August 2006 Archive
-July 2006 -September 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 July comment - in "The "cost" of broadcast spectrum - will spectrum pricing hit broadcasters?" considers moves to price spectrum to improve economic efficiency in its use and the potential impact on broadcasters as costs are likely to rise.
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.
2006-08-31: Arbitron has announced that it has begun installing its Portable People Meter (PPM) system in households in the Philadelphia where 14 stations, owned by Beasley Broadcasting, CBS Radio, Greater Media and WBEB-FM representing some 60% of radio advertising in the market, have already signed up for the electronic ratings service. Arbitron says it has also signed agreements with national advertising agencies that account for more than 90 percent of the national radio advertising dollars spent in Philadelphia as well as with leading Philadelphia-based advertising agencies such as Harmelin Media, Mayo Seitz Media, and The Star Group.
In all Arbitron says it is recruiting a panel of 2,040 people to carry the PPM device in the area: It adds hat the first PPM ratings will be released after completion of an audit report by the Media Rating Council (MRC) and a review of the audit report findings with the MRC radio committee: The MRC audit process in Philadelphia currently is under way.
Arbitron carried out a market trial of the PPM in Philadelphia in 2002-2003 and followed this with a second trial in Houston, where has already started providing PPM ratings (See RNW Aug 25).
"No other system has yet to even begin to demonstrate all that we've shown the radio industry about the advantages of electronic audience measurement," said Pierre Bouvard, president, Sales and Marketing, Arbitron Inc. "We've also released a comprehensive suite of training materials and tools that the industry can use to better manage the transition to electronic measurement."
Previous Media Rating Council:
2006-08-31: BBC Radio 4 has announced that Paddy O'Connell is to take over as the host of its Sunday morning news programme "Broadcasting House" from September 3, replacing Fiona Glover who has been named as the host of a new Radio 4 Saturday morning programme, "Saturday Live" in the slot formerly taken by "Home Truths" (See RNW Aug 3).
O'Connell was the BBC's Wall Street correspondent in 2001 and was due to have a meeting at the World Trade Centre on September 11: He then reported on the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath until he left New York in 2003 since when he has worked in a variety of radio and TV roles for the BBC, including standing in for Glover while she was on maternity leave.
He began his career on local radio in the UK and after working on various stations for five years was hired for the launch of BBC Radio Five Live.
Commenting on the appointment Stephen Mitchell, Head of BBC Radio News, said: "Paddy is a bright, fresh talent for Radio 4. During his period standing in for Fi Glover he has proved that he gets BH with its eclectic mix of challenging journalism, wit and the unexpected, and all the evidence is that the audience will get Paddy."
O'Connell added, "I'm amazed to get BH. It's made for people who love radio, by a team which cares completely. If you read the thousands of emails from listeners on a Sunday morning, they tell us time and again to take a risk, to be bold and to be warm. So I'm going to take my cue from them."
2006-08-31: The chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government broadcasts to foreign countries, has been accused in a State Department report of misusing his office by directing staff to do personal work and also of using government resources for his private racehorse operation.
Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, who was appointed to the post and also to the post of chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) by President Bush, has already resigned from the latter post after critical findings in a report by CPB's inspector general Kenneth into accusations that he used corporation money to promote more conservative programming. (See RNW Nov 5, 2005).
He denies those allegations and has said of the latest allegations in a statement, "I am very proud of what I have accomplished for U.S. international broadcasting. I believe it will become clear this I.G. investigation was inspired by partisan divisions inside the BBG."
The Los Angeles Times says Tomlinson in dismissing the allegations noted that he "made diligent efforts to bill each board only for the work I did for each board" and said his work on the horses while at the broadcasting board came out to "an average of one e-mail and two and a half minutes a day."
The paper said it had obtained a summary of the State Department report and quoted California Democrat Rep. Howard L. Berman, who requested the investigation last year, as saying, "This is serious stuff. The role of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the context of the current international situation is of the highest priority. This is not some backwater."
Berman has posted on his website a letter to President Bush asking him to " immediately remove Mr Tomlinson from his position and take all necessary steps to restore the integrity of the Broadcasting Board of Governors."
The letter says the report says that Tomlinson requested the:
* " hiring of a personal friend as a contractor without the knowledge of other board members or staff and signed invoices providing almost USD 250,000 in compensation even though the contractor provided no written reports or other supporting documentation required by the contract";
* "used BBC resources to support his personal horse racing operation";
"Requested and received compensation that exceeded the maximum allowed by law"; "requested and received compensation from both the BBC and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) on the same days on a number of occasions";
* "directed BBC staff to work on matters unrelated to the BBC, including CPB business and personal matters";
* and "Conducted CPB work while at the BBG and had billed the BBG for those hours."
The letter is also signed by Connecticut Democrat Senator Christopher J. Dodd and California Democrat Rep. Tom Lantos.
The Times says Federal prosecutors have declined to investigate the case for criminal wrongdoing, according to the State Department report and adds that a White House spokeswoman said that the President continued to support Tomlinson, whose re-nomination as chairman of the broadcasting board is pending before the Senate.
RNW comment: Maybe we're being naive but it seems to us that President Bush may yet again be displaying poor judgement about appointees. We would agree that he should not accept that allegations amount to a conviction but in view of Tomlinson's past it would seem politic to limit support and at the very least to have spoken to Tomlinson and made it clear that the backing comes on the basis that it any illegal activity is shown to have occurred there would be full White House backing for a criminal prosecution and the most severe sentence.
Berman web site (Links to letter -PDF):
Los Angeles Times report:
2006-08-31: Macquarie Media, whose prime assets are Macquarie Regional Radioworks (MRR) and Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC) - acquired in May - has reported net profit for the year to the end of June in line with forecasts at AUD 16.27 million (USD 12.43 million) - double that of the previous year and AUD 4.37 million (USD 3.34 million) after taking into account minority interests- on earnings up two thirds to AUD 186.7 million (USD 142.6 million).
It declared a distribution for the year of 14.5 cents per stapled security, topping the prospectus forecast of 14.0 to 14.3 cents.
Within the results it says Macquarie Regional Radioworks performed "in line with prospectus forecast " and had pro-forma revenue up 6.9% on a year earlier to AUD 148.3 million (USD 113.2 million) helped by a 15.2% growth in national sales revenue plus a 3% growth in local revenues.
Pro forma EBITDA - including contributions from non-controlled joint venture stations - up 30.3% to AUD 55 million (USD 42 million) while Taiwan Broadbank Communications revenue was up 6.8% to AUD 246 million (USD 188 million) with EBITDA up 9.9% to AUD 140.5 million (USD 107.3 million).
Executive chairman Tim Hughes said the "very positive" results came from "strong operational performance" at both entities and
Commenting on the radio performance, MMG noted "innovative new national programming" such as "Charles Wooley Across Australia" (See RNW Feb 2) the development of sponsorship opportunities for national advertisers and the "national roll-out of a new play-out system allowing additional flexibility in programming."
Managing director Alex Harvey said the group had considered a large number of acquisition opportunities since it listed and would "continue to proactively identify opportunities to acquire value accretive assets which meet our investment criteria both in Australia and offshore" but the group noted that it had found issues in various cases of limited growth profile, not meeting required returns on investment, insufficient barriers to entry, lack of access to management expertise, and threats to the competitive position of potential targets. Sectors it has considered include cable TV, radio, community newspapers, music publishing and new media and geographic areas included Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK and North America. It had so far eschewed acquisitions outside Australia for various of the reasons listed.
2006-08-31: The 2006 Proms have boosted BBC Radio 3's online figures as well as its broadcast audience according to BBC online statistics for July just released that show in July the station's Proms web site attracted more than 194,000 unique users and that there were more than 300,000 requests to listen to Proms "on demand", 35,000 of them the Birthday Concert for Queen Elizabeth 2.
Other stations had a quieter time - particularly BBC Radio Five Live , which in June was boosted by World Cup soccer, and overall on-demand listening fell by 3.97% on June to 4,142,848 hours and live listening by 8.94% to 12,005,119 hours although the year-on-year figures showed increases of 41.6 % for on-demand listening and 27.6% for live listening.
In terms of network listening in July this year, the rankings were - Total listening hours - live plus on-demand and percentage change compared to June 2006 then to July 2005:
Radio 1 - 5,492,964; -6.9%; + 59.9%
Radio 2 - 3,489,796; -6.2%; +43.5%
Radio 4 - 2,623,974; -2.0 %; +17.5%
BBC 7 - 1,287,158; -5.1%; +33.5%- Up a rank.
Radio 5 - Live - 1,205,667; -41.7%; -16.4% Down a rank.
Radio 3 - 831,849; +4.0%; +32.9%
6 Music - 692,657; -+2.1%; +26.4%
1Xtra - 485,984; -7.4%; -1.5%
Asian Network - 177,954; -18.8%; -7.3%
5 Live Sports Xtra - 904,818; +29.0%; +61%
The top five on-demand programmes were:
1 - "The Archers" on Radio 4 with 648,114 listens - up 11,990 on June;
2 - "Chris Moyles" on Radio 1 with 338,586 listens - down 127,907;
3 - BBC Proms 2006 on Radio 3 with 275,888 listens (Not in June figures when the third ranked programme was "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" on Radio 4 with 302618 listens. It was not on air in July).
4 - "The Afternoon Play" on Radio 4 with 254,724 listens - up 40,972;
5 - The "Essential Mix" on Radio 1 -with 221,965 listens, up 31,196. This pulled it up a rank and pushed "The Essential Selection" on Radio 1 with 213,948 listens, an increase of 21,129, down to sixth.
Amongst daily podcasts cum MP3s the top five were:
1- BBC News "Radio Newspod" with 598,862 listens, up 16,794;
2 - Radio 4 "Today 8.10 Interview" with 343,437 listens, down 9,402;
3 - Radio 1 "Scott Mills Daily" with 325,492 listens, up 13,086;
4 - World Service "World News Bulletin" with 153,925listens, down -26,888;
5 - World Service "The World Today" with 141,872 listens, up 37,179;
Previous BBC Online figures:
2006-08-30: SMG has now formally rejected both UTV's initial offer of a nil-premium merger, which would have given shareholders in each company 50% of a merged entity, and also a revised UTV offer that would have given SMG shareholders 52% of the merged company.
In a statement SMG said its board, which had unanimously rejected the first offer, had decided to reject the revised offer after examining it in detail and holding discussions with UTV and its advisors but it did not shut the door on a merger, saying that it "has reiterated its offer to meet with the Board of UTV to discuss a potential merger which addresses the factors previously explained to them" although it added that the offer was not taken up by UTV.
UTV has not issued a statement but its shares fell on the news to end Tuesday down 3.1% to 331.75 pence, valuing it at around GBP 192 million (USD 365 million) whilst SMG stock, which initially fell by 1.3% closed unchanged at 77 pence, valuing it at around GBP 241 million (USD 458 million).
As well as the UTV interest a number of private equity teams have been reported to be preparing bids but so far none had announced any formal offer.
2006-08-30: Brattleboro in Vermont, which was the site of a six-year battle between the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and 10-watts pirate station radio free brattleboro- eventually ended with the closure of the station (See RNW Jun 24, 2005) will on Friday see its new commercial-free community station WVEW-FM start broadcasting its regular programming.
The 100-watt station is already broadcasting test music transmissions using automated software and when it is in full operations plans to broadcast talk and music shows hosted by local residents.
Ken Brace, a member of the board of directors of licensee Vermont Earth Works, told the Rutland Herald that at the moment they just had "an automated software playing music, but occasionally a DJ will come in and say hi We're letting people know we are here."
Amongst the shows planned by the new station, reports the Herald, is an "Art Talk" show to be hosted by James Maxwell, a Brattleboro lawyer and former country and western DJ, who represented radio free brattleboro in its unsuccessful legal battle to stay on the air.
Rutland Herald report:
2006-08-30: BBC Radio 1 has announced details of the second "John Peel Day" it is to run in honour of the late DJ. It will take place on Thursday, October 12, the anniversary of his last broadcast on the station and will be comprised of a day in which it will play music and bands that he championed as well as a number of "classic live Peel sessions".
On the first Peel Day last October more than 500 events were staged in the UK and other locations (See RNW Oct 17, 2005) and the BBC is hoping for a similar response this year with music fans, bands, artists and DJs being encouraged to stage their own gigs and club nights in honour of Peel's legacy and contribution to music.
His widow Sheila Ravenscroft said, "I hope many bands and venues will want to celebrate John's anniversary. There is so much good new music around - everyone should have a fantastic night."
2006-08-30: Management at the Australian Radio Network's Mix 106.5 in Sydney has defended its breakfast host Sammy Power who had been said in some reports to have been responsible for an error that led to the station giving away AUD 50,000 (USD 38,000) in its "Secret Sound" competition.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph quoted an unnamed "industry source" as suggesting Power had over-ruled the judge's decision in the heat of the moment during last Friday's show and awarded the cash to a listener for an answer which had already been guessed on two occasions and ruled incorrect each time.
However ARN general manager John Williams insisted the host had nothing to do with the matter, saying, "The correct answer is only known by the various judges we had monitoring this, so Sammy would not have known what the answer is to comment on, and nor would she Sammy had no involvement.''
He added that the staff member responsible was walking around "very contrite, very upset about it all' but was still employed, adding, "At the end of the day they made a judgement call and they got it marginally wrong.''
Sydney Daily Telegraph report:
2006-08-30: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 14,000 penalty on a Utah company for marketing two unauthorized FM broadcast transmitters.
Gibson Tech Ed Inc. of Orem had been issued with a citation in June 2004 for marketing unauthorized FM transmission equipment manufactured by Veronica Ltd. and in connection with this was seen by FCC staff to be marketing two other transmitters , made by Ramsey and that had not received equipment certification, on its Hobbytron website.
Gibson had filed for reconsideration of the penalty on the basis that the forfeiture should not have included liability for the sale of the Veronica transmitter, referred the FCC to Ramsey over the issue of its non-certification, and said that it could not afford to pay any fines and would close at the end of April.
The FCC in confirming the penalty said that a recent search showed that the Hobbytron website was still functioning as was that of Gibson Tech Ed. Inc. It also noted that Gibson had failed to provide required proof of inability to pay.
2006-08-29: Helped by an AUD 658,000 (USD 500,000) profit on the sale of its share in a joint venture with mcm entertainment, in line with the Board's policy of concentration on the core business, Australian FM operator Austereo has reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in its 2006 financial year -to the end of June up 3.1% on a year earlier to AUD 71.4 million (USD 54.2 million).
Revenues, however, were down 5% to AUD 235.5 million (USD 178.8 million).
Earnings per share were up 10.2% and it also announced a share buy-back of up to 5% of its issued capital - some 19 million shares - to be funded utilising current cash reserves and undrawn debt facilities. Austereo increased its final dividend to 4.1 cents a share from 3.7 cents for 2005. During the year Austereo spent AUD 45 million (USD 34 million) on buying back its shares thus increasing the control of principal shareholder Village Roadshow, which now controls 67.3% of the shares. If it again sells no shares and Austereo buys back the whole allocation, its holding will rise to nearly 71%.
It noted ratings success in the most recent survey - finishing first amongst FM operators in Adelaide (first equal), Melbourne, Perth and Sydney whilst in Brisbane it was second, a performance it termed a "major turnaround from the prior year, when Austereo led in two markets."
"The trend across the year," it added, "was one of consistent audience growth as the programming and marketing strategies delivered strong outcomes. The audience and EBIT gains were achieved in spite of three new licences launching immediately prior to, or during the reporting period in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane."
Austereo said its focus on national revenues helped drive sales and noted that despite rate increases its top 20 clients remained loyal and that it retained 96% of clients accounting for 40%of its revenues.
Chairman Peter Harvie, said, "Along with the great audience results in our markets, FOX FM Melbourne completed the year winning Australia's largest radio audience of 1,086,000 and 2 DAY FM Sydney took second place with 867,000 listeners. The Austereo teams have worked hard to extend their leadership in a crowded environment and we now enter the new financial year strengthened by our best programming line-up ever."
Looking ahead to the 2007 financial year he said the challenge was to maintain strong audience and sales shares, given the temporary plateau in radio advertising and said they anticipated capital city advertising revenue to grow by around 2% in the first half (to December 6).
"Along with other media operators, we are also monitoring impending potential changes to media laws with interest," he added, and continued, "At a more practical level, we are progressively converting technical facilities, in anticipation of the introduction of digital radio. Radio holds a unique place amongst media, being exceptionally well placed to complement the new emerging digital platforms. As leader in commercial radio, this provides a strong and exciting outlook for our group."
Outside Australia it said its Malaysian venture has recorded continuing progress and taken a 60% share of the nation's audiences and a 79% share of total radio advertising spending whilst in Greece trading at its Athens operation was softer, but the station rose from number two to number one amongst international formats.
CEO, Michael Anderson, said that the results reflected strong focus on business management, saying, "Despite the need to maintain robust investment in programming and marketing, control of operating costs and greater efficiencies successfully reduced costs in on-going operations by 4.8%." He also noted increased investment in digital platforms.
The markets responded favourably to the results and Austereo shares rose 3.42% to close at AUD 1.815.
2006-08-29: Katz Media has released its National Format Averages study for Spring '06 showing, unsurprisingly one might think in an nation that is not only aging but where the young have moved more to other forms of audio listening, that nearly "all of the formats that are either stable or have shown recent increases are Adult-skewing format"
"The only exception," says Katz, "is the Urban Contemporary format, which shows an increase this Spring even though it tends to skew younger. On the other hand, nearly all of the formats with a youth or young adult age skew show declines."
The study's author Lisa Chiljean says of the findings, "There could be a number of factors at work causing these shifts, including changing lifestyles among young adults, the availability of a wider variety of media options, and increased multi-tasking or simultaneous usage of media."
The report was produced from an analysis by Katz of figures for more than 4,000 radio stations and nearly fifty formats in 296 Arbitron markets to produce the figures for this study. Thirty-five format classifications - some separately for AM and FM stations - are examined in detail.
Overall the top formats in terms of market share are led by Country (15.3%), Hispanic (9.6%), Urban (7.4%), CHR (7.0%) and AC (6.6%) with Classical at 25th rank with 2.1%. News is 22nd with a 2.3% share whilst News/Talk is 6th with 6.1% (Draw your own conclusions about what this suggests about how well informed Americans relying on radio are!).
The ranking change significantly when it comes to time spent listening with the top being Easy listening (10:21), Urban inspirational (9:51), Gospel (9:41), Urban AC(9:35) and Adult Standards (9:29), News/Talk is 12th with 8:07, below AM Talk in 11th rank with 8:24 and Rhythmic Oldies are 25th with 6:31.
The major winners in spring were Hispanic stations, whilst country, the most popular format, has remained stable.
In terms of major formats, the study listings include:
Rock: Classic Rock, Classic Hits and Adult Alternative Rock are all stable on a year-to-year basis but there are declines for AOR and Alternative/Modern Rock, both of which target young Men with the former down 4% on a year ago and 19% since 2000.
Adult Contemporary: The Soft A/C, mainstream A/C, Christian A/C and Soft Rock formats - all targeting a more Adult-skewing audience - are either flat or up since this time last year whilst Modern A/C with a median age for listeners of 30 has seen significant declines over the past few years.
Contemporary: Contemporary Hit (CHR) seems to have levelled off this Spring but is down 27% since the late nineties whilst Rhythmic CHR appears to be in a reverse trend after several years of increasing shares.
*Katz has posted the study - a 4.37 MB Powerpoint presentation, on its web site.
2006-08-29: AOL Radio, which has had a deal to provide various XM Satellite Radio channels for a while, is to start carrying Bob Dylan's "Theme Time Radio Hour", which XM began broadcasting in May, from Wednesday: It will also offer 18 of the Dylan shows back-to-back as part of XM's weekend-long marathon to be broadcast from Friday this week with a simulcast on AOL,.
AOL Radio will also simulcast XM's world premiere of Bob Dylan's heavily anticipated "Modern Times" album today and tomorrow, and stream the album on demand all week as part of AOL Music's Full CD Listening Party.
RNW comment: The move is a further element of AOL's attempt to move from being an Internet Service Provider to a provider of content and will be welcome to Dylan fans. There is however an irony in the offer in view of Dylan's recent comments on the quality of modern recordings (See RNW yesterday- put in anchor) since as far as we can gather - AOL does not allow choice of streaming rate - the best that is on offer is around 128kbps, which is certainly below CD quality.
2006-08-28: Departed formats and personalities form the bedrock of our look at print comment on the media this week but first an issue that resonated round the world last week, that of the quality of recordings.
We have on a number of occasions derided the claims made about the technical quality of digital radio being clearly superior to that of analogue transmissions (including citing a UK site that seemingly demonstrates the reverse when it comes to BBC Radio 3 which is broadcast at a higher bit rate than other UK digital channels but is not up to its analogue quality in an area with good reception and noting that the HD demos posted in the US are at too low a level to do a proper quality check and also choose selections that militate against any real checks) and now along comes Bob Dylan and claims that the recordings themselves aren't up to scratch nowadays.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that formed the source of an article we noted from Oliver Burkeman in the UK Guardian (The interview got cover in many other publications) Dylan told novelist Jonathan Lethem, "You do the best you can, you fight technology in all kinds of ways, but I don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the past 20 years, really."
Dylan doesn't exempt his own work, saying of his latest CD that is to be released in the US this week, "Even these songs probably sounded 10 times better in the studio when we recorded 'em."
Dylan, who is to produce his latest album himself, said of contemporary CDs, "You listen to these modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just, like ... static."
The Guardian spoke about the issue of audio quality to Mike Howlett, who chairs the Music Producers Guild and said the issue was the quality of the performance rather than of the equipment and added, "The top end of digital equipment gives a highly accurate reproduction of the signal coming in, so it is neither helping nor hindering the sound" although he also noted that the sound of analogue equipment gave "some interesting distortions", which lent music "a certain character".
Whatever the reason, when the BBC Radio 4 "World Tonight" ran a report on the issue last week, the studio guest got all three right when asked which recording being played over his headphones was from vinyl, CD, and MP3, suggesting that some people at least can still discriminate between the good and the acceptable.
Next departed formats and two articles from the US, the first a Los Angeles Times editorial about the death of the city's last country format station, KZLA-FM, which is now airing "rhythmic pop".
The reason for the change, notes the paper, is one of demographic change and it quotes Emmis as saying that in Los Angeles "60% of the local audience is Latino, Asian or African American, while 'country fans are about 98% Caucasian.'"
The editorial also takes up the issue of how far consolidation has contributed to such decisions, noting that opponents blame it for bringing in narrower playlists and less diversity whilst advocates "- particularly Clear Channel Communications, which skyrocketed from 40 stations to about 1,200 - say the more stations a company owns in a market, the more formats it will offer."
The papers says there's seeming logic in the latter argument in that with more stations an owner can expand reach by going for smaller niche audiences but in practice "many groups offer multiple variations on one or two formats, hoping to capture as much of the biggest audience segments as possible."
It also makes a point that terrestrial owners might care to think about, noting that more country CDs are sold in Los Angeles than any other city and that the format is not "niche": "So you'd think that some local radio broadcaster would leap at the chance to fill the void left by KZLA" it concludes. "Otherwise, the field will be conceded to competitors in neighbouring counties and on satellite, putting more distance in the public's mind between 'local' and 'radio.'"
The other format change was on the East Coast where "progressive" talk network Air America has moved from its former New York flagship WLIB-AM to a less powerful frequency and WLIB's switch to a gospel format.
The change in general attracted straight reports with some crowing from right-wing commentators about the problems for Air America but Karen Juanita Carrillo in the Amsterdam News considered the swap in terms of other programming aired by WLIB and certainly found some people objecting in strong terms, quoting Harlem community activist Elombe Brath as saying, "Get out of here! Oh no. That's worse than what they had before!"
The article notes that WLIB is apparently to continue Air America in the 05:00 to midnight slot and fill in the rest of the time with a simulcast of urban AC WBLS-FM's music until September 1 when the format changes.
Shows that apparently will go include "Dialogue with Dinkins" (former New York City Mayor David Dinkins) and "Sharp Talk," (with the Rev. Al Sharpton) , New York DJ Imhotep Gary Byrd's 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. "GBE Mind Flight", the Saturday 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Stanley Barbot's "Moment Creole" and the Sunday programming that featured "The Caribbean in Five" with Bevan Springer.
WBLS says response to the change has been overwhelmingly positive and dismissed questions about a return to black talk by saying that it hadn't aired black talk for six years and that New York is already awash with talk, news and sports stations.
WBLS' vice president and general manager Deon Levingston and its operations manager Vinny Brown also said the station already "serves the community by broadcasting Black talk shows like 'The Steve Harvey Morning Show,' and 'The Guy Black Show'" and, adds the article, "they even indicated that New York-area Blacks can turn on what they termed their rival station KISS-FM for more Black talk."
That comment seems a little in the nature of red rag to bull to some with activist-attorney Roger Wareham commenting, "To even put 'The Steve Harvey Morning Show' and 'The Guy Black Show' in the same category as the kind of Black talk that Gary Byrd's 'GBE Mind Flight' is in, is a disgrace. It is a disgrace and it is a real assault on the Black community to lose a show like Gary's because Gary's show was really a beacon and a place where activists knew they could get the word out about issues in the community."
Brath was also dismissive commenting that he was upset about "anything that would take away a moment of news when corporate news has majority control over the airwaves, and at a time when there are still attempts to get rid of WBAI [New York's progressive listener-supported station, owned by the Pacifica Foundation]."
Betty Dopson of the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP), commented, "This decision to go all-gospel at a time when the Black community is information starved needs a much better explanation than the one provided by Deon Levingston. Certainly gospel music has its place in the lives of WLIB listeners. But even those who love and listen to gospel music will agree that the Black community is in dire need of and deserving of focused information in the areas of politics, labour, law, education, art, finance, and recreation, as well as religion.
"Something sinister seems to be at work here when the two Black-owned AM radio stations in the media capital of the world can only provide the audiences that they were licensed to serve with gospel music, faith-based messages and white left-wing rhetoric and propaganda."
And finally the UK and a departing host, Sue Lawley who on Sunday broadcast her last "Desert Island Discs" programme - her 774th. It formed the topic for Paul Donovan's Radio Waves column in the Sunday Times in which he noted of the guest , Joan Plowright, Laurence Olivier's wife for 26 years, that she told a nice story about him: I left him once to look after our three children, when they were small. When I got back, there was apple purée all over the floor, and over everyone's faces. Larry said, 'I'd rather play Othello eight times a week than do this again.'"
He then speculated as to which guest might be Lawley's favourite, which led on to comment on the nature of the programme - Lawley to speak on the matter of favourites, saying, " It would also undermine the programme if castaways felt they might be discussed publicly afterwards. People trust Desert Island Discs, and are willing to talk deeply on it, because it doesn't sensationalize. It contextualizes. You can hear their tone of voice and what is said with a smile. Of course it's edited, but it's a pretty faithful edit, and Leanne Buckle (the usual producer) always takes care to keep the spirit of what was said."
On then to suggested listening and first "Desert Island Discs" (which is due to return in October with Kirsty Young taking over from Lawley). Contractual reasons mean it is not available through the site's "Listen Again" facility but there is a repeat on BBC Radio 4 on Friday at 08:00 GMT.
Next, from BBC Radio 2 and the first part of the two-part "A Kind Of Magic: Tribute To Freddie Mercury" that aired on Saturday. It will be on the site until the concluding part next Saturday at 20:00 GMT. Also from Radio 2, at 20:00 GMT tonight, is "The Rolling Stones in Concert", 90 minutes of the Stones in concert at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
And still with pop, but from a different perspective, the latest "Sunday Best " programme on BBC Radio 4 was "The Art of Pop", featuring Jarvis Cocker, one of many pop musicians to have experienced an art school training, exploring the connections between British art schools and pop.
Then sticking with Radio 4 but moving on to humour and comedy, five suggestions from its late slot (22:30 GMT) this week: Tonight in "We Interrupt this Programme" it contains the first of four profiles by Mark Thomsas of American comedy acts with "Bob and Ray" - Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding, the spoof radio show originals. Then come profiles of Stan Freburg, "The Firesign Theatre", and "National Lampoon" whilst on Friday the slot has Woody Allen doing the profiling in "Chicken Inspector 23: The Story of SJ Perelman."
Also from Radio 4 we'd suggest last week's "Food Programme", which was on the American meat industry and led one to conclude either that Smithfield Foods has a barefaced liar as spokesman or the unions - and at least one court - are grievously mistaken about the nature of the company's operations at the at the world's largest hog processing plant at Tar Heel, North Carolina.
It was the second of two programmes from the US marking the centenary of the publication of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" about conditions in the Chicago stockyards - the first looking at what remains of them is still on the web site. Next week's programme (Sunday 11:30 GMT with a Monday 15:00 GMT) repeat is about a different aspect of US food production and comes from Polyface Farm in Virginia, where farmer Joel Salatin produces what the programme listing terms " beef, chicken and pork based on a unique system he calls 'beyond organic'".
Sticking with documentary but moving to Australia, last Saturday's All in the Mind -"Jerome Kagan - The Father of Temperament" from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation looked at why two children in the same household be very different whilst last week's "Religion Report" looked at some of the implications of the war in Lebanon through the eyes of Robert McCulloch, an Australian Columban priest who has been living and working in Pakistan for twenty eight years: If he and some other commentators are right there's a major conflict looming between the Shia and Sunni Moslems that could tear apart the Middle East with disastrous consequences for the world's economy in terms of oil price and US foreign policy.
Back to the BBC and Radio 3 which, apart from the continuing 2006 Proms Concerts this week has a four-part series "The Search for Sepharad" - tomorrow to Friday at 20:45 GMT in which
broadcaster and film-maker Dennis Marks travels across the Mediterranean in the footsteps of the Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.
Finally some BBC World Service Suggestions - last week's World Drama , which was "The Internet Wants A Chat" by Thomas Crowe, in which the Internet gets a mind of its own. In the same area of technology, but this time documentary rather than drama, we suggest "The Communications Revolution" and "Inside the World of Google", two two-part series from the corporation: All four programmes are available as MP3s from the World Service Documentary Archive.
Amsterdam News - Carrillo:
Los Angeles Times _ KZLA editorial;
UK Guardian - Burkeman:
UK Sunday Times - Donovan:
2006-08-28: Talks are continuing this week between SMG and UTV over the latter's proposal of a "nil premium" merger (See RNW Aug 19) but reports are that although SMG has rejected this, considering that it is seriously undervalued by the offer, it would consider an amended deal that would take into account the its higher capitalization than that of UTV.
It could consider a counter-bid for UTV but this seems unlikely and suggestions are of a compromise deal under which UTV would control a merged company but SMG shareholders would own around 55% of the merged entity.
SMG is currently without a chief executive following the resignation of Andrew Flanagan (See RNW Jul 19) and such a deal would provide a replacement - UTV chief executive, John McCann - and also take into account the difference in market values - currently around GBP 45 million (USD 85 million) - SMG is now valued around GBP 241 million (USD 455 million) and UTV around GBP 198 million (USD 374 million).
SMG, which is due to issue its interim results on September 13, is expected to is sue an update on the talks some time this week.
2006-08-28: International satellite radio operator WorldSpace has renewed its contract with CNN International (CNNI) for a further three years.
It will broadcast CNNI in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region using its AsiaStar and AfriStar satellites and each side expressed satisfaction at the deal.
For CNNI, Maggie Eales, SVP of Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited, said they had "always supported new distribution platforms and, based on satellite radio's growing popularity in North America, we believe that WorldSpace is uniquely positioned to reach consumers across the globe who may not otherwise have easy access to our timely content."
Billy Sabatini, vice president of global content, WorldSpace, added , "As we extend existing contracts and forge new relationships with high quality content providers, we enhance WorldSpace's subscriber value and reinforce our position as the dominant international provider of satellite radio services."
2006-08-27: Last week saw the regulators involved in a steady stream of routine work but there were no major decisions anywhere: In Australia the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published just one radio proposal - a plan to make to additional frequencies available for new South Wales community radio service, 2RPH, one each at Newcastle and Wollongong , and also an additional low-power FM fill-in frequency Kings Cross in Sydney: 2RPH already broadcasts on a high power AM frequency in Sydney.
The ACMA notes that the proposal follows a submission from Radio for the Print Handicapped of NSW Co-operative Ltd, the licensee of 2RPH and that there might be other demand for the spectrum: In particular, it says, it would like to hear from any aspirant broadcaster that may be interested in providing a low powered local coverage service in Sydney.
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was involved in a large number of routine radio-related decisions including (in order of province):
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CFAX-AM, Victoria.
* Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CHVN-FM, Winnipeg.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CIQB-FM, Barrie.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CJDV-FM, Cambridge.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CKCB-FM, Collingwood.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CJOY-AM, Guelph.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CIMJ-FM, Guelph.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CFFX-AM, Kingston.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CFMK-FM, Kingston.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CKGE-FM, Oshawa.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CFMI-FM, New Westminster.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CKWF-FM, Peterborough.
*Renewal until 31 August 2010 of licence of CFNY-FM, Brampton. The short-term renewal was made to enable the Commission to review the station's compliance with regulations following an analysis that showed it broadcasting less than 35% Canadian content in category 2 musical selections during the period involved.
*Renewal until 31 August 2010 of licence of CJAQ-FM, Toronto. The short-term renewal was for the same reason as that of CFNY.
*Approval of transmitter relocation for low-power CFQK-FM, Kaministiquia.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CFGL-FM, Laval.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CJFM-FM, Montréal.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CJAD-AM, Montréal.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CKGM-AM, Montréal.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CHRM-FM, Matane and its transmitter CHRM-FM-1 Les Méchins.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CJLA-FM, Lachute.
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licences of radiocommunication distribution undertakings serving Katinniq (Raglan Mine), authorized to rebroadcast the programming of CITE-FM, Montréal, and CFFB-AM, Iqaluit, Nunavut, and for the radiocommunication distribution undertaking serving Kilometre 38, authorized to rebroadcast the programming of CITE-FM.
* Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CJMK-FM, Saskatoon.
In addition the CRTC made administrative renewals until December 31, 2006, and 31 August 2008, of various licences regarding which it will not be able to make a decision until the current licences expire. These included.
Administrative renewal until December 2006:
*CBR-FM, Calgary, and its transmitters CBBC-FM, Lethbridge and CBR-FM-1, Red Deer.
*CKLM-FM, Lloydminster and its transmitter CKLM-FM-1, Bonnyville.
*CIAJ-FM, Prince Rupert.
