three stations - Vitosha, Sofia-based radio station Atlantic and Plovdiv-based radio station Ritmo - and News Corporation's Balkan News Corporation purchase of Radio Company CJ, which owns the Jazz FM, Classic FM and NJoy radio stations.
Dnevnik a.m. report:
2006-06-17: UK media regulator Ofcom has now published its reasons for the award earlier this month of the new commercial FM licence for Newry in Northern Ireland to Five FM (Newry and Mourne FM Ltd) against competition from Quay 100 Ltd (See RNW Jun 9).
It commented that "while Five FM's business plan was highly ambitious compared to the financial performance of existing UK stations of a similar size, the station's ownership by two well-established Northern Ireland media owners (the Alpha Newspaper Group and Irish News Ltd) has provided it with an impressive level of funding, enhancing the likely ability of Five FM to maintain its proposed service." It also said that Five FM would also be likely to benefit - particularly in terms of sourcing national advertising revenue - from being part of a commonly-owned 'cluster' of local stations alongside Six FM in Cookstown and Seven FM in Ballymena and noted the executive management team's track-record in operating small-scale commercial radio services in the Republic of Ireland.
In regard to programming it said that format commitments given "to a raft of local sports coverage and a range of half-hour special interest programmes, was consistent with the group's stated philosophy of providing distinctive local programming, and would extend choice in the market by significantly improving the availability of Newry-specific news and other kinds of information for listeners in the area" and added that "it was felt that Five FM's bias towards 90s and 00s music would be likely to differentiate the service from the clearly older music output of Downtown Radio, while the inclusion of some older tracks in its mix, plus specialist country music programming, would provide points of difference from the more contemporary Cool FM."
It did, however say that the evidence of demand or support for the service was lacking in quality in some areas but did include "a particularly comprehensive advertising survey (interviewing some 130 current local advertisers in the area) which helped to demonstrate the potential commercial viability of the proposed service."
2006-06-17: Australian Broadcasting Corporation host Geoff Bennett, who presents ABC Classic FM's "Weekend Life" on Saturday and Sunday afternoons is retiring from the ABC next month after 18 years with the network and 35 years as a broadcaster. His last programme will air on Sunday July 2.
Bennett worked for several commercial radio stations in Sydney before moving to London, where he broadcast for Thames TV, several BBC Radio networks, and freelanced with Blue Danube Radio, Vienna. He has also written and lectured on music and broadcasting and led specialist tours to Europe and the USA.
Paying tribute the Corporation's "Inside the ABC", ABC Classic FM Program Manager John Crawford comments, "Geoff's contribution to ABC Classic FM has been immense. He is an "all round" radio person such as we see only rarely today; he is as able to present news as convincingly as a concert, do an interview as easily as improvise around the unpredictable outcomes of live concert presentation. He will be sorely missed by both colleagues and listeners."
Inside the ABC's latest edition also has a sidebar story of "The indomitable spirit and laconic humour of Australians battered by the elements" with the tale of an Innisfail, North Queensland, couple whose home was badly damaged by Cyclone Larry.
They painted a sign' Just Larried' and displayed it above their battered residence: It became a symbol for the town and was the unanimous choice of the locals for the title of a free concert that the ABC mounted last month as a tribute to the people of Innisfail and surrounding communities.
Previous ABC, Australia:
2006-06-16: US President George W Bush has signed into law the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 that increases ten-fold to USD 325,000 the maximum penalty the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can impose for a broadcast indecency offence, terming the measure "a good bipartisan bill" that is "going to help American parents by making broadcast television and radio more family-friendly."
He went on to thank "the members of Congress who worked hard to get this bill passed" making specific reference to a number of lawmakers - all Republican - including Senators Bill Frist, the majority leader and Ted Stevens, who were present at the White House for the signing, and also
Senators Sam Brownback and also House Majority Leader, John Boehner and bill sponsor Fred Upton.
Bush commented that "Every day our nation's parents strive to raise their children in a culture that too often produces coarse, vulgar and obscene entertainment" and after commenting that parents had the final responsibility for what their children watched, the website they visited, and the music they listened do, added, "Parents are the first line of defence, but broadcasters and the electronics industry must play a valuable role in protecting our children from obscene and indecent programming."
"Unfortunately, " added the President, "in recent years, broadcast programming has too often pushed the bounds of decency" and he went on to comment on the increased use of profanity on TV " a bad trend, a bad sign" and the increase since 2,000 of the number of indecency complaints from just hundreds a year to hundreds of thousands [RNW comment: A somewhat misleading spin in view of the fact that the evidence is that the vast majority of complaints have come from e-mail campaigns from just a few organizations with most involving just the click of a button to forward a pre-prepared e-mail: We wonder what the figures would have been if e-mail complaints were not allowed and those concerned had to go to the minimum extra effort of printing out, signing, and posting their complaint.]
Bush then went on to say, "The problem we have is that the maximum penalty that the FCC can impose under current law is just USD 32,500 per violation. And for some broadcasters, this amount is meaningless. It's relatively painless for them when they violate decency standards. And so the Congress decided to join the administration and do something about it... And so the bill I'm about to sign, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, increases tenfold the penalty that the FCC can impose, to $325,000. The Congress got serious. And I appreciate their hard work on this measure."
2006-06-16: GCap Media in what it terms a "first for the industry" has announced a new radio quiz show to be funded entirely by premium rate phone calls.
"Cash Call", will be produced by Somethin' Else, the UK's leading cross-platform production company, and Optimistic Media, the participation and entertainment TV production arm of Optimistic Entertainment plc. and will air on Sundays from midnight to 02:00 on most of the stations in GCap's One Network of 38 stations including Capital FM and BRMB starting "in the next few weeks" although Capital's web sit so far does not list it in this week's schedule.
It will be hosted by Capital Radio's Chris Brooks and listeners will be able to win a minimum of £1500 in cash prizes in each show: The broadcasts will feature segments such as Mystery Voice and Guess the Noise and the quizzes will be virtually uninterrupted with no commercial breaks and only three music tracks played during the show.
GCap Media Group Programming Manager Dirk Anthony said of the show, "Radio is at its best when it's interactive and prize competitions have always been a popular format with our listeners. By creating a dedicated quiz show, we're giving listeners a great new way of interacting with the station while implementing our strategy to develop new revenue opportunities."
The programme will be the first to be produced by Somethin' Else & Optimistic as part of a global joint partnership to create participation quiz shows for radio and it will be produced by Samantha Bryant of Somethin' Else and Executive Produced by Steve Ackerman, Managing Director, Somethin' Else, and Simon Willis, Director of Content at Optimistic Media.
Ackerman commented, "We have confidence in the format and hope very much that it will become a real alternative to traditional advertiser-funded programming."
2006-06-16: EMI has joined Sony BMG, Warner and Universal in agreeing a settlement with New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer's office to end "pay-for-play" practices in the music industry.
The third largest music label in the world, EMI will pay USD 3.75 million payment, which will be distributed through the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to New York State not-for-profit entities to fund music education and appreciation programs and has also agreed to make company-wide reforms including ending payments and inducements to radio stations or their employees to secure airtime and hiring a compliance office and setting up an internal system to detect any future abuses.
The amount paid compares to settlements of USD 12 million from Universal (See RNW May 12), USD 10 million from Sony-BMG (See RNW Jul 26, 2005) and USD 5 million from Warner Music (See RNW Nov 23, 2005). Spitzer has also launched a suit against Entercom (See RNW Mar 9).
In announcing the settlement, Spitzer's office said that its investigation "determined that EMI provided illegal financial benefits to obtain airplay and boost the chart position of its artists by bribing radio station employees with concert tickets, video games, and hotel and airfare expenses; providing a stream of financial inducements to radio stations to assist with overhead costs; using independent promoters as conduits for the illegal payments to radio stations; and engaging in fraudulent call-in campaigns to increase the airplay of particular songs."
"The EMI artists who have benefited from the payola scheme," it added, "include the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Norah Jones, and the band Gorillaz."
Under the agreement, EMI is severely limited in what it can give to stations - up to 20 copies of CDs it is promoting, with any further copies requiring prior written approval from a compliance officer; up to 20 concert tickets annually with the same provision for "legitimate" extra tickets; a limit of USD 150 per recipient per year in "Modest personal gifts for life events and holidays" with prior approval from a compliance officer; and similar restrictions on meals, entertainment, travel and lodging for radio station employees and a maximum value of USD 25 for promotional items supplied to stations.
Spitzer's office has posted PDFs of exhibits and the agreement giving examples of past breaches of payola laws such as provision of Toronto Stones concert tickets to the program director at WOTT-FM, Watertown, New York; of gifts such as a video game to Mike Danger of CBS's WXPY-FM, Rochester, New York; and providing airfare and a hotel to him and another station employee ; and also payment of fictitious invoices sent to it by Dave Universal, the former PD for Entercom's WKSE-FM, Buffalo - "EMI employees" it says in one comment "singled out David Universal as always requiring something in exchange for adding a song."
The posting lists stations belonging amongst others to CBS, Clear Channel and Entercom and says that "At the time when Clear Channel, CBS, and Entercom had exclusive arrangements with independent promoters, EMI's indie budget could be as much as USD 200,000 per song."
EMI settlement details ( 30 page 258 kb PDF):
EMI Exhibits - 74 page 781 kb PDF:
2006-06-16: The Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority on Thursday announced that it was fining Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company Limited, operators of Commercial Radio, HKD 140,000 (USD 18,000) for broadcasts in which it promoted a poll "the Hong Kong female artiste whom I most want to indecently assault" earlier this month (See RNW Jun 6). It is the second occasion which a financial penalty has been imposed on Commercial Radio by the Authority.
In addition to the fine, the Authority has for the first time invoked its powers to direct Commercial Radio to broadcast an apology - to be broadcast at prime time by a senior member of its management on all its three channels - and directed the company to submit within three months a report on remedial measures taken to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.
The Authority says it will scrutinise the report carefully to ensure that Commercial Radio will adopt a more proactive and tighter monitoring system for its programmes in future.
In all the Authority says it has so far received 189 complaints about the promotion on the "So Fab" programme and it said it took the view that "as indecent assault involved sexual violence and was a criminal offence by nature, the programme hosts' remarks to ask listeners to vote for the female artistes they most wanted to indecently assault was of bad taste."
It said the broadcasters involved were experienced hosts so the promotion was not inadvertent and added "the light-hearted manner in which the hosts dealt with the subject gave listeners the wrong impression that the act of indecent assault was trivial and could be made fun of. The frivolous and insensitive treatment of such improper conduct and of what could amount to a criminal act could well be considered as denigrating and insulting to women. The programme also gave listeners the incorrect impression that it was acceptable behaviour to contemplate the idea of indecently assaulting a woman."
Following the furore about the broadcast, the station had already apologised for the poll as had host Leung Chi-kin, also known as "Sammy," in a recorded message posted on the internet. In addition it suspended him, co-host Kitty Yuen Siu-yee and their programme So Fab for two months from Monday June 12. Both it added would not be paid or allowed to take any new freelance jobs during the period.
The duo, the most popular hosts on the station, are currently hosting a game show on TVB, Hong Kong, and they also appear in TV commercials.
Commercial Radio's general manager Rita Chan said the station accepted the authority's decision to fine it and added that they promised to "enhance our staff's professionalism and sense of responsibility to society."
2006-06-16: Although a final decision to go ahead with the move has to be confirmed the BBC has opted for the Salford Quays site for its proposed transfer of various departments to the North West of England and is to treat Salford MediaCity:UK as its leading bidder: It adds that discussions will now be conducted with MediaCity on an exclusive basis "with a view to them being confirmed as preferred bidder, provided certain outstanding issues can be resolved within a limited period of exclusivity."
The BBC governors in confirming the choice say it "marks a significant step forward in realising a vision for a less London-centric BBC" and adds that the final decision "will be based on two key factors: whether the move represents value for money for licence fee payers, on which work is continuing; and the affordability of the project, with a final decision not able to be taken until the licence fee settlement is known."
The MediaCity site, which had been competing with a bid from Manchester's Central Spine, is on the Manchester Ship Canal with the proposed BBC site on a corner across a spur from the Lowry Museum and art gallery that in turn is on the opposite bank of the Ship Canal to the Imperial War Museum North.
The MediaCity web site promotes itself as having space in its 200-acre site for 1,150 creative and related businesses potentially providing employment for around 15,500 people. It is around ten minutes from the centre of Manchester by tram and is owned by Peel Holdings, which also owns the nearby Trafford Centre shopping mall as well as the Ship Canal, Glasgow Harbour, the Mersey Docks and John Lennon Airport in Liverpool.
The BBC, if it moves, will transfer some 1,500 staff from five departments - BBC Sport, Radio Five Live, Children's BBC, New Media and Formal Learning- from London and also move some 800 staff from its current existing Oxford Road Headquarters in Manchester.
MediaCity:UK web site:
2006-06-16: The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has praised the imposition of fines totalling AUD 5,000 (USD 3,700) on the former licensees of an open narrowcasting service that broadcast at hundreds of times its authorized power.
As a result of the excess power broadcasts of Cool Country Radio from transmitters at Glenbrook, Katoomba and Razorback in New South Wales by Transpax Pty Ltd and Australian Narrowcast Services Pty Ltd could be heard in large areas of Western Sydney.
In all magistrates at Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney , found the former licensees - who sold the business in 2005 - guilty of five offences and Michael Bedford, a director of the companies, was also convicted and fined on five charges of aiding and abetting the commission of the offences.
Commenting on the prosecution, ACMA Acting Chair Ms Lyn Maddock said the fines imposed by the court sent a strong message to the low power open narrowcasting industry: "If you have a licence for a low power service, you must stay within the limitations of your licence. Operating a high power service in breach of licence conditions undermines spectrum planning and the orderly operation of competing radio services."
The licences formerly held by the defendants were issued over the counter at nominal fee whereas High power broadcasting services are carefully planned and commercial licences command high prices when auctioned.
The matter had been referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions when the former licensees continued high power operation despite being issued with warning and infringement notices and ACMA is currently in discussions with the new licensee regarding compliance arrangements.
2006-06-15: BBC World Service has renewed and expanded its agreement with satellite operator Arabsat and will deliver 24/7 Arabic and English language digital radio services to much of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The services will include BBC Arabic service's flagship news programme "The World This Morning (Al-alam hatha al-sabah)" which sets the day's agenda every morning, seven days a week, and "Discussion Point (Nuqtat Hewar)", and, for English listeners, flagship programmes "Newshour" and "Outlook".
Arabsat President & CEO Khalid Balkhyour, commented, "BBC World Service radio enjoys a well established reputation throughout the Middle East for high quality news coverage, and we are proud to be their partner in delivering their services to our audience of 130 million listeners.
Arabsat has recently reconfigured its system meaning that listeners will have to re-tune their receivers to 11.861 MHz, FEC 3/4 Symbol rate 27 500. Channel IDs are 20 for BBC Arabic and 21 for BBC English.
2006-06-15: UK Chrysalis Group is merging its advertising and sponsorship plus promotions activities, traditionally split into two units, with the intention of being able to provide integrated advertising packages now wanted by advertisers and media agencies.
An early casualty of the change is the head of its national sales team Gerard Bridges, who is being made redundant after 11 years with the company.
The merged sales business will be organised in three groups, each aligned to particular media agencies and the company is also to appoint three new London sales directors.
2006-06-15: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ, BT and RadioScape are testing a limited trial of using DAB-IP (Digital Audio Broadcasting - Internet Protocol) to supply two live TV channels and two live radio channels to cell phone users in the Greater Dublin and North-East areas of the Irish Republic.
The trial is using the BT Movio service, soon to be available in the UK, to deliver RTÉ One and RTÉ Two TV and RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2fm using the DAB-IP system as an efficient means of broadcasting the services to an unlimited number of users at any time.
RTÉ Radio Head of Operations J.P. Coakley said of the trial, "We're excited by the potential of DAB for Radio and RTÉ's trials to date have been extremely encouraging. Perhaps it's an indication of the multimedia future that a radio platform is now hosting trials of television in this new format. DAB-IP is an immediate proposition, it uses spectrum that is available now and it works very well. I'd suggest that all those involved in developing or considering mobile multimedia technologies should see DAB-IP for themselves."
2006-06-15: Arbitron says its latest survey of Chinese language listeners in Los Angeles shows that nearly 60% of their listening is to Chinese language radio, adding that the leading English formats for these listeners are adult contemporary with 7.4% and classical music with 5.1%.
It also said that over a week 89.2% of the 338,900 Chinese-speaking Asian Americans in Los Angeles aged 12 and above in the area listen to radio, up from 88.3 percent for Winter 2005 and that they listen for an average of 16:45 hours each week, up 30 minutes from 2005.
The top five stations in the survey were MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting 's Mandarin station KAZN-AM with 120,100 listeners who listened an average 10 hours 30 minutes to give it a 22.3% listening share; Sino Radio Broadcast Corporation's Cantonese station KMRB-AM with 102,800 listeners who spent rather longer listening - 13hours 45 minutes- and gave it a 25% share; Pop CHR KIIS-FM with 75,000 listeners spending 4 hours 30 minutes listening to give it a 6.5% share; AC KOST-FM with 59,600 listeners spending 7hours listening to give it a 7.4; and KAHZ-AM's simulcast of KAZN-AM which attracted 54,000 listeners spending 9 hours 45 minutes listening to give it a 9.4% share.
MultiCultural Chairman and CEO Arthur Liu, whose stations reach, 62.6 percent of the Chinese-speaking Asian American audience who have attended some college and 53.7 percent of those who live in households with incomes greater than USD 75,000, said of the survey, "The Chinese-language community continues to represent a significant up-and-coming market for mainstream advertisers The Asian population in this country can boast of unparalleled levels of education and income. Through surveys conducted by Arbitron, broadcasters and advertisers can continue to quantify the size, composition and listening habits of the Chinese-language radio audience in Los Angeles."
2006-06-15: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says that local US radio and TV stations "generated a record USD 10.3 billion in public service in 2005, through a combination of airtime donated for public service announcements and money raised for charity and disaster relief."
The figure was up from up from the previous record of USD 9.9 billion in 2001 and included more than USD 1 billion of funds raised following the tsunami that hit many Asian countries on December 26, 2004 and Hurricane Katrina, which hit the US in late August 2005.
The figures come from an industry census sent earlier this year to more than 11,000 full-power commercial radio and television stations asking them to document the number of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) they aired, the amount of money raised for charity through direct station fundraising appeals, and funds raised for disaster relief during 2005.
NAB said the census did not include PSAs from groups like the Office of National Drug Control Policy that may have involved in-kind contributions or partial payment to stations, the value of advert revenue lost when stations carried breaking news stories related to natural disasters, or advertising lost from breaking weather emergencies, or "the value of public service at the broadcast network level, or the hourly value of broadcast station personnel participating in community charity events such as AIDS fundraising walks, breast cancer fundraising drives, and Toys for Tots campaigns."
NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr commented of the figures, "This is a census based solely on public service generated by local radio and television stations. Its results have been meticulously calculated and are extraordinarily conservative."
He added, "This year's survey affirms the longstanding fact that local over-the-air radio and television stations are collectively the number one provider of public service in America. Whether it's donating airtime for valuable public service announcements or raising money for charity and disaster relief, local broadcasters nationwide can be proud of the tremendous contributions they make in their communities everyday."
RNW comment: Although rather less heavy on PR guff than Clear Channel's figures released earlier this month (See RNW Jun 10), we would still take issue with the use of the term "extraordinarily conservative" about these figures.
The value of the PSA's says NAB was calculated "on a 'run of schedule' rate, which is one of the least expensive rates charged to commercial clients" but as we have already commented in relation to Clear Channel the adverts only have a real cost to a station if they displace commercial adverts for which funds would otherwise be raised.
If they do not, worthy though they may be, they are a form of public relations for the broadcaster concerned and the "extraordinarily conservative" valuation in our view would be nil.
NAB also comments that it did not include the value of revenue lost from breaking weather emergencies - it would take "extraordinary chutzpah" to include these - or ad revenue lost when stations carried breaking news related to natural disasters - in our view something that would take "chutzpah" to include. Maybe, of course, we suffer from a cultural misperception of the likelihood of most Americans interest in buying goods advertised while their homes are being blown or washed away in a storm?
On the other hand, if station personnel were on the payroll at the time they spent taking part in charity community events - as opposed to supporting these events in their own time - that could in our view be fairly included.
Overall, however, as with Clear Channel, the actual cost to the bottom line would be but a tiny fraction of the total - 10% we feel would probably be an "extraordinarily generous" estimate.
As with Clear Channel, however, we'll be happy to give NAB space to put its case - and to argue against it unless soundly made.
2006-06-14: Arbitron, which had planned to use its Portable People Meter (PPM) for Houston radio ratings from July, has now opted to continue to use diaries for this summer's ratings for the market according to a letter to subscribers.
In the letter President, Sales and Marketing Pierre Bouvard and President Operations, Technology, Research and Development Owen Charlebois say the company is sticking with "its commitment to not replace diary-based radio ratings in Houston with Portable People Meter radio ratings until the Houston PPM service receives Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation."
It does not give any specific details of the June 9 proceedings of the MRC PPM Audit Committee that reviewed information provided by Arbitron but does quote Media Rating Council Executive Director George Ivie as saying, "Progress toward accreditation of the Houston PPM Service is being made" and then continues, "Our Audit Committee has requested additional information, analyses and follow-up actions from Arbitron in some focused areas, which has narrowed during the audit process."
"This type of interchange," says Ivie, "is not unusual for a first-time accreditation proceeding.
As our process dictates the specific follow-up areas that remain between Arbitron and our Audit Committee are considered confidential audit information, and accordingly cannot be discussed. We appreciate Arbitron's excellent cooperation in the accreditation process to date."
Arbitron says it "is confident that the MRC will provide a clear roadmap that we can follow to achieve full accreditation for the PPM service in Houston" but in view of its agreement not to switch to the PPM until MRC accreditation is received will continue to use diaries in Houston for now. It says it cannot predict the time needed for the completion of the additional actions requested.
It adds that Arbitron will continue to release monthly radio and television demonstration data from the 2,000 person PPM ratings panel in Houston with July PPM demonstration data scheduled for release on August 17th and subsequent monthly releases to continue as scheduled.
2006-06-14: UK Local Radio Company programme director Gordon Davidson, a former News Editor at BRMB and subsequently Programme Controller of Century 100 when both were owned by Capital Radio, has left the company.
He had been with it since 2004 and the company's chief executive Richard Wheatly said Mr Davidson's departure was amicable and that the company was "sorry to see him go" although Davison will not be replaced the "foreseeable future" and his duties will be taken over by the company's regional programming directors.
Wheatly told the UK Guardian, which said Davison is to "explore new opportunities within the music and radio business" that Davison would remain a consultant and "a lot of great work for us but in a sense he has done that work now."
Previous Local Radio Company:
UK Guardian report:
2006-06-14: Clear Channel's WKSC-FM (Kiss FM), Chicago, has appointed Rick Gillette, who most recently has been vice president of music entertainment for Los Angeles-based DMX Music, as its program director to replace Rod Phillips.
Robert Feder in his Chicago Sun-Times column says Gillette will start in his new role next week and notes that since Phillips, who doubled as midday personality Rodney P., was forced out in March after around five years with the station consultant Steve Perun has overseen day-to-day programming.
Gillette, who previously programmed Detroit stations WHYT-FM (Top 40) and hot adult-contemporary WKQI-FM (Hot AC) said in a statement that he was '"thrilled" by the move.
Previous Clear Channel:
Chicago Sun-Times Feder column:
2006-06-14: Isle of Man International Broadcasting (IMIB) has acquired a radio ship, the St Paul, for its planned long-wave station according to the Isle of Man Today web site.
It says the vessel, currently in Denmark, was used until last year as the base for Radio 603 and had broadcast and had broadcast for 18 months from off the coast of the Finnish Aland islands.
The site says IMIB is to use the vessel as a temporary broadcast platform to demonstrate the economic viability of its operations before investing several million pounds in a permanent transmission platform for which it has permission (See RNW Jun 18, 2004)
It quoted IoMIB founder Paul Rusling as saying all the technical equipment needed to begin broadcasting has been secured and the antennae has been tested and is 'working well'. He admitted a "Minor setback" relating to finances but said that this shouldn't take long to resolve and a July launch was "certainly still do-able".
Isle of Man Today report:
2006-06-14: According to a Schedule 13G filing XM Satellite Radio's 5th largest shareholder has sold almost all its stock in the company.
Nevada Corporation TCW Group Inc., whose ultimate parent is French corporate and investment banking company Société Générale, S.A., held 5.2% of XM's stock at the end of March.
2006-06-13: The BBC, in response to an Ofcom ruling that bad language used on Radio 1 breached its rules allied with a threat of "of further regulatory action" that could include a fine of up to GBP 250,000 (USD 460,000) has said that it will fine presenters who offend twice within 12 months.
The Ofcom ruling came in its latest broadcast bulletin, which upheld two radio standards complaints - against Radio 1's breakfast show hosted by Chris Moyles and drivetime show hosted by Scott Mills - along with three TV standards complaints; considered a further six TV complaints and one radio complaint resolved by the action taken by the broadcaster; listed another TV standards complaint and a radio fairness and privacy complaint that it did not uphold - relating to a Radio 5 Live investigation into the trade in fake documents to people wishing to enter and remain in the country illegally; and upheld in part a TV fairness and privacy complaint.
In addition Ofcom listed with no details a further 99 TV complaints involving 83 items and 20 radio complaints involving 17 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld. The totals compare with one radio complaint and four TV standards complaints resolved; details listed of one TV standards and two TV fairness and privacy complaints not upheld; and a further 133 complaints against 121 items that were rejected or out of its remit in its previous bulletin.
The complaints against Moyles related to a broadcast in January in which, discussing people who urinated in the shower, Moyles said of women who did this "Thank you very much ladies, I shouldn't really say ladies - you all pee in the shower, you dirty whores"; a broadcast in February when a guest used the words "piss" and "twat" during an interview; and a later broadcast in February when Moyles said to a caller, "You've got some kids from some fucking " and then made a number of apologies for his language.
The BBC responded by saying that since these broadcasts new procedures have been introduced by Radio 1 under which presenters who accidentally swore or used other offensive language on air would be subject to disciplinary measures.
Should this happen twice within twelve months, the presenter would suffer a financial penalty and in addition programme teams had been reminded of the existing guidance on how to deal with offensive language from contributors, which included the possibility of persistent offenders being taken off air.
In respect to the complaints Ofcom ruled that in the case of the first broadcast the use of the term "whores" while intended to be humorous was inappropriate for a breakfast programme that attracts a child audience and in breach of Ofcom rules.
In the second case, where Moyles had asked the guest not to swear, it considered the matter resolved
In the third case it said, "While the use of the word "fucking" was clearly a slip of the tongue and was followed by a number of apologies, it was nevertheless unacceptable, given the context", noting that that audience figures suggested some 46,000 children would have been listening.
The complaint upheld against Mills related to a 'wind-up' call that was made by the co-presenter for the stated purpose of gaining 'revenge' on behalf of a listener who had nominated his partner for a 'revenge' call after she mistakenly threw away his football tickets.
The co-host "rang the woman at home and pretended to be from an after-school club that her son was due to attend. He then outlined what he said were the "rules of the club" which included: "Rule 1: I don't take any s***" and "Rule 2: Shut the f*** up" and referred to the woman's son as a little s***. As the exchange continued, the co-presenter called the woman an idiot and she became increasingly angry and upset. The co-presenter finally revealed his identity and explained that the woman had been 'set up'."
The BBC had responded to a complaint about this call by saying that a senior manager responsible for the show heard the item and immediately rang the studio to make clear to the team that it was unacceptable.
As a result it added it had re-evaluated what was acceptable at this time of day and "While on-air 'pranks' would continue to be a feature of the show, it had been made clear to all concerned that they will not in future include large amounts of strong language, even if bleeped, and that this particular call had crossed the line."
The BBC also said it accepted that it was not appropriate to treat a member of the public in this way and wished to apologise for any offence the item caused.
Ofcom said regarding this broadcast that it "resulted from a serious misjudgement" adding,"It is the latest in a number of findings against Radio 1."
"During the last year," commented Ofcom, "we have published five findings concerning swearing and/or inappropriately scheduled content. Two cases were in breach of the relevant Code. A further three cases were resolved due to action taken by the broadcaster. We appreciate the wide choice of content that is broadcast by the station, but we have concerns about the number and, in some cases, the seriousness of compliance issues that have arisen."
It concluded, "We recognise that Radio 1 aims to produce imaginative and innovative programming but the station also attracts a wide-ranging audience, including large numbers of children. It is, therefore, important that the station's compliance reflects this. Any future similarly serious compliance issues may result in the consideration of further regulatory action."
Previous Ofcom broadcast bulletin:
2006-06-13: The Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)has called for comments on a request by the Governor in Council to prepare a report examining the future environment facing the Canadian broadcasting system.
The call follows a speech to the Banff Television Festival by Heritage Minister Bev Oda who said as she opened the festival that whilst other countries began to look at their policies for the digital world decades ago Canada had not done so.
She added that it was becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between television, radio and the internet, and said a better understanding of changing audience habits is vital.
"Canadians, especially young Canadians, are increasingly moving away from traditional media sources and exploring options like iPods and the Sling box," she commented.
In its public notice, with a deadline for comments to be submitted of September 1, the CRTC says" The Governor in Council is of the view that the Canadian broadcasting system, using various audio-visual technologies, must remain relevant in a global digital environment and that Canada should continue to play a leading role in the development and usage of world class communications technologies while fostering Canadian cultural choices and broadening public access to local, regional, national and international information and programming."
The order asks for the report to deal with a number of topics including changes in this usage of audio-visual technologies by Canadians since January 2000; changes in demand for various kinds of programming and programming services since then; how Canadians of different generations use "various technologies and the impact that these different uses will have on the broadcasting system"; comparison of the rate at which Canada and other countries have adopted the technology; how future generations will consume or access content, programming, and programming services, and the impact of the evolution of technologies in various areas including the broadcasting system.
2006-06-13: Clear Channel is discussing the idea of "Blinks" - one-second radio shots - with marketers and media buyers according to Advertising Age.
The paper, which suggests that he real value of Blinks may be in the publicity they can generate, says Clear Channel denies this and quotes Clear Channel Radio SVP-creative Jim Cook as saying, "It really is to find new uses of radio for advertisers who are continually asking us to demonstrate that our medium can successfully extend brands, can successfully reach the consumer with touchpoints that are new and surprising"
Advertising Age reports that Clear Channel's Creative Services Group crafted a demonstration spot using the McDonald's jingle, minus the "I'm loving' it" language, and placed it between one hip-hop song and another. The group also created a Blink for BMW's Mini Cooper with a horn honking and man's voice saying "Mini," and placed it before miniaturized news reports.
It quotes Jim Gaither, director-broadcast at Richards Group, which has been in conversation with Clear Channel about three-second spots, as saying, "It's not building a brand; it's refreshing a brand. You can't use a one-second campaign for something that generally has not been advertised before."
Previous Clear Channel:
Advertising Age report (requires registration):
2006-06-13: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is ready to award 36 more construction permits relating to its Auction 62 in which it received 163 provisionally winning bids totalling a net USD 54.25 million for the 171 licences on offer (See RNW Feb 1) after last month announcing that it was ready to issue 54 permits. (See RNW May 9).
The permits involved are in Arizona (1), California (3), Hawaii (1), Iowa (1), Kansas (1), Michigan(1), Mississippi (1), Montana (3), Nebraska (2), New Mexico(1), Nevada (1), North Dakota (1), Texas (3), Utah (1), Vermont (1), and Wyoming (14).
Previous Auction 62:
2006-06-13: UK media regulator Ofcom says it has received six applications for a new Bristol commercial FM licence and five applications for a new Oxford & South Oxfordshire commercial FM licence.
The Bristol applications are from:
*B106.5 - Bristol FM Limited, which is offering a service targeted at 25 to 64 year old adults.
*Chill Bristol - GWR (West) Limited, which is offering a format of contemporary relaxing music with local information.
*Diamond 106.5 FM - the Macquarie Bank-backed bid offering classic rock during the day and modern/alternative rock in the evenings.
* Original 106 FM - Original Bristol FM Limited,- the Canwest bid with an offering of adult-orientated music with particular appeal to 40-59 year olds.
* Bristol's 106.5 Rock Radio - Bristol Sound Limited, which is offering rock from the past 40 years.
* Wicked FM - UK Media and Radio Bristol Limited, which is offering a full service modern rock station for people 20 to 44.
The Oxford & South Oxfordshire applications are from:
* Castle FM - Oxford Local Radio Limited, which is offering a service of music and speech for 35 to 64 year olds.
*Fox Gold - First Oxfordshire Radio Company Limited, which is offering a classic pop hit music led service.
* Inspire 106- Spirit of Oxfordshire Radio Ltd, which is offering an Adult Music Variety format.
* Jack FM Oxfordshire - Absolute Radio International Limited, which is offering a music-intensive station - the Jack FM format that began in Canada and spread to the US..
* More FM - South Central Media Limited, which is offering a service targeted at the 35 plus demographic.
2006-06-12: With the passage of the Broadcast Indecency Act last week and potentially much large penalties for broadcast indecency, where else to start this week but with Howard Stern?
There has been plenty of reporting on the Act itself but in our view most opinions are likely to have been formed on the issue although changes in attitudes may yet follow as action is taken and the free-to-air broadcasters tone down their shows and increase the shrillness of their lobbying for censorship on satellite and cable subscription channels: The best short comment we noted was in a "Primer" on indecency fines in the Washington Post that ended with the sentence, "A reflection of a nation that hasn't gotten over seeing Janet Jackson's breast for half a second at the 2004 Super Bowl."
On however to Howard, who was featured in a Reuters feature "Howard Stern finds 'rebirth' on satellite radio" run by a number of US papers: In it Steve Gorman says the host has "finally found contentment."
It quoted Stern as saying in an interview, "I tell you I'm at complete peace. I've never had more fun in my radio career than I'm having right now. It's like a rebirth."
That peace, however, Stern said had not taken the edge off his show and he added, "I'm not some happy, smiley guy who goes into the studio every day (and says) 'Oh wow! Today's a beautiful day, and there's nothing bad to be said. I'd have to go through a lot more psychiatry before I could change the persona of negativity that I live in."
And of his current show on Sirius, in an FCC-free environment he termed "absolutely liberating", Stern said, "I'm sitting back and having a blast because we're all talking, and no one is censoring themselves. I feel like I can be funny."
The article also quotes Michael Harrison, publisher of trade magazine Talkers who said Stern's popularity hinged on "his intelligence and his satire, not his profanity So whether he's bleeped or not is ultimately irrelevant to his success, because being dirty on the radio does not get an audience. Being clever does."
And as for the future? Stern says it's "inconceivable" that he'll ever return to terrestrial radio, saying, "I'd have to go back to the old rules and regulations and censoring myself... I just don't even want it in my life."
The article also notes that, even though a third of Sirius subscribers in a recent Jacobs Media Poll listed Stern as a major reason for their subscription (See RNW Jun 2) Sirius has only around 4 million subscribers whilst Stern attracted 12 million listeners when he was on terrestrial stations.
That audience formed the topic of a Washington Post report from Marc Fisher under the title, "The Audience Howard Stern Left Behind: Mysteriously, Neither Here Nor There."
He begins by noting of Stern's successors on terrestrial, "David Lee Roth flopped. Adam Carolla is sputtering along. And Elliot Segal -- of DC-101's "Elliot in the Morning" show -- won a bonanza of new listeners, but only temporarily The replacements and competitors who hoped to capitalize on Howard Stern's move in January from traditional terrestrial radio to the paying-customers-only world of Sirius satellite radio haven't exactly prospered."
Fisher gives a plug to Stern's replacements on WJFK-FM - "the Junkies, the quartet of local guys who yuk it up each morning with banter about sex, sports and other 'guy stuff'" who he says after an initial massive audience drip have steadily grown their audience and have now "nearly matched Stern's appeal to men 18 and older."
"But," adds |fisher, "radio executives are having a tough time figuring out where Stern's national audience of about 12 million daily listeners has gone" and he says that despite the "nightmares of radio executives" who feared they might switch to listening to music on portable plays or move their time to the internet "in Washington, as in much of the nation, the ratings numbers don't support that conclusion."
Fisher quotes Michael Hughes, the top manager of the five CBS-owned radio stations in Washington, including WJFK, as saying, "The question of losing audience to satellite could keep you up at night. But there's no empirical evidence that that's happening."