Administrative renewal until August 31, 2007:
Administrative renewal until 31 August 2008:
*CBR-AM, Calgary and its transmitters CBRA-FM, Coutts/Milk River; CBRB-AM and FM, Banff; CBRC-FM, Harvie Heights; CBRD-FM, Red Deer; CBRE-FM, Exshaw; CBRI-FM, Etzikom; CBRL-FM, Lethbridge; CBRM-FM, Medicine Hat; CBRP-FM, Pincher Creek; CBXC-AM, Coleman; CBXL-AM, Blairmore; and CBR-1-FM, Calgary;
*CBX-AM,. Edmonton, and its transmitters CBKC-AM, Fort Vermilion; CBKD-AM, High Level; CBWI, Grande Cache; CBXA-FM, Chateh; CBXD, Edson; CBX-FM-1, Bonnyville; CBXG-FM, Peace River; CBXH-FM, CBXH-FM, Jean d'Or ; CBXI-FM , Hinton; CBXJ-FM, Jasper; CBXK-FM, Fox Lake; CBXN-FM, Fort McMurray; CBXP-FM, Grande Prairie; CBXS-FM, Swan Hills; CBXV-FM, Fox Creek; CBXX-AM, and CBX-FM-2, Edmonton.
*CHFA-AM, Edmonton, and its transmitters CBRF-FM, Calgary; CHFA-1-FM, Lethbridge; CHFA-2-FM, Red Deer; CHFA-3-FM, Peace River; CHFA-4-FM, Hinton; CHFA-5-FM, Grande Prairie; CHFA-6-FM, Fort McMurray; CHFA-7-FM, Falher; CHFA-8-FM, Medicine Hat; and CHFA-10-FM, Edmonton.
* CBPI-FM, Waterton Park.
* CBPJ-FM, Waterton Park.
*CBPQ-FM, Coquihalla Toll Plaza
*CBTK-FM, Kelowna, and its transmitters CBKM-AM, Blue River; CBKN-AM, Shalalth; CBKR-AM, Parson; CBKS, Cache Creek; CBKY-AM, Keremeos; CBKZ-AM, Clearwater; CBRD-AM, Field; CBRG-FM, Princeton; CBRJ-AM, Grand Forks; CBRJ-FM, Phoenix (Greenwood); CBRK-AM, Kimberley; CBRL-AM, Williams Lake; CBRN-FM, North Bend; CBRO-FM, Christina Lake; CBRR-FM, Cranbrook; CBRZ-AM, Bralorne; CBTA-FM, Trail; CBTE-FM, Crawford Bay; CBTF-FM, Falkland; CBTG-AM, Fernie; CBTO-FM, Revelstoke; CBTP-FM, Penticton; CBTS-FM, Creston; CBTY-FM, Lytton; CBUB-FM, Osoyoos; CBUC-FM, Salmon Arm; CBUD-FM, Bonnington Falls; CBUG-AM, Kaslo; CBUH-FM, Chase ; CBUI-AM, New Denver; CBUJ-FM, Winlaw; CBUL-AM, Lillooet; CBUM, Nakusp; CBUN-AM, Salmo; CBUP-AM, Merritt; CBUQ-FM, Radium Hot Springs; CBUS-FM, 100 Mile House; CBUU-AM, Clinton; CBWA-AM, Ashcroft; CBWD-AM, Donald; CBXA-AM, Mica Dam; CBXE-FM, Golden; CBXH-Am, Cooper Creek; CBXW-AM, Edgewood; CBYC-FM, Canal Flats; CBYE-FM, Logan Lake; CBYK-FM, Kamloops; CBYL-FM, Lumby; CBYN-FM, Nelson; CBYO-FM, Barriere; CBYR-FM, Rock Creek; CBYS-FM, Sparwood; CBYU-FM, Alexis Creek; CBYV-FM, Vernon; CBYX-FM, Enderby; and CBYZ-FM, Vavenby.
*CBYG-FM, Prince George, and its transmitters CBKG-AM, Granisle; CBKQ-FM, Dawson Creek; CBRS-FM, Smithers; CBRV-FM, Vanderhoof; CBTC-FM, McBride; CBTI-FM, Moricetown; CBTU-FM, Tumbler Ridge; CBTV-FM, Valemount; CBTX-FM, Bella Bella; CBUO-FM, Fort Nelson; CBUR-FM, Houston; CBUV-FM, Fort St James; CBUZ-FM, Chetwynd; CBWF-AM, Mackenzie; CBXB-FM, Burns Lake; CBXO-FM, Ocean Falls; CBXR-FM, Fort Fraser; CBXU-AM, Hudson Hope; CBYD-FM, Bella Coola; CBYI-FM, Hagensborg; CBYJ-FM, Fort St. John; CBYW-AM, Wells; and CBYY-FM, Kersley;
*CFPR-AM, Prince Rupert, and its transmitters CBKA-AM, Stewart; CBKL-AM, Alice Arm; CBRH-AM, New Hazelton; CBTD-AM, Kispiox; CBTH-FM, Terrace; CBTM-FM, Masset; CBTZ-FM, Kitwanga; CBUK-FM, Kitimat; CBYA-FM, Aiyansh; CBYB-FM, Port Clements; and CBYQ-FM, Queen Charlotte.
*CBU-AM, Vancouver, and its transmitters CBRU-AM, Squamish; CBUE-FM, Hope; CBXK-AM, Pemberton; CBYF-FM, Chilliwack; CBYH-FM, Harrison Hot Springs; CBYW-FM, Whistler; CKZU-AM, Vancouver; and FM transmitter -with no call sign- in Abbotsford.
*CBUF-FM, Vancouver, and its transmitters CBUF-FM-1, Chilliwack; CBUF-FM-2, Kelowna; CBUF-FM-3, Terrace; CBUF-FM-4, Prince George; CBUF-FM-5, Kitimat; CBUF-FM-6, Kamloops; CBUF-FM-7, Dawson Creek; CBUF-FM-8, Port Alberni; and CBUF-FM-9, Victoria.
*CBU-FM. Vancouver and its transmitters CBU-FM-1, Victoria; CBU-FM-2, Metchosin/Sooke; CBU-FM-3, Kelowna; CBU-FM-4, Kamloops; CBU-FM-5, Prince George; CBU-FM-6, Fresnel; and CBU-FM-7, Chilliwack; plus in the Northwest Territories CFYK-FM, Yellowknife, and in Yukon Territory, CFWH-FM, Whitehorse.
*CBUX-FM, Vancouver, and its transmitter CUBX-FM-1, Victoria;
*CBCV-FM, Victoria, and its transmitters CBCV-FM-1, Metchosin/Sooke; CBKJ-AM, Gold River; CBKO-AM, Coal Harbour; CBKU-AM, Sayward; CBRY-FM, Alert Bay; CBTQ-FM, Port Alberni; CBTW-FM, Woss Camp; CBUW-FM, Powell River; CBUX-AM, Port Alice; CBUY-FM, Port Hardy; CBXP-AM, Tahsis; CBXQ-AM, Ucluelet; CBXZ-FM, Tofino; and CBYT-FM, Campbell River.
*CKSB-AM, St-Boniface, and its transmitters CKSB-1-AM and FM, Ste. Rose du Lac; CKSB-2-AM, St. Lazare; CKSB-FM-3, The Pas; CKSB-FM-4, Flin Flon; CKSB-FM-5, Thompson; CKSB-FM-8, Brandon; CKSB-10-FM, Winnipeg plus in Ontario CKSB-FM-6, Dryden; CKSB-FM-7, Kenora; CKSB-FM-9, Fort Frances;
*CBWK-FM, Thompson, and its transmitters CBDE-FM, Brochet; CBDG-FM, Shamattawa; CBDI-FM, Poplar River; CBDS-AM, Pukatawagan; CBDU-FM, Lynn Lake; CBWB-FM, Wabowden; CBWC-FM, Moose Lake; CBWD-FM, Waasagomach; CBWE-FM, Easterville; CBWF-FM, Flin Flon; CBWG-FM, Gillam; CBWH-FM, Grand Rapids; CBWI-FM, Ilford; CBWJ-FM, The Pas; CBWL-FM, Snow Lake; CBWM-FM, Oxford House; CBWN-FM, Gods Lake Narrows; CBWO-FM, Nelson House; CBWP-FM, Leaf Rapids; CBWQ-FM, South Indian Lake; CBWR-FM, Little Grand Rapids; CBWU-FM, Cranberry Portage; and CHFC-AM, Churchill.
*CBW-AM, Winnipeg, and its transmitters CBWA-FM, Manigotagan; CBWV-FM, Brandon; CBWW-FM, Dauphin; CBWX-FM, Fisher Branch; CBWY-FM, Jackhead; CBWZ-FM, Fairford; and CBW-1-FM, Winnipeg;
*CBW-FM, Winnipeg, and its transmitter CBWS-FM, Brandon.
*CKSB-FM, Winnipeg, and its transmitters, CKSB-FM-1, Regina; and CKSB-FM-2, Saskatoon.
*CBA-AM, Moncton, and its transmitters CBAA-FM, Newcastle, and CBAE-FM, Campbellton.
*CBZ-AM, Fredericton, and its transmitters CBAM-FM, Edmundston; CBAX-AM, McAdam; CBZB-AM, Boiestown; CBZC-FM, Bon Accord; CBZD-FM, Doaktown; and CBZW-FM, Woodstock;
*CBAF-FM, Moncton, and its transmitters CBAF-20, Kedgwick; CBAF-21, Saint-Quentin; CBAF-FM-1, Fredericton/Saint John; CBAF-FM-18, Lameque; CBAF-FM-2, Neguac; CBAF-FM-3, Campbellton; CBAF-FM-4, Edmundston.
*CBAL-FM, Moncton, and its transmitters CBAL-FM-1, Néguac/Allardville; CBAL-FM-2, Lameque; CBAL-FM-3, Campbellton; CBAL-FM-4, Fredericton ;and CBAL-FM-5 ,Edmundston.
*CBD-FM. Saint John and its transmitters CBAO-AM, St. Stephen; and CBZA-FM, Grand Manan.
*CBZF-FM, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
*CBY-AM, Corner Brook, and its transmitters, CBDT-FM, Deer Lake; CBNA-AM, St. Anthony;
*CBG-AM, Gander, and its transmitters CBGC-FM, Carmanville; CBGY-AM, Bonavista Bay; CBNG-AM and CBNG-FM, Glovertown.
*CFGB-FM, Goose Bay, and its transmitters CBGF-FM, Fox Harbour; CBND-FM, Postville; CBNI-FM, Makkovik; CBNK-AM, Cartwright; CBNN-FM, Hopedale; CBNP-FM, Port Hope Simpson; CBNZ-AM, Nain; CBQA-FM, Churchill Falls; and CKZN-SW, St. John's.
*CBN-FM, St. John's, and its transmitters CBN-FM-1, Grand Falls; CBN-FM-2, Corner Brook; CBN-FM-3, Deer Lake; CBN-FM-4, Stephenville; CBN-FM-5, Marystown; and CBN-FM-6, Baie Verte.
*CBDQ-FM, Labrador City.
*CBNC-FM, Stephenville; CBNE-FM, Port-aux-Basques; CBNF-FM, Bonne Bay; CBNH-FM, St. Andrew's; CBNJ-FM, Port Saunders; CBYM-FM, Mount St. Margaret; and CBYP-FM, Portland Creek.
*CBN-AM, St-John's and its transmitters CBNL-FM, Clarenville; CBNM-FM, Marystown; CBNO-FM, Swift Current; CBNQ-FM, Trepassey; CBNR-FM, Ramea/Burgeo; CBNS-FM, St. Albans; CBNV-FM, Placentia; CBNU-FM, Fermeuse; and CBNX-FM, St. Vincent's.
*CBT-AM, Grand Falls, and its transmitters CBTB-FM, Baie Verte; CBTJ-FM, Hampden; CBTL-FM, Millertown; and CBTR-FM, Roddickton;
CBQM-AM, Fort McPherson; CBAC-AM, Tuktoyaktuk:
*CHAK-AM, Inuvik, and its transmitters CBAK-AM, Aklavik; CBDW-AM, Norman Wells; CBIN-FM, Cambridge Bay; CBIO-FM, Kugluktuk (Coppermine); CBQE-FM, Fort Good Hope; CBQI-AM, Tulita;
*CFYK-AM, Yellowknife, and its transmitters CBDI-AM, Fort Smith; CBDJ-FM, Hay River; CBDO-AM, Fort Simpson; CBQB-FM, Rae-Edzo; CBQC-AM, Fort Providence; CBQD-FM, Fort Resolution; CBQG-AM, Wrigley; plus CBKE-AM, Fort Chipewyan.
CBAF-FM-7, Digby; CBAF-FM-8, Weymouth; and CBAF-FM-9, Yarmouth; plus in Newfoundland and Labrador CBAF-FM-16, Port au Port; CBAF-FM-17, St. John's;
*CBAF-FM 5, Halifax and its transmitters CBAF-FM-10, New Glasgow; CBAF-FM-11, Mulgrave; CBAF-FM-12, Margaree; CBAF-FM-13, Cheticamp; CBAF-FM-14, Sydney; CBAF-FM-6, Middleton;
*CBHA-FM, Halifax and its transmitters CBAP-FM, Shelburne; CBAZ-FM, Sheet Harbour; CBHB-FM, Mulgrave; CBHC-FM, Truro; CBHL-FM, Liverpool; CBHM-FM, Middleton; CBHN-FM, New Glasgow; CBHY-FM, CBHY-FM.
*CBH-FM, Halifax, and its transmitters CBH-FM-2, Mulgrave; and CBH-FM-1, Middleton; plus in New Brunswick CBA-FM, Moncton; and CBZ-FM, Fredericton; and in Prince Edward Island CBCH-FM, Charlottetown.
*CBI-AM, Sydney, and its transmitters CBHF-FM, Northeast Margaree; CBHI-FM, Inverness; CBIB-FM, Bay St. Lawrence; and CBIC-FM, Cheticamp.
*CFFB-AM, Iqaluit, and its transmitters CBIH-FM, Cape Dorset; CBII-FM, Igloolik; CBIJ-FM, Pangnirtung; CBIK-FM, Pond Inlet; CBIL-FM, Resolute Bay; CFFB-1-FM, Cambridge Bay; and CFFB-2-FM, Kugluktuk (Coppermine).
*CBQR-FM, Rankin Inlet, and its transmitters CBIA-AM, Gjoa Haven; CBIG-FM, Arviat (Eskimo Point); and CBIQ-FM, Taloyoak (Spence Bay).
*CBPS-FM, Bruce Peninsula.
*CBOX-FM, Ottawa, Ontario.
*CBOF-FM, Ottawa, and its transmitters CBOF-1-AM, Maniwaki; CBOF-4-AM, Rolphton; CBOF-FM-6, Cornwall; CBOF-FM-7, Brockville; and CBOF-FM-9, Chapeau;
*CBO-FM, Ottawa, and its transmitters CBCD-FM, Pembroke; CBCK-FM, Kingston; CBCW-FM, Whitney; CBLI-AM, Deep River; CBOC-FM, Cornwall; and CBOM-AM, Maniwaki.
*CBCS-FM, Sudbury, and its transmitters CBCA-FM, Attawapiskat; CBCC-FM, Hearst; CBCE-FM, Little Current; CBCG-FM, Elk Lake; CBCI-FM, Fort Albany; CBCJ-FM, Timmins; CBCN-FM, North Bay; CBCR-FM, Kirkland Lake; CBCU-FM, Chapleau; CBCY-FM, Haileybury; CBEC-FM, Elliot Lake; CBEU-AM, Temagami; CBEY-AM, Moosonee; CBLF-AM, Foleyet; CBLJ-FM, Wawa; CBLO-AM, Mattawa; CBOK-FM, Kapuskasing; CBSM-FM, Sault Ste. Marie.
*CBON-FM, Sudbury, and its transmitters CBON-10-AM, Matachewan; CBON-12-AM, Mattawa; CBON-6-AM, Blind River; CBON-FM-1, Kirkland Lake; CBON-FM-11, Dubreuilville; CBON-FM-17, North Bay; CBON-FM-18, Sault Ste. Marie; CBON-FM-19, Nipigon CBON-FM-2, Haileybury; CBON-FM-20, Thunder Bay; CBON-FM-21, Gogama; CBON-FM-22, Geraldton; CBON-FM-23, Manitouwadge; CBON-FM-24, Kapuskasing; CBON-FM-25, Timmins; CBON-FM-26, Hearst; CBON-FM-27, Wawa; CBON-FM-28, Chapleau; CBON-FM-5, Elliot Lake; and CBON-FM-7, Espanola;
*CBQ-FM, Thunder Bay.
Prince Edward Island:
*CBAF-FM 15, Charlottetown, and its transmitters CBAF-FM-19, Urbainville; CBAF-FM-20, St. Edward/St. Louis;
*CBJ-FM, Chicoutimi, and its transmitters CBJ-2, Chapais; CBJ-FM-1, Chibougamau; CBJ-FM-3, Dolbeau; CBJ-FM-4, L'Anse-St-Jean; and CBJ-FM-6, La Baie.
*CBJX-FM, Chicoutimi, and its transmitter CBJX-FM-1, Dolbeau.
*CBFG-FM, Chisasibi (Fort-George).
*CBF-FM, Montréal, and its transmitters CBF-1-AM, Senneterre; CBF-16-AM, Clova; CBF-17-AM, Lac-Édouard; CBF-18, Parent; CBF-3-AM, Lebel-sur-Quévillon; CBF-4-AM, Matagami; CBF-FM-13, Saint-Michel-des-Saints; CBF-FM-14, Saint-Jovite; CBF-FM-15, L'Annonciation; CBF-FM-7, Radisson; and CBF-FM-9, Mont-Laurier.
*CBFX-FM, Montréal, and its transmitters CBFX-FM-1, Trois-Rivières; CBFX-FM-2, Sherbrooke; CBFX-FM-3, Amos; CBFX-FM-4, Rouyn; CBFX-FM-5, Gaspé; and CBFX-FM-6, Mont-Laurier.
*CBGA-FM, Matane, and its transmitters CBGA-1-AM, New Carlisle; CBGA-3-FM, Rivière-au-Renard; CBGA-4-FM, Lac-au-Saumon; CBGA-6, Murdochville; CBGA-7, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts; CBGA-FM-10, Gaspé; CBGA-FM-11, Mont-Louis-en-Haut; CBGA-FM-12, Marsoui; CBGA-FM-13, Gros-Morne; CBGA-FM-14, Grande-Vallée; CBGA-FM-15, L'Anse-à-Valleau; CBGA-FM-7, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts; CBGA-FM-8, Îles-de-la-Madeleine; and CBGA-FM-9, Cloridorme;
*CBME-FM, Montréal, and its transmitters CBME-FM-1, Montréal; and CBMG-FM, Cowansville;
*CBM-FM, Montréal, and its transmitters CBM-FM-1, Sherbrooke; and CBM-FM-2, Québec.
*CBVE-FM, Québec, and its transmitters CBJE-FM, Chicoutimi; CBMA-FM, Rouyn; CBMB-FM, Sherbrooke; CBMC-FM, Thetford Mines; CBMD-AM, Chapais; CBMF-FM, Saint-Jovite; CBMH-FM, Schefferville; CBMI-FM, Baie-Comeau; CBMJ-AM, Murdochville; CBMK-AM, Lebel-sur-Quévillon; CBML-AM, Val d'Or ; CBMM-AM, Senneterre; CBMN-AM, Malartic; CBMO-AM, Lac-Mégantic; CBMP-FM, Chisasibi (Fort-George; CBMQ-FM, Waskaganish; CBMR-FM, Fermont; CBMS-FM, Blanc Sablon; CBMT-FM, La Tabatière; CBMU-FM, Harrington Harbour; CBMV-FM, Old Fort Bay; CBMW-FM, Wemindji; CBMX-FM, Saint-Augustin (Saguenay); CBMY-FM, Rivière-Saint-Paul; CBMZ-FM, Trois-Rivières; CBSE-FM, Sept-Îles; CBVA-FM, Escuminac; CBVB-FM, Chandler; CBVC-FM, Chibougamau; CBVE-1-AM, La Tuque; CBVF-FM, Port-Daniel (partie est); CBVG-FM, Gaspé; CBVM-FM, Îles-de-la-Madeleine; CBVN-FM, New Carlisle; CBVP-FM, Percé; CBVR-FM, New Richmond; CBVS-FM, Mistissini (Baie-du-Poste); and CBVW-FM, Waswanipi.
*CBV-FM, Québec, and its transmitters CBV-FM-1, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré; CBV-FM-4, Saint-Pamphile; CBV-FM-5, Saint-Fabien-de-Panet ; CBV-FM-6, La Malbaie; CBV-FM-7, Saint-Georges-de-Beauce; and CBV-FM-8, Thetford Mines;
*CBVX-FM, Québec, and its transmitters CBVX-FM-1, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré; CBVX-FM-2, La Malbaie; and CBVX-FM-3, Baie-Saint-Paul.
*CBRX-FM, Rimouski, and its transmitters CBRX-FM-1, Matane; CBRX-FM-2, Sept-Îles; CBRX-FM-3, Rivière-du-Loup; CBSI-14-AM, Aguanish;CBSI-23-AM, Port-Menier; CBSI-5, Natashquan; CBSI-6, Fermont; and CBSI-8, La Romaine.
*CJBR-FM, Rimouski, and its transmitter CJBR-FM-1, Rivière-du-Loup.
* CHLM-FM, Rouyn-Noranda, and its transmitter , Amos/Val-d'Or;
*CBSI-FM, Sept-Îles, and its transmitters CBSI-FM-15, Harrington Harbour; CBSI-FM-16, Tête-à-la-Baleine; CBSI-FM-17, La Tabatière; CBSI-FM-18, Saint-Augustin (Saguenay); CBSI-FM-19, Old Fort Bay; CBSI-FM-20, Rivière-Saint-Paul; CBSI-FM-21, Blanc Sablon; CBSI-FM-24, Baie-Comeau; CBSI-FM-3, Churchill Falls ; CBSI-FM-4, Labrador City/Wabush; CBSI-FM-6, Fermont; CBSI-FM-7, Havre-St-Pierre; and CBSI-FM-2, Schefferville.
*CBF-FM-10, Sherbrooke, and its transmitters CBF-FM-11, Asbestos/Danville; CBF-FM-12, Victoriaville; CBF-FM-2, Magog; and CBF-FM-6, Lac-Mégantic.
*CBF-FM-8, Trois-Rivières, and its transmitter CBF-FM-19, La Tuque.
*CBKA-FM, La Ronge, and its transmitters CBDH-FM, Uranium City; CBKB -AM, Beauval; CBKC-FM, Île-à-la-Crosse; CBKD-FM, Buffalo Narrows ; CBKE-FM, La Loche; CBKG-FM, Fond du Lac; CBKH, Stony Rapids/Black Lake; CBKI-FM, Stanley Mission; CBKJ-FM , Pinehouse Lake; CBKK-FM, Patuanak; CBKL-FM, Montreal Lake; CBKN-FM, Island Falls; CBKO-FM, Denare Beach; CBKP-FM, Southend; CBKV-FM, Cumberland House; and CBKW-FM, Pelican Narrows.
*CBK-AM, Regina, and its transmitters CBKM-FM, Meadow Lake; CBKR-FM Regina; and CBK-1-FM, Saskatoon.
* CBKF-FM, Regina, and its transmitters CBKF-1, Gravelbourg; CBKF-2, Saskatoon; CBKF-FM-3, Zenon Park; CBKF-FM-4, Bellegarde; and CBKF-FM-5, North Battleford.
*CBK-FM, Regina, and its transmitters CBK-FM-1, Prince Albert; CBK-FM-2, Warmley; CBK-FM-3, Yorkton; CBK-FM-4, Swift Current; CBKS-FM, Saskatoon; and CBK-FM-5, North Battleford.
CFWH-AM, Whitehorse, and its transmitters CBDB-AM, Watson Lake; CBDC-AM, Mayo; CBDD-AM, Elsa; CBDF-FM, Haines Junction; CBDK-AM, Teslin; CBDL-FM, Destruction Bay; CBDM-AM, Beaver Creek; CBDN-AM and FM, Dawson City; CBDX-AM, Swift River; CBQF-AM, Carmacks; CBQJ-AM, Ross River; CBQK-FM, Faro, and CBUA-FM, Atlin, British Columbia.
In Ireland, there were no radio decisions as such but there the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is involved in the release of ratings, which were published during the week (See RNW Aug 26).
In the UK, Ofcom, which asked for letters of intent for the second round of community radio licensing, says it received more than 180 such letters and as a result decided to invite applications on a staggered region-by-region basis rather than for the whole UK at the same time. It is currently asking for applications for South West England and South/Mid Wales.
Ofcom also published its latest Broadcast Bulletin, upholding no complaints this time (See RNW Aug 25).
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed a USD 25,00 penalty on as Texas AM (See below) and has also now cleared three XM receivers that use FM to link to radio sets as meeting its regulations, thus boosting XM shares (See RNW Aug 26).
The FCC has also issued a public notice seeking comment on the procedures to be used in its Auction 68A of FM construction permits that is scheduled to start on January 10, next year.
On offer will be nine permits that were unsold in the FCC's auctions 37, which closed in November 2004, and 62, which closed in January this year. The permits are for stations in California (2), Florida (2), Hawaii, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Utah. Comments have to be submitted by September 13.
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-08-27: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed a USD 25,000 penalty on a Texas AM for failure to maintain a main studio in its community of license, failure to install and maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment during the hours of station operation, and failure to make the station's public inspection file available.
Paulino Bernal Evangelism, former licensee of KBRN-AM, Boerne, had filed for reconsideration of the penalty on the basis of its inability to pay and history of overall compliance. It had already argued against the initial notice of apparent violation (NAL), which was issued in December 2003, on these grounds and had also argued that it did not violate the main studio and public inspection file requirements; that, if it violated the Rules, there is no evidence that the violations were repeated; that it has a history of overall compliance; that imposition of a forfeiture against Evangelism would be "contrary to Commission policy" because donors would be the ultimate source of payment; and that payment of a forfeiture would limit its "ability to generate programming in the public interest."
The FCC has rejected these arguments- including that of compliance and had pointed out a violation involving KUOL-AM, San Marco, Texas, which is licensed to SM Radio, Inc., a company under the same ownership as Evangelism - and issued a forfeiture order in October 2004.
It also rejected the other arguments including that of financial hardship for which documentation had not been produced, and confirmed the full penalty.
2006-08-26: Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan has now issued a memo to staff confirming the expected management re-organization ( See RNW Aug 25): In an internal memo to staff about the changes, Hogan notes the contribution to the plan by Charlie Rahilly, Susan Karis and Tom Schurr, who were appointed on August 17 as three new EVPs of operations.
The memo says the "new approach has fewer layers of management" and foes on to say Clear Channel Radio has "made enormous progress creating and deploying outstanding decision-support systems. Today, our decision-makers are better informed, more experienced, and as a result, more autonomous."
He continued, "While some of the new titles will sound familiar, the job descriptions and responsibilities associated with them are quite different. This reflects a new approach for managing our company within our changing industry."
Compared to a structure before the August 17 appointments of 10 senior VPs and 6 senior VPs of programming, each overseeing a specific region, the new structure has only eight SVPs with their responsibilities covering geographic regions and split into market managing and programming roles.
Four SVPs are charged with managing their markets - Dave Crowl (Central); Bill Gentry (Eastern); Mark Kopelman (Western); and Ed Krampf (Western).
In addition there are four Senior VPs of programming - Marc Chase (Eastern); Michael Martin (Western & Central), Gene Romano (Eastern & Central); and Alan Sledge (Western & Central).
Below them are 12 regional VPs, each with responsibility for specific markets and overseeing others, plus ten Presidents and market managers with responsibility for a single market.
Hogan says the new structure will create a "more focused team of senior programming professionals to build on our programming strengths and continually improve the quality of our programming."
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-08-26: XM Satellite Radio shares bounded again on Friday following a company announcement that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had issued new grants of authority for three XM radios with FM transmitters - the Audiovox Xpress, Delphi RoadyXT, and XM Sportscaster - that it had been forced to take off the market.
XM terms the models three of its "primary products at retail", says manufacturers have been asked to resume production, and adds that they are expected to be available for the holiday season.
XM shares jumped more than a fifth on Tuesday after Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck upgraded the stock to outperform from underperform, saying it was close to a resolution on the emission issue, but they then fell back by 4.6% on Wednesday to USD 12.90 (See RNW Aug 24).
On Friday they hit USD 14.22 at one point but then fell back a little to end the day up 5% at USD 13:49, their best performance since the plunge in July when they dropped from nearly USD 15 to around USD 10.50.
2006-08-26: Latest Irish radio ratings from the JNLR/TNSmrbi survey covering July 2005 to June 2006 show the medium with a stable reach compared to the previous quarter with some minor variations in weekday reach.
Overall 85% of the population listened to radio daily but within the figures overall listening to any regional or local station was up 1 to 58%, listening to RTÉ Radio One was down 1 to 24% and RTÉ 2FM was also down 1 - to 19%. Today FM retained 15% and RTÉ Lyric FM 3%.
The trend was similar for share in the daytime 07:00 to 19:00 period with the figure for any regional/local station up 0.8 to 51.7%; that for RTÉ Radio One down 0.7% to 21.7%, for RTÉ 2FM down 0.5 to 13.4% and for RTÉ Lyric FM down 0.1 to 1.5% but Today FM increased its share by 0.6 to 11.5%.
In terms of weekly reach national listening saw RTÉ Radio One unchanged at 40%; RTÉ 2FM unchanged at 37%; Today FM unchanged at 30%; and RTÉ Lyric FM down 1 to with 8% whilst south-east regional station Beat 102-103FM again retained 32%.
For weekly reach elsewhere:
In Dublin the top five stations were RTÉ Radio 1- an unchanged 42%; FM104, which gained 1to end with 36%; RTÉ 2FM, which lost 1% to end with 30%; 98FM, which gained 1to end with 30% and Q102, which lost 1 to end with 22%: Today FM was in sixth place -up 1 to 21%.
Cork's top five stations were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103 FM, which gained 2 to end with a 71% reach; RTÉ Radio 1, which gained 2 to end with 35%; Cork's Red FM which gained 2 to end with 31%; RTÉ 2FM, which gained 1 to end with 25%; and Today FM, which gained 2 to end with 23%.
Most successful local stations were Highland Radio - an unchanged 89%; Limerick's Live 95FM - down 1 to 84%; Radio Kerry - up 2 to 80%, a total it shared with Galway Bay FM which fell by 1;and Ocean FM - down 4 to 76%.
For weekday reach:
In Dublin the top five stations were RTÉ Radio 1 -down 1 to 28%; FM104 -up 1 to 22%; 98FM - up 2 to 18%; RTÉ 2FM with an unchanged 15%; and Spin 1038 - up 1 to 12% and thus overtaking Q102, which lost 1% to end with 11%:
Cork's top five stations were Cork 96FM/County Sound 103 FM, with an unchanged 48%; RTÉ Radio 1, - up 1 to 20%; Cork's Red FM up 2 to 17%; Today FM up 2 to 12%; and RTÉ 2FM -down 1 to 10.
Most successful local stations were Highland Radio - an unchanged 72%; Limerick's Live 95FM - down 1 to 64%; Ocean FM - down 3 to 60%; Shannonside/Northern Sound - down 2 to 57% and Radio Kerry - down 3 to 55%
Previous Irish Ratings:
2006-08-26: Regent has announced agreement to sell Indiana station WYNG-FM, which serves the Evansville market, to W. Russell Withers, Jr. for USD 1.5 million in cash in a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.
The divestment will leave Regent with five stations in the market - News talk WGBF AM ; Rock WGBF-FM; Top-40 WDKS-FM; AC WJLT-FM; and Country WKDQ-FM.
Regent President and CEO Bill Stakelin said in a statement that the sale was in line with its "strategy to maximize the value of our assets."
He added, " We intend to use the proceeds from today's divestiture and previously announced transactions to continue to reinforce our position as a leading consolidator of middle and small-sized markets. Looking ahead, we remain active in the M&A market and will continue to seek selective opportunities that will strengthen our ability to generate value for our shareholders."
2006-08-25: US radio giant Clear Channel is expected to announce today details of a major management restructuring that according to rumour will involve the axing of a number of high level posts amidst a consolidation of functions.
Other posts in what is being described as a "flattening" of company structure are likely to be downgraded.
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-08-25: Arbitron has released software for its planned weekly radio ratings in its Houston Portable People Meter (PPM) trial that it says will give that market's radio programmers the ability to download weekly updates of audience ratings and gain reliable week-by-week insights into radio audience behaviour.
Gary Marince, vice president, Programming Services and Development, Arbitron Inc. said that because of the PPM they would be able to deliver reliable weekly ratings to that programmers can see how a strategy is working instead of having to wait a month for a "ratings report that only reflects the average audience for the previous three months."
"..thanks to the reliability of the PPM ratings, programmers won't have to resort to home-brew, back-of-the envelope extrapolations of Arbitron data that can lead to misleading conclusions about the behaviour of the radio audience," he added. "With PPM, when you run a strong promotion, make a personality or format change, you'll have credible audience feedback within weeks."
Arbitron's director, PPM Client Software George Brady said they had "designed the software to look and feel like the monthly Arbitrends SM system" and added, "Programmers will see the same day parts and the same demographics that they are used to (with the addition of 6+ and 6-11). However, instead of trending a rolling three-month average just 12 times each year, stations' executives will be able to trend week-to-week estimates for all encoded stations in PPM-measured markets."
Arbitron delivered its first weekly report on Thursday covering the week from July 27 and says date for the week from August 3 will be available on August 28. It has posted a 2006 delivery schedule for PPM Weeklies on its web site.
Arbitron 2006 PPM schedule:
2006-08-25: Emap has signed DJs Carl Cox and Armin Van Buren to spearhead changes for its new look KISS network to launch next month when London flagship station Kiss 100's output is to be aired for much of the day on its current Vibe stations in Bristol - being re-branded as KISS but retaining their own breakfast shows plus other local programming.
Emap is also launching a new web site - totalkiss - for the stations from September 6 (it currently carries a redirect to Kiss 100, Vibe 101 and Vibe 105) with a new logo to be used on the stations on digital multiplexes, web site, Kiss TV, mobile phone services, Kiss-branded CDs and events.
The new web site will user comment on such matter as the best songs and nightclubs, games and videos and Emap also has plans to podcast music from unsigned talent and other material such as DJ mix master classes.
Kiss group programme director Andy Roberts said he wanted "current listeners to love Kiss even more and new listeners to get excited about discovering Kiss on the radio."
He described the new schedule as a "really exciting mix between established local talent; excellent new signings and some superstar names."
As well as Cox and Van Buren, Kiss has hired former Capital Radio weekend DJ Justin Wilkes to host an 09:00 to noon weekday show whilst at the weekends two former backroom staff from the BBC digital radio station 1Xtra - Melvin Odoom and Rickie Haywood-Williams - will host a weekend morning show.