In D.C. says Fisher it would seem many Stern listeners initially sampled "DC-101 FM's resident bad boy, Elliot" whose audience initially jumped by more than half only to fall back to its previous level and he goes on to quote Lisa Wolfe, program director of all-news WTOP-FM as saying, "It seems to be a shotgun effect, where listeners landed in lots of different places."
Narrowing those places down Fisher says two winners do appear to be emerging as a result of Stern's move from terrestrial - National Public Radio whose "Morning Edition" audience is up -something Fisher terms "a reflection of Stern's appeal to a more liberal and urban audience that's demographically similar to public radio's listener base" - and Spanish-language stations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where the decline of former Stern stations has allowed them to "dominate morning ratings as never before."
And after Stern how about a tale or two of on-air embarrassment from Randy Dotinga in his North County Times column last week? Among them was the tale of some fooling around by Dave Mason, now morning newsman at KOGO-AM, San Diego, whilst working at a station in Binghampton, New York, in the late 1960's.
He and a fellow DJ signed the station off at 1.a.m. after which at some point Mason showed his colleague how to turn the transmitter on and off after which "they kept "laughing and scratching" through a late-night recording session."
A few hours later reports Dotinga, Mason's friend Bill went to the microphone and said, "Hey, dumb---, let's get out of here."
Mason reports that he then "heard something unusual for 4 a.m. in a station that had been off the air for three hours: The phones were ringing off the hook."
He recalls, "I picked up the line and heard a female voice say, 'Gee, it sounds like you're having fun, can I come over?' hat I didn't know was that I had to hold the off button for 10 seconds. To protect the transmitter from lightning hits, it had a reset to turn itself back on. So, the station had been on the air all night, but nothing went on the air until Bill fired up the control room mike."
Dotinga then picks up the point of why people would have remained tuned in to a station airing silence. "The answer: Lots of folks in upstate New York kept their radios on overnight and used the station as an alarm clock since it signed on each morning at 5 a.m. with the national anthem. Instead, their wake-up call came courtesy of a dumb--- and his friend."
And a brief mention of one final story relating to US radio before moving elsewhere, in this case Bill Virgin's Radio Beat in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Virgin takes up the issue of whether programming is live or local and does the listener care? In some cases they clearly do as he begins by noting that the move by KIXI-AM to "drop local hosts for a nationally syndicated service called 'Music of Your Life' has generated more response than just about any topic, format change or sudden departure of a personality in the eight-year run of this radio column" and adds, "Of the dozens of calls and e-mails, all but two have expressed unhappiness about the move."
Virgin says there's no clear answer as to what radio should do to keep listeners - in some cases localness had a value but syndication could work well as could voice-tracking and indeed trying to ape the iPod where he notes that KJR-FM has had success with a format of no hosts but just music with brief local news, traffic and weather reports in morning drive but that the Jack format on KJAQ-FM after initial success saw its ratings drop significantly.
Virgin quotes KJR program director Jay Kelly as saying it may come down to what listeners expect or are accustomed for each individual station, as well as "what you're trying to accomplish with the station."
Which is a reasonable context in which to consider the success or otherwise of U.S.-funded Radio Farda that concentrates on pop music to attract a youthful audience in Iran.
Farda, which gets around USD 7 million a year in federal funding, was the subject of a Washington Post report by David Finkel who reported on its operations from inside an office building in Northern Virginia.
He quotes Sara Valinejad, who emigrated from Iran a decade ago, as saying of the station, "In Iran, they don't allow you to be happy "whereas "It puts you in a good mood when you listen to this radio station."
Bert Kleinman, a consultant to Radio Farda said of the format he helped design, "The core of the mission is news and information" -- in a typical hour, 16 1/2 minutes of programming is devoted to news -- but 'we were tasked to reach out to the younger generation there. And quite frankly, you just can't do it with news.'"
We're not sure how much time Kleinman has spent listening to US talk radio though in view of his comments about the station's "What Do You Think?" feature that airs twice an hour.
"We try in the American tradition to have respectful dialogue," Kleinman says of this feature, which airs twice an hour. An acceptable topic, he says, is, "What should be done to improve the relationship between Iran and the United States?" An unacceptable topic would be, "Should the mullahs be overthrown?"
So it appears would be much current US music - of what the station airs Kleinman comments, "Adult contemporary Music with 'a happy beat to it.'"
"Madonna. Michael Jackson. The Gipsy Kings. Bob Marley," Valinejad says, looking over her playlist. "Abba. Enrique Iglesias. Phil Collins. Celine Dion."
Not everyone is happy with the approach and in a subsequent letter to the paper, James Critchlow, a founder of Radio Liberty, comments that the musical focus may give Farda large audiences "but it will never create the ability to affect political evolution that the Voice of America, the BBC and Radio Liberty had during the Cold War."
In contrast he says, " U.S.-funded Radio Liberty, by appealing to mature, well-educated listeners in the Soviet Union, regularly reached people close to the power structure. Émigré broadcasters, many of them well-known to their listeners as writers or scientists, voiced commentaries or took part in unhurried roundtables that examined questions of Soviet political evolution. Radio Liberty also gave lengthy airplay for documents from dissidents inside the Soviet Union."
RNW comment: As often it would seem both sides have valid points to make in this debate - we can easily see how Farda's output could help engender dissatisfaction with Iran's current internal repression amongst the country's youth - and this could have a long-term effect - but equally Critchlow is correct to say that "short of a mass uprising -- it can do little to change Iran's direction" albeit many would say exactly the same could be said of the output of the stations he champions and it could be argued that it was uprisings that led to the end of the former Soviet Union.
And finally before moving on to listening suggestions, Ian Johns in the London Times "Radio Head" column on Saturday noted the success of talk on the BBC World Service, which recently cut back on music and ditched comedies and quizzes.
Phil Harding, the service's head of the English Network and News, said on a recent edition of BBC Radio 4's "Feedback" programme that this was a case of responding to "80 per cent of the audience, which comes in for news and information".
John also noted success for talk on commercial stations in the UK but put things into context by noting "the statistic that 70 per cent of all listening in Britain is to music." He also indicated that he would prefer the more mixed fare that is currently aired by Radio 4, concluding his column by writing, "But I hope Radio 4 keeps its varied output. Even The Today Programme puts on a music item to show that there's more to the world than politics."
So on to listening suggestions and first "Feedback", the BBC Radio 4 programme mentioned by Johns. Last week's programme dealt with BBC 2 listener - or former listener - reactions to the hiring of Chris Evans as drivetime host, the use by BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Host Chris Moyles of the word "gay" that resulted in a complaint to which the response was that young people use the word to mean "rubbish" or "lame" - a topic to be dealt with at greater length in this week's programme on Friday (13:30) and of particular interest to use the broadcasts by the BBC of short stories.
It is the largest commissioner of such stories in the world, and the BBC web site currently has audio of the five short listed stories in the National Short Story Prize that this year was won, together with a prize of GBP 15,000 (USD 27,500) by "An Anxious Man" by James Lasdun. The programme also carried response to criticism - on the basis of "adult material" included - of Radio 4's scheduling during the UK half-term of Mary Wesley's biography "Wild Mary" as Book of the Week and of "Ottoline and Bertie", a dramatisation of the affair between Bertrand Russell and Lady Ottoline Morrell.
Sticking with Radio 4, we'd suggest "School of Rock" from Saturday, the story told by DJ Andy Kershaw, of the glory days of university venues for bands: Kershaw was Entertainments Secretary for the students' union at Leeds University, known, even if he did not book the gig, as the venue for "the Who live at Leeds" and which attracted many big name groups.
And for a third offering from Radio 4 we'd suggest last week's "Any Questions" and the listeners' response programme "Any Answers" for the comment on the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of which one panellist, former Liberal Party leader and until January this year the international community's High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Paddy Ashdown commented that he would have preferred to "see the man brought to justice":
Also on the topic al al-Zarqawi's death we'd suggest last week's "On the Media"from WNYC in which Rand Corporation terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman suggests that the still of the dead man may ultimately have the opposite effect to that intended in releasing it: Rather regrettably the comment by Colleen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, to the BBC that the three Guantanamo suicides were a "good PR move to draw attention" were made after this interview as we'd have been interested to hear what he might have said to this.
As a factually statement it's certainly true but its effect in the Muslim world as opposed to Republican Americans may not be as intended and it could yet be that the very public firing of Graffy could potentially be seen as also a "good PR move".
Next we suggest the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a combination of the oddball and spiritual cum politics available in its worthy list of MP3 downloads (or as a stream).
First the spiritual and "The Religion Report" that last week included an item on the persecution in Iraq of the little known pacifist sect, the Iraqi Mandaeans: The previous week's programme had included an item on the persecution in Iran of another small sect, the Baha'i whose activities Iranian leader Ayatollah Khameni has ordered monitored.
In slightly different vein the last two weeks of "Spirit of Things" looked at the importance of what it terms "bricks and mortar that are consecrated as sacred places" last week and the week before featured TV broadcaster Lord Robert Winston, who gained his peerage for fertility research and whose Orthodox Jewish tradition sees little conflict between science and religion
Finally from the ABC the oddball in the shape of "Night Air", the most recent edition of which was what it described as "that icon of Australian architecture: the shack."
Then a "green" programme from Radio Netherlands tomorrow in "EuroQuest" that among other things considers London's first comprehensive ethical fashion exhibition, the problems of disposing of mobile phones, and the way water is used as well as, in less green manner, the culinary options available for World Cup fans in Germany at the moment.
Also from Radio Netherlands we'd suggest last week's "A Good Life " from Friday, which looked at the history and achievements of the micro-credit movement that was begun by the "Grameen Bank" in Bangladesh 30 years ago as well as what "the information society" means for Africa and the lives of Indian widows.
Then to Ireland and RTÉ Radio 1's "Morning Ireland"from last Tuesday (Jun 6)- so only available for another few hours and the item "Radio re-scheduling plans raises eyebrows at the Arts Council".
We listened to this because of a review of the programme by Gerry McCarthy in his UK Sunday Times "Radio Waves" column about Irish Radio.
To quote McCarthy "One of the most extraordinary sounds on Irish radio, not heard often enough, is that of Cathal Mac Coille eating people alive On Tuesday he gave his ultimate boss, Adrian Moynes, a going-over in relation to the axing of Rattlebag from the Radio 1 schedule. The surprise was how easily - and vituperatively - the managing director of RTE radio crumpled.". Make your own mind up with just over 8mins of listening.
Then back to the BBC and Radio 3 , first last Saturday's "Jazz File" that in the fourth of the "Miles Davis at 80" series that begins with the launch of the jazz-rock-fusion movement in 1969 and the album "In a Silent Way" and moves on to the Bitches Brew project.
Next Saturday (17:00GMT|) looks at the years from 1975 when illness forced the trumpeter to give up playing until his return in 1981.
Then yesterday and "Drama on 3 ", an adaptation of "The epic of Gilgamesh" that may have been the first story to have ever been written down , telling in the Mesopotamia of more than 4,000 years ago the tale of King Gilgamesh's adventures fighting monsters. It was followed by the Sunday feature, "You must remember this" in which oral historian Alan Dein looks at the story of oral history.
For the classical fans, we suggest "Performance on 3" on Thursday (18:30GMT) with Britten's War Requiem in Richard Hickox's final concert in Wales as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Then to end with another oddball in "The Greatest Free Show On Earth" on Radio 4 on Friday, the story of the annual, century-old Whit Friday brass band competition with the objective of playing in as many Lancashire villages as possible in six hours.
North County Times - Dotinga:
Reuters - Gorman:
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Virgin:
UK Times - Johns:
Washington Post - Critchlow letter:
Washington Post - Finkel:
Washington Post - Fisher:
Washington Post - Indecency Primer:
2006-06-12: Reporting on radio expansion plans by Denis O'Brien, who owns Dublin stations Newstalk 106,which is soon to go quasi-national (See RNW May 23) and 98FM and also has radio assets in central and eastern Europe, the UK Sunday Times lists amongst his actual or potential intentions a bid for Waterford station WLR and East Coast Radio in Bray plus bids for the new youth-based north west regional service advertised last month (See RNW May 20) and south west regional licences for which three applications were made (See RNW Apr 20) that are to be considered by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) at its meeting next week.
O'Brien is a major shareholder in East Coast Radio, which is also on the market, and the Sunday Times says he is believed to have pre-emption rights on the other shares at East Coast but it is not clear if he would exercise them.
WLR, whose sale is being handled by KPMG, is reported to have attracted several potential bidders including O'Brien's Communicorp group, Alpha Newspapers, Emap - which owns Today FM and Radio Kerry, and UTV, with a price of up to Euros 15 million (USD 19 million) although the Sunday Times gives a range of Euros 8-10 million (USD 10-12 million).
WLR began life as a pirate station in 1978, and went legal in 1989: Major shareholders include managing director Des Whelan, the largest single shareholder who has said he will hold his stake, radio technician Egidio Giani, who owns 28%, and businessmen Peter Queally of Dawn Meats, Gerry Sheridan of Sheridan Motors and Redmond O'Donoghue, a former chief executive of Waterford Wedgwood.
Apart from its licence assets include premises in Waterford valued at around Euros 4 million (USD 5 million), another site in Dungarvan, and 30% per cent stake in south east regional station Beat.
Previous Newstalk 106:
UK Sunday Times report:
2006-06-12: As World Cup soccer gets under way All India Radio (AIR) has tied up with the BBC for English-language commentary on 11 key matches from Allan Green and John Murray of BBC Radio 5 Live.
These will be broadcast on Air's network of 65 primary service stations and 17 rainbow FM channels with late night matches on the Vividh Bharati service.
For the semi finals and finals, AIR will use its own teams to provide commentary in Hindi and English.
Indians who subscribe to the WorldSpace satellite service will also be able to listen to World Cup soccer on its "Play" channel on the AsiaStar satellite with programming produced in association with the BBC and TWI (Trans World International)(See RNW Jun 9).
2006-06-11: The main regulatory news this week was of things to come - namely the signing into effect by President Bush of the Broadcast Indecency Act that was passed by the House last week (See RNW Jun 8) and will increase penalties ten-fold to a maximum of USD 325,000 per offence: Elsewhere Canada published a run of radio decisions but otherwise things were fairly quiet with no radio decisions announced in Australia or Ireland.
In Canada, radio decisions from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) included the following (In order of province):
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, non-commercial station CKBF-FM, Suffield, which provides a service for British Armed Forces personnel and their dependents stationed at Canadian Forces Base Suffield.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, low-power station CHPA-FM, Port Alberni.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CFGP-FM, Grande Prairie, and its transmitters CFGP-FM-1, Peace River, and CFGP-FM-2, Tumbler Ridge.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language Type B community station CJLY-FM, Nelson, and its transmitter CJLY-FM-1, Kootenay Bay.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CISL-AM, Richmond.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CFUN-AM, Vancouver.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CHQM-FM, Vancouver.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CJJR-FM, Vancouver.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CKKQ-FM, Victoria, and its transmitter CKKQ-FM-1, Sooke.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language commercial station CKZZ-FM, Vancouver.
*Renewal until to 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CJEL-FM, Winkler.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*Extension to 27 February 2007 of the deadline for to 27 February 2007 to commence operation of a new community FM approved in 2002. It is the fourth extension of the deadline.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language, Type A community FM radio programming undertaking CIVR-FM, Yellowknife.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English- and French-language low-power station CFJW-FM, Chapleau.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CJBB-FM, Englehart.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CKFM-FM, Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, low-power station CKTR-FM, North Bay.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CJYE-AM, Oakville.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, low-power station CKBB-FM, Sudbury.
Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CFRB-AM, Toronto and its short-wave transmitter CFRX-AM.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CHUM-AM, Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of English-language, commercial station CHUM-FM, Toronto.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language religious FM VF8007, Acton Vale.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language religious FM, VF8002 Louiseville.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language Type A community station CHEF-FM, Matagami.
*Approval of application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. to operate its new native Type B FM in Montréal at 106.7 MHz with power of 320 watts in place of its originally proposed use of 100.1 with a power of 1,000 watts.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language religious station CHPV-FM, Scotstown.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language religious FM, VF8001 Shawinigan-Sud.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of French-language Type B community station CIAX-FM Windsor.
*Approval of new 46,800 watts FM transmitter in North Battleford to rebroadcast the programming of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national English-language network service Radio Two originating from CBK-FM, Regina.
The CRTC also issued a public notice regarding various applications for which the deadline for submission of interventions or comments is July 11. It included the following radio applications:
*Application by O.K. Radio Group Ltd to increase the power of CKYX-FM, Fort McMurray, from 2,790 watts to 40,000 watts and also increase its antenna height.
*Application by O.K. Radio Group Ltd to increase the power of CJOK-FM, Fort McMurray, from 10,700 watts to 40,000 watts and also increase its antenna height.
Application by Rock 95 Broadcasting (Barrie-Orillia) Ltd. to renew the licence of commercial station CKMB-FM, Barrie, expiring 31 August 2006. The application includes proposals regarding Canadian Talent Development contributions and aboriginal radio initiatives including a note that Rock 95 has recognized arrears totalling CAD 102,403.73 (around USD 92,500) in contributions toward support for other native broadcasting related initiatives incurred over the course of the first licence term. Rock 95 has proposed to adhere to the condition of licence that these arrears be paid and divided into equal yearly amounts through the second term of the licence.
*Application to increase the power of CJOA-FM, Thunder Bay, from 50 watts to 250 watts and decrease the antenna height, which would change the station's status from a low power unprotected service to a regular Class A1 service. The applicant, Thunder Bay Christian Radio, indicated that from June 2004 it ceased operation of the transmitter CJOA-FM-1, Candy Mountain.
Application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to extend the period of time from 1 June 2006 until 31 December 2006, to simulcast the programming of CFWH-AM, Whitehorse on the FM band following the commencement of operation of new transmitter CBDN-AM, Dawson.
A three-months simulcast period was approved at the time the CBDN-AM transmitter, which began operations on March 1 was improved but the CBC has said it has been approached by a local communication society who has expressed interest in taking over the FM undertaking and operates it as a community-owned transmitter. The CBS says it believes that extending the simulcast period would allow discussions to continue as well as listeners would benefit from an uninterrupted FM service for at least another six months.
In another public notice the CRTC listed transfers of ownership and changes in the effective control of broadcasting undertakings that it has authorized during the period 1 March 2006 to 30 April 2006.