There was no announcement about Kiss 100's breakfast slot, currently being hosted by Robin Banks following the departure of Bam Bam.
Totalkiss web site:
2006-08-25: Industry body Commercial Radio Australia has launched a series of free, radio creative workshops for corporate clients, run in conjunction with the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).
The workshops, which began in Sydney on Thursday - a further seminar will be held in Melbourne next month - and will feature international creative expert and creator of the award-winning radio brand campaign, Ralph van Dijk of Eardrum Australia, are part of the organization's strategy to improve radio advertising clients about the best possible use of the medium and seminars have already been held targeted at advertising agencies and focusing on how to use radio most effectively.
The seminars include tips on understanding how radio writers create radio scripts, cast talent and direct actors in the studio.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner said of the intention behind the moves, "We want Australian radio ads to be amongst the best in the world - and educating corporate clients about the best use of the medium creatively, will greatly assist this process."
AANA Executive Director Collin Segelov said the partnership with CRA was a practical demonstration of the association's commitment to professional development and training and added, "It is important for clients to appreciate the nitty gritty of effective radio, and the role they can play in it, because the process starts with the briefing."
van Dijk commented, "Radio is consumed in a way that is unlike any other medium. When you understand how listeners actually listen, you will be able to engage and communicate on a much deeper level. Advertisers are taking radio more seriously. It's been described as a marketing Swiss Army Knife and these workshops are about putting that theory to the test and learn which element of the multi-purpose tool is right for each job."
Commercial Radio Australia has also called for entries for its annual New Artists to Radio (NA2R) event that this year will offer the winner a prize of AUD 100,000 ( USD 76,000) in radio advertising over two weeks, will be provided on Austereo, NOVA, Australian Radio Network and Macquarie Regional Radio network stations down the east coast of Australia in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Central Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as being invited to perform at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) in front of 850 Australian radio industry executives and on-air presenters.
This year's event is being run in conjunction with the website MySpace and the event will be held on October 13 in Sydney, the day before the Australian Commercial Radio Awards ceremony.
Warner said of the requirements for entrants, "The radio industry wants to hear from artists and bands who have at least two songs ready to be played on commercial radio but who have not yet been signed by a record label. The submissions will be judged by a panel of commercial radio network program and music directors, with four acts chosen to perform at the NA2R, based on their commercial radio play potential."
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2006-08-25: British media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upheld no complaints although it did consider two radio and two TV standards cases resolved and gave details of two TV fairness and privacy complaints that were not upheld.
The radio complaints considered resolved involved Emap's Kerrang! and Kiss - in the case of the first a competition entitled "Dole or no Dole."
The listener said that the apparent premise of the competition - the presenter ringing unsuspecting members of the public, who may or may not have been claiming state benefits, so that competitors could guess how many benefits they were claiming - was offensive and "vindictive".
Emap said the calls were pre-recorded and set -up and said the item was meant to be a humorous take on the television programme Deal or no Deal but added that following a call from a listener it had reviewed the broadcast and decided that as some listeners could have interpreted the item as being offensive, rather than light-hearted, it should be dropped and not aired again. The station apologised for any offence it had caused.
It also noted that In previous programmes, the presenter had mentioned that he had been on the dole for a significant period of time and knew how hard it was to be unemployed and so at no point was he ever trying to make light of this situation.
Ofcom said it recognized that the calls were set-ups although this was not apparent to listeners and that the intent was to be humorous but also understood the complainant's concerns, adding that in this case the action taken resolved the matter.
In the Kiss 100 case, a listener complained that an aired track contained the lyrics "suck me off, fuck me off" and Kiss had said it regretted that it had aired an unedited version of 'S'Express' because of the introduction of a non-stop sequence of dance mixes on Friday afternoons from 15:00 as a transition from the normal daytime 'play-listed' music to the more specialist output of a Friday evening and the weekend. It said that it had now taken steps to ensure that all non-play-listed tracks included in the Friday afternoon mixes were pre-vetted and either edited as appropriate or excluded.
Ofcom commented that more case should have been taken but considered the action subsequently taken resolved the matter.
In addition to these items, Ofcom listed with no details a further 160 TV complaints involving 121 items and 13 radio complaints involving 13 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld. The totals compare with 109 TV complaints involving 62 items and 18 radio complaints involving 13 items that it said were out of its remit or not upheld in its previous bulletin.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2006-08-24: Fresh from its USD 262 million sale of 15 stations to Entercom (See RNW Aug 22), CBS radio has announced agreement to sells its two San Antonio stations - News-talk KTSA-AM and Jack format KJXK-FM, to Border Media Partners, LLC for USD 45 million in cash.
The sale will take Border's station up to 35 with outlets in Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, Laredo, McAllen, San Antonio- where it already owns Regional Mexican KSAH-AM, the KLEY-FM and KZDC-AM Regional Mexican simulcast; Rhythmic/Jammin' Oldies KTFM-FM; and Spanish Contemporary Hits KRIO-FM - and Waco.
The sale means that CBS has now exited stations in half of the ten smaller markets where it said it was to explore divestitures. Still on the block are its stations in Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Fresno, California; Greensboro-Winston/Salem, North Carolina; and Kansas City, Missouri.
Previous Border Media:
2006-08-24: Emmis Communications has named Patrick Walsh, who is to join the company from iBiquity Digital Corporation where he has been CFO and SVP since 2002, as Chief Financial Officer.
Walsh will take up his new role from September 5 and commented of his move, "As I worked closely with the radio industry on its digital conversion plans over the past several years, I developed a deep respect for Emmis and its world-class portfolio of media properties. The team at Emmis has a great reputation throughout the industry, and I look forward to joining this outstanding group."
Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said pf the appointment, "Pat's tremendous focus, energy and experience make him the perfect fit for Emmis. He understands our business and has the financial background to support the company's strategic growth."
Emmis has also announced that it has promoted David Newcomer from Vice President of Finance and Assistant Secretary to Senior Vice President of Finance and Assistant Secretary.
Newcomer had been standing in as CFO from February 12 following the departure of Walter Berger, who had been Emmis CFO from 1999.
2006-08-24: BBC Radio Scotland has shelved a second comedy series by "The Franz Kafka Big Band" that portrays Rolf Harris supposedly drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and a number of other controversial sketches.
The series was described at the end of June in a BBC Scotland news release about new comedy on the station as a "cutting edge and hilarious comedy sketch show" that would be, "Uncompromising in its 10.00 P.M slot, you'll either love it, or hate it: you won't ignore it."
It was to have started airing next Monday in a daily late night slot for a week - an earlier series was broadcast from October to November last year at lunchtime on Saturdays and repeated uncut late on Monday nights.
The Scotsman reported that the series- billed as "sure to surprise even the most unshockable" when it was commissioned - was dropped because of "anxieties over taste and decency" and says BBC executives were concerned by the segment called Rolf's Blasphemous Cartoon Time, in which the TV personality is portrayed as drawing images of deities such as the Prophet Muhammad and Buddha. Earlier this year riots and protests had followed the publication of cartoons of Muhammad being published in a Danish newspaper.
The paper also adds that it understands members of the Franz Kafka Big Band were earlier warned by the BBC that jokes about Israel's foreign policy were also off-limits.
Band member, performer and writer Craig Stobo, said the troupe's five members were stunned by the news and added, "We've been given a lot of freedom to do what we wanted and we thought with it going out at 10pm we had a little bit of leeway. The BBC wanted us to be the 'bad boys'. Our mission statement is 'no sacred cows', so they knew what they were going to get. It's a case of be careful what you wish for The word came back that they were very happy with what we have done but said there's no way it can be broadcast in its current form. We don't know quite what's going to happen, but we're gutted."
Another band member Innes Smith said: "They did ask for something edgy and uncompromising and they're now regretting it. We spent a lot of time and effort on this and it's a pity that the public won't be able to hear these shows in the manner they were intended."
The first series will not be rebroadcast from Monday leaving unaired such new segments as one features a cow flying into New York's Twin Towers; a musical number to the tune of Sammy Davis Jnr's The Candy Man, in which the group sing: "Who can start a jihad? The Taleban can" and sketch about the Bible's Last Supper that imagines a discussion between Jesus and Peter in which the latter admits he is allergic to fish.
Nick Low, the executive producer of the new programmes, said meetings between the troupe and BBC were due to be held to "thrash out" a way forward, adding, "They're definitely pushing the boundaries of comedy. Their idea of taste, decency and what's funny isn't the same as the people at the BBC, so we need to wait to see if this second series will ever see the light of day. It's all to do with whether there can be a compromise."
Amongst comments on the paper's story is one saying, "As someone lucky enough to have heard the uncut second series, I would like to say how disappointed I am with the BBC for losing their nerve. Descriptions of some sketches give a certain impression that is not there and can be quickly dispelled by actually listening to the material."
A number of comments raise the issue of poking fun at religion, comparing attitudes to offending Moslems and members of other religions although one takes the issue onto Scottish home turf with the comment, " they're having a go at everyone. And yes, Muslims have a sense of humour. As do Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and so on, although the Presbyterians may find that the compilation album featuring hits like 'You've got to fight for your right to keep the Sabbath sacred' and 'Hebridean Rhapsody' a bit too much."
2006-08-24: XM Satellite Radio shares, which jumped more than a fifth on Tuesday after Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck upgraded the stock to outperform from underperform, lost a quarter of the gain on Wednesday. Its stock had ended Tuesday at USD 13.52 but dropped back by 4.6% on Wednesday to USD 12.90.
Peck has said that the company seemed to be emerging from a number of negatives and was now near to a resolution of the problems with its Delphi XM SkyFi2 radio that had to be withdrawn because it did not meet emissions regulations and could cause interference.
He said that in his view XM will soon be able to start production of the SkyFi2 receivers and not be hit by the problem for the critical holiday period in which he says he thinks XM could pick up traction again.
2006-08-24: The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a government advertisement aired by GCap's Trent FM directing listeners to a government web site on how to stay safe online because a listener following the link ended up at a porn site.
The advert, for the Home Office/Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website called thinkuknow.co.uk, contained the line, "What you say online isn't always what a paedophile hears. Giving out personal info could let a paedophile track you down. Be smart online, be safe offline. Visit thinkuknow.co.uk".
The listener complained that when she visited the site she heard mentioned, entering the address, "thinkyouknow.co.uk", she was taken to a site that contained "links to websites of an adult nature including pornography websites."
The CEOP aid they had taken over the campaign from the Home Office and had no involvement with the advert but were aware of potential for misspelling site names although they noted that teenagers were used to using abbreviations such as "u" for "you" when communicating via text and email.
In this case they pointed out that the "inappropriate material" was at least four clicks away and thought any user would be aware, by that point, that it was not a site about child protection on the internet.
GCap had responded to the complaint by saying that they had been made aware on March 13 of the possibility of the site directing people towards a site with links to adult web sites and made the Home Office, RACC (Radio Advertising Clearance Centre), the Home Office, the production house and the agency (RKCR/Y&R) aware of this and initially stopped broadcasting the advert but after consulting the buying agency resumed broadcasts until April 2.
The RACC said it had cleared the advert in good faith and had no reason to believe there would be confusion but did not know why broadcasts had been resumed after the matter was brought to the attention of RKCR, who assured them it would be taken off air on 19 March and they then felt no further action was needed. The7y added they felt the "significant effect" of the advert was to highlight to teenagers the dangers of online chatrooms and to advise them not to meet those they chatted to online and not to publicise indirectly an unacceptable product, namely, "restricted ... material and other sexual services."
The ASA disagreed, commenting that there had been such a significant effect and noted that the site address had not been spelled out in full, adding that they were extremely concerned that broadcasts had continued after the RACC had been told the advert had been taken off air. It said this advert should not be used again in its current form and that in future care should be taken to ensure listeners are aware of the correct spelling of website addresses.
RNW comment: this ruling reminds us of a TV skit in which a woman climbs on a chair on a table to peer out of a skylight to see a couple making love and then complains. The site involved - currently parked - links to a whole range of business and other links including Dating, Personals, Chat and Singles that link on to some sites that the Home Office would consider unacceptable but we can see no way in which anyone can get there in error although the point about spelling out a URL is well made.
2006-08-23: Clear Channel has announced that sportscaster Bob Costas, who from 1986 to 1996 hosted the Sunday night sports radio show "Costas Coast to Coast", will be returning to radio next month with a two-hour weekend show "Costas on the Radio."
The new show it says will "feature conversations with newsmakers and significant figures from sports and other walks of life, as well as Costas' own commentaries and observations. "
Costas began his broadcasting career in radio on WAER, the campus radio station of Syracuse University, then worked at WSYR Radio in Syracuse, before joining KMOX, in St. Louis in 1974 at the age of 22.
He has been awarded 19 Emmys for his TV work for NBC and HBO and Clear Channel Radio president and CEO John Hogan commented in a news release, "Great broadcasting is an art, and Bob is one of the truly great broadcasters of our time. For years he has gone behind the headlines to get to the heart of sports, and a wide range of other topics, often with powerful insights. His ability to get his guests to discuss issues and events in a way they won't anywhere else is truly impressive. He has the rare ability to be both entertaining and informative. We are truly fortunate to welcome him back to radio."
The show is to make its debut on September 14 and will initially air on around 75 stations: It will be syndicated by Premiere Networks who in addition will also syndicate two editions of a 60-second daily vignette, "The Costas Cuts" and "The Costas Minute," starting some weeks later.
Costas said of the move, "As much as I enjoy my television work, radio offers a different stage. It's broadcasting in its purest form, and this is an ideal opportunity to return to it. It fits my schedule, and we plan to do a show that's entertaining, and at the same time, has some substance to it."
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-08-23: WLIB-AM, the flagship station for progressive talk network Air America is to become a full-time black gospel station from the start of next month when Air America moves to the weaker signal of Access 1 Communications Corporation's WWRL-AM (See RNW Aug 4).
Reporting on the switch David Hinckley in the New York Daily News quotes Vinny Brown, operations manager of sister station WBLS-FM as saying the format will be "music-intensive but will not exist in a vacuum, just playing songs. It will be heavily involved with the community, because in many ways the church is the community."
Vice president/general manager Deon Levingston said the station would kick off with all music, then after a month or so add hosts of whom he said, "They will be people listeners will recognize. As with WBLS, we want personalities that are as strong as the songs they're playing."
Levingston said two other formats were considered -oldies and country - commenting, "At various times, each one of those three seemed to be the favourite. But gospel is more compatible with the station's heritage and with WBLS, where we think there's real synergy."
News-talk or talk was not considered he added, saying, "That field is already too crowded. With seven or eight stations, it would just be too hard to establish a new one. Look at Air America: Its ratings were lower than our old Caribbean format, and it never got the advertising it needed to make money."
Previous Air America/Piquant (its owner):
New York Daily News report:
2006-08-23: India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has criticized state broadcasters Doordarshan (TV) and All India Radio (AIR) for poor internal controls and auditing procedures, saying that these have cost the broadcasters revenues and also hit their ability to compete with private stations.
In the case of Doordarshan it says the broadcaster was unable to exploit the "tremendous growth" of its network to increase its revenues and whilst AIR was said to have failed in its marketing, earning only INR 136 crore (INR 1.36 billion - USD 29.3 million) in 2004-05 against its revenue target of INR 251 crore (INR 2.51 billion - USD 54 million) and it adds that "Revenue generation by AIR was not commensurate with its infrastructure of 215 radio stations spread all over the country as against the almost 49 per cent share of the revenue that the private channels had with only 22 stations."
AIR says the report "had no rational policy for fixing its rates. It revised its rates in an ad hoc manner without any fixed periodicity and without keeping in view the rates charged by the private channels" and it says broadcaster failed to recover money from agencies and advertisers because of "lack of adequate monitoring and follow-up action" - this it says cost the broadcaster INR 18.6 crore (INR 186 million - USD 4 million).
It also notes that revenues from AIR's FM channels at four metro cities declined heavily (by as much as 98 per cent in case of Mumbai) in 2004-05 from the level in 2001-02.
Previous Indian Radio:
2006-08-22: Entercom has announced a USD 292 million spending spree comprised of USD 262 million to acquire 15 radio stations in four markets from CBS Radio plus USD 30 million in cash for urban format WILD-FM in Boston from Radio One Inc.
Entercom has already started operate WILD under a to time brokerage agreement and is to use the WILD frequency to simulcast its WAAF-FM rock format. According to Radio One in the past 12 months it has revenues of around USD 2.3 million and been operating at around break-even. The sale leaves Radio One with only its WILD-AM signal, acquired from Kendal Nash's widow Bernadine for USD 5 million in 2000 and now a news/talk format, in Boston
Commenting on the disposal Radio One President and Chief Executive Officer Alfred C. Liggins, III said in a statement, "This sale represents a very good start to our asset disposition process. While Boston is a wonderful radio market, it is not of great strategic importance to us. We will use the capital generated from this sale to reduce our leverage while we continue to look to rationalize our asset base."
Entercom said the acquisition of WILD provided a signal that was an excellent complement to the existing WAAF signal and would enable the station to provide full coverage to downtown Boston and other underserved areas of the metropolitan area, adding, "This signal improvement is expected to boost the station's ratings and operating performance significantly. "
The CBS stations being bought are in Memphis, Tennessee, and Rochester New York, where Entercom currently has stations, and Austin, Texas and Cincinnati, Ohio, which will be new markets for it. Entercom says it intends to begin operations of all stations, except in Rochester where current ownership limits mean it will have to divest itself of two stations, through a time brokerage agreement in early October except Rochester.
The stations involved are three FMs - KKMJ, KAMX, and KXBT - plus KJCE-AM in Austin; Four FMs - WUBE, WKRQ, WGRR and WAQZ in Cincinnati; WMC-FM and AM plus WFMS-FM in Memphis; and four FMs - WRMM, WCMF, WPXY, and WZNE - in Rochester.
Entercom President and CEO David J. Field said in a statement that the combination of the CBS and Entercom stations in Memphis and Rochester "will create terrific opportunities for our listeners, customers, employees, and shareholders" and of the other markets said, "In addition, we are delighted to enter the Austin and Cincinnati markets with such a great line-up of brands. We look forward to working with the new members of the Entercom team to serve these communities."
"This transaction" he added, "represents a continuation of our strategy of rewarding shareholders through dividends, share buybacks, and disciplined and selective acquisitions that create shareholder value. We believe the CBS acquisition will be accretive to earnings per share and free cash flow per share."
At a presentation later Field said that they had only wanted CBS stations in the four markets and were pleased to have got "exactly what we wanted." He noted the "terrific synergies" available from the purchases in Memphis and Rochester and of the other two markets spoke of the potential for "great growth." Field also emphasized that they had been very focussed on value to their shareholders and said Entercom had been "fully prepared to lose this deal if we couldn't make it work at a price point which provided real value for our shareholders "
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2006-08-22: Shares in SMG rose by 6.25% on Monday to close at 76.5 pence following reports that various private equity groups were interested in making a bid to counter UTV's proposal of a merger (See RNW Aug 20 and Aug 19): UTV shares also rose but by much less- up 1.1% to GBP 3.48.
Amongst those rumoured to be lining offers is Rob Woodward, the former commercial director of Channel 4 who according to the UK Independent is preparing a private equity-backed bid of GBP 280 million (USD 530 million): This compares to the initial all-paper 50-50 offer from UTV, which at the time was valued at around GBP 199 million (USD 377million) compared to a valuation of around GBP 226 million (USD 428 million) for SMG but the Independent says UTV is understood to be willing to take as little as 45 per cent of the combined group.
So far no firm offers have been announced by any bidders.
UK Independent report:
2006-08-22: Directed Electronics has announced agreement on a USD 136 million cash deal to purchase Baltimore headquartered Polk Audio, which has just announced that it is to start shipping its I-Sonic system that includes analogue AM and FM terrestrial radio plus HD, XM Satellite Radio, a CD/DVCD player and the ability to play MP3s and also connect to an iPod or MP3 player and to output audio through a jack to an external amplified and system. Priced at USD 599, has 30 pre-sets and is the only equipment so far on the US market to provide such a wide range of facilities.
It says it will keep on the current Polk management, who will be joining the Directed team after the acquisition which is scheduled to close during the third quarter of 2006.
2006-08-21: A combination in our look at print comment on the media this week of unexpected career changes, the potential penalties of exposing criminal behaviour, and matters of country, race and colour.
First in relation to the last two , something of a tribute to a lady of considerable determination and eventual success - Catherine Hughes, the founder of Radio One Inc. and subject of a report on the company and its 25th anniversary by Jackie Jones on BlackAmericaWeb.com.
Hughes began the group with the purchase of WOL-AM in 1980, lost almost everything she had keeping the station afloat, living at the station and using a sleeping bag there at nights, but persevered.
"My plan at that time was to get (the station) paid for so I wouldn't be so dependent on others," said Hughes who gave up a job at WHUR-FM to make the move and at one time to ensure she could pay staff offered advertisers 1,000 minutes of airtime for USD 1,000 -- a dollar a minute -- if they paid the money up front.
Hughes said her main focus was "staying on the air" but she also had to convince advertisers to buy time on a talk-show format to black audiences and also convince the potential audience to listen to a format focused on addressing their intellectual needs.
The company is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary - its holdings now include 71 radio stations, the TV One cable channel in partnership with Comcast Corp., and a controlling interest in Reach Media Inc. which controls "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" and BlackAmericaWeb.com - and has done more than USD 1.3 billion of business leading Hughes to comment, "I never thought I would be using the b-word. No black company has ever done anything over USD 1.3 billion. We were the first."
Hughes built the company up slowly, a project at a time, and was reluctant to take on debt to build an empire but that approach was changed after her son, Alfred C. Liggins III, who had graduated from Wharton Business School, became CEO.
"We were walking across the University of Penn's campus," she said, "and he stops me and says, 'Mother, I have something to tell you. I'm going to take the company public.' My first reaction was 'Oh, hell no!'
"It took him two years to teach me, tutor me, get me comfortable with the idea" that they could put together a management team that could make such a plan work, she added. "Expansion represented to me more debt, and I always was very frugal."
Hughes now agrees with those who say that one step at a time is no longer a viable strategy, commenting, There's the whole business of the global economy. Black folks are not in the fast lane," and adding that multiple ventures "are so important because of the dissemination of information" and saying that the company's goal is to provide its audiences one-stop shopping for news, information and entertainment.
"We want to help them expect more," she said, "and receive more."
The problems of meeting the needs of black audiences in the US also featured in the St Petersburg Times in relation to US National Public Radio (NPR) in a report by its media critic Eric Deggans under the headline "Public radio struggles to find black audience" with a sub heading asking "can NPR sustain quality black programming?"
It related to the problems of Ed Gordon's show, "Gordon's News & Notes" that made its debut on NPR nearly two years ago after Tavis Smiley opted not to renew his contract (see RNW Nov 30, 2004). Gordon has now lost around 17% of the 1-million plus weekly audience inherited from Smiley, stations in major markets such as Chicago, New York and Cleveland have dropped or downgraded the show and, comments Deggans, staffers have been told by NPR management that if they were working on a commercial radio programme with comparable listener loss, it would have been cancelled by now.
Gordon said of the problems, "Sometimes, I feel this show is being allowed to die on the vine. People say I haven't connected with audiences. ... That's probably true because the show hasn't connected with me," he added. "And part of the problem was not knowing what people wanted. Do you want a typical, NPR-type show, or do you try to bring some shade ... some colour to NPR?"
For NPR executive vice president Ken Stern noted in connection with NPR's ability to sustain quality programming for black audiences that in his seven years with the organization two of the three new shows have been black-focused and commented, "Five or six years ago, we made a commitment to something that had never been done before: to launch new programming aimed at more diverse audiences We've been trying to bring in people from the outside and build an even more diverse staff. ...And just because we didn't get it right the first time or the second time doesn't mean we won't keep trying."
Gordon's programme, like that of Smiley, was developed at the urging of the African American Public Radio Consortium - an alliance of about 22 stations, mostly based at historically black colleges, which serve predominantly black audiences and its spokeswoman defended NPR's efforts saying that saying it had spent at least USD8-million on Smiley's and Gordon's programs, trying to fulfil a need first identified in the 1980s for public radio content aimed at black listeners.
Smiley left unexpectedly, citing disagreement with NPR about "how to program and market a show to black people, most of whom have never heard of NPR" and Gordon's show was rushed to air in around six weeks to ensure that the Smiley time slots were not re-assigned.
Deggans says of the end result, "Theories for what has happened since run the gamut: Gordon lives on the East Coast, while the staff that assembles the show is based in Los Angeles; Gordon, an import from TV news, hasn't connected with listeners the way dynamic activist/pundit Smiley did; NPR never learned how to bring powerful personalities like Smiley and Gordon into public radio's passive-aggressive corporate culture."
Teshima Walker, now assistant program director for the Syndication One talk radio network, who worked as a producer on Smiley's show for two years and on Gordon's show for one year added, "We never could buy into (Gordon's) vision. Tavis ... was programming for black people, and the white people who listened in were more like voyeurs. Since Tavis was the person who constructed that, it was hard for Ed to come in with all the baggage that was left over and create a new plan for himself."
Deggans says of the future that Gordon plans to announce a new, non-NPR TV venture, fuelling rumours he may be planning for his post-NPR life whilst NPR is developing a new black-focused show- planned to launch in January next year - with former ABC correspondent Michelle Martin and Walker said she feared NPR might replace Gordon's show with the new one.
Another suggestion as to the problems came from George Curry, editor in chief of the black-focused National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service, was hired as a regular, paid participant on Gordon's reporters roundtable for the show's first year: "All these concocted excuses seem like nothing but a smokescreen," said Curry. "They knew Ed was not Tavis - Tavis' shows are personality-driven and Ed's work is issue-driven. The problem with NPR is that everything is done by committee. And now that Ed is disengaged, it's the bland leading the bland."
After programming for one minority in the US, we move on to that for a minority in the UK and Ian Johns' Radiohead column in the Times that on Saturday took as its theme the launch of a new soccer phone-in show on the BBC Asian network that made its debut on Saturday afternoon.
Johns comments that "we have a serious attempt to broaden the audience for audio football with "Kickin' Off With Nihal" and added that "the programme aims to show that Asian football fans are just as passionate and opinionated about the Premiership as anybody else."
The host, who won a Sony Gold Award with the BBC Radio 1 late night urban music show, Bobby and Nihal (Parumdeep Singh Sadev and Nihal Arthanayake), is a Tottenham Hotspurs fan and commented, "Asians support teams and are really into football but there is still a distinct lack of Asians actually going to the games and feeling like they would be made welcome. It's a barrier that we want to overcome."
And the show's approach?, "This show isn't about 'Oh, let's kick racism out of football'," Nihal says. "It's about loving and enjoying football. We're not going to be moaning, we're celebrating football."
Then also in the UK, a contrast about two national minorities from Roland White in his Sunday Times Radio Waves column on Sunday: The minorities are the Scots and Welsh but Johns introduces the column with a paragraph relating to Asian and Scots accents and perceptions of what is and isn't acceptable: "Let's begin with a brief experiment. In your best impression of an Asian voice, please say the following: "Oh, doctor, I'm in trouble, oh, goodness gracious me". Think Peter Sellers: ham it up for all you're worth. Add a couple of "boom boody boom"s if you feel it adds to the part. Now assume the rich but slightly pinched accent of an Edinburgh Morningsider and say: "Ah, Hamish, you'll have had your tea then?" It is crucial to this experiment, by the way, that you do not already have an Asian or a Morningside accent. If that is the case, skip straight to the nub of the issue: why is one of these impressions considered mildly offensive, yet the other is the basis of a much-loved comedy series returning to Radio 4?"
The series is "Hamish and Dougal: You'll Have Had Your Tea" which returns on Tuesday and the two main characters - played by Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer - have their origins in a round of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" called Sound Charades.
Johns comments of the programme that at "the heart of each sketch is the stereotype that Scotsmen are careful with their money" and goes on to ask, "So what makes this funny, while two Englishmen might struggle to escape with their lives if they stood in Pontypridd and impersonated two singing miners called Dai and Taffy?"
Johns then goes on to make some sound - and significant points relating to accents noting that last year "Ofcom fined Manchester's Key 103FM GBP 125,000 ( USD 215,000) after a presenter faked an Asian accent to mock Muslims. But on another occasion, Ofcom turned down a complaint about a commercial's "stereotyped" Japanese accent on the grounds it was a clear spoof of a Japanese game show."
His conclusion is that perhaps "context is all" and continues, "The intention of Hamish and Dougal is not to poke fun at Scotland: Cryer and Garden have simply created two rather loveable comic characters who happen to be Scottish."
He concludes, "Goodness Gracious Me" - originally a Radio 4 series - has brought Asian comedy into the mainstream, but I'm not sure we'll feel truly comfortable about race and culture in this country until Graeme and Barry can perform Sanjay and Rajeev: You'll Have Had Your Tea in front of a Bradford audience helpless with laughter. Now that will be progress."
RNW comment: Is seems to us that as well as context part of the equation, neglected by Johns, is the reaction of the minorities or groups involved. Those who tend not to make a fuss also seem to end up with more fun being poked at them whilst groups that are either vociferous or worse -we think in particular of threats of and actual violence - are avoided as targets, sometimes simply out of fear when the polite words are stripped away. That seems to us a dangerous tendency as it forestalls legitimate criticism or mockery, of some ethnic, political, religious or racial groups who certainly merit either or both.
On then to another element relating to the critical, this time from Mick Heaney's sister Radio Waves column relating to Irish radio in the Sunday Times.
Heaney devotes the column to those who do raise a stir as "Whistleblowers", the title of a three-part RTÉ Radio 1 series hosted by Alan Torney that began on Thursday. The first dealt with Craig Murray who was Britain's youngest ambassador when in 2002 he was made Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
When he found evidence that the "country's Karimov regime was engaged in 'industrial scale' torture, which included boiling dissidents to death" and brought these human rights abuses to the attention of the British government and questioned support for the regime, writes Heaney, "he found himself accused of a list allegations including selling passports for sex, being drunk on the job, and effectively stealing from the Embassy."
Murray was eventually cleared of all allegations but suffered a nervous breakdown and retired from Britain's Foreign Service.
So on to suggested listening and first the BBC Asian Network and Kickin' Off With Nihal as already mentioned (The audio has an annoying alarm at the beginning and the show is interspersed with music) and RTÉ Radio 1: Audio of last week's "Whistleblower" programme is on the station's web site. This week's programme (18:00 GMT on Thursday) is on Father Gerard McGinnity - appointed when 26 as Junior Dean at Maynooth- Ireland's national seminary - made senior dean six years later but then after bringing to the attention of bishops allegations made by students concerning the behaviour of the college's Vice President, Dr. Mícheál Ledwith, pressured into resigning. Ledwith was promoted to President but later resigned prematurely and agreed a financial settlement - without liability - with a man who alleged Ledwith had abused him as a minor.
The final programme on August 31 concerns the former Brown & Williamson Vice President of Research and Development Dr. Jeffrey Wigand who blew the whistle on the tobacco companies' knowledge of the addictive qualities of nicotine - and not only suppression of that knowledge but deliberate use of it to boost sales.
On next to satire and the BBC Radio 4 "Classic Serial" - Samuel Butler's satire "Erewhon" the first episode of which aired on Sunday (14:00 GMT) and will be repeated on Saturday at 20:00 GMT. Next week's episodes air at the same time and the programme is on the site.
Also with drama a reminder that BBC World Service World Drama on Sunday -also on the site - was the second part of Bertolt Brecht's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" and still with reminders to note that the 2006 Proms continue on BBC Radio 3 and that BBC Radio 2 on Saturday aired the second part of its two-part Rolling Stones Documentary: Audio will be on the site until next Saturday when at 20:00 GMT the station airs the first part of "A Kind of Magic", a tribute fronted by Paul Gambaccini to the late Freddie Mercury of Queen.
Next China and two programmes, one Sunday's BBC Radio 4 "Analysis" programme "What China Wants" in which Carrie Gracie examines the implications of China's rise to superpower status and Radio Netherlands' "Documentary" programme on Wednesday - "Families in China" that looks at the radical changes in family life since the founding of the People's Republic and in particular the impact of the one-child policy as children born after its introduction reach the age to marry and have children themselves.
Then over to Australia and from the weekend the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "All in the Mind" and "Background Briefing", the first "The Nature of Belief: Australian Science Festival Debate" looking at the way the human mind treats belief and the nature of beliefs and the second "A narrative for a long war" in which Stan Correy looks at concern in Washington that the Jihadists are winning the war of ideas.
Finally back to BBC Radio 4 and "Border Blaster" tomorrow at 10:00 GMT : It tells the story of US charlatan Dr JR Brinkley who made a fortune with his treatments to rejuvenate male sexual vigour that made him a fortune and led him to found KFKB-AM in California to boost his business and fame: Later after the American Medical Association persuaded the Kansas Board of Medical Registration to revoke his license on the grounds of immorality and unprofessional conduct, and the Federal Radio Commission, predecessor to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shut down KFKB for promoting fraud, Brinkley moved Mexico where he bought XERA-AM and used it to transmit his message over the border into the US.
BlackAmericaWeb.com - Jones:
St Petersburg Times - Deggans:
UK Sunday Times - Heaney:
UK Sunday Times - White:
UK Times- Johns:
2006-08-21: Long-estranged former radio partners Steve Dahl and Garry Meier appear to have made up and ended their 13-years old dispute: Phil Rosenthal in the Chicago Tribune, reporting on an on-air reunion during Dahl's afternoon show on CBS Radio's WCKG-FM, commented, "To hear the once-hugely popular duo crack each other up during a broadcast of Dahl's five-hour WCKG-FM 105.9 afternoon show from Oak Street Beach, it was as if there had been no divorce "
He added that Meier, who has been largely out of work since a failure to agree a new contract with ABC Radio's WLS-AM led to the station taking him off air as afternoon co-host with Roe Conn (See RNW Jan 13, 2004) and later dropped, said he had not gone to the restaurant from where Dahl was broadcasting with any intention of mending fences but was lunching with friends when Dahl's broadcast began.
Dahl commented, "I thought if he has the courage to come up here, I have the courage to go through with it. For him to come up here was big because he's sort of been the one that's been more standoffish than me. So that was enough for me."
Meier said, "I figured, well, it's now or never. What the hell, I have no reason not to. There's nothing I'm carrying around" and said of their rapport when on air, "When you work with someone 15 years, even if there's been a 13-year span in between, you kind of pick up where you left off. That's the way it seemed when I sat down."
The question of whether there might be more joint broadcasts was left open Dahl said he thought Meier should be on air in Chicago with someone and added, "With me? I don't know, just with the finances of what each show costs. I know Drew [WCKG program director Drew Hayes who teamed Meier and Conn at WLS-AM] likes him a lot. Even if he just wanted to do stuff here and there with me, I wouldn't be opposed to it."
Meier said he hopes to land some kind of radio work in Chicago by the end of the year because it's been "long enough," but noted "the business is in a very strange mindset" and expressed regret that things didn't work out when Hayes and CBS Radio considered using him as WCKG morning host after Howard Stern left: The slot went to Shane "Rover" French, who was dropped after failing to perform in the ratings (See RNW Aug 1).
Chicago Tribune report:
2006-08-21: Emap is to re-launch its London dance format station Kiss 100 FM and re-brand two Vibe stations as Kiss next month in an attempt to rejuvenate the brand with a changed musical emphasis.
Under the changes scheduled to start on September 6 it expects to cut back on rhythm and blues and urban music and move back towards its roots with more dance-oriented music, adding Vibe 101 in Bristol and Vibe FM in East Anglia - acquired when Emap bought SRH last year for GBP 391 million (then USD 714 million - See RNW Aug 9, 2005) to its "Kiss" outlets although they will keep their local breakfast and drivetime shows and also air some other local shows when not simulcasting output from the London Kiss station.
The Kiss format is also available nationally on digital multiplexes, the Freeview digital terrestrial platform, cable and satellite and currently has an audience of around 2.36 million on them and in London: With the addition of the Vibe stations this would increase by some 528,000 if it retains their listeners - 258,000 a week in Bristol and 270,000 in East Anglia according to the most recent ratings.
2006-08-20: Last week was a matter of routines rather than major announcements for all the regulators with no major announcements.
In Australia there were no radio announcements from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) but in view of potential media consolidation under government proposals all media could be affected by an announcement that it is to work together with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to streamline and coordinate industry data collection practices.
ACMA says the two agencies will identify overlaps in industry data requests, develop proposals for sharing data and explore opportunities for joint reporting and ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman commented, "Both agencies also have an obligation to inform the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts and parliament on communications issues. However, the Telecommunications Act makes it clear that doing so should not impose undue financial or administrative burdens on industry."
In Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was involved in a number of routine radio-related decisions including (in order of province):
*Administrative renewals until 31 August 2007 of licences of the following English-language, radio networks:
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
- ESPN Radio, originating from CJCL-AM, Toronto, Ontario
- Prime Time Sports, originating from CJCL-AM.
- Toronto Blue Jays, originating from CJCL-AM.
Standard Radio Inc:
-. Programs originating from CJAD-AM, Montréal, Quebec
Corus Entertainment Inc:
Deep Sky Networks (formerly known as Rock Radio Network), originating from CILQ-FM, North York, Ontario and distributing the following programmes: The Last Word with Maureen Holloway, Legends of Classic Rock, Ongoing History of New Music and CMT Top 20
*Renewal until 31 August 2013 of licence of CHTT-FM, Victoria.
*Approval of application to change frequency of Type B community station CFRM-FM, Little Current, relocate its transmitter and increase its power from 45 watts to 1,830 watts thus changing its status from a low-power unprotected service to a regular Class A FM service. The CRTC noted that the application had been supported in two interventions, one from the president of Eternacom's CJTK-FM, Sudbury, who said local radio in Northern Ontario is a "scarce thing". It also noted that CFRM-FM is the only station to broadcast locally from Manitoulin Island, that it is capable of providing emergency information during power outages and similar situations, and provides an essential service to the Aboriginal population of Manitoulin Island, which represents approximately 35% of the total population of the island.
*Approval of application to add a 45 watts transmitter in Carrot River for CJVR-FM, Melfort.
There were no radio announcements from Ireland although the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has announced the appointments of Dr. Ruth-Blandina Quinn to the new position of Broadcast Archiving Officer, Declan McLoughlin to the position of Broadcasting Standards Officer, and Patricia Kelly to the position of Licensing and Compliance Officer.
In the UK, Ofcom has advertised a new commercial FM licence for Herefordshire and Monmouthshire; started the process of inviting "letters of intent" for licences to be issued; and issued two further Content Sampling Reports, finding UKRD's Bristol station Star Radio to be in breach of its licence conditions and issuing it with a "yellow card" whilst Reading 107 FM was found to be in compliance (For all See RNW Aug 17).
Ofcom also issued an update concerning its plans for lifetime licences for amateur and ships' radio licensees, saying it will start sending lifetime licences six weeks before current licences expire to existing licensees from later this month and continue the process until all annual licences have been replaced by annual licences.
Where licensees allow their licences to expire before October 1 but who subsequently wish to re-apply for a lifetime licence will have to apply using a paper form but not online and Ofcom has proposed a GBP 20 (USD 38) one-off charge for these applications whilst holders of ships licences will be able to apply online without charge or use the paper form for the same fee.
It also noted that it is currently holding a consultation, with a deadline for comments of September 22, on proposals to make Citizens' Band radio equipment exempt from the requirement to hold a Wireless Telegraphy Act licence.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a fairly quiet week apart from routine work but it had some embarrassment when Purdue University's WBAA stations licence were fully re-instated, having had to admit that it had "inadvertently" cancelled them (See RNW Aug 16).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
BCI web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-08-20: Private equity groups, which had been evaluating a bid for SMG for some months, have now speeded up their evaluations following the announcement of a merger approach from UTV (See RNW Aug 19) according to the UK Times.
The paper says the one of the groups, which include 3i that last year was involved in an approach led by Labour peer lord Waheed Ali to buy Virgin Radio for around GBP 100 million (then USD 187 million), said it would be keen to break up the business and sell the parts suggesting that Virgin Radio could be sold to UTV and the outdoor advertising business to Clear Channel.
It also said a leading SMG shareholder had said that the UTV proposal could be attractive but it would be keen for a private equity bid so as to have a cash alternative to the UTV proposal.
The paper says that as well as 3i, groups potentially interested in a bid include Permira, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Candover, Cinven and CVC.
UK Times report:
2006-08-20: Quitting her job on air may not have improved the employment prospects of former Alabama DJ Inetta Boykin Hinton (Inetta the Moodsetta) but in the week since then the audio of her "I quit" tirade has been heard round the world through the Internet, been the subject of a report on National Public Radio's web site, and garnered more publicity for her and Cumulus's Mobile urban format WBLX-FM.
Hinton was near the end of her near the end of her regular 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday shift and had just been playing the song "Do It To It" when she announced that she had "a very important announcement.
She went on to complain about the way she was treated at the station, saying, "I refuse, I refuse, to walk around and watch people on my job looking over my shoulder," she said on the air. "People lying to me. People talking about me. It's ridiculous. It is sad. I can't take it. I'm not going to take it. I don't have to take it. I'm not a dummy", went on to say she had been paid only USD 6 per hour during her six years with the station, and then said, "I know I'm qualified, and after saying this I don't care if I ever get another job in radio, period. It does not matter to me, but Inetta will not be setting the mood at BLX no more I quit this bitch!"
Station operations manager James Alexander told the Alabama Press Register of her comments, "That was her last scheduled break, and then after that, she left," and added that any problems she may have had at the station were "news to me."
Program director Myronda Rueben said they wished her "the best" but that the station could not discuss personnel matters.
Alabama Press Register report:
Hinton audio on BeyondTheTech (1.58Mb MP3):
2006-08-19: UTV and SMG have confirmed that the former has made a merger approach to the latter on the basis of SMG shareholders having a half-share in a merged entity but have issued few other formal details, saying that discussions are at an early stage and updates will be issued in due course although UTV added that "there can be no certainty that a merger will occur nor as to the structure or terms on which any merger might happen" saying, "In particular, any merger could proceed by way of a bid by either company for the other or a scheme of arrangement in either company."
SMG's annual revenues last year were GBP 210 million (USD 398 million) whilst UTV 2005 revenues were GBP 92.7 million (USD 176 million) and following the announcement, shares in SMG moved up 2.9% on Friday to end at 72 pence valuing it around GBP 226 million (USD 428 million) whilst those of UTV were up 7.6% to 344.25 pence, valuing it around GBP 199 million (USD 377million).
SMG shares have been in the doldrums and have fallen by more than a quarter since June and its chief executive Andrew Flanagan left a month ago after coming under fire from investors who were unhappy with the company's performance (See RNW Jul 19).
It paid almost in as much as the entire company is now worth in 2000 for Chris Evans' Ginger Media Group, which owned Virgin Radio (See RNW Jan 13, 2000) and ended up with heavy debts, making various disposals to reduce them. These included the GBP 31 million (then USD 55.5 million) sale of its share in UK breakfast TV franchise owner GMTV to ITV plc. (See RNW Oct 13, 2004); the GBP 90.5 million (then USD 163 million) of its SRH stake to Emap for (See RNW Jan 17, 2004); and the GBP 216million (then USD 338 million) sale of its publishing business (See RNW Mar 29, 2003).
SMG currently owns Virgin Radio (for which Labour Peer Lord Waheed Alli made a bid of around GBP 100 million (then USD 187 million) last year (See RNW Feb 12, 2005); STV - the former Scottish TV and Grampian TV franchises; Ginger Productions; the Pearl and Dean cinema advertising company and the Primesight outdoor advertising company.
UTV, although smaller, has been growing: it owns Ulster Television, whose signal is available in around two-thirds of homes in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Northern Ireland; the former Wireless Group -which it bought last year for GBP 96.9 million (then USD 180 million- See RNW Jun 8, 2005) - and re-branded as UTV Radio, which now also includes Juice FM in Liverpool which UTV bought outright in September 2005, paying GBP 2.1 million (then USD 3.6 million) for the two-thirds it did not own and Talk107, a new all speech radio station in Edinburgh, launched in February this year - plus six stations in Ireland - Q102 in Dublin; Cork's 96FM and 103FM (The County Media stations); Limerick's Live 95fm; LMFM, which operates the independent local radio station in counties Louth and Meath, which it bought last year for GBP 7.5 million (then USD 13 million ); and the new Belfast station U105; and also a New Media division.
Although on the surface the disparity in valuations of the two companies would seem to suggest SMG could easily shrug off the merger - and it considers that there would be comparatively small cost savings - UTV has a stronger profile and can point to the success of its chief executive, John McCann, who it thinks should head any merged group.
2006-08-19: Broadcasters attending the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Digital Radio Convention in Kuala Lumpur have heard from US speakers that they could get the transition to digital to pay for itself through such means as subscription or "pay-radio" content and leasing all or part of the digital payload.
Charles Kelly, of Broadcast Electronic-USA, said there were plenty of short-term measures that broadcasters could take to offset the costs of digital.
He told a workshop on "Financing digital radio implementation and operations in the public radio environment", held on the last day of the convention that in the long term "advertising would pay the bills" and continued, ". But we need to do something in the meantime until digital receivers penetrate the market We should try to get radios in the marketplace faster. We could also provide unique and custom programming for public transportation, like what has been done in Bangkok where 10,000 buses were fitted with digital TV screens and programming."
iBiquity vice president of Broadcast Business Development Scott Stull warned of the risk of not providing digital services saying a station could lose approximately 200 "perfect listeners" who tuned in every hour of the day if they did not go digital, adding that US listeners were worth USD 72 in advertising revenue.
Saying that digital was more of an insurance policy than a new delivery platform he commented, "By going digital, you can gain or retain 200 listeners. Everything else, such as value-added services, better quality and new revenue streams, becomes a bonus."
The Convention was also told of the benefits of digital radio's advantages not only in terms of audio quality and interactive capabilities but also in terms of the potential to play a crucial role in disaster and emergency alerts for those with impaired hearing or vision by National Public Radio (NPR) Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Mike Starling.
Starling commented on the ability through using iBiquity's HD radio - the only standard deployed by US terrestrial radio broadcasters - to provide extra channels that could be allocated for radio reading services for the blind as well as descriptive video services for the deaf which could save lives during an emergency.
Amongst the ideas NPR was working on - in this case in association with the International Association for Audio Information Services (IAAIS) - he mentioned a special emergency HD Radio with a bed-shaker connection to alert sleeping hearing-impaired people of emergencies.
"We have 32 million Americans who are visually or hearing impaired. This figure is expected to grow to 50 million by 2020 as the population ages. We need to be able to provide adequate radio services for these people and digital radio serves this purpose," he commented later in an interview.
Starling had earlier presented a paper on "Radio reading services for the disabled over HD Radio."
A panel discussion at the convention was also told by Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Chairman, Peter Senger that it would be viable to switch off analogue transmissions when at least half the audience had switched to digital but that those who could not afford digital receivers after the switch-off date should be given some form of assistance.
Senger described existing listeners as "valuable capital" that should not be squandered in the transition
References were also made of the use of the Internet to provide archived programming whilst for Commercial Radio Australia Kathryn Brown said content management was of primary importance and the setting up of such systems should be addressed before digital broadcasts commenced.
Previous Commercial Radio Australia:
2006-08-19: Irish state broadcaster RTÉ has released details of its new weekday schedule for its Radio 1 that is to be phased in during September and October. The new schedule includes three new programmes - Mooney, Drivetime and The Eleventh Hour- an extended Liveline, a new dedicated music slot, new radio dramas and new factual series.
Ana Leddy, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, outlining the changes commented, "RTÉ Radio 1 is already the most listened to radio station in the country with eight out of the top 10 programmes. With this new look schedule, including three brand new programmes, I believe that RTÉ Radio 1 will remain at the top, continuing to produce the best radio programmes on air in this country; high quality, creative programmes with top class presenters that will engage, entertain and challenge our listeners."
The "Mooney" programme, hosted by Derek Mooney, will air from 15:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Thursday from October 4 - on Fridays the station airs "Mooney goes Wild" - while the new Drivetime - with Mary Wilson, Des Cahill and Dave Fanning - will air from 17:00 starting off with Mary Wilson along with a team that includes Fergal Keane and Fergus Sweeney then handing over at 18:30 to Drivetime Sport hosted by Des Cahill and finally at 19:00 to Dave Fanning.
The stations new arts programme "The Eleventh Hour", which will also launch on October 4 - running from 23:00 - will be presented by Páraic Breathnach.
Other changes include a new regular weekday music slot - The RTÉ Radio 1 Music Collection - that will air from 21:00 to 22:00 from Monday to Friday and the station has also announced new drama including two four-part series and seven new half-hour dramas and also new factual series to include a historical series "Speaking Ill of the Dead" produced by Myles Dungan; a new series of the science magazine programme, Quantum Leap and a four part series "Muslims in Ireland" produced and presented by Paddy O'Gorman.
2006-08-18: In a further move to push its Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings, Arbitron has announced that more than a dozen outside companies are now working to upgrade their systems from diary-based data to PPM information.
It notes that the PPM ratings service will deliver 13 4-week reports each year, all of which, according to its PPM product manager Cory Flahaven will include "the full complement of demographic, socioeconomic and race/ethnic breakouts that today are only delivered quarterly or semi-annually."
Arbitron President, Sales and Marketing Pierre Bouvard commented, "Not only does Arbitron have to get its software reporting systems ready for Portable People Meter ratings, there are many other buying, planning, research, sales, traffic and presentation systems that the radio industry relies on that we want to see ready for PPM when it arrives."
Potential rival The Media Audit has cited MIT professor Philip Greenspun's comments on "The Mobile Phone As Home Computer" in support of its proposals to use the smart cell phone for ratings purposes. Its President Bob Jordan commented, "The cell phone has become so integrated into American lifestyle that more adults own a cell phone than watch prime time TV on the average day. Philip Greenspun's observation that the cell phone and home computer will become integrated confirms our sense of the future and the importance of the cell phone for media measurement."
The Media Audit's chairman and head of research Jim Higginbotham added, "One of the requirements of radio's Next Generation committee, which is evaluating proposals for future radio measurement systems, is to have a solution that is appropriate today, as well as in decades to come."
"Annually, advertisers invest USD 22 billion dollars in radio," he added, saying it "is critical to have the most accurate reflection of radio and multi-media exposure. This means radio needs to have a monitoring device that people will agree to carry and our studies indicate the cell phone is that device. Philip Greenspun's observations that 'the cell phone will absolutely become most people's primary computing device' points to the enhanced value of the cell phone for multi-media measurements for decades to come."
Previous Media Audit:
Greenspun on "Mobile Phone as computer."
2006-08-18: Emmis has dropped country music on its KZLA-FM in Los Angeles in favour of a Rhythmic Pop Contemporary format new to the market although it is retaining KZLA on the Internet and as an HD secondary channel on KZLA's 93.9 frequency.
The new station "Movin 93.9" was launched yesterday in conjunction with Dees Entertainment and will feature Los Angeles radio personality Rick Dees as its morning host: Dees was last heard on the city's airwaves as a top-rated host on KIIS-FM in 2004 and his "The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40" show is syndicated to 125 countries worldwide, with an audience of more than 70 million people.
Emmis says the format, which it calls "The Mix That Makes You Move", will feature music from artists like Beyonce', Gwen Stefani, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Gnarles Barkley.
Emmis VP of Programming Jimmy Steal said in a news release the company was "overjoyed that Rick Dees will be joining Emmis Communications and Movin 93.9", adding, "Rick's passion for Los Angeles' morning radio is legendary and his live & local show is a perfect fit for Movin 93.9. We can't wait for him to start! He's the perfect complement to this exciting new format."
Dees said of his move, "Emmis is the perfect fit. I've been presented with many opportunities, and the new Movin 93.9 gets me excited like I've never been before! We will have an All-Star team ready to deliver a great morning show for Southern California."
2006-08-18: The New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority has rejected a complaint that alleged that a comment terming the country's Green Party the party of square dancers breached its good taste and decency regulations and denigrated square dancers.
The comment was made on The Radio Network's Newstalk ZB during the Paul Holmes Breakfast Show in June during which the host commented that the Greens were the party of "the hippies, the Morris dancers, the square dancers, the anti-Americans, the nuclear ships fanatics, the fascists of greenness, the far-left, the remnants of the alliance, anti-free traders, apologists for Mao, communist sympathisers, the enemies of science, and the rabid, irrational anti-GM movement.
Complainant Mike Savill said that the host's statement was untrue, because in thirty years of square dancing he had not met a square dancer who supported the Green Party.
In rejecting his complaint the Authority said the good taste and decency standard is intended primarily to address issues of sex, nudity, bad language and violence and that on this basis these rules were not breached and regarding the association of the Greens with square dancers ruled that "square dancers are not an identifiable "section of the community" to which the denigration guideline applies."
In a TV case it upheld a complaint about the airing of a scene showing a man being beaten from the film Clockwork Orange on Television New Zealand on Saturday morning at 7.55am, agreeing by a majority decision that this was in breach of programme classification and children's interests' standards.
Previous New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority:
2006-08-18: Katz Media Group has announced that Mark Gray has been promoted to the post of Katz Radio Group President to replace Steve Shaw (See RNW Jul 1): It added that Chad Brown will take over from Gray as Katz Radio President from September 5.
Announcing the appointment Katz Media Group CEO Stu Olds said of Gray, "Mark has demonstrated a keen ability to hire, train and manage exceptional talent. He also possesses a demand for excellence that reflects Katz's long history. I have complete confidence in his ability to direct the future of the KRG."
Brown was until recently the Vice President and General Manager of WCBS-FM in New York and Director of Sales for the six Infinity stations in New York, a position he held since 2003: Olds said of his appointment, "Chad Brown's extensive experience on both the representation and station side of our business will serve our team well."
Previous Katz Media:
2006-08-18: Following up his report of the Clear Channel deal to lease its WRLL-AM frequency to Midway Broadcasting's African-American talk format WVON-AM and close down the "Real Oldies" formatted station (See RNW Aug 17), Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times says that WRLL morning co-host Larry Lujack is insisting that he "couldn't care less" that he never got to say goodbye to listeners before he was fired.
Lujack was dropped along with Tommy Edwards, who doubled as morning host and program director of WRLL; he had been contributing to the station from his home in New Mexico and said that he thought the format "have worked and could have been very profitable" but added, " as long as we were on a signal that went nowhere, it never really had a chance."
Of his part-time role he said, "I really have no desire whatsoever to go at this full-time again," Lujack said. "I much prefer being a part-time adorable sidekick guy. That way if it bombs, you can always blame the other guy. Given the fact that I am still charming, still delightful, and still blessed with the God-given ability to pleasure the listeners in every conceivable way, you would think that some station manager would be eager to throw money at me. But with the idiots running radio stations these days, who knows?"
Previous Clear Channel:
Chicago Sun-Times - Feder:
2006-08-17: A little over a decade after the first DAB (Digital audio broadcast) transmission in the UK, leading UK electrical retailer Dixons is to stop selling analogue radios and has also said that personal CD players and "boom boxes" are also on its endangered list.
It says that digital radio receivers are now outselling analogue models by a factor of 30:1, driven by a large fall in prices - from around GBP 2,000 ( currently USD 3,800) when the BBC first started its DAB transmissions in 1995 (in London: It had been making experimental broadcasts from 1990) to a current range starting from under GBP 30 (USD 57).
Dixons Group managing director Nick Wilkinson commented of the decision, "The growth in demand for digital radios is further evidence that we're living in the digital age. The snap, crackle and pop of the traditional wireless is rapidly being replaced with the crystal-clear sound of digital audio broadcasting."
"The traditional radio has been a huge part of home life in the UK, through good times and bad, over the last 100 years," he added noting that "Some of the most pivotal events in our history have been communicated to UK homes from analogue radio transmitters to wirelesses in homes around the UK There is probably no other piece of technology that conjures such a powerful mental image as the old wireless perched on the mantelpiece with the family gathered around it."
Dixons says its tax free airport stores and stores in the Republic of Ireland will continue to stock analogue radios.
2006-08-17: Arbitron's latest response rates -covering the Spring 2006 survey - shows responses in the top ten markets down compared to 2005 from 27.5% to 26.1% with the average metro response rate down from 31.7% to 30.4%.
The return rate - the percentage of people who were sent a diary by Arbitron who returned a usable diary - was up from 56.7% to 58% but this rise was outweighed by the consent rate - the percentage of eligible sample who live in households that said "yes" to keeping an Arbitron diary. - from 55.3% to 51.9%.
The response rate remained highest but fell most in the smallest market (from rank 100) where it went down from 33.0% to 31.5% and was lowest in the top ten markets, increasing steadily as markets became smaller although it still fell year-on- year for all markets.
Arbitron notes that it has taken various actions to increase response rates - and the representation of young adults - including the phasing in of a pre-placement letter with USD 1 enclosed to all "mailable" households in 2006 and a Thank You note with USD 5 to all consenting households containing young male and USD 5 diary premiums to all young male households with one or two persons.
It says it believes these moves will help maintain response rates and young adult proportionality and notes that this year it is also improving its address matching process, adding that it will run a major test during the Summer survey this year to determine the efficacy of its measures overall: It expressed concern that some of the actions could interact with each other to the detriment of overall efficacy.
The company has also announced that it plans to recruit an additional 400 participants for its Las Vegas surveys, taking the sample target for the market up by a fifth from the Fall 2006 survey to 2,380.
Arbitron's SVP sales Carol Hanley commented that Las Vegas was "among the fastest growing radio markets in the country" and continued, "We salute the forward-thinking Las Vegas broadcasters who have agreed to share part of the costs that Arbitron will incur as we increase the number of survey participants in our Las Vegas radio ratings. These broadcasters have made an important investment in the quality of the radio ratings service and in the accountability that these ratings provide their radio advertisers. We believe that the broadcasters who are backing the expansion of the sample will derive a good return on investment as they present this data to their advertising clients in the market."
2006-08-17: Chicago African-American talk station WVON-AM is to change frequencies , move to a higher power, and begin broadcasting 24-hours-a- day from next month according to Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Feder says that on September 18 Chicago-based Midway Broadcasting will transfer WVON's format, talk show hosts and call letters to the 1690 AM frequency, owned by Clear Channel Radio, under a local marketing agreement under which it will lease all the station's airtime with an option to buy it after five years.
Clear Channel will drop the "Real Oldies" format on the WRLL-AM 1690 frequency, now running without announcers as it terminated its staff on Tuesday.
Clear Channel regional vice president Earl Jones said the format had been only "marginally profitable" and there was no growth projected for its ratings or revenues.
Its signal is 10,000 watts during the day and 1,000 watts at night, a major improvement for WVON, Chicago's only black-owned talk outlet, which has had to make do with a 1,000 watt signal and split licence that means it has to turn the frequency over to brokered ethnic and foreign-language WCEV-AM from 13:00 to 22:00 daily, more than half its permitted 15 hours a day.
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-08-17: Strong growth in outdoor and regional publishing -particularly in a booming Queensland - has seen APN News & Media, which publishes 23 regional daily newspapers and more than 100 non-daily publications in Australia and New Zealand as well as operating the Australian Radio Network (ARN) - owned in conjunction with Clear Channel - and The Radio Network (TRN) in New Zealand, grow profits 9% year-on-year in the six months to the end of June: It notes that but for its share buyback programme the increase would have been 15%.
In divisional terms outdoor led growth in Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) - reported growth was up 49% to AUD 9.8 million; followed by regional publishing - up 6% to AUD 56.9 million; and radio - up 2% to AUD 35.9 million but a weak New Zealand economy led to a 2% fall for New Zealand national publishing, which includes the New Zealand Herald, to AUD 48.0 million.
Within radio, APN says ARN "built on the success of its performance in the commercially important 25-54 demographic, growing its share of agency advertising revenue by 15% over the same period last year.
"In a moderating market," it adds, "ARN successfully retained its existing clients, as well as recruiting new clients who were not traditionally heavy users of radio The network's two music streams of Classic Hits and Mix grew share in the 25-54 demographic for the combined Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide markets by 9% over the past three surveys."
In New Zealand it said The Radio Network "continued to lead the industry, growing market share across the country."
"TRN," it notes, "operates the top 3 stations in the major Auckland market, achieving total audience share of 49.9% for the first survey of the year. TRN also operates the number 1 stations in both Wellington and Christchurch. TRN's total audience share across New Zealand was up 1%"
Chief executive Brendan Hopkins said of the performance, "said: "We are pleased with this result and we remain confident of delivering another record result for the full year. In particular, Queensland continues to show good growth and our Outdoor business is confirming our previous forecasts of strong growth now that we have seen the end of a number of uneconomic contracts.
He continued, "We continue to invest in New Product Initiatives and this period saw significant investment in our Online Division where we have attracted a high quality team that has already launched a number of new initiatives."
Hopkins said that APN welcomed the Australian government's media deregulation proposals but did not expect any rush of acquisitions adding that he anticipated most transactions coming from venture capitalists moving in rather than from deals by existing companies: "I think you're going to see a huge move of venture capitalists coming into the Australian market," he said, adding, "I don't see it in blunt terms as acquiring or selling, I see it as partnering, launching, developing and expanding areas of what's there already, and for sure I think we'll be doing that."
2006-08-17: UK media regulator Ofcom has advertised a new commercial FM licence for Herefordshire and Monmouthshire - an area with an adult population of around 200,000 - with a deadline for applications for the commercial FM, together with a fee of GBP 5,000 (USD 9,500) of November 14.
It has also started the process of inviting "letters of intent" for licences to be issued for Southwest England and South/Mid Wales in its second round of community radio licensing, having opted to deal with applications on a region-by-region basis rather than from all over the UK at the same time.
Ofcom has also issued its latest two Content Sampling Reports, finding UKRD's Bristol station Star Radio to be in breach of its licence conditions and issuing it with a a "yellow card" whilst Reading 107 FM, owned by Reading Football club chairman John Madejski's Madejski Communications Limited was found to be operating within its format.
In the case of Star the station's format is that of a "soulful, adult contemporary music based service, aimed primarily at 30--50 year-old Bristolians" and more specifically of a "music station with local flavour" with speech output to normally be a fifth of weekday daytime and weekend output with local news to run at least hourly plus other conditions relating to news and music format.
Ofcom found that during the sample period "there was no evidence of the required weekday news and information feature from specific neighbourhoods" although it noted that the station had listed a number of community stories and initiatives it has featured over the preceding few weeks.
The station also failed to provide sufficient speech content during its required "speech orientated three hour sequence for the multi-cultural community" although it met various other news requirements.
Regarding music output, Ofcom also noted that the music output could "only be described as soulful in the broadest terms"; commented that the "sampled specialist music programming output (packaged as Club Classics) seemed a dubious interpretation of the Format requirements"; noted "the absence of a definitive black music programme of up to 5 hours duration" and issued a yellow card on the basis of breach of format.
In the case of Reading 107 FM, whose format is of a locally-oriented music and information station for 25-54 year olds, Ofcom commented that its "20% speech limit is comfortably achieved through news, traffic and travel updates together with local information items and general presenter banter" and that its music output was across the decades, encompassing a range of genres.
Current chart material did not exceed the 20% ceiling, it added, saying the station was operating within its format.
2006-08-17: The US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has announced additional funding totalling more than USD 1 million in Community Service Grant Funds for 11 public radio stations in its 2007 Fiscal Year: The addition takes the number of organizations that will qualify for funding through the CPB's Radio Community Service Grant programme to 406.
The stations receiving the funding in the latest round are Tohono O'odham Nation's KOHN-FM, Sells, Arizona; California Lutheran University's KCLU-FM, Thousand Oaks, California; Fort Lewis College's KDUR-FM, Durango, Colorado; Public Radio for the Front Range's KRFC-FM, Fort Collins, Colorado; Quad Cities Community Broadcasting Group's WGVV-LP, Rock Island, Illinois, which was the only low-power FM to apply for funding in the round; Towson University's WTMD-FM, Towson, Maryland; the Center for Communication and Development's KMOJ-FM, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cook County Community Radio's WTIP-FM, Grand Marais, Minnesota; Montana State University's KGLT-FM, Bozeman, Montana; Capitol Broadcasting Association, Inc.'s KMFA-FM, Austin, Texas; and Goddard College Corporation's WGDR-FM, Plainfield, Vermont.
CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said of the grants, "Americans turn to public radio as a trusted source of content and services that inform, educate and entertain. Through the expanded Radio CSG program, we are ensuring that the benefits of public service media are available to every citizen -- whether they live in the biggest cities or in the most remote corners of our nation."
2006-08-16: Canada's commercial radio industry achieved its highest profits of recent years in 2005 with airtime sales up 8.7% to CAD 1.32 billion (USD 1.18 billion) - the largest annual increase since 1988 - according to Statistics Canada. Total profit before interest and taxes was up 24.4% to CAD 277.3 million (USD 247.1 million).
Much of the increase is due to a boom in local advertising, helped by a TV switch away to regional and national ads, thus pushing more business to radio, which in some places has expressed concern about running out of inventory.
Statistics Canada also said the industry made its highest returns of recent years - of 29.6 cents per dollar of revenue compared to an average of 17.7 cents since the start of the current decade and only 6.6 cents in the previous decade.
In market terms, larger markets showed a better return than those in smaller markets with profit margin before interest and taxes in the country's five main census metropolitan areas (CMA) of 26.9% in 2005, compared to 15.1% for stations in other metropolitan areas, and 14.6% for stations operating outside metropolitan areas.
The most profitable markets were Calgary (with PBIT margin of 31.2%); Ottawa-Gatineau (31.1%), and Toronto (30.5%).
Statistics Canada also notes a continuing decline in AM stations, with the number of AM stations and networks down 8 on 2004 to 182, but adds that despite this fall in numbers revenues edged up 0.7% to CAD 302.6 million and the AM radio segment was in profit for the third consecutive year having made losses from 1990 to 2002.
FM station numbers in contrast rose along with advertising revenues, which were up 11.3% on the previous year to top CAD 1 billion ( USD ) with a PBIT margin of 24.5%, similar to that of the previous five years.
Within the industry English language stations had the highest profit margin (22.8%) followed by French language stations (11%) and ethnic stations (7.6%) but ethnic stations had the highest growth rate (up 11.9%) followed by English-language stations *up 9%) and French-language stations (up 6.7%).
Previous Statistics Canada:
2006-08-16: A further 18 US markets are to roll out HD2 multicast channels in the fall according to the HD Digital Radio Alliance, which notes that in all this will add 140 more channels and take the total number of markets offering HD multicasts to 68. In total more than 600 US stations are now offering HD multicasts.
The new stations are in Austin, Texas (ranked 42); Raleigh, North Carolina (43); Nashville, Tennessee (44); Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, North Carolina (45); New Orleans (listed as 46 by HDDRA but now down to 57 in view of the population fall as a result of Hurricane Katrina but listed by Arbitron on Tuesday as 47, its last pre-Katrina rank); West Palm Beach, Florida (Listed by HDDRA as 47 and Arbitron as 46); Jacksonville, Florida (49); Monmouth Ocean - listed as 51 by HDDRA and 52 by Arbitron); Oklahoma City (Listed as 53 by HDDRA and 48 by Arbitron); Rochester, New York (54); Louisville, Kentucky (55); Richmond , Virginia (56); Greenville, South Carolina (Listed as 59 by HDDRA and 60 by Arbitron); Honolulu, Hawaii (Listed as 61 by HDDRA and 63 by Arbitron); Tucson, Arizona (Listed as 62 by HDDRA and 62 by Arbitron); Albany, New York (Listed as 63 by HDDRA and 62 by Arbitron); and Fort Myers, Florida (Listed as 65 by HDDRA and 64 by Arbitron);
The Alliance says in a news release that it has been ahead of schedule since its formation in December 2005 and its president and CEO Peter Ferrara commented, "We're even surprised by how fast this is moving. It's only been eight months since the Alliance was formed and we are seeing HD digital radio broadcasts being launched at a much faster pace than expected. We are excited to be helping listeners discover the newest digital entertainment option around - and of course there's no subscription fee.
RNW comment: When we started to read the HD Digital Radio Alliance news release, we immediately thought of changes in the New Orleans' market ranking, particularly since its first ratings since Katrina have just been released. That led us to check - and find the published Arbitron ranking also out of kilter - and quite a few of the rankings as listed by the alliance.
That in our view is typical of a sloppy organization, more concerned with promotional tosh than accuracy.
We would also note that being ahead of schedule in this context is as close to meaningless as you can get - and that we have yet to see any realistic assessment of the number of listeners - surely not difficult to put together from receiver sales on the basis that purchasers will listen to HD rather than displaying the receiver like a coffee table book but probably so embarrassing that it is best kept under wraps.
In addition, from what we have seen so far of reviews of extra HD channels the term cheap springs to mind about US commercial radio's priorities when it comes to programming them.
We are in favour of digital radio but as we have commented before on the samples posted by the alliance the quality gain compared to a good FM signal (certainly a good UK one like that of BBC Radio 3) is negative -yes, we do accept that in much of the US it will be better than current analogue signals -.
In the end we think that US radio would benefit by a good shake-up and some real competition from new players; and much prefer a universal standard (like analogue AM, FM and short-wave), calculate that most of the world is unlikely to go for any proprietary standard like HD over other options and note that HD was adopted as much as anything because it uses the existing signal and thus preserves the hold of existing players): The logical conclusion is to hope that HD flops badly- it won't be much of a loss in the worldwide scale of things, US radio goes into crisis and has to innovate to get out of it, and in around a decade or so the US joins the rest of the world and all go to some common standards or at least that multi-standard chips are developed to allow universal receivers (including satellite radio signals).