Transfers included the following:
*Transfer of the ownership and control of CKJS Limited, licensee of CKJS-AM, Winnipeg, from C.G. Stanczykowski & Associates Limited to Newcap Inc.
*Transfer of the ownership and control of TFG Communications Inc., licensee of CFHA-FM, Saint John, New Brunswick, from Mr. Thomas F. Gamblin to Mr. Geoffrey Rivett.
There were, as noted, no radio announcements from Ireland but in the UK, Ofcom advertised a new FM licence for Preston in Lancashire and also awarded the licence for Newry in Northern Ireland to Five FM (Newry and Mourne FM Ltd) (See RNW Jun 9).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as seeing various commissioners welcome its expected increase in indecency penalties as noted also proposed some current penalties for late filings and public notice breaches (See RNW Jun 10).
In addition it published a list of 116 radio stations and 28 TV stations randomly selected for spot-checks for compliance with its Equality of Employment Opportunity (EE0) regulations. The list covers markets of all sizes and commercial and non-commercial stations.
In addition the FCC is also coming under pressure already about expected renewed attempts, now it is at full strength, to change its media ownership regulations: The pressures include a letter from US Senators Byron Dorgan (North Dakota Democrat) and Trent Lott (Mississippi Republican) that says before ownership regulation in allowed the FCC needs to show evidence that broadcasters are "serving their local communities" and that its Localism Task Force should complete its study on the matter before pressing ahead on changes (See RNW Jun 8).
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-06-11: The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that what it termed "Coarse Language" broadcast on Quebec City station CJMF-FM's weekday morning show "Bouchard en parle" breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics.
The programme discussions about current events, opinion segments and interviews and the CBSC said political comments and criticism of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), about which there had also been a complaint, did not breach the code.
During the programme on November 3 last year, host Sylvain Bouchard used the French swear word "tabernac'" [An all purpose expletive in French Canada, derived from taking the word "tabernacle" in vain, and often used as "fuck" or "shit" would be in English] as an interjection and also the English word "fuck."
The CBSC panel found the use of "tabernac" had breached the code - commenting that the "use of the language was gratuitous. Not only was it unnecessary, it was irrelevant to the phrases it adorned" but in the case of the word "fuck" said it did not breach the code as the word itself was the subject of discussion rather than being used coarsely in other contexts- he had said," Sending a complaint to the CRTC because you heard the word "fuck" on the air. Geez! You hear it about thirty times a day on Radio-Canada..."
The station has responded to the complainant by saying the host, "he never did blaspheme according to the definition that this consists of adding the term "maudit" [damned] to a sacred word. He did in fact use the word "tabernac' in a fit of anger, in the style of Michel Chartrand, Pierre Falardeau, or that of one of Michel Tremblay's characters. He wishes to state, however, that it is always the exception and not his standard practice. Moreover, he never said he wanted to use the word fuck, but rather that he felt the complaint on that issue was ridiculous."
RNW comment: In view of the recent US vote to hike broadcast indecency penalties to USD 325,000 maximum per incident, Bouchard is rather lucky to be living north of the border in a country, normally regarded as more censorious than the US. From our perspective the response here seems to be rather a case of more thoughtful, less jerk, and more amenable to considering an issue than responding with a soundbite.
2006-06-11: The BBC has renewed its radio and TV deal with Jonathan Ross at a reported GBP 18 million (USD 33 million), which would make him the highest paid broadcaster in the UK.
Ross was reported to have been offered this amount by Channel 4 TV, where he began his career, but opted to remain with the corporation where he hosts a TV chat show, weekly movie programme and a weekly three-hour Saturday morning programme on BBC Radio 2 for which was recently reported to be paid GBP 530,000 (USD 945,000) a year (See RNW Apr 19). He has been hosting the show since 1999.
2006-06-10: BIA Financial Network (BIAFn) in its "2006 Investing In Radio Market Report" just published is forecasting 2006 revenue increases below 2.3% for the country's top 25 radio groups, above the 1.5% of 2005, although it says in smaller markets Phoenix could grow Lake Charles, Louisiana by up to 6% just ahead of Lafayette, Louisiana and Augusta, Georgia with 5.5% each.
BIAfn vice president Mark R. Fratrik, Ph.D. commented, "Radio continues to experience sluggish growth and is not keeping pace with growth in the economy," adding, "Despite this bleak outlook, radio is by no means a dying medium; it just has challenges. Some markets are actually rebounding and performing well."
As to reasons he commented, "We can guess why stations are doing poorly - iPods, clutter, Internet - so when we see any of them finish the year with greater than 2.5 percent growth, we know that they have been successful in retaining or attracting certain demographics like younger people to the medium or expanding their own advertising based content distribution That formula might be taking the form of multi-casting, podcasting, a change in format, better promotions, or even increasing partnerships with locally-based music venues and musicians or other content providers and distribution outlets."
He also noted in connection with CBS Radio's announcement that it has put its stations in ten markets up for sale (See RNW May 24) Fratrik said this "might be the most obvious illustration that some radio groups are re-evaluating their assets and that 2006 may prove to be a year of transition and added, "Stations will continue to find buyers intending to put those frequencies to good use. Whether these transitions will have an overall positive affect on the industry remains to be seen."
Clear Channel continues to dominate the industry - with 1,171 stations and 2005 revenues of USD 3.53 billion followed by CBS Radio with - before any sell-off - 179 stations and revenues of USD 2.24 billion; Entercom with 104 stations and revenues of USD 486 million; Cox Radio Inc with 78 stations and revenues of USD 483 million and then Citadel/ABC with 24 stations and revenues of USD 417 million and Citadel Communications with 215 stations and revenues of USD 413 million.
Univision, which is up for sale, is in eighth rank - behind Radio One Inc and at the tail end of the tip 25 are Regent Communications, Journal Communications, NextMedia Group, Inner City Broadcasting, Sandusky Radio and Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, all with revenues below the USD 100 million mark.
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-06-10: Toronto-headquartered Standard Radio Inc. (SRI) - a subsidiary of Standard Broadcasting Corp., the largest privately owned broadcaster in the country that is controlled by the family of Allan Slaight - has delayed its planned initial public offering of units of its Income Fund, citing as a reason recent market conditions.
It filed a preliminary prospectus for the offering last month for the fund, which was created to indirectly acquire and hold an interest in SR Limited Partnership ("Standard Radio"), which has been formed to acquire, among other things, certain of SRI's radio broadcasting assets, the shares of Integrated Media Sales Inc. held by SRI, and the business of Sound Source Networks operated by Standard Broadcast Productions Limited.
According to the preliminary prospectus, Standard Radio generated revenue of CAD 200.3 million (USD 180.9 million) in the year to Feb. 28, with net income of CAD 40.1 million (USD 36.9 million) and estimated distributable cash of CAD 60 million (USD 54.2 million).
Standard's plans had been considered likely to provide an impetus for Montreal-headquartered Astral Media Inc. to convert itself into a trust that could lead it to make a bid for Standard, which operates 51 commercial stations. Such a bid if successful would take the larger Astral into first rank among Canadian radio operators with around a 23% share of industry revenues.
2006-06-10: Clear Channel says its corporate giving in 2005 exceeded USD 1 billion, its largest ever one-year total - some USD 845 million from Clear Channel Radio, USD 80 million from Clear Channel Outdoor, USD 61 million from Clear Channel Television, and USD 41 million from Clear Channel International Radio.
By far the largest single category for Clear Channel Radio "donations" was USD 664 million in air time donated to public service announcements
Other sums listed were USD 59 million for relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and USD 122 million raised through fundraising efforts.
Similarly of the USD 61 million from Clear Channel TV, USD 28.6 million was airtime donated for public service announcements, USD 21.7 million came from fundraising efforts, and USD 10.8 million was for relief efforts following natural disasters.
Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays said of the year, "2005 was a special year for Clear Channel as the impact of our contributions was felt on national and local levels more than ever. Our people have championed causes ranging from aiding those devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the greatest donation by a media company to the Ad Council, which is part of an ongoing effort to support the country's leading producer of public service announcements."
Clear Channel Radio president and CEO John Hogan added, "Because of our reach in local communities, we're able to make philanthropic decisions that have the greatest impact on local neighbourhoods, whether it's in support of local children's hospitals and shelters, food banks, educational support programs or healthcare organizations."
RNW comment: Valuable though the effort may well be the total is in our view a matter of corporate self-promotion - we were tempted to use another term beginning with bull followed by four more letters.
Of we look at the total in terms of what an ordinary human would count as "giving" the PSAs should probably not count - our view is that these only have a monetary value if other adverts were turned down to clear time for the PSAs to be broadcast- and the sums for fundraising efforts will be mainly monies donated by others, as indeed may well be much of the amount listed for relief efforts.
Had Clear Channel used the term "raised" - as is done by charitable organizations, which do not speak of "giving" - we might have felt more charitably about their self-promotion.
As it is our view is that the total that could properly be regarded as "corporate giving" - money that Clear Channel took from its own bottom line - is probably in any real terms likely to be less than USD 50 million rather than more then USD 1 billion. And that is neglecting the fact that much of any such effort is tax deductable- in other words controlling where funds go rather than actually taking money from a corporate bottom line.
Clear Channel is of course welcome to send us a further breakdown and justification of their news release and we will publish it all, albeit we may feel further comment is then worthy.
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
2006-06-10: In a run of licence renewals the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted the renewal applications but rapped the applicants over the knuckles and proposed fines for breaches of regulations including public inspection file offences and failure to file the renewal application on time.
Cases where renewal applications were made late included:
Florida: Renewal of the licence of WMEL-AM, Melbourne, now in receivership.
The FCC also proposed a penalty of USD 1,500 - half the normal base level of USD 3,000 for failure to file the renewal application on time.
The station is now controlled by the Receiver, David Ryder, but previous licensee, Twin Towers Broadcasting Inc. had filed a late application in January 2004 before the licence expired only to have it dismissed under the Commission's "Red Light" debt collection program.
Twin Towers had then sought Special Temporary Authorization to continue operating and also filed another licence application but then defaulted on various financial obligations as a result of which it was placed in the hands of the receiver by the courts.
The FCC said it had halved the penalty and also opted not to impose any penalty for unauthorized operation because the initial dismissal of the Twin Tower's application was not final and in view of the overall circumstances.
Illinois: Application by Best Media, Inc. for license renewal for FM Translator Station W207BI, University Park.
Best Media after finding the application had not been made had contacted counsel who arranged for the filing and subsequently a request for Special Temporary Authorization ("STA") - which was granted - to operate the Station, pending consideration of the renewal application. Best media had also said that until it received a Notice of Apparent Liability for another late-filed renewal application, it did not realize that it needed to seek STA to operate the station, pending staff consideration of the late-filed renewal application.
The base penalties are USD 3,000 for failure to file a required form and USD 10,000 for operating without a licence but the FCC reduced the latter to USD 4,000 on the basis that this was not like a pirate operation and the station's history of compliances and service to the public interest.
Iowa: Application by the Des Moines Independent School District for renewal of its expired license for non commercial educational Station KDPS-FM, Des Moines.
A penalty of USD 7,000 is proposed for operating the station whilst unauthorized after FCC staff had written saying the licence had expired, authority to operate had been terminated and the call letters deleted from the FCC data base.
The station had responded by filing a renewal application and a request -subsequently granted - for Special Temporary Authorization ("STA") to operate the Station, pending consideration of the renewal application. Again the FCC proposed the full base penalty of USD 3,000 for failure to file a required form but reduced the base penalty of USD 10,000 for operating without a licence to USD 4,000 on the basis that this was not like a pirate operation.
Michigan: Application by Best Media, Inc. for license renewal for FM translator Station W206BI, Hamtramck.
Best Media after finding the application had not been made had contacted counsel who arranged for the filing and subsequently a request for Special Temporary Authorization ("STA") - which was granted - to operate the Station, pending consideration of the renewal application.
Best media had also said that until it received a Notice of Apparent Liability for another late-filed renewal application, it did not realize that it needed to seek STA to operate the station, pending staff consideration of the late-filed renewal application.
New Mexico: Renewal of the licence of RealRadio, L.L.C.'s KRSN-AM, Los Alamos: The FCC proposed a USD 1,500 penalty for failure to file the application by the deadline although in this case it was filed before the licence applied and a Special Temporary Authorization had been requested to allow continuing operation pending consideration of the renewal, leading the FCC to halve the normal USD 3,000 base penalty.
Texas: Application by Best Media, Inc. for license renewal for FM translator Station K217DP, Barker.
Best Media after finding the application had not been made had contacted counsel who arranged for the filing and subsequently a request for Special Temporary Authorization ("STA") - which was granted - to operate the Station, pending consideration of the renewal application. Best media had also said that until it received a Notice of Apparent Liability for another late-filed renewal application, it did not realize that it needed to seek STA to operate the station, pending staff consideration of the late-filed renewal application.
In other cases licence renewals were granted but penalties proposed for public inspection file breaches. These involved:
California: Renewal of the licence of Urban Radio III, L.L.C.'s KVTO-AM, Berkeley.
The FCC also proposed a USD 10,000 penalty, the usual base level, for the public file breach.
Urban had advised that its issues and programs lists for the periods from July 1, 1998 to March 31, 2000, and from July 1 to October 31, 2000, were missing from the Station's public inspection file but had subsequently reconstructed them and placed them in the file. In this case the FCC noted that the violations were extensive, running over three years and said it felt the USD 10,000 base penalty was appropriate.
Massachusetts: Renewal of the licence of Charles River Broadcasting WKPE License Corporation's WKPE-FM, Orleans.
The FCC proposed a USD 4,000 penalty - as opposed to the normal base level penalty of USD 10,000 - for failing to retain required documentation in the station's public inspection file.
Charles River had advised that in mid-2004 responsibility for preparation of the issues-programs lists was assigned to a different staff member in an administrative change but said the individual inexplicably failed to complete this assignment and is no longer with the Company. It added that lists for the third and fourth quarters of 2004, and for 2005, had been reconstructed from backup materials and all issues-programs lists are now in the local public file.
Relating to public inspection files, Clear Channel Radio has just announced successful implementation of the first and largest deployment in the broadcast industry of its proprietary Electronic Public Inspection File ("E-PIF") electronic inspection system that ensures and certifies FCC compliance of all public files.
Clear Channel Radio developed the system to maintain documents for on-demand, public viewing from all of its main studio locations and the company says surprise FCC audits conducted in Anchorage, Davenport, Denver, Macon, Springfield and Toledo have confirmed E-PIF's proficiency as a replacement to the current Public File.
Clear Channel is planning to offer the system, which it says allows documents to be added locally or remotely to a station, a market or the entire company with a few clicks and also sends automatic emails as reminders of upcoming deadlines, to other broadcasters as part of the Viero product suite, LAN International's flagship enterprise technology offering for broadcasters.
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-06-09: Arbitron, which last month added CBS as the first major radio group to make an agreement to use its Portable People Meter audio ratings system (See RNW May 19) and also saw UK radio ratings company RAJAR agree use of the PPM in a major London-area assessment trial (See RNW May 23), has now added four more US radio groups with more than 80 more stations to its list for when it deploys the system. It plans to roll out the PPM in the top 50 US markets beginning next month in Houston if it gains Media Rating Council accreditation.
As when it gained its first major contact had concentrated its efforts on getting advertising agency support for its Portable People Meter audio ratings system, but this year started announcing radio company deals with announcements of agreements with Beasley Broadcast (See RNW Feb 1) and Spanish Broadcasting System (See RNW Feb 25). In May it also announced a four-year agreement with WBEB-FM in Philadelphia.
The latest agreements are with Bonneville International Corporation; Emmis Communications Corporation; Greater Media, Inc. and Lincoln Financial Media, which owns the former Jefferson-Pilot radio stations.
Arbitron president, Sales and Marketing Pierre Bouvard said of the agreement, "We have worked hard to demonstrate that, for today and for the foreseeable future, the Portable People Meter is the best solution available to bring electronic measurement to the U.S. radio industry."
"We have listened respectfully to the industry's requirements over the past five years fielding numerous trials and studies, many at the direct request of our customers," he added. "And we've consistently shared the results of our research with the entire industry. We are gratified that all our years of close cooperation are being rewarded with the support of thought leaders in the radio business."
In their statements concerning the agreements, two of the companies referred to the internet although not directly referring to measurement of internet listening.
Bruce Reese, president and chief executive officer of Bonneville International Corporation said, "Radio needs to embrace new technologies and try to take advantage of them. The Portable People Meter will enhance our ability to harness new technologies, such as Internet and HD Radio, and to expand the terrific loyalty we have with our audiences over the air through services on new platforms that they will also find attractive" and he was backed up by Greater Media president and CEO Peter Smyth who said he saw "radio emerging as the leader and premiere content provider in the audio entertainment business" and added , "Our goal is to establish loyal, long-term relationships with our listeners and clients, whether it's through our traditional broadcasts, our web streams, our multicast channels or our podcasts."
At Emmis, chairman, president and CEO Jeff Smulyan concentrated on traditional radio saying, "Advertisers and agencies have been clear about their desire for better data and a more accurate way to buy radio. By signing for the PPM, Emmis will have better audience information for our sales and programming efforts. The PPM will help us persuade the decision-makers who advertise their products and brands that radio can do a better job for them than their other media choices" and in similar vein Lincoln Financial Media Radio Division president Don Benson said, "Radio needs to make the move to electronic measurement sooner rather than later, in order to grow our audiences and advertising revenue as well as to respond to the needs of our clients."
RNW comment: After a sticky period in March when Nielsen dropped out of a joint venture to develop the PPM for TV use, Arbitron seems to have gained some momentum but it still has much ground to cover and of the six other companies that responded to Clear Channel's call for proposals for a state-of-the art electronic radio ratings service the two contenders left in addition to the PPM - the MediaAudit/Ipsos smart cell phone system and MediaMark Research's bid with a system based on parent GfK's Media Watch - are both potentially serious contenders, particularly the smart phone proposals.
In Houston, where Arbitron plans to launch the PPM, it still lacks any agreement for use of the system by Clear Channel, which has eight stations in the market, Cumulus, KCOH Inc., Liberman and Salt of Earth while Cox Radio and Radio One Inc. refused to take part in the trial.