Previous HD Digital Radio Alliance:
2006-08-16: New Orleans is now back on the radio ratings map with the release by Arbitron of the spring 2006 survey for New Orleans and Biloxi-Gulfport-Pascagoula ( Mississippi) markets although the company warns that the uncertainties of the changes post-Katrina are such that the data should not be combined with earlier ratings.
The Times -Picayune in its report - aptly entitled "Big fish in a smaller pond" - notes that since Katrina according to the Claritas marketing-research information firm, the current population of the local radio market is 864,100, down from 1,079,300 a year ago and that the African-American population fell disproportionately - down from 391,200 to 251,000 - taking the market from 47th to 57th rank in Arbitron's market rankings.
It also notes that there have been considerable changes at stations in the market, making any comparisons with pre-Katrina times even more suspect.
The top rated station was Clear Channel's R&B and hip-hop WQUE FM as before Katrina although its audience was down. WQUE has a 10.7 share.
It was followed by Entercom's news-talk WWL-AM (up from fourth pre-Katrina and with a 10.6 share, helped by a simulcast on WWL-FM, which was formerly an oldies station); Clear Channel's urban AC WYLD-FM (10.3 - down from second pre-Katrina); Clear Channel's country format WNOE-FM (9.6) and Entercom's AC WLMG-FM (6.7).
New Orleans Times Picayune report:
2006-08-16: Indiana's oldest continuously operating station WBAA, the Purdue University station first licensed as an AM in 1922 but now with a sister FM, is now back broadcasting on fully-reinstated licences.
It had been operating under a special temporary authorization since June 15 after it was told by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it had never received the station's licences renewal request and was consequently not authorized.
The station's attorneys then resubmitted its 2004 renewal application and provided documentation showing that it had applied correctly for renewal leading the FCC to reinstate the licences and admit that it had "inadvertently" cancelled them.
2006-08-15: Howard Stern was the second highest earning celebrity in the world last year with total income of USD 308 million, just USD 32 million behind top earner Steven Spielberg but well ahead of third ranked George Lucas, who took in only USD 240 million according to Forbes Magazine.
In per-minute terms Forbes translated that into USD 647 for Spielberg, USD 588 for Stern, and USD 458 for Lucas, who was just ahead of fourth-ranked Oprah Winfrey whose total income was USD 230 million or USD 454 per minute.
Last month Forbes in its latest Celebrity 100 ranked actor Tom Cruise in first rank, giving his income as USD 67 million followed by The Rolling Stones (USD 90 million) and Winfrey, whose income it then listed as USD 225 million.
Spielberg was in sixth rank with his income listed as 332 million followed by Stern in seventh place with income listed as USD 302 million. Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) for all their publicity did not make the list.
2006-08-15: LBI Media has reported net revenues in the second quarter up 10.9% on a year ago to USD 29.3 million, attributing the increase mainly to growth in its TV stations in California and Texas and radio stations in Houston offset slightly by a fall in revenues for its Los Angeles radio stations.
Operating expenses were up 8.8% to USD 14.0 million and Adjusted EBITDA was up 13.0% to USD 15.3 million but net income was down 7.8% to USD 5.9 million, put down primarily to an impairment charge to a broadcast license and higher programming, selling and general and administrative expenses.
In divisional terms LBI TV net revenues were up 25.1% to USD 15.3 million, TV operating income was up 11% to USD 4.4 million and adjusted EBITDA was up 44.7% to USD 7 million.
Radio net revenues were down 1.3% to USD 14 million; radio operating income was down 5.5% to USD 7.9 million; and adjusted EBITDA was down 4.6% to USD 8.3 million.
For the first six months, LBI net revenues are now up 9.8% to USD 51.5 million - TV net revenues were up 19.8% to USD 27.7 million and radio net revenues were flat at USD 23.8 million; adjusted EBITDA was up 10.4% to USD 24.6 million - TV adjusted EBITDA was up 30.3% to USD 11.6 million and radio adjusted EBITDA was down 2.8% to USD 13.0 million; and net income was down 13.4% to USD 7.1 million - TV operating income was up 11.8% to USD 7.9 million but radio operating income was down 8% to USD 11.7 million.
EVP Lenard Liberman said that 2006 had been "a great year for our company" and added, "We have experienced organic revenue growth in our business without the benefit of special events like the World Cup."
Of radio he noted the switch to a Regional Mexican format of KNOR-FM in Dallas-Forth Worth and the acquisition of four FMs and an AM in the market from Entravision Communications (See RNW Aug 4).
2006-08-15: Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) chairman Peter Senger has told broadcasters in his keynote address to the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Digital Radio Convention that opened in Kuala Lumpur on Monday that the market will eventually decide between the competing digital distribution systems now available.
Senger said budget limitations made it difficult for broadcasters to use every new system and later decide which one to retain and all the systems Eureka-147 DAB, DRM, HD Radio and DVB-H had advantages.
Senger also raised the prospect of an analogue switch-off, to be made when digital had reached a sufficiently high penetration, saying the "savings in full digital mode can finance the higher operational costs during transition and the investments."
The convention was opened by Malaysian Deputy Information Minister, Chia Kwang Chye, who commented on the key importance of spectrum issues the capability using digital technology to pack more radio services into scarce spectrum space and ABU Secretary-General, David Astley said the question to be answered by the convention would be when to move to digital and how to do so.
"While a few broadcasters are well advanced, others are either just beginning to think of digital radio or in the process of evaluating systems," he commented.
2006-08-15: GMG Radio has bucked the UK radio industry trend and reported significant growth in revenues for the three months to the end of June, reporting a 26% increase on a year ago for its Real Radio and Smooth stations.
The increase comes on the heels of ratings success - most recent ratings show that the group has reached an all-time audience record of more than three million listeners a week and the Smooth stations, formerly Jazz fm, have performed strongly with the Manchester station now the most listened to commercial station in north west England and the London station increasing its listening share by 30% on a year earlier.
Last month GMG published its 2005-6 results that showed radio as a strong performer with revenues up 13.9% year-on-year to GBP 27.9 million (USD 52.0 million) with operating profit nearly tripled - from GBP 1 million (USD 1.86 million) a year earlier to GBP 2.7 million (USD 5.0 million - See RNW Jul 29).
GMG Radio Chief Executive John Myers said of the more recent performance, "I am proud of this achievement in a tough climate. We simply focus on what we do and then aim to do it well. It's a policy that seems to be working" and GMG Chief Executive Carolyn McCall added, "This is great news for our radio division and also for GMG. With new and improved audience figures it is a great start to the new year."
2006-08-14: This week we start our look at print comment in the media with comments from the US abut features of current radio there that illustrate some of the concerns about the medium there and that are only partially relevant elsewhere.
The first came from the Chicago Tribune in which Phil Rosenthal in his column noted the loss of local voices, in particular the debut today of Whoopi Goldberg's new syndicated morning show on
Clear Channel's WLIT-FM (Lite FM) where it replaces Melissa Forman's show.
"There was a time when piping in a drive-time show from New York was unthinkable in Chicago," writes Rosenthal. " Local listeners wouldn't hear of it, literally Even Howard Stern's syndicated circus was a bust in his first local stint."
The current move he writes "says something about the state of radio" continuing on to say that local star hosts along with Chicago headlines and traffic are likely to always have an edge - "They provide something live you can't necessarily get off your iPod or from satellite pay radio" - but for stations without them "it is tempting to flip a switch and bring in the distant voices of an Opie & Anthony on tape or former Chicagoans Tom Joyner or Steve Harvey, and suddenly you might as well be in New Jersey, New Mexico or New England."
The equation, writes Rosenthal, various according to market and he quotes Paula Hambrick, president of media buyer Hambrick & Associates as saying "If you're a listener in, say, Peoria, and your choice is between someone like Whoopi Goldberg or the local person, you might opt for [the syndicated show] because you don't get the A team there But if you're in a top 10 market where there's someone who's very good who's also sitting there going, `Boy, it's a beautiful day,' or `Oh my gosh, look how hard it's raining today,' [that's liable to be more popular than] someone in another market who's going, `Hi Chi-town! How's it going?' That's the difference."
Hambrick also referred to hidden costs in adopting this approach in that, although the syndicates shows may be cheaper, they also mean less slots to develop future stars and also to provide something not available on satellite: "To my way of thinking, if you want to drive people away from listening to radio, this is how you do it," Hambrick said. "It's not who you're putting on the air. It's that it's not local."
That localness works both ways according to Rosenthal who comments, "Mancow Muller, who at least had an audience on WKQX-FM 101.1, and Shane "Rover" French, who didn't have one at all on WCKG-FM 105.9, both lost their Chicago radio gigs in part because their bosses believed the hosts were sacrificing local flavour in a bid to win over listeners in syndication."
Unlike TV, where hosts are successful nationally with shows from New York or Los Angeles, comments Rosenthal, the nature of the medium militates against similar success in radio, commenting, "Radio, however, is a more intimate medium. It's what you hear during your commute, or the voice beside you on the job, not someone performing for you."
Localness than may well be a plus but in some areas it ain't necessarily so according to an editorial in the Sheboygan Press that refers to politicking in the Wisconsin city and may well be biased but does seem to have a point when it comes to the nature of at lease one local host.
Under the heading "Local talk radio reaches new low", it comments about the work of WHBL-AM host Nick Reed in terms that couldn't be confused as flattering: "WHBL talk-show host Nick Reed, who has never been confused for a journalist, nearly broke his own arm patting himself on the back for "breaking" a story about an investigation into the city's hiring of part-time tourism employee Yolanda Graf. Reed, with the help of Henry Capetillo, read a police report on the air Thursday that is central to an investigation into a claim of misconduct involving Mayor Juan Perez and Ald. Jim Graf. The fact that District Attorney Joe DeCecco has interviewed lots of people, the Fond du Lac Police Department has assisted with the investigation along with an official from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and the DA still has not seen any evidence to support charges is an inconvenient fact that apparently didn't get in the way of a good attack radio program."
Irrespective of the facts of the case, the paper does a pretty good job of putting the knife into Capetillo and another host at the station Susan Hundley who with co-host Josh "Igor" Dekker the papers says has "turned their afternoon "Brat Logic" show into a steady stream of attacks on Perez and anyone they consider to be in his camp, while at the same time providing a platform to groups and individuals opposed to the mayor."
And on a rather more general point it comments on the attacks in the context of a recall effort against the mayor and continues, "Yes, that's the nature of attack talk radio. Rip and tear, and unless the victims call to defend their honour, full speed ahead. Speculation, character assassination and conjecture are the rule of the day."
That is not, of course, the way of much radio elsewhere and in this week's Radio Waves column in the UK Sunday Times- pegged on the revival on BBC Radio 4 of the 1940s Paul Temple serials - Roland White takes up a totally different aspect of radio listening with the following comment: "The revival has a modern cast, headed by Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson, but uses the original script and is recorded with vintage microphones and sound effects. So you'll understand straight away that this is not the sort of programme you listen to on your broadband connection. Ideally, you need something called a 'wireless'."
"So, for a change," continues White, "let's not talk about programmes. Let's talk about radio sets instead. Because, as digital tightens its grip, a little of the magic of listening is disappearing One of my radios is a huge Bush, the sort with which Dan and Doris Archer probably listened out for the early-morning farming programme. It is solid and reliable, and has the kind of booming voice that people were once taught to cultivate at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)."
And expanding on the theme, "First produced in 1959, it's one of those portable sets with a huge dial on the right-hand side, but, unfortunately, it can't pick up FM (although there is a modern version that can). How long do we have together, though? There are no plans to switch off the analogue radio signal yet, but the government is looking for a suitable date. As more digital sets are sold, it can be only a matter of time."
" What a loss that will be. The sets of the 1940s and 1950s were not just for listening to The Goon Show and suchlike; they were Bakelite cathedrals of sound. Even the most ordinary set looked as respectable and solid as a town clerk. On the shelf behind me, I have an earlier Bush radio - a model in brown Bakelite, launched in 1947 - that I still fire up occasionally. There is no better way of getting back to the spirit of the Paul Temple age than waiting for your set to warm up Listen Again is very possibly the greatest advance in radio since the invention of Terry Wogan, but sometimes you just can't beat a proper, old-fashioned wireless. "
That equipment of course is something we can't provide and even if you do have an old valve radio it won't be much good for listening online (The Paul Temple series continues at 10:30 GMT today on BBC Radio 4 and last week's first episode is on the site until then) but will serve as a cue to a little more looking back in our radio selection.
First, also from Radio 4, we suggest "Ibiza: The Original Party Island" in which writer Irma Kurtz, who went there for a week in the 1960s and stayed a year, returns to tells the story of Ibiza as an alternative party island in the 1960s, set against the backdrop of Franco's Spain.
Also dating back to the 60s was "The Rolling Stones", the first part of a two-part documentary on the band that aired on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday - the second part is next Saturday at 20:00 GMT.
And back to Radio 4 and a little personal nostalgia in the latest Archive Hour that aired on Saturday. "RUN TK! SKATEBOARDING DUCK" told the story of the 1970's BBC TV evening news programme "Nationwide" - made up with live injects from BBC regions as well as its own reports and certainly as the programme makes clear prone to the occasional, or not so occasional, glitch.
Then to a different kind of glitch, in this case the unexpected consequences of legislation that may be well intentioned but doesn't necessarily have the intended effect as illustrated in the latest "First Live Report" from BBC Radio Five Live.
Yesterday in "Who's the Daddy?" it looked at the impact of a decision to remove anonymity from sperm donors so children conceived by donation can find their biological fathers. The result - a shortage of donors - make up your mind how far this is positive or negative and for whom, those who as a result are unable to have children, the children thus unborn, or those who having been born can trace a biological father.
The series when we last checked on the site included reports back to the end of May - last week's was not yet posted although the whole 3-hour Worricker programme was on the site - including the previous report "Born to be Bad" that looked at British Prime Minister Tony Blair's new battle against anti-social behaviour which targets bad parents.
Still with unexpected consequences, "The Shipman Effect" on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday last week and repeated on Sunday had Gerry Northam reporting on the degree to which doctors, fearful after the trial of the mass murdering doctor, hold off prescribing drugs to ease the pain of the terminally ill lest they be seen to be getting too close to Shipman's practices.
That made us think of a new series on Radio 4 from Wednesday -, "Hecklers" in which a deliberately contentious view is set out and then the matter thrown up for debate. The first programme starts with Professor Brendan O'Leary's belief that the prospects for a pluralist federal democracy in Iraq are strong: We'd love to think him right but rather thing he's living the same Wonderland (as in Alice) inhabited by aforesaid Prime Minister and the current US President, both of whom could probably do better to temper faith with some reality tests.
Also from Radio 4 and tomorrow we suggest "Send In The Clones" at 12:30 GMT in which 6 Music presenter Andrew Collins pays tribute to tribute bands, including Björn Again and the Bootleg Beatles.
After that drama and two of Bertolt Brecht's works as the 50th anniversary of his death is marked - "Mr Puntila and His Man Matti", which was the Drama on 3 on Sunday and from BBC World Service a two-part production of "The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui " that continues next Saturday.
And finally a reminder that the 2006 Proms continue on BBC Radio 3 - this week we suggest in particular Thursday at 20:15 GMT and the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composers' Concert.
Chicago Tribune - Rosenthal:
Sheboygan Press- Editorial:
UK Sunday Times - White:
2006-08-14: Although on the surface radio in the Republic of Ireland is booming, the UK Sunday Times expresses doubts whether some of the new licences on offer or recently awarded by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) will ever make money.
It notes the success of some stations such as those of Belfast-based UTV, which owns five stations in the republic and also won a new commercial FM licence from Ofcom - last year it increased its radio operating profit by 56% to GBP 3.8 million (USD 7.2 million) after taking into account GBP 700,000 (USD 1.32 million) in launch-costs for the new Belfast FM and that in its bid to retain its Limerick franchise forecast an operating profit above Euros 2 million (USD 2.5 million) on revenues of Euros 4.8 million (USD 6.1million) - and Emap's national franchise Today FM whose revenues were up 11% to Euros 15 million (USD 19 million) with operating profit up by more than a fifth to Euros 4.4 million (USD 5.6 million).
The report also notes soaring valuations of stations -Galway Bay FM fetched Euros 20 million (USD 25 million) in a recent sale - but then notes that some of the newer stations already on air have yet to turn into profit including Dublin station Q102 that cost UTV Euros 19 million (USD ) in December 2003; two stations controlled by Denis O'Brien - youth-station Spin FM and NewsTalk 106, which has accumulated losses of Euros 14 million (USD 24 million) since going on air; Country FM in Dublin, Cork youth station Red FM, and Beat FM, the southeast regional service.
The paper notes that three new youth licences are on offer although no youth service has been profitable in the country and Martin Block, a co-founder of FM104 and Lite FM -now Q102 - decried their chances, saying. "The money lies in targeting the 25- to 50-year-old market. That's where the advertising euros lie. There's no money in youth radio."
Block also argues that regulatory requirement that a fifth of output between 07:00 and midnight should be news and that 30% of music played should be of Irish origin places too heavy a burden, saying, "It's 12 minutes of news every hour, which means you need a team of researchers, producers and journalists. That requires a lot of money and is too much for a niche service to sustain."
Commenting on recent bids for the southwest regional licence by consortia led by Spin Fm and Red FM, which can spread overheads because of existing operations Block said, At the recent oral hearings for the southwest licence, I worked out on the back of a cigarette packet that it would be 15 years before they get their money back. That's based on their own figures and on them investing Euros 4 million (USD 5 million) in the station."
On the other side of the argument, Beat FM chief executive Kieran McGeary, who is soon to leave the station that has accumulated debts of Euros 1.8 million (USD 2.3 million) so far, comments, "Name me a three-year-old (media) business that has turned a profit. The fact is that we won't be able to say if youth radio is a success or a failure for about 10 years. Beat will be a profitable business, have no doubts about that."
He did, however express caution that the market could become "saturated" and said, "You'd have to wonder if the advertising cake is big enough to go around, especially as we're living in a time when there's never been so much media."
The BCI is more optimistic about the prospects - the Irish economy is booming and the country's population is expected to pass five million over the next decade - and its head of broadcasting Ciaran Kissane commented, "Our decision to offer these licences was based on an evaluation of the marketplace and the demand for these services, and on expressions of interest received from industry players. It is now up to the applicants to make a case to us that what they are proposing is viable."
UK Sunday Times report:
2006-08-14: Former Michigan Public Media director and general manager Donovan Reynolds has been appointed President of the Public Radio Partnership in Louisville, which operates three stations NPR affiliate WFPL-FM; rock, blues and world music WFPK-FM; and classical music WUOL-FM. Together they have an annual budget of some USD 3.5 million compared for around USD 6.5 million for Michigan Public Media, which operates three public radio stations and a TV station.
Donovan, who takes up his post on September 6, moves into a potentially fraught role: It had been held until January this year by Gerry Weston who had been in the post since the partnership was formed in 1993-4 by the consolidation of WFPL and WPFK - operated by the Louisville Free Public Library - and WUOL - operated by the University of Louisville.
Weston, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal , resigned after more than a year of conflict with several partnership thought he made key decisions without consulting them.
Reynolds, says the paper said he had discussed the problems with the board at length and is "absolutely convinced that this organization will leave the old conflicts behind and focus on its mission."
His predecessor, who is still looking for work, said he had "heard nothing but good things about Donovan. What we built there was unique, and I see nothing but good things ahead under the right leadership. I think Donovan will provide that" and Dwight Dozier, chairman of the partnership's board, said Reynolds was chosen above three other finalists and cited his extensive background in public radio and his "visionary leadership."
His "experience with interactive digital media and his development of both news and arts programming make him perfectly suited for this position," added Dozier.
Louisville Courier-Journal report:
2006-08-14: Emap is considering selling music downloads from its radio station web site in a bid to gain potential revenue that it currently believes it is losing from listeners who hear songs on its stations and download them elsewhere according to the UK Sunday Times.
The paper says Emap is aggressively targeting new sources of revenue, including podcasts, and offering listeners the chance to download programmes to listen to them for a second time and it quotes Adam Findlay, managing director of Radio Forth, as saying the aim was to maximize non- traditional revenues.
"We don't want someone listening to the likes of Sandi Thom on our breakfast show and then downloading it from somewhere else, which currently happens. I want us to get that business," he said.
The paper says the plan is in its early stages, but would involve all Emap's stations - the Magic, Kiss and Kerrang! networks plus Big City and Vibe in England; Forth, Clyde and Tay in Scotland, and Cool FM in Ireland.
UK Sunday Times report:
2006-08-13: Probably the most significant detail for radio from the regulators last week came from the UK and the release of "The Communications Market 2006" report that showed radio in the UK succeeding in terms of increasing listening but with commercial radio falling behind in revenues compared to TV: Elsewhere it was a matter of a steady flow of routine work except for Ireland where there were no radio related announcements.
In Australia, things were fairly quiet but the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) did release a finding that Cumberland Community Radio Inc, the licensee of Baulkham Hills community radio service 2CCR, breached the condition of its licence by broadcasting advertisements.
The breach finding relates to announcements about a concert by a popular Indian singer and movie star during the Hindi language program, Radio Mirchi, that it said did not carry a 'tag' acknowledging financial support and were not community service announcements.
In Canada, the most significant decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was in Quebec where it approved a new French-language commercial specialty FM radio station in Québec and applications for changes in two others but rejected any large-scale changes in the market (See below #CRTC2).
Other decisions (in order of province) included:
*Approval of conversion to FM of classic hits CHER-AM, Sydney, Nova Scotia. Simulcast of programming will be allowed for a transitional period of three months on AM and the new FM.
*Administrative renewal until June 2007 of licence CKEY-FM, Fort Erie and its transmitter CKEY-FM-1, St. Catharines.
*Approval of use of frequency 107.3 MHz for new 4,500 watts FM in Tillsonburg approved in August last year in conversion of CKOT-AM to FM subject to finding a suitable frequency. CKOT-AM would continue to broadcast in daytime only, thus making the station available in both AM and FM in the day and on FM at night.
* Short-term renewal until 31 August 2008 of licence of CJMS-AM, Saint-Constant. The short term renewal follows monitoring that showed the licensee failing to comply with various regulations in 2003 including those relating to the percentage of French-language vocal music it broadcasts.
The commission noted that it had received several interventions opposing renewal, one arguing that the station is primarily a spoken-word station rather than a country music one as licensed and others also noting failure to comply with licence obligations, alleged lack of presence in the community of licence, abusive comments made by hosts and the broadcasting or religious programming.
The CRTC noted that the station says it has now taken necessary steps to comply with regulations regarding content and keeping logger recordings and allowed the short-term renewal with an appendix relating to programming content and standards.
*Approval of frequency change for CFMV-FM, Chandler, allied with power increase from 15 watts to 5,716 watts, a change that will allow a service to the Rocher-Percé Regional County Municipality (RCM) and change the station's status from a low-power unprotected service to a regular Class B service.
The application was opposed by Radio Gaspésie inc., licensee of community radio station CJRG-FM, Gaspé; Diffusion communautaire Baie-des-Chaleurs inc., licensee of station CIEU-FM, Carleton; and Radio CHNC ltée, licensee of CHNC-AM, New Carlisle on various grounds including the financially precarious conditions for other stations in the market.
The CRTC also announced administrative renewals until 31 March 2007 of licences of Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. stations in Calgary, Alberta; Ottawa, Ontario; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
As already noted there were no radio announcements in Ireland and in the UK, Ofcom released its "The Communications Market 2006" report on which we have already reported (See RNW Aug 11).
Ofcom also upheld two standards complaints against radio and considered a third resolved in its latest broadcast bulletin (See RNW Aug 9) and announced an extension - proposed to the end of June 2007 of its Audio Distribution Systems trial: Ofcom is currently involved in a consultation about such services - very short-range services used for such purposes as allowing people at a sports event to listen to a commentary or of translations at a convention - and other restricted licences.
Ofcom also announced that it had received only one application for the new Perth FM licence it advertised in Scotland. This came from Radio Perth Ltd whose Perth FM will offer a service of local news, topical information and entertainment designed specifically for the Perth area, combined with a broad mix of popular music.
Also in Scotland it announced the appointment of Joyce Taylor, who has been the chair of Ofcom's Advisory Committee for Scotland since September 2005, as a non-executive member of its Content Board: She will be the Content Board member for Scotland and has stepped down from her former role.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is still involved in action over interference to FM signals from various satellite radio devices as revealed in a new filing by XM (See RNW Aug 12). It has also issued penalties totalling USD 27,000 on two operators of a pirate station in Bettendorf, Iowa and has also confirmed a USD 11,000 penalty on a New York State AM (See RNW Aug 11) and is continuing to face lobbying pressures over its media ownership regulations whose amendment is currently under discussion (See RNW Aug 10).
Previous Licence News:
ACMA web site:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-08-13: The BBC is working on plans for a plug-in gadget that would allow MP3 players to be used as digital radios according to a report on the corporation's news web site although it does not give any firm details of when the device would be produced, what exactly it would be able to do- although it does say it would be able to receive non-BBC stations, or how much it would cost.
A BBC spokesman was quoted as saying it was carrying out feasibility studies about a device and adding, "We have a duty to make sure digital radio is relevant and clearly portable MP3 players are a massive area of growth."
The spokesman added that versions might also be available for mobile phones and cars but would not name potential partners in the project but dismissed as "pure speculation" that Apple was involved.
RNW comment: In view of recent announcements of technological improvement in DAB modules -
RadioScape, for example, last month announced its RS220 the first module in a new generation of lower power and lower cost DAB modules and had earlier announced the world's first, software-controlled, single chip RF front end that can handle six frequency bands -- Band III and L-Band for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), medium wave, long wave and short wave for AM and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), and Band II for FM - the time cannot be that far away when it should be possible for portable devices to combine phone devices, players, and the ability to receive - and record - a wide range of multi-media signals, some from mobile phone networks, some from the internet via wi-fi and others from broadcast signals.
In such a world the idea of a small device to enable additional functionality for existing devices such as receiving digital radio would not go away and we would see it as sensible that all devices nowadays be made where possible with capability for interconnection via such technologies as USB and Bluetooth. That way many of the problems associated with moving signals, such as to an automobile system via FM, which can cause interference as has been found out by the US satellite companies, go away and existing equipment would be considerably more future proofed.
BBC News story:
2006-08-13: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved a new French-language commercial specialty FM radio station in Québec and applications for changes in two others but has rejected any large-scale changes in the market.
It had considered ten competitive applications for licences in the area in March, four to serve Québec; two to serve Lévis; three proposals to change contours so the stations could be considered to serve the Québec market; and a final application proposed to operate a new AM station at Lévis.
*An application from Radio-Classique - a corporation controlled by Jean-Pierre Coallier - to operate a new FM radio station in Québec. The new station will offer a classical music format with selections from the baroque, classic and romantic eras as well as some contemporary pieces and will target listeners in the 55 years and over age group.
The CRTC noted expressions of doubt about the market's economic capacity to accommodate a new station from MBL Communication Média inc., Cogeco Diffusion inc., and Type B community station CKRL-FM, which noted the problems faced by urban community radio stations in Quebec province, said that a new station in the Québec market would inevitably fragment its station's audience and advertising market, and that it broadcasts around 10 hours a week of classical music.
It took the view, however, that the proposed classical format would have the least potential impact on the existing commercial radio stations, while offering the Québec market's listeners complementary music choices and contribute to the diversity of voices.
*Application by CKNU-FM Donnacona, to renew its licence and that of its transmitter CKNU-FM-1 Sainte-Croix-de-Lotbinière, until Aug 31, 2012; deleting the condition of licence restricting the solicitation of advertising to the Portneuf area and relocating the transmitter from its current site in Saint-Raymond to the summit of Mont Bélair together with a power reduction from 3,1000 watts o 1,585 watts.
*Application by Corus to relocate the transmitter of CFEL-FM, Montmagny, and increase its power 8,740 watts to 25,700 watts so as to serve the city of Lévis and the Chaudière-Appalaches region.
*An application by Corus for a new talk-based format French-language commercial specialty FM station in Québec
*An application by Communications Lévis 2001 for a new popular, rock and dance music format French-language commercial FM station in Lévis
*An application by Standard Radio Inc. for a new rock music English-language commercial FM in Québec.
* An application by Y. Sauvé for a new country music format French-language commercial FM targeting male and female listeners aged 25 to 54 years in Lévis.
*An application by Couleur Jazz for a new French-language commercial specialty FM in that would offer a mix of American, Canadian and European jazz and blues, Brazilian and Cuban selections, and other world beat music, for listeners aged 35 to 64.
*An application by Radio Charlesbourg to amend the licence of French-language community radio station CIMI-FM Québec by changing the frequency and also the station's authorized contours to encompass the city of Québec.
*An application by Médialex for a new French-language country music commercial AM station in Lévis.
2006-08-12: XM Satellite Radio in a further filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that its woes with interference from receivers are far from over.
In addition to problems with the Audiovox Xpress and Delphi XM SKYFi2 revealed in earlier filings (See RNW May 31) it says it has now been asked by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for additional information on these devices and also on the Sportscaster, Roady XT, MyFi, Airware, Tao and Roady 2 devices, "including the chronology and circumstances leading to the non-compliance, and actions and remedies undertaken to correct the situation."
XM says it will "respond promptly to the latest FCC request and have implemented a series of actions involving our radios designed to bring them into compliance" and adds that it has "also requested our manufacturers to suspend production and/or shipments of radios or accessories with these issues."
"We are completing the necessary design or installation modifications, as appropriate and conducting additional testing for XM radios to meet applicable FCC requirements," says XM, concluding, "We expect to obtain new certifications for modified XM radios on an expedited basis."
XM shares ended Friday down 3.04% at USD 10.84 whilst stock in rival Sirius was unchanged at USD 3.77.
2006-08-12: A study by Paragon Media Strategies, in conjunction with All Access of the importance of the morning show to the overall fortunes of a station shows 30% consider it "Very important" in their choice of a station with another 51% saying it is "somewhat important". Of the remained 12% said it was "somewhat unimportant", only 5% that it was "not important at all" and 2% gave "no opinion."
In addition 41% said that were their favourite show to move to another station they would be "very likely" to follow it and listen to the show at its new home with a further 38% saying they would be "somewhat likely" to follow. Of the remainder 13% said they would not be likely to follow and 9% that they did not know or had no opinion.
The picture painted was more mixed when it came to attitudes about changes over the past five years with 30% saying morning radio had improved, 43% that it was the same, 22% that it had got worse and 5% answering don't know.
There was good news for the voice-trackers however with fully 68% saying it did not matter to them whether the show was coming from another city, 22% expressing preference for a local show and 9% in the don't know category.
Paragon Media Strategies site:
2006-08-12: Canadian radio host Jean-Francois (Jeff) Fillion, who has been off air since March last year when he left Genex Communications' CHOI FM in Quebec (See RNW Mar 18, 2005) has signed a five-year deal with XM Canada for a "The Pirate of the Airwaves" show that will air on XM's French channel SportPlus XM 172..
Fillion's comments were a prime reason for a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) not to renew the licence of CHOI (See RNW Jul 14, 2004) but XM Québec Vice President André Di Cesare said he had "learned from his legal and regulatory misadventures" and added, "All of this is now past history and he is excited to now serve a new audience on XM Canada."
Fillion has been airing his show to subscribers to his radiopirate web site and the XM Show will include a portion of the webcasts. He said of the deal, "As with Radio Pirate, I have every intention of producing a quality show designed to inform, entertain and make people laugh."
"The agreement with XM Canada," he added, "represents a unique opportunity to reach a broader audience. However, I have also chosen to work from my studio in Québec, in close proximity to the listeners who have supported me through thick and thin, and who have enabled me to continue to work in radio."
XM Canada President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Tapp said Jeff Fillion "is the number one radio personality to French Canadians and this will have a material impact on our subscriber growth, particularly with French-speaking Canadians."
Previous XM Canada:
Radiopirate web site:
2006-08-12: GCap Media has announced that Dame Patricia Hodgson, who this month joins Newnham College, Cambridge as its Principal, is to leave its board.
In a statement she said, "Looking at my anticipated commitments at Cambridge and elsewhere, I have concluded, with great reluctance, that I should withdraw from GCap Media. This is an exciting time for the company as technological changes present new opportunities for growth. I believe that GCap has the right team in place with a solid strategy and while I am no longer able to participate in its future, I wish my colleagues at GCap every success."
She became a non-executive director of GCap predecessor GWR in January 2004 and joined the GCap board when it was formed from the merger of GWR and Capital.
GCap chairman Peter Cawdron, wishing her well, said she had been "great asset to the Board, advising on a number of important strategic decisions and her expertise and experience will be missed."
GCap shares have been in the doldrums and recently its shares briefly dropped to 181.00 pence taking the company's value below GBP 300 million (USD 564 million) but they have since recovered a little and ended the week at 186.25 pence taking the value up to just under GBP 306 million (USD 578 million).
2006-08-12: Long time Pacifica Radio host and US labour and Communist Party leader Dorothy Ray Healey - born Dorothy Harriet Rosenblum in Denver -has died aged 91.
Labelled by the Los Angeles Times "The Red Queen of Los Angeles" she joined the Communist Party at age 14 in Los Angeles and became chairwoman of the Communist Party USA in Southern California but in 1973 she left the party after a long period criticizing it from within.
She hosted a show on Pacifica's KPFK-FM in Los Angeles from 1959 and later with her son Richard co-hosted the Wednesday morning "Dialogue" show on WPFW-FM in Washington DC.
Washington Post obituary:
2006-08-11: UK Media Regulator Ofcom in its "The Communications Market 2006" report just released says total retail revenue in the UK communications sector in 2005 reached GBP 50 billion (USD 94.7 billion), up 5% on 2004: Telecommunications retail revenue accounted for the largest rise- up 5.5% on 2004 to GBP 38.3 billion (USD 72.5 billion ) whilst total TV revenue was up 4% to top GBP 10.5 billion (USD 19.9 billion) with subscription revenues (which now exceed advertising revenue by a tenth) up 9% and advertising revenue up 2% and total radio spending fell 2.2% to GBP 1.15 billion (USD 2.18 billion).
Ofcom says that of radio funding the BBC accounted for GBP 626 million (USD 1.19 billion): National commercial radio, it says, earned GBP 270 million (USD 511 million )in advertising revenues whilst local commercial revenues totalled GBP 164 million (USD 311 million) and commercial sponsorship accounted for the remaining GBP 86 million (USD 163 million).
Radio listening in the UK it says has risen by 3% over five years within which the BBC and national commercial radio recorded increasing listening but local commercial radio listening was down 14% and particularly down amongst the commercially important 25-34 demographic, where it fell by 30% compared to a BBC listening increase of 14%.
Ofcom comments that radio is now competing for audiences, particularly amongst younger listeners, "against an increasing range of digital services" and adds, "On the face of it, this ought to result in a decline in the size of the radio listening universe, especially among those with access to digital devices and services."
This potential fall in the UK has , it says, been offset by two main factors - the ability to listen to radio whilst doing something else and action by station owners to ensure that "radio is available on the widest possible range of digital platforms such as DAB, digital TV and the internet."
"FM receivers," it comments, "are increasingly integrated into mobile handsets, and digital radio played a part in the recent trials of broadcasting to mobiles" and it says analysis of listening "suggests that the strategy of multi-platform availability is working, as younger people spend more time listening to the radio than they did five years ago. Overall, the universe of listener hours has held up well over the last five years, growing by about 3%. Listening by children, 15-24 year olds and those over 55 all rose over the period by 8%, 5% and 11% respectively, but listener hours for 25-34 year olds fell by 17%."
Ofcom notes significant growth in digital radio take-up with total set sales now more than 3 million. The increase, it says, was fuelled by falling prices - the average receiver price in the first quarter of this year was GBP 78 ( USD ) down from GBP 109 ( USD ) in 2004, widening availability and choice of receivers - some 230 models are now on the UK market -and their enhanced functionality.
In terms of analogue, it notes that it awarded 16 new commercial FM licences in 2005 and the growth of community radio - it has now awarded a total of 107 community licences. In all, says Ofcom, the UK now has 283 local commercial analogue stations, 58 AM and 225 FM; three commercial national stations, Virgin on AM plus Classic FM and talkSPORT on FM; and 163 local commercial digital stations. The BBC has five analogue and 11 digital nationwide networks plus its local and national stations on analogue and digital channels. It also notes increased listening via the Internet and from podcasts or other downloads.
In terms of industry consolidation, the report says that six groups own 65% of UK commercial stations, down from nine as a result of the Capital/GWR merger, Emap's acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings and UTV's purchase of The Wireless Group, which owns talkSPORT..
Revenue per listener and per listener hour fell to GBP 4.82 (USD 9.13) and 33 pence (63 cents) in the first quarter of this year from GBP 5.06 (USD 9.58) and 34 pence (64 cents) a year earlier.
In terms of listener satisfaction Ofcom says listeners (around 70%) are generally highly satisfied with cover of local news, weather and traffic and that half are satisfied with coverage of local sports, events and community issues. The main areas of dissatisfaction were related to coverage of property issues (8%), local music / bands (7%), community issues (7%) and local politics (6%)
In addition some 89% professed themselves very or fairly satisfied with the choice and range of radio stations available to them.
In terms of nations, listeners in Scotland and Northern Ireland showed preference for local output - local commercial radio in Scotland had a 43% share of listening compared to a UK average of 32% and the BBC share there was 36% compared to a UK average of 42% and in Northern Ireland the BBC's networks had only 27% of listening compared to a UK average share of 44% of network listening but its local stations - Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle - took a 27% listening share compared to a UK average for BBC local radio of 11%. Listening in Wales was broadly in line with that for the UK.
Ofcom - The Communications Market 2006 - 293 page 4.64 MB PDF.
Radio section only - 56 pages, 3.78 MB PDF
2006-08-11: The Calvert Foundation, the Ford Foundation and Public Radio Capital have announced a new Public Radio Fund (PRF), to allow investors the opportunity to invest directly in public radio stations.
It has set a target to raise USD 15 million over the next year, starting with USD 3 million from the Calvert Foundation and USD 1.5 from the For Foundation, to expand financing for non-commercial stations in the US, set up strong community-based non-profit ownership models, and recycle investment capital to acquire new public radio stations.
Public Radio Capital Managing Director Marc Hand said the fund would help public broadcasters "gain access to capital on an affordable basis, and move more quickly and aggressively when an opportunity to compete for a valuable channel comes on the market."
Calvert Foundation Director of Strategic Development Timothy Freundlich added that the fund was "a rare opportunity for socially aware investors of all kinds to band together behind grassroots, alternative independent media" and continued, "This is a major new initiative that brings together the leaders in the world of public radio financing, socially responsible investing and foundations."
2006-08-11: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued penalties totalling USD 27,000 on two operators of a pirate station in Bettendorf, Iowa and has also confirmed a USD 11,000 penalty on a New York State AM.
The largest - of USD 17,000 - was issued to Matthew H. Britcher of Bettendorf for operating an unlicensed radio transmitter and refusing to allow inspection of the station.
The penalty arose following the tracing of an unlicensed station in April to Britcher, who at the time he was first spoken to by FCC agents identified himself as the station's "promotions director" and said the station did not need a licence because it operated pursuant to "the War Powers Act."
He was served with a notice of unlicensed operation and the agent asked to inspect the station in space leased by Britcher but the request was refused because "there was no warrant. Further transmissions were traced and measured in April and in May Britcher responded saying the station had authority to operate and had applied for authority to operate.
The FCC then issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) for USD 17,000 to which Britcher's legal counsel later asked for cancellation or reduction of the penalty because he had "authority to operate since he has applied for emergency authority under Section 73.3542 of the Commission's Rules; that any Commission enforcement action against him is pre-emptive, unauthorized and unconstitutional since the Commission has not responded to his request for emergency authority; that his Constitutional rights are being infringed; and that no court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Commission's forfeiture procedures."
The FCC rejected the arguments and confirmed the full penalty.
In a second ruling a penalty of USD 10,000 went to Jason L. Duncan, who had videotaped the FCC interview with Britcher when he refused to allow access to the radio station. Duncan subsequently telephoned the FCC Kansas office and identified himself and was told about the notice issued to Britcher.
Subsequently the FCC issued a notice of unlicensed operation to Duncan who responded, as had Britcher, that the station had authority to operate and had applied for authority. Duncan was issued with an NAL for USD 10,000 in June and later received a reply from his counsel similar to that from Britcher's counsel asking for cancellation or reduction and arguing in the same terms that the action against him was "pre-emptive, unauthorized and unconstitutional since the Commission has not responded to his request for emergency authority."
The FCC again rejected the arguments and confirmed the full penalty.
In a New York ruling, the FCC confirmed a USD 11,000 penalty on M.B. Communications, Inc. of Penn Yan for operation of WYLF-AM with power in excess of the station's authorization during daytime, post sunset, and night time hours and failure to enclose the station's tower within an effective locked fence or other enclosure.
It had issued an NAL for this amount in June last year (See RNW Jun 4, 2005) and M.B. has sought reduction on the basis of inability to pay. M.B.submitted tax returns for the past three years to support its case but after reviewing the documentation the FCC found that no reduction was warranted.
2006-08-11: XM Satellite radio and Alltel Wireless have announced a deal under which the latter's customers will be able to receive 20 XM music channels on Alltel phones for USD 7.99 a month
The application for the service was developed by MobiTV and will allow subscribers to receive a selection of channels that they can select by genre including 70s, 80s and 90s decades Top 20 Hits, New Alternative Rock, Hip-Hop/R&B Hits, Indie Rock, Blues, Highway New Country Hits, and Latin Pop Hits.
Adam Reyer, XM SVP of Business Development, said of the agreement, "Consumers are increasingly eager to access great, commercial-free music on their mobile phones" adding that the new service would provide subscribers "access to an assortment of XM's acclaimed music programming on their mobile phones virtually anywhere they go."
Frank O'Mara, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Alltel Wireless added, "As consumers continue to turn their wireless phones into mobile entertainment hubs, Alltel Wireless continues to explore partnerships to build on our extensive portfolio of content. Having America's largest wireless network partner with America's largest satellite radio provider was a natural fit, and we know our customers will enjoy XM's stellar line-up of programming."
2006-08-11: UTV's talkSPORT has signed up its first woman host in the person of Kelly Dalglish, daughter of former Scottish international, Celtic and Liverpool player Kenny Dalglish.
She is currently with the Sky TV satellite channel having joined its Sky Sports News team when the station launched in 1998 and will co-present talkSPORT's Monday night phone-in programme "Kick Off" with Gabriele Marcotti and Jason Cundy from August 21.
Commenting on her appointment she said, "I know that a lot of men think that women know nothing about football, I want to prove them wrong. Trust me when I say I don't need the off-side rule explaining. I want 'Kick Off' to be a show where fans and listeners can not only look back at the weekend's games but also where they can begin to look forward to their sides next fixture. If they want to sing a sides praise or vent their spleens I don't care, as long as we have fun."
talkSPORT has also announced that Terry Christian, best known for his work anchoring TV programme The Word, is to co-host the station's Saturday afternoon 'Final Whistle' programme alongside former Newcastle player Mickey Quinn from August 19.
2006-08-10: A study just released by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) says that consolidation of radio station ownership since passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act has led to layoffs and lower pay in radio in most large US cities and that the job losses work against localism and diversity in media.
Jenny Toomey, musician and executive director of the Future of Music Coalition, said of the effects of the changes, "Consolidation in radio ownership hasn't just homogenized music formats; it has devastated the broadcast profession and virtually eliminated the ability of radio stations to provide unique coverage of local news, music and community issues. Before the FCC moves forward to further loosen already weak ownership limits, it should understand the impact that deregulation has had on jobs and communities."
Among particular practices identified as being factors in layoffs, depressed pay growth and reduced localism, the study highlights "voice tracking" , which is says not only replaces live and local DJs with pre-recorded programming but also reduces local news coverage and station's ability to broadcast emergency warnings and increases the use of national music programming.
"Voice tracking in particular has had a negative impact on employment," Toomey said, "but, much worse, it creates lasting damage to music communities. With fewer local DJs and programmers, area musicians can't get on the air and listeners are deprived of local news and music."
She was backed by Gene Kimmelman, vice president of the Consumers Union, who said, "Fewer real people doing less local news undermines diversity of viewpoints in local media. That's a clear signal that allowing fewer owners of our local media is dangerous to our democracy".
FMC says a similar study on jobs and diversity in the communications and media sector by Institute for Women's Policy Research corroborates its findings on job losses and depressed wage growth.
The study was released after Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell said at a news conference that rather than considering new media rules together he was open to consideration of individual rules.
Reuters quoted him as saying, "..instead of doing this as an omnibus,one big kidney stone to pass, let's try to break it into more manageable, bite-sized peices."
McDowell stressed that the views were his own, not what was necessarily going to be the course taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
FMC study - 605KB 30 page PDF:
Institute for Women's Policy Research study - 1.43 Mb 54 page PDF:
2006-08-10: The continuing problems for US radio were shown again when Westwood One reported second quarter revenues down 8.9% on a year ago to USD 129.2 million: It put the fall down primarily to "adverse market conditions and a reduced demand for the Company's products and services" and noted that revenue from national commercial advertisements was "essentially flat" but that from local and regional advertisements was down 15%.
For the first half of the year revenues are now down 9.4% - down 1% for national commercial advertisements and 17% for local/regional ones.
Operating income was down 31% for the quarter to USD 26.7 million and down 58.8% for the half-year with net income down 43.3% for the quarter to USD 12.2 million ( From 23 cents to 14 cents) per basic and diluted share) and down 75.6% for the half-year to USD 8.6 million ( From 38 cents to ten cents per basic and diluted share).
Looking ahead Westwood One expects the decline to continue with revenues down by high single to double digit percentages and double digit declines in operating income before depreciation and amortization.
On the satellite radio front, International satellite radio company WorldSpace presented a familiar story for the satellite radio companies of large subscriber increases and higher losses.
In the quarter it said it had added 6,528 net subscribers to end with 159,965 subscribers, 150% higher than a year earlier: In India, where it has been promoting its service heavily, it added 7,774 net subscribers to end the quarter with 119,497 subscribers, more than quadrupling the year earlier figure of 27,933.
Losses went up 66.8% on a year earlier to USD 36.7 million ( from 95cents to 98 cents per share) and went up 25.6% on the first quarter of this year, an increase put down to a reduced income tax benefit. WorldSpace noted that Subscriber Acquisition Costs (SAC) were steady at USD 41 and Cost Per Gross Addition (CPGA) went down from USD 135 in the first quarter of this to USD 131 - down in India from USD 128 to USD 122.
WorldSpace Chairman and CEO Noah Samara said subscriber additions in its "primary target market of India" were hit by "delays in the launching of a new marketing campaign centred around our new brand ambassador until July, delays in opening more experiential locations, changes in sale channel incentives and ineffective communication of pricing plan changes" but added, "These issues negatively affecting the second quarter subscriber counts have been identified and are being addressed."
Samara also noted high churn rates in India "due to the impact of a large portion of the three month promotional packages coming up for renewal during the quarter" and added, "While we continue to believe that the three month plan was an effective means of introducing satellite radio into our primary target market of India, its shorter duration does cause volatility in churn as we go through these first few renewal cycles."
Previous Westwood One:
2006-08-10: The BBC has removed the stream of the most recent edition of comedian Russell Brand's Sunday morning show on its 6-Music digital station from its site and is not podcasting it because, according to the UK Guardian, Brand refused to allow the corporation to edit out a contentious segment.
A notice on the web site says of the usual "Listen-again" stream "Latest show -Apologies, this show isn't available" and of the podcast/MP3 : "PLEASE BEAR WITH US. We're very sorry to say that there won't be a Russell Brand podcast this week. Please check-back with us on Tuesday August 15th when we hope to bring you the next edition of the podcast."
The paper says that in the programme Brand's friend Ade Adepitan, the wheelchair-using basketball player and CBBC presenter, claimed he was refused admittance to the London nightclub The Movida club and subsequently called a "fucking cripple."
Brand in the programme referred to the person he said was responsible as a "grunting Neanderthal"
The station's message board does not give details of the reason for not posting the podcast although one comment does say that there are reports on the Guardian and chortle.co.uk web sites.
The Guardian says the club is strongly denying the allegations and the BBC proposed to edit the whole exchange out of the podcast and listen-again stream for "legal reasons" but Brand refused, saying the broadcast should include reference to the allegations or not be put out at all.
Brand told the paper he was disappointed by the Corporation's response, adding, "I think we could have found a version that could have been released but a lot of the time people simply do what is easiest. We didn't name anyone as being responsible and we could have given the club a right of reply. What Ade said made me really unhappy because he is my friend and a lovely person and I felt I was in a position to do something about what happened to him."
A club spokesman said it had not received any formal complaint but had consulted its lawyers about the broadcast. HE added that the clubs managers would not condone abusive behaviour by staff and said it disputed Adepitan's version of events.
UK Guardian report:
2006-08-10: Interep has revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that two members of its board - Terence Bate and Arnold Sheiffer - have resigned at management's request as part of its cost cutting efforts.
Interep terminated its registration under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as part of its cost cuts and says that as a result it does not have as great a need for outside directors so has reduced the number of them from five to three.
Interep's board is now comprised of Ralph C. Guild, its chairman and CEO; Ralph C. Guild, President of its Marketing Division; George Pine, its President and COO; and outside members Howard Brenner, John Palmer and Arnie Semsky.
2006-08-10: Mobile phone and telecommunications company Nokia is betting USD 60 million on an expansion in listening to music via mobile devices with agreement to purchase US digital music and media company Loudeye Corporation.
In terms of scale Nokia says it sold around 15 million music-enabled devices in the second quarter this year compared to around 8 million iPods sold by Apple, making the deal potentially significant in terms of attracting listeners away from radio and other download companies.
Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager, Multimedia, for Nokia, said music was a "key experience" for it and it wanted to "able to offer the best fully integrated mobile music experience to our customers."
"People should be able to access all the music they want, anywhere, anytime and at a reasonable cost," he added, continuing, "With this acquisition, we aim to deliver that vision and a comprehensive music experience to Nokia device owners during 2007."
2006-08-09: In more results, US radio giant Clear Channel has reported revenues overall up 7% on a year earlier to USD 1.9 billion in the second quarter led by Outdoor, which had 9% growth compared to 6% for radio, but its net income for the quarter was down 10.5% to USD 197.5 million and income before discontinued operations was down 7% to USD 197.5 million.
Operating Income before Depreciation & Amortization (OIBDAN) was up 10% on a year ago to USD 647.2 million. In divisional terms for the quarter radio operating income was USD 359.7 million, Outdoor operating income was USD 153.8 million and other operating income USD 18.8 million.
CEO Mark P Mays commented that the company was being successfully reshaped "to capitalize on the changes in the global media market" and said of the future "We remain very optimistic about our growth prospects in 2006. Our operating momentum has continued into the current quarter. Our radio division's performance surpassed our expectations and once again far outpaced the industry. Our top-25 radio markets performed particularly well, generating the highest percentage growth of any of our markets. And our outdoor business continued the trend of posting consistently strong revenues and profits, with considerable gains from the fast-growing sunbelt markets in the U.S., as well as solid results in France, Italy and Turkey."
President and CFO Randall Mays added, "Our second quarter results reflect strong growth and healthy fundamentals across our operations. As we continue to convert our audience gains into top-line growth, we will continue to generate profitable returns for our shareholders. Looking ahead, our solid balance sheet and tremendous financial flexibility support our efforts to maximize the value of our assets."
Clear Channel also noted in relation to its announcement in August last year that it intended to return around USD 1.6 billion in capital to its shareholders that it has now returned around USD 1.5 billion through the purchases of 49.5 million shares of its common stock: It says it intended to return the balance remaining through share repurchases and/or a special dividend.
Clear Channel shares fell 1.89% to USD 28 on Tuesday.
Cumulus reported an 0.1% revenue fall in the quarter to USD 87.34 million and station operating expenses up 1% to USD 55.2 million but turned a loss of USD 4.97 million ( Seven cents per share) a year ago into net income of USD 4.70 million ( eight cents a share):
Cumulus shares ended the day 1.12% down at USD 8.79 having at one point touched USD 8.31, a 52-week low.
Saga Communications reported net operating revenue down 0.7% on a year ago at USD 68.9 million , operating income down 3.7% to USD 13.4 million and net income up 29% to USD 4.0 million ( from 15 cents to 19 cents per fully diluted share). Same station net operating revenue was down 0.7% to USD 37 million but same-station operating income was up 2.8% to USD 8.7 million. Saga shares were up 1.8% on Tuesday to end at USD 7.36
In other US radio business, Beasley Broadcast Group has announced completion of its USD 17 million purchase of KDWN-AM combined with a USD 5 million purchase of 27 acres of land on which the station tower is located from Radio Nevada Corporation.
Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley said of the purchase, "In addition to building our presence] in the fast growing Las Vegas market[RNW note: Beasley owns KYCE-FM, KK:Z-FM and KSTJ-FM in the market], KDWN is the only station in Las Vegas that boasts a 50,000 kilowatt signal. As such, KDWN can reach more listeners than any other station in the market and represents an outstanding platform for talk radio programming."
Previous George Beasley:
Previous Clear Channel:
Previous Mark Mays:
Previous Randall Mays:
2006-08-09: Latest Australian radio ratings offered cold comfort for DMG as its Vega stations in Melbourne and Sydney continued to struggle and its Nova network fell back.
In Sydney Vega fell from a 2.0 to a 1.9 share 1.9, staying third from bottom, with its breakfast show also dropping 0.1 to a 1.8 share and in Melbourne Vega's share fell from 1.2 to 1.0, putting it last in the market, behind ABC's NewsRadio, which fell back from a 1.2% share to 1.1%.
In the Sydney market, Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB retained its dominance although its share fell back a little from 13.7 to 13.3 and in the breakfast slot, without Alan Jones for a period whilst he was on holiday, kept top slot but lost share from 17.1 to 16.1, ahead of ABC 702, which remained second -up from 10.3 to 10.4 and Southern Cross Broadcasting's 2UE which pulled up to third with 9.4 (7.9), pushing Austereo's 2-DAY, which was down from 10.0 to 8.6, into fourth rank.
In Mornings, 2GB retained the lead with 15.6, down from 14.7, followed by Triple M with 8.9, up from 7.7
The Nova fall in Sydney compared to a second place a year ago and elsewhere the format had mixed fortunes, retaining the lead in Brisbane but losing share; gaining share but remaining fourth in Adelaide, and pulling up a rank to fourth in Melbourne with an unchanged 9.1 share whilst Triple-M fell from fourth to sixth as its share dropped from 9.1 to 8.9.
City by city, the top three stations were (previous % share in brackets):
*Adelaide: 5AA 17.1 (16.3) - same rank; SAFM 15.5(14.6) - Up from third; Mix 15.0 (14.6) - Down from second.
Nova with 11.4 (10.9) remained fourth with ABC 891 in fifth rank falling back with 10.2 (10.6).
*Brisbane - Nova with 15.9 (16.0) - Same rank; Triple M with 13.7 (13.4) - same rank; 97.3 FM with 11.4 (10.9) - same rank.
*Melbourne - 3AW with 16.5 (17.0) - same rank; ABC 774 with 12.4 (11.4) - up from third; Fox FM with 11.7 (11.7) - same rank.
*Perth - MIX 94.5FM with 17.7 (15.3) - same rank; 96FM with 13.1 (12.0) - up from third; Nova with 11.2 (12.2) -. down from second
*Sydney: 2GB 13.3 (13.7) - same rank; Triple-M with 9.2 (7.9) - up from fifth; ABC 702 with 8.7 (8.5) same rank.
*2-DAY with 8.4 (9.3) dropped from second to fourth; 2UE with 8.0 (7.7) was up a rank to fifth and Nova with 6.4 (7.1) remained eighth.
Previous Australian ratings:
Previous Southern Cross:
2006-08-09: The Media Audit/Ipsos has announced that should it be selected to provide a US radio ratings service it will start its operations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago following completion of market test in Houston that are currently well under way.
The Media Audit president Bob Jordan said that recruiting for the markets would depend on gaining industry approval for its Smart Cell Phone measurement system, a system he termed a "major advantage" in that it did not have to worry about hardware production and thus would be able to "move quickly" and with approval roll out in 12 markets next year.
The Media Audit chairman and head of research Jim Higginbotham added of the proposal, "Based on the size, cultural complexity and importance of the markets, starting with the largest markets is an interesting challenge." He added, "We understand the markets and the inherent challenges and are confident as we have a major advantage. That advantage is the expertise of our partner Ipsos who already manages a panel of more than 400,000 respondents. Ipsos' has the personnel, the systems, the expertise and experience in place to quickly swing into action and recruit the panels."
Previous Media Audit/Ipsos:
2006-08-09: GCap Media, whose predecessor companies Capital Radio and GCap were valued at GBP 711million (currently USD1.35 billion) just before their merger in May last year, saw its value fall to a new low on Tuesday: The shares dipped at one point to 181.00 pence, valuing the company at just under GBP 297 million (USD 564 million) although they later pulled back to end the day GBP 1.5 (0.8%) down at GBP 185.00, giving it a market capitalization of GBP 303.45 million (USD 576.3 million).
Latest ratings released earlier this month (See RNW Aug 4) showed continued weakness at its flagship Capital Radio although its national classical music station Classic FM increased its audience, leading the shares to fall at one point to a then new low of GBP 184.50.
The latest fall has raised speculation about a bid for the company, possibly from US radio giant Clear Channel, which has previously not ruled out a bid but had indicated that it thought the company was overvalued, or private equity groups - at one stage Australian bank Macquarie plus equity groups Cinven and 3i were said to be evaluating bids.
At the end of last year GCap chief executive Ralph Bernard was thought by some to have potentially made himself a hostage to fortune when he told a seminar that he "didn't really care" about the company's share price, saying the City had taken a short term of the company's strategic review rather than considering its loner-term development.
2006-08-09: XM Satellite Radio has announced that it is to launch a 24/7 Sports News and Talk Channel - "XM Sports Nation" on August 28 with a line-up that will incorporate existing XM-produced shows hosted by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Cal Ripken, Jr., Coach Mike Krzyzewski, James Carville and Luke Russert and will also feature content from Sporting News Radio, including shows from Tim Brando, Tony Bruno and Troy Aikman.
It will add a number of new shows including "XMSN This Morning," a daily show - to be hosted on weekdays by T.J. Rives, current host of the original XM program "College Football Coast-to-Coast - that will featuring sports news, highlights, interviews and scores from professional and collegiate sports.
Programming EVP Eric Logan said of the move, "With play-by-play broadcasts of more than 5,000 sporting events each year, XM is clearly the satellite radio leader in sports programming. 'XM Sports Nation' will provide fans with a primary destination for general sports news, commentary and original XM programming, as well as complement the broad range of professional and collegiate sports programming XM currently offers."
RNW comment: Rival Sirius would of course disagree and with its programming currently includes the NFL, NBA and NHL, enough for many fans to contradict the XM claim.
XM has also announce din relation to spots that it is to broad cast live cover of the US Open Tennis on the channel this year.
Sirius meanwhile has announced an additional automaker partner, Volvo, which will begin offering Sirius as a factory-installed option this summer.
2006-08-09: Bruce DuMont, president of The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) in Chicago has announced that five men are to be inducted into the US "National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2006" in a ceremony in November.
They include two CBS News greats, the late Douglas Edwards, who was a correspondent on "The World Today" during the Second World War and anchored CBS Radio's "The World Tonight" for 22 years; and Christopher Glenn, who retired as anchor of the "The CBS World News Roundup" in February (See RNW Feb 26). He had been with CBS for 35 years.
Also honoured are ABC Radio President John Hare, veteran New York radio personality Scott Shannon, who is also program director of WPLJ-FM; and the late William B. Williams, best known for his time on the former WNEW-FM.
Previous Museum of Broadcast Communications:
2006-08-08: The latest swathe of US radio results has shown a mixed second quarter with most of those reporting having revenues either down or only moderately up although Spanish Broadcasting System bucked the trend with a significant increase.
Citadel had revenues up 2.4% to a record USD 112.5 million with station operating income up .27% to a record USD 52.4 million but past overvaluation took its toll on the bottom line thanks to an impairment charge of USD 149.8 million (82 cents per basic share) to reduce goodwill and intangible assets that turned the operating "profit of USD 21.5 million a year ago into a net loss of USD 74.8 million (USD 0.67 per share). Citadel's board has declared a quarterly dividend of 18 cents per share.
Operating loss for the quarter was USD 109.9 million, compared to positive figures of USD 41.5 million a year ago, primarily because of the impairment charge but also affected by an increase of approximately USD 4.0 million of non-cash stock-based compensation expense whilst station operating income was up 2.7% on a year ago to USD 52.4 million.
Chairman and CEO Farid Suleman said of the results, "The Company reported record revenues and station operating income for the quarter in spite of a continued difficult environment in the radio industry."
He added that Citadel continues to focus on enhancing shareholder value through stock repurchases and dividends noting that to date it has bought 24.1 million shares, or approximately 43% of its public float, for USD 317.8 million and has also paid cumulative dividends in 2006 of USD 62.2 million (54 cents a share).
For the first six months of the year, Citadel has now registered record revenues of USD 206.5 million, up 2.3% on a year ago but because of the impairment charge made an operating loss of USD 86.4 million - operating income was USD 67.6 million a year earlier - although station operating income was up 3.1% to USD 89.2 million. Overall it made a net loss for the half-year of USD 65.3 million ( 58 cents per basic share) compared to net income a year earlier of USD 33.4 million ( 27 cents per basic share): The figures include a non-cash asset impairment of USD92.0 million, net of tax, (82 cents per basic share) and approximately USD 6.5 million of non-cash stock-based compensation expense, net of tax,
Fisher Communications, Inc. reported second quarter income from continuing operations of USD 1.8 million for the quarter, turning round a loss of USD 1.5 million a year earlier on revenues up 9% to USD 40.2 million whilst for the half-year it has turned a loss from continuing operations of USD 5.6 million a year ago to net income of USD 5.1 million on revenues up 9.3% to USD 71.3 million.
Overall Fisher reported converting a net loss of USD 1.09 million (13 cents per share) to net income of USD 2.27 million (26 cents per share) for the quarter and from a net loss of USD 6.16 million (71 cents a share) for the half year to a net income of USD 567,999 (Seven cents per share).
In May Fisher announced agreement to sell its 24 small market radio stations in Montana and eastern Washington for USD 33.3 million (See RNW Jun 2) and the figures for these stations were reported as discontinued operations.
President and CEO Colleen Brown commented, "Again, we gained solid revenue and realized operating improvements in the second quarter and first half of 2006, especially in our large-market stations" and of the radio station sales plus TV acquisitions she added, "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. The combined group of Spanish-language television stations will provide Fisher the opportunity to obtain duopoly economics in markets in which we currently operate, as well as serve our fast growing Hispanic population."
Radio One Inc. saw its net broadcast revenue fall 4% on a year ago to USD 97.8 million for the quarter with station operating income down 15% to USD 46.9 million and operating income down 24% to USD 34.9 million.
Net income applicable to common stockholders dropped more steeply - by 59% to USD 8.1 million ( Eight cents per diluted share) and for the half-year it is down 60% to USD 10.7 million on net broadcast revenues up 0.8% to USD 180 million.
President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III said of the results, "Last quarter, we said that the second quarter could be the bottom for the radio industry and for Radio One, and, on its face, this quarter was pretty disappointing. We are clearly facing some challenges in certain markets, over and above the ongoing softness in the radio industry, and are taking active steps to address those challenges."
On a more positive note he continued, "However, when viewed in the context of our out-performance of the industry in the second quarter of 2005, along with some discrete expense items in this quarter that should not be recurring, as well as investment spending that is already beginning to pay off in positive ways, we think that this quarter may represent the perfect storm of bad news and that better days are ahead."
Regent Communications reported net broadcast revenues up 0.3% to USD 22.8 million and for the half-year flat - actually down 0.1% - at USD 41.3 million with net income for the quarter down 9.1% from 22 million a year ago to USD 2.0 million ( 5 cents a share) and for the half-year down 19.2% to USD 2.1 million (Down from six cents per share to five cents).
Same station net broadcast revenue was up 0.3% for the quarter to USD 21.9 million with same station operating income down 0.8% for the quarter to USD 7.4 million and for the third quarter says it expects same station net broadcast revenue to be flat to down low single digits on a year ago.
President and CEO Bill Stakelin said Regent had "delivered second quarter results ahead of the industry and in line with our expectations" and added, "The environment remains challenging, but we are implementing a concerted strategy to strengthen our station clusters and support our growth outlook over the long-term. In addition to investing in our content, sales and digital distribution, we recently entered into several strategic transactions with the goal of maximizing the value of our assets and improving upon our competitive position. At the same time, we have continued to operate our business as efficiently as possible with the goal of preserving our profitability."
On the outlook he said, "We remain focused on investing in our station clusters and evolving our operating strategy to compete in a changing media marketplace. In the current quarter, we remain cautious in our forecast, but we believe the initiatives we are executing today will improve our growth potential over the long-term."
Like many other companies Regent has been buying back shares and during the quarter it spent around USD 2.3 million on buying 520,560 shares: At the end of June it had around USD 13.7 million left in its buy back programme.
At Salem, revenues in the second quarter were up 8.8% on a year ago to USD 58.1 million with radio net broadcasting revenue up 5.4% ; operating income was up 130% to USD 26.1 million and net income rose USD 225.5% to USD 11.6 million
For the year to date, revenue is up 7.1% to USD 110.1 million and net income was up 140.2% to USD 14.3 million (From 23 cents to 58 cents per diluted share.)
Same station net broadcasting revenue was up 2.9% to USD 51.4 million for the quarter and up 1.8% for the half-year to USD 97.7 million. and for the third quarter the company says it expects total revenue to be up from USD 53 million a year ago to between USD 57.9 million and USD 58.4 million.
President and CEO Edward G. Atsinger III put the revenue increase in the quarter down to "significant growth in our non-broadcast media business" and added of radio, "While our radio business was negatively impacted by the same weak radio advertising market affecting other radio broadcasters, we achieved net broadcasting revenue growth of 5.4%. Contributing to this growth were our News Talk stations, which grew revenue by 13.5%, and our consistent local and national block programming business, which grew revenue by 7.8% over last year on a same station basis."
Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) net revenues were up 10% on a year ago in the quarter to USD 48.8 million while its radio revenues were up 6% to USD 47.4 million and for the half-year net revenues are up 8% to USD 86.6 million with radio net revenue up 6% to USD 84.8 million.
Overall SBS reported net income applicable to common stockholders of USD 14,000 in the quarter compared a loss of USD 2.22 million (three cents a share) a year ago and for the half year net income applicable to common shareholders -boosted by a USD 50.8 million gain on the sale of its Los Angeles stations KZAB-FM and KZBA-FM - USD of USD 51.1 million (71 cents per share) compared to a loss of USD 4.47 million ( Six cents per share) a year earlier :
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. said SBS was "executing our business plan to capitalize on our premiere content and relationships in the creative community to drive audience and revenue shares across our radio portfolio, while fuelling the development of Mega TV."
"Our radio net revenue growth of 6% for the second quarter outpaced the general market," he added, "highlighting the power of our brands in consistently attracting Hispanic audiences in the nation's top markets. We also made considerable progress in building Mega TV, as reflected by our impressive debut across several key demographic categories in the Spring ratings book. We are pleased with the initial performance of Mega TV and we are very optimistic that the investments we are making in content and promotion will support Mega TV's growth. Looking ahead, we remain focused on maximizing the performance of our radio station group, while extending our brands across multiple platforms media to fully harness the growth of Hispanic America to the benefit of our shareholders."
Previous Radio One Inc.:
2006-08-08: British media regulator Ofcom in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upheld two standards complaints against radio and considered a third resolved whilst regarding TV it upheld two standards complaints and considered two resolved by action taken by the broadcaster.
It also upheld a TV fairness and privacy complaint and gave details of two further radio fairness and privacy complaints that were not upheld.
This compares to two radio standards complaints upheld in the previous bulletin in which three TV standards complaints were upheld, and four considered resolved as well as upholding two TV fairness and privacy complaints, one in part.
In addition Ofcom listed with no details a further 109 TV complaints involving 62 items and 18 radio complaints involving 13 items that it were out of its remit or not upheld. The totals compare with 171 TV complaints involving 147 items and 26 radio complaints involving 26 items that it said were out of its remit or not upheld in its previous bulletin.
The radio standards complaints upheld were against a Stevenage Borough Council advertisement on Hertbeat FM and Alan Brazil on talkSPORT: The first referred to satisfaction with council services and were broadcast from April 19 to May 16 - the complainant had said that these possibly offered support to the ruling party and were inappropriate for broadcast during the period before local elections held on May 4
Hertbeat acknowledged that the advertisements could be "interpreted as political" but said they were only intended to form an awareness campaign for council services. It also accepted that they had been aired without RACC clearance and said it had now established now procedures for approval of advertisements.
Ofcom took the view that survey results presented in two adverts appeared to celebrate the achievements of the elected council and thus support the incumbent ruling party and thus were in breach of codes relating to advertisements prior to an election.