Previous Greater Media:
Previous Lincoln Financial Media:
Previous Media Rating Council:
2006-06-09: 2006 FIFA World Cup soccer is expected to give a fillip to satellite radio with XM offering play-by-play coverage in both English and Spanish and WorldSpace also offering cover starting today: The first game is Germany v Costa Rica at 16:00 GMT (Noon ET).
The WorldSpace programming is being produced by a dedicated team of more than 30 individuals, in association with the BBC and Trans World International (TWI) and is to air on the channels 'Play' (on AsiaStar), 'talkSPORT' (on AfriStar), and on both satellites' BBC channels.
In the UK, talkSPORT, now owned by UTV, is going head to head with BBC Radio 5 Live during the World Cup with live coverage of every match and it will also be broadcast in Germany on digital spectrum, the only UK broadcaster that can be tuned to in the training camp.
XM will offer 31 days of 24-hour coverage that is to include English broadcasts of 56 live matches and Spanish broadcasts of 50 live games, the former on its dedicated FIFA World Cup Soccer channel and the latter on its Spanish-language sports channel XM Deportivo
In addition to its broadcasts, US residents will also be able to listen on some terrestrial stations including 50,000 watts KMXE-AM, which is owned by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball team and Entravision's KLYY-FM in Los Angeles; KQRT-FM, Las Vegas, Nevada; KZMP-FM, Dallas, Texas and KSVE-AM, El Paso, Texas.
2006-06-09: UK media regulator Ofcom has awarded the new local commercial FM licence for Newry in Northern Ireland to Five FM (Newry and Mourne FM Ltd): Its bid of a "full service music and information station" was competing against Quay 100's offering of the best music from the past four decades plus modern country music (See RNW Mar 10).
Ofcom has also advertised a licence for Preston and surrounding areas, including the towns of Chorley and Leyland, in Lancashire with a deadline for applications of September 7.
The licence will cover an area with an adult population of around 270,000 and applications have to be submitted with a non-refundable free of GBP 5,000 (USD 9,200).
2006-06-09: US President George W. Bush has said he intends to sign the "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act" that was passed by the House of Representatives and increases the maximum penalty for an incident of broadcast indecency ten-fold to USD 325,000 (See RNW Jun 8).
In a statement, the President said: "I believe that government has a responsibility to help strengthen families. This legislation will make television and radio more family friendly by allowing the FCC to impose stiffer fines on broadcasters who air obscene or indecent programming."
Passage of the Act was welcomed in statements from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin and Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate.
Martin in his statement commented, "I welcome Congress' decision to give the Commission increased fining authority in our efforts to protect children from inappropriate programming. Many parents are increasingly concerned about what is on television and radio today. Today's vote demonstrates that Congress shares their concern and has a clear desire for a more meaningful enforcement of our decency standard."
"The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act," he continued, "gives the Commission more tools to enable parents to watch television and listen to radio as a family. In addition, I believe that concerns regarding content should be addressed in a comprehensive fashion by empowering parents to choose the programming that comes into their homes."
Tate said, "Congress has once again sent a firm message that the minds of our children are a national priority. Increased fines strengthen the FCC's ability to enforce the law. I take this responsibility very seriously "
Although he has not issued a statement on the vote, Democrat Commissioner Michael J Copps had spoken on the subject in an address to the Kaiser Family Foundation/New America Foundation's Kidvid Summit in Washington D.C., linking the problem with media concentration.
Copps said parents were "concerned about Big Media's race to the bottom; they wonder if there even is a bottom. They have a right to be concerned. With young people watching more than 1000 hours of TV a year, with a bombardment of sex and violence wrapped between tens of thousands of commercials, parents wonder what ever happened to the security of knowing that when they turn on the television, they won't be shocked or embarrassed by what the airwaves bring to their children."
Copps said the broadcasters, parents and FCC could do more adding that "when broadcasters step over the line, the FCC has a duty to act. We have a mandate to protect children from indecent programming. That's the law-not for the FCC to debate but for the FCC to enforce."
Copps added that the "media issue that trumps all others in affecting kids" was media ownership and later said," If you want a world where parents have input into media content, a world where media is about more than selling eyeballs to advertisers, a world where there is wholesome programming for children, then you need to participate proactively in this issue. Insist upon public FCC hearings. Insist upon getting answers to the tough questions before we vote. Insist-I intend to-on examining the relationship between media consolidation and family-friendly programming.
Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said that NAB continued to believe that when it came to programming content, "responsible self-regulation is preferable to government regulation."
Radio and Records Online quoted Clear Channel Communications EVP/Chief Legal Officer Andy Levin as commenting in similar but rather weaker terms, saying, "While we believe self-regulation is always preferable when you're talking about regulating speech, we believe this bill is a measured approach to the indecency problem. On the other hand, we hope never to be on the receiving end of any of these fines."
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-06-09: Sirius Satellite Radio has announced plans to spend around USD 260 million on the design and construction of a new satellite, to be launched into a geostationary orbit to complement Sirius' existing three satellites.
Like these it is to be built by Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications and Sirius expects construction to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008 for subsequent planned launch on a Proton rocket under a contract previously announced between Sirius and International Launch Services (ILS).
Sirius says the resulting "unique hybrid constellation will provide unparalleled redundancy, enhanced coverage and exceptional performance."
CEO Mel Karmazin commented, "This investment in next generation space technology will improve Sirius' already exceptional service experience. Not only will this satellite support our other three satellites currently in orbit, but it will also improve reception for all Sirius subscribers whether they are in their car, office, home or jogging in the park."
Sirius noted that the costs of the purchase and launch of the satellite were anticipated in its cash flow guidance and says it "continues to expect that its first quarter of positive free cash flow, after capital expenditures, could be reached as early as the fourth quarter of 2006, and that the company will be free cash flow positive, after capital expenditures, for the full-year 2007."
2006-06-09: WGN-AM, Chicago, has announced the appointment of Bob Shomper as its program director. He joins the Tribune-owned station from ABC-owned WBAP-AM in Dallas/Ft. Worth, where he was operations manager/program director.
WGN vice president/general manager Tom Langmyer said in a statement on the WGN web site, "Bob is a seasoned broadcaster with vast experience in the news-talk-sports format. His success in working with talent at a major market news/talk station makes him an excellent fit for WGN. Having grown up listening to WGN in the Quad Cities, he understands the unique bond WGN has with its listeners throughout the Midwest."
Shomper was born in Davenport, Iowa, where he worked alongside WGN breakfast host Spike O'Dell and he commented of his appointment, "When Spike O'Dell left the Quad-Cities in 1987 to go to WGN, he grew from star to living legend. That's the kind of place WGN is. I've been blessed to share in the success of some of America's great broadcasting companies and heritage radio stations like ABC and WBAP. I'm honoured to now be a part of the Tribune Company and the legendary WGN."
Also in Chicago, Robert Feder in his Chicago Sun-Times column reports that Polnet Communications, which just launched a reggaeton format on far north suburban WPJX-AM, has hired Hispanic radio veteran Fernando Jaramillo to double as general manager and afternoon personality.
Jaramillo spent 15 years as music director and on-air personality at Univision Radio's WOJO-FM and later served in the same roles at its WIND-AM and most recently has been program director and midday personality for the "Musica Y Mas" format at WNTD-AM.
As well as his roles at WPJX, he will oversee Polnet's time brokered ethnic stations WKTA-AM and WEEF-AM.
WGN web site:
2006-06-08: The US House of Representatives has passed by a majority of 379 to 35 - with 18 more representatives not voting - the "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005" that increases the maximum penalty for broadcast indecency from USD 32,500 US to USD 325,000 US per incident with a USD 3 million maximum for continuing violations.
The Act, which was passed unanimously by the US Senate last month (See RNW May 20), is expected to gain prompt signature by President George W. Bush.
Its passage was welcomed by the Family Research Council and Parents Television Council, two conservative lobby groups that have been pushing for an increase in penalties, particularly since the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show in which part of one of Janet Jackson's breast was shown momentarily on TV leading to a USD 550,000 fine on CBS, then part of Viacom, by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has just refused a CBS appeal against the verdict (See Licence News Jun 4).
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a news release," No longer will indecency fines be considered by major media broadcasters as an insignificant cost of doing business. The era of 'slap on the wrist' has ended, and a message has been sent to Viacom and other media giants: violate the public trust on the nation's airwaves, and you'll pay the price. The message is simple - clean up or pay up!"
During discussion of the bill Oregon Republican Greg Walden , who with his wife, Mylene, owns and operates five radio stations in Oregon's Columbia Gorge, although supporting the bill expressed concern about uncertainties about FCC indecency decisions, saying that smaller broadcasters in particular needed clarification because a fine could bankrupt them.
Opposing the measure California Democrat Diane Watson said media concentration and a lack of competition were at the root of the problem and called for any re-written media ownership rules to include fulfilling public interest obligations a condition for licence renewal.
2006-06-08: BBC Radio 1 - and in particular the Saturday night programming - has been accused by Britain's opposition Conservative leader David Cameron of encouraging knife and gun crime, an accusation Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt in a statement said he "strongly refutes."
Parfitt added, "The station takes its responsibilities very seriously and has strict producer guidelines that govern all of the output. Hip-hop is a huge international genre with a vibrant UK scene. The music reflects the sometimes harsher realities of people's lives and cultures."
Cameron, whose comments follow similar attacks in the past on rap by former Labour Party Home Secretary David Blunkett and culture minister Kim Howells, made the comments on Tuesday at a British Society of Magazine Editors event where he was asked by "Good Housekeeping" magazine editor June Walton how his party would tackle the problem of knife crime, a topic that British newspapers, and in particular the tabloids, have been highlighting recently.
He said in what was thought to be a reference to the hip-hop show hosted by Tim Westwood, "I would say to Radio 1, do you realise that some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?"
Cameron said his comments about the station were an example of how he wanted people to speak up when they saw something wrong, even though "you will get lots of bricks thrown at you" if you voice unpopular opinions.
The topic of knife crime was also brought up by Cameron at Prime Ministers' Questions in the British House of Commons on Wednesday when he asked for tougher action over the matter.
RNW comment: Although we have little time for quite a lot of rap and hip-hop - and certainly in the US a number of hosts should certainly in our view be derided as any perusal of news stories about Hot 97 and Power FM will show - the suggestion that Cameron is voicing unpopular occasions on this occasion in a context of heavy campaigning by tabloid newspapers against knife crime is worthy of similar derision. His comments in the Commons were made in a party political context starting with an attempt to gain points by saying the government should have accepted his party's call for increased sentences and the responses by Prime Minister Tony Blair were in similar vein as opposed to there being any attempt to assess the situation realistically and come up with action proportionate to the scale of the problem and what might be the most efficacious action.
2006-06-08: Former Infinity - now CBS Radio - and Clear Channel executive John Gehron has now formally agreed to become general manager of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Radio, overseeing operations and programming for the new "Oprah & Friends" channel starting in September on XM Satellite Radio, a move that Robert Feder in his Chicago Sun-Times column says is being "hailed as a match made in broadcasting heaven."
Feder quotes approval and praise from Tom Taylor, editor of Inside Radio who said Gehron "brings instant credibility to Oprah's aspirations in radio. His great respect for the audience and innate understanding of the medium make him an ideal point man for her new venture into satellite radio and beyond." and
Broadcast consultant Jeff McGrath said, "Oprah knows that if you surround yourself with smart, talented people, you can't lose. Now she has an additional superstar staffer to add to her army."
Feder reports that the signing was also welcomed by insiders at Harpo Productions where president Tim Bennett said Gehron "has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most admired and innovative executives in the radio business."
Gehron said he was delighted to be joining the Harpo team, adding, "I look forward to building upon their successful track record of developing the highest level of quality entertainment, featuring unique and dynamic personalities."
2006-06-08: XM Canada says it now has more than 80,000 subscribers and has added deals with Toyota and Lexus to its existing deals with GM, Honda, Nissan and Subaru, that it says means it now has contract relationships with auto manufacturers representing a majority of the 1.6 million new vehicles sold annually in Canada.
President and COO Stephen Tapp said the new alliances, "coupled with our other auto relationships, gives us a potential of almost one million new radio installations per year when each manufacturer is in full production."
"No one else can claim this potential," he added, noting that the company had also recently announced a partnership with Aeroplan recently to "promote XM Canada packages to its more than five million active members in a unique marketing relationship between the two companies."
"No other loyalty program in Canada is near the strength of Aeroplan, so we are excited that they chose to partner with the most popular satellite radio service in the country," said Tapp, adding, "With more than 50 per cent - by vehicles sold - of Canadian car manufacturers signed up as partners and an alliance with the biggest loyalty program in the country, this clearly demonstrates why XM Canada is the leader in satellite radio services and why we will continue to seek opportunities to add listeners while we expand our brand's great awareness."
RNW comment: The figures for the "most popular satellite radio service in the country" with 80,000 subscribers and 100 channels compare to 100,000 subscribers and 110 channels announced last month by Sirius Canada (See RNW May 11).
A logical conclusion is that Tapp - a COO? - is somewhat lacking in abilities to count or understand the meanings of words or alternatively has problems in the honsty department since we can't believe he is unaware of the Sirius totals - or even all three, unless of course he is challenging the Sirius figures. Take your pick!
Should he choose to respond, we will of course publish the response but will also analyse it carefully in terms of it the meanings of the words used and the maths involved.
Previous XM Canada:
2006-06-08: US Senators Byron Dorgan (North Dakota Democrat) and Trent Lott (Mississippi Republican) have fired an opening round in the expected US contention over media ownership by writing to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin J. Martin, who is expected to push for revision of existing rules now that the commission is at full strength with the searing in of Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell (See RNW Jun 3).
In the two-page letter, sent last month but not released at the time, the duo say that before ownership regulation in allowed the FCC needs to show evidence that broadcasters are "serving their local communities" and that its Localism Task Force should complete its study on the matter before pressing ahead on changes.
The FCC, they say, "must first establish that there are sufficient mechanisms in place to ensure that broadcasters are serving their local communities before any loosening of ownership can occur."
2006-06-08: CBS Radio and Chicago-based Vibes Media have announced a deal to offer text messaging for listeners to 25 of its stations in 19 markets that is says will offer "the ability to personally engage their listeners in real time and create a wide variety of locally customized radio promotions."
The deal involves the Vibes' iRadio Instant Response Text Messaging Platform that has already been supplied to some stations owned by Citadel, Clear Channel, Emmis and XM Satellite Radio but is the first large group deal for Vibes.
Commenting on the deal, CBS radio chairman and CEO Joel Hollander said CBS was "looking for a vehicle to easily interact with our audiences on a one-to-one basis, even during large-scale contests, and Vibes' iRadio platform fits that bill perfectly."
The deal will offer CBS listeners the option to take place in promotions and contests using text messaging from their cell phone, interactive text messaging that CBS says "add a new dimension to radio sponsorships" plus the ability to join mobile clubs that give access to ringtone and wallpaper downloads.
2006-06-07: The US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), in a letter described by XM Satellite Radio as "another desperate publicity stunt" has written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to "to open an investigation to examine the issues raised by free access to satellite radio programming, and to consider whether the inequitable regulatory treatment of satellite and broadcast radio should continue."
In the letter NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr says the "unequal regulatory treatment" of satellite radio and free-to-air broadcasters "appears increasingly unjustifiable, particularly in light of the availability of satellite radio content to non subscribers, including members of the public who object to their receipt of sexually explicit and profane satellite content."
He justifies this comment by reference to "bleed-through" documented by the "Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe and other publications" that has allowed non subscribers listening to FM to receive satellite radio for limited periods" especially listeners to non-commercial stations (See RNW Apr 30),
Rehr adds that some listeners have said they "no longer listen to the FM stations of their choice when children are in their cars due to concerns about receiving the undesired satellite programming "and he adds that radio broadcasters are concerned lest this interference problem may subject them to indecency complaints and investigations, forcing them to prove themselves "innocent of broadcasting the indecent material actually aired by Sirius or XM."
Rehr then adds, "The FCC's current policy toward satellite radio is even more inequitable when one considers that, in addition to unwanted receipt of satellite radio programming due to interference, satellite radio content is available to non subscribers in other contexts as well." He cites as examples the availability of satellite radios are available in many cars from major rental car companies and also in new cars from a number of manufacturers that offer months of listening to satellite without a subscription and says that this undermines the argument that satellite should not be regulated because it is a subscription service.
RNW comment: About the only good thing we can find to say about the Rehr letter is that it appeals to an intellectual level about one point above that of the news release from NAB, which says in part," Other non-subscribers are often subjected to satellite radio content free when renting a car through many popular car rental services."
There would appear to us to be a point to be fairly made about the bleed-through - which has already led the FCC to take action and XM or the manufacturers to withdraw some models of receiver from the market (See RNW May 31), action that we consider an appropriate and sufficient response.
Beyond that the points made by NAB appear to us appropriate for a nation of children not adults should parents who hire a car be concerned lest their children hear what they feel is inappropriate material they should surely control the channels tuned to for what would normally be a fairly short period.
As to those who buy a new car, if they find having satellite so objectionable they can always disable the radio or remove it.
The positive response in our view would be for those who think there is a problem to ask dealers and hire companies to supply vehicles with HD/AM/FM receivers rather than satellite ones - if enough people did so we take it the marketplace would react accordingly. They could also put pressure on Sirius and XM to make receivers with a simple method of grouping allowable stations so as to allow an easy bar - technically possible and again something the market is likely to provide if there really is a significant problem.
2006-06-07: Former San Francisco KIFR-AM (Free FM) host John London, producer Dennis Cruz and sports reporter Chris Townsend from the drivetime" Inferno" show, who were fired by the CBS Radio station in April after London offered a reward on air to anyone who killed his fellow host Penn Jillette (See RNW Apr 12) are now suing CBS, KIFR and Jillette.
A statement from their attorney Stephen Bickford of the firm of Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott said the suit filed in the San Francisco Superior Court seeks damages for breach of contract, wrongful termination, interference with a business contract and other actions.
It notes that London's show was preceded by comments from Jillette about the late Mother Teresa in which he said she "had this weird kink that I think was sexual about seeing people suffer and die" compared her to Charles Manson, said she "got her kicks watching people suffer and die" and concluded by saying of Paris Hilton, who he had said was being considered for a movie about the late nun, "Paris Hilton: you're so much better than that. Don't take the gig. Keep making good wholesome porno films. Just do that. Do what you're cut out for. Don't lower yourself to playing Mother Teresa."
The statement continues, "London on his show said in response, 'Penn Jillette has said on a number of occasions that words do not hurt people. We should be able to say whatever we want, in the open marketplace of ideas. So here's a little string of sentences for ya: How about if I give somebody USD 5,000 to kill ya? I'll add USD 2,000 to that if there's some suffering attached to it.' When asked if torture should be considered, London replied, in mock outrage, 'That would be in poor taste.'
London also said that whoever hired Jillette should be fired, "and that includes Joel Hollander.[CBS Radio chairman and CEO]."
Bickford commented, "Obviously, the comments by London, and later remarks by Cruz and Townsend, were a joke and it's pretty obvious if you listen to the whole segment. That is the whole point of their show: it is intended to be edgy and humorous. That is why they were hired. If the station thought the comment was inappropriate, it could have pushed any one of several 'dump buttons' and kept the comments off the air. But that didn't happen; nor were any complaints received by the station itself."
He added that the show "violated no FCC regulations" and said CBS was "obligated to fulfil its contract with my clients and can not be pressured by Jillette to fire them -- solely because he [Jillette] does not like what was said about him."
The suit claims that Jillette spoke to Hollander about the comments and urged that London's team be fired immediately even though they had a "no cut" contract that ran through Oct. 19, 2007.
Bickford said he found it ironic that the head of CBS Radio would "support Jillette's trashing of Mother Teresa over those wishing to defend her through a humorous spoof, especially since Jillette preaches the gospel of free speech. I guess he's in favour of free speech for himself, but not for others."
2006-06-07: The Australian radio industry has launched the latest of its adverts promoting the use of radio as an advertising medium, highlighting in them recent research that shows the effectiveness of radio advertising in a recent recently released study, which shows that by shifting 20 per cent of a television advertising budget to radio, brand awareness can be increased by up to 20 per cent and sales lifted by up to 15 per cent.
Last month industry body Commercial Radio Australia posted on its web site and also released on CD a compendium of international research on radio's effectiveness as an advertising medium (See RNW May 4) and the organizations CEO Joan Warner commented, "The radio industry has compelling evidence that advertisers can increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns by increasing their radio buy. This is an important message - and one we believe needs highlighting for potential advertisers."
The latest campaign, written by international award-winning director of Eardrum Australia, Ralph van Dijk, continues to use comic, Mark Mitchell and rely on humour to convey the message that radio is a cost-effective medium for advertisers.
Warner said of the campaign, "Today's advertising climate is also highly competitive and very cluttered, making it imperative for advertisers to use effective and efficient mediums for their message to get through - radio is often the best answer."
Commercial Radio Australia has also announced that nearly 1,200 entries have been received for this year's Australian Commercial Radio Awards, which are to be presented in Sydney in October.
There are 29 categories for the awards, now in their 18th year, including news, talk, sport, music and entertainment and CRA says this year there have been strong entries in the Best On-Air Team, Best News Presenter, Best Sports Presenter and Best Talk Presenter categories.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2006-06-07: India is to start a third phase of private FM licence auctions this year rather than waiting until 2007 according to the Business Standard, which says licences for 100 cities will be on offer with the process to begin in the next two months.
It says sources in the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry noted that there were no bids for 57 of the licences in the second phase earlier this year (See RNW Feb 8) on top of which 23 successful bidders had surrendered licences as regulations do not allow a body to control more than 15 per cent of the total allotted FM frequencies. In addition new FM licences are to be offered in 20 cities.
The paper says the success of the second phase of FM licensing gave "such a lift to the sector, the I&B ministry is going ahead with the third phase when the interest is high."
Previous Indian Radio:
Business Standard report:
2006-06-07: Salem Communications has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Salem Communications Holding Corporation has given notice of its intent to redeem the remainder of its outstanding 9% senior subordinated notes due July 2011.
Salem says the redemption will happen on July 6 at a redemption price, as set forth in the notes, of 104.5% of the principal amount outstanding, USD 94.0 million, adding that it will report a loss of approximately USD 3.6 million resulting from this early redemption.
RNW note -The loss figure above is a corrected one -Salem had initially said USD 6.7 million.
2006-06-06: According to the Los Angeles Times the US House of Representatives is expected on Wednesday to by-pass negotiation with the Senate over details of a new broadcast indecency bill and vote in favour of a Senate Bill that was passed last month (See RNW May 20).
Under the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act the maximum penalty that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can levy for an offence will increase tenfold to USD 325,000, a lower figure than the USD 500,000 in the House Bill that also included provisions such as applying penalties to individual broadcasters and a licence revocation hearing after three offences by a broadcaster.
The Times says House Majority Leader Ohio Republican John Boehner opted to take up the senate bill as it stood rather than risk a fight in the Senate for the tougher penalties the House had proposed: It adds that the bill is to be considered today and voted on tomorrow under special rules generally reserved for non controversial legislation.
This means there has to be a two-thirds majority but the main sponsor of the House bill, Michigan Republican Fred Upton, expects the bill to pass overwhelmingly.
Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback, the sponsor of the Senate bill, said in a statement the move was "a victory for children and families.
The paper quotes an unnamed industry executive, who requested anonymity, as saying the increased penalties will have a "huge impact" and force radio and TV broadcaster to introduce delay mechanisms into live broadcasts to avoid inadvertently breaching the law.
"It's already caused a chilling effect," the executive said of the FCC's tougher enforcement. "It's going to be even more so, because now we're looking at numbers that are really big " - the record indecency fine levied to date was of USD 32,500 per station - the current maximum - on 111 affiliates that aired a simulated orgy scene on the series "Without a Trace" although the USD 3.6 million total was subsequently cut to USD 3.3 million.
Los Angeles Times report:
2006-06-06: UK Channel 4 TV which has for some time been pushing forward plans to extend its operations into radio and plans to lead a consortium that will bid for the second national commercial digital radio multiplex to be licensed in the UK by Ofcom (See RNW Jan 20) has formally announced the launch of an internet radio station.
The station - currently a rather limited on demand and download service - features spin-off audio downloads of its TV shows such as "Big Brother", "Richard and Judy's Book Club" and "Lost" as well as a daily half-hour news bulletin and racing guide amongst other speech programming including comedy, and a detective series.
Most of the offerings are free - although would-be listeners have to sign up to be able to listen - and are in MP3 format although some will carry links to offerings that have to be bought such as audio books and that will only be available as WMA files because of DRM (digital rights management) restrictions placed on them by the content owner.
Some will also be broadcast on the Oneword commercial digital station in which Channel 4 is now the majority owner and the station is also hoping to be able to expand into national digital transmissions of speech and music programming should it win a national multiplex.
The company has appointed former BBC Radio 2 controller Jim Moir as the first member of its editorial development committee and he will work with its Director of Radio Nathalie Schwarz, the former Capital Radio strategy and development director, advising on such matters as programme commissioning, talent development and management and the bid for the multiplex.
Commenting at the launch Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan said the company saw the launch as "the next step towards our stated ambition of building a presence in UK radio, in support of our strategy of offering public service competition to the BBC across all major media."
"We believe there is a gap in the market for contemporary speech radio services - offering an alternative to what the BBC has to offer across news, current affairs, comedy, entertainment, lifestyle and many more genres - as well as non-formulaic music radio," he added.
Duncan said UK commercial radio needed fresh thinking and said they were confident their combination of talent, experience and a creative approach could "enhance" it.
Schwarz added that their ambition was to obtain digital licences and use them to launch 4-branded stations, saying, "We believe there is a gap for us in the market - a chance to bring Channel 4's spirit of innovation and risk-taking to radio, to extend the range of programming on offer, bring new advertisers to the medium and help strengthen the UK commercial radio sector, which is struggling to compete effectively with the BBC."
Previous Channel 4:
2006-06-06: A Bridge Ratings survey of some 2,500 15-24 year-olds indicated that the cell phone is the greatest future threat among this age group not only for traditional and Internet radio but also for iPods according to the company.
It asked "music consumers" what device they would prefer for listening if other factors such as cost, storage, design and fidelity were equal and reports that amongst "casual users" - those who spend 1 hour a day or less listening to their personal music collection and download music files no more than 4 times per month- 59% opted for a combination device, 30% for separate ones and 11% were in the "Don't know" category.
The picture was different amongst what it termed "die-hards" - those who spend more than 3 hours a day listening to their personal music collection and download music files at least 3 times per typical week with only 22 preferring a combined device to 72% opting for separate ones and 6% "Don't know."
Bridge has also published its latest satellite radio trends survey and says that the Howard Stern effect continues to lessen as a factor for subscribing to Sirius and also notes XM sales slowing: It now forecasts XM to have 8.4 million subscribers at the end of this year with Sirius at 6.5 million.
In terms of receiver purchases it shows XM steadily slipping back - from a 45% to 55% ratio in favour of Sirius in the week of May 15 to 45%-57% in the week of May 22 and 40% to 60% in the week of May 29.
Regarding Stern in the period from April 1 to May 22, it says 24% said they hadn't subscribed because they didn't miss stern enough, the same percentage that the costs are too high, a further 20% that they have switched to a morning show that was previously a second choice with a further 1% in each category saying they don't currently listen to morning radio and don't see the value of satellite radio with 2% in the don't know category.
Despite the waning Stern factor, Sirius still maintained an edge amongst those asked to name a satellite radio company prior to making a purchase - it scores 51% to 49% for XM in the week of May 15, 54% to 46% in the week of May 22 and then slipped back a little to 52% to 48% in the week of May 29.
In terms of primary reason for purchasing satellite radio in the week of May 29, 34% of its purchasers chose XM for programming variety and 38% opted for Sirius for the same reason; 18% for XM and 21% for Sirius cited no commercials; 10% for XM and 15% for Sirius cited sporting packages and 8% cited personalities for XM compared to 15% for Sirius.
Previous Bridge Ratings:
2006-06-06: A Hong Kong radio station poll that invited listeners to vote online on which Hong Kong female celebrity they would most like to sexually assault has sparked outrage in the former British colony and led the Hong Kong Television and Licensing Authority to say it will investigate according to the Hong Kong Standard.
It says that Commercial Radio's 22:00 to midnight weekday "So Fab" show, which had put forward a list of 20 female stars and asked for the vote, has now changed the poll to one to find "the most sexiest actress" and programme host Leung Chi-kin, also known as "Sammy," had apologized in a recorded message posted on the internet and said he never intended to offend women.
The paper says Acting Chief Executive Rafael Hui Si-yan and 13 policy secretaries had said the show was "unacceptable" and education chief Arthur Li Kwok- cheung lodged a formal complaint letter with the Broadcasting Authority on Monday saying in part, "To openly incite members of the public to express their wish to commit such a crime is totally irresponsible and unacceptable. A radio program targeted at teenagers, or indeed at any member of the public, should not incite, encourage or abet any criminal offence or activities of dubious moral values."
It adds that 11 women's rights groups marched to the licensing authority and the Equal Opportunities Commission offices Monday to lodge a complaint and quoted the Women's Commission, a government-funded organization that monitors women's issues, as saying it was appalled by the show.
"This is a blatant act of disrespect to females and encourages violence against women," it said in a statement. "We believe that the community will not accept such a notion. The Women's Commission denounces any acts that degrade the dignity and respect of females. We do not accept any such acts of blurring the lines of right and wrong."
Hong Kong Standard report:
2006-06-05: This week we start our offering of print comment on radio with analytical items - from the Australia, the Middle East, UK and US about radio.
First, courtesy of radiocastme (which requires registration), relates to a three reports about Middle East radio in the wake of last month's Dubai Radio Conference in its most recent edition.
In one, Campaign Middle East's Tim Addington writes that radio in the region "has an image problem. It is failing to attract significant advertising dollars compared to its rivals in print and television, and is held in disdain by many of the people who listen to it. Inane DJs, poor production qualities and woeful local news coverage are just some of the criticisms levelled against the medium. And that's all before the subject of the adverts even comes up."
Addington said that "With the percentage of advertising share on the medium failing to reach double digits, and the near universal lack of audience research and ratings, radio executives will be hoping they can glean some useful insights into how to make it more attractive to listeners and, at the same time, encourage advertisers to spend more with it."
Part of the blame he reported, according to Ian Carless, managing partner of the International Radio Conference is that radio is in its infancy in the area saying, "There is a big learning curve for radio in the region to go through. A lot of stations have got away with doing what they were doing for a long time. There wasn't any real competition. But look at the other forms of entertainment available now. Look at what there was to do in Dubai 10 years ago to what there is to do now - there are vast amounts of choice available to you."
Andy Hosie, programme director at pop music station Dubai 92, blamed an emphasis on business and noted that too much importance is placed on sales targets, rather than developing the on-air talent.
"There is not that drive here to build up the radio personality," he said. "The radio presenter is pretty much seen as the bottom rung, whereas sales is considered far more important than the people that are promoting the brand on air."
"In other countries, everybody strives to become the breakfast show presenter, which is regarded as the flagship slot," he added. "I don't think that the incentives are enough here. Why should someone do breakfast if they are not going to be paid any more than someone doing a lunchtime show? In fact, you lose because you are expected to be out of bed at 4am, cut out your social life. You don't get any extra benefit from that."
Hosie also referred to the problems of audience measurement, saying, "At the moment we really don't know who is listening to us, or the competition. We have a fair idea but it is through word of mouth. If you have a breakdown of age groups, when they are listening, the number of hours they listen, then you can become much more effective in your features, competitions, advertising and client targeting. It would become much more efficient
Carless also argues that research is vital for the industry, saying, "The most serious thing that radio needs to do at the moment is take a look at research and really have a good long look at who is listening."
"I think that is the biggest area where stations fall down," he added, "In terms of advertising share, radio doesn't seem to get a look in. But it doesn't help itself because it has no figures at all as to who is listening and for how long. Advertisers are reluctant to put any serious money into it."
In a second article, Addington talked to Radio One, Lebanon, CEO, Raymond Gaspar, about his call for the formation of an association to promote radio in the area.
Gasper commented, "Radio is still being marginalised when it comes to advertising campaigns. It tends to be the last thing they [advertisers] think of for promoting events and products. The idea is to work on improving the image of radio as a valid medium with a solid listener base."
"I think there is enough experience and talent in the Middle East so that we can come together to see how we should move forward," he added, suggesting the group should be called the Middle East Independent Radio Association and should consider issues such as radio ratings, de-regulation of the industry and increasing radio revenues.
Not everybody felt that there was such a need however: Addington notes that in a question and answer session following a speech by Gaspar, Arabian Radio Network CEO Abdullatif Al Sayegh said, "Why would you go for research when everybody is happy and making money?"
Support however came from Jeff Price, programme director of the UAE's Radio 1 and 2 stations, who said: "It is a fantastic idea, we definitely need to have an independent body. Research is what we desperately need, this body can make that happen. It is also important that the radio industry stands up to be counted."
The third article we noted was a report on a speech by Sayegh in which he was reported to have said that only people who were positive about the UAE should be allowed to have licences, saying, "Investors ask when are you going to open up your licences? But people who come from outside unfortunately they always come with this phrase freedom of expression or speech. The way they see it is completely different to the way we see it. "
He also said the report launched into a thinly-veiled attack on a weekly listener phone-in programme that appears on rival station Radio 2, saying, "There is one station and one particular programme and there's not a single positive element they can discuss. It's all about negativity. If the country is bad, if the people are no good, if we don't have security, if you don't have safety, if you complain about all of this, my question is: what are you doing here? "
"If we want our government to open up we have to show them we have to be loyal. If we come to understand that, then only by that time licences will be allowed to be owned from people outside," he concluded.
RNW comment: Reading the last article we can only say that we wouldn't put a single Dirham of investment into a Dubai investment if the predominant guidelines are to bury news of potential problems and demand "loyalty" to a ruling government as a pre-requisite. Far better to have allowed Dubai Ports to have gone ahead with the P&O deal than to risk funds in any area where the policy seems to be to prefer to blame the messenger rather than anticipate problems and plan to deal with them (And no, we couldn't help ourselves thinking of the current US administration in the same terms).
Moving on to the US, and Greater Media President and Chief Executive Officer Peter H. Smyth who in a recent "From the Corner Office" posting on the Boston-headquartered company's web site considered the "Benefits of Being a Privately-Held Broadcasting Company in 2006."
Smyth writes that as "Wall Street soured on it's love affair with radio, bottom-line demands increased, options went under water, and operating efficiencies became the new buzzword " and adds that now "hot money is chasing new media, websites are being bought by large companies spinning off stations or trying to go private."
Smyth says it is the nature of public markets to "constantly search out the next big thing" and look for maximum return on capital in the short term and then continues, "But there are other types of investors: those who build for the long term. This is called 'patient capital.'"
Smyth says Greater Media is fortunate to be in the second category because, "We do not have to chase the 90-day window of quarterly reporting, and we can look at our business on a longer time line."
"That point of view," he writes, "is what allows us to expand our vision to include things like HD Radio, web casting, new programming formats, and new approaches to selling to our advertisers. It allows us to make investments in people and take the time to address these opportunities and feel our way forward to find the proper and rewarding return on that investment."
Smyth says it also allows the company "to maintain our decentralized management structure which empowers the local managers to take control of and responsibility for serving their communities in the most appropriate fashion" and says this allows it to operate not with a "corporate-wide format, but with a customized execution for each city that allows our valuable on-air personalities to maintain and deepen their presence in their community and their friendship with their listeners."
"Some critics," he continues, "may say that this is old-fashioned; that we're not taking advantage of the economies of scale that modern consolidated radio presents. I couldn't disagree more. The strength of radio always has been, and will continue to be, the local, intimate relationship that we have with our listeners. It may change and evolve with new technology and we will embrace those changes, but the relationship is the key. And the strength of that relationship is what makes radio attractive and effective to advertisers. We can and do produce results for businesses large and small at a remarkably effective cost. It's easy to describe; it's difficult to do well."
Changing contexts and continents but with content in line with Smyth's comments, we follow with a report from Australia and Mark Day in his "On Media" column in The Australian with a report decrying DMG's Vega operation in Sydney and Melbourne.
Under the heading, "One radio station for two markets remains a daft idea", Day writes, "Twenty years ago, when the great CBC experiment collapsed in a heap of slaughtered egos and shattered dreams, I observed that it had been 20 years ahead of its time. Today, I have to admit I was wrong. It was probably just a bloody silly idea."
Of "The Consolidated Broadcasting Company (or corporation, but it doesn't matter)," he writes, "It was a made-up name designed to give a credible moniker and a bit of gravitas to the grand concept of linking two radio stations in two big markets and running them as one."