In the Alan Brazil case, he had used the tem "nips" when referring to Japanese and talkSPORT, while saying that this had been an unfortunate off-the cuff remark, accepted that the use of such a term was inappropriate and gave assurances that both the presenter and the producer had been spoken to about the incident to avoid any further repetition. Ofcom accepted that the use of the term was made in a light-heated exchange and that the co-presenter made an attempt to address in inappropriateness but said it did breach the rules.
In the case considered resolved Virgin Radio had aired during the Christian O'Connell breakfast show on June 21 and 22 an unedited version of a record that contained the phrase "fucked-up".
The presenter had apologized on the first occasion, saying an unedited version had been played in error, but then the same version was played the next day. Virgin apologized, said the CD version rather than radio version had been selected in error, pointed out that the correct version of the track had been played 943 other times and said it had now put more stringent procedures in place. Ofcom accepted the assurances and considered the matter resolved.
The two fairness and privacy cases where details were given but the complaint was not upheld involved "The Cumberland Sausage Awards" on CFM Radio and "The Late Night Zoo" on 96.6 TFM.
In the first case a well-known Carlisle businessman and his wife had objected to comments made when the host was introducing the "Numpty of the Year" award category in relation to an ice rink the businessman had set up "without planning permission" and that he "had to sell" on eBay.
Ofcom after listening to recording of the programme and reading a transcript said it did not consider that the complaint was substantiated.
In the second case, the complainant had been taken off the air after starting a joke about " I kidnapped a chicken" because the hosts believed the joke was about the kidnap of a child: he complained that the interpretation had been unfair. Ofcom after consulting dictionaries on the various meanings and usage of the word "chicken" said it did not consider there had been unfairness in comments that had been made about the appropriateness of the joke.
Previous Ofcom Complaints Bulletin:
2006-08-07: As the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moves forward on the issue of new US media ownership regulations with pressures both for (See below) and against further easing of limits, it seemed appropriate to start our look at print comment on radio with a view on the nature of commercial pressures in the US.
That comes courtesy of the Houston Chronicle in which Andrew Guy Jr. notes of changes made at KRBE-FM by Cumulus: "When KRBE's new owners revamped their morning show, they did more than set off the ire of loyal listeners. They also shed light on the broader issues of audience demographics and the future of mainstream radio."
The decision to replace Atom & Maria in the Mornings with The Roula and Ryan Show was, reports Guy, related to demographics as the show that died was a hit with younger listeners but did not appeal to the 25-50 years old demographic.
Cumulus market manager Patrick Fant commented of Atom Smasher and Maria Todd that "They were targeted really young" while "Roula and Ryan have the ability to target a broader age demographic."
KRBE, he added, "will always be very strong with teens and with young people. That won't change. We're simply trying to reach a broader, older group."
Guy expresses some scepticism about the practicality of reaching such a broad audience demographic when radio is increasingly niche-oriented and quotes Tom Taylor, editor of Inside Radio magazine as saying, "Older can be easier to sell but no station targets every person who is 25 to 54. That's a really broad group. Delivering that group to advertisers is another matter."
At Radio One's KBXX-FM, general manager Doug Abernathy, whose station targets black urban professionals, general manager Doug Abernathy said he thought the station was taking a major risk by targeting such a broad group and added, "I actually think the trend is younger. If you take a look at a lot of stations around the country that have launched the last few years, you can see that they're reaching for the audience that KRBE already has."
Former KRBE program director John Peake, now with Flying Bear Media's dance Top 40 KNGY-FM in San Francisco, said targeting older listeners is an admirable goal, but wondered if it could realistically be done.
"There's an old saying in the radio business, 'Narrow focus yields broad results. Rarely does a broad focus yield broad results,'" said Peake. "(KRBE is) trying to find morning-show content that's just as appealing to a 20-year-old as it is to a 45-year-old. That's going to be difficult."
Guy acknowledges this but says that the station's top 40 format helped it to a broader appeal and Taylor commented, in reference to Houston market rankings in morning drive for the 18-34 demographic - Univision's Spanish language station KLTN-FM led the latest ratings with a 15.1 share. KBXX was second, with a 7.4 share, and KRBE was third with a 5.5 share - Univision's" "You could look at each of those as distinct markets. KRBE's battle is to be the coalition station. They're going to get Anglo listeners, they're going to get ethnic listeners, they're going to get African-American urban listeners. The potential is there (to reach the 25-to-54 crowd), I just wonder how practical it is."
Others thought the aim wasn't realistic and Dan Vallie, president of Vallie-Richards Consulting, a national radio and media consulting firm commented, "There is a pretty large difference between, for example, the top 10 songs a 20-year-old would like and the top 10 songs a 30-year-old would like. There is a little overlap, but not much. A 30-year-old is more likely going to be interested in oldies music than a 20-year-old."
And from the former PD: Peake said, "That pressure for 25 to 54 will always be there. For every station. But when you have a station that's geared towards 18 to 34, and they suddenly start going after 25 to 54, that may be setting the station up for something it isn't built for."
Following on the Houston reflections, we move to the UK and an interview in Broadcast Magazine with BBC controller of interactive radio and music Simon Nelson who expressed fears for the future of radio if it failed to embrace new technology.
Nelson wants to see more portable devices with chips that enable them to receive digital radio and commented, "It's imperative that we have a digital transition for radio, a transition across multiple platforms. Radio is the most flexible of all mediums and has the potential to exploit what is going on in technology."
Like all technology, however, radio was developed as a response to human requirements and it is more dependent on the nature of humans than many other industries - the natures in this case being both of the broadcaster and the listener.
Which in this case leads us on to a final item before suggested listening: This came from Chris Campling in the London Times.
"It's strange how a shift in angle can change your opinion of a broadcaster," he wrote in his radio column last Friday and then went on to comment on the BBC Radio 4 three-part series "Unseen China".
"ten minutes into Unseen China ," writes Campling, " was having my doubts about the intrepid BBC reporter charged with telling the story of Xiao Yuan, the young mother of two children whom she has barely seen for ten years."
After summarizing details of the story of Xiao Yuan, the young mother of two children whom she has barely seen for ten years, he writes, "I could not help but notice, though, that the BBC man was being, shall we say, a little heavy-handed in his approach to Xiao and her situation the BBC man kept on laughing unctuously and making specious points about, for example, the limited space available in the single room that Xiao shared with her husband. She knew she lived in a hovel; she didn't need some running-dog lackey of imperialist capitalism to point it out."
He continued, "He was also unsympathetic when she mentioned that she had hardly seen her eldest child since the girl was 6. "I left home when I was 5," he countered, as though bidding to compete with her in the deprivation stakes. 'To blind school'."
"And then the penny - or yuan - dropped: the BBC man is Peter White. He is the Beeb's Disability Correspondent and he is blind. And that changed everything. Well, what it mainly did was strip away my personal antipathy towards the presenter - people who overcome disabilities, even David Blunkett, are by definition allowed a longer leash than the rest of us - and concentrate on the story."
And the essence of that it seems Actually, she wasn't keen to see her children so much as to get away from her idle, shiftless unemployed bum of a husband. 'I hate him,' she informed the world. 'Sometimes I feel sad for him. But mostly I hate him.' And then she got on with her life."
Which acts as a cue for our first listening suggestions, both of which aired on Friday last week: "Unseen China" will be on the web site until Friday this week at 10:00 GMT and the "White Nights" - the series ran at 22:30 GMT every day last week and the Friday edition was presented by former British cabinet minister David Blunkett, referred to above. The BBC described the half hour as "original poetry, commissioned jazz, sound explorations and written pieces designed to catch that moment of half-consciousness between awareness and sleep on a sultry summer night where slumber rarely comes easily" and it contained some interesting listening - and in our view Blunkett's programme, with too much trite and anthropomorphic comment in it for our taste, was by no means the best
Next an anniversary, that of the first atom bombings- subject of last week's "Street Stories" on Sunday on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National that looked at the story of the Hiroshima Bombing through the eyes of Keijiro Matsushima, now a retired English teacher, and also as part of last week's "On the Media" on WNYC in which an item "Keeping Secrets" looked at the reporting of by New York Times reporter William L. Laurence, who was with American troops in a plane over Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped.
Laurence won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports on the bomb but it turned out that he was not just reporting but was also in the pay of the U.S. War Department.
Next two songs from a politics programme - BBC Radio 4's Sunday night "Westminster Hour" that yesterday included the first of a new series of "More than Just a Song", programmes about songs that have had a political impact. The song was Nkosi Sikelei Afrika, God Bless Africa, that was composed in 1897 as a hymn by a Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist teacher in the Eastern Cape, and later adopted by the African National Congress.
Next Sunday the song will be "This Land is Your Land", written by Woody Guthrie in the Depression as a riposte to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" and containing verses with a political message that are normally omitted. They can be found online - one verse being:
"In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me."
Sticking with the BBC, we next suggest three programmes from BBC Radio 2 about very different figures starting with "Talking with Kate" from Saturday in which Mark Radcliffe talks with the singer Kate Bush about her "Ariel" double album released last year, 12-years after the release of her "The Red Shoes" album.
Next, from tomorrow at 19:30 GMT, we suggest the second of the "Puttin' on More Style" series that last week featured Katherine Hepburn: This week it is about Errol Flynn
And finally from Radio 2the fourth of "Suzi Quatro's Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll" on Thursday at 21:00 GMT: This week it features Willie Nelson, in itself a contrast with last week's programme on Paul Anka.
Changing channels, we note that The 2006 Proms continue this week on BBC Radio 3 but also that the "Composer of the Week" (11:00GMT) is Welsh composer Grace Williams, a maverick out of step with her time.
And to end with comedy from BBC Radio 4 with, on Wednesdays, "The Museum of Everything" (at 17:30 GMT) and "The Department" (22:00 GMT). Last week's first part of the latter, back for a six-part new series by John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, took as its topic Tax and Public Spending whilst this week it's Terrorism. Also currently airing on Radio 4 at 17:30 GMT on Fridays is "The Now Show"
Broadcast Magazine - Nelson interview (Note: This is a subscriber-only publication):
Houston Chronicle- Guy:
UK Times - Campling:
2006-08-07: Clear Channel is considering a filing to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to raise the cap on the number of stations that any entity can own in the largest US markets according to a report on Law.com citing "sources close to the company."
The current limit for large markets with at least 45 stations is eight but the report says Clear Channel want this upped to ten in markets with 60 stations and 12 for markets with 75 or above.
It quotes a Clear Channel spokeswoman as saying, "Easing the ownership restrictions will help level the playing field and let free radio compete with iPods, online music services and satellite radio. Certainly, seeing that satellite radio has 150 unregulated stations in every market and free radio is limited to just eight shows the apparent disparity."
The report notes that the FCC imposed the current limits to preserve a diversity of information sources and it quotes Jenny Toomey, executive director of the Future of Music Coalition in Washington, D.C., said new entrants such as Internet radio are not adding a significant new source of local news, a key product traditional radio stations must provide.
In addition Jim Snider, research director of the Wireless Future Program at the New America Foundation in Washington, added that radio broadcasters have been leading the fight to prohibit satellite radio companies, from being permitted by the FCC to offer local news, traffic and weather information as part of their services.
Snider added that Clear Channel should not be allowed to buy more traditional radio outlets because it soon can take advantage of a multicasting on HD digital radio signals to offer additional programming.
Andrew Lipman, partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP in Washington, countered that the verdict is still out on the new digital stations and said companies wanted to acquire other successful radio companies because they can achieve economies of scale in major markets. "You can cut overhead and take advantage of advertising and other relationships," Lipman said. "It's really more of a question of how many voices are out there and how many multiple voices of communications listeners are getting."
RNW comment: The Clear Channel comment regarding satellite radio was it seems to us marvellously cack-handed because in one brief sentence it exposed the hypocrisy of opposing local news on satellite stations whilst at the same time using the satellite stations to bolster arguments for deregulation.
We have noticed how frequently US broadcasters carry local news from agencies rather than generating it and take the view that, since the airwaves are -theoretically, at least - leased from the public rather than bought there should be significantly more attention paid to the public interest in their allocation.
In this area, we go along with the regulatory format requirements of most countries including Australia, Canada, and the UK: These were set up to ensure genuine diversity in the sense of providing services for all not just concentrating them on the demographic segments of interest to advertisers.
The US it seems to us demonstrates the weakness of the "free market" in this regard and we would prefer the system in operation elsewhere but if the US insists on a "free market" approach our view is that all licences should go up for auction at least once every ten years. Incumbents will have an advantage but they would almost certainly in most cases have to pay more into the public purse.
Previous Clear Channel:
2006-08-07: State-controlled All India Radio (AIR) is to use news, which is currently barred to private FM stations in India, to expand the audience for its FM Rainbow - formerly AIR FM1 - stations.
It has increased local language news cover in a number of cities, very considerably in some cases where, retaining its brief two-minute format, the frequency of local news cover has been bumped up - from once a day to 18 times in Kolkata (the former Calcutta) and Chennai (the former Madras); to 15 times a day in Mumbai (the former Bombay) with other increases in Hyderabad ( to seven times a day) and Panaji , the capital of Goa ( ten times a day).
It has also launched local news in Tiruchirapalli (Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu) where it will air seven times a day and Cuttack, the business capital of Orissa (six times a day).
Previous Indian Radio:
Indian Television.com report:
2006-08-06: Last week was mainly one of routines for the regulators although pressures continue to build in the US over new media ownership rules to be drafted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Elsewhere the main regulator news was the approval of seven new commercial FMS in Alberta - one in Airdrie; one in High River/Okotoks; four in Calgary; and one - with an upgrade from a low-power to a Class B of a further station- in Lethbridge.
There were no radio decisions from Australia but in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) - as noted - has approved five new commercial stations in Alberta, four in Calgary and one in Airdrie, which is part of the Calgary Central Market Area, although one commissioner entered a dissent and would have awarded five new licences in Calgary or made a different choice if only four were to be awarded,
The Calgary market is currently served by 13 commercial stations; a not-for profit educational station, a campus/community station and four CBC stations and the commission noted that in 2005 these made a combined profit before interest and tax (PBIT) of just under CAD 24.5 million (USD 21.7 million) with an average PBIT margin of 31.8%, well in excess of the average PBIT margin of all English-language Canadian radio stations, which was 22.9%.
It said that it took the view that the decisions would "increase programming diversity as well as the diversity of radio voices in the Calgary market, address competitive imbalance in that market, and provide significant new support for CTD (Canadian Talent Development) and cultural diversity.
The CRTC had received ten applications for stations in Calgary and three for Airdrie: They were the following:
Approved in part:
*Application by Tiessen Media Inc. for a 3,600 watts Eclectic Adult Contemporary music format English-language commercial FM - to feature a blend of pop, soft rock, country and roots-oriented music and artists designed to appeal to listeners between 25 and 54 years of age: Tiessen also proposed an additional 15 watts transmitter at Cochrane. The CRTC approval is subject to Tiessen finding an acceptable alternative frequency to the one it had applied for.
Applications from Golden West Broadcasting Ltd for a 1,200 watts Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM and from Newcap for a 3,600 watts Hot Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM.
* Harvard Broadcasting Inc.'s application for a 45,000 watts Alternative Rock English-language commercial FM.
* Rawlco Radio Ltd.'s application for a 19,000 watts Folk/Acoustic Specialty English-language commercial FM targeted at the 45-64 demographic with 30% of musical selections folk and folk-oriented.
* Newcap Inc.'s application for a 48,000 watts Adult Album Alternative English-language commercial FM. This approval is subject to Newcap accepting an alternative frequency to the one it had proposed and which was mutually exclusive with Harvard's application.
Approved in Part:
* CHUM Limited's application for a 100,000 watts Hot Adult Contemporary English-language commercial FM. This will be approved if CHUM can propose an acceptable alternative frequency to the one it had applied for.
*1182743 Alberta Ltd.'s application for a 100,000 watts Adult Standards/Modern Nostalgia English-language commercial FM.
*Calgary Independent Radio Broadcasters Inc.'s application for a 100,000 watts Soft Rock English-language commercial FM radio station.
*Evanov Radio Group Inc.'s application for a 47,000 watts Adult Standards/Contemporary Easy Listening English-language commercial FM.
*Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership's application for a 100,000 watts Soft Vocal music English-language commercial FM.
*Yadwinder S. Sivia application for a 50,000 watts commercial specialty (ethnic) FM to carry programming to a minimum of 10 cultural groups in a minimum of 14 different languages during each broadcast week.
*Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc.'s application for a 50,000 watts (day) and 20,000 watts (night) Gospel music English-language commercial AM. The CRTC noted in this case that it took the view that the applicant had not adequately addressed how it would comply with the provisions of the Commission's Religious Broadcasting Policy including how it would ensure that the proposed station would provide balanced religious programming.
The Commission said it was also of the view that Touch Canada's proposed reliance on brokered religious programs to fulfil its commitments for spoken word programming calls into question the quality and quantity of programming reflecting the local community that the proposed station would provide.
A dissenting opinion regarding the Calgary applications was filed by Commissioner Helen Ray del Val who said that in her view the market could have supported five new stations and that she would also have accepted Pattison's application and added that if the market could only support four new stations she would have awarded a licence to Pattison rather than a second station for Newcap that she said "further consolidates ownership in a market where radio ownership is already concentrated and worsens the competitive imbalance for several standalone stations in that market."
*Approval of Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s application for an 18,000 watts Contemporary Rock format English-language, commercial FM
In Lethbridge the CRTC considered four applications for new commercial FM licences, three mutually exclusive because they proposed to use the same frequency, and one an application to acquire the assets of a low-power specialty FM and upgrade it to a commercial licence.
It noted that the Lethbridge market is currently served by a community-based campus FM radio station CKXU-FM and five commercial stations, which had a healthy combined financial performance last year, and that the population could grow from just above 67,000 in the 2001 census to around 90,000 by 2011 and concluded that the market could support an additional commercial station. Relating to the applications it made the following decisions:
*1182743 Alberta Ltd. 's application for a 100,000 watts Adult Standards and Modern Nostalgia English-language commercial FM.
*Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.'s proposal to acquire from Spirit Broadcasting Ltd. (Spirit) the assets of 50 watts low-power Specialty station CJTS-FM, change its frequency, relocate the transmitter, increase the antenna height and increase the power to 20,000 watts thus changing it to a Class B FM. It said it would continue to offer a Christian music format and added that the future of the current station is uncertain, since the current owner of the station has had personal health problems, and because CJTS-FM has experienced negative financial performance.
*Newcap Inc. 's application for a Contemporary Hit format English-language commercial FM.
*Vista Radio Ltd.'s application for a Classic Hits format English-language commercial FM.
*Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc.'s application for a Christian music English-language commercial Specialty FM.
Other licence decisions from the CRTC included a Quebec renewal until 31 August 2009 of the licence of French-language commercial station CIHO-FM Saint-Hilarion and its transmitters CIHO-FM-1 La Malbaie, CIHO-FM-2 Baie-Saint-Paul, CIHO-FM-3 Petite-Rivière-Saint-François and CIHO-FM-4 Saint-Siméon.
Associated with this is the approval of removal of advertising restrictions and amendment of licence conditions relating to music broadcast requirements and the CRTC makes various notes about shortfalls in meeting minimum requirements in the past that had led to short-term renewals.
The CRCT also notes that although the station has a community mandate it has a commercial licence and as such should now be liable for CTD payments, that in this case would be around CAD 400 ( USD 355 ) a year.
The CRTC also gave notice of a public hearing on September 29 in Winnipeg to consider complaints against Harmony Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of the instructional campus radio programming undertaking CJWV-FM Winnipeg, concerning its non-compliance with the station's conditions of licence.
Comments have to be filed by September 5 and the CRTC notes that it had requested, while investigating the complaints, that the station provide logger tapes and other material broadcast in the week April 17-23 last year but the licensee failed to submit them , despite several deadline extensions until it was notified that this violated Canada's Radio Regulations Act.
The material was eventually supplied in June last year and the CRTC note various shortfalls in meeting Canadian Content requirement and various conditions of its licence relating to music category and news minima for its broadcasts and an absence of any formal educational programming despite its condition of licence to broadcast a minimum of two hours of such programming.
Subsequently tapes and material were requested for the week of January 29-Februart 4 this year for a second examination of the station programming but these were not supplied, in breach of regulations: The CRTC also notes issues relating to conditions relating to Campus Radio Policy including requirements relating to balanced representation, association with a post-secondary educational institution, and provision of programming that is alternative and complementary to that of other stations in its transmission area.
There were no radio licence decisions from Ireland although there the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of Ireland (BCCI) upheld three complaints against radio (See RNW Aug 5).
In the UK, Ofcom is reported to have given the go-ahead to Chrysalis plans for a centralised news operation in London to serve its five new regional digital services (See RNW Aug 2) and in its latest Broadcast Bulletin upheld two standards complaints against radio (See RNW Jul 25).
It has also updated its timetable for advertising new analogue local commercial licences: This month it is to offer a Herefordshire & Monmouthshire smaller licence and next month a South Wales larger licence.
In the US, as noted, lobbying of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in relation to planned media ownership regulations is building up including a letter from New York Democrat Congressman Maurice Hinchey, founder and chairman of the Future of American Media (FAM) Caucus, calling for open and transparent conduct of the proceedings (See RNW Aug 3).
The FCC also announced that it is ready to award five more construction permits relating to its FM Auction 62 (See RNW Aug 5).
Previous Licence News:
CRTC web site:
FCC web site:
Ofcom web site:
2006-08-06: Long-time Brisbane radio DJ and newsreader John Knox has retired after 49 years in radio, 46 of them with various Brisbane stations.
His last shift was on Saturday at 4KQ .which has been his home for the past 12 years, and he had also worked at 4IP and B105.
The Brisbane Sunday Mail quoted Knox as saying that when things settled down, he could imagine doing documentaries or getting back to voice-over work and adding, "And then I will be slowly but surely easing my way into the life of a retiree," he said. "I'm looking forward to the next part of the life adventure."
Brisbane Sunday Mail report:
2006-08-06: Yet more lawsuits are reported relating to former Emmis and Clear Channel DJ Star - Troi Torain- this time one filed by his mother Hannah Hightower against Emmis for disparaging marks made about her by Emmis's WQHT-FM (Hot 97) host Tarsha Nicole Jones (Miss Jones in the Morning).
All Hip-Hop reports that Hightower has filed a USD 11 million federal law suit saying that amongst other things Jones termed her a prostitute on air and also commented," "Your white mom was nothing but a prostitute that your dad turned out," and "got knocked up by the blackest, blackest, blackest n - - - - r."
Star is currently our of work having been fired by Clear Channel from WWPR-FM (Power FM) after comments he made about after making racial and sexual remarks about the 4-year-old daughter and wife of Hot 97 DJ Envy (Rashawn Casey - See RNW May 12). He had previously worked for Emmis but had also been fired by them ((See RNW May 22, 2003).
Torain has launched a USD 55 million dollar lawsuit against New York City Councilman John Liu who he says called him calling him a "sick racist paedophile," a "lunatic" and a "criminal," and other names, in public statements and on cable TV shows.
He is in turn - along with Emmis and his show's producer - being sued by former co-host Prozac Girl (Keysha Whitaker) over comments she alleged he made about spitting on everyone: Whitaker is claiming damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, defamation and violation of the Americans with Disability Act although charges of endangering the welfare of a child (Envy's daughter) are to be dropped in six months provided he performs three days of community service and complies with an order of protection that bans contact or communication with the child or her parents (See RNW Jul 29)
Previous Clear Channel:
All Hip-Hop report:
2006-08-05: Emmis Chairman, president, and CEO Jeffrey H. Smulyan has pulled out of his bid to take the company private: His ECC Acquisition, Inc. announced that had withdrawn its May non-binding offer to purchase Emmis's shares (See RNW May 9).
In a letter to the Emmis board Smulyan said, that "despite good faith negotiations over the past three months, it has become clear that ECC will be unable to reach agreement with the Special Committee as to terms of a proposal from ECC that they would recommend for submission to a shareholder vote."
He noted a significant decline in broadcasting sector valuations during the period and downturn in financing markets but added that he continued "to believe in the long-term prospects of Emmis."
Emmis shares, which had already fallen 1.1% to USD 14.52 plunged a further 8.75% to USD 13.25 in after hours trading as the news worked through the market. This compares with Smulyan's offer of USD 15.25 per share, which valued Emmis at USD 567 million.
2006-08-05: Apple Computer has announced an agreement with Ford, General Motors and Mazda to integrate its iPod into new model automobiles, a move that could further reduce listening to radio.
For Ford, the new systems will allow for the iPod to connect to an automobile radio via a wired jack connection with a future addition planned of a "TripTunes Advanced" connector that will charge the iPod and display tunes being played on the automobile radio whilst GM's "Personal Audio Link" will have similar functions to TripTunes.
The significance of the announcement is more business than technological since already various models from other automakers already have similar capabilities but it adds significantly in terms of market share, boosting the iPod.
It will also potentially give apple an edge in digital rights management software by enhancing its market share before Microsoft brings out its own competing digital music player.
RNW comment: With technology advancing as it is, the obvious development for us would be a combination of fitting all automobile receivers with a standard wired connection - maybe USB or similar - and a wireless connection such as Bluetooth that all portable devices from cell phones to MP3 players could include to allow easy linkage of automobile systems with portable devices.
We do worry, however, about the dangers of accidents occurring as people fiddle with such devices rather than pushing a few buttons on a radio - and indeed dangers inherent in diverting attention to information on screens - be it for navigation or to see what is playing - rather than what is happening on the road ahead.
2006-08-05: The firefighters' union in Terre Haute, Indiana, has "bought" an edition of the morning show on Crossroads Communications, Inc.'s WBOW-FM (a call sign taken from "Banks of the Wabash River"), which was put up for auction on eBay after hosts Chris Carter and Doug Edge continued to hear rumours that the station was up for sale.
The Terre Haute Tribune-Star reports that they took the action to poke fun at the rumours and quotes Fire Capt. Darrick Scott as saying that for the day the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 758 in Terre Haute plans to rename the morning show "102.7 The Blaze" in place of its normal "Morning Buzz" name.
The paper says Scott said the union thought the purchase - for USD 1,725 - "would be good public relations for us and allow the public a chance to know about us" and added that they wanted to promote public safety but also put over their views on the union's contract with the city.
The union has been involved in a spat with Fire Department Chief Jay Utz and approved a no-confidence vote in him by 97-8 and negotiations with the city have stalled leading it to request arbitration on a 207 contract.
Edge, who is also station manager, said the bids began at around USD 400 - the reserve placed - and added, "We thought if it brought around USD 1,000 that would be pretty good, so it kind of went a little higher than what we expected."
He and Carter are to work out show details with the union and he commented, "I think they'll use the time to get their points across that they want to get across about their situation and their issues on the Fire Department, but they also made it very clear to us that they really want to have fun with this and educate people on their job and what they do in the community" and the Fire Department's work with charities, Edge said.
Terre Haute Tribune-Star report:
2006-08-05: The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of Ireland (BCCI) has upheld three radio complaints, deferred two other complaints for further consideration, and rejected complaints against a further seven radio items and four TV complaints.
Two of the radio complaints upheld were against NewsTalk 106, one concerning a "factually untrue" advertisement in which a window company claimed to have the only window that complied with new regulations and the other against its "Breakfast Show with Eamon Dunphy" in January.
This included a discussion between Dunphy and Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses Organisation in which comments were made about work practices among theatre nurses at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital that the complainant said were "inaccurate, prejudiced and in breach of the impartiality requirements."
The station had said that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had refused an opportunity to debate the issue with the Irish Nurses Organisation on the basis that its policy was not to debate issues live on air and added that this policy made it extremely difficult for broadcasters to 2cover a matter of current public debate in a manner fail to all interests ".
The BCCI in its ruling noted that Dunphy had said on air, "'We are joined now by Liam Doran, General Secretary of the Irish Nurse's Organisation and we did ask the HSE to put somebody up. They declined to put someone up to debate this with Liam Doran, so we told them to go away" and said that the HSE policy did not preclude it being offered another means of response. It ruled that the broadcast was unfair to the HSE.
Also upheld was a complaint against a live broadcast of the "Shannonside Today with Séamus Duke" programme from a hotel in Boyle during which a decision made by An Bord Pleanála concerning a hotel/holiday home development was discussed.
The complainant said the presenter began the show by stating that while he recognized that it was his role to remain impartial he could not be impartial on this occasion, went on to stridently criticize An Bord Pleanála and the parties associated with the appeal, and to praise the developers behind the project, interviewed a series of public representatives, all of whom agreed with his views and cut off a member of the audience who came forward to offer a view as to why the An Bord Pleanála decision was correct.
The BCCI noted that an objector was allowed on air the following day but held that this was "not sufficient to redress the unfairness of the content and presentation of this broadcast."
2006-08-05: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is ready to award five more construction permits relating to its FM 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).
The new permits are in Alaska, Florida, Montana, New Hampshire, and Wyoming.
Previous FM Auction 62:
2006-08-04: Latest UK radio ratings from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audio Research) showed a continuing poor performance by GCap London flagship Capital Radio, leading the company's shares to an initial 2.1% fall to an all-time low of GBP 184.50 although they recovered later to end the day down only 0.52% at GBP 189.50. Other losers in the ratings included BBC Radio 4 and Chrysalis's London talk station LBC whilst gains were shown for BBC Radios 1, digital stations overall and amongst commercial stations for talkSPORT, now owned by UTV, GCap's Xfm and GMG radio.
In London, the BBC lost audience for all stations except BBC Radio Five Live but overall it maintained its lead over the commercial sector although falling back a little - to a 54.7% share compared to a record 55.4% in the previous quarter: Commercial radio's overall share was up from 42.6% to 42.9% but it fell back in the commercially important 15-44 demographic - from 54.8% in the previous quarter to 53.8%.
Of the commercial stations within London, Emap's Magic FM led with a weekly audience of 1.867 million - up 20,000 on the previous quarter although its listening share was down from 7.0% to 6.5% whilst Capital FM remained second with a weekly audience of 1.641 million - down 79,000 and with a listening share down from 5.5% to 5.0%.
This compares to a weekly audience in London for BBC Radio 4 of 2.280 million, up 30,000 on the first quarter but with listening share down from 14.0% to 13.1% and for BBC Radio 2 of 2.123 million , up 137,000 but with listening share down from 11.8% to 10.7%
In the London commercial breakfast shows, Magic lost 1,000 listeners a week from the previous quarter to end up with 803,000 - up 101,000 year-on-year - but Johnny Vaughan at Capital lost even more - he was down 110,000 to 852,000, and Capital has lost 225,000 listeners a week year-on-year although still retaining the commercial lead.
Nationally at breakfast the success story was for Chris Moyles at BBC Radio 1 with his weekly audience up 472,000 over the previous quarter to end up with 6.789 million - still well behind Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 up 309,000 to 8.075 million -whilst on the other hand BBC Radio 4's Today Show lost 249,000 listeners a week to end up with 5.872 million.
Overall the ratings show 44.6 million people - 90% of the UK population - listen to radio each week, unchanged from the previous quarter, and that 15.3% of UK adults now live in households with a digital radio (DAB) receiver, up from 13.6% in the previous quarter. In all, says RAJAR, the number of adults who say they have a DAB receiver or have listened to radio via digital TV or the Internet rose from 22.5 million in the first quarter of this year to 27.1 million - 54.3% of the population.
There has also been significant growth in listening via mobile phones - now up to 3.5 million adults - 9.7% of mobile phone owners, a percentage that goes up to 21.7% for mobile phone owners aged 15-24.
For the BBC, Jenny Abramsky, Director, BBC Radio and Music, highlighted an increase of 689,000 listeners quarter on quarter for Radio 1 and commented, "I'm delighted to see Radio 1's distinctive blend of music programming and innovative use of digital and interactive media attracting more young listeners."
For the Commercial sector, the Radio Centre (formed through the merger of the UK Commercial Radio Companies Association and Radio Advertising Bureau) highlighted a record overall 10.7% listening share driven by success in digital radio.
Its Head of Research Alison Winter commented, that the figures revealed "Commercial Radio's strength in the rapidly-growing digital sector" adding, " We already take the lion's share of digital-only hours in the UK at 66% and this, together with some strong performances among analogue services, has led to National Commercial Radio's record share figure of 10.7%. In addition, it is encouraging to see robust figures for key advertiser audiences, not least among the elusive and time-pressed 15-24 age-group who have seen gains across the board - notably hours and reach both up 6% since this time last quarter."
Within the figures, compared to the previous quarter (and year):
*BBC Radio 1 gained 689,000 listeners to go back above ten million to a weekly audience of 10.423 million and a listening share of 10.3, up from 9.1% (9.2% a year ago when it had 10.242 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 2 gained 346,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 13.288 million but listening share was down from 16.0% to 15.7% (16% a year ago, when it had 13.271 million listeners)
*BBC Radio 3 lost 265000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 1.834 million and a listening share down from 1.3% to 1.1% (1.1% a year ago, when it had 1.913 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 4 lost 104000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 9.187 million and listening share fell to 10.7% from 11.7% (11.2% a year ago when it had 9.592 million listeners).
*BBC Radio 5 Live, excluding Sports Extra, lost 137,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 6.033 million, and a listening share of 4.5%, down from 4.6% (4.4% a year ago when it had 5.677 million listeners).
(Including Sports Extra it lost 129,000 listeners to end with a weekly audience of 6.140 million and a listening share of 4.7%, down from 4.8% (4.4% a year ago when it had 5.478 million listeners).
*BBC World Service lost 5,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 1.257 million and a listening share of 0.7%, up from 0.6% (0.5% a year ago when it had 1.144 million listeners).
*BBC Asian Network gained 17,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 444,000 and a listening share up from 0.2% to 0.4% (0.2% a year ago when it had 443,000 million listeners).
On the commercial side for national networks:
*G-Cap's Classic FM gained 121,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 5.832 million and an unchanged listening share of 4.2% (4.3% a year ago when it had 6.310 million listeners).
*UTV's talkSPORT gained 149,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.219 million and an unchanged listening share of 1.7%(1.8% a year ago when it had 2.211 million listeners.)
*SMG-owned Virgin (total including all AM and FM) lost 120,000 listeners to end up with a weekly audience of 2.338 million and a listening share down from 1.6% to 1.5% (1.5% a year ago when it had 2.410 million listeners).
Of the BBC digital stations, Radio 5 Live Extra gained 45,000 listeners quarter-on-quarter to end up with 658,000 a week and BBC 7 added 47,000 to reach 668,000 but 1Xtra lost 87,000 to end up with 284,000. Among the commercial digital stations Emap's "The Hits" added 132,000 and went above the million mark to 1.102 million; "Smash Hits" added 116,000 to reach 776,000;and "Q" added 40,000 to reach 360,000 but "The Planet" fell back by 44,000 to 417,000.