"In the case of CBC, it was 2UE in Sydney and 3AK in Melbourne, both owned at the time by Kerry Packer's Australian Consolidated Press."
"CBC was an utter failure," writes Day, who had moved to it from 3AW and he then compares it to the DMG Vega operation.
Day then goes on to note that DMG has now separated the two stations, saying of chief executive Paul Thompson, "For almost a year he has tried to do a CBC with Vega: sharing staff and programming between the two cities. And he's ended up in the rating pits, just where we did, and he's thrown in the towel."
"The lesson here is obvious," writes Day. "Of all the media, radio is local, local, local Sure, there's a niche for national programs such as the ABC's Radio National, but it is not a commercial possibility. There's one RN and hundreds of local stations."
"People like to know what's going on in their back yards," comments Day. "They like rumour and gossip; they like knowing what's going on down their street, and they resent having to put up with things that have no relevance to them. Local radio carries with it a sense of community "
In Australia, says Day, "The only person who has made a success of commercial program sharing is John Laws, whose morning program on 2UE is syndicated across many regional markets. But that's only for an hour or two, not an entire day, and it has traditionally come with advertising bookings from his leading sponsors, such as Toyota."
Finally to Europe starting with the UK and the Radio Waves column in the Sunday Times: This week Roland White comments on pop music on the radio, using the topic as a cue to remark on the European Media Forum report that said that the BBC should sell off Radios 1 and 2 (See RNW May 23).
"Of course, this is never going to happen," writes White. "If the BBC can't scrap the Radio 4 early-morning theme without public uproar and questions in parliament, imagine trying to get shot of two entire networks. No director-general would ever have the courage to do it, let alone the will."
He admits a possible defence for BBC Radio 2 - "You might defend Radio 2 on the grounds that it offers a service to lovers of jazz, folk, big bands, brass bands, Whispering Bob Harris and other neglected areas" but then continues, "But what does Radio 1 offer that could not be done just as well as a commercial station? On some shows, the chatter seems more important than the music."
White goes on to give a transcript of recent chatter on the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio1 (See link below but as so often, cold hard print, highlights the inanity) and conclude, "Moyles boasts about his dominance over commercial stations, but I can't help wondering if a discussion about whether a golfer has an erection is so precious that it needs state support?"
RNW comment: As we find much of the Radio 1 chatter inane and don't listen to Moyles but have noted his ratings success, we don't have any particular brief for the BBC as such on Radio 1 but do still think there is a value in having a channel without commercials, a view for which there would appear to be a fair amount of general support amongst all listeners.
Then Ireland and RTÉ radio whose changes we recently reported (See RNW May 29), changes forming the basis of comment, also in the Sunday Times from Stephen Price who says the changes don't answer the big questions about the future of RTÉ Radio 1 and 2FM although he says the announcement of the changes was like "a carefully planned and ruthlessly executed cull."
Most of the credit, or blame, says Price is going to Ana Leddy, the head of Radio 1, but he says the "architect of the changes is Adrian Moynes, who became director of RTE Radio in 2002."
Price says the former Radio 1 head Eithne Hand "did not have the same force of personality and levels of self-belief as her surprise replacement. Nor, towards the end of her tenure, did she have the stomach to oversee a cull."
So, he continues, Moynes "played a long game. He watched as the Dublin station NewsTalk 106 found its feet and finally obtained its quasi-national licence, before acquiring a willing gunslinger in Leddy and then declaring his hand. NewsTalk could tweak its line-up before hitting the national stage in the autumn, but Radio 1's transformation will leave it playing catch-up."
Price views the Radio 1 changes as having a logic "that is hard to fault" but as regards 2FM he is sceptical at the very least " The elephant in the room of RTE radio is still present - how much longer can Montrose continue to hang 2FM on the declining success of Gerry Ryan?"
Price suggests that 2FM would need major changes to its morning schedule to gain the youth audience -"adequately catered for elsewhere and is, in any case, gradually migrating to the internet as its musical medium of choice" and suggests a change in target audience.
"So, why not leave them to it and devote 2FM to the 35-plus musical audience instead?," he asks, "Broadcasters such as Kelly [former RTÉ Radio 1 host John Kelly who has been dropped) would have fitted perfectly into a more mature 2FM. BBC Radio 2 performs this function in Britain, running a huge variety of specialist music shows, particularly in the evening. It also happens to be the UK's most popular station.
And on to suggested listening, and first "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Dispatch Box" - or "Despatch" on the day-to-day listings as opposed to Listen-Again link - on BBC Radio 4, a quarter-hour feature that showed some politicians as having wit and proved an unexpected listening pleasure to us: It first ran last month but was repeated Sunday morning so with luck will be around for a few more days.
After this, a total of some five hours of listening from BBC World Service in "World Stories", a series of features from round the world -Albania, Bhutan, Brazil (two stories), Iceland, India, Kenya, Palestine, Romania, South Africa, and Ukraine - that were broadcast by the service from 2004 onwards and range from the Story of Mother Theresa produced last year by Irena Luto of the Albanian Service to the success story of black Ukrainian TV presenter and musician Myroslav Kuvaldin, produced in 2004 by Olga Betko of the Ukrainian service.
Then also with broadcasts of the past, "Late Night Live" from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that last Friday in "Classic Late Night Live" re-broadcast a 2,000 programme on "The rise of religious fundamentalism ", an interview with former nun Karen Armstrong on the history of fundamentalism in various religions, something she sees as a 19th century phenomenon -originating in the US -that developed as a reaction to the secular societies that had grown up as economies changed from agricultural to capitalist. In essence she seems to us to be theorizing that all the fundamentalists are reacting to the failures of their doctrines in the face of modernity that in the case of the Moslem World came with a loss of power and colonialism. She also calls the Fatwah against Salman Rushdie in clear breach of Islamic law but that it suited the West not to pick this up and Khomeini to issue the Fatwah as part of an Iranian power struggle.
We also liked her characterization of former President Clinton's prayer breakfast during the Lewinsky scandal as a sign of success of the fundamentalists- she uses the term "Christian fascism" in America - and something that would have been political suicide in the UK.
Still with Islam the ABC's "The Spirit of Things" on Sunday in Part 5 of its "Spiritual Classics" series looked at Islam and the teachings of the Qur'an and its interpretation within a modern context.
Also from the ABC, we'd suggest last Wednesday's Ockham's Razor which amongst other things looked at the "misestimate of probabilities" that leads people to jump to incorrect conclusions.
Then moving more up to date, we suggest the latest "On the Media" from WNYC in New York, which led off, in relation to the current alleged massacre in Haditha, with an interview with Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bateman who told the programme before the Iraq war - that "embedding" the media with the military might prevent future My Lais.
With a different perspective on US political problems "Media Matters" on WILL-AM last Wednesday featured as its guest Stephen Hill, Director of the Political Reform Program of the New America Foundation and co-founder of the Center for Voting and Democracy, who has just published a new book "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy."
Then back to the BBC and Radio 4 but this time not for the speech so much as the sound in "Sampledelica: History of the Mellotron" in which Mark Radcliffe explored the history of the Mellotron including comment from Sir Paul McCartney on its use in the opening of The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever". A worthy quirky programme about a similar instrument.
Still with music and in this case BBC Radio 3, the most recent Jazz File on Saturday was the third of the "Miles Davis at 80" series, this time looking at the early 60s whilst "The Choir" on Sunday featured South African choral music from indigenous tribal songs and Gospel, to Handel's Messiah in Zulu.
It was followed in the "Drama on 3 " slot by "Breakfast With Mugabe" by Fraser Grace, which imagines the relationship between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and a white psychiatrist he has turned to for help when he comes to believe he is being stalked by an ngozi or bitter spirit - the murderous ghost of a long-dead comrade..
And a PS on sort since World Cup soccer is about to start and is already dominating UK sports talk: It's even making its way onto BBC Radio1 but for wall-to-wall BBC Radio Five Live has the edge.
The Australian - Day:
Greater Media - Smyth:
Radioacastme site -current front page links to items mentioned:
UK Sunday Times - White:
2006-06-05: The former director of WSOU-FM, Seton Hall University's radio station, has been charged with embezzling more than USD 500,000 from the station over a period of 14 years.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger Michael Collazo, now 58, set up a company Warren Sound Options Unlimited into whose account cheques for WSOU could be deposited amongst various ways of embezzling from the station.
The paper says the fraud had gone undetected until in 2004 when a student business manager submitted a list of advertisers that was substantially different from that from Collazo leading to an audit that discovered the irregularities and led to his being dismissed.
Collazo has been charged with money laundering and theft by deception and Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow said that without the audit there's no telling when the theft would have stopped, adding, "This could have gone on for a long time and it already had," she said.
Prosecutors say Collazo siphoned off USD 236,000 in advertising money from the station, and also leased - at a charge of more than USD 342,000 - two sub frequencies to Radio Verité, a station serving the Haitian community, and EIES of NJ, which provides radio programming for the blind: Their payments went to accounts linked to Warren Sound Options Unlimited and Carrier Plus Communications, another bogus company set up by Collazo..
University spokesman Tom White said it had to "rely on the honesty of the faculty director" because the payments were diverted before they entered the university's accounting system, leaving Seton Hall officials with no way of knowing additional money was being collected.
He added that the university had a long-standing agreement to lease a sub frequency to EIES of NJ for a nominal fee of less than USD 100 a year and said, "It might have said in the books that we were getting $100 a year, but we had no idea what Mr. Collazo was allegedly charging. It may appear that it was a blatant oversight on our part, but I don't think that's the case when you look at the fact that these were sub frequencies designed to help special-needs audiences."
White said Seton Hall had recovered all the missing money through its insurance policy but none of Collazo's assets has been seized and prosecutors said they are still investigating where the money went. Dow said some of the money was used to pay off credit card bills, but could not say how much.
Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Ford Livengood said that under New Jersey's money laundering statute, , a conviction would require Collazo to serve at least a third of his sentence behind bars without a chance for parole.
RNW comment: In a case like this we can't see much benefit to society in jailing a malefactor - at extra cost to society - but every benefit in seizure of all assets. This would, of course, have an effect on Collazo's wife who presumably benefited unwittingly from the fraud but this would be less unjust than not refunding money to an organization like EIES.
As for Collazo, who had been working as a flight attendant, we don't see it as likely that he'll ever again get the chance to defraud on any scale so better that he has to work as much as possible - and pay as much as possible from his earnings in reparation.
New Jersey Star-Ledger report:
2006-06-05: The Cumulus takeover of Susquehanna Radio has claimed another victim in long time KNBR-AM sports anchor and reporter John Shrader who has resigned and told the Contra Costa Times "there were a number of things which we couldn't agree on, primarily my value to the company."
Schrader added, "Things have changed since the company was sold, that's for sure. I was there for 15 years and it was a great 15 years. It was time for a change. I know it will be good for me. Whether it's good for them is their business."
The paper adds that
KNBR program director Lee Hammer declined to comment because beyond saying he "was a little surprised he resigned."
Contra Costa Times report:
2006-06-05: Pakistan has banned 87 illegal FM radio stations in the country's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) according to radiocastme, which quotes Muhammad Saleem, a spokesman for Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), as saying the stations will be closed down in different parts of the province in the next three months.
Saleem added the many of the banned FM stations were established by religious clerics in mosques and were used for preaching.
Radiocast also says two rival religious clerics used their radio stations Kheyber tribal area, close to Afghan border, to stir up opposition to each other leading to clashes in which scores from each side died.
radiocastme report (Requires registration):
2006-06-04: In what was generally a very quiet week for the regulators the main news was the swearing in of Robert McDowell that took the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) up to full strength, broke the 2-all Republican- Democrat logjam and is likely to lead to moves on new US media regulations.
These have been stalled since changes passed on a 3-2 party-line vote under then chairman Michael J Powell in June 2003 (See RNW Jun 3, 2003) that ran into opposition in the Senate (See RNW Jun 20, 2003 and Jun 23, 2004) and was also subsequently rejected in large part by the courts (See RNW Jun 25, 2004). Elsewhere the week was very quiet.
In Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has opted not to proceed for now with allocation of a permanent community licence for the Upper Murray area of New South Wales.
High Country Christian Broadcasters Association Inc. had proposed a service targeting the Christian community but the ACMA opted not to allocate the licence.
Also in New South Wales, the ACMA has allocated a new community radio licence to serve the Moss Vale area to MVH FM Incorporated (MVH), which is currently broadcasting under a temporary community licence.
MVH, which provides a youth format service, was the only applicant for the licence.
In Canada we only noted one radio-related decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) - the renewal until 31 March 2007 of the licence of Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.'s Type B native radio station CFIE-FM, Toronto.
There were no radio decisions from Ireland and in the UK it was also quiet although Ofcom did issue an updated policy statement on signs are permanently associated with an individual with transfer only allowed under exceptional circumstanced but Ofcom is to ease the restrictions and allow transfers with the permission of a call sign holder and from a deceased amateur to another amateur if the recipient is entitled to hold a licence of an equal class or of a higher class to the donor.
In the US, as noted the main news regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was the swearing in of Robert McDowell (See RNW Jun 3): It also refused a CBS appeal against the USD 550,000 fine imposed on the then Viacom in relation to the TV broadcast on 20 of its stations of the Super Bowl half-time show in which part of a Janet Jackson breast was exposed (See RNW Sept 23, 2004).
The FCC also issued a number of provisional decisions concerning mutually exclusive non-commercial educational FM applications. The decisions, on the basis of which station would serve more potential listeners, were the following:
Illinois: Award of licence to Bloomington Normal Broadcasting Corporation ("BNBC") for a station in Bloomington: It had been competing against two applications for a licence in Gridley.
Missouri: Award of licence to New Life Evangelistic Center, Inc. for a station in Bowling Green. It was competing against an application for a station in Troy
South Carolina: Award of licence to American Family Association for station in Dillon. It was competing against applications for stations in Florence and Marion.
The FCC also denied an informal objection against the grant of a low-power FM licence for station KAPU-LP, Watsonville, California. The objectors had said that the station had breached oral agreements with the local community and will program KAPU-LP, which serves a community that is around 80% Spanish speaking, only with Hawaiian music, contrary to the statement of purpose in its original application.
The FCC noted that in 1981 it adopted rules substantially deregulating programming requirements and said it "not substitute its judgment for that of the station regarding programming matters." It also said no evidence had been provided of misrepresentation that had been alleged and denied the objection.
In Ohio it granted an application to re-allocate WOXY-FM from Oxford, to Mason and denied an informal objection on the basis that the change was a "migration" from a rural area to the suburbs of Cincinnati, the closest the signal could go and meet spacing requirements with other broadcasters and also that the move would deprive the Oxford business community would be deprived of its only local radio advertising outlet.
The FCC noted that the change would establish a first local service at Mason, while Oxford would retain non-commercial educational station WMUB-FM, and also noted a report that Mason is sufficiently independent of the Cincinnati Urbanized Area to warrant a first local service preference.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-06-04: In further signs of the importance US radio companies are placing on the Internet, Emmis has started to integrate the integrate the iTunes Music Store into its radio station Web sites and Entercom has named Sandy Smallens to the newly created position of Senior Vice President - Digital for the company.
The Emmis move - it says it is the first company in the US to make it - started at Chicago alt-rocker WKQX-FM and Indianapolis contemporary-hits station WNOU-FM and will be extended to all its stations over the next month.
Rey Mena, vice president of Emmis Interactive, said in a news release, "We approached Apple with the idea, and we developed the back-end technology to make this possible. Many Web sites link to iTunes, but we're the first to pull iTunes' entire 2.5 million-song catalogue into our sites, weaving station programming with the Apple platform."
Emmis Radio president Rick Cummings added, "Radio has always been a promoter of music, but now our radio stations are also a point of purchase. This could take the industry in a new direction."
Emmis will promote the feature on air and through its web sites and listener clubs and will receive a portion of the payments made for all sales through its sites: It piloted the Music Store integration last month at two stations, New York's WQHT-FM (Hot 97) and Los Angeles's KPWR (Power 106).
At Entercom, Smallens will lead the strategy, development, marketing and sales of Entercom's current and future interactive offerings and President and CEO David J. Field said he would bring "a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership from the digital world, and will be a superb addition to Entercom as we accelerate our emphasis on interactive content and marketing."
RNW: As non-traditional revenues are the only growth area for revenues in US radio at the moment according to latest Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) figures, we expect to see more and more stations try to boost their income through various download sales through their web sites with particular emphasis as HD rolls out on the technology, already in existence, that allows one-button purchase of a song that is being heard.
What intrigues us is the extent to which this may yet affect programming since some broadcasters already ensure they play only part of a song or have talk over some part of it so as to boost sales of whole songs - a more positive way of exploiting digital capabilities we would suggest than the Recording Industry policy of trying to use the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and lobbying to stop people being able to record any digital signal off-air.
Such a policy would of course, give an incentive to people to listen to their music for at least some of the time from sources other than the radio but provide a consolation payment through music sales. We would also, as we have commented in the past, rather like to see listeners pay more attention to technical quality anyway -with delivery possible at real CD quality rather than the lower bit rate MP3s now sold, it could be that the recording companies might get more income as well from delivering quality options - the best at a higher price for those who particularly like a song or piece of music and the usual lower-price charge as charged by I-tunes and competitors for a quality level that to those with good ears and equipment -speakers or headphones - is definitely not up to that of a CD.
2006-06-04: Former Mercia FM managing director Stuart Linnell who is also a former BBC CWR (Coventry and Warwickshire) breakfast show host is currently back on the air in the city broadcasting from a caravan.
His return is part of a bid by Coventry Local Radio (CLR), which is backed by Laser Broadcasting, to pitch for a commercial FM licence for the area. It has a three-week restricted service licence that it is using to broadcast from the Arena Park shopping centre at Rowleys Green.
Linnell, who is presenting the station's weekday breakfast show, told the Coventry Evening Telegraph, "Our small, green caravan is not very glamorous, but I'm sure that we will be successful and that Coventry will soon have a new radio station. I'm very excited. I've worked in Coventry off and on since 1980, and to get back on air again here is a real buzz for me.
"We are confident that we have the right product," he added. "We've done our market research and will be launching a show which focuses on local people and I'm sure it will strike a chord with the readers of the Evening Telegraph."
2006-06-03: US radio revenues in April were down 4% compared to a year earlier according to US Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), a steeper drop than the previous two months when they were down by 1%.
Within the figures national revenues were down 7%, local revenues were down 4%, total combined local and national advertising was down 5% and - the only bright spot - non-spot revenues were up 8%.
Year-to-date figures are down 1% for grand total spot and non-spot revenue, national sales are flat, local sales are down 2% and non-spot revenues are up 9%.
For April, RAB's Ad Sales Index that equates pre-dot.com boom base year 1998 to 100 was 131.6 for total combined local and national with the local index 134.4 and the national index 122.1 with the year-to-date figures showing total combined local and national 140.2, the local index 138.8 and the national index 145.1.
Previous RAB and RAB figures:
2006-06-03: CBS Radio is to put the Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) Show into four additional markets taking it into a total of 11 markets - WXYT-AM, Detroit; WAZU-FM, Columbus, Ohio; and WZNE-FM, Rochester, New York, will launch the show next Monday and WJFK-FM in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 26 and will also simulcast the show on its website.
The show is split into a three-hour "terrestrial" version that originates from WFNY-FM, its CBS Free FM outlet in New York and that CBS broadcasts on its stations and is simulcast by XM Satellite Radio plus an uncensored additional two hours on XM, which originates from XM's New York studios.
In April the duo took over the CBS slot on an initial seven CBS stations previously airing David Lee Roth, who succeeded Howard Stern (See RNW Apr 25). They had been picked up by XM in October 2004 (See RNW Oct 2, 2004) after a spell off-air following their 2002 firing by CBS from WNEW-FM in New York after the Sex in St Patrick's Cathedral incident (See RNW Sep 2, 2002)
Previous Opie and Anthony:
2006-06-03: A new study by Edison Media Research, which regularly releases joint-reports with Arbitron, says there are many potential problems in using cell phones as audio measurement devices. The report, "Use of the Cell Phone as a Media Measurement Device" has been released shortly after Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) pager device got a boost by its adoption for a London area trial by British ratings organizations RAJAR when it awarded its new contract last month although it opted to stick with diaries for a further two years (See RNW May 23).
At the time RAJAR said it had chosen the PPM for a London area trial panel because it was, although not yet up to scratch, the "most ready" of the electronic metering systems considered - the others were the Eurisko and TMA-Ipsos offerings with the TMA-Ipsos cell-phone based system also under consideration in the US where Clear Channel issued a call for proposals for a new system.
The Edison Media report says the cell phone is now used by 70% of Americans above 12 and there is "a logic to making this already widely-used device do yet one more thing" but then goes to warn of demographic problems - only 50% of those 65+ carry a cell phone, and only 8% of those 6-11 according to their parents - as well as those of used habits.
"The typical cell phone user employs a broad list of habits that will require retraining if the cell phone is to be super-purposed as a media measurement device" says the report, noting that half of respondents with cell phones turn them off while they are awake between 7pm and midnight and nearly a tenth had loaned them to friends or family members for more than a few hours in the week before they were contacted
In addition it says the publicly announced plan to give out free phones and free minutes could significantly influence the very behaviour that the phones attempt to measure since many respondents said they would listen to less radio if given free phones or minutes with 14% of those who do not have cell phones told us that they expect that they would listen to less radio if they were given a free cell phone.
It says that, because of this, incentives should be changed to something other than hones and minutes and that those proposing use of the cell-phone for metering will have to conduct studies to determine the effect of the phone on the listening it is being used to measure.
RNW comment: Even if we assume no self-interest by Edison is effectively knocking the use of the cell phone for audio measurement, we see nothing in this report anywhere near the level of thought that RAJAR has put into the problems of all metering devices.
Some of the items noted - for instance using cell phones to play games - do not appear to us particularly significant objections since the same would apply to a cell phone user who was wearing a PPM pager; others should presumably be fairly simple to overcome - such as habits of switching off a phone while charging the battery; whilst yet others of using a phone to the extent that battery goes flat might be more difficult to solve.
Many more complexities of listening behaviour are not addressed and will apply to all devices - such things as listening on headphones, walking around in a house where different receivers in different rooms are used to listen to different channels - the brain is quite good at narrowing down the listening to the desired station but we can't see how a meter of any kind can do so- and so on.
Previous Edison Media:
Edison Media presentation (105 KB 25 Page PDF):
2006-06-03: The Local Radio Company, which owns and operates 28 local radio licences across the UK with four other stations for which licences were recently won still to be launched, has tempered optimism in its trading statement issued in April, in releasing interim results for the six months to the end of March.
It then said overall revenues would be up 1% but like-for-like ones down 3% and the period ahead would be "challenging" with limited visibility.
In the event its interim pre-tax losses more than doubled to reach GBP 2.02 million (USD 3.81 million) compared to GBP 940,000 USD 1.77 million and it had a loss of GBP 594,000 ( USD 1.12 million) before interest, tax, depreciation, goodwill, amortisation and exceptional items compared to a year-earlier profit of GBP 223,000 (USD 420,000).
In a statement TLRC said, "In our pre-close statement, we indicated that there was limited sales visibility The overall situation has not improved as previously anticipated and we now expect the adverse market conditions to persist for the foreseeable future. This situation will lead to an EBITDA loss for the year."
It adds "In this challenging market, although the company expects to continue to outperform in sales revenue, all options to improve shareholder value are being examined," and indicated potential station sales by saying stations that did not respond to action would be "traded out of the group".
TLRC had a 1% rise on a year earlier in revenues to GBP 9.83 million (USD 18.5 million ), a figure that includes its half share in revenues from the joint venture with UTV in national sales house First Radio Sales in London and Manchester.
During the six months national sales were up 8% and local ones, which account for some 90% of its total radio revenues, up 1%: the company said April revenues were up 2%
Chief executive Richard Wheatly said, "We intend to become a major force in the UK local radio market and will be examining all options to accelerate progress further. In the short term we are still affected by the volatility of the advertising market."
The company's shares ended Friday down just under 11% at 28.5 pence.
Previous Local Radio Company:
2006-06-03: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now up to full strength following the swearing-in as a commissioner of Republican Robert M. McDowell by FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin.
McDowell, whose term runs to June 30, 2009, has some 16 years of experience in the communications industry, most recently as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for COMPTEL, an association representing competitive facilities-based telecommunications service providers.
He said of his taking office, "I am honored and humbled to be joining such a distinguished group of commissioners as well as the fine career public servants at the FCC. There are many challenging issues facing the Commission, and I am eager to begin working on them with my fellow commissioners, with Congress, and with the American people. I am confident that our efforts will help bring the most advanced and efficient communications systems in the world to all American consumers."
2006-06-02: Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's Red Zebra Broadcasting has purchased WXGI 950-AM in Richmond, Virginia, and it will make the ESPN outlet the team's new radio home in the area from the 2006 season according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. No financial details were disclosed.
Red Zebra bought the station from Richmond-based Gee Communications and owner David Gee told the paper the deal involved purchase of the station and licence combined with a leasing deal for the properties involved.
He said the sale sprang from an interest in carrying Redskin games and on contracting them finding they were looking to start a Redskins network. He added that the new owners were "planning to keep the ESPN brand " amd added, "They're saying to me they clearly appreciate what Al and Greg ["Big Al" Coleman who hosts the morning SportsPhone programme and Greg Burton who hosts drivetime, both locally produced shows] do for us and intend to keep those guys around."
Red Zebra CEO Bennett Zier said in a statement, "I am excited about our continued growth and our new ability to serve loyal Redskins fans in and around Richmond; WXGI is the perfect addition to our new group of radio stations."
Red Zebra completed its acquisition of three Washington-area stations from Mega Communications last month (See RNW May 10) and says further acquisitions are planned.
In other US radio deals Fisher Communications has announced that it is to sell its 24 small-market stations to Cherry Creek Radio LLC for USD 33.3 million in a deal expected to close in the third quarter assuming regulator approval.
The stations, whose 2005 revenues were USD 12.2 million, are in Montana and eastern Washington and their disposal will leave Fisher with just its three Seattle radio stations plus TV stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Fisher expects to use part of the sale proceeds to pay for a Portland, Oregon, TV acquisition that it announced in December last year with any remaining proceeds being invested in its business.
President and CEO Colleen B. Brown said, "By selling our small-market radio stations we are able to focus on increasing the synergies and operating performance of our remaining cluster of Northwest stations. We are pursuing new opportunities, such as our entrance into Spanish-language television announced in late 2005."
Previous Red Zebra:
Richmond Times-Dispatch report:
2006-06-02: Red Wolf Broadcasting Corp., which competes with Citadel in the New London, Connecticut, market, has filed an accusation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) accusing Citadel Communications of continuing involvement in payola according to Media Week.
In March Red Wolf has accused Citadel of various illegal and unethical activities and called on the FCC to deny renewal of licences for nine of its radio stations, saying that amongst other things Citadel had not lit one of its towers, just three miles from Groton-New London Airport, at night, had not fences the tower properly and was involved in payola-relation activities.
In its latest filing, Red Wolf says Citadel "continues to accept, illegal payoffs in return for adding records and increasing spins," or airplay of selected songs and cited as evidence a sales log it said was from Citadel's WQGN in New London.
Red Wolf says that in view of the alleged activities to "allow Citadel to acquire the Disney radio stations is to reward it for appalling behaviour" and called for an FCC hearing and fine.
Citadel, which has agreed a merger with Disney-owned ABC, made no immediate response.
In an unrelated matter Citadel has approved a quarterly dividend of 18 cents per share on its Common Stock to be paid on July 18.
Media Week report:
2006-06-02: UK commercial TV group ITV has joined other TV companies including MTV, Disney and NBC and commercial radio operators in a "last ditch, coordinated assault to halt the BBC's bid for an increased licence fee" according to the UK Guardian.
In April the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) in a submission to The Burns Study called for the licence fee, rather than be increased by an annual 2.3% above-inflation amount over the next seven years as requested by the corporation should instead be cut through h capping it at its current level (See RNW Apr 28) and last week ITV released research claiming that the BBC had got its sums wrong in its argument that it needs the extra money to convert to digital and improve its programme quality.
The paper says that a consortium of ITV and trade bodies representing commercial radio companies and cable and satellite broadcasters, has written to culture secretary Tessa Jowell accusing the government of not fully appreciating the consequences for the private sector.
The letter says, "If the government were to accept the BBC's bid for an increased licence fee, even if at a reduced level, it would signal a disregard for the wealth-generating importance of commercial broadcasters and the social imperative of a plurality of quality content provision."
The paper adds that BSkyB did not sign the letter but a spokesman said yesterday it "shared many of the concerns" expressed in it.
UK Guardian report:
2006-06-02: Research from Jacobs Media shows rockers as having equal interest in Sirius and XM Satellite Radio although with momentum towards Sirius, with Howard Stern a major reason for gains by Sirius.
The poll of Rock, Classic Rock, and Alternative listeners shows overall subscription to satellite radio increased from 7% in 2005 to 12% in this year's survey, with men more likely to subscribe to either service, as are 30-39 year-olds, college grads, and those with a household income of USD 100,000.
The poll - Jacobs Media's Technology Web Poll II - was conducted in late February 2006 among more than 25,000 respondents across 79 different Rock-formatted stations.
Fred Jacobs commented of the results, "For Sirius, Howard was the difference maker. More than any other reason, his show's move to satellite was the key factor in driving new subscribers. While most of his former listeners are staying with terrestrial radio stations, his presence on Sirius has been a defining difference" and added, "In the Rock communities, Sirius is emerging as the more attractive option."
In terms of the reasons for their choice, says the report, the top reasons for taking XM were the music channels (24%), commercial-free programming (14%), the belief that XM is good while travelling (12%), and because it came with the vehicle that respondents purchased/leased (11%).
For Sirius the top reasons were Howard Stern (32%), the music channels (19%), and commercial-free programming (12%).
The survey also showed that the vast majority of subscribers were positive about their subscriptions with 75% saying they're satisfied or very satisfied and only 8% expressing some level of dissatisfaction.
57% said they will certainly continue their subscriptions and 23% that they would probably stay with either XM or Sirius with 13% saying they aren't sure and 8% report being pretty or absolutely sure they will cancel satellite radio before the year is out.
Amongst the overall population however, says Jacobs, 70% of those asked about the statement, "I will not pay for radio when I now get it for free" agreed with the statement.
Previous Jacobs Media:
2006-06-02: Emmis has announced that Dan Halyburton, Senior Vice President/General Manager Group Operations for Susquehanna Radio, is to take over the role of Senior Vice President/Market Manager of Emmis New York from Barry Mayo, who announced in January that he was to step down after three years in the post although he would stay on until a successor was found (See RNW Jan 19). Mayo will remain with Emmis as a consultant.
Making the announcement Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings said in a news release, "This has been our most exhaustive search in my 25 years at Emmis, but it was worth it because we got the right person. Dan brings a rich history of outstanding performance and great management to Emmis New York. I am thrilled to have him running one of our most important operations."
Halyburton has already moved into his new post, which involves him in overseeing operations for Emmis' three New York stations, WQHT-FM (Hot 97), WRKS-FM (Kiss FM) and WQCD-FM (CD101.9).
He began his career as an on-air personality and production director in 1970 and worked his way up through station operations and management in markets from Miami to Minneapolis, spending the last 25 years in Dallas/Fort Worth, where he worked as Susquehanna's Market Manager before becoming the company's SVP/GM Group Operations in 1999.
Halyburton commented of his appointment, "This is the ultimate job-three great radio stations in the greatest city in the world .I have always admired Emmis Communications, and I'm honoured to follow Barry Mayo as market manager. These are great radio people who value their employees, their customers and the communities they serve. Most importantly I am excited to work along side the Emmis New York staff. They are the foundation of these great stations."
2006-06-01: The BBC is facing a renewed threat of strike action after it decided to go ahead with three compulsory redundancies - two full-time and one part-time employee in BBC news and current affairs - as part of the cuts being imposed by the director general, Mark Thompson.
In addition to the redundancies, 30 posts in the division could also go in the current financial year with a further 100 in the next financial year that begins in April 2007.
NUJ (National Union of Journalists) heads of chapel have said they are "outraged" by the move and added that they still have a mandate for strike action.
NUJ national broadcasting organiser, Paul McLaughlin, told the UK Guardian, "It is really quite staggering that we have made such progress in avoiding compulsory cuts and that news management want to cut 2.5 posts. Our members have made their position very clear - if this cannot be avoided then they are prepared for further industrial action."
A BBC spokeswoman said the news division had been unable to make the savings in posts required through redeployment and voluntary redundancies and as a result may have to institute some compulsory redundancies.
UK Guardian report:
2006-06-01: Yet another former Capital Radio executive has left GCap Media, the group formed by the merger of Capital and GWR: Capital's marketing director Carl Lyons, who has been with the company for three years, having been hired to launch the Johnny Vaughan breakfast show, has resigned and says he is planning a return to new media - his past career included a spell at Lastminute.com.
In other UK radio personnel moves, BBC World Service has announced the appointment of Liliane Landor as its new Editor BBC World Service News and Current Affairs with responsibility for all BBC World Service News and Current Affairs programmes in English.
Landor, who was born in Lebanon and educated in France and Switzerland speaks five languages including Arabic and moves up from the post of Head of BBC World Service News and Current Affairs Programmes, a role she has held since 2002, albeit with six months as Head of the BBC Arabic Service in 2004.
She replaces Mary Hockaday who in April was appointed Deputy Head of BBC Radio News (See RNW April 14).
2006-06-01: Corus has bowed out of the sports-format battle in Vancouver and dumped its MOJO Radio format - and at least 14 staff - to change the station to AM-730, which will feature continuous traffic reports during drive times plus replays of talk shows from sister station CKNW-AM (AM 980).
It had lost the ratings fight to Team 1040 Sports Radio, the sole sports outlet left from rival CHUM's short-lived national sports network that it launched in 2001 and closed down, earlier than expected, in August 2002 (See RNW Aug 29, 2002) and earlier this year was dealt a severe setback when Team 1040, which had already taken the B.C. Lions rights from CKNW followed this up by acquiring the rights to the Vancouver Canucks, also from CKNW, which had held them for decades.
Mojo, which converted to an all-sports format in early 2004 after an unsuccessful spell with a "guys" format, was bottom of the Vancouver ratings and had only managed to improve them marginally since its launch.
The Toronto Globe and Mail says staff at Mojo had been expecting a change and were called into a meeting in the morning to be told sports was being dropped and replace by the new format at noon. The station has said it will honour contracts to broadcast Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Giants and Seattle Seahawks games.
Amongst those terminated were morning host John McKeachie, Blake Price, the host of Canucks Lunch, and afternoon host Bob Marjanovich.
Toronto Globe and Mail report:
2006-06-01: The Indian Government is preparing a satellite radio policy to regulate the sector and potentially allow competition to WorldSpace, currently the sole provider of satellite radio services in the country according to Daily News and Analysis, India.
It quotes a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ministry as saying "We will formulate a policy on satellite radio soon. After that, any number of players can start such a service."
A year ago the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended that the government set up a licensing policy for satellite radio in line with that for terrestrial broadcasters including making it subject to AIR programming and advertising codes and being allowed to uplink from India. It also recommended that satellite and terrestrial services be allowed to carry news and current affairs, programming that is currently forbidden to Indian commercial FM stations.
Previous Indian Radio:
Daily News and Analysis report:
2006-06-01: Legendary New York top-40 DJ Dan Ingram, famed for his wit that allowed him to get away with mocking his sponsors, swore on air on Monday, for the first time ever he told the New York Post.
Ingram - Daniel Trombley Ingram, who is now 71 was appearing on his old station WABC as part of the annual "WABC Rewound" vintage-era commemoration.
New York Radio Message Board operator Allan Sniffen, who was interviewing Ingram told the paper Ingram was "talking about unsuccessfully suing some Florida DJ who stole his name," and how a "fucking court" wouldn't let him appeal .
He added that [WABC Saturday morning host] Mark Simone tried to bleep him," but Ingram had been bleeped seconds earlier for an S-bomb and WABC's digital-delay system didn't have time to re-buffer."
Ingram told the paper, "In 40 years, I've never said that word before on the air. I was quoting myself when I was yelling at the guy who stole my name and realized, 'You really got into it, dummy.'"
"It was a true slip of the tongue, and I apologize to anyone offended, and I'm especially sorry that it happened on Mark's watch because he's such a talented guy," Ingram added. "I'd kick myself in the ass if I could - if I can say that word."
New York Post report:
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