There was also success for Kiss whose network total -analogue and digital -was up 12,000 to 2.263 million and Kerrang!, which was up 38,000 to 1.240 million.
Previous Radio Centre:
2006-08-04: The announcement of further results on Thursday came with an announcement of further sales progress by CBS Radio, which now expects to complete deals to sell of some smaller market stations within weeks and Entravision, which has announced agreement to sell exit the Dallas market and sell its stations there to Liberman Broadcasting of Dallas, Inc. for USD 95 million.
On the block are KTCY-FM, KZZA-FM, KZMP-FM, KZMP-AM and recently acquired KBOC-FM.
Entravision recently exited the San Francisco/San Jose market in California with the completion of a USD 90 million deal to sell KBRG-FM and KLOK-AM to Univision and its chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa said the transaction reflected Entravision's "focus on maximizing the value of our assets and directing our resources towards building strong radio clusters and television duopolies" and added, "The proceeds will bolster our balance sheet and improve our financial flexibility. Going forward, we will continue to build leading positions in the fastest growing and highest density Hispanic markets where we can operate both television and radio assets, allowing us to efficiently manage our costs and leverage our operating footprint."
In results CBS Radio held back parent CBS Corporation in the second quarter at its revenues, not helped by weak performances by various successors to Howard Stern, fell back 8% on a year ago to USD 519.1 million: In comparison TV revenues were down 1% to USD 2.26 billion; Outdoor rose 7% to USD 534.4 million; and publishing was up 1% to 176.0 million with overall revenues down 1% to USD 3.483 billion. The company has already announced its intention to sell stations in smaller markets and CFO Fredric Reynolds said during the company's conference call that they expected to complete the sale "in the next several weeks."
In terms of operating income radio was down 20% to USD 219.6 million; TV was down 3% to YSD 491.9 million; outdoor was up 32% to USD 107.9 million and publishing was up 5% to USD 8.2 million with the total down 7% to USD 750.3 million.
CBS reported net earnings from continuing operations up 29% to USD 590 million (Up 36% per diluted share to 64 cents), including a tax benefit of USD 129 million (17 cents per diluted share) and overall, helped by the sale of its Paramount Theme Parks division ended up with earnings up 3.7% to USD 781.7 million (Up from 94 cents to USD 1.02 per diluted share).
Commenting on the performance Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said he was "very pleased with CBS Corporation's early performance as a stand- alone Company" and continued, "CBS is evolving to take full advantage of the rapidly changing media landscape. In addition to our continued focus on operational excellence, we moved quickly to divest non-core businesses and to develop new revenue streams for our high-quality content through traditional and new media alike. Equally important, we are demonstrating our commitment to steadily increasing returns to shareholders, which, as promised, will be an ongoing and long-term priority for CBS. I couldn't be more confident in the determination and focus of Leslie and his team and in their ability to stay out in the lead."
President and CEO Leslie Moonves added, "Once again our core operations generated healthy free cash flow across the board. This quarter, we delivered yet another dividend increase and achieved a very attractive price for the divestiture of our Paramount Parks division, demonstrating the tremendous value of all our assets."
Of divisional performance, he said, "We are pleased with the growth achieved in Television, Outdoor and Publishing in the first half of the year. At the same time, Radio has struggled as the marketplace continues to face challenges."
"Nevertheless," he added, "we are encouraged by the early results of many programming changes, particularly during morning drive time. The sale of selected stations in smaller markets will enable us to focus all of our energies on higher-growth markets, and recent initiatives to reduce Radio's cost structure will enhance the turnaround."
Beasley Broadcast Group reported net revenues down 2.4% on a year ago to USD 32.2 million; station operating income down 8.1% to USD 10.0 million; and net income down 16.3% to USD 3.2 million ( from 16 cents to 13 cents per diluted share). It put the revenue down mainly to "current radio advertising environment and a reduction in non-cash trade sales revenue at our radio stations, which accounted for approximately half of the total decline."
In regional terms it said it had year-on-year gains in its clusters in Philadelphia, Ft. Myers, Boca Raton and Augusta and falls in the remaining six markets where it operates.
Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley commented, "In the second quarter, Beasley Broadcast Group again exceeded the revenue guidance provided at the time we reported our first quarter results as we realized some initial benefits from operational, personnel and programming changes that we believe will result in continued improvements in future periods."
He added, "We are fortunate to operate in relatively healthy regional economies where local advertisers continue to see value in radio advertising. A number of our stations are doing an excellent job of capturing the available revenue in their markets. As always, we continue to invest in our stations to keep them competitive and hope to report on financial progress in the periods ahead."
He noted that the company repurchased 100,000 shares of its common stock in the quarter and had now bought back 190,000.
For the third quarter, Beasley says it expects revenues to be down 5% on a year earlier
Entravision revenues were up 6% on a year ago to USD 79.289 million for the quarter to the end of June and expenses only rose 2% to USD 48.436 million but its overall loss was up massively - from USD 4.23 million a year ago to USD 168 million for the quarter (from three cents to USD 1.60 per share) because of an impairment charge of USD 189.7 million following a recent appraisal of its radio division.
It also noted that excluding the effects of the sales of its San Francisco/San Jose stations the net revenue increase of USD 4.2 million would have been nearly half as much again at USD 6.1 million but that USD 4.6 million of this was from its TV operations and another USD 600,000 from its outdoor division.
Pro forma segment results showed TV revenues up 12% to USD 43.34 million, radio up 4% to USD 26.21 million and outdoor up 7% to USD 9.74 million with total pro-forma revenues up 8% to USD 79.29 million.
Chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa said of the earnings, "We once again generated industry leading top- line growth across our businesses driven by our strong audience shares and our ability to capitalize on the launch of improved audience measurement tools and the broadcast of the 2006 World Cup on our television and radio stations."
He added, "Our aggressive focus on sales and marketing is paying dividends as we improve our ability to monetize recent ratings gains, while our efficient operating structure ensures we convert this revenue into expanding cash flows. As we look at the second half of the year we are benefiting from positive operating momentum at all of our divisions and incremental revenue associated with the 2006 political elections. We will continue to seek opportunities to enhance our long-term growth potential by optimally positioning our assets within the fastest growing Hispanic markets to take advantage of the growing demand among audiences and advertisers for Spanish-language media."
For the third quarter, Entravision says it expects revenues - excluding San Francisco/San Jose figures - to be up by mid single-digit percentages and operating expenses to be up by low to mid single figure digit percentages compared to a year earlier.
Univision reported a 24.7% increase in net revenues on the year ago second quarter to USD 634 million with pro forma operating income before depreciation and amortization up 29.7% to USD 237.3 million and pro forma net income up 38.2% to USD 116.6 million (An increase of 41.7% in the diluted earnings per share from 24 cents to 34 cents).
As with Entravision the increase was mainly driven by TV whose pro-forma revenues were up 37.9% to USD 489 million and pro forma operating income was up 42.7% to USD 191.1 million: In comparison radio pro-forma revenues were up 5% to USD 104.3 million with pro forma operating income up 8.4% to USD 45.4 million; Music revenues were down 38% to USD 30.3 million with a net income of USD 7 million becoming a loss of USD 2.4 million; and Internet revenues were up 85.7% to USD 10.4 million with pro forma operating income of USD 100,000 increasing to USD 3.2 million.
Chairman and CEO A. Jerrold Perenchio, with a nod to the company's impending sale, commented, "As Univision prepares to embark on the next chapter in its development, the Company achieved excellent operational and financial results in the second quarter. With its unique portfolio of assets and connection with the rapidly growing U.S. Hispanic community, Univision remains ideally positioned for continued, industry-leading growth. The hard work and dedication of our employees, and our recently announced agreement to be acquired by five of the world's pre-eminent investment firms, will ensure that Univision will continue to prosper for many years to come."
President and CEO Ray Rodriguez highlighted the benefits to the company of the 2006 soccer World Cup but also noted that "Univision Radio continued its momentum, achieving some of the strongest ratings results in its history in many key markets."
Previous George Beasley:
2006-08-04: Air America Radio, whose lease with its New York flagship WLIB-AM was extended until the end of this month after it ran out in March, has to move to a much weaker signal from September: It has announced agreement with Access 1 Communications Corp to broadcast on WWRL-AM, currently airing black talk, from September 1.
In announcing the move, Jim Wiggett, acting CEO of Air America said they were "excited about our new affiliation and the platform this move will establish for Air America in the years ahead."
Access.1 President and COO Chesley Maddox-Dorsey said they were "thrilled" about the new agreement and added that it was "important that we partner in offering the nation's largest radio market a strong, progressive voice."
The move away from WLIB had been widely forecast and in March John Mainelli in the New York Post reporting on problems with WLIB commented that its options were limited since "All of the city's other strong-signal stations are spoken for, leaving only weak-signal "fringe" stations that do not cover the entire city and suburbs. WLIB has a 10 KWdaytime/20KWnighttime, signal whereas that is WWRL is 25 KW daytime but only 5 KW nighttime when it loses reception in parts of the five boroughs and most of northern New Jersey.
Reporting on the change Mainelli said the change was made because Air America "apparently" couldn't come up with "enough cash" for the owners, former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton and his son, Pierre.
Mainelli added that it was not known what WLIB would be airing from September although he noted that RadioActive LLC president and Clear Channel executive Randy Michaels, who syndicates Ed Schultz, had expressed interest. Michaels, he added, declined comment.
Previous Air America/Piquant (its owner):
New York Daily Post report:
2006-08-03: Second quarter results have been announced by Cox Radio and Entercom with the former managing stable revenues in the second quarter to the end of June compared to a year ago - they were down by 0.1% to USD 117.2 million - but did significantly better for the bottom line with net income up 24.6% to USD 25.67 million (Up 35% in per share terms with net income per common share up from 20 cents to 27 cents).
Station operating income for the quarter was down 1.7% to USD 49.95 million and operating income was down 4.8% to USD 42.15 million.
For the first half of the year, Cox revenues are down 0.5% to USD 214.8 million; station operating income is up 0.1% to USD 88.06 million; operating income is down 3% to USD 69.55 million; and net income is up 15.4% to USD 39.65 million (A per share increase of 20.6% from 34 cents to 41 cents.)
Net income was boosted by a reduction in interest and income tax expenses and per share figures were further boosted by a repurchase programme authorized in August last year covering up to USD 100 million of shares and by the end of June the company had spent just under USD 80 million on the purchase of approximately 5.6 million chares of its common stock.
Commenting on the figures, President and CEO Robert F. Neil said the second quarter results "once again highlight radio's very profitable business model, and more specifically, Cox Radio's ability to generate strong bottom line performance in a challenging and competitive environment. This is clearly demonstrated by our 11% free cash flow growth for the quarter. I expect our performance will compare favourably to the results of other media companies."
At Entercom net revenues for the second quarter were down 3% to USD 116.5 million - same station revenues were down 4% - but station operating expenses were up 1% to USD 66 million - same station operation expenses were down 1% - with the result that net income per share excluding net gains on sale or disposition of assets, net gain on derivative instruments and net gain on investments (the numbers presented by Entercom) fell from 52 cents to 43 cents: The number of shares outstanding according to Entercom were 46,136,000 at the end of June last year and 39,797,000 at the end of June this year, thus meaning that net income fell by 28.7% from USD 23.99 million to USD 17.11 million. During the quarter Entercom repurchases 700,000 shares of common stock for USD 18.3 million.
President and CEO David J. Field said the second quarter was "a challenging quarter as business conditions remained sluggish for traditional media" but added, "Looking forward, we are encouraged by our outstanding Spring ratings results, improving business conditions in Boston and New Orleans, and the substantial growth potential of our expanding business development and internet initiatives. Our significant recent investments in new brands and content have enhanced our competitive position in several markets and enhanced our revenue and cash flow potential."
Looking ahead Entercom says it expects third quarter same station net revenues to be down in low single-digits compared to the USD 116.7 million of year ago and station operating expenses to increase by less than 1%. It also says it expects to recognize non-cash compensation expense of USD 1.8 million for each of the remaining quarters in 2006.
2006-08-03: The BBC has confirmed that Fiona Glover, currently on maternity leave from the Sunday morning "Broadcasting House" programme on BBC Radio 4 is to take over the Saturday morning slot on the station that was formerly occupied by the late John Peel's "Home Truths" series.
Home Truths continued with various hosts until June this year after Peel, who launched it in 1998 died in 2004 and when he announced that it was to be dropped BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer commented, "John's personality was bound up in Home Truths, and now it's time to look for a different programme." (See RNW Dec 15, 2005).
Glover made her name on BBC Radio Five Live where she worked for five years after stints at various BBC local radio stations. She subsequently spent six months in the US on a sabbatical and took over Broadcasting House from Eddie Mair in 2004 as part of various changes announced the previous year (See RNW Nov 6, 2003). While in the US she contributed a weekly "Fi-Mail from America" segment to Krishnan Guru-Murthy's Sunday morning current affairs show on Chrysalis's LBC.
The BBC has also announced that it has extended to cover the East of England the reach of the "Rokker Radio" - Rokker Radio means 'talk radio' in the Romany language - show that has been broadcast by its Three Counties Radio since April (Sundays 19:00 British time - a stream of the station output is available online).
The show, hosted by Jake Bowers, Britain's only Romani journalist, has now added BBC Essex; BBC Radio Cambridgeshire; BBC Radio Norfolk; BBC Radio Suffolk; and BBC Radio Northampton to its outlets: It is targeted at travellers and gypsies in the area and focuses on issues affecting the whole of the travelling community and gives an opportunity to people to talk about subjects that are rarely aired outside this community.
Bowers said of the additional outlets, "Rokker Radio is the only programme for traveller communities on UK radio and I'm looking forward to hearing from gypsies and travellers based in the region."
BBC 3 Counties Radio site:
2006-08-03: As the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares for public hearings on new media ownership regulations, New York Democrat Congressman Maurice Hinchey, founder and chairman of the Future of American Media (FAM) Caucus, has written to commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin on behalf of 83 fellow members of the House calling for him to conduct the agency's review "in an open and transparent way by fully disclosing the proposed rule changes and holding a series of public hearings on the proposal."
Hinchey says in the letter that he has posted on his web site that the 2003 vote "to drastically relax media ownership rule" was taken without adequate input from the public and noted that when the "Court of Appeals in Philadelphia rejected the rules in 2004, it strongly criticized the FCC for the process that led to the Commission's adoption of numerous 'arbitrary and capricious' rules and for failing to disclose parts of the new rules for public comment."
Hinchey urges Martin not to repeat the mistakes and says that although they were pleased to learn that the FCC is to upgrade its website and schedule public meetings on the matter "we strongly believe that this does not go far enough."
The FCC, says Hinchey, has "the opportunity and the responsibility to get it right this time by scheduling an extensive, national series of town hall meetings during this round of discussion, both in major media markets and small rural towns, to collect empirical data and conduct a thorough analysis on the state of media ownership and consolidation. Specifically, the Commission should focus on how media consolidation is affecting localism, diversity, and competition in television, radio, and newspaper markets across our nation today."
He adds that the FCC must fully disclose all proposed changes, give the American people a fair chance to review and comment on them, and says this should include "at the very least, another extended comment period with second visits to all of the markets targeted by the current (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) ANPRM town hall meetings."
2006-08-03: XM Satellite Radio and Google have announced agreement on a deal that allows the latter's d-Marc media network to be used to place adverts on XM.
Google says that after months of trials the new platform, which is to be integrated into the company's AdWords system - Google acquired dMarc in January - is in full production for dMarc advertisers and they also expect Google AdWords' customers to be able to use it to place terrestrial and satellite radio adverts in the fourth quarter of this year.
XM sales and marketing solutions D. Scott Karnedy said it was "excited about the opportunity to leverage Google's extensive advertising base to open up a new revenue stream" and Google's head of radio operations Ryan Steelberg said the partnership would "provide a powerful marketing and distribution tool for Google advertisers."
2006-08-03: GCap Media has announced a new schedule from September 16 for its Classic FM national classical station that includes a return by Henry Kelly who was replaced three years ago as its breakfast host by the then drivetime host Simon Bates (See RNW Jun 10, 2003): Kelly, who later declared himself bankrupt after being sued for back taxes (See RNW Feb 2, 2004 ) subsequently hosted the Chrysalis' LBC-FM drive time show until he was dropped in a revamp at the end of 2004 (See RNW Dec 19, 2004) will host a three-hour 09:00 to noon Sunday show. He currently hosts a presents a weekday show for BBC Radio Berkshire.
The new weekday schedule for Classic FM, which has been facing a resurgent BBC Radio 3, includes a new "Easier Breakfast with Jane Jones" running from 06:00 to 08:00 - a start that is an hour later than the current 05:00 to 07:00 "Easier Breakfast with Jamie Crick" followed by Simon Bates who will be on air until noon rather than 11:00 with his current breakfast show.
Crick moves to noon with "Classic FM Most Wanted with Jamie Crick" and continues at 13:00 with "Classic FM Requests with Jamie Crick" until the 16:00 "Drivetime with Mark Forrest" which is unchanged as is the 18:30 "Classic Newsnight with John Brunning" and following 1900-21:00 "Smooth Classics at Seven with John Brunning" and 21:00 to 23:00 "Classic FM Evening Concert with Nick Bailey."
Jane Jones as noted has moved to an early slot and the dropped from the schedule are her 11:00 "Most Wanted with Jane Jones" and following "Lunchtime Requests with Jane Jones" and the "Relaxing Classics at Two" hosted by Nick Bailey.
In the early hours, Lisa Duncombe, who was invited to join the station after writing to complain about inadequate programming to attract younger listeners, gets a new two-hour show from midnight to give airtime to new talent and Mark Griffiths moves from a midnight start to cover the 02:00 to 06:00 slot.
Weekend changes as well as Kelly's show, which replaces Jane Jones's shows, include a new show hosted by Nicola Bonn with three hours of favourites from 04:00 replacing the current "The Chiller Cabinet" and "Jonathan Ray"; an hour earlier start for Natalie Wheen and the loss of "Richard E.Grant's Favourite Film Composers" and a new one-hour show at 16:00 -"Tony Robinson's Friendly Guide to Music" - whose host is best known for his role as Baldrick in the TV comedy series Blackadder.
Classic FM Station Manager Darren Henley said of the new look, "This is the biggest change to our schedule in our 14-year history. We're reaffirming everything that Classic FM is about: compelling entertainment and exciting new discoveries, all wrapped up in the greatest classical music."
2006-08-02: Sirius Satellite Radio has followed rival XM in announcing substantial subscriber growth but also widening losses in its latest quarter and is to press on with its push for subscribers, in particular through "mobilization" of Howard Stern for "an aggressive campaign in the fourth quarter to bring on some of the fans that he didn't get (from terrestrial radio)" according to CEO Mel Karmazin.
During the quarter Sirius reached 4,678,207 subscribers, an increase of more than 600,000 of whom 276,294 were from retail and 324,574 net subscribers from its automotive OEM channel.
Its overall loss was USD 237.8 million ( 17 cents per share including one cent linked to writing off parts purchased in 1999 that are no longer needed because it has entered an agreement for the construction of a new satellite due to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008 -See RNW Jun 9):This was up from a loss of USD 177.6 million a year earlier but down compared to the first quarter when its loss was USD 458.5 million (33 cents per share including 20 cents per share relating to equity charges).
Revenues during the quarter were a record USD 150.1 million - including USD 137.6 of it from subscriptions and USD 8.1 million from advertising: This was nearly triple the year earlier figure revenues of USD 50.2 million and Sirius has increased its guidance for total revenues this year to USD 615 million - at the end of the first quarter it had said they would be "over USD 600 million" - with subscriber guidance upped from more than 6.2 million to 6.3 million.
Sirius said that for the third quarter running it led in net subscriber additions, taking around a 60% share in the second quarter, up from 57% during the first quarter.
In terms of subscriber costs and revenues, Sirius said its average monthly revenue per subscriber (ARPU) for the quarter was USD 11.16, up from USD 10.50 a year earlier, including a 62 cents contribution from net advertising revenue compared to 22 cents a year ago and the gross subscriber addition cost (SCA) was USD 131 compared to USD 160 a year earlier.
Karmazin commented, "Continued strong demand for SIRIUS' products and programming gives us confidence to increase our revenue and subscriber guidance. We continue to be excited about the growth prospects for satellite radio and remain pleased with our solid execution as we approach positive free cash flow."
At the company's conference call he also noted the National Football League (NFL) as a crucial factor, as well as Stern, in bringing in subscribers.
As well as the actual results Sirius also noted that its Canadian affiliate Sirius Canada had passed the 100,000 subscriber mark in May: this compares with around 80,000 for rival XM Canada (See RNW Jul 15).
It also noted the addition of more automaker deals - an exclusive deal with Kia to exclusively offer Sirius as factory standard equipment in all of its vehicles through 2014 and make it a standard feature in all 2009 model year Kia vehicles and also with Mitsubishi Motors North America, which is to offer Sirius as a standard feature or factory option on four models this fall and throughout the entire 2008 Mitsubishi model line.
Regarding the problems of interference from products using FM transmitters to move the satellite signal to an analogue radio, Sirius said it believes that all the models now being produced comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules. It adds that it, its manufacturers and the FCC are co-operating "to obtain new equipment authorizations for the company's remaining affected products."
Karmazin termed the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) call for a recall of satellite receivers (See RNW Aug 1) "rattling its sabre" and said it was trying to "muddy the waters" about compliance, noting that there had never been recalls of that nature and "very few bona fide complaints" lodged against Sirius receivers .
Karmazin also said a new "personal live satellite radio product" is being tested by Sirius and should be on sale by "the end of the summer."
Previous Sirius Canada:
2006-08-02: US National Public Radio (NPR) gets a boost in a study released by the Media Audit/Ipsos at the public radio DEI conference in New Orleans that shows it to be the fourth most-listened to format in the US and to be the most successful format in terms of converting its audience into loyal listeners.
The telephone study contacted 114,035 adults in 84 cities in 2005 and early 2006 and The Media Audit president Bob Jordan commented, "Today, public stations encompass many formats and have become a formidable factor. Awareness of public radio's growth as a format has not been that visible since data for public stations are not reported in the primary audience ratings service" said Jordan. Today National Public Radio garners an adult audience 75% as large as News/Talk the largest format."
The Media Audit said that it had "always included all radio listening (commercial and non-commercial) in our multi-media reports" and would do the same with its Smart Cell Phone radio ratings.
"The Media Audit/Ipsos will not censor how radio listening is reported," said Jordan. "All radio listening will be reported on the same page, whether it is over the air, internet, podcasts or MP3 players. This will be good for radio because it will provide both commercial radio and non-commercial radio a complete picture of radio listening."
He was backed up by Jim Higginbotham, Chairman and head of research at The Media Audit, who said commercial station programmers "need to know who their competition is" and added that public stations were not a big factor in terms of taking advertising from commercial radio but could "be a big factor in garnering audience. And ultimately that can cost commercial radio revenue."
Higginbotham noted that when it came to turning the audience it attracted into loyal listeners NPR was the strongest performer with 59% of its audience saying they listened to NPR "most often": In this it was ahead of news/talk with 55% and Religious formats with 55%.
The audience totals from the report showed News/Talk as the most popular US format with a weekly audience of 19.4 million followed by Country with 18.5 million; CHR with 17.2 million and NPR with 14.7 million but when it came to "listened to most rankings", although News/Talk retained the lead with 11.1 million, NPR jumped into second rank with 8.6 million followed by Country with 8.4 million and Religious with 6.1 million.
The figures back up Arbitron's recent Public Radio Today 2006 report that showed more listeners - 26 million a week for all public radio, but also painted a picture of the Public Radio audience as better educated and wealthier than average, albeit they were also older with the more than half of them 45 or above - 61.2% of male listeners and 52.7% of female listeners.
The time spent listening followed a similar trend with the highest listening for males in the 55-64 demographic (9 hours 30 minutes a week) and for females the 65plus group with 9 hours 45 minutes a week.
Arbitron comments that because they are more mature, public radio listeners are "less likely to have children living in the house" and adds, "The public radio listener is more likely to be employed full time, making them a target group for employment, insurance and retail advertising."
In voting terms they are more likely to vote Democrat (112 to 90 Republican and 104 independent) and indeed to vote at all: Where 100 is the average they score 114 in saying they always vote in Presidential elections and 122 in saying they always vote in state elections.
In lifestyle terms they are more likely to own a luxury car - 142 or a compact 114 - and just above the average in terms of owning an SUV (103) or van (101). They are also more likely to buy technology - the index shows 116 for satellite subscription and 134 for owning an MP3 player.
Amongst public radio formats, news/talk public station listeners tend to be younger - average age 50 compared to 59 for listeners to classical music public stations; highly educated - nine out of ten attended college and a further 21.5% some college; and comparatively well paid half were in households with incomes of USD 75,000 a year or above and a further 22.7% in the USD 50-75,000 a year group.
Previous Media Audit:
2006-08-02: UK media regulator Ofcom has given the go-ahead to Chrysalis plans for a centralised news operation in London to serve its five new regional digital services according to the UK Guardian.
Chrysalis had made no secret of its support for news hubs in its submissions to Ofcom's radio review consultation, writing bluntly, "We support the ability to use news hubs and oppose the proposals to require locally-based journalist cover."
Chrysalis, which acquired Digital News Network's five regional stations - in the north-west, West Midlands, Yorkshire, the north-east, South Wales and the west - on the MXR DAB Multiplexes closed the DNN service down at the end of last week in favour of "test transmissions" of LBC.
LBC Managing Director David Lloyd said the regional service will simulcast programming from London including Nick Ferrari's breakfast show and Iain Lee's drive time show and supplement them with tailored regional news and information.
The Guardian reported that Chrysalis Radio chief executive Phil Riley said he plan is to centralize the news service in London and added that the change is likely to cost the job of at least one of the four people in DNN's four-strong Birmingham team.
Of the content of the planned service, he said, "If you strip out the local London information, an awful lot of LBC is of interest to people up and down the country. We think there is an opportunity to maintain a speech presence on those regional [MXR] multiplexes without breaking the bank. And LBC will benefit from being more accessible outside London."
RNW comment: And of course the service will be cheaper to produce if Chrysalis can drop people in the field in favour of a centralized service with more being done on the phone and less by requiring reporters to go to a scene. The points made in the Chrysalis submission regarding the potential for a "stronger bulletin that sounds better and, more importantly provides a consistently high level of local editorial for individual markets" are sound as far as they go - for things mentioned by Chrysalis such as making police check calls and using the internet but they certainly lack the local involvement of someone living in a community, whether or not they "receive little management feedback and run the risk of feeling isolated" - the latter surely a matter of how good the management is.
We understand the financial constraints involved and that the news hub may be the best compromise within those constraints but cannot accept that a good journalist will do a better job from afar than being in a location when it comes to local cover.
UK Guardian report:
2006-08-02: Salt Lake City public station KCPW-FM, which reported an operating loss of USD 609,366 last year, paid Blair Feulner, who manages the station and its sister station KPCW-FM in Park City and is also a host at the stations a total of USD 179,815 including a performance bonus of USD 39,815 owed from the previous year according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The paper which took the figures from the station's tax return said that in a letter to listeners, Tom Calder, President of the board of Community Wireless of Park City, the non-profit that is the stations' parent, said that the losses were caused by the launch of a simultaneous broadcast on an AM band.
He adds that the losses were paid for out of USD 3.6 million received from the sale of an unused Coalville licence owned by the non-profit, which bought it in the early 1990s. When it was sold in 2004, says the Tribune, Feulner and his wife, former co-manager Susan Feulner, collected a USD 895,000 bonus on the sale. The paper adds that Feulner said last November the balance of the license sale money would establish an endowment for the station but there has been no action concerning the endowment.
The paper says that Calder in his letter said Feulner's remuneration for 2006 will be USD 145,000 with "no bonuses pending."
Salt Lake Tribune report:
2006-08-01: Under a swap announced on Monday, Greater Media gains a new Philadelphia frequency and Nassau Broadcasting a classical format and cash allied with a frequency swap.
Greater Media is to operate the 97.5 FM frequency currently used by Nassau Broadcasting's Burlington City, New Jersey classic rock station WTHK-FM, and incorporate it into is Philadelphia cluster - rock stations WMMR-FM and WMGK-FM, pop-rock station BEN-FM and Sports Talk WPEN-AM: Greater Media will change the format and call letters for the new Philadelphia station but says details have not yet been determined.
Nassau in return gets Greater Media's 99.5-FM currently used by country format WKLB-FM, Lowell, Massachusetts plus an undisclosed cash payment and the classical WCRB-FM format that Greater Media has agreed - in a separate transaction - to acquire from Charles River Broadcasting together with its 102.5 FM frequency in Boston.
Nassau will then move WCRB to the 99.5 FM frequency and Greater Media will switch WKLB to 102.5, increasing its coverage towards Cape Cod and the Providence markets.
In a news release Nassau said it intends to incorporate the 99.5 frequency into its existing New England holdings and retaining the classical frequency in addition to its existing WBACH classical music network in coastal Maine.
Greater Media's President and CEO Peter Smyth said they "worked very hard to identify a company that would protect the classical music format in Boston" and added, "I am both happy and proud that classical music will continue to have a home on the Boston airwaves. This is a great deal for all three companies, and for Boston's radio listeners and advertisers."
For Nassau, chairman and President Lou Mercatanti said they were "extremely pleased to be able to add WCRB in Boston on its new home at 99.5 FM to our growing family of stations" and added, "WCRB has a heritage of broadcasting one of the premiere classical radio formats in the US and we welcome WCRB as the new flagship of our classical network of stations throughout New England."
He added that the transaction "is also bittersweet for us as the 97.5 FM frequency was the first radio station that Nassau acquired in 1986 from local radio pioneer Herb Hobler."
The frequency was used for WPST-FM and Mercatanti noted, "...in anticipation of the potential to move the 97.5 frequency into Philadelphia, we migrated our heritage format of WPST to 94.5 FM in early 2005."
Both were backed up by Mary L. Marshall, Chairman of the Board, Charles River Broadcasting, who said, "We are delighted that Greater Media and Nassau Broadcasting have reached an agreement under which Nassau will continue to broadcast classical music in Boston. We wish both companies tremendous success and would like to congratulate Peter Smyth and Lou Mercatanti for working together to achieve a great result."
The companies say both transactions are expected to close in the fall.
Previous Greater Media:
2006-08-01: US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President and CEO David Rehr, who in the past has complained about interference to signals from satellite radio equipment used to move the satellite signals via a low-power FM device to analogue automobile receivers, has now written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking it to recall offending devices.
Last month NAB wrote to the FCC concerning tests it had carried out on various devices (See RNW Jun 24) and Rehr is now calling for further action to half the sale and distribution of equipment that fails to comply with FCC regulations and also for a recall of devices already sold that are not in compliance.
In his letter he writes, "Although press reports indicate that XM and Sirius have requested their manufacturers to suspend production of noncompliant devices, these actions do nothing to address noncompliant products already in consumers' hands or those already shipped to distributors and retailers. NAB would urge the Commission to seek recall of noncompliant devices from XM's and Sirius' major distributors and retailers."
RNW note: Most of the 21 devices tested by NAB were generic equipment designed to move signal from such devices as MP3 players to a radio receiver rather than being designed for Sirius or XM: Of those that were, XM's wired modulator for the SKYFi and Roady units was found to be compliant but those for the Sirius S50 and Sportster SP-TK2 were not.
2006-08-01: CBS Radio's WCKG-FM (Free FM) in Chicago is dumping Howard Stern replacement Shane "Rover" French and bringing in the Opie and Anthony (Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia) show, which is to start in the 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM slot today. CBS is also to air Opie and Anthony on KIFR-FM (Free FM) in San Francisco.
In typically reticent - if not mendacious - manner the station web site has simply wiped French off its line-up and in promoting Opie and Anthony heavily fails to mention that it had taken them on shortly after after Entercom fired them from WAAF-FM in Boston for falsely reporting on April Fools Day, 1998 that then the Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino had been killed in a car crash and that it fired them from the then WNEW-FM in New York after the Sex in St Anthony's Cathedral stunt in 2002 (See RNW Aug 24, 2002): It also failed to wipe all mentions of French from the site on Monday - its archive listed MP3s of three favourites -- Rover, Penn (Gillette) and Steve Dahl - but had taken the audio of French off.
French's departure followed abysmal ratings - in the latest Arbitron survey he took only an 0.3% share of the audience of males 18-34 and WCKG had an overall all-time low of 0.9%: Stern in comparison had an audience about eight times that of French before he moved to Sirius Satellite Radio.
Before moving to Chicago he was in Cleveland and his syndicated "Rover's Morning Glory" show will now return to its former home there at CBS Radio's WXRK-FM (K-Rock): The show is currently also syndicated to WPXC-FM, Cape Cod, Massachusetts; WAQZ-FM, Cincinnati; WAZU-FM, Columbus, Ohio; WKRK-FM, Detroit; WMFS-FM, Memphis; WZNE-FM, Rochester, New York; and KPNT-FM, St. Louis.
Previous Shane "Rover" French:
Previous Opie and Anthony:
WCKG-FM (Free FM) web site:
2006-08-01: BBC Radio 1 has announced that Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates, who joined BBC Radio in September last year and currently host an early morning show on the station on Fridays, are to add hosting its weekend breakfast show in late September.
They will take over from DJ Spoony (Jonathan Joseph)who is leaving after six years to concentrate on his sports work for BBC Radio Five Live, where he already hosts the UK's top-rated football phone-in show 606 on Wednesdays. Spoony, who was one of the final presenters of the Top of the Pops TV programme also says he has a number of TV irons in the fire.
Ben Cooper, Head of Mainstream, Radio 1, said in a news release, "This is a key show for Radio 1 and Fearne and Reggie are total stars. I believe we now have the best weekend line-up in music radio in the country."
He added, "Spoony has done a great job for the station and with his passion for sport matching his passion for music he has got an amazing career ahead of him and we wish him all the best."
2006-08-01: Bruce Mittman, president of Boston-based advertising and media consultancy Mittcom and former president of the WFNX radio network, and Jim Leven, another former radio executive and owner of Pilot Communications, which which operated stations in Syracuse, are returning to radio with the purchase through Community Broadcasting, which they have founded in partnership, of seven stations in the Watertown area of New York state.
It is paying USD 5.5 million to Clancy-Mance Communications North for Adult Alternative WOTT-FM; AC WTOJ-FM; CHR/Pop WBDI-FM; Oldies WGIX-FM; Top-40 WBDB-FM; talk WSLB-AM; and news/talk WATN-AM.
Mittman, who will continue to run Boston-based Mittcom, will be EVP and COO of Community Broadcasting and Leven will be President and CEO. They said they were purchased the stations because of the strength of the Watertown market - it is in a popular vacation area and is also home to the US Army's Fort Drum.
Boston Herald report:
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